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Wednesday, September 2. 2009
I've been arguing with some of my conservative blogger friends the past two days that President Obama does have a sincere interest in improving education for our kids. After Labor Day, President Obama plans to deliver a national address to our school students about the importance of working hard to get a good education. We've good reasons to be defensive, as Obama has been so often over the top. But, I argued that we may be too defensive this time.
In any event, comparisons of Obama to Hitler or to creating a Hitler Youth are blatantly excessive, and unacceptable.
The Washington Times reports that in response to concerns expressed, President Obama's "speech is 'about the value of education and the importance of staying in school as part of his effort to dramatically cut the dropout rate. It's not a policy speech,' " according to a spokesman.
Further, "The Obama administration late Wednesday withdrew a recommendation that school children who watch a video featuring President Obama next week write about how they might "help the president" as part of a classroom assignment." Actually, the suggested syllabus was about how to help the President improve education. But, all are glad to see that portion excised, to be sure.
Another good suggestion would be for the text of the President's address to be released to parents well before the speech, so parents can help their children understand the issues and how to respond to teacher question sessions.
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'Splain at me how come it is they are being asked to pledge allegiance to Obama and his ideals?
Or did I get fooled somewhere?
The guy won't let the banks out of TARP, he nationalized most of the US auto industry, he schemes to knock private insurers out of the market and have the feds take over health care, his health care bill gives $10 BIL to the unions and in return they act as enforcers in Townhalls, videos contain images of celebrities vowing to be his "servant."
He's snatched the Census Bureau and placed it under the executive branch, ACORN will be helping to man the efforts, the new lengthy new census form is deeply intrusive and asks questions that are nobody's business. "The government has launched Census in Schools, an all-out campaign targeting superintendents, principals, teachers, students and, indirectly, parents, as schools open across the nation this month and next."
IGs who investigate felonies committed by Friends of Barach are summarily fired by the administration, contravening a law that the President himself co-authored. In the meantime, political friends such as the Black Panthers and Gov. Richardson are rewarded by having judicial proceedings terminated, but the CIA is investigated. Geithner and Rangel can cheat on taxes and disclosure with impunity, while mere citizens are prosecuted for smaller violations.
His administration created a snitch site to encourage citizens to report communications that disagree with the WH. The next step was to spam email boxes with political propaganda. The move to allow the President to take over the internet in times of crisis may actually be benign, but it's hard to give that authority to an administration with such thin skin and questionable judgment.
Our President is a deeply political and partisan control freak. He shows every indication of wanting to remake the US in his own image and likeness.
Now why precisely, wouldn't we be deeply skeptical of his move to take over school programming on September 8 and put together a classroom curriculum that asks students to write about how they can best help the President? Why wouldn't we expect it to be a deeply political move? Backtracking on the outline of suggested classroom activities doesn't make it any less creepy.
Obama has been strong on improving standards in education, even against the teachers unions' opposition.
Let's give him his chance to do something right. He hasn't been bad on Afghanistan. He's not 100% in wrong directions, even if his wrong-way % is very high.
I respect and accept the distinction you're making. Particularly after the brouhaha over the address, he's unlikely to do anything that isn't bland and benign, anyway.
However, given his predisposition to street-organizing tactics and his administration's willingness to use them in the WH, I do think that we need to be wary of him over-stepping his bounds. Perhaps it requires a vocal citizenry to teach him that he's supposed to serve us, not the other way around.
Besides, now that he's The Won, we can take some joy in our obligation to speak truth to power. ;)
Obladioblada is right on with his litany of events that make us wary of this President. When we called our schools at 8:00 this morning they did not even know what we were asking about. By 3:00 pm they had had a "big meeting" and basically determined that participation in the viewing of the Obamindoctrinaton/pep talk would be voluntary. The schools were swamped with calls of concern. Obviously the Won has created an atmosphere of mistrust in the country. Additionally, the Dept of Education left school administrators out of the loop while they decided what would be on the curriculum for the beginning of the school year. The sentiment we heard from the schools was that teachers just want to teach. They do not want to lead political discussions at the behest of a partisan politician. I think the Dems are seriously overstepping themselves here, and I suspect that this stunt will backfire on them ala the Wellstone affair. (Read Powerline posts on how lame this comes across to the typical high school student)
Though keeping our kids away from school that day may be an option, I am thinking of arming my kids with a copy of the Presidents Oath of Office, a copy of the Constitution, and instructions to ask the following question: Who has greater authority, the President or the Constitution?
Let the teacher lead a discussion on that topic.
I don't care who the president is - none have matched my ideals 100%. Bush was about as far from my conservative ideals as any previous Republican. Reagan possibly closest.
Of Democrats, post 1994 Clinton was probably closer to my ideals than Obama or Carter...mainly because he HAD to be. But Obama is MUCH further away than Carter was - at least Carter had the experience in business to make it clear for him to see the benefits of the market.
Obama lacks this essential quality - his "quality" is as a community organizer. Basically known in Soviet speak as an agitprop provider. Sure, he "organized"...but in reality he was all about promoting himself.
His ideals are GOOD - I truly believe this. But ideals in politics are just basic guidance. Achieving these goals is the key and that's what differentiates politicians. Obama has no interest in bipartisanship....which to me implies he is doctrinaire to a far greater degree than Bush ever was.
