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Should Immigrants Be Required To Assimilate?  
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4379 posts, RR: 19
Posted (9 years 2 months 17 hours ago) and read 7028 times:

I had an intense discussion earlier today with someone over the issue of whether immigrants should be compelled to assimilate into the new society. A specific issue arose over the issue of language: it is my contention that immigrants coming to a new country should be required to know or learn the lingua franca of their new home. As I said in an IM meesage:

"I mean damn, they can make far more money and have far more rights here than they ever will in their 3rd world malady-stricken nations, and just having them speak the language is too much?"

I am all for legalized immigration, on the condition that any new arrivals generally adopt the cultural practices of the American ways of life, to include the everyday usage of the English language. What say you a.net?


Live life to the fullest.
61 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

* congers up images of that can of whoop @ss I opened earlier in another thread by mentioning English as the official language of government (a topic that deserves its own thread).

Quoting Avek00 (Thread starter):
I am all for legalized immigration, on the condition that any new arrivals generally adopt the cultural practices of the American ways of life, to include the everyday usage of the English language.

How do we legislate that? (other than the language part?)

 spin 


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 7009 times:

Can you say "seig heil"?

You can suggest rather strongly that they learn to speak the language, but you cannot tell them the MUST become like everyoene else. One, that's fascism; two, you'd take away the wonderful social diversity that is the American melting pot. One of the great things is that ensuing groups of immigrants have brought their own special traditions, foods, faiths, stories, dances, and other things that have made this nation such a diverse place.

Take that away, and their really is no culture, because the American culture IS MADE UP of every immigrant that every stepped foot on our shores.


User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 7001 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Thread starter):
"I mean damn, they can make far more money and have far more rights here than they ever will in their 3rd world malady-stricken nations, and just having them speak the language is too much?"

Many immigrants don't come from these "3rd world malady-stricken nations", in fact, a lot come from 1st world countries.

They should not be required to speak the language if they can be a productive member of society in their native tongue. The idea of experiencing many other cultures without leaving your own country is one of the benefits of immigration.


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6998 times:

Absolutely. It's pretty clear that the so-called virtues of "diversity" aren't working. Here in SoCal you have people speaking Spanish, Tagalog, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and even some English. It's the friggin' Tower of Babel. The phone books and voter guides, just to name two things are 5 times the size they need to be because they need to be written in all of these different languages. Take a drive down Colima Road in Rowland Heights. Or Indiana Ave in East LA. Look at the signs. Now I know how it feels to be illiterate. 'Cuz I can't read a damn one of them. And how about businesses that "cater" to ______ [insert ethnicity of your choice in the blank]? The message is clear: "Everyone else is not welcome."

This extremely simplified account of things highlights one other inevitiblity of living in this kind of mix: racial tension: The Blacks and the Mexicans hate each other. The Japanese hate the Vietnamese. And everyone hates the whites.

As long as you have everyone flying their 'native' flags and practicing their native customs, it's basically guaranteed that so-called "tribal rivalries" will ensue.

If we are ever hope to have racial and ethnic harmony here in the US, everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE needs to adopt a common identity.

Say what you want about how wonderful diversity is and how it's a virtue unto itself. But the fact is that where everyone acts and identifies as one, everyone gets along.

I have nothing against Mexicans, Japanese, or anyone else. If you want to be a Mexican, you belong in Mexico. Speak all the Spanish and eat all the tacos you want. If you want to be an American, learn to speak Engrish and don't give me a dirty look when I laugh at you for buying a pepperoni "peek-sa" or ask you "what the f*** is a "Yumbo Yack"? (Jumbo Jack from Jack-In-The-Box)

EDIT:

I should also say that while you can't reasonably expect to take everyone by the nose and teach them English, you CAN make life extremely difficult for non-English speakers that might compel them to learn: Make English the official language, make it a crime to post signage not printed in English, stop printing phone books and DMV manuals in all languages except English, and immediately eliminate all non-English classes in public schools. Force them to go to a private school and learn it on their own. All business must be conducted in English only.

And if you can't understand English, then the Miranda Laws don't apply. Get it in English. Or too bad.

