September 3, 2009

Should schoolchildren be made to listen to a President's speech and analyze it?

Vodkapundit thinks it's so terrible that he thinks parents should keep their kids out of school.

Allahpundit responds:

If this turns out to be some hamfisted attempt by The One to pitch his agenda to kids — which would be politically insane given the outcry it would cause... — there’ll be ample time for outrageous outrage later. For all the media fainting spells over Obama’s oratory, you can count on one hand the number of truly memorable lines he’s uttered; I doubt he’s going to come up with such a corker next week that kids will be planning their lives around it.
We haven't heard the speech yet, so we can only react to the idea of the President speaking to schoolchildren. I'd say: Let the kids hear it and the teachers teach it — here's the official teaching guide — and then respond. Nothing's going to be so damaging that parents need to preemptively hold their kids out of school. And that would itself be a matter of adults pushing a political message down kids throats.

Ideally, children should learn to understand political speeches and think for themselves about what they mean. I remember as a schoolchild being assigned various political speeches to read and understand. These were historical speeches — by Washington, Lincoln, etc. — but they were by Presidents, Presidents who had a political agenda. These assignments can be especially useful educational experiences, equipping children to live in the world — where politicians will try to influence them and lead them along. Teach them how to see what is being done and why.

I know many of you will say that the teachers are all such big liberals and Obama sycophants that no critical thinking will be taught. But let's see! I love reading things and applying my critical thinking to the text. I do it as a lawprof reading the stuff judges present as legal analysis, and I'd love to do it as a blogger reading about what the President said and how the teachers dealt with it.

Please, send your kids to school and get a full report on what happened. Encourage your kids to observe and report accurately, and then tell us all about it. The teachers could do anywhere from a brilliant to an abysmal job with the assignment. This is a great opportunity — whatever happens. If the teachers handle it well, the children learn valuable skills. If they handle it badly, that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them.

244 comments:

1 – 200 of 244   Newer›   Newest»
Ryan said...

I do this with TV commercials too: teach my kids to dissect them to reveal the underlying motives.

The Obama speech is an opportunity to teach kids critical thinking.

madawaskan said...

The kids will be fine-

I know high school kids who have come to loathe Al Gore because if they have to see his movie-

one.more. time!

Another interesting take were kids going to a fancy expensive high school that is run by a Democrat political family-naturally the teachers run liberal-

the kids rebelled-and had "secret" Republican clubs!

Too funny.

AllenS said...

I know three teachers, and all are liberal. They all agree with Al Gore, and thought his movie about global warming, was taxpayers money well spent. There won't be a classroom discussion about what Obama has to say.

Joan said...

Since I haven't heard or read the speech, I can't comment on it. What strikes me as monumentally stupid is the idea that a single speech can be effective when its target audience is kids in grades K through 12.

God knows I love them, but kids in kindergarten in early September are babies just out of preschool. The idea that you can give a speech to the entire public school student body of the US and have it be meaningful is just ridiculous. Asking 5-year-olds to "take responsibility" for their education is a joke. The majority of those kids doesn't know how to tie their shoes. The high school kids will just be rolling their eyes throughout.

I thought the lesson plans were insipid and inappropriate when they focused on Obama the man and not his role as president. Why should the students read only Obama's speeches in preparation for Tuesday? Has no other president ever said anything relevant to them? Anything that fosters a cult of personality gives me the creeps.

I've called my kids' schools to see how they're handling it. At the junior high, it's up to the individual teacher whether or not to watch the speech; it happens to coincide with my son's social studies block. I haven't heard back from his teacher yet, nor have I received a reply from the elementary school my two younger children attend.

I'm not worried about them being indoctrinated. I'm worried about them mocking the president's boring pedantry and getting into trouble with their teachers as a result. I've already told them they need to be respectful, but the eye-rolling has already begun.

SteveR said...

I guess some schools won't even start until next week, great timing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

School childrens should be learning reading writing and math rather than be forced to become President Shortpant's next support group.

The Crack Emcee said...

Terrible idea. But then, as I've made clear today, I don't give much credit for what passes for thinking out there,...

The Macho Response

chickenlittle said...

I've asked both my kids (5th and 6th graders) about this and neither one of them has heard about it yet. I don't plan on keeping them home next Tuesday (even though I could), but I am going to talk to them both before and after with my own agenda.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My daughter is grown up so I have no "skin in the game" here. BUT if she were in school I would make sure that she didn't attend or be forced to listen to Obama or be forced to participate in ANY ANY of the lesson plan dictated down the top from Dear Leader.

This has no place in school. Ever.

In addition the Government completely side stepped around the proper channels of the Board of Supervisors and the parents who elected those Supervisors.

"Why is it important that we listen to the President. blah blah blah""

I'm sure they aren't going to say what THIS parent would say, which is so we can detect the lies they tell us and be ready to counter the stupid ideas that they want to foist upon us.

Nothing's going to be so damaging that parents need to preemptively hold their kids out of school. And that would itself be a matter of adults pushing a political message down kids throats.


That's YOUR point of view. And if adults are pushing a political message down kids throats, the only ones who have that right are the PARENTS.

The government needs to butt the eff out of our lives and propaganizing our captive children is the last straw for many.

I agree with Stephen Green. The government isn't our parents and WE are the parents of our own children.

"What does the President want us to do?"

Who gives a fuck. The President should concentrate on being President and STFU.

Chase said...

Please, send your kids to school and get a full report on what happened. Encourage your kids to observe and report accurately, and then tell us all about it. The teachers could do anywhere from a brilliant to an abysmal job with the assignment. This is a great opportunity — whatever happens. If the teachers handle it well, the children learn valuable skills. If they handle it badly, that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them.

Why stop at the President's speech?


Let's teach the kids about sex and then have them try having sex in class. If they handle it badly, that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them.

Let's teach the kids about smoking and then have them try smoking in class. If they handle it badly, that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them.

Let's teach the kids about drinking and then have them try drinking in class. If they handle it badly, that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them.

Flexo said...

Let the kids hear it.

There is no "let the kids" about it. This is force the kids to hear it. Any kid who wants to, they can let them hear Obama's message at home after school. Any kid who doesn't want to, they can let them not be subject to such manipulation.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

They want the children to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President.

Are you kidding me. This is beyond creepy.

What next? Make the kids line up and sing praises to Obama and march in formation holding the Zero over thier heads that is the symbol of Obama.

chuckR said...

Does this man comprehend that he is no longer a community organizer? Children are not his community.
Let him speak; he'll do more damage to his cause(s) with actual voters. I'm in favor of that.

Henry said...

I agree with Allahpundit. I also tend to think that we underestimate how savvy children are to adult machinations.

Obama's biggest risk isn't annoying the pundits, it's looking like a sap to the kids.

bearing said...

Nothing's going to be so damaging that parents need to preemptively hold their kids out of school. And that would itself be a matter of adults pushing a political message down kids throats.

Without commenting on the appropriateness of the speech itself, I'd like to point out that this is, after all, the rightful prerogative of parents. Although I prefer the term "communicating our values." And it's worth remembering that many parents who wish to communicate values include, among those values, the value of hearing someone with a different opinion and being able to respond to that opinion.

Parents can be rightly concerned that teachers in schools, whatever their inclination, will not have the time or opportunity to encourage students to formulate the individual and thoughtful response that the speech may deserve.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

"Ideally, children should learn to understand political speeches and think for themselves about what they mean."

The address will only go to grade school children 6th grade and under.

The teachers by and large will buttress what Obama has to say because they themselves agree.

We don't have to over-think this because it is exactly what it looks like...ever so subtle molding coming from a Bill Ayers acolyte.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

The Department of Education teaching guide and questions was what made this creepy.

For example, "Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?"

The questions are stupid. In a democratic republic, it isn't so important that we listen to our elected officials - it is far more important that they listen to us,

And what they say isn't important because 95% of it is sleazebag drivel, concocted to put you to sleep, or to make them sound intelligent without actually ever having to say anything or take a side.

Here is a much better question that teachers should be asking their students:

Why is it important that our elected leaders don't hide assets in Ireland, cheat on their taxes, tap their foot in airport bathrooms, entice interns to perform sex acts, , write books intended only for lobbyists to buy by the caseload, take $300,000 bribes through sham commodity futures trading floor transactions, knowingly allow their flat mates to run gay prostitution services out of their apartments ?

I could go on.

Henry said...

If Saturday Night Live is looking for material, they'll have some after next Tuesday.

AJ Lynch said...

I think it is creepy the phrase "the President" is in almost every sentence.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If the teachers handle it well, the children learn valuable skills. If they handle it badly, that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them.

It isn't so much Obama's speech that disturbs me, he will probably bore the crap out of everyone as he usually does. It is that the teachers in Elementry school are 99% liberals and will push a leftist agenda in the following lesson plans. They already do it. I have had my friends children come home from 3rd grade spouting all kinds of liberal dogma or confused and questioning things that their parents have said.

This is completely wrong to inject politics into school and especially in the younger grades where the students view the teacher as infallable. High school, not so much.

I know many of the teachers can't help themselves and teach political issues and denigrate those conservative ideas that they hold even during regular class time.

THIS piece of crap idea, just gives them offical permission to propagandize the children.

It is the camel's nose under the tent. You think they will stop with JUST this stunt. Think again.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Denigrate conservative ideas that they ....the teachers DON'T hold and that the Parents of the children DO hold.

Is what I meant....sigh.

David Walser said...

Althouse,

If my kids were still of school age, I'd probably allow them to listen to the President's speech.

