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Obama's speech to students Kindergarten through 12





Starrfoxx
President Barrack Obama has given a speech to American students around the world today. Teachers were given special "packets" to go with this speech in order to help them explain everything that the President said. I have a link of the text of that speech below that I found when going through MSN.com and Bing. It's a long speech that is supposed to be 18 minutes long. I imagine that the little children were probably bored most of the way through it. I couldn't get myself to read it completely, but I did read through a good portion of it to get the jist of what was really being said.

It's not a bad speech, really. I felt it was a probably overdone and really long, but it generally says to stay in school and do your best. The link to the transcript is below.

http://www.mahalo.com/obama-school-speech-text
jmi256
Starrfoxx wrote:
President Barrack Obama has given a speech to American students around the world today. Teachers were given special "packets" to go with this speech in order to help them explain everything that the President said. I have a link of the text of that speech below that I found when going through MSN.com and Bing. It's a long speech that is supposed to be 18 minutes long. I imagine that the little children were probably bored most of the way through it. I couldn't get myself to read it completely, but I did read through a good portion of it to get the jist of what was really being said.

It's not a bad speech, really. I felt it was a probably overdone and really long, but it generally says to stay in school and do your best. The link to the transcript is below.

http://www.mahalo.com/obama-school-speech-text


I don't have a problem with a president addressing school children regardless of his party, but I do think parents and school districts should have the option of not forcing their children to participate if they choose.

But I do think this was actually a huge strategic mistake coming on the heels of Obama's government-run healthcare debacle. He would have been smart to wait a little while. As Americans turned out to let their elected officials know how they feel about the government-run scheme, they are constantly called names, physically attacked and ridiculed by left-wing organizations and the White House itself. What the Left has failed to realize, however, is that the very people they are attacking for voicing their views are also parents, grandparents, neighbors, etc. of the very children Obama now wants to target. And with this speech coming right as Obama is trying to drum up what support he can for his scheme, it's easy to see how people would be weary of him trying to use the children to his advantage. In the lesson plan that was initially distributed, he asked children to write about what "they could do to help him." Not help the country, or their community, or their school, or even themselves. About helping him. Understandably this would alarm most parents and school districts.

But it really comes down to trust. Obama has decided to surround himself with criminals, thugs, cheats, conspiracy theorists and people who are generally disrespectful toward the broad US public, and people are beginning to distrust him. With that in mind, why would parents want to provide access to their children to someone they distrust? You can argue that past presidents have spoken to children, and like I said I don’t have a problem with a president making a speech at all. I just think that parents have the right to protect their children from people they distrust. If GWB was making a speech to children and there were parents to distrusted him and didn’t want their children to participate, they should be given the same option.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
But it really comes down to trust. Obama has decided to surround himself with criminals, thugs, cheats, conspiracy theorists and people who are generally disrespectful toward the broad US public, and people are beginning to distrust him.
Well, I presume you are referring to the 'preacher'? Not a particularly productive line of attack because exactly the same charge can be laid at the door of every president since Nixon (and I only stop there because I don't remember beyond that and I can't be bothered to check - I'm pretty sure the same accusation could be levelled back to the 1st President if anyone has time to research it).

I read the speech. It was exactly the sort of speech that a good headteacher might give at the start of a new academic year. There was nothing party-political or even particularly controversial in it.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But it really comes down to trust. Obama has decided to surround himself with criminals, thugs, cheats, conspiracy theorists and people who are generally disrespectful toward the broad US public, and people are beginning to distrust him.

Well, I presume you are referring to the 'preacher'? Not a particularly productive line of attack because exactly the same charge can be laid at the door of every president since Nixon (and I only stop there because I don't remember beyond that and I can't be bothered to check - I'm pretty sure the same accusation could be levelled back to the 1st President if anyone has time to research it).

I read the speech. It was exactly the sort of speech that a good headteacher might give at the start of a new academic year. There was nothing party-political or even particularly controversial in it.


I'm not sure what "preacher" you're talking about. And I'm not talking about the content of the speech, but rather the character of the person delivering it. Like I said, if there would be another speaker to whom parents did not want to provide access to their children, they should be allowed to opt out as well.
Bikerman
The preacher would be Jeremiah Wright - the source of many allegations and stories in the campaign.
I presumed you were referring to him when you refer to 'cheats, criminals, thugs and conspiracy theorists'. If you were not referring to him, then who were you referring to?
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
The preacher would be Jeremiah Wright - the source of many allegations and stories in the campaign.
I presumed you were referring to him when you refer to 'cheats, criminals, thugs and conspiracy theorists'. If you were not referring to him, then who were you referring to?


Oh, sorry. I was referring to Van Jones, Obama's handpicked "Green Jobs Czar." I don't want to hijack this thread with a discussion about this nut job, but basically he was an advocate for the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was executed by the US government. Here's an excerpt of a story from before resigned. The fact that Obama hand selected this guy speaks volumes. But to bring it back on topic, why would parents want a person who chooses to surround himself with people who advocate such positions to have access to their children?

Quote:

White House stands by 'truther' Van Jones

The White House would not say whether the White House's green-jobs czar, who has been linked to Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists, continues to enjoy the confidence of the president, but an official said he is still a part of the administration.

Van Jones, the president's special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), has come under fire this week for using an obscenity to describe Republicans and for signing a petition to get Congress to investigate whether the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were an inside government job.


Source = http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/57337-white-house-stands-by-truther-jones
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
But to bring it back on topic, why would parents want a person who chooses to surround himself with people who advocate such positions to have access to their children?
Since when does one person 'surround' anyone?
I have several friends and acquaintances who would be regarded as 'pretty strange' by many people. Does that disqualify me from access to children? No of course it doesn't. I am a qualified teacher and have, like all teachers here in the UK, had a criminal background record check. I think you can assume that Obama has had a bit more than that.
As far as I know it is not yet an offence to have eccentric friends, and I dread the day it should become so.

Anyone in Obama's position is bound to know, and even like, people who could cause him great political embarrassment. Some very great people have had wacky theories. Fred Hoyle is a scientist I admired, but don't ask me about his theories on alien civilisations, because I regard them as loony. Did that make him a bad scientist? Nope - his contribution to 20th century physics was very large indeed.

As I said earlier, this whole line of attack is rather silly - exactly the same accusations can be levelled at any President you care to name. Go on...there is a challenge...name a US President who has not 'been involved' with at least one person who would be regarded as 'nuts' by the majority..I betcha can't! Should we look at Bush's 'associates' (both Bushes, that is).

PS - I had to amend this posting because for some inexplicable reason I typed 'Edwin Hubble' when I mean 'Fred Hoyle'. This is, perhaps, because I have just been writing a piece on Hubble and he 'stuck' in my muscle-memory. Anybody reading my first posting should discount that reference. Hubble, to the best of my knowledge, had no 'loony' alien theories.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But to bring it back on topic, why would parents want a person who chooses to surround himself with people who advocate such positions to have access to their children?
Since when does one person 'surround' anyone?


I didn't say it was only because of this one person, but if you read above I said "But it really comes down to trust. Obama has decided to surround himself with criminals, thugs, cheats, conspiracy theorists and people who are generally disrespectful toward the broad US public, and people are beginning to distrust him. With that in mind, why would parents want to provide access to their children to someone they distrust? " You chose to single out this one instance. It’s funny though that when the topic of conspiracy theorists who Obama surrounds himself with comes up, different names pop up.


Bikerman wrote:
I have several friends and acquaintances who would be regarded as 'pretty strange' by many people. Does that disqualify me from access to children? No of course it doesn't.

Again, read my post above. I was saying that parents should have the right to protect their children from people who they do not trust. I don't know or care what qualifies your friends and acquaintances as “pretty strange,” but if you headed an organization and staffed it with people who commit crimes, perpetrate or justify physical attacks on citizens (including many who are parents and grandparents), ridicule citizens for exercising their rights and generally attack the country/way of life the parents believe in, those parents should have every right to limit your access to their children.


Bikerman wrote:
Anyone in Obama's position is bound to know, and even like, people who could cause him great political embarrassment. Some very great people have had wacky theories. Fred Hoyle is a scientist I admire, but don't ask me about his theories on alien civilisations, because I regard them as loony. Did that make him a bad scientist? Nope - his contribution to 20th century science was very large indeed.

So what? Not sure I see what dots you’re trying to connect. If Obama was some first-rate expert on XYZ, and parents felt the benefits of having him speak to their children outweighed their objections, then so be it.


Bikerman wrote:
As I said earlier, this whole line of attack is rather silly - exactly the same accusations can be levelled at any President you care to name. Go on...there is a challenge...name a US President who has not 'been involved' with at least one person who would be regarded as 'nuts' by the majority..I betcha can't!

Again, so what? The discussion may seem silly to you, but as you can see from all the objections from parents around the US, they take the topic of their children seriously.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
But to bring it back on topic, why would parents want a person who chooses to surround himself with people who advocate such positions to have access to their children?
Since when does one person 'surround' anyone?


I didn't say it was only because of this one person, but if you read above I said "But it really comes down to trust. Obama has decided to surround himself with criminals, thugs, cheats, conspiracy theorists and people who are generally disrespectful toward the broad US public, and people are beginning to distrust him.

I have given you ample chance to support this allegation. To date you have not. You have now repeated it. I'll give you one more chance to justify it, then the 'mod' hat comes on.
State which people Obama 'surrounds' himself with that are criminals, thugs and cheats. We have one conspiracy theorist to date.
Voodoocat
Wow! This discussion veered off path quickly!

I think that Obama should have packaged this speech as a webcast. That way schools could add it to their curriculum in the way they thought would be best, and families could watch it together and discuss the speech on their own time.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:

Again, so what? The discussion may seem silly to you, but as you can see from all the objections from parents around the US, they take the topic of their children seriously.


Yes, it seems silly to us, like the theory of the flat earth or Creationism. Just because there are people, quite a few people, who believe in these things doesn't make them less ridiculous. Responsible and sane conservatives are distancing themselves from this kookiness.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/07/laura.bush/index.html
Quote:
Referencing the uproar over Obama's address to schoolchildren, which will be aired nationwide Tuesday, Laura Bush said it's "really important for everyone to respect the president of the United States."
...
"I think there is a place for the president ... to talk to schoolchildren and encourage" them
, she said. Parents should follow his example and "encourage their own children to stay in school and to study hard and to try to achieve the dream that they have."


Frankly, the media shares blame for once again giving the right wing lunatic fringe a thousand times more attention than it deserves. It creates a kind of hysteria.

Jmi is this a friend of yours?
Right wing mother cries on CNN


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofxVMlU97yA
Bikerman
Quote:
Again, read my post above. I was saying that parents should have the right to protect their children from people who they do not trust.
Really? You think so? So, if I understand your argument, you claim that Obama has people around him who are not trustworthy and, because of that, parents should have the right to exclude their children from a talk by him. Is that it?
OK, a couple of points:
a) As I said previously, many teachers (probably ALL teachers) know people that would not be generally regarded as trustworthy. Does that mean that parents should have the right to exclude children from lessons by teachers, assemblies by head teachers, and generally their entire education? It is a preposterous stance. If Obama's speech had contained anything controversial then you might have a point which made some sense and which I would support - in exactly the same way as if a teacher started spouting nonsense to his class. The simple fact is that it didn't. You simply want the right for parents to withdraw their children, on entirely political grounds, but are not honest enough to frame the argument in those terms.
b) Parents do, ultimately, have that right. They can remove their child from the school.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
Again, read my post above. I was saying that parents should have the right to protect their children from people who they do not trust.

Really? You think so? So, if I understand your argument, you claim that Obama has people around him who are not trustworthy and, because of that, parents should have the right to exclude their children from a talk by him. Is that it?


No. I’m saying people have lost trust in Obama. My opinion is that HE is not trustworthy and the people he chooses to surround himself is a reflection of his character.


Bikerman wrote:

OK, a couple of points:
a) As I said previously, many teachers (probably ALL teachers) know people that would not be generally regarded as trustworthy. Does that mean that parents should have the right to exclude children from lessons by teachers, assemblies by head teachers, and generally their entire education?

I didn’t make that argument. You’re going off on another tangent.


Bikerman wrote:

It is a preposterous stance. If Obama's speech had contained anything controversial then you might have a point which made some sense and which I would support - in exactly the same way as if a teacher started spouting nonsense to his class. The simple fact is that it didn't.

As I said before, the point I’m making is that it’s not about the content. It’s about parents’ rights.

Bikerman wrote:

You simply want the right of parents to withdraw their children on political grounds, but are not honest enough to frame the argument in those terms.

You’re getting personal now Bikerman. If you want to attack my character and honesty, please don’t then cower behind your “mod hat” when the going gets tough.
But since you bring it up, I do think parents should be able to opt out even if it is for political reasons. For example, if a Nazi was scheduled to speak at a school, the parents should have every right to opt out based on political views (please don’t get your panties in a bunch and take this to mean I’m insinuating Obama’s a Nazi—I’m just using an example).


