September 4, 2009

And what if all the President has to say to the children is a load of innocuous pleasantries?

176 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Then they just missed school for nothing.

AJ Lynch said...

Eat your veggies!

Jason (the commenter) said...

If it wasn't before, after all the criticism they've had, it will be now.

Will there be a Republican response?

Montagne Montaigne said...

Surely Glenn Beck will be able to perform a textual analysis in such a way as to reveal the hidden Krazy Kommunist subtext. WorldNetDaily will run a week's worth of explication. Florida reps will submit bills demanding the President resign. And Instapundit and Althouse will ask whether Obama should merely resign or whether he should be tried by military tribunal and sentenced for sedition first.

Chase said...

Will you lay off on dissing the PA systems in schools?

Teachers hate 'em because they interrupt the teacher. Students love 'em because they interrupt the teacher.

Ergo, they are goood!

You are hurting the feelings of AV Geeks across these fruited plains. And you know what we call aggravated geeks when they grow up, don't you?

Boss.

Aaron said...

You know, i am pretty hard on Obama but so long as it is something like the post suggests, i am actually for it. you know a recent study of children showed that black children did much better in class when they were reminded of the presidency of Obama? Why? Becuase it is a positive proof that they can do anything they set their mind to.

So let the president chat. give them a pep talk. Here's hoping his eloquence can make a really positive contribution to the learning environment.

Stephen said...

Bush 41 did this in 91. What's the big deal?

Joe said...

Of course it's going to be innocuous bullshit, just like most everything else passed off as education.

Dogwood said...

And Instapundit and Althouse will ask whether Obama should merely resign or whether he should be tried by military tribunal and sentenced for sedition first.

The choice will be determined by what is on Obama's birth certificate.

/sarc

Jeremy said...

I recently read an article in Parade Magazine of all things, featuring Bill O'Reilly making the case for President Obama to do exactly what the wing nuts are whining and bitching about...as usual...and of course before even reading or hearing what Obama will say (it will be released 24 hours BEFORE the presentation.)

O'Reilly's reasoning in his article titled: "What President Obama Can Teach America's Kids,":

"His achievement presents five important lessons for all children," Reilly states. The five traits identified by O'Reilly – traits embodied in Obama's life story – are the following:

Forgiveness
Respect
Persistence
Hard work
The idea that in America, anything is possible.

So does this make Bill O'Reilly some kind of socialist, Communist, leftist fool?

garage mahal said...

Always loved that picture of Bush with the Preamble behind him reading to a kid in school with the book upside down. I have to say of all the winger hissy fits this one might take the cake.

AJ Lynch said...

Stay in school as long as you can! Cause working sucks!

Mark said...

JtC beat me to it; there's no way anything of substance will be allowed within 2 miles of Obama's teleprompter when he gives that speech.

Considering the oxygen sucking properties of this little venture, not to mention the mud issuing projectile-like from the other end, this has to be the most bone-headed stunt I've seen a President pull in, oh, about forever.

Seriously, the way this Administration has pursued health care reform makes Hillary!'s efforts look good.

Maguro said...

What kind of "substance" could you lay on a bunch of elementary school kids anyway? The whole thing always seemed like a big waste of time to me.

Jeremy said...

Guees the wing nuts forgot all about this:

On November 14, 1988, Ronald Reagan addressed and took questions from students from four area middle schools in the Old Executive Office Building. According to press secretary Marvin Fitzwater, the speech was broadcast live and rebroadcast by C-Span, and Instructional Television Network fed the program “to schools nationwide on three different days.”

Freeman Hunt said...

As I wrote yesterday:

No politician should be able to project his face to all students in schools nationwide. No matter who has done it, it is wrong. It sets a dangerous precedent.

What if the next guy wants them semi-annually? Monthly? Weekly? What if the speeches get less and less innocuous?

Why should any politician have the power to pipe himself into all of the nation's classrooms to reach a young, captive audience?

It's encroaching statism, and it shouldn't be allowed.

Jeremy said...

Maguro said..."What kind of "substance" could you lay on a bunch of elementary school kids anyway?"

Are you daft?

Gee, maybe things like: paying attention, reading, not lying, doing good work, doing homework, working hard, looking up to your parents and teachers...silly things like that?

AJ Lynch said...

Look both ways before you cross the street.

Don't take candy from a stranger.

Jeremy said...

Freeman - You act as if this is somthing that is unheard of.

Reagan did it. Bush did it.

It's the President of the United States talking to America's youth. To YOU...this is huge problem?

Were you complaining when Ronnie and Bushie did the same thing?

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."Look both ways before you cross the street. Don't take candy from a stranger."

Which would you propose kids not know?

Chase said...

you know a recent study of children showed that black children did much better in class when they were reminded of the presidency of Obama? Why? Because it is a positive proof that they can do anything they set their mind to.

Reminds me of the season ending episode of 30 Rock:

Tracy Morgan goes back to his old High school to encourage the kids; being caught up in the excitement of giving his commencement speech he ends up promising the audience of graduates “Just be yourself and I guarantee you every single person in this room will one day be President of the United States.”

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy:

I am offering the President some excelent ideas for his big speech.

Maguro said...

Jeremy - Gee, maybe things like: paying attention, reading, not lying, doing good work, doing homework, working hard, looking up to your parents and teachers...silly things like that?

Good lord, that's what you consider "substance"? Those are the innocuous pleasantries Althouse is referring to.

traditionalguy said...

The answer lies in the mystery of the Teleprompter guy. Will he slip in the Red Menace teleprompter speech ready for next time in Marin county, or will he use the pre-approved Middle-class american speech written for him by Peggy Noonan? The last thing we should expect to hear is the real Barak Obama's thoughts.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I think it could be of value if the pleasantries included

...the idea that... they are participants in a free market where they take responsibility for themselves and they can become successful if they work and they can bargin for better positions and so forth...

Of course, in that case, the joke would be on them.

WV = vortic: Althouse is especially vortic when the post involves Sarah Palin

AJ Lynch said...

Family, friends, job skills, hobbies. These are the personal treasures and values you must cultivate throughout your life.

Don't expect the govt or some politician to hand these to you or fix them for you after you have screwed up your life by making bad decisions.

EDH said...

When I looked, someone had already posted what I thought of...

Obama’s “Speech” To Students…Is He Chanelling Soupy Sales?

Soupy Sales Money Stunt - According to a January 1965 report in The New York Times Soupy was temporarily suspended from his television job for jokingly suggesting that his young viewers go to their parent's pocket books/wallets and send him some of "little green pieces of paper" to the WNEW-TV station in New York. His pitch went something like this:

"Last night was New Year's Eve and I bet Mommy and Daddy are real tired tonight, so tiptoe into their bedroom and get Dad's wallet or Mommy's purse and take out the little green pieces of paper that have the guys with beards on them and send them to me here at Channel 5 in New York, and I'll send you a postcard from Puerto Rico."

Unfortunately, an irate mother contacted the station which promptly suspended him on the charge that he was "encouraging kids to steal." However, pressures from popular demand got him reinstated. The prank netted a few dollars (allegedly $80,000, mostly Monopoly money). In retrospect Soupy mused "It was the best thing that ever happened to me...it made me a star."

Freeman Hunt said...

Were you complaining when Ronnie and Bushie did the same thing?

If they did it, they should not have been allowed to do so. Allowing a politician to pipe himself into all classrooms nationwide is outrageous. It should not be allowed.

holdfast said...

Maguro - Um, perhaps you have notices, but Libs pretty much spout nothing but innocuous pleasantries, since it is easier than straight-up lying about their true intentions.

Anyway, what happens when these "pleasantries" stray into more controversial territory - "Always recycle", "Be nice to Timmy's two Dads", "Help poor people".

-Now I personally don't actually disagree with the above, but I don't think it is the government's place to be saying it.