Still, I'm very sympathetic to Stephen Green's argument: This is something the President simply should not be doing. He's suggesting parents should keep their kids home from school, in part, to protest the President's further encroachment into areas that should be beyond his reach. Doesn't he have enough "real work" to do? He wasn't elected teacher-in-chief. He's got lots of proper roles to play; this just isn't one of them and he should be called on it.

Largo said...

"""...that will be the basis of a lesson we can teach them."""

The children, or the teachers?

(Oh, please say the teachers!)

Pogo said...

Obama Youth are encouraged to report lies, misrepresentations, and TEA party activity about the health care debate to:
flag@whitehouse.gov.

Whether these are your parents, or teachers, or others in authority, it is best for the country that you report them to Obama.

Bissage said...

It concerns me that this speech, directly to children, smacks of Presidential desperation.

We don't know what Mr. Obama is going to say and I fear the worst.

"All right, kids, you promise me you'll make your parents do what I say or I'm gonna murder this puppy RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!"

Not nice.

traditionalguy said...

Obama's ongoing war today revolves around exploiting a division between young Computer engrafted minds and the older than 50 crowd that "Cling to guns and religion". Take the under 30 crowd and throw in emigrants, legal and other, who are trained to want the Government Nanny State, and Obama has 51% of the voters which is all that is needed to elect Big Brother Obama Dictator for life. Then the Reverand Wright and Michelle and Barak can fist bump forevermore, or until the Country merges into the World Federation of Peoples Republics. Now do we see a need for a fighting leader like Churchill was in England's darkest hour? Sarah Palin has her work to do and we have ours to do to during the next election cycle.

Chase said...

Since my father was in the military, I transferred to different schools several times while growing up. On the 3rd day of class at my (new to me) Jr. High School the entire student body was called before lunch to an outside assembly to listen to Congressman John Tunney tell us why our parents should vote for him in the upcoming midterm election for US Senator (he won). He also said several disparaging things about the war in Vietnam - which caused several passionate boos as well as applause from the students - and some of the faculty.

After it was over - and through out the rest of the day, tempers flared in several classrooms and at least 4 fights broke out among kids because of the politics - some were war supporters, some anti-war, some Gov. Reagan supporters, some hated Reagan and Nixon. I was in the library after lunch when a shouting match started and the librarian/girl's PE coach used her PE whistle to
startle and threaten the kids.

The next day, angry parents were gathered in groups outside the admin building, demanding to know why they weren't informed about the political speech. Though classes went on, the tension around the school was palpable, and teachers would often remark that there would be no discussion of the assembly - that any discussion would be best at home and not at school.

That worked well at defusing the tension over the next few days, and by the following Monday, things were pretty much normal - but then nobody was talking about it. Except for 2 of my teachers, and it was easy to see why: my creative writing teacher and my California history teacher. He was an older hippie who was somehow able to keep a very unflattering satirical poster of Nixon and Agnew up in his classroom behind the podium. She was a young "Chicana" who decried the massive and "systemic" racism of our country. She compared Nixon and the Republicans to Eichmanns (yep - she beat Ward Churchill). Parents hated her, but she kept her job the entire year. Back then it was very hard to get rid of a teacher apart from incompetence - political views ad attempts to indoctrinate didn't threaten a teacher's job at all.

Was all of that harmful. Who knows?
Tunney won the Senate seat that year, but lost it in 1976.

Chase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
t-man said...

I'm just tired of telling my kids that their teachers are lying to them, and that they should ignore a lot of what is being told to them. This is a difficult concept for grade school kids to understand, and I'd rather have the teachers limit the lessons to non-political topics.

Kid: "Mrs. ____ said the polar bears are starving and going to disappear."

Me: "The polar bears will be fine"

Kid: "Then why did Mrs. ____ say that they are all dying?"

Me: "Mrs. ____ understands 2nd grade math, but she doesn't know what she's talking about with regard to polar bears. Don't worry about the polar bears."

Althouse, do you really 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders are sophisticated enough to parse out the speech of a president who has been portrayed as a wondrous hero by their teachers for the past year?

Richard Dolan said...

There's no harm in kids' learning to respect the office of the Presidency, or in listening to what the current President has to say. For most kids (certainly my two), attention spans are short and thus 'listening' is a skill they have to work at to develop. If you gave the schoolkids a quiz after the speech asking them to describe what the President had to say, I think you'd be amazed at what the kids would come up with. (My kids don't start school until the week after Labor Day, and I can't imagine that they will tune into the speech on their own. So I won't be able to quiz them to see what they might remember about O's speech.)

O's speech to schoolkids strikes me as a small and inconsequential thing. I don't see what the fuss is all about. As with much that gets political people all lathered up, there's really nothing to see here, folks, so just move on.

Maguro said...

Only a dorky white liberal like Obama could possibly think it's worthwhile to speechify in front of a bunch of elementary school kids. What a bore.

On the other hand, a Biden speech to the nation's youth might be kinda entertaining.

Chase said...

Pogo -

I fear that you are not that far off.

And not that far off is still kind of frightening.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Reagan spoke to students in 1988. I'm sure all the current concerned parties, from your garden variety wingnut shriekers trembling at the imminent brainwashing of American youth, to reputable Florida congressmen urging parents to keep their children home from school to resist "tyranny"-- I'm sure all these good folks were just as appalled at the great communicator's pushing partisan issues like gun control and the line item veto to helpless children.

http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/111488c.htm

Why are teachers liberal in the main? Is it because conservatives are selfish and don't care to educate children, or is it because conservatives are too dumb to be teachers? discuss.

Chase said...

And what t-man said.

AJ Lynch said...

Is Obama establishing a precedent? If so, is the precedent limited to presidents doing these universal speeches to schoolkids [haha the Obama manual misspelled schoo children btw].

Or could a governor do this for his entire state? A congressman for his entire district? A mayor for his city or town?

Get my drift- where does this usurping of time and power end?

Darcy said...

DBQ - dead on. This is way over the line and I will protest this propaganda to my school.

I'll probably let my kid listen to this full on Obama worship, though. He's already making up his own mind that it is creepy. The man can't help but come off as thinking that he really knows best - for everyone. And with a layer of "if you don't agree with me, you must not have a heart". LOL! I do think this will give older kids (mine is 16) the creeps. Totally turn them off.

But we'll discuss it.

wv: facken (This is facken suicide for Obama's presidency.)

AllenS said...

On the other hand, a Biden speech to the nation's youth might be kinda entertaining.

Especially if he wore his clown nose.

MayBee said...

Ideally, children should learn to understand political speeches and think for themselves about what they mean.

Yes, and that is precisely what is troublesome about the Department of Education study guidelines.

It is an invitation to agree with the President, to see this speech as historic, and to work to accomplish the goals he has set out.
President Obama wants people to find great import in his speeches (the iPod he gave the Queen, his self-references to Cairo) and the DoE wrote guidelines for teachers to guide children to see that.

There is no question in the materials that invites criticism or individualism beyond personal goals that further the President's greater goal.

chingerm: side effect of not properly coughing into your sleeve. Practice practice practice!

Chase said...

Anyone here remember the "Moratorium Against the War"


Anyone else in their Middle School have student assemblies and class discussions about it?

My parents told me I could skip school that day, but I didn't. Still, I saw a lot of ugliness among friends and fellow students and teachers. Sad.

hdhouse said...

oh for Christ's sake everyone grow up. The stupidity of the idea of "brainwashing" our kids by talking to them is so absurd as to make the god's weep. When GWB dragged out his scrawny ass to drivel away at the kids we accepted it as the President of the United States talking to the nation, painful as it was.

if you don't like it, then talk about it but the purely idiotic idea and opinions that surround this are little more than idiotic and so motivated by politics and fear .... well you get the point.

Leland said...

My daughters' school district is leaving it up to the teachers. For 20 minutes, I have no concern about my children watching it, or seeing the curriculum. I certainly consider it a waste of time, but taking away a day of school for 20 minutes, is just a bigger waste.

However, I do think the precendence of this bad. I'm ok with the speech. I'm not ok with the provided curriculum. If nothing else, shouldn't the 10th Amendment and the rest of Constitution be enough to keep the federal government from providing instructions to municiple schools on how to teach kids? Give a speech, keep your curriculum to yourself.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Indisputable fact: this is not the first time a President has addressed youth in a speech.

It is merely the first time that wingnut mouthbreathers have chosen to make a stink about it. Because, apparently, in their version of democracy anyone YOU didn't vote for is a "tyrant." Ordinary workings of democracy= tyranny.

Roger J. said...

Hmmm--If I am reading Monty's link OK, Regan was involved in a Q and A session with some area Junior High School students. Obama is attempting to talk to the nation's entire student body.. Monty: you don't see any difference between those two events?

At least the white house is dropping Obama's call for the students to "help him."

Having said that, I hope Obama goes through with it. If only to see the subsequent coverage.

hdhouse said...

t-man said...
I'm just tired of telling my kids that their teachers are lying to them, and that they should ignore a lot of what is being told to them. This is a difficult concept for grade school kids to understand, and I'd rather have the teachers limit the lessons to non-political topics.
Kid: "Mrs. ____ said the polar bears are starving and going to disappear."
Me: "The polar bears will be fine"


And your reason for lying to a kid is what?

Chase said...

Montagne,

Is there anything about living under, say, the old Soviet regime of the 70's that you would dislike?

Just adding up the flavor of your comments over the last little while.

Seriously - is there anything about the old Soviet-style government that you would disagree with?

madawaskan said...

I dunno -maybe Obama and Biden could put on a puppet show.

This is how we do a bill-

First, Nancy writes everything down then we pass it without reading it...because we can always fix it later...

Henry said...

Richard Dolan - spot on.