I think he REALLY DOES want to educate the kids legitimately and fairly. How he chooses to achieve this is questionable. If you look at New Jersey, where I'm from, you see Camden - one area where more money is spent per student than any other in the nation - and Camden is failing. Money doesn't educate or improve education. It's typically wasted in areas where it can do little good.
The money is better spent helping parents and families stay together and teaching parents!! Not that it's a good use of money - just a better use.
Point is, Obama is a firm believer that we're a wealthy nation (we are), that money solves all problems (it doesn't), and that we can take money from the wealthy, give it to the poor or needy and it will generate results (it may - but it will eliminate the wealth).
Alternatively, he believes he can BORROW the money and do all this - and the growth it "creates" will help eliminate the debt (it can't).
We are in a very desperate situation, economically, and the BEST thing to do is let the economy take a predetermined course downward and let it solve its problems as quickly as possible the natural way. The artificial attempts he is employing will put us in a very dangerous place in 3 years. His lack of economic experience, and his reliance on so called "experts" on this kind of thing (who are ignoring history and sticking to theory) will be his undoing.
I agree, also with ScottJ above.
We're fortunate to have such smart, articulate readers and commenters.
Also, do you remember how his ghost writer Bill Ayers used the money from the Annenberg Foundation to radicalize Chicago public schools?
For some reason I see this effort by President Obama to be sincere and without guile. If he is ever to cross the race, poverty, education barriers that exist in this country, this may be his chance. His audience are children and young people who haven't developed the cynicism of the rest of us. He can tell the kids, 'Hey, look, I'm black and I made it.... so can you.' Though, I hope he doesn't actually say that, it will be obvious and inspiring as he is a gracious speaker. He'll know parents will be watching, and I happen to appreciate his offer to have the kids write him suggestions to help figure out ways to improve education. By doing that, he's made the students part of the effort.
I refuse to cavil over this man's policies and slamdunk this effort because of those policies. They're not good, but I am happy to give him this opportunity to demonstrate his concern for young people. If he manages to inspire and change the lives of 10% of the students who listen to him, my hat is off to him.
Obama has a long history of attempting to radicalize the education system.
Further, his designs on Americore are in line with this attempt to indoctrinate our kids. (Indoctrination doesn't begin with "Our Dear Leader," it begins with small associations ("How can you help President Obama" rather than "How can you help your country?") and EVOLVES into "Our Dear Leader."
I have absolutely NO DOUBT that this is the camel's nose under the tent and is MEANT to be the camel's nose.
I would like to see specific examples of the "radicalization" of Chicago's schools. Really. Because several friends of mine are the product of Chicago schools and they are as Republican as you can get.
I'm sure quite a bit of "socialization" has taken place, but this is common across the country and the spectrum of teaching. I have had angry discussions with teachers to KEEP POLITICS OUT of the classroom. Many love to engage the indoctrination you speak of via means that are less noticeable than you've mentioned.
Interestingly, in my community, because the kids are educated well, they frequently slam the teachers right back. Our kids aren't stupid sheep, generally.
But I do agree that the evolution of moving from point A to point B is very clear - asking kids "what can you do to help President Obama" is not that far a stretch from Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you...", it sounds similar, and it continues to perpetuate the cult of personality that (at this moment) is on the verge of crumbling.
I do believe Obama is sincere in his desires and wishes. I disagree with his methods, generally. I do believe he's an egomaniac and riding a cult of personality - but he's a politician so to varying degrees all of them do this.
But it is the sincerity of his desires and wishes from which my opposition to him stems - not out of hatred, but out of genuine disagreement.
We cannot, as a country, move forward until we ALL agree on one thing - that we basically want the SAME THINGS for ourselves and our families, but we disagree on how to acquire them.
This is where my point of differentiation with the Right occurs - I am not a vehement HATER like so many on the Right (or the Left, to be fair). But I am vehement in my position that, as de Tocqueville states, democracy and socialism are about equality, but democracy is about equality of liberty while socialism is about equality of servitude.
I refuse to be anyone's servant, except if I choose to be - and that is what liberty entitles me to do. Obama views this differently. It's his view that servitude is more important than the right to choose what you want. In other words, I'd rather be free to choose which responsibilities I engage, while Obama would prefer to force me to engage responsibilities the state decrees are important.
Both can have beneficial outcomes. Mine has more beneficial outcomes - but Obama's can be sold more easily on the basis of equality and fairness.
In Rick's comment, were a liberal (not a left-wing nut) to write it, what would he change?
I think Rick is a libertarian, and a sane one - not extremist in any direction.
That's fine. But back to my question, how would a regular liberal change what Rick wrote?
Bruce is correct, I am a Libertarian.
I can answer your question - a liberal would change quite a bit.
First off, he wouldn't mention that he has any differentiation from his brothers on the Left. In fairness, I have some issues with the extreme Right. I think they are absurd in some of their stances and demands. I RESPECT their opinions, but they kill their message by putting forth messengers who garner little respect. The Left does the same thing (Michael Moore), but they LOVE their lefty loonies.
Secondly, a liberal would say that democracy is about more than just equality of liberty - it's about economic equality too, because you can't have equal liberty without equality of economic position. This is patently untrue, but it's an easy argument to make and it's quite seductive. People fall for it all the time. It's worth noting that Marx's "To each according to their needs, from each according to their abilities" is relatively the same as John Smith's "If you don't work, you don't eat." What's the difference? Marx is VIA POSITIVA whereas Smith is VIA NEGATIVA. If you want someone to DO something, the VIA NEGATIVA works. If you want someone to believe something, the VIA POSITIVA is the way to go. Marx has many more believers than Smith today. It's also easier to parse Marx's words into "to each according to his needs" and forget the rest.