Bikerman wrote:

b) Parents do, ultimately, have that right. They can remove their child from the school.

So basically you’re saying that parents either accept whatever is forced down their--and their children’s—throats or face their children not receiving an education. Last I checked the education system in the US exists to serve parents, not the other way around. Why are you so against parents exercising their rights?
Bikerman
You are getting ridiculous now. You have no real argument, and I don't 'cower' behind anything.

If you continue to make unsupported allegations of criminality/dishonesty then I will simply delete any such posting. END OF STORY

Thread Locked - Bikerman
Thread re-opened on 'appeal' - Bikerman
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:

Thread re-opened on 'appeal' - Bikerman


Thanks Bikerman.

Bikerman wrote:
State which people Obama 'surrounds' himself with that are criminals, thugs and cheats. We have one conspiracy theorist to date.


Here's a list or people Obama has chosen to associate himself with. Now my intention isn't to get into a long side argument with anyone within this thread (if you do want to debate the merits of each maybe someone can open a new thread?), but rather to satisfy the request above and point out that the esteem of Obama trustworthiness has been diminishing. I'm even willing to stipulate that some relationships are tertiary, but they exist nonetheless. Obama’s motivation for associating with these characters is irrelevant for the discussion at hand in my opinion. But the fact that he does may result in parents less inclined to want Obama to speak to their children. I left examples of all the left-wing name calling out of the list because you just need to browse a few threads within this forum to find that.

Cheats (mostly taxes):
Tom Daschle: Obama’s first HHS nominee
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/03/daschle/

Kathleen Sebelius: Obama's choice to head Health and Human Services
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/03/31/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry4908247.shtml

Nancy Killefer: Chief performance officer nominee
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/07/nancy-killefer-obamas-chi_n_155910.html

Timothy Geithner: Treasury Secretary
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/18/AR2009011802070.html

Ron Kirk : US Trade Representative
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/02/ron-kirk-tax-problems-sur_n_171180.html

Hilda Solis: Labor Secretary
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-02-05-solis-husband-taxes_N.htm


Criminals/Thugs:
Tony Rezko
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4204413&page=1

Bill Ayers
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/us/politics/04ayers.html

Rashid Khalidi
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/us/politics/30campaign.html?_r=1&ref=politics

John Deutch
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/06/dni.appointment/index.html


Conspiracy Theorists:
Mike Kruglik
http://www.brookesnews.com/081401obama.html

Jeremiah Wright
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4443788&page=1

Van Jones
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/57337-white-house-stands-by-truther-jones


Back to my original position:
I don't have a problem with a president addressing school children regardless of his party, but I do think parents and school districts should have the option of not forcing their children to participate if they choose.
Bikerman
OK. I'm not going to comment individually on the list above - I think that is best done in another thread. I am satisfied, however, that you have offered some evidence - whether valid is another debate - for your earlier accusation, and I am happy to now 'take off' the mod hat here.

As regards the substantive issue:
I thought it had been established that school districts certainly DID have that right, and that several of them actually exercised that right?
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
OK. I'm not going to comment individually on the list above - I think that is best done in another thread. I am satisfied, however, that you have offered some evidence - whether valid is another debate - for your earlier accusation, and I am happy to now 'take off' the mod hat here.

As regards the substantive issue:
I thought it had been established that school districts certainly DID have that right, and that several of them actually exercised that right?


Only some districts offered parents that "right" (and in reality it wasn’t that many). And then it was done en mass, meaning that the entire school didn't see the broadcast. Effectively this denied those who wanted their kids to see the broadcast the right to do so. I would have rather have each parent make his/her own decision for his/her child. This could have been simply done with an opt-out form.
liljp617
Did you all see all the young socialists roaming the streets today and waiting for buses?
Bikerman
Hold on a minute. Either school districts had the right or they didn't. It follows that ALL school districts had the right, and that only some chose to exercise that right.*
Recall that you said
Quote:
but I do think parents and school districts should have the option of not forcing their children to participate if they choose.
Well we have established that the districts did indeed have that option.
Now, given that parents trust the school, and, by implication, the school district, to rule on matters of curriculum in general, then why should an address by a head of state be an exception?
Should they also offer an 'opt-out' to parents who don't want their kids to learn evolutionary theory? Many would say yes. The ultimate logic is that every parent should have the right to withdraw their child from anything they don't like, or think they might not like. Remember that the only possible grounds any parent could have for objecting would be 'assumptions'. I find it hard to believe that any parent or district that actually READ the speech could have objected at all.* Therefore any objection would have to be based on an false assumption of what he WOULD say.
In reality parents delegate responsibility to the school, and ultimately to the governance of that school (in the US that would be the district) for matters of curriculum, discipline, ethos etc. They trust the history teacher to deliver the syllabus, not a fascist (or communist) reworking of history. They trust the English teacher to stick to the curriculum and not start introducing revolutionary marxism to 12 yr olds. Why should they not trust those same professionals to judge whether a Presidential address should be shown?

PS - post amended to even up the reference to the history teacher Smile

* PPS - It is also worth saying that I think that any district that DID decide not to show the speech MUST have done so on political grounds rather than educational grounds. I have read the speech twice now, and I really can't detect anything that any reasonable person could object to.
deanhills
I had a look at the speech, and it is a nice one, such as all his speeches have mostly been. Very smooth, well written and of course non-political. He knew that his critics would go through it with a very fine tooth comb. I imagine he is the President, so he can speech away, that is after all what he is good at. That gift won him the Presidency. However, I'm almost certain that the real motive of this speech was a tool to get his ratings up again after the summer recess. I can almost imagine him sitting with his aides, either just before his recess or after, and then working on a perfect marketing agenda for getting his ratings up again. He is good at that. Maybe it worked.

But I can't help but wonder while he is working so hard on getting his ratings up again, and trying to rally his Democratic Party behind him again, how many really burning issues for the Leader of the Nation are left unattended.
Alaskacameradude
Sorry, I have to side with the people who are saying that the parents should be able to keep their
kids from watching the speech if they choose. That being said, I'm not sure what the big deal was.
I am a parent, and believe me, if I didn't like something the school was doing or showing, I would just pull my kid out of school for the day, problem solved.

Also, his speech was pretty standard, no political rhetoric in it that I could see. Although, to be
fair, I read that he changed some of the speech after hearing all the uproar, so it may
have been different at one time.

That being said, I do NOT totally trust our government run school system to give my kids
the best education they can get. Believe me, if I had the money, my kids would be in private
school.
handfleisch
It had nothing to do with any legitimate concerns since there weren't any. It was all just reactionary politics and the hysteria in some parts of the USA that makes them refuse to accept that things have changed. This article shows it pretty well:

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Kids-Didnt-Hear-Obama-But-Will-Be-Bussed-for-Bush-57827022.html

Quote:
Kids Didn't Hear Obama, But Will be Bussed for Bush
Church questions district's "duplicity" on president talks

The Arlington Independent School District, which passed on airing President Barack Obama's live classroom address, has announced that some students will be bussed off campus to hear a message from former President George W. Bush on Sept. 21.

District officials said it's part of a Cowboys Stadium field trip that the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee invited 28 fifth-grade classes to attend several months ago.

In addition to hearing from Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, the students will hear from legendary Dallas Cowboys players and North Texas business and community leaders. The event launches the Super Bowl committee's largest-ever youth education program.

Students must have their parents' permission to attend, school officials said.

Dwight McKissic Sr., the senior pastor of Arlington's Cornerstone Baptist Church, said he's concerned about the district's decision to not broadcast Obama's message while transporting students to hear a message from Bush.

"I do not understand the duplicity in this situation," McKissic said in a news release from the church. "I believe the students and the public deserve and need to have these differences explained."

Obama told students to stay in school, work hard and set goals in an 18-minute speech delivered Tuesday morning from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

The Arlington school district, like many in North Texas, decided not to broadcast the president's speech live after some parents expressed concern about its content.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Sorry, I have to side with the people who are saying that the parents should be able to keep their
kids from watching the speech if they choose. That being said, I'm not sure what the big deal was.
I am a parent, and believe me, if I didn't like something the school was doing or showing, I would just pull my kid out of school for the day, problem solved.
But would you expect to have a form sent home from the school allowing you to 'opt out'? Would you expect the same for ALL curriculum materials?

The argument seems to be that there was something special about this Presidential address that required special arrangements to allow an opt out. I really can't see why. As teachers we routinely show video and film material to our students. That might include speeches by modern or historical leaders.

Surely parents trust the teachers enough to know that they would not put-up with propagandising, without at least presenting a balancing argument? If not then I find the lack of trust in the teacher's professionalism quite sad and worrying. I can't speak for US teachers, but I can say that here in the UK, if something similar had happened, then my colleagues and I would have checked the broadcast, found no problem with it, and shown it the next day. I imagine that US teachers would have done exactly the same thing. You surely must have some faith in the professionalism of teachers? We deal with complex issues of educational ethics on a daily basis. We are very careful about presenting balanced material to our students.
(When I say 'we' I mean the huge majority of my colleagues. There will always be a few 'bad apples' of course, but in a normal school they would be drowned-out by the majority)

I also find it quite strange that parents would assume that Obama would use the opportunity to propagandise. Schools were given advanced notice of the speech (I believe they were informed in mid August), and an advance copy was available the day before the broadcast. It was made quite clear that the speech was not mandatory (ie it was up to the schools whether they showed it or not).
From the article quoted above, it seems that some districts did indeed choose not to broadcast the speech after parents complained about the content. Can anyone tell me what they objected to?
Afaceinthematrix
I completely disagree with the people who say that parents should have the right to opt their children out of the speech. That's really opting your children out of an education. Despite popular opinion, parents do not always know what is best for their children. We have a curriculum for a reason. The state has decided what is best to teach. If we let parents opt their children out of certain levels of education, where will we stop? Will parents be able to opt their children out of biology because they view evolution as evil? Will they be able to opt their children out of mathematics because they're not educated enough to see the value of it? The state is responsible for creating the curriculum and the teachers are responsible for finding the best way to deliver and teach it.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Will they be able to opt their children out of mathematics because they're not educated enough to see the value of it?

They should be able to if they really believe their child would be better off without math.

But, of course, I favor the maximum amount of power to the individual, not the government.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Will they be able to opt their children out of mathematics because they're not educated enough to see the value of it?

They should be able to if they really believe their child would be better off without math.

But, of course, I favor the maximum amount of power to the individual, not the government.

Hmm. I know parents who would be happy for their children to not attend school at all. Really, I have met a few. Their position is that they left school at 12 and so should their kids. The phrase often used is 'to find a real job'. Obviously I think they are selfish idiots, but should I have the power to over-ride their wishes? Fortunately, indirectly through legislation, I do. I'm quite happy about that, and I'm pretty sure that in a few years time the kids will be as well.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Will they be able to opt their children out of mathematics because they're not educated enough to see the value of it?

They should be able to if they really believe their child would be better off without math.

But, of course, I favor the maximum amount of power to the individual, not the government.


Absolutely not! That's doing the child a huge disservice to the point of child abuse! There's a reason why we have a curriculum. Besides, most students hate mathematics so I'm sure many would just whine to their parents until their parents remove them from the course. This also does a huge disservice to society. I believe that, for the most part, people should be able to do whatever they want (drugs, sex, whatever) unless it hurts someone else. Opting out of an education hurts the development of the entire society so is therefore unacceptable.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
There's a reason why we have a curriculum.
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning. Usually it takes quite a long time to put a curriculum together, it then goes through a number of layers of scrutiny and approvals. The President's speech did not go through that route. Nor did he follow protocol to submit it to the school authorities first.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
There's a reason why we have a curriculum.
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning. Usually it takes quite a long time to put a curriculum together, it then goes through a number of layers of scrutiny and approvals. The President's speech did not go through that route. Nor did he follow protocol to submit it to the school authorities first.

Are you just making this up as you go along?
a) It wasn't imposed on schools
b) They had nearly a months warning
c) The schools had access to the speech the day before the 'live' broadcast.
d) What 'protocol' are you talking about?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
There's a reason why we have a curriculum.
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning. Usually it takes quite a long time to put a curriculum together, it then goes through a number of layers of scrutiny and approvals. The President's speech did not go through that route. Nor did he follow protocol to submit it to the school authorities first.

Are you just making this up as you go along?
a) It wasn't imposed on schools

I thought it was given to schools by the Department of Education as a lesson that had to be incorporated with the President's speech:
Quote:
Some of the controversy surrounding Obama's speech stems from a proposed lesson plan created by the Education Department to accompany the address. An initial version of the plan recommended that students draft letters to themselves discussing "what they can do to help the president."

The letters "would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals," the plan stated.