My only question about Obama's appearance is whether or not my second grader will get kicked out of class for cutting up during the broadcast. He won't interrupt Obama because he's political. He'll do it because he's contrary.

The only way Obama will get my kid's support is if he shows up in person with donuts.

madawaskan said...

Oooh here comes Nancy....let's get outta here.

wv:unficit

[I kid you not-when you've done the deficit so bad it's unficit...]

Quayle said...

Why are teachers liberal in the main? Is it because conservatives are selfish and don't care to educate children, or is it because conservatives are too dumb to be teachers? discuss.

Because liberals unselfishly feel an undying urge to save the world, and they think that in order to be effective they must get upstream into the minds of the kids. (Their adult peers mostly ignore their babble.)

How frustrated the left is when the homes and families inoculate their children, and counteract the left’s attempts to teach them the “truth.”

Which is why the left denigrates the home and family.

Yet there stands a whole segment of our population that is vulnerable to huckster “community organizers.”

Regrettably, they don’t have a good home and family to teach and guide them so they must look to the school, and ultimately to the president.

(BTW, their homes and families were decimated by the left’s “great society” program that incented fathers to leave and unwed mothers to have more babies. The left’s “love” of the poor left so very many feeling no love in their home.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why are teachers liberal in the main? Is it because conservatives are selfish and don't care to educate children, or is it because conservatives are too dumb to be teachers? discuss

OK. Because... in general educators, teachers are amongst the dumbest people on earth. The exception being those teachers who specialize in the 'hard' sciences. Math, Chemistry, Physics and other science type topics, who are also generally conservatives.

The education, if you can call it that, that general/elementary school teachers receive is a joke. It is more like social engineering than a real education. Many graduate without the slightest knowledge of history, geography, science or even the basic ability to write a coherent sentence.

My daughter had teachers who gave her incorrect information that we had to correct..NO Houston is NOT the Capitol of Texas dumbass..... and had no clue about the topics they were trying to teach. She had teachers who sat and filled in crossword puzzled during classroom time. They were ignorant not only of their own subjects but just about anything else. But....boy do they know how to teach politics.

In my business I rarely ever take on a teacher as a client, unless they are the hard science types, because they are unable to understand even the most basic principles and are blind liberals who refuse to do anything intelligent with their portfolios. They insist on using liberal dogma as an investment philosophy; won't take my advice and THEN when they don't make any money or lose money it never is their fault. Perpetual victims.

Sorry Beth. I'm sure you are the exception to the rule.

If I had it to do all over again, I would home school or find a decent charter school.

Montagne Montaigne said...

George HW Bush's speech to jr. high students, telecast on CNN and PBS.

Chase-- your question is idiotic. I would have a lot of problems living in Soviet Russia in the 1970s. Why don't you go ahead and elaborate, preferably using today's greatest hits of wingnut lies and swill (please quote Glenn Beck!) about how the Obama administration is exactly like Soviet Russia in the 70s. Which I will proceed to tear apart, because it will be a tissue of lies and distortions.

Chase said...

Since we're talking about Obama:

Wait, So They Really Do Kill Grandma?

group of experts on caring for terminally ill patients wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph alleging that some patients are being wrongly labeled as being close to death. Under guidelines from England's National Health Service, a team of doctors can decide whether a dying patient is on her last legs and can then remove fluid and drugs. Many patients are then put on continuous sedation until death arrives. The whole point of the regulation was to reduce pain and suffering in a person's last days, but the letter-writers say these procedures can make it impossible for doctors to see whether someone's condition is improving and is creating a "national crisis." Doctors say that the signs that a patient is dying could be caused by other basic problems, such as dehydration. But once a patient has been deemed to be close to death, it becomes a "self-fulfilling prophecy" since drugs and fluids are often taken away.

Original story in The Daily Telegraph | Thursday, 3 Sep 2009

Quayle said...

And here is a new low for those elected officials that out kids are supposed to be listening to:

from the link on drudge

"Rangel-ing: Charlie Pays 'Angels' In Ethics Probe
Harlem Congressman Gave Campaign Contributions To 3 Dems On Ethics Committee Charged With Investigating Him"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Kid: "Mrs. ____ said the polar bears are starving and going to disappear."
Me: "The polar bears will be fine"


The correct answer is....


"So? Animals die all the time. If they didn't we would still have dinosaurs running through the yard. Polar Bears are just brown bears that got trapped during the last ice age. If they were smarter or luckier, they would be in Yellowstone Park.

Besides, your teacher is an idiot and doesn't know what she is talking about."

PatHMV said...

Montagne.... when you find archives of the Reagan-era Department of Education giving instructions to teachers about getting the kids to plan for how they could help President Reagan implement his political agenda, let me know.

President wants to make a general speech about democracy, the importance of voting, staying off drugs, etc., that's fine by me. President wants to time an "all-schools" broadcast to coincide with a renewed push for a specific and very controversial domestic political agenda item, that's not fine with me. That crosses the line.

Richard Dolan... yes, one speech is no big deal, and will have little impact. But what if there hadn't been an outcry about it, and the Dept. of Ed. had left its cult of the leader lesson plans in place? Then it would have been a precedent, and the next time they tried to do it, the President's people would say "hey, this is old news; we did this 2 months ago and nobody complained, what's the problem now?"

Chase said...

Montagne,

Hold on - I'm not angry at you. And I am not calling you a communist, nor will I.

Finish answering my question first. What specifically would you not like about the Soviet-style run government?

By the way - I have never seen or heard a show or even sound bite from Glenn Beck - I don't like what I've heard about him, and I do not believe that we are living in a socialist state or something like that.

So - can you please answer the question?

MadisonMan said...

My kids will be all for this. They can sleep through the speech, come home and google it, and then write whatever they have to. Thankfully, they've inherited enough of my cynicism that I'm sure their minds will be unaffected by political blathering.

OTOH, I have no idea whether they will have to listen to it. I think not.

David Walser said...

There's no harm in kids' learning to respect the office of the Presidency, or in listening to what the current President has to say. ...

O's speech to schoolkids strikes me as a small and inconsequential thing. I don't see what the fuss is all about. As with much that gets political people all lathered up, there's really nothing to see here, folks, so just move on.


The speech might have some educational merit. It might do no harm. If that's the case, then what's the objection to the speech? Making the speech is just outside the proper role of the President of the USA.

Look at it this way: I'd probably enjoy having the President at my house for dinner. I'd likely find him and Michelle thoroughly entertaining dinner guests and my kids would likely benefit from the experience. The fact we would not be harmed by hosting him would not make it proper for him to invite himself over to my house. The fact kids might not be harmed by his speaking to all the classrooms in America does not make it proper for him to invite himself into the classroom.

MadisonMan said...

Besides, your teacher is an idiot and doesn't know what she is talking about

I think it's a bad idea for a parent to tell a child a truth like this. The fact of the matter is, the idiotic teacher is going to grade your child just like a very smart one is, and if your child is behaving like he/she thinks the teacher is an idiot, bad grades might result.

Besides, a child will have to deal with idiots all during his/her life. Why not learn how to do it well during school?

sydney said...

Elementary school children probably won't be able to sit through twenty minutes of President Obama, but they are more susceptible to propaganda by an authority figure than older children.

My children's junior high school had a teacher who was famously and very vocally left wing in the classroom. I believe she did more to turn young minds against her ideas (and ideals) than any parent could have done. By that age, kids are naturally skeptical of authority. She was an object of ridicule among the students.

Old Dad said...

Our tax dollars at work. What a collosal waste of valuable class time, and tax dollars. Another example of creeping, and creepy statism. Dismantle the Dept. of
Education.

If I'm a superintendent, I send a letter home to parents with a link to the speech. Parents, then, can decide if they want junior to partake.

And we're even considering lettinng these idiots take on our health care?

bearbee said...

Is it audio or video?

If video, will he use his 2 kids as props?

Do kids still recite the pledge of allegiance in school?

wv - cudgedl: latest government tactic

Harris Trinsky said...

As a parent of children in public elementary schools, I don't have a problem with a president - any president - giving boilerplate "stay in school, study hard" speeches to kids. My kids are smart enough to take those words at face value and interpret them on their own. My problem is with the management of the schools themselves. Our public elementary school has an electronic marquee outside, which usually shows messages like "PTA Meeting Tuesday 7PM" or "Congrats Mrs. Smith Teacher of the Month." This past January 20th, it flashed, for the entire day and then overnight (and I have pictures to back this up) "We Have a New President: Obama! Hallelujah!" Believe me, there was nothing on the marquee when Bush was inaugurated or re-inaugurated.

How can this school possibly claim it is going to teach this as anything other than an Obama love-in?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm not concerned about the speech. These stunts don't help Obama, they just make him look like a total tool. In fact, I hope he continues to double down on the constant campaigner-in-chief strategy. It's just doing wonders for him.

Chip Ahoy said...

Now class, the president has taken time today from his packed schedule of very important presidential activities to take a few moments to address you directly. Write three pages on why politicians are not ever to be trusted. Ideas you can use:

Explain why politicians must be told what to do.

Detail why politicians must be watched continuously like misbehaving little brothers and sisters.

Explain the corruption inherent in party politics.

Inform the president how he must use executive authority for you to be satisfied with his performance.

Inform the president what you intend to do if you become or remain unsatisfied with his performance.

Explain to the president ways he could ween himself from campaigning.

Describe the difference between personality-orientation and issue-orientation.

Describe how image sometimes substitutes for substance.

Discuss the importance to politicians of changing the meanings of words.

Explain sophistry and how it is used in political discussion.

Look for examples of hypocrisy within the president's speech today. For example, if you are instructed to learn a second language, has the president done this himself? If you are instructed to concentrate on math and science classes, has the president himself done this?