Finally, a liberal would change the overall tone of the post to one which belittles the Right for being small minded, obstinate, and unread. The liberal attack is rarely one of fact and position, but one encompassing issues of personality disorder.
I don't consider Obama to have a personality disorder - we all have egos, some larger than others. His egomania happens to be far larger than the average politician. But it's not a disorder. I know Liberals who accuse me of having been misled by business groups PR. Kindly pointing out that they are victims of PR as much as I will not alter their view that I am the patsy.
I have long held that liberals are simply "lazy thinkers". They like easy, pat solutions to difficult and intractable problems. I've seen it in business daily - I work in NYC, after all. Short term thinking is always their first order of business. They never want to hear a rational discussion of a long term view, particularly one which they have no control over. Since nobody controls the market, they fear the market. Hence the current monetization of the debt in a terribly misguided assumption that creating money makes everyone wealthy (or at least mitigates money problems).
I think you're of the belief that a liberal may not have changed anything and agreed with me wholeheartedly. You'd be very, very wrong. I know enough to tell you that they are every bit (more so, actually) as stubborn as the extremist Right. Even some of the more moderate ones.
But I do stand my ground on the education in Chicago issue. I still haven't seen firm, clear examples of radicalization, and I've asked friends there for their view. None exist. I'm not a fan of Ayers or his impact, mind you - but I want real examples and facts before I pass a judgement of that nature.
Thank you, Rick. Very nice job. Your first comment struck me because I could see 'humans' making the same statements. I did not differentiate 'liberals' vs. 'conservatives' in your first comment. I just saw people unfettered by the current misery of our government. Right wing loons are full of hate, too.
To your second post, which is extremely thoughtful, I have to disagree right off the bat that you have generalized one-half of the people in this country into a single, malevolent group. One thing I do agree with on general principles, is the short-sightedness of the liberal mindset. They want equality for all, and that's just bullshit.... fatuous, feel-good words dripping off their tongues without a clue that no society, economic system can function without an underclass - Unless it exists with an extremely repressive social system. This seems to escape those liberals who are so broadly compassionate that they have no problem giving to the less deserving. That's the key as the conservative mindset is compassionate to those who are more deserving. ~~ Here is where I break rank and say that human nature, something Marx knew nothing about, trumps everything. It's one thing to demand parity and to strut and fret your plans for compassionate giving, but sooner or later every person will choke on it. And no one will choke harder or faster than someone brought up in the freedoms of our country. Our particular American DNA is freedom and choice, and it will win out.
Let's just hope we can find a leader whose goal is to take care of the citizenry in such a way that the goal of the citizenry is not to need care. Therein lies the best of human nature.
Thanks... I do not mean to dismiss any of your points, but I would still end up saying the same thing. I just cannot debate sweeping generalizations.
"...a liberal would say that democracy is about more than just equality of liberty - it's about economic equality too, because you can't have equal liberty without equality of economic position."
In other words, equality of results. Redistribution from the productive to the layabouts. Well, there you have the definition of communism. Happy?
Equality of opportunity is what MLK preached [and MLK was a *gasp* registered Republican! As was Caesar Chavez! Wow, and wow backwards!! The things they DON'T teach you in government schools].
Liberals are filled with hatred toward Conservatives for one central reason: Conservatives are in the way. See, Conservatives believe in the tried and true, established CONSTITUTIONAL mandate to LIMIT government as the proper way to go. Libs believe in transferring your wealth into their pockets, and to hell with the Constitution.
Libs always want to experiment with their failed social engineering projects on the rest of us, using our tax money to tax us more; complaining of Bush's deficit in order to jack 0bama's deficits sky-high; to indoctrinate our children in gov't schools; to create zero new jobs, but instead to shovel multi-$Billions into the UAW, so the old timey union members can live off the taxpayers until the whole Government Motors house of cards collapses; to completely take over and ruin the great U.S. medical system, in order to hand out free medical insurance to [mostly] illegals [citizens of a foreign country] who aren't insured; to use the Attorney General's office to go after their perceived political enemies, just like the Romans did toward their ignominious end; to take the Census away from the Constitutionally mandated authority of Congress -- by decree. And on, and on and on. Is there any doubt that 0bama has zero respect for the Constitution?
The major difference between Conservatives and Liberals is this: Conservatives don't want to kill the goose laying the golden eggs, and the Libs do. Libs want it all, right now, and their sights are set on the middle class. Because the middle class is where the money is.
0bama is the most monumental disaster this country has ever faced: an internal subversive agent for anti-American principles. Why else would his Congressional cronies pass 1,000+ page bills that nobody has read? I don't recall my Civics class discussing that state of affairs.
The unthinking folks who voted for 0bama, as their personal apology for slavery, are going to REALLY regret it. Starting with their utility bills, and progressing deeper into their pockets with NObamacare.
OK, on a lighter note: whatever happened to the actor Kal Penn? IIRC, he quit his lucrative job on "House", and set off to Washington DC, to become 0bama's Surgeon General! He was sure he had it in the bag. You know, since he was a big [sort of] Hollywood celebrity, and supported 0bama and all.