After pressure from conservatives, the White House said that the plan was not artfully worded, and distributed a revised version encouraging students to write letters about how they can "achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/04/obama.schools/index.html

Bikerman wrote:
b) They had nearly a months warning

During the summer holidays? Regardless, it usually takes much longer than a month to plan and implement a curriculum. Throwing a "lesson" in at such "relative" short notice is disruptive.
Bikerman wrote:
c) The schools had access to the speech the day before the 'live' broadcast.

What difference does that make?
Bikerman wrote:
d) What 'protocol' are you talking about?

There are usually School District Boards in between Washing DC Dept. of Education and the schools. Perhaps they should have been given a chance to discuss the feasibility of the speech to the school children before it became a Federal issue.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
There's a reason why we have a curriculum.
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning. Usually it takes quite a long time to put a curriculum together, it then goes through a number of layers of scrutiny and approvals. The President's speech did not go through that route. Nor did he follow protocol to submit it to the school authorities first.

Are you just making this up as you go along?
a) It wasn't imposed on schools

I thought it was given to schools by the Department of Education as a lesson that had to be incorporated with the President's speech:
That cited passage says nothing of the sort.
It was voluntary - from the word go - both the speech and the support pack. There was some controversy over the wording of the lesson-plan in the support pack, but that was sorted out before it was issued. The lesson plan was always a 'suggestion' not a requirement. In fact it couldn't be a requirement if I know anything about teaching - teachers do not like being ordered to deliver a particular lesson-plan.
That being said, of course any sensible teacher would look at the offered lesson plan, and use it if they thought it was good - why re-invent the wheel? I have looked at it and I would certainly have used parts of it.

Why not read the Department of Education site?
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html#afaqs

Notice the wording? 'Encourage', 'invite'. It doesn't sound like a diktat to me..
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
b) They had nearly a months warning

During the summer holidays? Regardless, it usually takes much longer than a month to plan and implement a curriculum. Throwing a "lesson" in at such "relative" short notice is disruptive.
You are getting seriously muddled. A 'curriculum' is a plan of study for a particular discipline or subject(s). You are talking about a lesson plan which is a plan of study for a particular lesson. I frequently write my lesson plans the night before the lesson. I actually prefer to do so, since it means it is fresh in my mind when I deliver the lesson. I certainly would NOT write such a lesson plan months in advance. We (teachers) often 'throw extra lessons in', or move lessons around - that is something which any teacher does routinely, if not daily.
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
c) The schools had access to the speech the day before the 'live' broadcast.
What difference does that make?
It means that any school had 24 hours to view the broadcast and pull it if they found a problem with it. That is plenty of time.
(And I'm assuming that the school were planning to carry the broadcast live. I imagine that many schools didn't, for obvious reasons - many schools don't have a facility to sit the whole student body in front of a large screen at one sitting. We would probably have shown it in 'sittings' on a year-by-year basis using a recording (or even the webcast).)
Quote:
Bikerman wrote:
d) What 'protocol' are you talking about?

There are usually School District Boards in between Washing DC Dept. of Education and the schools. Perhaps they should have been given a chance to discuss the feasibility of the speech to the school children before it became a Federal issue.
They were. They got notification of the speech on 25th August and had a week to discuss it. It was clearly stated that the speech was NOT mandatory. I don't understand what you mean by 'Federal issue'. It seems, from reports, that several districts in Texas decided not to show the broadcast, for some reason I find inexplicable in educational terms and therefore can only explain in terms of some sort of bigotry - whether political or personal I couldn't say.*

It was never a 'Federal issue' since there was no 'federal requirement' for the schools to show it. Again this is clearly set out on the DoE website - link above. The districts or the individual schools had a choice. Most of them chose to show it - for the fairly obvious reason that it was a damn good speech.

* It seems to me that there is a general inability to separate the 'Head of State' from the 'Party Politician'. It isn't really an issue here - since we have a monarchy. From what I have seen of Obama's speeches on 'state' occasions, then I don't think he is confused about the roles, but many observers seem to be. If the parents/districts had taken a rational and principled stance that ANY broadcast by ANY President should not be shown in school time, then their decision could perhaps be defended (although it would be very hard work).
In fact it is clear from reports that they didn't do that - they objected to the content of the speech. Now I have to call that irrational (hence the use of the word 'bigotry' - irrational prejudice). I'd be happy to reconsider that if anyone can tell me exactly what there was in the speech to object to.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Why not read the Department of Education site?
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html#afaqs

I see it as biased, as it is a Government Department and will obviously make things look good using just the right wording. The wording would obviously be the right ones.

I think we need to clarify my response to Matrix's posting about curriculum. My point has never been that there was anything wrong with the President's Speech. You can check in another thread that was recently opened by jmi256 about Obama Trust that I thought there was nothing wrong with the speech itself. My point was that it was used for political advantage to get his ratings up, i.e. a marketing tool. In addition, it created confusion among some of the schools. I'm sure Obama, being a marketing specialist would have known that some would have objected to this and he thought it was worth taking the risk.

Bikerman wrote:
You are getting seriously muddled. A 'curriculum' is a plan of study for a particular discipline or subject(s). You are talking about a lesson plan which is a plan of study for a particular lesson.
If I used the word, I meant it to be collectively, being the courses that have been set. I am almost certain when you have courses where you are that you have to submit a plan of what you are going to teach, including the aims and objectives, the materials that students can study in advance, as well as anticipated projects for them. I cannot imagine that that can be done the evening before, as those courses get set long in advance by Committee, and are submitted to a Director for approval.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Why not read the Department of Education site?
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html#afaqs

I see it as biased, as it is a Government Department and will obviously make things look good using just the right wording. The wording would obviously be the right ones.
Yes, I figured you would say that. Like most conspiracy theorists you sling mud anywhere and everywhere, ignore official documentation and evidence, and substitute your own faulty perception for fact.

You stated that the speech/lesson plan was 'imposed' and then produced a completely unrelated passage as 'evidence'. When it was pointed out that some schools opted out (ie it is therefore not possible that it was mandatory) you ignore it, and repeat the accusation. When you are presented with the actual information from the DoE, which clearly states that the speech and accompanying materials were NOT mandatory, you see it as 'biased'.

I really don't know what you mean by 'right wording'. It seems entirely clear and unambiguous to me.
DoE wrote:
Q: Is it mandatory?
A: No. The Department is inviting schools to show the address. The choice is entirely up to schools and their communities.
Explain how that is 'imposed'.

Now you are saying that it created confusion amongst schools. Do you think teachers and administrators are stupid? What possible confusion could it create? As I said, those districts/schools that DID opt out (a tiny minority) clearly did so on irrational grounds, since, as you say, there was nothing in the speech to object to. Irrational prejudice = bigotry. I find it worrying, but not entirely surprising* that there are some schools in the US which are apparently run/controlled by bigots. Previous examples would tend to indicate that this bigotry is imposed 'top down' by the districts, rather than 'ground-up' by the teachers.

Clearly there is no evidence that I can present that will persuade you that you are wrong. You can never really convince a conspiracy theorist, the best you can do is produce the evidence to show how ridiculous their 'theory' is. I have done this - if you want to ignore it then that is up to you.
Deanhills wrote:
I think we need to clarify my response to Matrix's posting...
Not really. The point here is whether the speech and accompanying materials were "imposed" on schools or not. You, for some inexplicable reason, maintain that they were.
Why do you think that Obama would have anticipated some 'objections'? On what grounds? Because they don't like Democrats? I don't think it is his job to second-guess possible irrational objections to his speeches. He decided to give an inspiring speech to the children of the US - something which, as an educator, I applaud. If you want to believe he did it for political gain then that is your opinion. It has no bearing on whether the speech, or materials, were 'imposed'.

Once again you are mixing up two different 'hats'. When Obama speaks to the nation, or for the nation, he is speaking as Head of State, not a Democrat politician. This is one such occasion. It would therefore be reprehensible for him to use such a speech in a party political manner (as, incidentally, Bush did in 1991). He didn't do so. He delivered an entirely non-controversial and inspiring speech on the virtues of education and personal effort. Why anyone should object to it being shown to school-children has not yet been explained.
Deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
You are getting seriously muddled. A 'curriculum' is a plan of study for a particular discipline or subject(s). You are talking about a lesson plan which is a plan of study for a particular lesson.
If I used the word, I meant it to be collectively, being the courses that have been set. I am almost certain when you have courses where you are that you have to submit a plan of what you are going to teach, including the aims and objectives, the materials that students can study in advance, as well as anticipated projects for them. I cannot imagine that that can be done the evening before, as those courses get set long in advance by Committee, and are submitted to a Director for approval.
As I said, you don't really know what you are talking about so it would probably be better for everyone if you gave it a rest.
You are now talking about what teachers call 'a scheme of work'. A scheme of work would not normally be detailed down to the lesson level, and is designed to outline how a particular module or subject area will be delivered.

Obama's speech was not a module, or a course, it was a 15 minute broadcast - at most a lesson. It required nothing more than a lesson plan which would be written a short time before the actual showing. It didn't need approval by a committee and it didn't need submitting to a director - it is what teachers do every day. Of course I've only been doing this for 20-odd years, so I could be wrong, but I think not. In fact my wife has just shown the broadcast to her year 10 students. No permission required, no scheme of work required, no committee required, no 'Director's approval' required. Just a normal teacher doing what normal teachers do.
Now, of course if schools wished to include this speech as part of a broader course of study then they would be free to do so. It could usefully be included in the PSE (Personal/Social Education) syllabus here in the UK - I presume the US has something similar. That, however, is not the point.

* Unfortunately we have a several precedents for this, which have eventually had to be settled by the Supreme Court - segregation and the teaching of evolution being the two obvious examples
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Why not read the Department of Education site?
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html#afaqs

I see it as biased, as it is a Government Department and will obviously make things look good using just the right wording. The wording would obviously be the right ones.
Yes, I figured you would say that. Like most conspiracy theorists you sling mud anywhere and everywhere, ignore official documentation and evidence, and substitute your own faulty perception for fact.
I object strongly to being labelled a conspiracy theorist and a mud slinger. I don't see mud in saying that a Government Website would be biased. Nor does that make a person a conspiracy theorist. It is common sense. In this specific instance the Department of Education is headed by someone who has been appointed by Obama himself. Not only does Arne Duncan serve in Obama's cabinet but he is also a personal friend of Obama's from Chicago. And there is no mud slinging here either. As Arne Duncan has an impeccable record as an able administrator. However, I would find it strange for the Website to say anything different than what it said about the speech.

Nowhere in the discussion was there anything mentioned about a conspiracy either. I have been very consistent in saying that Obama used the speech to get his own ratings up. It is obvious the Department of Education would support him in this. If you Google you will find plenty of Arne Duncan's comments that underlines his support of Obama's speech. Whether some liked the speech or not (I thought there was nothing wrong with the content and I have said that before - Obama is good with speeches) the speech was an irregular event and did create a disruption. It was not part of the course plan. All one needs to do is look at all the media reports. It created a controversy.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Why not read the Department of Education site?
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html#afaqs

I see it as biased, as it is a Government Department and will obviously make things look good using just the right wording. The wording would obviously be the right ones.
Yes, I figured you would say that. Like most conspiracy theorists you sling mud anywhere and everywhere, ignore official documentation and evidence, and substitute your own faulty perception for fact.
I object strongly to being labelled a conspiracy theorist and a mud slinger. I don't see mud in saying that a Government Website would be biased. Nor does that make a person a conspiracy theorist. It is common sense. In this specific instance the Department of Education is headed by someone who has been appointed by Obama himself. Not only does Arne Duncan serve in Obama's cabinet but he is also a personal friend of Obama's from Chicago. And there is no mud slinging here either. As Arne Duncan has an impeccable record as an able administrator. However, I would find it strange for the Website to say anything different than what it said about the speech.

Nowhere in the discussion was there anything mentioned about a conspiracy either. I have been very consistent in saying that Obama used the speech to get his own ratings up. It is obvious the Department of Education would support him in this. If you Google you will find plenty of Arne Duncan's comments that underlines his support of Obama's speech. Whether some liked the speech or not (I thought there was nothing wrong with the content and I have said that before - Obama is good with speeches) the speech was an irregular event and did create a disruption. It was not part of the course plan. All one needs to do is look at all the media reports. It created a controversy.


Conspiracy theory is almost too kind of a term for what you're saying in this case.

Bikerman pointed out that the Dept of Education was not forcing anyone to use the president's speech in any way, that it was voluntary, as it says on their website, "inviting" and "encouraging". You answered that the Dept. of Education can't be trusted, and now go even further to say it's because it's now under the Obama admin and the head is an appointee. That's hilarious nuttery. It might be easier to give it a rest (admit you're wrong and move on).

The site shows what went out to the whole nation. There's really no argument about what it says. Are you alleging some secret orders forcing schools to use the speech went out elsewhere?