TRO said...

"Then they just missed school for nothing."

You forget, missing school is an end to itself.

TRO said...

I meant "end unto itself " of course.

Jeremy said...

Maguro said..."Good lord, that's what you consider "substance"? Those are the innocuous pleasantries Althouse is referring to."

It's easy to understand a Cretin like yourself considering paying attention, reading, not lying, doing good work, doing homework, working hard, looking up to your parents and teachers...as "innocuous pleasantries." All traits that are shared by successful Americans.

But since you feel these are such a waste of time, why not share what you consider to be the kind of "substantive" advice President Obama should pass along to kids in elementary school?

Jeremy said...

holdfast - Join Mr. Magoo and tell us what YOU think the President should pass along to the kids.

Montagne Montaigne said...

I think I finally figured this whole thing out. Obama is really popular with children. His name is easy to say and he has a round face and an easy smile, which children gravitate too. That's the subliminal level. On the level of rhetoric and presentation, he is also attractive; the themes of hope and dynamic change and cooperation are naturally appealing to the young. The third is that among the young, diversity in culture and race has become attractive in and of itself, and Obama is a standard bearer for multicultural integration.

If you hate Obama for reasons legitimate or, more likely, distorted, tribal, and fabricated, it must really make you feel OLD. Therefore, you want to piss on the love-in between Obama and youth. Because you're old, washed up, and the world is passing you by.

Have a great weekend.

gregq said...

And what if all the President has to say to the children is a load of innocuous pleasantries?

Then we'll ask why he is wasting school time with that drivel.

On November 14, 1988, Ronald Reagan addressed and took questions from students from four area middle schools in the Old Executive Office Building.

Hmm, let's see, one president talks to students roughly two weeks after his successor is elected, another President, one who is always campaigning, and never actually governing, is talking to school students the day before he gives a big political speech to Congress.

Think you can possibly see the differences between the two?

Jeremy said...

Freeman Hunt "If they did it, they should not have been allowed to do so."

And this is based on what?

That the President of the United States addressing the youth of America being some kind of really, really bad thing?

You're just whining because it's Obama.

Maguro said...

Jeremy - But since you feel these are such a waste of time, why not share what you consider to be the kind of "substantive" advice President Obama should pass along to kids in elementary school?

Is "not wasting the President's time passing innocuous pleasantries along to elementary school kids" not an option?

If Obama must address the paste-eaters and booger-flickers of our great nation, I might recommend something like this:

"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you
have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?
"

JAL said...

1. What was the total audiance for the C-SPAN broadcast of President Reagan's speech to students in 1988?

Anyone? C'mon. Spit it out.

2. How many principals in 1988 got letters from Sec of Education about it?

3. Who wrote the curriculum in 1988 telling kids they should listen to the president? (What? No unified curriculum for the "historic" speech? [Team Obama's word for his speech.]) Ooops.

4. Why in this installment is the president in the questions over and over?

Like much of what has been going on the last 8 months, this is what my father called a half assed operation.

What were they thinking? Answer: They weren't. They are still enchanted.

So? Do a speech. But do not make it a LIVE WATCH IT NOW AS PART OF HISTORY!! Make it available on tape for schools to use if and when they see fit.

Target problem areas and populations if you really have a need to be educator-in-chief. (Who thinks someone - especially Barack Obama -- uhm err ohhh unnn -- can give a "speech" that works for pre-schoolers through HS seniors? Some people seem to think it is one or the other.)

I am absolutely convinced that the White House writers are furiously reworking his speech this weekend. (No Labor Day holiday for you guys!)

If I hear there is any behavioral stuff in it I will seriously puke.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bush 41 did this in 91. What's the big deal?

First of all NO HE DIDN'T. The schools were not stopped in their tracks and had the Bush speech piped into every classroom.

Second. There was no elaborate follow up lesson plan to have the students do all sorts of "learning" activities about how to help the President. Why Bush is important. Why we should listen to our betters....I mean the politicians.

The entire thing is a creepy, big brother exercise in propagandizing the children.

I agree. Obama will probably bore the crap out of everyone. The REAL problem is the orchestrated brainwashing in the following lesson plan.

Jeremy said...

gregq said..."Think you can possibly see the differences between the two?"

Oh, right. The great "conspiracy" theory...theory. (Thanks Glenn)

I'm sure the address to the kids was planned long ago and the other was planned just this week.

Also, if you read the transcript of Reagan's speech it's no different that a standard stump speech relating to lower taxes and the like.

Quit whining about Obama. This is a good thing.

AllenS said...

From the miniseries

Conversations from the Oval Office
by
AllenS

Obama: "Remember children, if your hands get all wee weed up, wash them!"

Children: "Word! You be cool."

Fin

Freeman Hunt said...

Hmm, let's see, one president talks to students roughly two weeks after his successor is elected

LOL I didn't even notice the date on the Reagan thing. That's what's being peddled as an apples to apples comparison?

Still shouldn't be allowed to be piped in everywhere though.

If any President wants to do a special back to school broadcast during evening prime time, when families can decide whether or not to tune in, that's fine. If he wants to visit individual schools, that's fine.

But piping yourself into classrooms nationwide is unacceptable. We are not and should not be a nation that's into political personality. We should not have the visages of our political leaders beaming down at us no matter how benevolently.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Are you daft?

Gee, maybe things like: paying attention, reading, not lying, doing good work, doing homework, working hard, looking up to your parents and teachers...silly things like that?.


Yeah silly things like that which happen to be my job as a dad not his as President of the US of KKA.

Maybe between his vacations and preparing speeches for the childrens, maybe he can find time to oh...I don't know, fix the economy, reduce the deficit...you know, non-silly stuff.

But I guess since he can't even get a consensus within his own party I suppose he does see a need to rebuild his base with the 5th graders.

Jeremy said...

And the bitching and whining continues to no end.

I have never encountered so many crybabies, with absolutely nothing positive to say about literally ANYTHING...in my entire life.

What a truly sad crew you are.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hey Jeremy, if you listen real carefully, that hysterical laughter is from Dubya.

Damn its fun from the other side.

Ya betcha!

Freeman Hunt said...

That the President of the United States addressing the youth of America being some kind of really, really bad thing?

Yes! Say we had President Hannity, and he wanted to beam himself into every classroom. You're cool with that? It's wrong. Totally out of line.

Bill said...

Presidents speak at individual schools all the time but I'm unaware of Bush addressing all public school children in a manner like this. Can someone clarify? Also, wasn't Reagan's address specifically because of the Challenger disaster (and the fact that lots of schoolchildren witnessed it live)?

And isn't the real controversy about the 'inartfull' materials released for the speech? 'How can you help the president' and what not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Look daddy! teacher says every time Palin posts on Facebook, Obama gets another gray hair!

It's Wonderful Life, the 2009 Remake

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's Wonderful Life, the 2009 Remake

That made me L.O.L.

thanks

Dogwood said...

Damn its fun from the other side.

Ya betcha!


Yep.

Comrade X said...

I have never encountered so many crybabies, with absolutely nothing positive to say about literally ANYTHING...in my entire life.

we used to say that our undefeated football team had it easier than other teams because we didn't have to play us.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy:

Most of the commenters here are very upbeat and positive about wanting the govt to keep their frigging filthy greedy mitts out of our lives.

If you take that as being negative, tough turkey.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama and his admin loves to use the excuse that "well we could have been less inartful".

Which btw, inartful is not even a word. hahaha.

traditionalguy said...

The school children will vote at 18, and he will get into the heads of many voters of the future. One important concept that Steyn pointed out in America Alone is that the % of the total population that is Communist or Muslim is not that important when a revolution starts. The important number is what % of that group is the then male population age 18 to 25. The belief that Americans over 65 are selfish geezers that suck up money rightfully belonging to these young men without jobs is a mix that only an evil man would intentionaly sow the seeds for. So we need stop Obama's attempt to reach our children each and every time his ugly grinch-marxist spell binding act comes at our children.

mccullough said...