Discuss the environment, your impact on it compared to the president's impact on it. How do you clean up after yourselves?

Discuss why studying Political Science is for douchebags.

Discuss the lies or fabrications you noticed in this speech.

Discuss why there is a pledge of allegiance to a nation but not to a president.

Discuss the proper uses of technology. Is it ever used to manipulate?

When it comes to schools, what do you think the best thing the president could be doing right now?

Discuss the "co" part of communication. Does that imply a person is both talking and listening or does it mean there is a talker and a listener?

Did you notice the president blaming anybody for his own difficulties or shortcomings?

How can you use technology to tell the president what is on your mind? Could you get in trouble for that? Is he your employee? Can you boss him around?

Is politics a noble life-long pursuit? Why do people go into politics in the first place?

What kind of person would want to be president?

Do leaders really lead, or do they actually follow? Do they shove themselves to the front of a crowd then pretend to lead it? Are they attempting to discern what the population wants then bring that about or are they shoving their own ideas down ever body's throats?

Did the president wear nice well-fitted clothes and does he have nice white teeth?

Discuss why it took so much time, so much damage to the environment, and so much money to elect a president just to have him yakity yak yak all the time.

Is it really necessary for the president to be on Television? EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?

Will they make a movie with the president in it?

Does the White House belong to you? Could you go there if you wanted to?

You do not have to limit yourself to just three pages, if you find you're on a roll, just keep going.

PatCA said...

But the speech is not being presented or taught as an exercise in critical thinking; the lesson being taught is "how we can help the president." Why? Because he's so cool, and he's the president. He's above reproach. Essays are to be written. Posters are to be made. The lesson is, Obama is good! We must help him!

This is indoctrination. It's not desperation, Bissage, it's community organizing. From little acorns, mighty oaks will grow.

kwood said...

Chase:

"Was all of that harmful. Who knows?"

I remember my HS history teacher handing us a book by Howard Zinn. My dad laughed me out of the house when I brought it home for which I am forever grateful. My friends here in New England were not so lucky. They swallowed the bait whole and tons more in college. I flunked out of college and had a great time doing it, but I digress.

ALL of my old friends are doe-eyed liberal sheep. ALL of them swallow the Obama line without a hiccup, and stare incredulously at those who don't.

It's like being surrounded by pod-people. They are debilitated for life.

Harmful? You betcha.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Chase-- your question is too broad. There is little about the soviet system in the 70s that I like. To list all the particulars would be tedious. Why don't you go ahead and reveal the point of asking that question?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why are teachers liberal in the main?

Because it doesn't require critical thinking? Because they have summers off and work about a total of 8 months out of the year?

AJ Lynch said...

Since the speech is at noon, Rush Limbaugh must be elated. Rush can dissect and mock Obama's speech almost as soon as his show starts on Tuesday.

This was very thoughtful of Obama and the White House.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I really think President Shortpants needs to concentrate on bigger issues, like getting the economy back in shape and reducing the fucking national debt.

If the administration feels the need to address the childrens, let Biden do it since he's about on the same intellectual level as you average 5th grader.

Prism Trading School said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Kid: "Mrs. ____ said the polar bears are starving and going to disappear."
Me: "The polar bears will be fine"


The correct answer is....


"So? Animals die all the time. If they didn't we would still have dinosaurs running through the yard. Polar Bears are just brown bears that got trapped during the last ice age. If they were smarter or luckier, they would be in Yellowstone Park.Besides, your teacher is an idiot and doesn't know what she is talking about."


Dust Bunny: do you actively try and think of ways to sound so utterly stupid and out of touch or is this a natural talent.

God help you and God save your kids. Ignorance isn't much of a legacy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If Shortpants does do the speech, he should hold up his magic mirror like in Romper Room and say I see Suzie, and Johnnie and Tyrel and Guadalupe and Mohhamed....

I think the kids would love that.

Joseph said...

Note that Reagan and Bush 41 did the same thing.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
Reagan spoke to students in 1988.... these good folks were just as appalled at the great communicator's pushing partisan issues like gun control and the line item veto to helpless children.


MM, are did you even read the thing you linked to? (Thanks for that, by the way - reminds me of why I love RR.) His "pushing partisan issues" came in the form of ANSWERING DIRECT QUESTIONS THAT THE CHILDREN HAD ASKED. What, he was supposed to tell them what a Democrat president would have said?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Dust Bunny: do you actively try and think of ways to sound so utterly stupid and out of touch or is this a natural talent.

God help you and God save your kids. Ignorance isn't much of a legacy.


Well you may not like what she said but it is factual. Then again you exhibit what most addled brain liberals do, toss out ad hominems rather than actually address the issue. I guess that goes back to the critical thinking skill that libs tend to lack.

And yes animals die and new species come into existence. This isn't something that is in dispute by clear thinking people.

bearbee said...

Why are teachers liberal in the main?

In general bad people go into job creation-moneymaking-nation wealth building enterprises.

Good people teach.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

"So? Animals die all the time. If they didn't we would still have dinosaurs running through the yard. Polar Bears are just brown bears that got trapped during the last ice age. If they were smarter or luckier, they would be in Yellowstone Park.Besides, your teacher is an idiot and doesn't know what she is talking about."


Dust Bunny: do you actively try and think of ways to sound so utterly stupid and out of touch or is this a natural talent.

God help you and God save your kids. Ignorance isn't much of a legacy.


So, I'm guessing you haven't heard of the theory of evolution? Darwin's survival of the fittest?

Pogo said...

Not the same thing.
GHW Bush's is closest, but there was no letter of instruction on "how to help the President " with it. Just a televised speech. No word if anyone watched it.

Reagan's bit was in front of one school's student body, not the entire school system.


It's really funny how all the lefties get their talking points at about the same time and come running back to trot them out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Note that Reagan and Bush 41 did the same thing.

I'm wondering if the DOE sent out a teaching guide to the faculty that would allow the childrens to better explain how they can help the President.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Pogo-- where do you think wingnuts get their talking points? Why does every wingnut blog go nuts about some nonsense at the same time? Do you think they coordinate with far-right reps like the one in Florida, or do those politicians simply listen to the same talk radio hosts you do?

Roger J. said...

Joseph--you may be having trouble with issues of scale--talking to small classroom groups or even the students in one school, is not quite on the order of an address to all students nationwide at the same time--and with a prepublished suggested activity list put out by the US Department of Education. Seems to me to be several orders of magnitude different.

Prism trader re Dust Bunny's answer--it compares favorably to what the fossil record suggests about polar bear evolution--in fact it appears to be right on the money:

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~candela/pbevol.html


by all means, enlighten us about where she is ignorant--

Montagne Montaigne said...

p.s. pogo-- you are lying again-- Reagan's speech was broadcast on cspan.

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ:

You rock as usual! "polar bears would rather be in Yellowstone" LOL.

Prism - get a wider prism. It will expand your field of vision and perhaps open up your mind a bit.

Paddy O. said...

"Why does every wingnut blog go nuts about some nonsense at the same time?"

Instapundit. He is the air traffic controller of the wingnut nation.

Now your turn.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Laura-- I suppose if Obama answers questions in a Q&A that will be fine with you, and not a horrifying attempt to indoctrinate the children into a national gestapo force.

I'll just wait and see.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Reagan's speech was broadcast on cspan

Let me esplain it to you Lucy.

Reagan actually had worthwhile things to listen to.

Sofa King said...

Obama speech, Obama speech, it's time to hear Obama's speech,
Time to pay him your full attention!
Obama speech, Obama speech, please sit and listen quietly,
time to watch Obama come and speechify to you!

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Pogo back in 1988, I am sure Cspan was always on the TV at all times and in 100% of schools! And 100% of the student and teachers were watching it intently. Heh.

Montaigne - you are incapable of doing apples to apples. Go way until you learn how to do that.

Henry said...

Note that Reagan and Bush 41 did the same thing.

Jeez. Now I am against it. I don't have a problem with the ad hoc stupid political stunt, but I'd rather that stupid political stunts don't become traditions.

TosaGuy said...

"Why are teachers liberal in the main? Is it because conservatives are selfish and don't care to educate children, or is it because conservatives are too dumb to be teachers? discuss."

I am a conservative who has an ed degree. I find teaching to not be particularly challenging and not very intellectually stimulating. I decided to do something more challenging in life.

I also believe in the motto "Those who can't....teach high school".

Darcy said...

bearbee: *giggles*

wv: quaminam - Having quaminams about this speech.

rocketeer67 said...

My daughter had teachers who gave her incorrect information that we had to correct…

My favorite story in this genre involved the New York-raised librarian at the Kentucky public school where my mother taught. Said librarian was discussing the Civil War with a group of my mom’s fourth graders as part of their social studies (Kentucky history) lesson for the year, and in a touchingly stupid effort to “educate” these poor benighted hick kids about the political alignments of the states at the time, ended a particularly comical talk by noting that “For instance, you’re growing up in a Confederate state, and I grew up in a Union state.” All of the students laughed, and one of the bolder ones responded, “Land sakes, Mrs. [REDACTED TO PROTECT THE DIMWITTED], I’m only 10 and even I know that Kentucky didn’t secede! Where’d you get THAT hoo-haw?”

Blushing stupid silence on the part of the librarian, and A’s all around for my mom's class for Kentucky history that year.

Richard Dolan said...

I just don't get all the sturm und drang about this.

David Walser says that "[m]aking the speech is just outside the proper role of the President of the USA." But kids routinely read about what past presidents said and did all the time (I would imagine that's a staple of any American history class). In class last year, my youngest (entering 5th grade) memorized the list of presidents (along with all the state capitals, and similar stuff). So where does this 'proper role' rule come from - what turns a president's speech supposedly designed for a kiddie audience into an event that crosses a line of proper presidential conduct? Beats me.