Your conspiracy also spreads to the Dept of Education being in collusion with Obama with an intent to raise his poll numbers. And you then cite the controversy as more proof of the conspiracy, like the controvery was Obama's and the Dept. of Educ's fault, and not the fault of the tiny but shrill lunatic minority encouraged by political manipulators at places like Fox News and talk radio, who ran around crying "indoctrination".

Sorry to be harsh, but it's time to stop playing nice with the divisive, lunatic fringe encouraged by lobbyists and partisan media. Barney Frank showed the right way to deal with these extremist, kooky ideas: mock them.

Barney Frank confronts woman comparing Obama to Hitler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULtgIBKemlc

FOX News Beck calls Obama's stay-in-school speech to students "indoctrination"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgfFYyFnfTw
Ophois
I read through it, rather quickly, but I got the gist.
In the first few posts of this thread, I saw some things that disturbed me. These assumptions/accusations have not been limited to internet banter either. I see it on the news, and hear it in public as well. Essentially, these are the main complaints I hear:
1 - "Obama is using the kids to further his political agenda"
2 - "The speech etc. was forced upon the schools"
3 - "Giving this speech is out of the ordinary and caused a disruption"

1 - How are kids supposed to further any political agenda, Obamas' or otherwise? They are too young to vote, and who the hell goes to their young kids for advice on politics anyway? Not to mention the fact that the speech was not centered on any political issues, as so many paranoid fanatics were afraid it would be. This is ridiculous, at best.

2 - It was optional. People who still think otherwise are purposely ignoring the facts.

3 - So... um... no other President has ever given any such speech to schools before? I distinctly remember our last President giving a speech about drugs to schools.

This is absurd. Presidents, as well as other politicians, regularly do this sort of thing. It is part of their job, and it's nothing new. It causes no major disturbance. There was no huge conspiracy to indoctrinate kids with the Obama-Hitler education. It was optional. It was advertised as such, publicly, from the beginning. It was also stated on the DoE website. And in the end, it was proven when some schools opted out, just in case people decided they couldn't trust the biased DoE website or the administration itself.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Why not read the Department of Education site?
http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html#afaqs

I see it as biased, as it is a Government Department and will obviously make things look good using just the right wording. The wording would obviously be the right ones.
Yes, I figured you would say that. Like most conspiracy theorists you sling mud anywhere and everywhere, ignore official documentation and evidence, and substitute your own faulty perception for fact.
I object strongly to being labelled a conspiracy theorist and a mud slinger.
What you 'strongly object to' isn't really my problem, but for the sake of fairness let's examine my claim.
1) You claim that the speech and accompanying materials were imposed on schools.
2) I produce evidence on the DoE site which says exactly the opposite.
3) You then state that this site is biased and, presumably, not telling the truth.
4) You ignore the de-facto evidence (that some schools and districts didn't show the speech) which means that your claim cannot, logically, be maintained.

Now, I call that a conspiracy theory. For it to be true, the DoE would have to be deliberately lying on their website. I don't find that credible. You are essentially saying that Obama conspired with the DoE to impose a speech on schools and cover-up the fact that it was indeed imposed, by publishing lies on the official site.

It isn't only a conspiracy theory, it is a very very silly one.
liljp617
Ophois wrote:
1 - How are kids supposed to further any political agenda, Obamas' or otherwise? They are too young to vote, and who the hell goes to their young kids for advice on politics anyway? Not to mention the fact that the speech was not centered on any political issues, as so many paranoid fanatics were afraid it would be. This is ridiculous, at best.


Although the claim is a silly one given that he said nothing political and the hysteria was unnecessary, I'd say it's worth noting that his speech was directed at more age groups than just young elementary students. It was directed, at the very least, up to high school seniors -- individuals who, if they aren't legally of age to vote already, are on the very brink of being able to do so.

But it doesn't make much difference in the end, I just think it's a noteworthy point.
Ophois
liljp617 wrote:
Although the claim is a silly one given that he said nothing political and the hysteria was unnecessary, I'd say it's worth noting that his speech was directed at more age groups than just young elementary students. It was directed, at the very least, up to high school seniors -- individuals who, if they aren't legally of age to vote already, are on the very brink of being able to do so.
I thought about this after the fact. It would be a sneaky thing to do, grooming HS seniors into voting for him(or just in favor of his party) during his next run, or any election for that matter. It just astounds me that people are this paranoid. I don't remember anyone making the assumption that our last President was trying to indoctrinate kids into his political views when he gave an anti-drug speech early on in his first term.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
but for the sake of fairness let's examine my claim.
1) You claim that the speech and accompanying materials were imposed on schools.

The Department of Education sent instructions to the schools, and whether those were voluntary or not, the schools still had to work through those, and in some cases where schools were divided had to have deliberations about it. I don't know how the equivalent works in the UK, but I would imagine in most countries of the world, if the schools should receive a missive directly from the Department of Education that that would be the equivalent of a serious request. Especially since quite a number of States are competing for their funding for schools from the Government.
Bikerman wrote:
2) I produce evidence on the DoE site which says exactly the opposite.
Right, it said it was voluntary. What difference does it make? It was still a request that came from DoE.
Bikerman wrote:
3) You then state that this site is biased and, presumably, not telling the truth.
You presume wrong. I did not say it was not telling the truth. I said that the Website would be biased to show the President's Speech in the best of lights. There is a difference to this. It is political. If the Republican Party was in power, then possibly if they had a speech about something or the other and schools were asked to air it, it may have had a bias to make a look good as well.
Bikerman wrote:
4) You ignore the de-facto evidence (that some schools and districts didn't show the speech) which means that your claim cannot, logically, be maintained.
The schools still needed to have gone through a deliberation stage, which would have been intrusive.

Bikerman wrote:
Now, I call that a conspiracy theory. For it to be true, the DoE would have to be deliberately lying on their website. I don't find that credible. You are essentially saying that Obama conspired with the DoE to impose a speech on schools and cover-up the fact that it was indeed imposed, by publishing lies on the official site.
I disagree. This is a definition of conspiracy:
Quote:
an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conspiracy
I most certainly do not see it as a conspiracy nor evil. All of this was legitimately political, transparent and out in the open. Conspiracy is when things are hidden. It implies something sinister, which this definitely is not. The current political party in power is the Democratic Party. If a decision has been made for the President to give a speech to the school children then it would be expected that the Government's education department would support it. The mere fact that a request has been made to the schools proves that. Whether voluntary or not, that was still an imposition as schools had to take a position where they stood in this. There were no lies however, it was completely transparent and out in the open.

liljp617 wrote:
Although the claim is a silly one given that he said nothing political and the hysteria was unnecessary, I'd say it's worth noting that his speech was directed at more age groups than just young elementary students. It was directed, at the very least, up to high school seniors -- individuals who, if they aren't legally of age to vote already, are on the very brink of being able to do so.

But it doesn't make much difference in the end, I just think it's a noteworthy point.
It is noteworthy. However I would think that these seniors would be mature enough to make their own minds up about where they stand, and perhaps even be sceptical. Teenagers being teenagers.
Bikerman
LOL...what a load of verbiage signifying nothing.
I suggest you look up the word 'impose', and then admit that you were completely wrong. I can't be bothered dredging through the rest of this nonsense.
Deanhills wrote:
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning.

Impose - set forth authoritatively as obligatory
Impose - compel to behave in a certain way

The schools and districts received a letter, informing them of the speech, and inviting them to show it IF THEY WISHED. It is all explained quite clearly on the DoE site. No 'missive', no 'imposition'.

The meaning of your previous postings are quite clear, and quite wrong. As I said - very silly conspiracy theory. If you now wish to pretend you meant something different then go ahead, but don't ask me to believe you.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
LOL...what a load of verbiage signifying nothing.
I suggest you look up the word 'impose', and then admit that you were completely wrong. I can't be bothered dredging through the rest of this nonsense.
Deanhills wrote:
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning.

Impose - set forth authoritatively as obligatory
Impose - compel to behave in a certain way
Fine, if you would like to play semantics, let us then use a different word "disrupt", "disturb", or "interrupt". It most definitely had a reaction. It was reported all over the media.

Bikerman wrote:
The meaning of your previous postings are quite clear, and quite wrong. As I said - very silly conspiracy theory. If you now wish to pretend you meant something different then go ahead, but don't ask me to believe you.
With respect, we will have to differ on this Chris, there was no theory and no conspiracy. You introduced those words to the discussion, including implying that I had said the Website had lied. As well as accusing me of slinging mud:
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I figured you would say that. Like most conspiracy theorists you sling mud anywhere and everywhere, ignore official documentation and evidence, and substitute your own faulty perception for fact.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
LOL...what a load of verbiage signifying nothing.
I suggest you look up the word 'impose', and then admit that you were completely wrong. I can't be bothered dredging through the rest of this nonsense.
Deanhills wrote:
I thought the point was that the President's speech was not part of the curriculum, and that it was in actual fact imposed on the schools, without much of a prior warning.

Impose - set forth authoritatively as obligatory
Impose - compel to behave in a certain way
Fine, if you would like to play semantics, let us then use a different word "disrupt", "disturb", or "interrupt". It most definitely had a reaction. It was reported all over the media.
It is not a question of semantics, it is a question of truth.
The 15 minute broadcast should have presented no difficulties to any school. I haven't heard reports of schools or teachers complaining at the disruption, have you? The fact that some bigots stirred-up some stories in the press can hardly be laid at the door of Obama.
As for the rest - I stick by what I said, and I think that most readers will agree.
deanhills
I can't even begin to imagine that a school would come out and make a complaint, surely that would be idiocy. However they were certainly disrupted, perhaps even confused as per the quote below:
Quote:
Fulton School Board member Katie Reeves said her phone and e-mail lit up late last week when word was sent to parents of the decision by many schools to broadcast the Obama speech live. She said many parents were being told the speech centered on personal responsibility, but were not given the opportunity to preview the text.

Reeves was also concerned superintendents and school boards were not informed first of the nationwide address.

"Apparently [Secretary of Education Arne Duncan] notified schools more than two weeks ago about the President's speech. We, as a school board, found out about it much later," said Reeves. "This goes against local control and the chain of command."

According to the White House, notification of the speech was sent to approximately 100,000 entities in a database, but it appears the majority of the receivers were principals.

In Roswell, school board member Linda Schultz said she had a few comments on both sides of the issue but not widespread controversy. She believes the issue was more one of poor timing, coming on the heels of the contentious health care debate.

"I think it would have been better if we had a bit more notice," said Schultz.

As far as the notification directly to the schools instead of through the board or administration, Schultz said elected officials often come to schools to address students. But, as a board member, she prefers to get a heads-up of their visit and planned topic ahead of time.

Source: http://www.northfulton.com/Articles-c-2009-09-09-179302.114126-sub_Schools_in_North_Fulton_opt_out_of_Obamas_speech.html
Bikerman
LOL...so what we have here is one school board representative complaining because she suddenly had to actually do her job. She feels slighted because the notice did not reach her desk. It did, of course, reach the desk of the headmasters/mistresses of the schools concerned, so it doesn't speak well to her relationship with her head teachers. She obviously feels that she has been bypassed, and her sense of self-importance compels her to complain about it. Do any of the schools in the district complain about 'disruption'? I think not.
(But of course you seem to think that they wouldn't complain - presumably they are frightened of some backlash from the Obama administration?).
The notion that their (school) funding would be affected is, of course, complete nonsense. In my experience teachers are quite happy to speak-up against the current political administration - and my experience is pretty considerable, given that I was the union representative in my school for the National Union of Teachers.

So, in summary, one person feels a bit put-out because the central database didn't have her listed. Another person would have liked a bit more notice.
Is this really the best you can do? To call it 'weak' would be to overstate it.
Ophois
There were actually a number of people from more than a few school departments complaining. The irony is that they were all screaming "political indoctrination", and opted out... on purely political grounds. I wonder if they don't see the hypocrisy.
Quote:
"I think it's a travesty. He has no business spreading a bunch of propaganda to a bunch of impressionable school children, which is what he intends to do," said Robert "Duke" Bennett, head of the Columbiana County Tea Party movement... "It's the Obama administration trying to reach out to students because they can't reach the parents," Bennett said... Bennett sees this as an attempt at political indoctrination of the youth. "It's similar to the Hitler youth movement or the Soviet Union. What's next? Huge posters of Obama everywhere?" he said.
This guy isn't alone in his complaints and accusations. While not an educational professional, he does reflect a disturbing amount of people who parrot this same view. From administrators, however, the words and intentions may be chosen more carefully, but the outcome tends to be the same.
Quote:
Beaver Local Superintendent Sandra DiBacco, like most administrators, learned of the speech on Wednesday or Thursday after receiving an e-mail from the Ohio Department of Education. She and other administrators received about a half dozen total calls from parents asking if the district planned to participate. DiBacco said she opted against participating for several reasons, with the foremost being the possible disruption that could result.