20 years of schoolin' and they put you on the day shift.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It figures that Garage would be the last person in the country not to know that the picture of Bush holding the book upside-down was a Photoshop.

Chip Ahoy said...

guess the wingnuts ...

*skip*

Jeremy said...

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Jeremy said...

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Jeremy said...

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Jeremy said...

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Jeremy said...

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Jeremy said...

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Jeremy said...

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Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."Most of the commenters here are very upbeat and positive..."

Sure, almost as upbeat as a pack of wounded and rabid ferrets.

They spend 99% of their time either sucking up to Ann Althouse or whining and bitching about literally anything Obama says or does.

I saw that the WSJ had a big article on how the stimulus was working ("U.S. Economy Gets Lift From Stimulus"), but I haven't read anything relating to that here. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125185379218478087.html)

Are you and others including Ann, against the stimulus lifting the economy...or just that Obama initiated the plan?

Dogwood said...

It figures that Garage would be the last person in the country not to know that the picture of Bush holding the book upside-down was a Photoshop.

Fake but accurate?

WV: arblatom: The substance of Obama's speech to students next Tuesday.

Jeremy said...

Oh, and the little Chipper Doodle weighs in.

Got any more super shots of yourself carrying a bike around?(You do know they can be ridden...right?)

You're soooooo cute.

And if you don't think Ann doesn't appreciate your daily suck-up routine, you're wrong.

She and her sycophants all love every minute of it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Jeremy said...

I have never encountered so many crybabies, with absolutely nothing positive to say about literally ANYTHING...in my entire life.

Plenty of the commenters here have had positive things to say about Sarah Palin.

But, why let the facts stand in your way now.

Paddy O. said...

I think it would be fun if Obama could explain the legislative and executive roles by means of a lively song. How a health-care bill becomes a law or something. Maybe like this.

Everyone would get a kick out of it, and his approval would jump 10 points overnight.

Plus, kids respond significantly more to dynamic multimedia than they do to yet another lecture.

Stephen said...

@Bill
clarification

Bush's remarks were "broadcast live by the Cable News Network, the Public Broadcasting System, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and the NBC radio network."

Reagan "took questions from high school students at the White House in 1986, and the question-and-answer session was broadcast nationally." He "urged the students to stay in school and say no to drugs, but he also discussed overtly political matters, such as national defense funding, nuclear disarmament and -- in suprising policy detail -- taxes."

@Freeman
I get what you're saying, but for me, the only example of this I have a real problem with is the Regan example.

He didn't just adress the kids, he had them shipped to the White House for a question and answer session, where, among other things "overtly political" matters were discussed. That strikes me as clearly wrong.

But what Obama is doing, and what Bush 41 did, do not strike me that way.

The lesson plan might have a whiff of creepyness (Obama's name is in there a little too much) but it's ultimatley innocuous, and much of it (at least the 7-12th grade one that I read)is about developing your own personal academic goals, and your own view about what your generations challenges might be, and how you can be part of adressing them.

That doesn't sound very objectionable to me.

traditionalguy said...

Jeremy...What improvement in the economy have you seen in your area of the country? I frankly see none here. The number of cars travelling the roads are a good sign of work trips and store trips and they have been sinking faster in the last two months than when the economy first tanked in 2008. The only talk I hear these days is about how careful and how cautious everyone needs to be, unlike in the crazy days of the 10 years before 2008. If a news story has told you some lies, well don't count on everyone else being fooled by it like you.

Freeman Hunt said...

So we're going to be in the business of deciding what is political enough to be unacceptable? We're only going to tolerate platitudinous time wasting?

I have a better idea: Don't allow any politicians to do it at all.

We don't need to indoctrinate children with this idea that pols are looking upon on them with concerned benevolence or that they somehow owe politicians their attention.

rhhardin said...

The question is at what age and under what auspices do you want the kids lied to with a demand that they believe.

It would be okay if Obama started out saying that your future career in communications depends on your being able to believe things quickly, and you can practice on the following.

Then the kids are in the same position as adults, left only to wonder why this guy is the best the nation can come up with.

H/T Vicki Hearne.

Freeman Hunt said...

Jeremy, that WSJ article does not say that the stimulus worked. It says that some think it helped, some don't; some think the effects will last, some don't.

garage mahal said...

LOL.

ricpic said...

The Message To The Children

The Nation is the President.
The President is Barak.
If you want to get ahead
Bow down! Don't be a schmock.

ricpic said...

The only evidence of the stimulus is a lot of scarified road slowing me down wherever I drive.

Chase said...

For those who missed this on the previous thread about the President's speech to schools, We now join the thread already in progress:

FLASHBACK

: DEMS BLAST BUSH 41 SCHOOL SPEECH

From the Washington Post, published Friday, October 4, 1991:

Democrats assailed the Bush Administration today for spending $26,750 in taxpayer money to hire a production company that oversaw President Bush's telecast from an eighth-grade classroom here to schoolchildren around the country on Tuesday. The money came from the Education Department's salary and expense budget. As a result, Representative William D. Ford, the Michigan Democrat who heads the House Education and Labor Committee, demanded that Education Secretary Lamar Alexander appear before the committee to defend his "spending scarce education dollars to produce a media event." And the House majority leader, Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said, "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the President." The President's spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, responded by denying that Mr. Bush's talk to the schoolchildren had been a political event and calling the criticism "nonsense."

David said...

How can it be anything but pap given that his audience ranges from first graders to high school seniors? Just try writing that speech!

I wish him luck. He will need it.

Chase said...

So you see, Jeremy - everyone makes it political, including your side, too.

Doesn't make it right for either side. Just please try and remember the above example when calling someone else's side hypocritical

David said...

Ok--so Bush made a similar talk in 1991.

Virtually no one remembers that he gave it, let alone what he said.

The Dems at the time (Gebhardt was a pretty senior Dem) said that a speech to schoolchildren was not appropriate.

Virtually no one remembers that either.

Does this tell you how silly the idea of the speech is? And how meaningless the protests are?

Afganistan. Health Care. The Economy. Anarchy in parts of Mexico. Iran. Deficits. South Korea.

And this is what is engaging us? And our President?

Gaaaaaah!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He didn't just adress the kids, he had them shipped to the White House for a question and answer session, where, among other things "overtly political" matters were discussed. That strikes me as clearly wrong

I bet he had their parent's permission first. Hmmmmm? Doubt he captured them from the street or snatched them out of school to force feed his political views down their itsy bitsy throats.


The fact that you liberals can't see the difference between voluntarily watching a broadcast on public television and the forced watching and then forced lesson plans after words speaks volumes.

Either you agree that it is OK to propagandize children against the wishes of the parent's or you are too stupid to understand the long term ramifications or just don't care.

I've said it before.....if I had it to do over again. I would most definitely home school or choose a good charter school where they taught REAL information and not political junk science and liberal socialist ideas.

Stephen said...

@freeman
That's not what I'm saying.

First of all, I don't see encouraging students to think critically about what they want their place in the world to be, and how they might get there as platitudinous time wasting.

I do share your concern about children getting a distorted view about how pols think about them/they should think about pols, but I also think there is something positive to be said for the fact that Bush 41 and Obama were trying to get kids to engage in the shaping of their own future.

I could be wrong, maybe that's overstepping his bounds a bit, but I think there are more pernicious things to address if you're worried about the Cult of the Presidency.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And .....if I had it to do over again....

I wouldn't use inappropriate apostrophes and would proof read before pushing the button.

Gaaaahh.

Stephen said...

