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Obama’s 2009 Education Speech
Posted: 05 September 2009 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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[NY Times:President Obama’s plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas and are asking school officials to excuse the children from listening.]

[ NY Times article on Obama Back-to-School Speech]

[ Investors Business Daily compares it to the ‘Obama Pledge’ of Ashton Kuchtner & Demi Moore]

On Friday, Aug. 28, the principal of Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, Utah — in the name of “education” — showed her young charges the “Obama Pledge” video released at the time of the inauguration, in which Ashton Kutcher and various other big-time celebrities, two or three of whom you might even recognize, “pledge to be a servant to our president and to all mankind because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek.”

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Posted: 05 September 2009 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The contention isn’t about the content of the speech.  Had this never been started, but instead the White House had announced that unlike prior presidents, Mr. Obama would not be addressing school children, then the conservatives would have started a major campaign of criticism - He thinks he’s too important to talk to school children; he’s subtly suggesting that they should not bother with school; because the majority of school kids are white, he’s showing his racism by ignoring them; etc., etc. etc.

It doesn’t matter what the President does or does not do, the conservatives have decided they will attack him, no matter how innocuous or positive his action, and no matter how irrational the attack.

Occam

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Posted: 05 September 2009 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I think these parents are insane.  They didn’t mind when Reagan and Bush had their talk with kids, but Obama they object to strongly.  Like I said, they are insane.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 September 2009 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It is quite insane, all this uproar. I remember listening to Reagan’s speech in class. The speech when he talked about how horrible and unfair taxes were to wealthy Americans, instead of keeping his talk about staying in school and working hard!

And Bush did his speech to schoolchildren, where he encouraged them to say no to drugs and stay in school. Were liberals threatening to keep their kids out of school for Bush’s speech? No.

A large group of children in this country is being raised to not only disrespect but HATE the president. They’re being told he’s a Muslim/Socialist/Commie/Illegal Alien/Scary black guy who is going to have your Grandma put to sleep if she breaks her hip. It’s frightening to think how those children will grow up hating government, hating those with different views, and not trusting anyone.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 06 September 2009 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And a funny from HuffPost:

“If President Obama reminded people tomorrow to brush between meals, thousands of people would allow their teeth to rot right out of their heads, because OMGZ TEH SOCIALISM!”

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 07 September 2009 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam - 05 September 2009 11:16 AM

The contention isn’t about the content of the speech.  ....
Occam

[ text of speech released Monday 9/7/2009]

  A quick scan suggests this is pretty non-partisan.

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Posted: 07 September 2009 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Jules - 06 September 2009 03:04 PM

A large group of children in this country is being raised to not only disrespect but HATE the president. They’re being told he’s a Muslim/Socialist/Commie/Illegal Alien/Scary black guy who is going to have your Grandma put to sleep if she breaks her hip. It’s frightening to think how those children will grow up hating government, hating those with different views, and not trusting anyone.

You are absolutely right!  This is how hate grows.  This is how a large group of fear-motivated people create paranoia and pass it down from generation to generation.  Luckily not everyone believes like or adheres to the philosophies of their parents.  The only thing we can do is try and educate people by presenting our views.  The republicans are creating lies, pumping them through FOX, and relying on our lazy gullibility to keep us from finding out the truth ourselves.  I try to always challenge someone who spouts out misinformation in my presence.  That’s the best I can do.

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Posted: 07 September 2009 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It’s so troublesome, the messages those poor children are receiving from their fear-mongering parents. My husband and I really disliked President Bush, but we NEVER said anything disrespectful or hateful in front of our child! We instead talked about how we disagreed with some of his choices, and as Americans we can chose to vote for someone different because of that.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 08 September 2009 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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For me, this isn’t about politics, it isn’t about the government. It is about a far more important and tenuous issue: the right of students to inquire. I have had it with hearing parents rant on about their “right” to keep their kids from thinking things the parents disagree with. This bothers me far more than any political issue.

This is an excerpt from my blog on the issue:

“If you need to prohibit your teenager from watching the President’s educational address to them, you have failed them.

You haven’t fostered their ability to entertain a single thought without accepting it undeniably and do not trust nor appreciate their capacity to formulate any opinions on their own. You are sending them the message that receptiveness to opinions that you may disagree with is unnecessary, even dangerous, and in doing so have already brainwashed them more than any politician ever could.

THE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE IS ‘STAY IN SCHOOL!’ ACT WITH HONOR! HARD WORK! COOPERATION! AND CURIOSITY! Really? Are we really going to turn this message into another partisan issue? REALLY?