PatHMV objects: "But what if there hadn't been an outcry about it, and the Dept. of Ed. had left its cult of the leader lesson plans in place?" Sorry, that train pulled out some time ago. My kids' school (a private school in Brooklyn) has been awash in Obama worship since last Fall; whether a little balance will now show up, given O's problems of late, remains to be seen (I'm not holding my breath). While I don't like that aspect of it, I agree with sydney's take on it: "kids are naturally skeptical of authority", and eventually come to see teachers pushing a political agenda mostly as "an object of ridicule among the students." My kids certainly know that the president is an important shaper of events; that most of their teachers think O is great; and that Dad didn't vote for him and hasn't changed his mind about O. At some point they'll sort out their own views. Listening to O's speech is not a nefarious or illegitimate attempt to brainwash them,on that score, and even if it were, it has no chance of success. And if my kids ultimately come to different political views than mine, I am fine with that too.

A speech by O to schoolkids doesn't strike me as the opening shot in some plot against America, or some dangerous precedent, or really anything of much significance. It's just a speech that the kids will mostly tune out and largely forget even before it's finished. Like a lot that goes on in schools these days.

EKatz said...

"What next? Make the kids line up and sing praises to Obama and march in formation holding the Zero over thier heads that is the symbol of Obama."

Just in case no one's posted this video as a reminder yet...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG6ureeTw2E&feature=related

Smilin' Jack said...

There's no reason to believe that our schools will be any more effective at promoting Obama's pinko agenda than they are at teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. So there's nothing to worry about.

traditionalguy said...

Smiling sweet President Obama only wants to reassure the kids that he will be there for them when their dinasoar and computer challenged Fossil parents have let them down by losing their jobs. The message is every con man's message: Trust me because I love you and you love me too.That is an evil manipulation of our kids to exploit the divisions between the generations.We need to vote this man and his gangster party out as quick as possible.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Why are teachers liberal in the main?

When your paycheck depends on government, it's easy to be in favor of big government. I see the send trend in other public employees as well. It's just self-interest cloaked as altruism.

Barry said...

1) While students should be taught primarily the basics in school, I, for one, would welcome a return to civics education. The decline of voter turnout, volunteerism, and participation in democracy, is oft cited, and a perfect way to improve that is to remove the mystery of American politics and civics by teaching "how things work" to kids.

2) What "indoctrination" could possibly come from this small speech and teaching about it for a few minutes that day?

3) Regardless of your political leanings, the Office of the President should be respected. Respectful attention (not saying obedience) to the words of our elected officials
would be a great civics lesson in itself. You don't have to agree with the speaker. Just listen and think. I can't stand the policies of my Congressman, but I'm not going to be disrespectful as he speaks.

4) If one really wants government to butt-out of one's child's life, remove the child from public school for good, not just one day. And yes, I realize many are doing just that for many reasons.

5) These kids are being "forced" to listen just as much as they are being "forced" to listen to a teacher. Ask the teachers how many of their kids they've successfully "indoctrinated" in the past year.

6) This is unwelcome "indoctrination" for those of you against the administration's policies. I was against many of Bush's policies, but I would welcome my child paying attention to that President, being aware of current events, and taking an interest in politics.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I just don't get all the sturm und drang about this.

I guess its because a good chunk of the folks around here don't trust the guy? Maybe its because some of us can connect the dots and suspect this speech to the childrens is some backhanded way of trying to salvage his attempt at government run health care? I mean if he can't get his own party which controls the government on board, I do wonder why he feels it necessary to spend time talking to 5th graders when he should be talking to his own party members.

Telford said...

Montagne:

"I'm sure all these good folks were just as appalled at the great communicator's pushing partisan issues like gun control and the line item veto to helpless children."

http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/111488c.htm

As soon as you posted this I had the hunch that the actual text wouldn't support your point. Looked it up and sure enough, Reagan's speech was mainly about civics, with some cheerleading about freedom, trade, low taxes, etc. that, while conservative, crossed the partisan lines of the day. The line item veto and gun control topics only came up in Q&A, introduced by students.

Fail.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
Laura-- I suppose if Obama answers questions in a Q&A that will be fine with you, and not a horrifying attempt to indoctrinate the children into a national gestapo force.

I'll just wait and see.


Since I have never suggested that Obama's speech will be a horrifying attempt to indoindoctrinate the children into a national gestapo force, your wait-and-see attitude will be a welcome change from your current inaccurate mindreading.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Telford, "Fail" should be reserved for, you know, when a point actually fails.

The point was, Reagan gave a speech to schoolchildren that was broadcast on C-span to millions of students.

Now Obama is doing the same thing. Except wingnuts are making a stink about it. That was the point. We don't know what is in the speech because he hasn't given it yet. Which makes the stink raised by wingnuts including members of congress all the more absurd.

Mark said...

I figure this has an excellent opportunity to become Obama's Soupy Sales moment.

Except school won't even be in session in NYC, LA, or Boston, so he's missing out on a lot of potential revenue, er, mindshare.

WV: "conses" -- sometimes the word verification is just scary...

Shanna said...

Haven't had a chance to read the comments yet, but if I were still a teenager I would want to go just to see what the fuss was about, and if I were a kid I would probably want to be pulled out, but not if it were the first day of school, because social stuff happens the first day.

As for the rest, I'll reserve judgement until I see the text. The "write a letter to the president telling him what you will do to help him" thing was creepy, though.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Monty, can I call you Monty? Don't you think Obambi's time can be better spent trying to get his own party to get in line with his policies? I mean that's what I would be doing. Demonstrating those leadership skills I picked up as a community organizer and getting my party unfaithful who control the government to actually pass legislation I want.

Then after he has demonstrated he can actually govern his own party, then he can take a few moments to impress the childrens with his Ciceroesque oratory.

kathleen said...

The guy has nothing to contribute to the discussion. I am in charge of my kids' education, not him. It's not his bailiwick, and he needs to butt out of my kid's life. He's like a creepy guy you went on a date with, and now he's always calling and stopping by. Buzz off dude!

If he says something offensive during the speech, that's a problem for obvious reasons. But even if he says nothing offensive, it's a problem, because the very least it suggests to my kids that they have a responsibility *to him* to do well in shool, and that is inherently creepy. It duplicates and therefore cheapens my role as a parent. I don't want my neighbor weighing in on how my kid should do in school, let alone BO.

Scott M said...

@Althouse

“And that would itself be a matter of adults pushing a political message down kids throats.”

It would only be pushing it down their throats if you waxed political about why you’re keeping them out of school. Granted, older kids would want to know, but those discussions should be had with older kids anyway. Younger kids just want to play…they don’t care WHY they’re getting out of school ten seconds after you tell them why.

“Please, send your kids to school and get a full report on what happened.”

Sorry, Ann, but my daughter, the one that’s being forced to watch this speech, is all of five. While I consider her to be articulate for her age, there’s simply no way this is age-appropriate if only from a context and retention perspective. Honestly, I have no idea what age/grade would be appropriate…6th maybe? After they actually know what a president is? For crying out loud…my daughter barely has the concept of neighborhood and town down. State and country are a tad beyond her grasp right now.

My biggest problem is that they won’t release the text. That would take most of the poison out of this pill. For my part, as a libertarian, I don’t care if I wholeheartedly agreed with the speaker. You’re talking about captive audiences with no mechanism, that I’ve seen, to allow for opting out or parental observation.

We’re all big boys and girls…apparently President Obama doesn’t think we’re worth of knowing what message is going to forced (forced, yes, see above re: captive audience) on our children.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't think the President, no matter what political stripe, should have the power to project himself directly into all classrooms nationwide.

It's a captive audience, a young audience, and an audience without the benefit of parental oversight.

It is inappropriate, and sets, I think, a terrible precedent.

If he wants to go on television in the evening for a special back to school speech, I think that's fine.

Telford said...

Come on, Montagne. Answering questions from students, some critical, some affirming, and most of them retrospective, is hardly "pushing partisan issues." You misrepresented the character of the speech, so blatantly that I could tell even before going and looking it up. (But thanks for providing the link and saving me some trouble.)

The contexts are pretty different too. Reagan was a lame duck (Bush 41 had been elected the previous week). I'm sure his outgoing administration was hoping to strengthen Bush's, but a lame duck is a lame duck. By contrast, Obama is in his first year of his presidency, desperate to salvage an issue he made central to his agenda, and is addressing schoolchildren the day before addressing Congress (another rare event) on that issue.

Obama's timing can hardly be coincidental, given that he's doing this with such little notice and before many schools are even in session. The tone and content of the two speeches are also noticeably different.

I don't much care whether my own four school-age children will have to listen to it; we'll talk about both the text and the subtexts at home. But parents who don't suspect that Obama wants to use class time to help rescue his flailing health care effort are dreaming.

WV: nessi -- the Loch Ness monster's nickname as a teenager in the 'burbs.

Henry said...

Menu of Classroom Activities (PreK‐6), p. 2:

What would you like to tell the president?

Dear Mr. President. After every three zeros, put in a comma. Don't use a period.

Menu of Classroom Activities, (Grades 7‐12), p.2:

Do you remember any other historic moments when the president spoke to the nation?

Yes, and this is not one of them.

Freeman Hunt said...

I also think it's fine to visit individual schools. In fact, I think it would be really neat for kids to have the President visit their school.

It's the projection of a political personality into schools all over the nation at the same time that bothers me. Seems very very ripe for abuse.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Telford said, "The tone and content of the two speeches are also noticeably different."