@dustbunny

This isn't a partisan thing. Like I said, I had no problem w/Bush 41 doing a similar thing, although, I must acnowledge that other liberals did.

And yes I'm sure Regan had parent's permission. My point was that while Obama and Bush were/are going to talk about things important to students, like getting a good education etc. Regan took the opportunity to talk about tax cuts and national defense funding.

Now, you say there will be "forced watching and then forced lesson plans after words". I've been looking around for something that says either of those things are mandatory. Can't find anything. I invite you to please correct me if I'm wrong.

ethan said...

The majority of Althouse's new breed of moronic commenters were the type who got big boners whenever they saw a picture of Bush in his flight suit.

D'ja hear? He turned out to be a fucking war criminal.

Sorry if I don't take you, or Althouse, seriously.

Donn said...

Lucky/Michael/Jeremy said:

"And the bitching and whining continues to no end."

Does ANYONE bitch and whine more than Jeremy???

ethan said...

The real key is that wingnuts don't want their kids to see a black president.

It's completely obvious.

The rules are suddenly different with the darkie in the White House.

Ann, do your colleagues at UW know that you implicitly support this racist double-standard with posts like this? Oh yeah, you didn't actually say anything.

Right.

10ksnooker said...

I could care less what he says, it's the teacher lessons and workbook that is the real propaganda.

MayBee said...

Surely the Federal government can't start dictating to us that we must watch speeches. Right?

So why is it an issue if some schools decide not to watch a completely optional speech? Do we really want to go down the path where we start harassing other citizens who simply don't want to watch the president speak on tv?

Freeman Hunt said...

... I also think there is something positive to be said for the fact that Bush 41 and Obama were trying to get kids to engage in the shaping of their own future.

That is not the President's job.

...but I think there are more pernicious things to address if you're worried about the Cult of the Presidency.

Who said I'm not addressing them? I can address multiple things at once. I see no reason to let this one thing go as it is ripe for horrendous abuse.

Stephen said...

@freeman

"That is not the President's job."

Fair enough, but that doesn't mean it's not positive.

"I can address multiple things at once. I see no reason to let this one thing go as it is ripe for horrendous abuse."

Also fair enough... I guess I just don't think it's quite as ripe as you do.

MayBee said...

Like I said, I had no problem w/Bush 41 doing a similar thing, although, I must acnowledge that other liberals did.

If the speech isn't mandatory, what in the world is the big deal if people don't want to watch it, or schools don't want to carry it?

How many schools carried 41's speech? How many opted out? I suspect we don't know, because nobody cared. But you aren't allowed to deny Obama.

Cedarford said...

I'll wait to see content. A lot of people are just speculating and projecting their worst fears on a speech made by Obama's Teleprompter scriptwriters they haven't read.

But to address Althouse's question - "What if this is just innocuous pleasantries??" - I have objections in other areas.

The Jewish Bolsheviks pioneered the mass indoctrination of children phenomenon. The template has been duplicated in just about every communist country that wishes to imprint on young children how Good the Party is, how wonderful the Leader's pleasantries are - right up to Chairman Lil' Kim today. Not just communists. The Nazis and Italian Fascists...and certain 3rd world dictators understand how powerful it is to imprint kids for life in "Revering" the system. The Nazis watched the Bolshies at work, and lapped up the lessons.

All "reinforce" the Great Leader's message and success at nurturing his Cult of Personality and all the Good his people do...by holding discussions after say, Comrade Stalin's message to All Soviet CHildren was played on the record player and broadcast by speaker. The post-speech discussions and "guidance" by loyal to the Great Leader teachers is VITAL!
It forces the children to pay attention and listen throughout...because students that do not listen and remember are BAD - they didn't do their job! And the "guidance" is needed to "reinforce the great leader's lessons"...
And if good little children are told that they all must strive to work hard in Math as Pappa Joe or All-Wise leader Uncle Adolf or Lil' Kim says/.., ensure they save any scraps to feed the little puppy dogs Comrade Stalin loves to much, and how they should let teachers know if any of their parents say anything bad about the Leader who cares for ALL, or that they should support hero soldiers and Stakhovnite working heros who exceed quota by great bounds...The message is reinforced, and turning in your parents if necessary, melds into things that are unquestioningly good, like getting good grades in Math as the Leader wants and helping little puppies not go hungry.

And the teachers and Party members flesh out the leaders details and attempt to make the Leader's generalities specific and local.

It's sold by teachers beholden to The One - be it Mao, Supreme General Bouskassie. It's a package deal. Children who believe the obviously good are easily steered into believing the not so good..because it was all part of a Whole they are trying to understand and the "guidance people" are trying to localize (with some trepidation, as a wrong message, interpretation of the Leader may well end up in the Gulag, or the NEA transferring you from a magnet school to "hip-hop High".)

With similar discussions organized by the NEA (99% who voted for Obama) - our students will even if the message is as banal and filled with as many unchallengably good things to do as Uncle Adolf, Pappa Joe, or Supreme Leader Jose Perez Hildago, or Raoul Castro said in 90% of their speeches to "our future cadres" - it still fosters adoration, children feeling a dirct connection with the Great leaders and the wise Party..And ties the teachers into a cohesive system of authority and control they must respect and never challenge.

It's dangerous. In America, it is one reason I dislike PC so much and question students being taught to "Venerate" the Sacred Parchment of the Constitution as infallable. Or worship JFK or MLK or Reagan. Or conventional wisdom that millions of Americans leaving hardscrabble lives to better ones in cities, factories - all voluntarily - were all terribly suffering victims of capitalist exploitation...which is what the standard school lesson seems to imply.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've been looking around for something that says either of those things are mandatory. Can't find anything. I invite you to please correct me if I'm wrong.

Well, they aren't universally being forced NOW. We caught them with their pants down and they are back peddling as fast as they can. Covering up their shit like a cat in a dirty litter box.

Until the parents heard about the universal piped in speech by television and computer and then got a good look at the creepy, "Obama is God and how can we measly little children obey and help our Dear Leader" curriculum, it was just going to be slid under the edge of the tent. Just like the camel's nose. Pretty soon the entire stinking camel is in the tent and you can't get it out.

In elementary school, especially, students look up to their teachers, as they usually should. The official sanction was in with this Government issued brainwashing curriculum to go allow the teachers to promote Obama's agenda in the schools. They do this against the parent's wishes. If the teacher says we are ALL going to watch this and do the I love Obama exercises afterwards, it is a very very strong child that can withstand this type of pressure.

The objection to this not so subtle attemt is that in addition to the political hay and propaganda that the Government was (and still probably is) trying foist on our children.....it is a colossal waste of class time. Our kids get a shitty education anyway in public schools and to waste valuable class time on this is criminal.

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Why pipe it into the schools to a captive audience of young people away from their parents? Why not put it on in the evening when families can watch it together if they want? Why would anyone support giving pols this kind of access to children?

Stephen said...

@ maybee

"But you aren't allowed to deny Obama."

Just because some liberals can be unreasonable doesn't mean we all are. Don't let you're kids watch it if you don't want to. This is America

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The post-speech discussions and "guidance" by loyal to the Great Leader teachers is VITAL!
It forces the children to pay attention and listen throughout...because students that do not listen and remember are BAD - they didn't do their job! And the "guidance" is needed to "reinforce the great leader's lessons"...


Bingo!!

Stephen said...

Look I just don't see this lesson plan the way some of you do.

The word most frequently found in there is "could". The students "could" do X. The teacher "could" do Y. They are guidelines and suggestions, not commands.

And like I said, alot of it is about what the students want. Not what Obama wants.

And when they do involve Obama, the questions are about how the students interpret what he's saying, not how they should. Seems like a pretty poor brainwashing technique to me.

Freeman Hunt said...

Stephen, what is the great good you see coming out of this that is worth setting such a horrendous precedent?

