Saturday Forum

A Former U.S. Embassy Employee In China Says Pay Attention To Chinese Students; etc.

From: Ron Foreman (e-mail him)

Re: Brenda Walker's Column: Berkeley, CA—Still Part Of America But "The Waves Are Lapping Higher All The Time"

Walker wrote a fine article.

It's important to emphasize whether these Berkeley students are children of Mainland Chinese parents or Taiwanese and how many are Chinese citizens.

When I was in China from 1993-1995, there were 65,000 students sponsored by the Chinese government from the mainland in the U.S. None ever returned to China.

It is most likely near 200,000 now.

China has the best spy system in the world, so I hope someone is paying attention.

Foreman was a Captain in the USMC from 1961-1968; he resigned his commission after returning from Vietnam. He entered the Foreign Service and retired in 2001.

A previous letter from Foreman about Sen. John McCain is here and his Thanksgiving letter with recollections of his father is here. Foreman's most recent letter about his Foreign Service experience in Niger is here.

Brenda Walker replies:

It's very odd to walk around an American university like UC Berkeley and hear so much Chinese being spoken. Perhaps they don't think they need to practice their English.

UCB teaching assistants have long been famous for incomprehensible English and I can't imagine that it has gotten any better over the years.

I have no idea how many were born abroad. The difference between foreign students and the children of immigrants is practically non-existent. You can't tell them apart.

Foreman is absolutely right about Chinese spies. It's crazy to continue to let students in so trustingly.

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An Arizona Teacher Considers Giving Barack Obama An "F" For Plagiarism

From:  Natalia J. Garland (e-mail her)

Would a 9th-grader do what Barack Obama did? That is, plagiarize parts of his "Just Words" speech that he delivered in Milwaukee in February. (Watch it on YouTube here.)

What would the English teachers of America say?

  • First, they would define plagiarism as copying another's writing or stealing another's ideas, and then presenting the material as one's own.

That's exactly what Obama did.

Obama later said, of course, that he had permission from Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick to use the material. But this statement from Obama was not made until Patrick was revealed as the source.

  • Second, English teachers would say that it is important to teach students not to plagiarize.

How can a teacher explain Obama's "borrowing" to a 9th-grader? If Obama minimizes or normalizes the '"sharing" of material between friends, how do we teach students to do their own research, use their own words, and develop their own ideas?

I know what it's like to teach in America's schools. Cheating is not stigmatized like it was when I went to high school and on to college. So we don't to set any more bad examples from our presidential candidates.

If Obama had presented his "Just Words" speech in my classroom, I would have given him two choices:

  • Accept a grade of "F" or,

  • Do the assignment over.

This is not a matter of a persnickety English teacher. It is instead an issue involving high standards and expectations, as well as integrity.

I'm not inspired by Obama's speech. I do feel manipulated, however.

Apparently Patrick develops his own ideas. Why can't Obama?

Garland, who lives in Arizona, is a licensed master social worker and certified substitute teacher. Her blog is here.

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An Ohio Reader Says Guzzardi Was Imprecise About Lutherans

From: Donald Wisenor (e-mail him) 

Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: Easter Question: Which Church Is The Top Treason Lobbyist?

Guzzardi was imprecise in his column that commented on Lutherans.

Not all eight million Lutherans in the U.S. are in the same church body.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) with five million members is a liberal, mainline denomination.

The next two largest groups, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2.5 million members, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), 720 thousand members, are both conservative, Bible-believing groups.

The majority of their members, I venture to say, would disapprove of the pro-immigration activities he describes.

Wisenor, who belongs to WELS, formerly practiced criminal defense law in Washington, D.C. He currently lives in Ohio and writes that: "his views on immigration are in agreement with those generally expressed at VDARE.COM"

Joe Guzzardi comments: Thanks to Wisenor for bringing this important distinction to the attention of our readers.

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A Texas Reader Recently Quit The Methodist Church Partly Because Of Immigration

From:  Jeffrey Farmer (e-mail him)

Guzzardi might be interested to know that I recently left the United Methodist Church for various reasons, including the immigration issue that he wrote about.

However, I have not stopped being a Christian and have joined an independent fundamental Baptist Church where the pastor and people are wonderful and have much reverence for God's word.

I have no ill will toward my former fellow Methodists, even though I can't follow their leadership any longer.

Farmer, whose wife remains a Methodist, is a press operator in Austin.

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A Texas Reader Sums Up Cardinal Roger Mahony

From:  George Weinbaum (e-mail him)

I am a refugee from Los Angeles. On immigration nonsense, it's tough to top "Mahoney Baloney" as I call him.

Weinbaum is a CPA living in the Houston area. His previous letter about Houston Chronicle's pro-immigration reporting is here.

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A Massachusetts Reader Asks Guzzardi To Stop Picking On The Poor Red $ox

From:  Rick Costa (e-mail him)

Re: Joe Guzzardi's Blog: Globalism And Baseball—The 2008 Season Opens In Japan

Guzzardi must know by now that baseball is all about the $$$$ with the $ox ownership the biggest prostitutes in the game. By 2010, Fenway Park won't have a square inch that isn't covered by advertising.

At the other end of the money ball spectrum, you have the benighted Oakland A's (run by the most overrated general manager in the game, Billy Beane) who, along with the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins, should have been downsized out of existence years ago.

Those teams are content to run on the cheap, stay somewhat competitive, suck the luxury tax bucks from the Yankee$ and Red $ox, and show a profit at the end of the year.

I have a friend who is friendly with the family that controls the Major League Baseball logo hat business. The day Daisuke Matsuzaka signed with the Red $ox, a deal kicked in for some insane number of Red $ox hats to be shipped to Tokyo!

That's why the opening series is in Japan.

And that explains why Red $ox owner John Henry, the hedge fund guru who's worth about $2 billion, parks his yacht in Boston Harbor every summer. It looks like the QE II compared to the rest of the boats, and we're talking about the yachts of some heavy hitters here.

Costa says that although he lives in Massachusetts, he is not a "weenie" member of the Red $ox Nation.

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