Obama has given no speech.

FAIL. You are obviously a wingnut who thinks everything Obama does is nefarious.

Darcy said...

Freeman Hunt said:

It's a captive audience, a young audience, and an audience without the benefit of parental oversight.

Nailed it.

AlphaLiberal said...

This is such a steaming pile of bullshit. Every President has spoken to school children. He is promoting education. There is zero reason to deconstruct the lesson plan.

What's different here? Hmmmmmmm....? What could it be?

For many of the more racist (not all) Republicants they just don't like the black guy.

For the less racist Republicants they still refuse to accept the results of the election - that a Democrat won. So they are trying to delegitimatize him at every turn, even turning children into political pawns.

This is just a disgusting manufactured outrage which, of course, Ann Althouse is fluffing to her great discredit.

rhhardin said...

Obama hasn't located his demographic yet.

Scott M said...

@Richard Dolan

I agree with sydney's take on it: "kids are naturally skeptical of authority"

I disagree with this. As the father of four, my observation of both my kids and others leads me to believe that children have to learn skepticism. Young children, in particular, are trusting to a fault. Remember, “Mother is the word for God on the lips and hearts of children”.

AlphaLiberal said...

FAIL. You are obviously a wingnut who thinks everything Obama does is nefarious. .

Really, you are going too easy on these people. They are blinded by their rage that a Democrat won the White House again. They seek to drive him from the White House, as they did with Clinton.

Republicants really do no respect the will of the people. It is such a deeply corrupt and loony party. They have no values beyond grabbing more power.

Witness: when they control the Senate, using reconciliation is fine and dandy. When Dems control the Senate reconciliation is for the first time named "the nuclear option."

So deeply dishonest.

Telford said...

You're right, of course; he hasn't given his speech yet. I'm projecting based on the talking points originally circulated by the Department of Education, especially the deleted item about helping President Obama. These (along with the timing) suggest a speech that is doing something different from what the Reagan speech was doing, namely "pushing partisan issues" (really administration issues). But I'll retract that speculative point and leave the rest ... and we'll see what ends up being communicated.

Hoosier Daddy said...

For many of the more racist (not all) Republicants they just don't like the black guy.

Well it only took 118 comments for some asshole to pull out the race card.

As for the steaming pile of bullshit, hi Alpha.

Freeman Hunt said...

AL, I don't think anyone should be able to pipe themselves into schools nationwide. Do you?

AlphaLiberal said...

So, Scott M, you are teaching your daughter to disrespect the President. How nice.

Let me guess, if Democrats had reacted this way when Bush, Bush or Reagan spoke to school children, you would have attacked us.

Obama is being Swiftboated. They are slinging insult after insult at him and lie after lie. And the dumbshit Republican base swallows it whole.

Freeman Hunt said...

Alpha, can you really not see the difference between talking to a limited group and talking to all children nationwide at the same time? Also, if any Repub has done this in the past, I think it's just as wrong.

Telford said...

And I don't think everything Obama does is nefarious. (For instance, his financial actions and appointments don't look like he really wants to kill capitalism, destroy America, etc.) Nor have I suggested any such thing in my comments. That's a false projection on your part.

My point still stands that you misrepresented Reagan's address, BTW.

AlphaLiberal said...

Freeman, I remember watching the moon landings as a kid. Pretty sure we heard from the President but that was way long ago.

This is all about dragging Obama down. All the talk about school children this and that is just the latest excuse to demagogue and insult and tear down the President.

Who, by the way, is overseeing with two wars, an economic crisis and other pressing national needs.

I remember only a few years ago Republican hypocrites telling us not to criticize Bush because the nation was in crisis.

If we do have another attack on our soil, Republicans will play politics with that, too. Not rally behind the President like Dems did.

Dems need to get ruthless on the Republicans and just bury them and their crazy nihilism deep. Enough is enough.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They are blinded by their rage that a Democrat won the White House again. They seek to drive him from the White House, as they did with Clinton.

Actually we're enraged that a socialist won. In fact, I'd trade him for Clinton in an Arkansas second.

Alpha, does it enrage you that even when your own party overwhelmingly controls the White House and Congress, you still can't get your precious legislation passed?

Then again maybe if you had a President that actually had some leadership skills....you know, someone that could actually get those DEMOCRATS to get on board with his health care plan rather than have to address the nation's kindergarten classes.

Don't forget to take good notes Alpha cause I'm sure your teacher will quiz you! I heard they're giving out red stars for correct answers!

AlphaLiberal said...

Freeman, I honestly do not see what is wrong with a President of the US addressing school children and urging them to be good students.

We have better communication systems than ever before. So he's using them. BFD.

Shanna said...

This whole thing is making me reminisce about the time in high school when my friend and I got to skip class to go to a Black History month event so we could escort someone who was handicapped in our class. There was somebody rapping and I still remember the main part of the rap was like “It was a black man” who did X, Y or Z (stuff like the heart guy). It was hilarious. It would be even more hilarious now! I'm totally going to write a new version of that song.

AlphaLiberal said...

HoosierDaddy, Obama is no socialist. That is a deeply idiotic charge.

If he is a socialist why do so many capitalist corporate executives support him?

If he is a socialist why didn't he cap executive compensation in the bank bailouts?

If he is a socialist why didn't he nationalize the banks as many Ds and Rs demanded instead of bailing them out?

Obama believes in the capitalist system and has helped to rescue it from itself.

What foolish idiocy.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, I remember watching the moon landings as a kid. Pretty sure we heard from the President but that was way long ago.

Turning on the television to watch a historic event that may incidentally include a general Presidential address is not the same as setting up a special address simply for the sake of allowing a political figure to address all of the nation's children.

This is all about dragging Obama down.

It isn't for me. I had no idea Presidents did this. I do not think it should be allowed.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, I honestly do not see what is wrong with a President of the US addressing school children and urging them to be good students.

What happens when it's a Republican and the urging it tinged with urging towards certain political goals? This is one speech. Say the next President wants to make a monthly speech; then another has decided it should be weekly. Don't you see the dangerous precedent it sets?

traditionalguy said...

Alpha Liberal...The problem is not crazy wing nuts that hate Obama. The problem is Obam's own narcissim that cannot admit that he only has ordinary intelligence and that this time he has failed big time to understand that his role our President is not just to be our Cartoon Superhero. He is trying to go back to the kids and the Liberal Chauvinists like you that he believes will accept and honor him as our Cartoon Superhero in a Magic Presidency.

Freeman Hunt said...

If he is a socialist why do so many capitalist corporate executives support him?

The well-connected, the extremely wealthy, the heads of large corporations often adore statism. It protects them from competition. It is a mistake to assume that everyone in business is a capitalist.

Pogo said...

They should have the little kids revive this old salute to the US flag when the President speaks.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is the subtext message from the vile Republicant propagandists:

Keep Obama away from the children.

It's despicable stuff, but propaganda which Ann Althouse propagates.

Ughly business.

Joe said...

I live in a conservative state with conservative teachers. Most the teachers will be polite and make a genuine effort to not be partisan one way or another. A few will spout off about how great Obama is and a few will, especially in the high school, will make clear that they think he's a dumb ass.

Fortunately, my kids are skeptical of these asshats and the stupid Channel One shit as well. (Forget Obama, if you want to get annoyed, check out the crap that Channel One peddles.)

I think this type of thing backfires for all parties since it just convinces kids that the most powerful man in the world is even more boring than your worse teacher.

Scott M said...

@Alpha

Sorry, my friend, but you're the FAIL here. You're either ignorant or lying for expediency in trying to make your point. Doesn't matter to me, but either way you're still dead wrong.

The so-called nuclear option has been around since the late 50's in terms of procedure. The phrase itself was coined in 2005 by Lott...when the Republicans controlled congress and were going to use it. I clearly remember the screams of partisanship from the Dems over that.

This particular ball is in your ill-informed or simply dishonest court. I'll ask you to leave my daughter out of it, especially when I doubt you can point to a single line of my text that indicates I'm teaching her to disrespect the president.

chickenlittle said...

Sarah Palin can always just effacebook any partisan message, at least for the high schoolers. It's the parent's job to do that for the younger ones.

Bottom line: wary but not worried.

wv: honestio (honest to blog it said that)

Joe said...

Keep Obama away from the children.

No, the message is keep politicians away from the children. This applies to assholes like Orin Hatch (R-Utah) as well.

AJ Lynch said...

Alpha:

You brought up the moon landing as a reason for a president to speak. Is there another moon landing this week? Or some other ginormous historic event occurring?

You are arguing like Montaigne who can not grasp the concept of an apples to apples comparison.

Freeman Hunt said...

Keep politicians away from the children.

Fixed.

Old Dad said...

"Dems need to get ruthless on the Republicans and just bury them and their crazy nihilism deep. Enough is enough."

Ah, the ever tolerant moonbat left. So you want to do a Kopechne on a few million of your fellow Americans? Teddy buried her deep, too. You might bite a few fingers off while you're at it.

chickenlittle said...

It's despicable stuff, but propaganda which Ann Althouse propagates.

Now that's just uckin' fugly Alphalib!

Pogo said...

"Should schoolchildren be made to listen to a President's speech and analyze it?"

I think schoolchildren should memorize it.

In fact, they should collect all of Obama's sayings and put them in book form, and distribute them, free.

It could be small and have a cute red cover.

John said...

Chips Ahoy at 11:10--

Bravo and a long, slow golf clap.

Original Mike said...

I will hold my fire until I see what he says, but I fully expect he will try his Jedi mind tricks on the young-uns.

Kensington said...

"I remember only a few years ago Republican hypocrites telling us not to criticize Bush because the nation was in crisis."