Big Mike said...

And what if all the President has to say to the children is a load of innocuous pleasantries?

Nobody trusts him alone with their children.

Beau said...

There was a time in the US when the sitting President, talking and encouraging children to do their best, would have been considered a good thing, regardless of his party.

Encouraging a child is never a waste of time.

MayBee said...

Just because some liberals can be unreasonable doesn't mean we all are. Don't let you're kids watch it if you don't want to. This is America

What's the big deal if some schools choose not to carry it? This is America.

gregq said...

I'm sure the address to the kids was planned long ago and the other was planned just this week.

And your proof for this is?

If the speech was planned so long ago, why do we have to wait until Monday to get the text of the speech?

I am amused that not even one of the lefties here has tried to claim that Obama actually is into governing, not just campaigning. :-)

MayBee said...

Encouraging a child is never a waste of time.

Why is that true?

I don't know if our school district is going to carry it, and I don't care. I think the President can be heard.
BUT I don't know if our school district will carry it because it is a district filled with highly motivated, very successful kids.
A few hours out of the school day for encouragement may well be a waste of time.

Do you think a bunch of kids in a high school AP Calculus class would benefit more from a pep talk from the President, or more calculus?

Synova said...

"He didn't just adress the kids, he had them shipped to the White House for a question and answer session, where, among other things "overtly political" matters were discussed. That strikes me as clearly wrong."

What do you have against young people asking political questions?

Did you think it was horribly wrong when kids have asked Obama questions at town halls?

The "shipping in" is only a problem if the children were required to attend... were they? Not that I can really see someone passing up a trip to talk to the President of the United States in *person*, but there you go.

Stephen said...

That's a good question.

I suppose I don't really see it as a "great good". I do think there are some positive aspects to it that I mentioned before.

I just don't think it's such a big deal. The only thing about it that seems different from what any other President has done is the way in which it's getting to the students.

I have some misgivings about that, but I don't think this sets a precedent that would allow Obama to inject himself into the classroom whenever he pleases.

Just look at the conversation we're having right now. There's obviously not really space for Obama, or any other President, to go much further than "be cool, stay in school."

So as I said up @ the top of the thread, what's the big deal?

MayBee said...

StephenThere's obviously not really space for Obama, or any other President, to go much further than "be cool, stay in school."

Isn't that only obvious because we're having the conversation?
Had nobody made an issue of the "how can you help the President accomplish his goals", and the speech went without protest, how would the WH (and schools) know there isn't space for the President to go further?

Synova said...

Attendance in school assemblies is really NOT optional. In order to get out of something like that a parent has to make a "stink."

At my sister's kid's school several years ago a couple of parents opted their kids out of a Harry Potter movie and by the time the "stink" was done, the Harry Potter movie was canceled for everyone. And the (now vilified) parents who only wanted their children excused without it being framed as a *punishment* (if they don't go to the movie they can sit in the detention room all day) are trying to defend themselves from heated community criticism and wondering what the heck happened.

People talk like it's *easy* to be excused for any particular thing connected to compulsory public schooling... just ask your kid to be excused... but it's NOT. Even if the school is trying to be good about it the child is singled out, which is never ever comfortable, and the parent gets the reputation for being impossible to deal with, unreasonable and a pest.

Synova said...

MayBee is correct.

This conversation is how the government knows that a line is near that ought not be crossed. If no one complained, no one would KNOW.

This IS the process where it gets worked out. It's a necessary thing.

Beau said...

Why is that true?

Is this a serious question?

Do you think a bunch of kids in a high school AP Calculus class would benefit more from a pep talk from the President, or more calculus?

I've already indicated that I think encouragement from someone in a respected position was once thought to be a good thing.

rhhardin said...

Essay question: How can you help the President appear to be less of a birdbrain.

I myself would suggest losing the rhetorical form

[some lie] "and that's why" [some bad idea].

It only fools him.

Stephen said...

@maybee & synovia

Fair points...

...but that's part of the reason I don't think it's a big deal.

You'll notice I haven't told anyone to shut up.

Just offering an opinion.

But maybe I just get to be complacent because you guys are fighting the good fight. Who knows.

MayBee said...

Why is that true?

Is this a serious question?


Yes, it's a serious question.
What if every politician wanted a chance to give school kids a word of encouragement?

Or what if President Obama wanted to start a daily address to encourage the students of America?

How many days in a row of piped-in pep talks could we have before we decided it was a waste of time?

MayBee said...

StephenYou'll notice I haven't told anyone to shut up.

It's true, you haven't.
Did you see Joan Walsh today:

"And lest you dismiss these rantings as confined to the lunatic fringe and ratings-crazed talk-show hosts, the backlash has had an effect. First, after school administrators in mostly red states expressed concerns about exposing kids to the speech without knowing what's in it, the president's office said he'd make it available on Monday so they can read it in advance. OK, that's nice of the president, but is anybody else a little rattled that some right-wing bullies appointed the nation's unelected school administrators to vet our president's speech?"

Stephen said...

@maybee

Hehe. Like I said we're not all reasonable.

And with that, I've gotta get back to work... good night and good luck Althousians, it's been fun.

kcom said...

"Nobody trusts him alone with their children."

Although I would change the word "Nobody" to some phrase suggesting a significant number (because nobody is pretty absolute), I think the sentiment is accurate. And Obama really has only himself to blame. When he promised to act one way and the second he was in office started acting another he burned a lot of bridges and severely shook the bonds of trust he had laboriously built up. If he had acted like the moderate he promised to be, I don't think you would see this happening.

It's probably overblown, but the point is, he's lost enough trust with the electorate that a significant number of people just aren't sure any more. That's what happens when you get arrogant, go around telling people "I won", lard purported stimulus bills with left wing Democratic pork, question the sincerity of legitimate dissenters and protesters, and then expect people to trust that you're a moderate.

Synova said...

I suppose it's a mater of "encourage"... and I'm not sure English makes a distinction between intent and actual result?

Is it always good to "encourage" a child? I recall my sister in law "encouraging" my daughter. I later thanked my daughter for not trying to rip her face off for the effort.

It might well not be a good thing to encourage children (intent) but it's probably always good to encourage children (actual.)

I would, however, also make that statement with a HUGE caveat... what are the children being encouraged to do? There is a whole lot of "unquestioned good" that our school children are encouraged about that I think is actively harmful to them in a variety of ways and not best for society.

So even "innocuous" pleasantries might not actually be any more "innocuous" than the "unquestioned good" of mandatory volunteerism... which, when it comes to Education does seem to be one of Obama's "things."

Prompted by the talk about Obama's impending speech (and original "how can you help him" lesson plans) my family has been talking a lot lately about doing "good" that never reaches anyone but still lets you feel all virtuous about it all. Encouraging school children to feel personally responsible for the polar bears or climate change or poverty or injustice is *not* a good thing. They are completely incapable of any impact whatsoever on those issues and they will *learn* that actually solving a problem is not a necessary component of feeling good about yourself over it.

Or they will get so tied up in "issues" and activism that their grades suffer.

What a school child can do best for the world is to be utterly and completely *selfish* about what *they* need to prepare for *their* life.

Synova said...

Joan Walsh: "OK, that's nice of the president, but is anybody else a little rattled that some right-wing bullies appointed the nation's unelected school administrators to vet our president's speech?"

Oh. Dear. God.

MayBee said...

What a school child can do best for the world is to be utterly and completely *selfish* about what *they* need to prepare for *their* life.

Yes!

Even really innocuous-seeming advice like "take AP courses" or "go to college" can be bad advice for the student who would be better off doing neither.

Joe said...

Encouraging a child is never a waste of time.