"Although I believe it will be a non-partisan program ... the concern is there will be an opposition view point," she said. "Without sounding political, I don't know that it's a bad thing, but if you're not an Obama fan you might not want your kid sitting there and listening to it in school."
http://www.salemnews.net/page/content.detail/id/517400.html?nav=5007

The part in bold is what really bothers me. I think this is the first time I have ever heard of an American President being treated this way for doing something as harmless as addressing school kids on the importance of *GASP* education. DiBacco says her refusal to show the speech was not politically motivated, but then her justification was based upon whether or not the parents are Obama fans(purely political).

Ocalhoun made a point earlier that he supports the idea of maximum power of the individual, as opposed to the government. I agree. Which makes me wonder why the school boards took it upon themselves to make this decision for the students and parents, rather than letting them make it for themselves. I can think of more than a few times in primary school when we had a guest speaker, or a school function that my very religious mother thought was inappropriate or not in line with the beliefs she tried(in vain) to instill in me. I would then be sent to school with a note saying that I was not to participate, at which point I would take my daily lesson plan to the library and "opt out" of what she deemed unfit for me to take part in.
Parents always have this option, and had they exercised it, there may have been the added benefit of parents discussing it with their kids individually rather than schools blanketing their entire student bodies with a refusal to participate. I'm sure there were at least a few students in each of these schools who would have liked to take part in this as a scholastic event. Why it was left to the schools to decide, and why it became such a big fuss is beyond me.
Bikerman
Well, that is certainly interesting. Obviously I don't see the same picture here in the UK that you do in the US, so I have argued from my own experience, whilst trying to understand the US perspective.
I'm very sorry to say this, but the longer that this goes on, the more I am inclined to agree with Pres Carter's recent comments that much of this opposition is actually racist....I find it hard to believe that this opposition is purely political (particularly since the speech actually didn't contain any politics).

PS - when you say 'school departments', do you mean departments within schools? This might be a difference in language between the UK and US, and if so the fault is mine. My understanding is that these complaints come from outside the schools - at the district or board level. I sincerely hope that school teachers are not amongst the complainants.
Ophois
Bikerman... I was so very hesitant to say it, but all other reasons seem to be exhausting quickly. I really hate blaming anything on racism, but at some point you have to call things out for what they are. Surely, not all opposition to Obama is race based. I'd like to say the racist aspect of it is a minority, but more and more, I am seeing very unreasonable behavior amongst the anti-Obama crowd.
Were it just one thing here and there, it could be written off as some nutjob who ended up on TV by chance. But it's constant; from the watermelons on the White House lawn in that infamous picture, to the "birther" movement with their "undocumented worker" protest signs, to the cartoon of the cops shooting a monkey... and then the very disturbing 'Osama Obama shotgun pool'... it goes on and on, and is not being called out. People just keep chalking it up as "fringe" lunacy. But the crowds are getting bigger and bigger. How big does this group have to be before we accept that they are no longer the fringe, but a rather large and vocal part of the main group?[/url]
Bikerman
Well, again I'm not a witness to much of this stuff. The BBC is my main source of news (though obviously I research things that interest me in more depth). Our coverage doesn't include some of the more loony stuff you relate.

If your observations are correct then I have to say that Americans actually owe a debt of gratitude to Carter for speaking the unspeakable. I have always been of the opinion that the truth is preferable - even when unpalatable.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Sorry, I have to side with the people who are saying that the parents should be able to keep their
kids from watching the speech if they choose. That being said, I'm not sure what the big deal was.
I am a parent, and believe me, if I didn't like something the school was doing or showing, I would just pull my kid out of school for the day, problem solved.
But would you expect to have a form sent home from the school allowing you to 'opt out'? Would you expect the same for ALL curriculum materials?

The argument seems to be that there was something special about this Presidential address that required special arrangements to allow an opt out. I really can't see why. As teachers we routinely show video and film material to our students. That might include speeches by modern or historical leaders.

Surely parents trust the teachers enough to know that they would not put-up with propagandising, without at least presenting a balancing argument? If not then I find the lack of trust in the teacher's professionalism quite sad and worrying. I can't speak for US teachers, but I can say that here in the UK, if something similar had happened, then my colleagues and I would have checked the broadcast, found no problem with it, and shown it the next day. I imagine that US teachers would have done exactly the same thing. You surely must have some faith in the professionalism of teachers? We deal with complex issues of educational ethics on a daily basis. We are very careful about presenting balanced material to our students.
(When I say 'we' I mean the huge majority of my colleagues. There will always be a few 'bad apples' of course, but in a normal school they would be drowned-out by the majority)

I also find it quite strange that parents would assume that Obama would use the opportunity to propagandise. Schools were given advanced notice of the speech (I believe they were informed in mid August), and an advance copy was available the day before the broadcast. It was made quite clear that the speech was not mandatory (ie it was up to the schools whether they showed it or not).
From the article quoted above, it seems that some districts did indeed choose not to broadcast the speech after parents complained about the content. Can anyone tell me what they objected to?


Well, you can have faith in the 'professionalism of your teachers' all you want in the UK. And there
are a LOT of good teachers here as well. Unfortunately, as a former student in the US public school
system, I have my own experiences to draw upon. Experiences that tell me that our teachers are NOT always so 'unbiased and fair' as you make them out to be. Experiences in which a teacher even urged us students to remember when we were old enough to 'get out and vote ' and then
proceeded to tell us WHICH side we should be voting for (hint, it's a major political party in the US
and it starts with a D and ends with 'emocrat') If others have had similar experiences, maybe, just
maybe, they doubt the unbiased nature of the schools as well.

However, as I said, I did look at the presidents speech and did NOT find anything overtly political
about it. It was just fine, urging kids to try hard in school. If I would have been a student, I would
have promptly ignored and forgot all about it within a week I bet.

As for all these new claims of 'racism' to those who oppose Obama, I find it a bunch of CRAP and
very offensive! As if I can't oppose Obama's policies without being racist?? It can't actually be
that people don't like his IDEAS.....they must be racists! WHat a BIG STINKING LOAD! And for this
notion that Obama is being criticized too much....wow how quick they forget. I have NEVER seen
the amount of criticism and complaining leveled at ANY president, as the Democrats did to our
last president. But suddenly when it's THEIR guy who is president, we can't criticize or if we do, we
are racist? I say WTF?! If you want to be free to criticize Bush, don't expect the other side to give
your guy (Obama) a free pass, or cry 'racism' when he is criticized.

To me, the BIGGER issue, is that we have a true, huge, total divide in the US. A divide of IDEAS!
And the gulf BETWEEN the two sides is growing BIGGER. It is becoming harder and harder to BRIDGE this divide.......getting a moderate elected is next to impossible as he loses his 'base'
within his own party. It is something we in the US have done to ourselves with the 'two party' system, and one of the big reasons I support the creation of third and fourth parties.
Alaskacameradude
Ophois wrote:

The part in bold is what really bothers me. I think this is the first time I have ever heard of an American President being treated this way for doing something as harmless as addressing school kids on the importance of *GASP* education. DiBacco says her refusal to show the speech was not politically motivated, but then her justification was based upon whether or not the parents are Obama fans(purely political).
.


Ok, I know I sound like a big Republican here, but I am actually registered as a Democrat, although
I vote all over the place (last election voted for one R, one D, and 2 independents) but COME ON!
Did you miss the part where when Bush gave a similar speech to school kids the Democrats in congress actually launched a CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION?
Oh, but of course Bush's speech MUST have been political in nature then right? Containing such
'partisan' ideas as this:

'Block out the kids who think it's not cool to be smart," the president told students. "If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now, when they're stuck in a dead end job. Don't let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams.'

Hmmm....sound familiar? Read all about it here:
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html

See, THAT is what gets me irritated to NO END! I covered politics as a videographer/editor for 10
years. I am cynical.....because I see BOTH sides doing the SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER!
And then, they will COMPLAIN about the other side doing the EXACT SAME THING they did a year
ago when they were in power. I'm really sorry here, but to me, this sounds like
the same thing you were denouncing.....people taking shots at Bush because they
didn't like his politics. Of course no one cried 'racism' then though.

I still stand by my comments. Neither speech was a big deal. Parents SHOULD however be
allowed to 'pull their kids out' if they want. But the amount of 'politics' Obama's supporters
are injecting into this, and the 'motives' they are ascribing to those who oppose Obama, are
really, really irritating given the history here.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Well, again I'm not a witness to much of this stuff. The BBC is my main source of news (though obviously I research things that interest me in more depth). Our coverage doesn't include some of the more loony stuff you relate.

If your observations are correct then I have to say that Americans actually owe a debt of gratitude to Carter for speaking the unspeakable. I have always been of the opinion that the truth is preferable - even when unpalatable.


See above two posts. Sorry, Carter is off base....but I'd agree he is 'unpalatable'. Ya, I'm racist cause
I don't like the fact our new president is DRIVING US INTO DEBT! Whatever.
Bikerman
<previous posting deleted because it overlapped with this one...I will respond to this when I have checked the facts contained in it>
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well, again I'm not a witness to much of this stuff. The BBC is my main source of news (though obviously I research things that interest me in more depth). Our coverage doesn't include some of the more loony stuff you relate.

If your observations are correct then I have to say that Americans actually owe a debt of gratitude to Carter for speaking the unspeakable. I have always been of the opinion that the truth is preferable - even when unpalatable.


See above two posts. Sorry, Carter is off base....but I'd agree he is 'unpalatable'. Ya, I'm racist cause
I don't like the fact our new president is DRIVING US INTO DEBT! Whatever.

Well, what that has to do with this particular issue escapes me. As I said, I will respond to your previous posting when I have done my 'due diligence' and researched your claims.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
<previous posting deleted because it overlapped with this one...I will respond to this when I have checked the facts contained in it>


If you are interested, here is the text of the speech George Bush gave.......doesn't look any
more partisan than Obama's to me, but you decide:

http://volokh.com/posts/1252117357.shtml
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well, again I'm not a witness to much of this stuff. The BBC is my main source of news (though obviously I research things that interest me in more depth). Our coverage doesn't include some of the more loony stuff you relate.

If your observations are correct then I have to say that Americans actually owe a debt of gratitude to Carter for speaking the unspeakable. I have always been of the opinion that the truth is preferable - even when unpalatable.


See above two posts. Sorry, Carter is off base....but I'd agree he is 'unpalatable'. Ya, I'm racist cause
I don't like the fact our new president is DRIVING US INTO DEBT! Whatever.

Well, what that has to do with this particular issue escapes me. As I said, I will respond to your previous posting when I have done my 'due diligence' and researched your claims.


I'd say it goes to the claim you made that 'truth is preferable- even when unpalatable'.
My counter claim, is that Carter's 'racism' argument is FAR from truth! Just cause someone
opposes Obama does NOT mean that we are racists.....and a claim like Carter's offends me!
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well, again I'm not a witness to much of this stuff. The BBC is my main source of news (though obviously I research things that interest me in more depth). Our coverage doesn't include some of the more loony stuff you relate.

If your observations are correct then I have to say that Americans actually owe a debt of gratitude to Carter for speaking the unspeakable. I have always been of the opinion that the truth is preferable - even when unpalatable.


See above two posts. Sorry, Carter is off base....but I'd agree he is 'unpalatable'. Ya, I'm racist cause
I don't like the fact our new president is DRIVING US INTO DEBT! Whatever.

Well, what that has to do with this particular issue escapes me. As I said, I will respond to your previous posting when I have done my 'due diligence' and researched your claims.



Please, research away!!! I am NOT trying to be a jerk here. But, I feel I must point out the other
side, a side which I did NOT feel was being represented very well in this thread..... So hopefully,
I will be able to at least semi intelligently represent those who do NOT go along with all of
Obama's policies.
Bikerman
Thanks for the reference. I've read it and I have indeed decided.
First problem;
Quote:
Progress starts when we ask more of ourselves, our schools and, yes, you, our students. We made a start nationally now by setting six National Education Goals to meet the challenges of the 21st century. By the year 2000, at least 9 in every 10 students should graduate from high school.
Sounds like political advertising to me...
so does:
Quote:
Reaching those goals is the aim of a strategy that we call America 2000, a crusade for excellence in American education, school by school, community by community.

Next we have assumption and 'prediction':
Quote:
But what does all this mean, you might say, what is he doing, what does this all mean for the students right here in this room? Fast-forward -- 5 years from now. Unless things change, between now and 1996 as many as one in four of today's eighth graders will not graduate with their class. In some cities, the dropout rate is twice that high or higher. Imagine: Out of a total of nearly 3 million of your fellow classmates nationwide, an army of more than half a million dropouts.
In other words - you need to support my proposals for change OR ELSE!

This is not the language of a head of state - it is the language of a party-politician.