[Edited 2005-07-18 04:50:02]

User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6979 times:

Forcing the immigrants to learn English will go over just as well as forcing American soildiers to speak Arabic or Kurdish while in Iraq.

Bad things happen when you force people to do something they don't want to do.

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:02:30]

User currently offlineDtwclipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6976 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2):
Can you say "seig heil"?

You can suggest rather strongly that they learn to speak the language, but you cannot tell them the MUST become like everyoene else. One, that's fascism; two, you'd take away the wonderful social diversity that is the American melting pot. One of the great things is that ensuing groups of immigrants have brought their own special traditions, foods, faiths, stories, dances, and other things that have made this nation such a diverse place.

Take that away, and their really is no culture, because the American culture IS MADE UP of every immigrant that every stepped foot on our shores.

For the first time I need to disagree with you. You do not need to loose your cultural identity when you 'assimilate' into a society. Many, if not most immigrants to the US in the past have shed many outwards aspects of their former culture, yet have retained a strong connection with their former homes.

I am a strong believer that when people immigrate to the US they should learn English (do the Germans learn Turkish). I resent it very much that when I go to Florida I am addressed in Spanish. English is the language of the US, and it should be made official.

On what do I base my assimilation views? Personal history. Grandfather arrived off the boat in this country with no cash, education, nor language skills, but learned English and became a DVM (MSU class of '17). However, we never lost out cultural identity, and it is something that has been passed on from one generation to another.

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:04:38]

User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6969 times:

Bad things happen when you force people to do something they don't want to do.

I realize that. NOBODY likes being told what to do and doing so often triggers backlashes that produce the exact opposite result. But look. Our country is out of control. Somebody needs to take charge and get it back in control. If that means some people are going to figuratively be castrated, then so be it. If we need to do wholesale deporations, or overnight, throw 5 million people in the street, whatever it takes, it needs to be done.

And frankly, I'm surprised that the French don't require tourists to learn the language.


User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6953 times:

Personally, I am for immigration. I think we need to make it easier to enter this country LEGALLY.

However, I do not believe I should be punished for being born here.

Do not waste my tax dollars pandering to people who do not speak the language. Do not make public schools bilingual. Do not make bilingual street signs, or anything else. Do spend my money on schools to teach people English before they enter the same public schools as everyone else. Make the schools to learn English free.

Declare the official language English.

Feel free to continue to offer the immigration forms in any language you can imagine. however, we should really push to try to get people to learn to speak the language, not blow the already scarce resources our state governments have on allowing them to remain seperate.

To continue to be a strong country we need to unify. If I can't communicate with someone because they did not bother to learn the language of where they live it does nothing but create bad feelings on both sides, that is not unifying. I do not go to their country and assume everyone there needs to speak English.

If I were going to move to another country I would be busting my ass to learn the language. I have already started a real effort to learn Spanish, just to simplify my life here in Texas. As soon as I get my current educational endeavors overwith I have decided to learn a language or two. Most Europeans speak several (at least 1 other than their native) languages, because they just about have to. The least I can do is gain the ability to do some basic communication in 1 or 2 more languages.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6943 times:

The jingoism and xenophobia of this site among some Americans amazes me sometime. It really does.

User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6935 times:

What kind of society is it where no one can understand each other because they all speak different languages? No a very good one. Although we can't demand they learn it, we can make it so it is very hard to live without English. If people know they can't get a job without at least a good level of English, they will find a way to learn it. Assimilation does not mean elimination of culture, it just means balancing that native culture with the American way of life.

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6928 times:

Legal Immigration . . . .

The basic question posed is: Should Legal Immigrants be REQUIRED (by law) to learn the language of the country to which they are migrating?

Answer: NO. Can't force someone to do that.

Now, I'll caveat that by saying, if you're not from the States, and you've been here quite some time, and your intention is to stay here, live here, work here, learn the language. If I have to do business with you, you had better be able to at least understand what I'm saying and visa versa. If I can't communicate with you, I won't do business with you - period.

I would not hesitate to attempt to learn the language if I moved out of the country. If my intentions were to live and work in another country - it is only just and fair that I learn to maneuver in a common tongue. When I was stationed in Germany, I did my best to learn and speak German when I was off the installation. When I was in Korea, I did the same - but I never could grasp that. German was much easier, especially Bier  biggrin .

