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U.S. Constitution
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:54 am    Post subject: Here You Go Reply with quote

Hello. This posting was done under Zoo category but because we talked about constitution there I figured I'd copy my posting there and paste it here. Enjoy reading. Mr Sewell, your thoughts? Or are you ignoring us now?

Hello again. I see that I've raised an issue that's extremely sensitive for those that are involved in building Laurent. That's good because for a while I thought you were ignoring us. Now that I'm being barked at it gave me assurance that you're paying attention.

Jen, Marvin and then Adam dumped a load of comments and challenged me to respond so I'll respond in the order that was received in your posting system, just to make sure that I'm not leaving anything behind.

Jen you asked if I really thought that my approach was really helpful here. Yes and obviously I've struck some of your chords and gained your attention. After a while I thought that everybody on your side of the fence were ignoring many important issues because they were not addressed too well. I believe there is an old saying that goes by something like this, " a critic is your best friend, for they are trying to help". Stay mad at me if you like but it won't serve any purpose especially because when I think I'm seeing problems with Laurent and how you were going to build it. In your previous posting you talked about the lack of feedback from retired people so I thought I'd respond and say that South Dakota is too cold and that I did not favor "deaf Power' attitude and comments that were posted by interested parties. For whatever it's worth I think I've shed some lights into this matter for you to realize something.

Now I'm going to move onto the next posting by Marvin.

Marvin. You did nothing to deserve to be accused of profit-taking motive. Not the way you had worded it. I'm saying we, primarily you and your developers, ought to have all the facts together prior to starting a town and asking investors to help with this project. I could not understand why many of the issues were not adequately addressed in many of the postings. I mean the postings under the United States Constitution raised numerous interesting issues but you've not yet been able to dispute or sustain anything to date except for the fact that you still want a policy written requiring people to learn sign language at certain level in order to start or run a business in Laurent, requiring all public office candidates to have minimum level of ASL skill, etc; Politics are not foreign to me. I've very involved in politics and I know that there is no way for Laurent to create qualification requirement for candidates because it is our civil right to run for an election and to be elected based on popularity vote, not based on city's preferences. As soon as the city or country, State or Federal government intervene with the election process it'll immediately disqualify the election process. That's where I agreed with Mr. Sewell, I think that's who had originated the posting. We can not allow any government to decide who our candidates are going to be such as who's allowed to run and who is not allowed to run for public offices. I will address Adam's posting as soon as I am done with this and point to several Amendments that may answer numerous questions for us. There is an amendment in the U.S. Constitution that will talk about rights of property owners. The rights of business owners. The due process involved. It'll also talk about rights of persons, rights of our citizens and right to vote. Based on your previous comments and goals that were written there are some things that may not be legal under the constitution. To simplify this matter for you, we are not allowed to discriminate against those who do not know how to sign. If it is not already against the law it'll become the law as soon as Laurent is up and running based on what you're saying to date. A violation of a person's right not to sign and have equal access to politic electroal process in Laurent and the right to own business and not be forced to sign will be raised in the court of law eventually and they'll be victorious regardless because discrimination is not permitted under any kind of light.

Marvin I know you've said your part but you've ducked the real issue. However you're talking about your goals, thoughts and feelings. You are not a lawyer. You don't specialize in United States Constitution and the lawyers that represent your effort does not specialize in United States Constitution. Because you have a lawyer on your side does not mean that he or she are qualified to provide legal advice on our United States Constitution and the amendments that were written.

Deaf attorneys that you've written to and asked for feedback are likely civil lawyers that specialize in civil rights. They won't be able to give you legal advice on what an entity such as incorporated town are allowed or not allowed to do. You do not need civil lawyers because we all know what our individual rights are. What you need is a lawyer that specialize in the constitution who would know what a city government is allowed or not allowed to do such as requiring some people to have minimum level of ASL skill before business license is issued or before a candidate are allowed to run for public offices.