Apart from that then I can't see anything to object to in the speech. I'm speaking as a teacher, so I support any head of state who wishes to motivate the youth of the nation.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Please, research away!!! I am NOT trying to be a jerk here. But, I feel I must point out the other
side, a side which I did NOT feel was being represented very well in this thread..... So hopefully,
I will be able to at least semi intelligently represent those who do NOT go along with all of
Obama's policies.
It really isn't about objections. I have a scientific 'bent' so I naturally support the 'sceptical' perspective. I am also suspicious of politicians, since their whole existence depends on reconciling the often irreconcilable - it means that they have to be experts in saying 'less than the truth'.

This, however, to me as an outside observer, goes much deeper. I'm old enough to remember several US presidencies, and I can't remember seeing the sort of negative reactions by the US media to a President that I'm seeing here. Now, of course, I don't live there, so I may be mistaken....I really hope I am, but I suspect I'm not....
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Thanks for the reference. I've read it and I have indeed decided.
First problem;
Quote:
Progress starts when we ask more of ourselves, our schools and, yes, you, our students. We made a start nationally now by setting six National Education Goals to meet the challenges of the 21st century. By the year 2000, at least 9 in every 10 students should graduate from high school.
Sounds like political advertising to me...
so does:
Quote:
Reaching those goals is the aim of a strategy that we call America 2000, a crusade for excellence in American education, school by school, community by community.

Next we have assumption and 'prediction':
Quote:
But what does all this mean, you might say, what is he doing, what does this all mean for the students right here in this room? Fast-forward -- 5 years from now. Unless things change, between now and 1996 as many as one in four of today's eighth graders will not graduate with their class. In some cities, the dropout rate is twice that high or higher. Imagine: Out of a total of nearly 3 million of your fellow classmates nationwide, an army of more than half a million dropouts.
In other words - you need to support my proposals for change OR ELSE!

This is not the language of a head of state - it is the language of a party-politician.

Apart from that then I can't see anything to object to in the speech. I'm speaking as a teacher, so I support any head of state who wishes to motivate the youth of the nation.


Hmmm,.....so saying 9 out of every 10 kids should graduate is 'political advertising'?
as is having a strategy for 'excellence in American education'????

And you think that him saying
'Unless things change, as many as one in four of today's eight graders will not graduate'
somehow means
'Support my proposals or else?

I guess that's your right. I just don't see it. But hey since you did that, let me attempt to show
you how people may have thought the same about Obama's speech....

Problem.
'Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community.'

Looks like he asking for community activists here....I guess at least he didn't specifically
mention joining ACORN. There are plenty of people who have problems with Obama's brand
of community activism.

I mean seriously, someone COULD take something wrong with either of these speeches. I
just don't see how you can say with a straight face, that Bush's is some
'political speech' and Obama's is not. Actually, I can......because people on one side of an
issue see everything through 'glasses tinted with their preconceived notions'. So if
you tend to be further to the left in the political landscape, you may see Bush's speech as
objectionable but not Obamas's. But if you tend to the right of the political landscape, you
see Obama's as objectionable but not Bush's. That's OK, BUT at least be honest and don't try to
pretend that this
'uproar over a president giving a speech to schoolkids' is somehow 'unprecedented'. That's just
being intellectually dishonest.
Bikerman
Err...I'm afraid your last posting completely misses the point.
The point about the Bush speech is that it was supporting the 'America 2000 initiative'. and saying 'support this, or else'. That is party politics. There is nothing remotely comparable in the Obama speech.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Please, research away!!! I am NOT trying to be a jerk here. But, I feel I must point out the other
side, a side which I did NOT feel was being represented very well in this thread..... So hopefully,
I will be able to at least semi intelligently represent those who do NOT go along with all of
Obama's policies.
It really isn't about objections. I have a scientific 'bent' so I naturally support the 'sceptical' perspective. I am also suspicious of politicians, since their whole existence depends on reconciling the often irreconcilable - it means that they have to be experts in saying 'less than the truth'.

This, however, to me as an outside observer, goes much deeper. I'm old enough to remember several US presidencies, and I can't remember seeing the sort of negative reactions by the US media to a President that I'm seeing here. Now, of course, I don't live there, so I may be mistaken....I really hope I am, but I suspect I'm not....


Well, you are right, you don't live here, and I will guarantee you, that there was MORE negative
reaction by the US media to our last president (Bush) then there is to our current president (Obama).
The difference is, in what type of media. Bush was bashed by the newspapers (Washington Post, NY Times) and CNN, CNBC, and the networks (NBC, CBS, ABC).
Obama is being bashed by talk radio, and Fox News.

If you look at these media outlets, it is not really hard to understand. The outlets that were all over
Bush, are outlets with a liberal bent. The ones all over Obama are outlets with a conservative bent.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Err...I'm afraid your last posting completely misses the point.
The point about the Bush speech is that it was supporting the 'America 2000 initiative'. and saying 'support this, or else'. That is party politics. There is nothing remotely comparable in the Obama speech.


Ok, you make a claim here. First, how was the 'America 2000 initiative' partisan? It was about
MAKING MORE KIDS GRADUATE FROM SCHOOL! Is that something Dems are against? I looked
at the American 2000 initiative and do NOT see anything partisan about it! Obama too, urged kids
to work hard and graduate, but by not tying it to some initiative it is less partisan? Please, point
me to the partisan details of the America 2000 initiative!!!!!

Second, you make another claim. That even if you COULD prove the 'America 2000 initiative' is partisan, that Bush was saying 'support this or else'? And how do you jump to THAT conclusion?
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Please, research away!!! I am NOT trying to be a jerk here. But, I feel I must point out the other
side, a side which I did NOT feel was being represented very well in this thread..... So hopefully,
I will be able to at least semi intelligently represent those who do NOT go along with all of
Obama's policies.
It really isn't about objections. I have a scientific 'bent' so I naturally support the 'sceptical' perspective. I am also suspicious of politicians, since their whole existence depends on reconciling the often irreconcilable - it means that they have to be experts in saying 'less than the truth'.

This, however, to me as an outside observer, goes much deeper. I'm old enough to remember several US presidencies, and I can't remember seeing the sort of negative reactions by the US media to a President that I'm seeing here. Now, of course, I don't live there, so I may be mistaken....I really hope I am, but I suspect I'm not....


Well, you are right, you don't live here, and I will guarantee you, that there was MORE negative
reaction by the US media to our last president (Bush) then there is to our current president (Obama).
The difference is, in what type of media. Bush was bashed by the newspapers (Washington Post, NY Times) and CNN, CNBC, and the networks (NBC, CBS, ABC).
Obama is being bashed by talk radio, and Fox News.

If you look at these media outlets, it is not really hard to understand. The outlets that were all over
Bush, are outlets with a liberal bent. The ones all over Obama are outlets with a conservative bent.
Err...I didn't say 'amount', I said 'sort'. Sure, Bush was criticised widely, in our press as well as yours. That isn't my point. The point is that the criticisms against Obama seem to be based on nothing....like this one. Bush was heavily criticised here for his 'world affairs' stance. I think that criticism was justified. The other main criticisms we saw here were based on his apparent inability to string a coherent sentence together. That is, perhaps, a bit unkind, but that's politics for you, and I have to say it wasn't groundless.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Err...I'm afraid your last posting completely misses the point.
The point about the Bush speech is that it was supporting the 'America 2000 initiative'. and saying 'support this, or else'. That is party politics. There is nothing remotely comparable in the Obama speech.


Ok, you make a claim here. First, how was the 'America 2000 initiative' partisan? It was about
MAKING MORE KIDS GRADUATE FROM SCHOOL! Is that something Dems are against? I looked
at the American 2000 initiative and do NOT see anything partisan about it! Obama too, urged kids
to work hard and graduate, but by not tying it to some initiative it is less partisan? Please, point
me to the partisan details of the America 2000 initiative!!!!!
You continue to miss the point.
OK, let me make it crystal clear. The America 2000 initiative was a Bush proposal. It was therefore a party political proposal. It matters not one wit whether it was generally welcomed or not. He was speaking to the policy of his current administration to kids.
In fact the proposal was certainly controversial. It contained proposals which were booted-out by congress, if my research is correct. For example:
http://www.heritage.org/research/education/bu182.cfm
Quote:
Second, you make another claim. That even if you COULD prove the 'America 2000 initiative' is partisan, that Bush was saying 'support this or else'? And how do you jump to THAT conclusion?
He was using a rhetorical device which basically goes like this:
Support (substitute anything you like) OR ELSE (substitute dire threat based on prediction, however unsupported). That, in a speech to kids, counts as 'OR ELSE' in my considered opinion.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Please, research away!!! I am NOT trying to be a jerk here. But, I feel I must point out the other
side, a side which I did NOT feel was being represented very well in this thread..... So hopefully,
I will be able to at least semi intelligently represent those who do NOT go along with all of
Obama's policies.
It really isn't about objections. I have a scientific 'bent' so I naturally support the 'sceptical' perspective. I am also suspicious of politicians, since their whole existence depends on reconciling the often irreconcilable - it means that they have to be experts in saying 'less than the truth'.

This, however, to me as an outside observer, goes much deeper. I'm old enough to remember several US presidencies, and I can't remember seeing the sort of negative reactions by the US media to a President that I'm seeing here. Now, of course, I don't live there, so I may be mistaken....I really hope I am, but I suspect I'm not....


Well, you are right, you don't live here, and I will guarantee you, that there was MORE negative
reaction by the US media to our last president (Bush) then there is to our current president (Obama).
The difference is, in what type of media. Bush was bashed by the newspapers (Washington Post, NY Times) and CNN, CNBC, and the networks (NBC, CBS, ABC).
Obama is being bashed by talk radio, and Fox News.

If you look at these media outlets, it is not really hard to understand. The outlets that were all over
Bush, are outlets with a liberal bent. The ones all over Obama are outlets with a conservative bent.
Err...I didn't say 'amount', I said 'sort'. Sure, Bush was criticised widely, in our press as well as yours. That isn't my point. The point is that the criticisms against Obama seem to be based on nothing....like this one. Bush was heavily criticised here for his 'world affairs' stance. I think that criticism was justified. The other main criticisms we saw here were based on his apparent inability to string a coherent sentence together. That is, perhaps, a bit unkind, but that's politics for you, and I have to say it wasn't groundless.


See, this is the whole thing. You say that Bush was criticized for his world affairs stance.....and that
that was justified. Ok, lets just say I go along with this for sake of argument. You then say that
Obama is criticized for....nothing? That there is NO basis for the criticism against him? That's what
I just CANNOT understand! You may not AGREE with the reasons, so you say there is NO reasons?
That's just not being honest! Let me give you some of the reasons Obama is being criticized.

NUMBER ONE
He has grown our national debt OBSCENELY! This is one of the biggest criticisms of him. He ran
on the platform of NOT growing our national debt, but once in office has certainly done it...and how?

NUMBER TWO
Bailouts of financial organizations and auto industries that many felt should NOT have been bailed out!

NUMBER THREE
Healthcare. I know that people in your countries have a different opinion, but there are actually
many people over here that do NOT want the government in the healthcare field. Or they do NOT
want to be FORCED to purchase healthcare, which is what is part of Obama's plan right now.

If you want more, just let me know, I have a whole LIST of things that Obama is RIGHTLY
criticized for. You may not like them, but there ARE reasons.......to claim otherwise is again
not being honest with yourself.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
See, this is the whole thing. You say that Bush was criticized for his world affairs stance.....and that
that was justified. Ok, lets just say I go along with this for sake of argument. You then say that
Obama is criticized for....nothing? That there is NO basis for the criticism against him? That's what
I just CANNOT understand! You may not AGREE with the reasons, so you say there is NO reasons?
That's just not being honest! Let me give you some of the reasons Obama is being criticized.
Yes, I accept the rebuke - I was referring to the criticisms in THIS instance, and I should have been much clearer - in fact I over-generalised, which is something I deplore and will try to avoid in future.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
See, this is the whole thing. You say that Bush was criticized for his world affairs stance.....and that
that was justified. Ok, lets just say I go along with this for sake of argument. You then say that
Obama is criticized for....nothing? That there is NO basis for the criticism against him? That's what
I just CANNOT understand! You may not AGREE with the reasons, so you say there is NO reasons?
That's just not being honest! Let me give you some of the reasons Obama is being criticized.
Yes, I accept the rebuke - I was referring to the criticisms in THIS instance, and I should have been much clearer - in fact I over-generalised, which is something I deplore and will try to avoid in future.


And in fairness to you, I will point out that you appear to be correct that the 'America 2000' proposal WAS a Republican proposal.
Bikerman
Ahh...I love the smell of civilised debate in the morning Smile *

I'll just say - with regards to the general criticisms of Obama, there are certainly debates to be had, but it might be best to treat them individually in separate threads, since there is a lot of complexity in the issues.