Hey, Mr Penn plays an actual doctor on TV! Why isn't he qualified for Surgeon General? heh
0bama's handlers aren't that stupid. But it makes you wonder why a guy would quit his job, and just assume that he was in line for SG. Hey, at least Penn's game plan was funny. Heck, it's hilarious!
"History tells us that the sensibly cautious - not paranoid - way to look at government is with the presumption that it's corrupt." - Anonymous.
With respect to BHO; be sceptical, be very skeptical.
Students, what do you think of The President's ideas?
What do your parents think of The President?
Do they say good things about him? Bad things?
What are some of the bad things they say?
Can you write them down?
Can you run a recorder?
Here, take this little black box home with you.
Now, its our secret - dont tell your parents.
Its just our little way of making things better...
Oh, wait, that is NEXT year's lesson plan.
Remember the days when we were supposed to inspect our homes (and report on) fire hazards? Safety hazards"?
Now it is political and sexual deviances.
What have we done?
"Ask not what your country can do for you...".
I've been observing this debate at several blogs and obviously there is all matter of opinion as to the ultimate value or lack thereof with respect to the intent of the administration performing this action.
There are numerous reasons, well and amply stated above, to harbor a certain distrust of Obama's motivations at attempting to connect with the youth of this country.
To my mind we would have to accept that Obama and/or his cohorts are diabolically evil were they attempting to indoctrinate our youth in the manner that some of the most extreme views I have read suspect. I don't think that is the case. His audience is much too hugely inclusive for that.
I think the problem lies in how ineptly this whole thing was put together. Obama's advisers' largest error was in making it all about Obama. The second largest error was in Obama agreeing to this tactic.
If they were making their appeal from the 'Office of the President', such as Kennedy did in my lead quotation, I believe there would be much less anguish as to the real intent here. But that was a tactical error, and as such doesn't necessarily devalue the good that might arise from such an effort by Obama. As Meta says above, if he only reaches 10% of those he is addressing, hell, I'll settle for 5%, then his speech will have been worth it.
I consider his speech to be a veiled agenda (read my blog post on this).
I'll argue against where saying he shouldn't be compared to Hitler. Historical facts clearly showed Hitler addressing children to come together and support education. Hitler did this in the same manner Obama is doing - to encroach the minds of children so that they in turn come to admire Obama, like him, and then decided a couple of years or less later to vote for him or someone else of his ilk.
But a lot of it is conjecture and hype; I'll agree to that. But it's safe to be consciously aware that Obama is a sneaky little turd. Never let your back be turned. It's best to be prepared for the worst against Liberals.
When I think we can't look anymore incapable of objective thought, I find I'm wrong. From Bruce's update link to "Bookworm Worm" comes this stupefyingly ignorant, handwringingly helpless cretinism. It is too embarrassing to be associated with such imbecilic halfwits:
About that Hitler reference…
I understand your position, but on the other hand, there’s also the feeling that “we’ve seen this before”. Think about the tyrants of relatively recent history…who else is there? Stalin? Pol Pot? Kim Jung Il? What do we know about them? Most of us don’t know enough about history to be familiar with those men, but we do know about Hitler. He’s in our verbal history – the stories we pass down.
When I lived in the midwest, there was an ordinary phenomenon very often when there was rain, and it was that the wind would change direction. The result was that the leaves on the trees would “turn over”. The back side of the leaves were a lighter color – sort of silvery. As a result, when the tree leaves “turned over”, it was apparent and clearly visible. When you saw the leaves “turn over”, it meant that rain was imminent. Strictly speaking, the leaves had nothing to do with the rain – but they were a clear indication that it was going to rain and you better get under cover or you were going to get wet.
I think the thing here is that Obama is hitting notes that harmonize with what went before…there’s a feeling that “we’ve seen this before…and the results were not good”. We don’t know how it will play out – we’re a different people from the Germans of that time and place – but it makes us nervous. If in fact this man has some of the same inclinations as Hitler – and we know he’s studied him and his methods – how do we deal with it? How do we stop him before the whole thing gets out of hand?
So…ok…he’s not Hitler…but at one time Hitler probably wasn’t Hitler either. We want to make sure there isn’t a repeat of history so it’s probably a good idea that we keep the possibility to the forefront."
Yes, Meta. That comment you quoted is imbecilic. This Hitler talk is really beyond words. As much as I distrust and actually, abhor Obama, I think many are reacting beyond the realm of reason.
I disagree. Using Hitler as the comparison is not a good idea, because people react emotionally and stop listening or thinking, but the fact is that a cult of personality and demogoguery are very real threats and should be taken seriously, especially when it comes to children.
I am with obladioblada and Scott J.
I also have no objection to the well articulated position offered by Rick. It would make sense with a different cast of characters. However, there is one factor that Rick misses in his assessment of the situation.
Obama is completely untrustworthy. His campaign was, his Presidency to date is and most likely his entire life is largely a lie. He will take the worthiness of education and twist it for his ideological and political purposes. That is who Obama is. I can find no reason to trust what he says or does no matter how idealistic or altruistic he wants to make it sound going in. Anyone who can't see that by now is deluding themselves.
It is naive to think anything else. A wolf in sheep's clothing comes to mind as does Trojan horse.
Rick does make good points, and you're right that they would fit different characters. The most important thing he said is that we will never move forward if we cannot establish a common bond - even if it is to disagree.