Oh, can we please see an end to this stale, hoary lie? Nobody of any consequence (I'm discounting the occasional blog commenter) ever told liberals they couldn't (or even shouldn't) criticize George W. Bush. At worst, some of us simply hoped they could try to be reasonable, coherent and non-deranged about it.

Far too often, of course, that still isn't possible.

Shanna said...

OK. Because... in general educators, teachers are amongst the dumbest people on earth.

OK, DBQ, I have to stop you there. Yes, there are teachers who are dumb as a box of hair, but don’t paint them all with the same cloth. Some perfectly intelligent people become teachers for a variety of reasons, including tradition (many, many of my family members are teachers) an actual love of teaching, a love of summers off....

I think to get to the crux of the problem you have to examine motives. I think lefties seem to be, for whatever reason, more interested in pushing their views on young minds (Bill Ayers and all that) but that doesn’t mean conservatives aren’t around. They must just not be as loud.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A speech by O to schoolkids doesn't strike me as the opening shot in some plot against America, or some dangerous precedent, or really anything of much significance. It's just a speech that the kids will mostly tune out and largely forget even before it's finished. Like a lot that goes on in schools these days.


Richard....it isn't the speech so much as the ongoing aftermath of indoctrination that the teachers are going to be conducting.

They now have offical permission from the DOE and "Dear Leader" to brainwash the children about Obama, his wonderful policies and how they can be good little soldiers and help the President. Brainwashed on why it is important to listen to and agree with the politicians.

It is a load of crap and propaganda as bad as anything instituted in Red China.

Scott M said...

@Shanna

“I think lefties seem to be, for whatever reason, more interested in pushing their views on young minds (Bill Ayers and all that)”

This goes all the way back to that wonderful experiment in democracy and liberty known as the French Revolution. Sure, their hearts were in the right place, deposing the monarchy for the good of the little guy, but the Terrors that followed were a direct result in the use of tyranny. As far as this layman’s memory goes, the chamber used for the post-revolution government was generally arranged with the revolutionaries on the left side and the leftover aristocracy on the right.

The point being that the revolutionaries are documented as wanting to get the children away from the influence of their parents. I remember one passage from Robespierre talking about taking children from their parents and housing them in boarding schools. He felt it was the only way for his ideal of society to overcome the ingrained and learned prejudices their parents had been raised on.

In the context of modern left and right, I contend that this is a fundamentally left-leaning idea. It involves reducing liberty of both the parents and the children while expanding the power of the state.

traditionalguy said...

Obama has gone back to his Pied Piper role and he is going for the minds of the children. "What me worry" is only the response of watchdogs that are afraid to bark.

Montagne Montaigne said...

traditionalidiot-- if Obama is the pied piper, can you explain what he is leading children to? kitchens to cook them in? I am fascinated by these fevered crank imaginings. Please indulge us.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

What I found most interesting about this whole thing was that apparently the administration went directly to building principals bypassing the duly appointed and legally responsible school boards.

Of course, I am sure no one sees anything wrong with that approach.

The other that strikes me is that Mr Obama is going to do joint session in close conjunction with the school lecture. Seems to be a stupid move, but what do I know.

Mark said...

Along with a lot of others here, I have no doubt Obama planned to discuss the importance of health care reform in talking to the kids (perhaps in the guise of the "importance of honesty in political debate", perhaps more baldly) but the whole idea of doing that is now so radioactive you could read by it.

So now he's committed to wasting his time, wasting the time of the students and teachers who are forced to set through the now-no-doubt-perfectly-harmlessly-platitudinous speech, and has distracted everyone from actually considering what he's banked his whole Presidency upon.

For the life of me, I can't see how this is anything other than a monumental political screw-up, both in strategy and in tactical execution.

Alex said...

Why is it so predictable that every single leftie who comes in here says that what Obama did was 100% A-OK? They have no decency, they are scum.

Alex said...

If anything we should send Rush Limbaugh to talk to the kids. Followed by Sean Hannity, Glen Beck and Laura Ingraham. Maybe Althouse too.

David said...

My daughter the second grade teacher (smarter than a box of hair) thinks it's a fine idea. I'm not so sure, but I think it's more likely to backfire on Obama than help him. Let the hundred flowers bloom, though, even the bad idea flowers. The kids will sort through it ok.

Pogo said...

"I am fascinated by these fevered crank imaginings. Please indulge us."

It's all Thomas Dewey-style Marxism, socializing the child for the collective.

Scott M said...

@Montagne

I’m going off topic here only because you never responded to my question in another thread. Since you just posted, I’m assuming you’re watching the thread. Explain your take on Ted Kennedy’s leading the charge for special election to replace a MA senator (as when Romney would have named Kerry’s replacement), but completely turned around and wanted the governor (now a Dem) to appoint his replacement.

It strikes me as a completely lack of principles and my second-biggest complaint with Mufasa’s legacy. Argue for the little guy while it suits you, but for God’s sake, don’t expect him to stick to that when it doesn’t. Hypocrisy run amok.

And please, don’t point to some conservative hypocrisy to excuse this farce. Bad behavior by someone else does not excuse one’s own.

Oligonicella said...

Montagne Montaigne --

"Why are teachers liberal in the main? Is it because conservatives are selfish and don't care to educate children, or is it because conservatives are too dumb to be teachers? discuss."

Uh, no. It's because of the selection process (starting at the colleges) discriminating against the conservative applicant.

For someone who thinks himself bright, you missed that one by a biased mile.

Martha said...

Let Obama speak to the joint session of Congress next Wednesday. And let Obama speak to the press and interested citizens via his televised press conferences. Obama even gives Saturday radio addresses to anyone who wants to listen. But the students in public schools are a captive audience and listening to the President should not be a required part of the curriculum. Obama's own kids will not have to listen to his address--private school students are exempt. Too many public school students are disadvantaged enough already by being in inadequate, underfunded, underperforming public schools hostage to the Teacher's Union.

Scott M said...

@Alphaliberal
@Montagne

…crickets…?

Come on, guys. Don’t let facts stand your way.

Kirk said...

I love my kids to much to allow them to hear anything coming from a man who has proven to be a "full steam a head" socialist. They are my responsibility, not the governments and definitely not this president.

Oligonicella said...

By the way, wouldn't this be a wonderful day to schedule a parental attendance day with the school?

wv: orestry - Orestry: the complete works of Aeschylus about Orestes set to opera.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ronald Reagan spoke to school children in 1998 about gun control and other Republican issues.

That was okay. After all, Reagan was a white Republican, not a black Democrat.

George Bush promoted his "Freedom Corps" to the kids.

That was okay. After all, bush was a white Republican, not a black Democrat.

What a fricken joke.

JAL said...

3) Regardless of your political leanings, the Office of the President should be respected.

Yeah -- but does it strike an off key with anyone else when one of the curriculum discussion directives starts off with "why is it important taht you should listen to the president..."

Somehow, the people on the president's payroll should not be the ones out there hawking how important it is to listen to the president first off.

I just went and tracked down the directives (sorry, that's what it reeks of).
K-6

7-12

I have read that some of this has been altered, but what it looks like to me is that students are going to be encourgaed by Obama to set goals, will pursue those goals (on whose time), will have discussions of those goals, and be accountable to the teachers and each other to reach those goals -- all because The. President. Of. The United. States. Barack. Obama. told them to in this "historic" (their description) speech.

This, fellow commenters, is clearly a cult of personality and it is utterly antithetical to American life and vision.

THAT's the problem.

As someone elsewhere noted, Obama said his kids were off limits. Well so are everyone else's children.

phomi = what my mouth is

AlphaLiberal said...

I meant to credit Steve Benen for pointing out the latest crazy Republican hypocrisy.

Ann Althouse really has no standards and no ability to filter out the bullshit she flings along from the right wing.

pinkmonkeybird said...

I'm sure the word "wee wee" will most likely be included in this presidential speech. But it remains to be seen if he'll expand upon that lexicon and bring the word "pee pee" into play.
If his Green Czar is recruited to participate, we may even hear "doo doo".

JAL said...

DBQ - My kids and I regularly found errors in text books ....

Montagne Montaigne said...

Scott M, I support health care reform, ergo I think everything Teddy Kennedy did in his life was awesome? That's ridiculous. I never advocated for Kennedy and didn't really even like him. I acknowledge he was a hell of a legislator for progressive causes, though.

I am not responsible for everything anyone left of dead center in American politics says or does just because I support progressive causes, or because I think what passes for conservative activism against Obama is a deluded, ridiculous charade led by talk show clowns who are getting rich off of white male rage, impotence and ignorance. Or because I have contempt for said criticisms.

Just like you are not responsible for everything Pat Buchanan or Glenn Beck says.

So what is your point?

AlphaLiberal said...

Republicans all over this page, the airwaves and the blogosphere are proving they do not respect election results that don't go their way.

Scott M said...

Montagne,

My point was to simply find out if you feel Kennedy's change in stance was hypocrisy or not. I wasn't calling anything else into the discussion.

I noticed, though, that you couldn't refrain from naming conservatives, by the way.

Just for the record, my irk with the government has zero to do with my skin color. I'll scream righteous male rage at advertisers all day long, but that's another thread, another segue.

So...was it hypocritical? How about anti-democracy? I'm not going anywhere with this. I just want an answer to those questions regarding the MA situation.

AlphaLiberal said...

Martha:

But the students in public schools are a captive audience and listening to the President should not be a required part of the curriculum. .

uh-huh. Do you say the same thing when Republican Presidents address school children?

You're being played.

Scott M said...

@Alpha

You have yet to respond to my challenge of your statements.