Like you I hope that we'll be able to continue brain stroming and continue to raise hard questions in order to make this a valid project before people start to invest money into Laurent because I've seen enough of financial harm that happened to numerous deaf people in the recent years. We need to do more to protect our people and protect their money. That's why I encouraged us to gather all the facts before we jump onboard. I do not have to be interested in Laurent in order to say something important here. Deaf people are my family and I'll always try to help and protect them from harms' way. I am not going to live in Laurent. I don't think I'll visit either unless I happen to drive by this town. I have no interest in South Dakota. No interest in living in a deaf community like Laurent. But that does not mean I don't care about deaf people in general.

I am not asking you to explain your personal financial affairs with CSD, whatever that might be and the amount of money you made there and the kind of sacrifices you are making now. That's personal. My point is that anytime there are developers that's trying to buy a big chunk of land and make something good happen at the right spot at the right time are the party of conflict of interest regardless of whatever you're saying. If you are able to know exactly where you're wanting to build Laurent you'd know first hand on where to buy land before any of us have the opportunity to invest. That's why I saw a problem when I'm seeing excessive positive, overly positive and unrealistic comments about how grand Laurent is going to be, and how it's actually going to happen, drumming your own drums and creating hype over something that you might have financial interest in, without investigating the constitution laws before hand. Those who have their hands on large chunks of lands knowing exactly where Laurent is going to be built will have the most to gain. Don't kid us about it. You have a lot to gain from it because you're in charge of every aspect of this project. A non-profit entity that you refer to is only designed to help with planning and development. Nearly all new town are started out this way and there's always this "behind the scene" investors who're grabbing all the lands and making the most fortune. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with being investors. Nothing wrong with being the developer. Just don't do it without first knowing whether what you're trying to do is in accompliance with our constitution so that we won't jeopardize or risk people's money when and if they decide to buy something inside Laurent and invest there only to find out that the basic concept was not legal, constitution-wise. That was the point I made.

Before I move on, thanks Marvin for taking the time to address this. I wish we were addressing it inside the U.S. Constitution instead of the Zoo chapter.

I'm going to address Adam's posting now.

Hi Adam,

By now I'm sure I've answered a lot of your questions when I replied to Jen and Marvin. I see that you've asked me some personal questions so I'll go through them in the order it was received.

I was not aware of availability of business plans for our review. The web site did not make any mention of this unless it's hidden somewhere that's not easily noticed.

I understand the difference between a non-profit and profit entities. These things are not foreign to me. Where is the wealth you asked. I've answered that earlier but will say it again. The non-profit entity called Laurent Institution are not going to be the land owner of the area or will it be? If Laurent Institution does not presently own the land where Laurent is going to be built then who will own it when the current owners decide to sell it to developers? Who are the developers? Will Marvin, Jen and her mom's name or their corporation under whatever name they decide to use, be on the land as land owner? If so, why ask me where the profit is going to be. If it's Laurent Institution that's going to buy and own the land then you have a valid point. If not, we ought to know who's got vested interest and who might be viewed as conflict of interest. It's a legitimate question. Instead of asking us to shut up and ask fewer question we ought to raise more questions to know who's got so much interest in what in order to make our judgemental call to decide who ought to be viewed as neutural party and who might have conflict of interest on these matters. Don't you agree, Adam?

And because there are support from a team of developers, McCook County, platting lawyers, and some support from deaf lawyers and deaf people as well as hearing people it does not mean that they are qualified to analyize and determine how our existing constitution might infringe with what you're dreaming of doing. Because these three teams did not have any reservation about the legality of the process or the town does not mean anything because they don't specialize in United States Constitution. There are a lot that they do not know about our constitution. Dont' assume that because they've thrown their support toward your way that it's legal in the eye of Supreme Courts. I think you already know that.

You would not know that I had not researched whatever information I was given. It's you that did not do your home work. You did not do your research. I know this because of the choices of your words, which indicated what you did not know.