If Obama can create even a small affirmation of common humanity - that we all want the best for our children - then it will bring out the best in all of us, if only for a brief time to remind us that we are part of a common humanity. We need to calm down and take a breath and stop the hate and divisiveness that is creating this terrible schism in our great country. I know that kind of talk is idealistic as hell, but we can't go on like this losing our grounding and firing off as if we have no faith in ourselves.
That's the key here. Faith in ourselves. Obama cannot take that, and if events are any indicator of the next few years, he'll have no chance to throttle back the tide that is moving against him. We've lost our ability to treat each other in the moral fashion of binding groups together and supporting institutions and living in a sanctified, noble way. Part of that binding way is teaching our own children, and in doing that, we need to teach them to respect our president. They're your kids - teach them what you admire about him and what you don't admire about him. But for crying out loud, what do you teach your kid by keeping him home from school? You damn him to disregard the wide view that will some day give him wisdom. You teach him that narrow-mindedness is acceptable.
Why, why do we accept, believe, that we have no control over how our own children perceive the world? We have lost it to cynicism and our self-perceived helplessness. Don't stand for it. Use it to teach your child that the best place to be a radical is at the center, and he will think.
I applaud President Obama for his efforts on this. He knows half the country is against him. Do you honestly think he's going to push an agenda that one side will despise?
You have several very important things here.
First, the need to "establish a common bond - even if it is to disagree." I perfectly willing to do that. Do you believe that Obama and company are willing to show the respect inherent in this position? Forgive my cynicism, but I am skeptical.
Second, there is "faith in ourselves." I completely agree with you. I hope I am teaching my kids to think and have reasons for the views they hold. I teach them to respect the office of the President even when you vehmently disagree with the person and policies of the President. Isolation is not an option. To succeed, one must be willing to engage and accept the outcome of that engagement.
Third, "[d]o you honestly think he's going to push an agenda that one side will despise?" Yes. He is doing so with economic policy, tax policy, health care policy, energy (cap n' trade) policy. I think he is an ideologue.
Do I honestly think he'll push an agenda that he knows half the country will despise? Well, yes, I do, don't you? What else has he been doing? I don't know that he's capable of acknowledging that half the country despises much of what he holds dear. I suspect he attributes the problem to their fear or ignorance, not to the failure of his own policies. And I worry that he'll remain convinced that the best thing will be to force us to accept what he knows is best for us, even if that requires slight of hand, in the service of a higher good.
Barrett and Texan -
Come on. This is a discussion about President Obama addressing kids K -6. Good grief, stop and think. He is not going to talk about his agenda: He is going to talk about education to little kids!
Even if he were stupid enough to detail his political agenda in CLASSROOMS, his handlers would tell him that his ratings are in the tank and 'Hello, Ground Control?'
We sound like some of the idiot liberals with this kind of spew.
"Come on. This is a discussion about President Obama addressing kids K -6. Good grief, stop and think. He is not going to talk about his agenda: He is going to talk about education to little kids!"
Actually, he's addressing kids k-12.
I missed that he's untrustworthy?
I think you misread me. I consider ALL politicians untrustworthy. How is Obama addressing the kids any different from Bush addressing them? Aside from Obama's "I, Me, Mine" approach to speaking and all things political, there is little separating them in this regard.
I hardly think recognizing trustworthiness is the basis of good reasoning. I recognize that Microsoft and Dell are untrustworthy in their advertising (as do many people), but we still use them quite a bit on a daily basis, don't we?
If their products work and provide us a value, the lack of trustworthiness in their ads is of little interest to me. In the end, they have to provide a useful product of SOME KIND and in this regard they are sincere in their efforts.
Obama is the same. I just don't happen to agree with or use his product. But he's sincere in it. I can respect that.
As I pointed out - you have to realize that we all want the same basic things in life (money, health, safety, home, etc.). Even Obama wants that. How we choose to achieve it is what creates differentiation in the parties. One would prefer that we give people freedom to make many choices and succeed and fail. The other would prefer that the government oversee many of these choices, limit failures, and equivilize successes.
I prefer the freedom idea - it's logical and much more productive. People tend to forget that governments were first formed by groups of people seeking to form a bond of community, so they established basic Kleptocracies to make the governments operate. Government is, essentially, a Kleptocracy. The question is - am I willing to let the government take SOME of my productive capacity to provide certain things I cannot do on my own? Yes, I am - when it comes to defense, or justice, or law enforcement.
But when it comes to education, business, or infrastructure, I'd prefer they butt out (yes, infrastructure has only recently become part of the governmental umbrella - lighthouses were once PRIVATE businesses).
Someone else here suggested that Obama wouldn't be foolish enough to push an agenda that 1/2 the nation wouldn't support. That person is wrong. He's done that many times already.
Obama IS foolish in many ways. Like so many of our youth today, he believes in "majority rule". What he's forgotten is our nation was based on protecting the minority from tyranny of the majority. But that doesn't make him insincere. It just makes him foolish. But I consider most politicians foolish - so that's hardly a detriment to his profession.
I remember listening to an Obama speech on YouTube, a speech from 2001 or so. He was discussing that the Constitution spent much of its time telling government what it COULDN'T do. He felt it was time to alter this arrangement so that government knew what it COULD DO. I consider that absurd. The Constitution was designed to LIMIT government. If his education told him it was an enabling document for government - he was poorly educated....or at least missed that class.
Fact is, it is designed to keep government from doing the many things he wants to do - and it's time for us to being reminding him that regardless of how HE views the Constitution - it is not there for him to define it the way he wants.