Anybody who says that has no children or has never dealt with children in a realistic fashion. Our education system is now built on empty platitudes like the lie that you can do anything you want. The president's speech is just another federal mandate using up the school day under the guise of educating. If the president really wanted to help kids, he'd get rid of NCLB and break the back of the teacher's unions. He'd reduce government mandates that have turned schools into welfare fulfillment centers.

Pogo said...

Let's hope those students don't end up showing this kind of enthusiasm for President Lightworker.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Jesus fucking Christ you all have no lives. GET OVER IT. The Prez is talking to school kids, in public schools that the government pays for, for 5 minutes. THE END.

Joan said...

Joining the choir on this particular refrain: Encouraging a child is never a waste of time.

Even supposing that were true (which is not at all obvious), Obama is not encouraging "a child". He is giving a speech to every child. This is not a personalized message. This is as generic as a 50-cent greeting card. I can tell you right now that there is no way to make a speech meaningful to both 5-year-olds new to kindergarten and middle schoolers, already jaded -- never mind the high school kids.

The entire concept of this speech is bad. We don't even have to talk about the fact that a significant number of kids won't even have started school yet, and thus will miss it. Boston schools don't start until the Thursday after Labor Day, Mr. Duncan.

Eli Blake said...

Joan:

It's not that hard to give a talk that makes sense to both five year olds and high schoolers. Trust me on that, I'm a parent.

Besides, Reagan was able to do it. It's not that hard,

* work hard.
* stay in school.
* don't do drugs.
* pay attention to the teachers.

I know, I know. Maybe he should avoid quoting from the "Karl Marx reader"

Henry said...

I just wish Obama would really teach something with this appearance. I suggested "How a Bill Becomes a Law" in a previous Althouse post, but it could be anything -- Math, English, Geography.

My high school principle was retired Navy. He was the unofficial sub for the physics classes. Despite the robust good health of the regular physics teacher it still meant that once or twice a year every physics class got a lecture in bearing problems.

Can Obama do trig?

JAL said...

Jeremy the troll suggests that one of the things of substance Obama could lay on the kids on Tuesday is "not lying."

Ha.

Ha.ha.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

A joke? Right?


wv couton
a cootie on a crouton

Freeman Hunt said...

in public schools that the government pays for

LOL

Joan said...

Eli, I'm a parent, and I've been subbing in grades preK-3 through 8 for the past 3 years. I surmise that your kindergarten years are well in the past, if you think that any speech can engage a kindergarten class for more than a minute or two. I've attended numerous assemblies with 5-year-olds in attendance, and the attention level varies from abysmal to non-existent.

You really think it's appropriate to tell 5-year-olds not to do drugs? They don't even know what drugs are.

Stay in school? To the vast majority of elementary school kids, the very idea of not going to school is an absurdity. What's the drop-out rate for 2nd and 3rd graders?

Work hard, pay attention? Give me a break. Is it any wonder that kids view most grown-ups as they are portrayed in the Charlie Brown cartoons?

My kids will be hearing the speech -- it will be great fodder for discussion. I expect it will be boring but Obama's condescension may sneak through. He's taking the time because he cares so much about the children.

If he really cared about the children, he'd stop ruining the economy that their parents rely on to support them.

PatCA said...

In answer to your question referring to the address's content, that ship has sailed. The address was offered as a teaching moment that emphasized the inspiration and duty that bonds these children, these subjects, to a man who happens to be president. Dear Leader, one might call him.

Previous presidents might have had benign intentions; this was clearly indoctrination, no matter how subsequently watered down.

Synova said...

Hey!

It's only *indoctrination* if it's BAD stuff.

David said...

Gaaaaaaaaah!

Penny said...

I apologize for jumping in without reading the hundred plus earlier comments, but I didn't want to miss the give and take here.

No matter what the President says in his speech to students, there is a visual impression that even kindergarten kids will not miss. There is a black man talking to me, and he's President.

For the millions of minorities in this country, that will be a moment of pride that really needs no words. It is a living picture of "Possibility".

Even white boys and girls can't miss the message that you don't need to be like "most people" to lead this nation of ours. It gives promise to individual uniqueness.

Forget the words he will use in this address. I think the subliminal message is priceless.

kentuckyliz said...

Here's my essay, Mr. President.

I can help the President best by being a kid, enjoying my childhood, drawing, playing, obeying my mom, picking up my room, trying hard in school, learning, playing outside in the sunshine, and not kicking the dog.

Then after I'm done being a kid, I can maximize my talents and find the market and life niche that fits best to make me happy and pay me best.

You, Mr. President, get only my tax money through your goons at the IRS. I will vote if I want to. And I'm far too important to serve on jury duty. I'll get out of it.

So kiss off and leave me alone to live my life. Me living my best life is a service to others and to my country.

*click* off goes the TV

Joan said...

There is a black man talking to me, and he's President.

The only kids who notice skin color are those that are taught to do so by their parents. (I refer you to the brilliance of South Park.)

And yet: when John McCain won the 4th-grade "presidential election" last year in my daughter's class, one of her classmates declared that they were all racists who voted against Obama because he is black.

So much for transcending race, eh? I'd feel much better about our country having elected a black man to the presidency if he actually demonstrated some competency in the position. So far, he looks like an affirmative action hire.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Penny, how many school-age kids do you think exist in America who don't already know that an African American is President?

OTOH, how many of them know he's also a weasel?

This is why Obama skeptics should rejoice at the current situation.

Revenant said...

"There is a black man talking to me, and he's President."

The only kids who notice skin color are those that are taught to do so by their parents."

Exactly. Kids will notice the different appearance, but once they get past the novelty they don't treat people differently. When I was six, seeing a black President wouldn't be weird. I had already seen pictures of Presidents with wigs, big beards, and funny hats. Why not a black President? You take things in stride when you're six.

And as for older kids, say high school age and above -- when *I* was in high school, twenty years ago, the idea of a black President already seemed reasonable to my peers. We didn't think someone like Jackson could win it, but surely somebody could. We lived in the South; there were black politicians everywhere by then.

Lem said...

Werner Herzog was on Charlie Rose tonight.

I thought Althouse and M might want to know that.

(Apparently Althouse has made Meade a Cabinet Minister ;)

Penny said...

...bringing my neighbor, Liz, a slice of cake I just baked, and she invites me in for coffee...

Liz, while I appreciate where you are coming from, no matter how simple you wish for your life to be, there will always be "community" and a sense of interconnectedness, one slice of cake and one cup of coffee at a time.

Lem said...

..there will always be "community" and a sense of interconnectedness, one slice of cake and one cup of coffee at a time.

how else are we going to overcome this "hit back twice as hard" stuff from our elected leader?

Synova said...

"And as for older kids, say high school age and above -- when *I* was in high school, twenty years ago, the idea of a black President already seemed reasonable to my peers. We didn't think someone like Jackson could win it, but surely somebody could. We lived in the South; there were black politicians everywhere by then."

Curiously, the way we tend to over-estimate the representation of the less-represented groups in various parts of life actually makes the inclusion of those less-represented seem ordinary and expected.

And yes, indeed, in high school among my peers almost 30 years ago the idea of a black or woman president seemed completely reasonable. Maybe we just had no real world concept of the challenges but *we* saw no reason not to view the event as absolutely... unremarkable.

And then, I suppose, we learned better and started making decisions based on what we thought that *other* people were willing to do and accept.

*Someone* is hanging on to racism and prejudice tooth-and-nail.

Lem said...

Hit back twice as hard = innocuous plesatries.

We have lost Ale_house to the Obama beer summit.

(Assuming repubis only drink Koolaid ;)

Lem said...

I've been saving my Pennys ;)

Cedarford said...

Synova - "I would, however, also make that statement with a HUGE caveat... what are the children being encouraged to do? There is a whole lot of "unquestioned good" that our school children are encouraged about that I think is actively harmful to them in a variety of ways and not best for society.