I am glad that my comments got your attention because it deserved your attention. What was my justifications for the declaration that the town plans for an inclusive signing environment is unconstitutional?

I do not have any professional legal background. Nor do you.

The basis for my questions were based on my general knowledge and love for our United States Constitution. I've just done some research and was able to visit a law web site. I'm seeing numerous amendments, namely 5th amendment which will explain about rights of persons. It protects hearing people just as it protect deaf people. Hearing people have their rights as well and that include their right to buy properties in United States and their rights to start a business in United States. Business licenses are not issued based on their ability or skill to communicate with others. It's solely based on their entrepreneural ambition and desires. Amendment 14 will talk about rights of citizens to exist, live and function in our society without being bounded by special interests, government, and others. Each person is free, free to choose and free to wander regardless if we are able to talk or even sign for that matter. The 15th amendment will talk about the right to vote and the rights of candidates. Our rights to run for an office and become a candidate without intervention from any single government agency. For example, let's say a hearing person comes into Laurent and wanted to start a business there but was told that he has to learn sign language first. Do you know what might happen? He's going to file a lawsuit against Laurent and will likely bankrupt Laurent because he is being discriminated agaisnt. How do we know a shrewd hearing person is not going to show up and have some fun with Laurent? How do we protect ourselves? How do we prevent these lawsuit-happy freaks from suing Laurent? Answer is we must understand and know what the laws are saying before we say anything.

Terefore what rights do we have as deaf citizens and ASAL friendly town such as Laurent to try and intervene business owners from coming into Laurent and refusing to sign? What rights do we have to try and screen out a candidate that do not sign or want to sign and only allow candidates who sign to run for office? What rights do we have to try and reinforce ASL into a community and make it uncomfortable for others who don't want to or need to learn how to sign? That's the point. I agree with Marvin when he said that he'd want to make Laurent ASL friendly town. But he can't and should not be allowed to create a written policy that would reinforceany single person to learn or have minimum level of sign langaue before they are able to run for office, be a candidate, start a business and whatever else in Laurent. That's where I think Mr. Sewell is absolutely correct. We can't do it because if we do it we'll set a dangerous precedent and reversing what many deaf people have fought long and hard for. We've fought hard and long to secure our rights to exist in this country where nobody are allowed to require us to speak with our voice. We are allowed to sign therefore others ought to be allowed to choose to talk and not learn our language. This way we'll continue to enjoy our constitution rights and choose to use sign language if we wanted to.

I know and realize and understand that linguistic communities are found in every States. But you won't find a single incorporated town that has written requirement for people to learn a minimum or acceptable level of their langauge. There's no such thing under the hat of incorporated town any where in United States. I believe that's what Mr. Sewell has said too. There are numerous communities that use different language by natural choice, but not by reinforcement. That's a big difference.

I am not the one that's suggesting anything to be written. It was Marvin's previosu posting where he had intentions of developing a written policy to reflect Laurent's requirement for certain people to learn ASL. If you did not know it, go and view every posting that Marvin has made and you'll see indications of his previous intention. We all know that Marvin is intelligent and willing to make changes and adjust according to all legal grounds and ultimately he'll be fair with everybody and more importantly he'll obey the laws. I just don't think he's able to gather all the facts yet, which is important prior to accepting investment from anybody.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:02 am    Post subject: Language Preferences Reply with quote

I'm sure it's legal to require city employees to speak English, as part of their job description. Well, just require signing as the job description, and provide the opportunity for everyone to progress in learning ASL. As long as there's progress, they should pass their job reviews. Perhaps it should be considered a municipal cost, in schools and everywhere, to ensure that hearing people, like me, will always be able to assimilate - we can assimmilate each other?

The Belgians even gave a train stationmaster worktime to learn the 2nd national language, since so many commuters through his station used it. [He failed after 5 years, they fired him!] If you make provision for learning, that ought to ensure success. Just declare that the official languages are ASL and English. Provide interpreters for functions, and maybe an office interpreter for many offices.

