October 25th Show : Blog Of The Nation In today's first hour of Talk of the Nation: the debate over multiculturalism, and a mini Political Junkie.  In our second hour: should colleges teach languages, and therapists stuck on a plane.
NPR logo October 25th Show

October 25th Show

In our second hour, listeners reveal which languages were worth learning for them. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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In our second hour, listeners reveal which languages were worth learning for them.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week declared that Germany's approach to building a multicultural society where people live happily side by side has "utterly failed." Merkel said that immigrants are welcome in Germany, but must learn the language and better assimilate into society. "We feel tied to Christian values." she said, "Those who don't accept them don't have a place here." While some argue that Merkel's statements were aimed at scoring points with conservatives, her comments reflect a rising tide of anti-immigrant language in Germany and other parts of Europe. In an op-ed in The Boston Globe, James Carroll says that on both sides of the Atlantic, a rising tide of xenophobic hostility toward immigrants is threatening to swamp the foundation of liberal democracy. Today, host Neal Conan talks about the debate over multiculturalism from both sides of the pond.

Host Neal Conan and Political Junkie Ken Rudin are counting down the days to the 2010 midterm election. On a special early week mini-edition of the Political Junkie, Neal and Ken will check in with one of the hottest gubernatorial races in the country, and speak with Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and his Republican challenger, John Kasich.

Teaching Language
In an age where Spanish and Mandarin Chinese could be the most useful languages in business, what's the point of learning French? As universities across the country slash budgets, one New York college cut French, Italian, Russian and other programs some would deem no longer useful. Linguist John McWhorter joins host Neal Conan to explain his belief that Not Everyone Needs French — an opinion piece he wrote in the New York Times. And Anne McCall, dean of arts and humanities at the University of Denver, explains why languages are booming on her campus.