Per your most recent, I completely respect the election results. I even voted for President Obama in the primary. That doesn't mean I can't oppose him using every legal means at my disposal.

According to a very strident Hillary Clinton, we have the right to disagree with ANY administration. There's nothing more Americana than that.

Spunky said...

I understand what you're saying Ann, but teaching children to analyze what is being said by the President isn't as easy as it sounds and requires an understanding of the terms he may use. For example, he may talk about volunteering and "national service" which on the surface sounds altruistic and good. But does his definition for vision for volunteering and national service-learning mean what you think it does?

Consider for example the "service-learning" project of the Chicago Public Schools under the leadership of Arne Duncan. The students were encouraged to work with Operation Rainbow Push to mobilize voters for an election. Further, when the federal government through the Department of Ed. or the President encourages "volunteering" how is it implemented and what are the consequences for not "vounteering?" In many districts service-learning is tied to graduation.

So using Obama's speech as a "teachable moment' is a nice thought, but do most parents know enough about the difference in definitions used to be able to navigate the speech and accurately interpret it for their children? Are they aware that preparing children for the global economy means in part, benchmarking national standards internationally? When I talk to parents most are surprised and unaware that there is a push for naitonal standards let alone benchmarked internationally.

Conservatives are rightly outraged by the "public option" in health care reform but blissfully unaware of the coming "federal option" in education that will render largely states irrelevant in education policy and standards.

So while the speech itself may be a "teachable moment" for the kids, it should also be used by conservatives as a means to expose the federal take over of education. And the further removed the parent is from the equation the less influence they will have on what is taught to their children. As we all know, what is taught is what is thought.

Roger J. said...

Alpha: huh?
What in the world does opposition to health care reform have to do with respecting elections?

I have no problem with the results of the 2008 election. I do, however, have problems with the health care reform legislation. Tell me how that is not respecting the result of an election.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Freeman Hunt said...
... if any Repub has done this in the past, I think it's just as wrong.

AlphaLiberal said...
Republicans all over this page, the airwaves and the blogosphere are proving they do not respect election results that don't go their way.


And you are proving that you will push your hateful views of Republicans in the very face of evidence to the contrary.

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott M:

The so-called nuclear option has been around since the late 50's in terms of procedure. The phrase itself was coined in 2005 by Lott...when the Republicans controlled congress and were going to use it. I clearly remember the screams of partisanship from the Dems over that. .

The "nuclear option" is now described as using reconciliation for a simple majority on bills.

However, several years ago when the Republicans ran the Senate the "nuclear option" was to strip the minority of the power to filibuster to pass things on a simple majority.

And no matter how many names you call me, it doesn't change these facts.

Here, Benen nails it.

And, you're the one who brought your daughter into this. I simply pointed out that you are teaching your daughter to disrespect the President. Really, that has more to do with you than her.

Montagne Montaigne said...

The "right to disagree" does not include the right to have someone else call you an idiot for saying idiotic things.

Many of today's hysterical conservatives seem to miss this point. If you lie and fabricate, and someone (even Obama himself) calls you on it, that is not "censorship" or "repression."

All the poor dears with visions of ACORN jackboots stamping in their heads need to read "the Boy Who Cired Wolf" again. God help them if they ever encountered anything resembling real tyranny.

AlphaLiberal said...

Laura(whatever):

And you are proving that you will push your hateful views of Republicans in the very face of evidence to the contrary. .

You haven't provided any evidence to the contrary, however. You quoted someone here, who does tend to be more reasonable, but yet always winds up accusing Obama of some perfidy or another.

See my link above showing Reagan addressed students via CSPAN to indoctrinate them into Republican ideology for an example of evidence.

I expect it won't be long before that is on Youtube.

elHombre said...

...if Obama is the pied piper, can you explain what he is leading children to? (2:22pm)

He's leading them to the same destination he lead you to: The illusion that a charismatic, lightweight Chicago ward heeler can fix everything.

Do you say the same thing when Republican Presidents address school children? (3:31pm)

Here's Alpha, making stuff up again. When did a Repub Pres ever schedule an address to all school children with a follow up lesson plan asking how they can help him?

Scott M said...

@Alpha

Ah, but you're the one who cited this page in your list. Perhaps you should have left that out.

Point to you on the lexicon of nuclear, by the way.

On the other, I did indeed bring my daughter up because that's what this is about. At no point did I mention anything at all that would teach her to disrespect the President. If you read my text carefully, you will notice I contend that five-year-olds are too young to grasp any of this anyway.

Roger J. said...

Point of order, please on definitions:

Re nuclear option: wasnt that a threat by the republicans to end a filibuster by simple majority? I was not aware that reconciliation had ever been referred to as the nuclear option. In fact, I think it was the sainted Ronald Reagan who used it to get his tax cut package through in the 1980s

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott M:

You have yet to respond to my challenge of your statements. .

Just to clarify, my life does not center around comments on this whacky blog. I pop in during lunch and coffe breaks sometimes.

Now, I responded, I backed up what I said. I also encourage you to visit the Wikipedia page on "Nuclear Option" to learn more how this is a Republican effort to change Senate rules, not to actually use Senate rules, which is all that Dems are considering.

Roger J. said...

oops--never mind--just saw the link alpha provided.

Lionheart said...

Obama's goals are as simple as WWLD (What would Lenin do?) with modifications for technologies available and the fact he owns the largest wallet in history to prop up folks like the SEIU and ACORN. The teachers will teach Obamaism whether or not he speaks to the children. They are already in his pocket.

LL said...

Perhaps someone posted this but the teaching materials version you have a link to is the old version. They amended it and the new one is here:

http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/lessons/prek-6.pdf

AlphaLiberal said...

Roger J:

Yes, indeed, you are quite correct on "nuclear option."

Republicans are changing the definition to include using Senate rules, not changing Senate rules.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option

And, for the record, Republcians have used filibusters at record - really off the charts - levels so that now our dumbass press thinks the Senate has always required 60 votes for passage. False.

They are abusing the filibuster. If Senate Ds had more than five spines between them they would beat Rs to a bloody pulp with this fact.

Freeman Hunt said...

Alpha, if Reagan or Bush did it, they should not have been allowed to do it. No politician should have direct access to address all children in the nation simultaneously. That is encroaching statism, and it's only a matter of time before someone abuses that access.

Randy said...

Richard Fagin:

Once again, I find myself nodding in agreement with your comments. When all around you are engaged in an orgy of hyperbole and irrational fears predicated upon rabid partisanship, it is nice to find a voice of reason. Based on my reading of these threads for years, there is every reason to believe that almost all those opposing this presidential speech would be supporting it if it were 2007 and President of the United States were George W. Bush. At the same time, almost all those supporting this speech would be rabidly opposing it. (That said, there are a few, like Freeman Hunt, whose opposition is obviously based upon well-known and long-standing principles.)

Most of the rest have made it clear for quite some time that they are unwilling to accord the current occupant of the White House even minimal respect. They are largely the same people who went ballistic when others denigrated George W. Bush throughout his presidency. Those others, who once merrily belittled Bush, now regularly decry the treatment accorded Barack Obama here.

I imagine the speech will prove to be relatively generic, encouraging children to study hard, etc. But whatever Obama says, one thing is sure, the discontents here will find something to complain about. Loudly. They lamented the hate spewed by the left for eight long years while Bush was in office, but have poured out their own hate since before this man took office.

At times, I pity the children of both the rabid supporters and rabid detractors. I am reminded of my third grade year, and learning that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and died while everyone was eating in the cafeteria. Three girls in my class stood up and applauded.

Chase said...

And . . . . We're back.

WOW! When I left for lunch meetings this was a somewhat civil convo.

But now? Gotta start reading form where I left off - and there's lots of words and stuff!

All satire and kidding aside - I personally think it's great that any President of the United States wants to speak to our nation;s students, and I would hope that he would be given respect. As long as his speech isn't political but civic, that's great!

The attempt to provide additional classroom materials by the Department of Education itself is a bot scary, though - under any President. The motivation behind doing that is irrelevant - it could sincerely flow from good desires. But it sets a precedent that could become something much worse and besides, what is the point? For all of the screaming in America about letting individual schools and school districts determine their own curriculum why should the Department of Ed be involved in this in any way at all?


Speech, yes.
Curriculum initiated by the White House/Federal Government Administrative Branch Department of Education (haven't they got enough to do already?), no.

Roger J. said...

Freeman: If I read the links provided by my good friend Monty correctly in neither case did Bush or Reagan talk to all the school children in the entire nation simultaneously--and I think the transcript reflects both presidents took questions from the students.

Roger J. said...

Chase: I believe it's also against the law for the US Department of Education to dictate curriculum (standing by for the inevitable parsing that a single speech is not curriculum).

Alex said...

That the POTUS is trying to dictate classroom curricula is troubling. I thought we believed in individual communities decided what's best for themselves. But the lefties long ago stated they don't believe in that based on the slavery/jim-crow precedent. So if that's so, why not just blow up the states already and have them as administrative provinces like France?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Laura(whatever):

And you are proving that you will push your hateful views of Republicans in the very face of evidence to the contrary. .

You haven't provided any evidence to the contrary, however. You quoted someone here, who does tend to be more reasonable, but yet always winds up accusing Obama of some perfidy or another.


You just said "Republicans all over this page".

You want to think ill of your fellow Americans. You admit that Freeman is being reasonable here but you are waiting for her to accuse Obama as she "always" does. What do you get out of that?

... And you can call me "Laura". The "southernxyl" part is long and impenetrable, I know, but I put that on there b/c I'm not the only Laura on the blogosphere.

traditionalguy said...

Alex...Please don't give them any more ideas.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 244   Newer› Newest»