Now, elections would be difficult, since any voter ought to be able to run for office, I bet. The city might have to have signing secretaries for the hard-of-head hearing. [Did I make an original joke, or has it already been said?]

Hey, I really think that this could be a cultural center, even for music. It would be a great place to have a summer festival, Deaf theatre, all those things that a concentration of deaf talent would make possible, plus some things only hearing people could...hear, and visual arts, to combine everyone. Eventually a community college would be started, I bet, and become a center for interpreters, deaf literature, therapies and linguistic studies - and a natural place for learners to intern. What a resource.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject: new post in old forum Reply with quote

Hi - I've just joined the forum and the last reply was posted in 2004 so I hope someone notices this post eventually Smile

Anyways I've skimmed through the posts and forgive me for being redundant as so many different points are made.

It's been years since I got BA in gov't and MA in international studies, so I'm a bit rusty.

Someone used the Native American reservations as an example circumvient to living in a corporated town. I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that the reservations are considered federal lands and not often subject to state laws. I wish I am more familiar with Native American reservation policies for more indepth discussion.

Having lived and studied in Europe, (i know it's not applicable to US consitution but I think it's a good example) Deaf and hearing people are required to know four European languages including their native country's official language. If proctecting sign language is an issue, I would think that ASL would be primary language used along with English (for business reasons obviously) any sign language as the town has attacted international families and individual, and lastly, Spanish?

Government be it city council, Assembly and LEgislature reps, - it's a good point. Aside from hearing qualifications, the individual would have to represent the town.. The person would have to advocate sign language use, be able to communicate (SEE users, BSL, orals, what have you).

Yeah it's easy to think ahead and address any concerns, but we can't limit ourselves with fears and trepidation. If something doesn't work, it doesn't work. If something works, great. move on.

The US Consitution has weathered over 200 years of amendments and repeals. That's what courts and legislations are for, no?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Well said!!!

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 12:16 pm    Post subject: Local language Reply with quote

I can see where everyone is coming from. I am a history major, and am interested in the field of law. I can be general without letting my opinion or emotions get mixed. To answer Sewell's point whether it is legal or illegal, again lies to the determination of someone who specializes in the U.S. Constitution.

Back in the days, English was spoken by a lot of those who were British. Spanish was spoken by a lot of those who were Spanish. The list goes on. When it came to form a government, they happened to have a lot of British men, forming the earliest steps of the American government, forming the Constitution is among them. There is no statement in the U.S. Constitution or any other document that states that English is the language of the United States. Foreigners come into this country, learning English whenever they can. It just happened to be the majority of the peoples in regions that became dominant, English is often one of them. There are towns along the American Southwest who speak Spanish, not showing a need to learn English. There are Native American tribes all over the country who do speak their own language. Of course there is no law or anyone that would walk in and say something like learning English. People have done that, they have tried, but it does not mean that they have succeeded. There is no rule aganist speaking the local language. As Melvin says, we are not discriminating those who do not sign, but it is open to those who do and do not sign.

The popular language in this country is English, ASL lies as the third or fourth alongside English, Spanish, and Chinese. I would say that it is safe to say it is legal to allow a community like Laurent to use sign language, and legal to allow those who do not sign.

Sorry for the history lesson, but sometimes its important to uncover the past and use it, since its how we get our laws for the peoples.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Government official requirements Reply with quote


I would like to point out a couple of things to think about when it comes to these language requirements and such. The president, vice president, etc....all have certain requirements such as age, where they live, etc....
Many business's have language requirements, and they advertise those requirements in their want ads for employees all of the time.
People seeking a babysitter have language requirements a lot of the time. So what is different about a town requiring a certain language in order to do business there? It's done all of the time, with no complaints that it's illegal or unconstitutional.
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