And yes, I would be saying the SAME THING if it were Bush giving the speech! And I would want my teens to watch it too!
(for more than just the entertainment value of ‘is our children learning’, but my disapproval of Bush is NEITHER here NOR there as to my point…)
I would want them to hear as many view points as possible - however distant they are from mine - on subjects that they may not have opinions on yet, trusting their ability to formulate independent thoughts. THAT IS THE MARK OF A FUNCTIONING BRAIN. I would gladly share with them my opinion, and explain why I have the opinions that I do. But I would NEVER prohibit them from listening to a message from anyone just because I disagree with that person’s opinions or philosophies.

But what am I saying. If you are fervently denying your teen access to the President’s speech, you are probably not concerned with their ability to think on their own, only the insecure need that YOU have to have them think JUST LIKE YOU. You vigorously insist - as you do with the terrifying idea that they might be taught evolution at school - that YOU have a right to raise your kids to think whatever you want them to think. To adhere to religion that they don’t understand. To unquestioningly accept your opinions as their own. TO GROW UP WITH NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER OF WHAT THEY THINK, FEEL, AND BELIEVE IN. It is not YOUR RIGHT! It is THEIR right to develop their own opinions and philosophies. It is YOUR JOB to equip them with the mental tools to do so. I suppose it’s not fair to say that you are brainwashing them in doing this. No, it’s far worse. You are denying them a functional brain to begin with.

This is no different than banning books, even burning them, for fear that new ideas creep into our minds for consideration - not acceptance or dismissal, just CONSIDERATION.

And what ideas, exactly, are you so afraid of? Devilish ideas of working hard at academics and personal integrity. That’s right, you are so terrified of “the other side” that you feel that ANY exposure your child has to such thoughts will instantly turn them into gay, tree-hugging, socialist, atheist, compassionate zombies. How little you trust in your teens. How little you respect their person-hood.

How dare you.”

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Meredith Oppegard Ludwig

“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” - Carl Sagan

http://merlud-tnp.blogspot.com/

My Florida Discussion Group: The Florida Coalition for Reason and Scientific Thought
http://reasoninflorida.blogspot.com/

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Posted: 08 September 2009 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Excellent essay there, MerLudwig, and welcome to CFI.

I agree with Occam’s observation:

It doesn’t matter what the President does or does not do, the conservatives have decided they will attack him, no matter how innocuous or positive his action, and no matter how irrational the attack.

We all seem to agree these Republicans are lunatics, and they are getting dangerous. It is high time moderate Republicans (if there is still any such animal) start speaking up and tell these idiots to crawl back into their holes and STFU.

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Posted: 08 September 2009 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Very well said, MerLudwig.  And I agree, Fotobits, that it’s now the responsibility of rational conservatives to starts speaking up against the crackpots.  Unfortunately, they don’t have the guts to be called commie, gay, pervert, sympathizers and traitors to their party. — Much like the Germans before the Second World War, who recognized that the Nazis were insane but kept quiet.

Occam

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Posted: 08 September 2009 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I also agree, with others, MerLudwig, very well said, and welcome to CFI.  Glad to have you here.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 09 September 2009 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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`
as an eavesdropping Canadian, all I can say is….....

WTF is going on with you guys??

first the bordering-on-violent town hall meetings about health care and now THIS…......the crying parents on CNN, days before even hearing Obama’s education speech


does anyone else feel like we’re living in a South Park episode??

`

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 09 September 2009 01:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Mriana - 08 September 2009 09:56 PM

I also agree, with others, MerLudwig, very well said, and welcome to CFI.  Glad to have you here.

`

I’d like to ditto Mriana here :)


`

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 09 September 2009 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Axegrrl - 09 September 2009 01:25 AM

`
as an eavesdropping Canadian, all I can say is….....

WTF is going on with you guys??

first the bordering-on-violent town hall meetings about health care and now THIS…......the crying parents on CNN, days before even hearing Obama’s education speech


does anyone else feel like we’re living in a South Park episode??

`

That’s a good observation. But at least South Park is better than the Twilight Zone we were in for eight years.

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“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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Posted: 09 September 2009 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Have you all heard what the nutters are saying now? That Obama got worried about the millions of angry parents and changed the speech dramatically at the last minute, removing all the indoctrination into socialism from the speech in order to save himself. They see this as a victory for the conservatives.

They’re just making stuff up now!  LOL

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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