Your points all well taken and as one who has a libertarian view of government I share your views. I too regard mostly all politicians as untrustworthy.
Obama has taken this to a new level on the national stage in part because, as you point out, he would like to re-write the Constitution. He would undo all that made America great. His ulterior motives are the worst I've seen in a President. If it was only as easy as respectful disagreement.
For now, that's what it HAS to be - respectful disagreement. Until the people see what he's really intending (and while we can see it - they clearly cannot), we have to remain the "loyal opposition". That is, loyal to the Constitution NOT the man.
But we also have to be respectful of his place and position. This doesn't mean kowtowing to his every whim - just that every time a block is thrown at him, it has to be fully justified and substantiated. Grassley's replies recently, though diametrically opposed to his original position, are an example of this. HE SEES that the people are getting fed up with Obama's whims.
But he's doing it in a factual way. Obama is painting him as a problem - but Grassley is honest. His constituents won't stand for it. This is where Obama will fail massively - he doesn't get that it isn't about him....it's about the country. While he is sincere in his views and honestly wants what is best - he views HIS way as the only way.
I find it interesting that I continue to read a blog that asserts that something that looks like a colorized version of a 1937 NewsReel is not about Hitler Youth.
I'm going to have to put a big think on that.
But the everlasting good news is that a thing is what it is, not what you call it.
[And it is really annoying to come back here from the the URL in a "subscribe to this entry" email and be told I can't reply because I don't have a session hash. What ever that is.]
"I'm going to have to put a big think on that."
You're not capable.
Unnecessary rejoinder, IMHO
Civil discussion, please.
Sorry, Bruce. Sheldon proved he was incapable by stating it right up front:
"I find it interesting that I continue to read a blog that asserts that something that looks like a colorized version of a 1937 NewsReel is not about Hitler Youth."
He finds it interesting that he 'continues' to read a blog..... Clearly if he can't help himself from reading said blog, he does not have the capability of exercising personal choice.
Maybe we are taking it a little too seriously. I like Mark Steyn's suggestion that kids respond in a practical way to the President's request that they tell him what they can do to help advance his agenda.
"I won't tell people about any of the glaring deficiencies in your healthcare proposal, or the misstatements of fact you use to support it."
"I won't investigate or report the background of any of the czars you appoint in an attempt to escape Senate confirmation scrutiny."
"I'll work harder on making the constant assumption that squeezing the private sector out with an expanding public sector is the answer to all the ills of society."
Then we'll have the comfort of knowing that the kids will be training themselves for lucrative careers in the mainstream media, if it's still in business by the time they graduate.
Larry ... I have no idea what a "session hash" is either. being only semi-literate in computerese. But I've figured out a way around it. When you get that response from the Powers That Be on your comment, highlight the comment you have made, go to your edit function, and click on copy. Then, diminish maggies so it sits at the bottom menu bar, go off the internet, bring up a blank page and go to edit again and press print. Highlight that. Then go back online to maggies, get a blank Add Comment form, go to Edit menu, and then press *paste*. I have no idea why this works, but I think it has something to do with the length of time your comment took you to make. Dr. Merc probably knows. I'm just an idio-savant after all.
I have Windows XP professional as my software, so maybe that's why it works for me. If you've got a Mac, I can't help you ....
I figured that out--in fact I don't even bother to compose the reply until I have done all the hoop-jumping.
But it seems silly to me to have to drive over to the lake, walk half-way around, kick a trash can, hitch a ride back, etc etc etc to get another beer when the beer is is right there in the refrigerator an arms length away.
And while I don't know precisely what "session ID" means , I can guess that it is something that is being mis-handled by bad programming.
I not only have played "programmer" in several different media, I had the word as part of my title once upon a time.
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge which Obama was chair of steered millions of dollars towards left wing groups, come of which controlled by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn. Those monies were doled out to Chicago schools -- but with strings. Those strings were that the schools had to "partner up" with radical organizations (Such as ACORN and Developing Communities Project). These organizations, like Ayers, believed that "through education is revolution."
Obama HAD to be aware of the PURPOSE of the funds just as he HAD to be aware of just what those groups (and Ayers/Dorn) stood for. (He TAUGHT some ACORN classes and REPRESENTED them, for cripe's sake.)
Certainly, his real-life (and virtual) mentors such as Alinsky & Frank Marshall Davis believed in the value of "education" to "indoctrinate."
Obama pledged to have a "civilian army" as powerful as the military. He pledged to make federal funds to school districts conditional on school children being forced to undergo 50 hours of "community service" per year. What community service? In service to whom? What would they be taught? He advocates "national service" for EVERYONE. What service? What would they do? What would they be taught while they do it?
Why did he not support the uprising in Iran? Why is he acting against the legitimate leader of Honduras in favor of a marxist attempting to become "leader for life?"
Why is he packing his circle of advisers with communists and radical leftists? Are we to believe that he isn't listening to those he appointed or that he doesn't share their views?
He is using the NEA to promote his cult of personality. This is merely state supported propaganda.
He has TOLD us on more than one occasion that he BELIEVES in the principle of "redistribution of the wealth."
He has TOLD us that he doesn't believe that the U.S. Constitution SHOULD deal with questions of "redistribution of the wealth." Now that he gets to nominate, are we to believe that he wouldn't appoint Justices who think likewise?
He is using the classrooms to promote his cult of personality.