As for publishing phone books and the like (as pointed outin MattDs post) in 5-6-7 different languages, that's hogwash  redflag . Publish it in English and have available versions in Spanish, French, etc if someone wants them.

Quoting Matt D (Reply 4):
And if you can't understand English, then the Miranda Laws don't apply.

Presently, at least in Alaska, Law Enforcement is required to know how to say STOP, POLICE in Spanish as well as English. I would not be the least bit surprised to see some South Pacific languages thrown in there, as well as Korean. Quite a few immigrants of that region here as well.

If I come upon a suspect and I believe that suspect to be of a foreign nationality I'm supposed to try to say STOP first in English (which is often universally understood) and in what I suspect might be their native tongue. Impossible to do sometimes.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 6):
I resent it very much that when I go to Florida I am addressed in Spanish.

 yes  Agreed. If I'm walking in to a store, market, mall, gun shop, etc . . . I'd prefer to be addressed in English. . . .

And you can keep the multi-lingual street signs too . . .

I don't expect and demand someone to do that in their own home - that's ridiculous of course. If you intend to stay here and be a part of this society, you will have to assimiliate some parts of it in order to be productive. No different if I went to say, France, to live. I'd damn sure have to learn French.


User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6921 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Thread starter):
I am all for legalized immigration, on the condition that any new arrivals generally adopt the cultural practices of the American ways of life, to include the everyday usage of the English language. What say you a.net?

You're opening up a whole big can of worms here.

Who has the right to decide what is American and what is not?

QFF


User currently offlineSQuared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6918 times:

I agree that immigrants need to learn (one of) the official language of the country in which they arrive.

However, forcing people to adopt their new home's customs isn't conducive to anything. What does it accomplish?

Quoting Matt D (Reply 7):
If we need to do wholesale deporations, or overnight, throw 5 million people in the street, whatever it takes, it needs to be done.

That sounds reminiscent of something... now what is it?  Yeah sure

Quoting Matt D (Reply 4):

If we are ever hope to have racial and ethnic harmony here in the US, everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE needs to adopt a common identity.

Not True. Racial tensions are a significant issue in the United States, but less so in Canada. So what's different? Canada advocates a "cultural mosaic" society where people are encouraged to keep their customs and their language. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, second to maybe Sydney and NYC, but racial tensions are limited compared to comparable sized American cities. Racial harmony does exist, and it exists without a so-called "Common Identity".

SQuared


User currently offlineTbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6917 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 2):
Can you say "seig heil"?

Go figure, you had to compare it to nazism. I fail to see how what he suggested has anything to do with Nazis and Hitler, who just happened to slaughter millions of people. How does asking people to speak the language of a country compare to that? How insulting



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6911 times:

How does asking people to speak the language of a country compare to that?

We don't agree with him. 'nuff said.  Yeah sure

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineSQuared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6884 times:

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Reply 12):

Who has the right to decide what is American and what is not?

Perhaps they should set up a "House Un-American Activities Committee" headed by a crazed Senator. The goal of the committee would be to look for those who haven't assimilated totally into the American way of life, sort of like a witch hunt. Then the names of these Un-Americans can be added to a blacklist. Anyone know a Joe McCarthy?

Seriously though, some of the replies here have been a bit terrifying.

SQuared

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:47:04]

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:48:05]

User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6874 times:

Seriously though, some of the replies here have been a bit terrifying.

If asking people to speak a common language is terrifying, then you have issues.

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineSQuared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6869 times:

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 17):
If asking people to speak a common language is terrifying, then you have issues.

Read my first post:

Quoting SQuared (Reply 13):
I agree that immigrants need to learn (one of) the official language of the country in which they arrive.

What I consider terrifying is this:

Quoting Matt D (Reply 7):
If we need to do wholesale deporations, or overnight, throw 5 million people in the street, whatever it takes, it needs to be done.