So even "innocuous" pleasantries might not actually be any more "innocuous" than the "unquestioned good" of mandatory volunteerism... which, when it comes to Education does seem to be one of Obama's "things."

Prompted by the talk about Obama's impending speech (and original "how can you help him" lesson plans) my family has been talking a lot lately about doing "good" that never reaches anyone but still lets you feel all virtuous about it all. Encouraging school children to feel personally responsible for the polar bears or climate change or poverty or injustice is *not* a good thing. They are completely incapable of any impact whatsoever on those issues and they will *learn* that actually solving a problem is not a necessary component of feeling good about yourself over it."


Very well said.

Back in the early 90s, when my kids were in grade school, the kids were encoraged to collect all paper and plastic for recycling. They even had bins in school classrooms for scrap, not just the cafeteria, Predating Algore planet warming, the rationale was that paper recycling would save trees, and plastic recycling would ensure whales didn't eat it and choke to death. Then write essays in class about how much good they were doing by recycling.
Unfortunately, there was no significant local market for scrap paper or plastic. The "scandal" emerged that the recycling place regularly shipped it off to the trash to energy plant. The little tykes, inc. my kids, were crestfallen. Both had taken the ethos home, and considered their pathetic activism more important than their homework some nights. (You done your math and reading"? "No" "No"..."Well, then quit picking through the kitchen trash can and lecturing your Mom about the half gram of saran wrap you found..")

At a PTA meeting, a teacher proudly said that even if the stuff wasn't actually recycled, it was a good lesson to teach the kids about helping others and the environment. "Even though nothing is actually accomplished?" "Of course!" I then pronounced the teacher delusional.

Lem said...

I've been saving my Pennys ;)

Kev said...

And as for older kids, say high school age and above -- when *I* was in high school, twenty years ago, the idea of a black President already seemed reasonable to my peers. We didn't think someone like Jackson could win it, but surely somebody could.

For just a second, I forgot about Jesse, and I thought you were referring to Michael Jackson, LOL. (Though that would have made for some, umm, interesting presidential speeches, and the "we don't trust him around our children" statement upthread would have taken on an entirely different meaning.)

Lem said...

I think the cementers here after word verification has come into effect deserve an award.

it is possible that quality of the comments has improved with WV in effect.

it takes a special kind of troll to put up with WV when there is so much virgin territory elsewhere.

it also takes the discipline of a college professor to stick with something once she made up her mind.

compliments all around.

Lem said...

Can we really become one?

Or are we really in it for the fingers?

AJ Lynch said...

Zach:

Where does the govt get the money to pay for those schools? :)

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

we will try to pick this up tomorrow.

Lem said...

i mean I'm glad you got kids but I dont so..

the time i was a kid was not fun.

so good night.

Buford Gooch said...

Ann, you really need to recruit better lefties. Jeremy, Garage, et al barely rise to the level of inane. I'm sure there are some smart lefties out there somewhere, but this batch isn't them. It's almost as if some right wing commenters are doing them as parody.

WV: phomm; the sound Jeremy makes when he pretends he's riding a motor scooter.

MayBee said...

For the millions of minorities in this country, that will be a moment of pride that really needs no words. It is a living picture of "Possibility".



Perhaps it will teach our Asian-American students to persevere. Perhaps even one Asian-American, who has yet to see an Asian president, will find a way to succeed at school.
For our President.

Kathy said...

For those who *do* have school-age kids, here's a useful guide (seriously) for discussing the speech with your children:

Study Guide for the President's Speech to Little Kids

My kids are homeschooled, so we won't be watching the speech. My 8 yo knows little about politics yet and I don't want to have to explain that the nice man who is president is also trying to manipulate and deceive her. Plenty of time for that later. . .

Penny said...

"The only kids who notice skin color are those that are taught to do so by their parents."

Don't kid yourself, children notice skin color, they just don't automatically assume that one skin color is worthy of esteem, and another worthy of ridicule.

Seeing a minority President, reinforces this, but more importantly, at least to my mind, it gives them a vivid memory of someone who is "different", in whatever way, being able to rise above.

Peer pressure is tortuous for kids. Heck, it is for adults too, although they may not feel it so much as avoid it by being one of many.

Penny said...

Darn, I missed saying hello and goodnight to Lem. :(

Lem, your song selection tonight was exquisite. "One" is a favorite of mine, and I never heard this cover before. Just when I thought there was no improving on the original too.

One of those times when being proven wrong is a good thing, so thanks for that!

Sleep well, Lem.

Grapp said...

If his original intent had been innocuous why would he have had to change the materials disseminated for the schools to use? If his intent had been innocuous, why was the questionnaire so Obama-referential and focused? Why focus on personality rather than the country? All of these issues are problematical and they signify, to me, at least, that Obama's intent was not benign. It was, I'd hazard a guess, his first step towards an open and dangerous radicalization of the nation's youth. All of Obama's radical efforts to undermine America have been open, as a way to disarm us into believing what's happening isn't so radical. That's why he's openly handing terrorists information, through our traitorous media, about our national security. There's nothing innocuous or benign about Barack Obama and his agenda. The hatred and rage he feels to America has been captured on his face in a recent photo shown on this blog.

Penny said...

"All of Obama's radical efforts to undermine America have been open, as a way to disarm us into believing what's happening isn't so radical."

Oh, what's happening is radical for sure. But what if the motivation was not to undermine America, but to make her stronger?

What if the intention was not to disarm us, but to ARM us as "citizens in support of", or "citizens in outrage against"?

Beau said...

I can tell you right now that there is no way to make a speech meaningful to both 5-year-olds new to kindergarten and middle schoolers, already jaded -- never mind the high school kids.

I don't think you're giving kids enough credit. Values are values. Why do people keep going to church and temple, read inspirational material, seek out things that will lift their spirits? How many times have you heard the same parable, fable, or story that inspired you the first time you heard it and it still continues to have that effect. Sure you're jaded, you know what's coming, but still you like to hear it again because it feels good to have your spirits buoyed.

Unfortunately, there are too many children who don't get encouragement or who are taught basic everyday values.

As much as I hated the 'bring it on' attitude from commenters on this site six years ago, it is more disturbing to see how people have become over wrought ninnies over the issue of their President speaking to school children.

Revenant said...

I don't think you're giving kids enough credit. Values are values. Why do people keep going to church and temple, read inspirational material, seek out things that will lift their spirits?

In the case of kindergarten-aged kids, it is because their parents take them. Come on, now, do you think for even one second that six-year-olds are listening to the sermon and thinking "yes, the pastor made some excellent points about the duty of those with an abundance of prosperity to provide for those in need"?

Chase said...

do you think for even one second that six-year-olds are listening to the sermon and thinking "yes, the pastor made some excellent points about the duty of those with an abundance of prosperity to provide for those in need"?

Why not?

Chase said...

Don't kid yourself, children notice skin color, they just don't automatically assume that one skin color is worthy of esteem, and another worthy of ridicule.


Favorite Story:

Our African American neighbor took his 5-year-old son one Saturday to an Exhibition of Black Artists at the LA County Museum. Afterwards, seated in a booth at a near-by restaurant, the son asked his father "Dad, are we 'black'?". Stunned by the question - and the muffled laughter that came from the elderly black man seated behind his son, our friend answered "Why yes, son. We're 'black'". His son thought about it for a short spell then said, "Maybe you are Dad, but Mom is 'coffee'"(meaning with a lot of cream,).

When our son and this neighbor's son were that age, it was neat to watch them using crayons, as they searched for the correct colors to fill in the skin tones in books. My caucasian son would look for "peach" and "tan" and his friend sought "mahogany" or "brown". I never heard the terms black or white used by them during those years - it just wasn't a "thing" for them yet.