Now, let's explore my contention that there is racism here. I'm still seeking any justification for those districts/schools that DID decide not to show the broadcast. Do you think that it is entirely down to 'die hard republicans' who didn't want a democrat talking to their kids? Or do you, like me, suspect that there is a level of racism here? I'm genuinely interested.

* Yes, I know that the time here is evening, not morning, but just don't spoil an already tenuous reference...
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Ahh...I love the smell of civilised debate in the morning Smile *

I'll just say - with regards to the general criticisms of Obama, there are certainly debates to be had, but it might be best to treat them individually in separate threads, since there is a lot of complexity in the issues.

Now, let's explore my contention that there is racism here. I'm still seeking any justification for those districts/schools that DID decide not to show the broadcast. Do you think that it is entirely down to 'die hard republicans' who didn't want a democrat talking to their kids? Or do you, like me, suspect that there is a level of racism here? I'm genuinely interested.

* Yes, I know that the time here is evening, not morning, but just don't spoil an already tenuous reference...


I'll give you my honest opinion. I do NOT think that most of the opposition to Obama's broadcast was racists. I suspect it is closer to your second idea....that one of 'hard core republicans' who didn't want a democrat talking to their kids and were afraid there was going to be something 'political' in the speech.

Obviously there are racists in this country. But I don't think the pure number of racists is big enough
to make up the uproar that this caused.
Bikerman
Well, you'll have to forgive me for remaining sceptical about that.
I suppose time will tell, but I genuinely do not remember such a furore in 1991, when we both know there were actual grounds for it. Certainly the Democrats objected in Congress, but I don't remember hearing or reading about any public objections.
Now, I'm the first to say that I don't live in the US and I might have missed it - but I do like to think I'm aware of world news in general, and have been for a few decades...
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Well, you'll have to forgive me for remaining sceptical about that.
I suppose time will tell, but I genuinely do not remember such a furore in 1991, when we both know there were actual grounds for it. Certainly the Democrats objected in Congress, but I don't remember hearing or reading about any public objections.
Now, I'm the first to say that I don't live in the US and I might have missed it - but I do like to think I'm aware of world news in general, and have been for a few decades...


Hmmmm...I STILL do NOT see what there were 'actual grounds' for a furor in 1991. I will grant
you that he talked about an initiative that was a Republican initiative, but it did NOT appear overly
partisan....at least to me......it appeared to me, to be much the same, encouraging kids to
try hard in school and graduate. So a presumption by you that
'we both know there were actual grounds for it' in 1991 seems a bit.....off to me. I will grant you that
it WAS a Republican initiative he brought up. Want to guess that I can find something similar that
Obama has done? (By similar I mean using a supposed 'non political' event to further his political
goals by bring up one of his initiatives or goals?) I think THAT was what people THOUGHT he
was going to do (which it did NOT really appear that he did in his speech, at least to my eyes.)

And yes, when Bush did it, it WAS a big deal and parents DID complain (at least in my part of the USA which is admittedly very left leaning)......that's how come I remembered it and brought it up!!!

As far as the racism thing......my guess is that there are a lot of hard core Republicans in this country still (a lot more of them than there are hard core racists at least). In a recent poll, by Gallup, these interesting results were found:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx

So I STILL think it is more about ideas.....and with a LOT of conservative people in the USA, they
are going to disagree with Obama's IDEAS quite often. That doesn't mean they are racist. That's
kind of like saying you are 'sexist' if you don't agree with Sarah Palin.....
Bikerman
OK....go back and read my previous postings for the 'long' explanation, but I'll summarise to save trouble.
When a head of state addresses school children, then the speech should be statesman like, not party political. The President is speaking as head of state - not a politician trying to muster support for his bills.

Imagine if Obama had used this speech to push his health-care bill. He could easily have done so, using words similar to the Bush speech. I can even write part of it if you like?
Obama: We all know that ill-health is a major problem in our schools. Students and staff cannot do their jobs when they are ill, so we need to ensure our school system is supported by the government, and I am happy to announce that my new proposals will ensure that this goal becomes a reality: OR ELSE, by the end of this decade our school system will be on the point of collapse.....

Now, can you see my point ?

PS
Quote:
So I STILL think it is more about ideas.....and with a LOT of conservative people in the USA, they are going to disagree with Obama's IDEAS quite often. That doesn't mean they are racist. That's kind of like saying you are 'sexist' if you don't agree with Sarah Palin
But this is patently absurd in this context since we have both already agreed that there were no 'ideas' in the speech to object to.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
OK....go back and read my previous postings for the 'long' explanation, but I'll summarise to save trouble.
When a head of state addresses school children, then the speech should be statesman like, not party political. The President is speaking as head of state - not a politician trying to muster support for his bills.

Imagine if Obama had used this speech to push his health-care bill. He could easily have done so, using words similar to the Bush speech. I can even write part of it if you like?
Obama: We all know that ill-health is a major problem in our schools. Students and staff cannot do their jobs when they are ill, so we need to ensure our school system is supported by the government, and I am happy to announce that my new proposals will ensure that this goal becomes a reality: OR ELSE, by the end of this decade our school system will be on the point of collapse.....

Now, can you see my point ?

PS
Quote:
So I STILL think it is more about ideas.....and with a LOT of conservative people in the USA, they are going to disagree with Obama's IDEAS quite often. That doesn't mean they are racist. That's kind of like saying you are 'sexist' if you don't agree with Sarah Palin
But this is patently absurd in this context since we have both already agreed that there were no 'ideas' in the speech to object to.


Two things here.

Number 1.
I think that MOST of the uproar around Obama's speech was BEFORE he actually spoke. In other
words, a lot of 'republican types' were 'anticipating' something that did NOT happen. I have NOT
heard complaints since the speech actually came out. In fact, Rush Limbaugh of all people, said
that Obama's speech looked like something a conservative would give......the day AFTER the speech
was given.

Number 2.
My 'patently absurd' contention that people disagree with Obama's IDEAS more than his race, is
a GENERAL statement addressing your contention that this disagreement is racism. It is NOT
a statement on his speech to the school kids, but a more general statement that Americans who disagree with Obama's ideas in general are NOT racist. And guess what? Most Americans seem to agree with me and NOT Jimmy Carter:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/12_say_most_opponents_of_obama_health_care_plan_are_racist

There is another poll out there showing slightly larger numbers rejecting the 'racism' claim, in
a more general question on Obama's performance, but that poll was done by Fox News, and
I can anticipate that many would call that an biased poll.
Ophois
I'd like to say that it was never my intention to suggest that all or even most of the opposition to Obama is rooted in racism. Really, I don't think that's what I said, but take it however you like.
But to say there is little or no racism in the opposition to Obama is just wearing blinders. I am a little dismayed at peoples' inability to see things for what they are.

We can write off the whacko individuals who come up with ideas like the Obama assassination pools or the overtly racist postcards, those people are all over the place. That's why I use the "birther" example. This is not just a few loose screws, it involves legitimate politicians who press the issue with legal action. Rep. John Campbell of California and at least 9 others suddenly decided to sponsor a bill requiring Presidential candidates to submit a birth certificate(right in the midst of the birther movement). Is it because there really was doubt about Obama's citizenship? Even after his BC was produced, even after 2 separate newspapers in Hawaii announced his birth way back in 1961, even after the state health director and the governor of Hawaii attested to his American birth... after all of that, we still have this rather large movement of people(which includes, as I noted, legitimate politicians) who still claim, despite the mass of evidence to the contrary, that Obama is an illegal, undocumented alien. Is this kind of thing still just a difference of ideas? Or is it fair to say that these people are just pissed off that we have a black man in the White House? If there is another explanation for this behavior, I am all ears.

This argument that racism is being artificially injected into every viewpoint that opposes Obama policy is naive at best, and dishonest at worst. For the record, there's no need to inject it, it's there. A poll commissioned by Daily Kos found that only 42% of Republicans believed that Obama was a natural born American citizen(28% say he was born abroad and 30% were unsure), and this was just this past July(not exactly the kind of numbers one expects to see for a supposedly fringe group). Compared with 93% of Dems and 83% of Inds who believe he is a citizen. I can find no reason why this issue would be pressed so hard by people like Rep John Campbell and Alan Keyes(former Presidential candidate) and the droves of other party members who still spew this garbage.

Like I said, if there is another reason for this irrational opposition, then I am willing to hear it. But I have exhausted every avenue I know of, and tend to think that a white guy born in Hawaii would not have had his citizenship doubted so much. As for the school speech, there was simply no reason for schools to take the matter into their own hands. Parents always have the right to pull their kid out of events like that. I think that was more of a political decision than anything, based on fearmongering about "indoctrination".
Alaskacameradude
Ophois wrote:
I'd like to say that it was never my intention to suggest that all or even most of the opposition to Obama is rooted in racism. Really, I don't think that's what I said, but take it however you like.


Well that's good, and I don't think that YOU are the one that is suggesting most of the opposition to
Obama is rooted in racism. It was actually Jimmy Carter. Are there kooks out there? Uh yeah, of
course there are. Are there kooks in the Republican party? Uh YEAH! Are there kooks in
the Democratic Party? Yup. The problems you cite of 'legitimate' Republican politicians that
are attacking Obama, are to my eyes more 'partisan politics' than anything else. Really this
whole 'birther thing' came up in the campaign, and yes, those on the left were leveling it at
McCain as well (as he was born on a military base outside the US.) Of course McCain did NOT
win so the uproar around his 'birth' did not have the staying power. But I still contend there
was a huge amount of just mean spirited things wrote and said about Bush. (Anyone remember
what some of the Democrats were claiming about Bush and Hurricane Katrina? Or about
Bush and 9-11? Trust me, there are 'legitimate' kooks out there in both parties)

One of the reasons that I think it may seem worse to people nowdays though, is the huge
growth and prevailance of internet 'blogs' posing as 'news'. This kind of stuff (the kook stuff) just gets spread all over the place now that there is a method to spread it, and it just seems to be
growing every year.
Ophois
Bloggers posing as news agencies have been doing so for about 10 years now. And it just gets more crazy as time goes on.
I agree, there were ALOT of unfair things said about Bush. The Left became very kooky during the second Bush term, specifically.
My contention that racism plays a hand in how Obama is treated by the Right is held up by the fact that mainstream politicians on the Right are not, as a whole, denouncing the irrational behavior by their so-called "fringe" supporters. In fact, they still allow these people to represent their party at public functions(tea baggers), on the radio(Limbaugh), on television(G. Gordon Liddy), and within their own party they are condoning this behavior by acting just as irrationally with legal actions such as those that John Campbell and Alan Keyes took.
I don't think the Republican party is inherently racist. Though the lunatic fringe of the right certainly is, and it's bleeding over into the main party, and being embraced. I said the same thing about the left years ago. They were letting conspiracy theorists represent them in their opposition to Bush. These parties are whoring themselves out for support in such a tawdry way that they are taking it anywhere they can get it. The right just happens to be getting alot of support from some very racist folks.
And they seem OK with it, just as the left seemed OK with support coming from the "Cheney-masterminded-9/11" crowd.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
When a head of state addresses school children, then the speech should be statesman like, not party political. The President is speaking as head of state - not a politician trying to muster support for his bills.
Totally agreed! So why did he not just give his speech to the school children? Why was there a need for involving the Department of Education and circulating the speech to all the schools? When one looks at just the speech no one has a problem with it. But it is the communication from the Whitehouse with all the schools and e-mail that the Secretary of DoT circulated to the schools that created a lot of the controversy as well as disruption ahead of his speech. The approach was confusing and became political there and then.