SQuared

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:51:55]

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:53:13]

User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6862 times:

What I consider terrifying is this:

Ok, I agree with you, then.  Smile

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6860 times:

That's just MattD.. He can make a good point one moment, then turn right around one moment and say something that disturbs even me.

User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6858 times:

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 8):
Do not make public schools bilingual.

  

What pisses me off in Anchorage are these IMMERSION classes for 4-5-6th graders. Japanese, Spanish. WTF? A 4th grader can barely deal with decent English and you're trying to teach them - in Japanese??? Assinine. Ridiculous. Let them get a grip on Subject, Noun, Predicate, Verb, Adjective, Pronoun in ENGLISH first. . . .

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 8):
Do not make bilingual street signs, or anything else.

  

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 8):
Declare the official language English.

  

[Edited 2005-07-18 05:54:24]

User currently offlineTexdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6843 times:

This topic is very interesting, and obviously probably overheated by its nature.

Immigrants, as I am, should not be REQUIRED to assimilate culturally. That is, they should have the right to congregate amongst themselves, go to their places of worship, and even create a zone of similarity amongst themselves.
For example, if an Indian couple choose to live on Devon street in Chicago (an Indian enclave), go only to Indian shops/restaurants/movie theaters, that is their right.

However, when it comes to the ability to communicate with the population at large which is English, then the immigrant MUST HAVE the ability to talk/speak/write/understand English. Period. A multicultural society need not be homogenized to a single culture, but the multicultural society must be able to communicate effectively with one another. In India itself, there are hundreds of languages but English allows someone from the north to communicate with the south and vice-versa.

While there may be bigots who want to put down Hispanics and other people with different languages, I'm afraid that many minorities also are to blame as some are hostile/angry when someone doesn't cater to their language.

When I was an intern in 1994 in Long Island, I came across a Hispanic woman in the ER who yelled at me and had a bad attitude because at 3am I was the only resident there and she was "offended" that no one could speak to her in Spanish. By the way, she spoke good English....



Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6834 times:

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 22):
When I was an intern in 1994 in Long Island, I came across a Hispanic woman in the ER who yelled at me and had a bad attitude because at 3am I was the only resident there and she was "offended" that no one could speak to her in Spanish. By the way, she spoke good English....

I'm guessing she was a patient? If she was hurting badly enough, she'd have spoken English. Take her offense back to where ever.


User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 6829 times:

When I was an intern in 1994 in Long Island, I came across a Hispanic woman in the ER who yelled at me and had a bad attitude because at 3am I was the only resident there and she was "offended" that no one could speak to her in Spanish. By the way, she spoke good English....

My mom was a nurse for years and said she ran into these types of people all the time.

When my Polish relatives moved to American in the late 19th century, they all came to NJ, and eventually settled near Irvington, NJ, which became a very large Polish community. They could speak Polish, practice their familiar customs, and be happy there. My great uncle was even the mayor of Irvington at one point. Over time, though, they became more and more American, blending in, while still keeping their heritage. No one forced this upon them, it just happened over time. Now Irvington is 80% black, and a shadow of its former self.

What worries me, is that the Hispanic immigrants, today's Poles and Europeans, are being allowed to hole themselves in together, and stay in these little communities. Huge amounts of money are being spent is ESL programs and the like, and the people see no reason to assimilate. If today's policies were in place throughout our nation's history, we would still have pockets of different nationalities all across the nation. Instead, we have a beautiful mix of all races and cultures, one that today's immigrants are slow to join.