By the way, that neighbor boy - who had a cute crush on our daughter and vice-versa (she would say she was going to marry "Ryan" one day) moved across the country when he was ten. Today he is a med student. Our daughter is married to a black man she met in college. They're both teachers - and they both will be showing the President's speech in their respective classrooms, leaving 5 minutes for student questions afterward, and then move on. They will not be using the Dept of Ed curriculum.

rhhardin said...

I think you get the most out of the President's speeches if you already know something about paradoxes in economics.

"This moron doesn't have a clue" then is the reaction regardless of age.

That certainly was the effect in the campaign, unfortunately for both Obama and McCain.

So it became a Special Olympics election.

There's a good lesson plan in embryo.

Pogo said...

"And what if all the President has to say to the children is a load of innocuous pleasantries?"

It would be far better if the President brought all the children a load of delicious pastries.

Dudley Do-right said...

It's now another lefty feint.

If it had slipped under the radar, the speech would've been used to drive home nefarious "Obama facts".

Since it didn't escape detection, it'll be innocuous and banal to the point of silliness...and the right's own efforts to be vigilant will be used to discredit the right.

Trust these people for nothing.

vw = emars: the virtual planet our news seems to be coming from

kentuckyliz said...

Penny, I was writing my essay as a kid.

Kid's don't drink coffee.

They bring treats to school to share on their birthdays. Cupcakes, cookies, brownies.

If drinks are provided it's probably Kool-Aid.

Get your community treats right, girlfriend.

Irish Lady said...

Skip showing it in school. If it's an important message for kids - show it as a segment on the 6:00 news so they can watch it with their family and encourage discussion. If they watch and discuss, fine - if they don't it's democracy.

Pogo said...

Show it on Saturday morning; make it compete with Bugs Bunny for their attention.

Bissage said...

If President Obama’s address is innocuous, then we can all go home, but if it’s banal, then there’ll be some fighting over the correct pronunciation.

wv = trousn. Them fellers that say "bay-nal" done gonna git themselves a trousn, that's for sure!!!

AllenS said...

Great idea, Pogo. Inspired by that idea, I Googled Bugs Bunny quotes, and got this dandy, which is appropriate for the occasion:

What an embezzle! What an ultramaroon! - Bugs Bunny

JAL said...

Penny What if the intention was not to disarm us, but to ARM us as "citizens in support of", or "citizens in outrage against"?

So "Outrager-in-chief" is the job of the President of the United States?

I, seriously now, went back and read the Constitution the other day.

(So I have to give him that.) I am sure Outrager-in-chief wasn't in there.

He needs, seriously again, to shut up and stop meddling (Congress, too).

It's not that it's "above his pay grade," it's that it's not in his job description.

Michael Hasenstab said...

It would be more useful if Obama spoke to the students' parents.

Things like this:

You are responsible for your child arriving at school each morning, properly fed, dressed for school (not for being a pimp or a ho), homework fully completed, taught to respect him- or herself and the other people in school including classmates, faculty and staff.

You are responsible for teaching your child manners and self control. Your are responsible for teaching your child how to bathe and brush his or her teeth every morning.

You are responsible for creating a home environment where the television, iPod, and radio are turned off and a quiet time for studying is created every evening.

Your child's failure is your failure as a parent. You, not the school system, are responsible for your child.

But that speech would be too hard for Obama to give. Heaven forbid he should encourage the same values he instills in his own children.

MayBee said...

Obama has told us previously he has plans for schools.
Free daycare through college, he wants the kids from cradle through adulthood.
He wants to lengthen the school year.
Make school available to serve breakfast, have after school care, serve dinner, and be open at night for kids to have a place to go.

He has plaaaans for schools. They can take over to raise kids because parents sometimes fail.
He wants to be in the schools too, on tv, to give innocuous pep talks and have students write about how inspiring he is.

And he wants citizens to be outraged at other citizens who don't want him there.

Life in the Fifties said...

The kids in our school district are way too busy, in the third week of classes, doing real schoolwork. There's no time in the schedule to watch a figure head deliver platitudes. That's how you succeed in school - do the work.

Freeman Hunt said...

If I were a teacher, I would not show this in my classroom. I would resent being treated as an agent of indoctrination at the President's service.

Synova said...

Rev: "do you think for even one second that six-year-olds are listening to the sermon and thinking "yes, the pastor made some excellent points about the duty of those with an abundance of prosperity to provide for those in need"?"

Chase: "Why not?"

Some kids do that. Mine never did but one of my friends told me that one Sunday her two year old said something very like that on the way home.

Kids do latch on to weird things and often will take it all far more seriously than anyone intended. I remember one day my daughter decided that she should give her entire allowance to someone in a parking-lot with a sob story. (It was the "we just need to get some gas in the car to get where we're going" version.)

grapp said...

George Mahal, you're a moron. I can read pretty much at the same rate whether or not the book is right side up, and I can clean your clock on any language test. It's a SKILL you acquire as you go through life. Sheesh! Enough of this Bush stupid meme already. You Democrats have the mother of all dumb asses in the WH. He didn't even read the health care bill (or any legislation) that he wanted to sign or has signed. Just because you need to see all the words right side up and sound them before you read them, that doesn't mean the next person needs to. Dolt!

grapp said...

Typo. Not George Mahal but Garage Mahal. We see the words we expect to be there. He's still a moron.

Penny wrote this:
"Oh, what's happening is radical for sure. But what if the motivation was not to undermine America, but to make her stronger?

What if the intention was not to disarm us, but to ARM us as "citizens in support of", or "citizens in outrage against"?"

Penny, how does it make America stronger to sell out her national defense secrets to the marish and the parish, to all the nasty little jihadist critters out there? How does it make America stronger to have a president who esteems himself higher than the office? Have you ever seen that guy dressed as though the OPOTUS is anything significant? He thinks he's the Office. He thinks the WH is HIS house!

To ARM us in support of what, besides himself? Look at the questions that were part of the package. It's not about America with Obama. It's all about Barry O.

Here's what Obama has said to his supporters: "They Bring a Knife...We Bring a Gun"; "Get in Their Faces!"; "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!"; “Hit Back Twice As Hard.”

That's not the rhetoric of a man who wants to make America stronger; that sort of rhetoric leads to civil war; moreover, the support is for him and the outrage is against anybody who disagrees with him.

I think his talk to the kids was to be a scaled down version of this: "They Bring a Knife...We Bring a Gun"; "Get in Their Faces!"; "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!"; “Hit Back Twice As Hard.” Some kids have already responded to that by smacking around McCain supporters last year.

You see the vid of the black guys in paramilitary gear, stepping and shouting "because of Obama..."? I'm black, and that thing scared the hell out of me! WTF!!!

Keep Obama AWAY from the kids.

master cylinder said...

The email sent to my kids' school, who will NOT be showing the speech, was along the lines of...
"I know that at the school respect for all authority is held in the highest regard whether to teacher, policeman, or president..." I hope that it's true.

I really cant believe you hysterical people have shaped the discourse AGAIN!
Kudos, Im in awe of your winning ways here, but you do need to get over it.

jacksonianlawyer said...

To add -

As I've said in my own blog, Obama's "reaching" towards schoolchildren is something that is straight out of Ayers' playbook - recall that Ayers was off cavorting with Fidel-buddy Hugo Chavez and, during an "education conference" extolled the necessity of "educating" school children and, partiuclarly, doing so as to the failings of the capitalist educational system. It was the education of youth, Ayers stated, that is the machinery of "revolution." Now Obama is reaching out to our schoolchildren - what a shocker.

By the way, if you live in Broward County, Florida, the entirely-leftist superintendent and school board have mandated that the children watch Obama or face punishment. The superintendent stated that the kids will not be allowed into the hall and MUST "sit there" and "be silent."

All in all you're just another brick in the wall...