Why isn't the VP's portrait on the walls of Federal Buildings as the VP has always been? Just Obama.
What's up with his personal seal?
What's up with the CONSTANT personal appearances, "press conferences," addresses, town halls, talk show appearances....heck, he's even doing commercials for George Lopez's show. You can't turn on the t.v. without seeing his face, hearing his voice, seeing his pepsi-like icon.
You don't have to believe that Obama is "evil" or has "evil intent" to believe that what he is doing is CALCULATED to achieve aims which I would consider to be "evil" or, at the very least, contrary to the interests of a free people.
It is BECAUSE I believe him to be a person of "firm conviction" that I FEAR him. I believe him to be a "true believer." However, his "true belief" seems to run counter to the "true beliefs" of freedom and democracy loving citizens.
So, yes. I think that this UNPRECEDENTED address to school children is CALCULATED to enhance his "cult of personality" and that his "cult of personality" is the vehicle through which he has TRIED and continues to try to implement a RADICAL (his word is "transformative") social agenda.
So, sue me. I didn't trust Bush's Bail Out or his Patriot Act either.
do you have specific examples of how the "radicalization" of Chicago schools incorporated ACORN and other leftist organizations?
I have spoken to people there about this and they laugh about how it's all perceived - and they aren't liberal.
I will say this about education today - my sons have to do community service. I'm all for community service, if it's voluntary. I don't like having it forced. That's slavery.
If they get a credit, or some kind of uptick on college recommendation, or some such thing, then OK. But to make it mandatory is simply wrong.
I'd also like to see if working for an organization that is anti-abortion (helping kids who are going to be parents) is considered OK as community service. Interestingly, the last time I checked, it was NOT because the group was considered "religious". I think that's a BS cop out.
THAT kind of thing IS radical - but Obama was nowhere near my side of the country - that's just good old fashioned New Jersey BS.
Rick: It's difficult to MEASURE the effect of the CAC's tying together of its funds to "partnering" with schools, just as it's difficult to MEASURE the degree of indoctrination which already goes on in our schools. (If you ever get a chance, compare the treatment WWI and WWII get in today's textbooks to that which it received even 20 years ago. Or, in general, just compare what is taught as "history" today compared to that which was taught as "history" 20 years ago. What is given prominence and what is downplayed -- what is highlighted and what is omitted.)
But, the simple EXPOSURE of the administrations and teachers to the radical ideas of Ayers (surely you're not suggesting that he isn't radical -- or that the foundation he founded didn't share his agenda?) was INTENDED to have SOME effect. Did it? Who knows? But, here's the best explanation of it I've found: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122212856075765367.html?mod=todays_us_opinion
"... just compare what is taught as "history" today compared to that which was taught as "history" 20 years ago."
No kidding. There are 20 more years of history to cram into those textbooks than there was 20 years ago, and the same 180 days to teach it as there was 20 years ago.
St. Alban's in DC is a private high school and considered one of the best. Each student must do one semester of community service. Graduates are not considered well rounded or mature until they have given to the community. In the high school where I taught, the JrROTC cadets did so much community service that organizations were asking for their help. The cadets were so respectful and terrific that the rest of our school adopted several voluntary community service opportunities and so many kids showed up for each event that they'd call in the cadets to help organize. We also had Christmas events where we asked the kids to donate if they wanted. One year, we had so much stuff we had to use the gym to store it. Food drives were the same.
You have never seen grace unless you've watched teenagers helping out a poor family or a pile of little kids pick out presents or clothes. It is too humbling to write about... as I try. I can't.
Community service is about giving of yourself. It isn't about standing around an abortion clinic.
A few days ago a Marine confronted his Congressman and let him have it. I believe one of the sentences he used was "stay away from my kids"
Now we have a cleverly disguised Marxist as President who wants to talk to our children.
Nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
This will have about as much affect on kids, as Nancy Reagan's Just say no to drugs. Nada, zip, zero.
Rome is burning and this guy wants to talk with kids.
How about we have a discussion on how are we going to get GM back.
How are we going to stop killing ourselves with debt.
How about bringing fraud charges against Goldman and JP Morgan.
How about we talk about all the Czars this nice fellow has appointed.
Obladioblada, Barrett and Huey are right.
Meta: off to the woodshed for a good paddling. How many times did I tell you crack is bad.
Luther: ten lashes with a wet noodle.
Rick: twenty lashes with a wet noodle.
Bruce: great post, you still get thirty lashes, because I'm a Boston guy, and Boston guys are tougher and smarter than Brooklyn guys.
I am the Chairman of The Board, and this discussion is closed!!
The Marine was right last week and is still right today!!!
Hahaha... well said, Jappy my friend. But could I exchange those noodles for the lashes of some stiletto heeled beauty? I'll promise to repent.
Luther, I'll let you take my wife. Her beauty is debatable,but the wacky wench will definitely leave puncture marks.
I have a few.
Anyone see a connection with the Marine's comment, and Obama's play for the kids?
A talk? where's the beer? That conversation went well. I don't trust this guy.
I reference #5.1 and echo your comment regarding "Maggie's Farmers". A most enjoyable read! Coming from 'north o' the 49th' I can only learn by: 1/ reading such informed comments and
2/ not not hitting the "submit' button!