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
25 Post contains images FlyingTexan : Lol – so true! Reminds me of 3 workers I had cleaning a rental property [that heavy duty cleaning when someone moves in/out]. They spoke little Eng
26 Texdravid : But of course!! If you have an attitude that everyone MUST speak to you in Spanish, Dutch, or whatever and you are offended/pissed off that no one ca
27 Allstarflyer : Should Immigrants Be Required To Assimilate? Yes. Signed, Alice Krieg a.k.a. Queen of the Borg
28 Aa757first : I agree. No one is saying (or should say) that these people should abandon their culture. I would never dream of asking someone to do this, because i
29 Jacobin777 : my response....! Thomas Jefferson- " * Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianit
30 ConcordeBoy : Gonna have to agree with this one right here.
31 Post contains images L410Turbolet : I really don't understand what is so terryfing or even fascist-like about the requirement to speak the language of the country you want to live in? I
32 ME AVN FAN : -> immigrants anywhere are practically "compelled" to assimilate. Whomever wants to work or to go shopping etc needs to assimilate at least to some e
33 NYCFlyer : The reason Canada has fewer racial problems than the U.S., IMO, (aside from their lack of a slaveholding history, which is significant) is simple: th
34 L410Turbolet : He never said anything like you suggest. I believe by "everyday usage" he meant work, contact with authorities, shopping, etc. What language they spe
35 ME AVN FAN : - I of course hope (and expect) that he means it that way. And that then of course is absolutely CORRECT. What is boring often is that many housewife
36 MD11Engineer : L410, Most Filipinos speak excellent English, because English is one of the languages of education in their country (legacy of having been a US colony
37 L410Turbolet : and you point is?
38 Avek00 : That's exactly how I meant it.
39 Scbriml : Why do they need to bother learning English? Take the slightly longer-term viewpoint, and learn Spanish instead! I work for a large American multi-na
40 ANCFlyer : Depending on their location, I might not think that a bad idea . . . not everyone likes Americans you know . . . That said, IMO, they should if able
41 Post contains images TedTAce : I'm married to an Americanized Cuban, so read into that what you will. After 30+ years in Miami, you learn that you are the minority not matter how 'r
42 Jaysit : What does that mean? Are you going to police the Indian family in your suburban cul de sac and chastize them for being vegetarians and shunning burge
43 TedTAce : Well they definately deserve chiding at least for turning their nose up at cool whip!!!
44 Dtwclipper : Then I must be an exception to that rule. I spent 10 years working in Germany and Switzerland, speak fluent (albeit no longer error free) German and
45 L410Turbolet : But does it take 40 years to learn the language? If you are exposed to it 24/7 then it takes a relatively very short time to master it (at younger ag
46 LH423 : Came in a little late there, bud. SQuared already explained what he meant regarding what was terrifying. Not surprisingly, it was from MattD. He frig
47 FlyingTexan : Why don’t we just round ‘em all up since they don’t speak English and eat different food? The xenophobic views here not only scare me they disap
48 Slider : E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, ONE. You can savor your own culture and language, but assimilation from a social standpoint is absolutely critical. Hist
49 Tbar220 : There is a certain time window in which people can successfully learn languages, and it closes after a certain age. Its much easier to learn language
50 ME AVN FAN : - which in case of the USA usually means "better food" ! You should take over the food, and teach them English !
51 MD11Engineer : ANCFlyer, I started learning my first foreign language (English) in 5th grade (standard in Germany). Since, I've been very lucky, our teacher was a Ge
52 ANCFlyer : TBar, Jan, don't get me wrong on that language issue in school. I'm all for learning another language - several even. But not in the 4th grade. Kids i
53 Post contains images Falcon84 : Be insulted. I really don't care. I'm not talking about language here-I think you should learn to speak English if you live here. I was talking about
54 MaverickM11 : It should not be forced but it's in every group's interest to assimilate rather than separate themselves from society, and this has been proven time a
55 LTBEWR : In the USA, if one wants to become a citizen, you must learn english, as well as pass tests on USA government and history. This shoud be extended to t
56 ME AVN FAN : - I checked this up in the USA, in quite a different way. The distances mean that for most US-Americans, countries with a different majority language
57 Mdsh00 : Are you kidding me? Even as a child of imigrants, I can't see myself rejecting my heritage. There are positives and negatives to American and Foreign
58 ANCFlyer : Agree with your entire post ME AVN FAN . . . there is no incentive when you can travel 3000 miles and not change language or go through customs and s
59 MD11Engineer : A few years ago I listened to a programme on BBC radio, which stated that the UK had at this time serious problems in finding people with European lan
60 ME AVN FAN : - and very often makes them DISliked, as locals usually conclude that those US-Americans refuse them
61 Post contains images Scbriml : There's always one! Glad you enjoyed your time in Europe. Like you, I'm convinced it makes a huge difference to an overseas assignment. I've applied
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