The Cato Institute, a public-policy research foundation, issued a press release entitled "Hey Obama, Leave Those Kids Alone," criticizing the "troubling buzzwords" in the lesson plans:
"It's one thing for a president to encourage all kids to work hard and stay in school – that's a reasonable use of the bully pulpit. It's another thing entirely, however, to have the U.S. Department of Education send detailed instructions to public schools nationwide on how to glorify the president and the presidency, and push them to drive social change."
I couldn't agree more with CATO's statement. The US Department of Education should be ashamed of themselves because this mindspeak drivel coming from Obama is precisely that - a decisive method to get into the minds of our children.
KEEP OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS, Obama. You have absolutely no business being there and most of those children's parents do not want you in there.
"... to have the U.S. Department of Education send detailed instructions to public schools nationwide on how to glorify the president and the presidency, and push them to drive social change."
That is not in the plans sent around to the schools. It is pure propaganda what you read. What I read was reasonable and expected. Not one word was devoted to social change or to helping the president. It was a much needed lesson in civics.
CIVICS ? So now this is all about civics, well I guess he could make it a discussion about civics, if he talks about the Constitution and responsible government.
Maybe you could enlighten us by sharing with us what the D.O.E sent out. Then we can decide if it's Obamaganda or not.
This is nothing more than a man with an ego that is out of control, with the biggest appetite for power that I have ever seen.
Don't make me come down there and paddle you myself.
Better yet, I challenge you to a race. We'll see how fast you are. You big toughie!!
"Maybe you could enlighten us by sharing with us what the D.O.E sent out. Then we can decide if it's Obamaganda or not."
If I could remember where I read the material the WH sent out to the schools/teachers, I'd tell you, but I was all over the web last evening and can't remember. I know there were several 'updates' indicating change from the original draft, and the one I read (k-6) was just fine. It was a good tutorial for any kid.
God, I feel like no man is an island except me. That's okay. I'm lovingly tending my ignorant neuroses. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
(I'd beat your pants off, you know. I'm so damn fast it's amazing. And all I want to do is read books. :)
Check out Michelle Malkin...I think that is where I saw it earlier today (yesterday's post I believe).
Bruce, Rick, Hugh et al,
Please visit "Uncle Theo's" site, scroll to the 2nd post (YouTube) after Felix the Cat and listen to the video.
I'd appreciate your thoughts. To me, personally, this is a little creepy.
I await your comments.
Should have pointed it's still listed under Anglosphere..."Last of a Few (Theo)"...sidebar on the left.
Sorry, Garry, but the video's sound was inaudibly garbled.
And, the graphics of the "scare" variety unnecessary if the video itself made its point.
BTW, last night my 9-year old son and I watched The Jackie Robinson Story together (there's a colorized version of this classic available). I grew in up in Brooklyn worshipping Robinson as a ballplayer and a gentleman. Watch it, especially the ending words from Branch Rickey. I teared up. Inclusion is America.
I don't know which Olympics it was, but I was watching the Opening Ceremonies when just as the sun set, Jesse Owens ran into the arena carrying the torch. He ran up stories of steps, turned around, held up his arms with the torch and opened the Olympics. The camera view showed him outlined by the sky and the flames..... his tall, slender, much older figure.... and I just wept. I have a big lump in my throat just thinking about it. What an incredibly moving moment.
My memory says you're both in error:
It was Rafaer Johnson who went up the stairs at the 1980 Olympics to light the torch.
In 2009 Jesse Owens, long dead, was honored at the World Track meet at the site of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
What's this "we" thingy...I was only commenting on the year! No mistaken memory here.
You must have mistaken me for "jappy the paddler" !!
The 'we' thing is I wasn't at the 1939 Olympics where Jesse Owens did not carry the torch. And Bruce is right - Jesse never carried the torch into the arena at another Olympic Games... as an old man torched by the twilight of my hazy memory.
My mind is fried. I swear I thought it was he, and I have no idea who Johnson is. Oh well, Mr. Johnson, I cried for you with the same sentiments.
It was 1936 Olympics in Berlin where Owens won medals.
Rafer Johnson was the 1960 decathalon champ at the Rome Olympics. Johnson won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States in 1960, breaking that award's color barrier.
Personal note 1: My elementary school sweetheart's father was killed in the Korean War, her mother later remarrying Tex Maule, an editor at Sports Illustrated, who took her to the 1960 Olympics. My heart was broken, why not me, as I still had the dream of running in the Olympics, being my neighborhood's fastest sprinter.
You have no idea how my mind is shattered about Jesse Owens. It's okay because the scene I described matters as deeply, perhaps, as if Jesse did it. It was just such a powerful, chilling sight to see. I have goosebumps right now thinking about it.
So, you're a runner? Me, too. But I never did anything with the ability. I could just fly. I remember racing my son when he was 15, and we tied. What a comedown for him! Funny how we are blessed with attributes of genetics we never use. I wish you could have run in the Olympics, too.
The video "More Obama indoctrination going on in the schools" has poor quality audio but the lyrics and intent, of the exercise, were very clear. Agree on the graphics..should have been left on the cutting room floor.
As for Mr. Robinson...I watched the movie a number of years ago. Very moving, as you suggest. He played minor ball with the Montreal Royals (KC farm team) in 1946. "Heritage Minute" ran a series of vignettes (60 secs) played on the tube (up here) highlighting history to be reflected upon.
It describes the hush that fell over the park (in then, WASPish Montreal) as Jackie stepped onto the field. Very quiet 'til Jackie 'parked that tater' in the outfield bleachers and the uproar began!
To be remembered.