Why could there not be a simple White House press release to the media to say that Obama was going to give a speech to the school children on X day and X time. With no direct communication with the schools. If it could have been presented as neutrally as that, it probably would still have had some complaints, but it would have been much less of a big deal. Schools would not have had to worry whether they have to tune in or not tune in .... etc.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
I don't think the Republican party is inherently racist.
Does the Republican Party have it together however? The greatest noises we seem to hear are the ones that are coming from the extreme right. Slightly less noise but also quite absurd noise from people like Sarah Palin. Looks as thought the Republican Party is badly in need of an overhaul, so that it could at least have some sane people talking to the media as the Republican Party. Since the far right is making so much noise, it must have created a "racist" image, that has to be overblown to a great extent. But obviously to the detriment of the Republican Party. Who would want to identify with the far right group? Perhaps there could be a justification for a third party, called the Liberal Party? Question
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
Does the Republican Party have it together however?
Neither party, in my opinion, has it together. Other than running a damn near flawless campaign and winning the race, the Dems are just as screwy as the Reps.
Quote:
The greatest noises we seem to hear are the ones that are coming from the extreme right. Slightly less noise but also quite absurd noise from people like Sarah Palin.
Why anyone gives this windbag a minute of time is beyond me. She may be well educated(I am assuming), but she has a real foot-in-mouth syndrome that I haven't seen a public speaker suffer from in quite some time. I'm not sure she's even real. Maybe just an invention from the writers of a really bad sit-com.
Quote:
Looks as thought the Republican Party is badly in need of an overhaul, so that it could at least have some sane people talking to the media as the Republican Party.
That's one thing I'll give the Dems; they choose their public speakers alot more carefully. The Republican party's choice in leaders reminds me of the girl who dates jerkoffs and can't figure out why her relationships keep falling apart. She's not necessarily a stupid girl, she just has awful taste in men.
Quote:
Since the far right is making so much noise, it must have created a "racist" image, that has to be overblown to a great extent. But obviously to the detriment of the Republican Party. Who would want to identify with the far right group?
I just don't think they are making the right kind of noise. They should denounce the nutjobs who attend town hall meetings armed to the teeth, the birthers, etc. And start trumpeting their real goals. But that means they also need a real plan, not just a bunch of anti-Dem noise.
Quote:
Perhaps there could be a justification for a third party, called the Liberal Party?
I am all for a new party, but Americans are so 'indoctrinated'(sorry for use of that word) into the so-called two party system that it will just be mocked and labeled much the same way the Independent party is during every Presidential campaign.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
I just don't think they are making the right kind of noise. They should denounce the nutjobs who attend town hall meetings armed to the teeth, the birthers, etc. And start trumpeting their real goals. But that means they also need a real plan, not just a bunch of anti-Dem noise.
Totally agreed. I've been waiting for it every time after Cheney made his "crazy comments". Perhaps time that he should be put out to pasture.

Ophois wrote:
I am all for a new party, but Americans are so 'indoctrinated'(sorry for use of that word) into the so-called two party system that it will just be mocked and labeled much the same way the Independent party is during every Presidential campaign.
I just wish it could be possible, as if the US could introduce something that is totally novel from the two party system, it may be of enough historic significance and novel enough to get many more of the "sane people" of the "quiet majority of sceptics" to particpate in the political system.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
I just wish it could be possible, as if the US could introduce something that is totally novel from the two party system, it may be of enough historic significance and novel enough to get many more of the "sane people" of the "quiet majority of sceptics" to particpate in the political system.
First, this new party would need a leader that wasn't afraid to be completely different. I would love to see a party leader who never makes a single religious reference when talking about how he would run the country, for example. Also, I would love to see a working class individual make it to office. Wealth doesn't equate to intelligence, common sense, or a desire to do what's right. The opposite is quite often the case. Basically, this new party would need to have huge balls, and not have vested interests in(be in the pockets of) big corporations.

This party would need a leader who sees America the way people in Topeka and Scottsdale and Birmingham see it, not the way it's seen from inside the beltway, as an chart of demographics and figures and statistics and polls. They need to see the faces of America, not just the figures.

Only then will we have a leader worthy of office and willing to do what's right, not for their lackeys in congress or corporate America, but for you and me and our kids.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Ophois wrote:
I just don't think they are making the right kind of noise. They should denounce the nutjobs who attend town hall meetings armed to the teeth, the birthers, etc. And start trumpeting their real goals. But that means they also need a real plan, not just a bunch of anti-Dem noise.
Totally agreed. I've been waiting for it every time after Cheney made his "crazy comments". Perhaps time that he should be put out to pasture.

Ophois wrote:
I am all for a new party, but Americans are so 'indoctrinated'(sorry for use of that word) into the so-called two party system that it will just be mocked and labeled much the same way the Independent party is during every Presidential campaign.
I just wish it could be possible, as if the US could introduce something that is totally novel from the two party system, it may be of enough historic significance and novel enough to get many more of the "sane people" of the "quiet majority of sceptics" to particpate in the political system.


America doesn't have a right and left party. At this point America has a center party and an insane party.

Maybe Palin can start her own right wing fringe party, and the Republicans can move to center-right, the Dems to center-left, and the Socialist party could be allowed as much exposure as the right wing fringe is currently being given.
Ophois
handfleisch wrote:
America doesn't have a right and left party. At this point America has a center party and an insane party.
I agree. I use the terms 'right', 'left' etc, as arbitrary labels.
Quote:
Maybe Palin can start her own right wing fringe party
Well, it would certainly keep Tina Fey and SNL in business for a good while. Other than that, I don't think a Palin Party would be of much value for anything other than mockery and scorn.
Alaskacameradude
Some definite good comments here. I too would welcome something new.....I think politics as is
in America is......well I compare it to pigs playing in the mud. You might get into it for the
right reasons, but within 5 minutes, you are dirty, just like the rest of them. And the way politics
works, just tends to INCREASE our national debt. Want to get a road or school built in your district?
Ok, but to get the votes, you have to give other politicians something for their district......even if it
is NOT really needed. That's the way the system works, and I for one do NOT want to hand this huge
debt to my children........they do not deserve to have a 30% lower standard of living than I do, just
because our government can't figure out that we can't keep spending money we don't have!
I'd support term limits for EVERYONE, getting big money out of politics and many other reforms.
Unfortunately, I am a realist, and know the chances of any of this actually happening is very
slim.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Two things here.
Number 1.
I think that MOST of the uproar around Obama's speech was BEFORE he actually spoke. In other
words, a lot of 'republican types' were 'anticipating' something that did NOT happen. I have NOT
heard complaints since the speech actually came out. In fact, Rush Limbaugh of all people, said
that Obama's speech looked like something a conservative would give......the day AFTER the speech
was given.
That is one interpretation. The other is that a lot of racist types did exactly the same thing. The simple fact is that a lot of people pre-judged the speech based on some personal 'notion' of what it would contain. What was that notion based on (since it was clearly irrational)? Party dogmatism? Racism? Obviously, like all real life situations, it will be a mix of the two. I don't know what proportion the mix is - and I suspect it is impossible to quantify. I am becoming more sure, however, that racism played an important role.
Quote:
Number 2.
My 'patently absurd' contention that people disagree with Obama's IDEAS more than his race, is
a GENERAL statement addressing your contention that this disagreement is racism. It is NOT
a statement on his speech to the school kids, but a more general statement that Americans who disagree with Obama's ideas in general are NOT racist. And guess what? Most Americans seem to agree with me and NOT Jimmy Carter:
Well, I doubt that many Americans would happily describe themselves as racist - that sort of goes without saying. Most racists I have come across generally use words like 'I'm not a racist BUT...' or 'some of my best friends are black, BUT'.....
I'm not saying that racism IS the major reason for the fuss over this speech, but I have still yet to hear a convincing alternative...
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
I am becoming more sure, however, that racism played an important role.

What evidence do you have for this gross generalization that "racism played an important role"?


BTW, Solon_Poledourus/Ophois, nice to have you back. I was wondering where you ran off to.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I am becoming more sure, however, that racism played an important role.

What evidence do you have for this gross generalization that "racism played an important role"?
Logic. I presume you would not dispute that there is racism in your society? Now, why would school districts and parents object, in advance, to a speech by the Head of State which they could have checked beforehand, but obviously chose not to. Why would they then say that their objection was based on THE CONTENTS of the speech?* Only two possibilities seem reasonable to me...
a) They are basing the prejudice on party-political dogma.
b) They are basing their prejudice on racism.
The fact that they retrospectively try to say it was actually the content they objected to is a very good indicator of dishonesty in my opinion, since nobody has been able to put any flesh on that objection.
As for how much of a and b were involved, I don't know - I have already said that I think it is a mix of the two, but I really can't see the 'party political' angle being the overwhelming factor. How many Republican politicians have condemned the speech? I haven't seen any coherent criticisms to date. There simply wasn't anything in the speech to reasonably object to. Now, as I said previously, if the principled objection was that NO president should address schoolchildren, then I might be willing to grant that this was a consistent, if odd, stance. That doesn't seem to me to be the case. Remember that some of the districts who 'opted out' of the Obama speech then arranged to bus kids to a Bush speech. I am left with the abiding impression, therefore, that there is something more at work here...

PS - it wasn't a gross generalisation. If I had said that racism was the only factor then THAT would have been a gross generalisation.

* see earlier quotes in this thread for examples.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I am becoming more sure, however, that racism played an important role.

What evidence do you have for this gross generalization that "racism played an important role"?
Logic. I presume you would not dispute that there is racism in your society? Now, why would school districts and parents object, in advance, to a speech by the Head of State which they could have checked beforehand, but obviously chose not to. Why would they then say that their objection was based on THE CONTENTS of the speech?* Only two possibilities seem reasonable to me...
a) They are basing the prejudice on party-political dogma.
b) They are basing their prejudice on racism.
The fact that they retrospectively try to say it was actually the content they objected to is a very good indicator of dishonesty in my opinion, since nobody has been able to put any flesh on that objection.
As for how much of a and b were involved, I don't know - I have already said that I think it is a mix of the two, but I really can't see the 'party political' angle being the overwhelming factor. How many Republican politicians have condemned the speech? I haven't seen any coherent criticisms to date....
I am left with the abiding impression, therefore, that there is something more at work here...

PS - it wasn't a gross generalisation. If I had said that racism was the only factor then THAT would have been a gross generalisation.

* see earlier quotes in this thread for examples.


Your "logic" is really just your opinion. Do you have any evidence that you are so keen on demanding from others? Seems hypocritical to me if all of a sudden your opinion is now to be accepted as evidence. Just because racism may exist in a society doesn't mean every criticism is racism. Following your logic, the criticism of GHWB's speech was also racism.
PS - To claim that criticism of someone, just because they are black, is racism IS a gross generalization.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Your "logic" is really just your opinion. Do you have any evidence that you are so keen on demanding from others? Seems hypocritical to me if all of a sudden your opinion is now to be accepted as evidence.
Where did I say it was evidence? You asked me why I thought what I do, and I explained it. Take it or leave it.
Quote:
Just because racism may exist in a society doesn't mean every criticism is racism. Following your logic, the criticism of GHWB's speech was also racism.
Err...
a) I didn't say that every criticism was racist, in fact I'm pretty sure I was explicit in NOT saying that.
b) Are you saying that school districts 'opted out' of the 1991 Bush speech in advance? I haven't seen any evidence of that yet - perhaps you can find some?
Anyway, I thought we had already established that the Bush speech was politically partisan. It contained several references to the Republican 'America 2000' initiative. Criticism was therefore valid.
Quote:
PS - To claim that criticism of someone, just because they are black, is racism IS a gross generalization.
Yes, if I had made that claim then you might have a point.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Your "logic" is really just your opinion. Do you have any evidence that you are so keen on demanding from others? Seems hypocritical to me if all of a sudden your opinion is now to be accepted as evidence.
Where did I say it was evidence? You asked me why I thought what I do, and I explained it. Take it or leave it.
Quote:
Just because racism may exist in a society doesn't mean every criticism is racism. Following your logic, the criticism of GHWB's speech was also racism.
Err...
a) I didn't say that every criticism was racist, in fact I'm pretty sure I was explicit in NOT saying that.
b) Are you saying that school districts 'opted out' of the 1991 Bush speech in advance? I haven't seen any evidence of that yet - perhaps you can find some?
Quote:
PS - To claim that criticism of someone, just because they are black, is racism IS a gross generalization.
Yes, if I had made that claim then you might have a point.


No, I asked for evidence to support your claim and you only provided more opinion, no evidence. If you're willing to admit that it's just your opinion I'm content with leaving it at that. If you are arguing that it was indeed racism, I would again ask for evidence to support your claim. Racism is a very charged accusation, and I'm sure you wouldn't make it without some evidence.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
No, I asked for evidence to support your claim and you only provided more opinion, no evidence. If you're willing to admit that it's just your opinion I'm content with leaving it at that. If you are arguing that it was indeed racism, I would again ask for evidence to support your claim. Racism is a very charged accusation, and I'm sure you wouldn't make it without some evidence.
I am certainly arguing that racism was a factor. Do I really need to go and google the 'literature' for examples of this in the US? I can, if you really insist, but I doubt it will progress the debate. The argument, therefore, is over how important racism is as a factor. I think (ie it is my opinion) that it is pretty important. I cannot conceive how one could support that opinion (or refute it) on an objective, evidential basis, so it obviously must remain 'just' an opinion.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
No, I asked for evidence to support your claim and you only provided more opinion, no evidence. If you're willing to admit that it's just your opinion I'm content with leaving it at that. If you are arguing that it was indeed racism, I would again ask for evidence to support your claim. Racism is a very charged accusation, and I'm sure you wouldn't make it without some evidence.
I am certainly arguing that racism was a factor. Do I really need to go and google the 'literature' for examples of this in the US? I can, if you really insist, but I doubt it will progress the debate. The argument, therefore, is over how important racism is as a factor. I think (ie it is my opinion) that it is pretty important. I cannot conceive how one could support that opinion (or refute it) on an objective, evidential basis, so it obviously must remain 'just' an opinion.


I'm not arguing that racism hasn't existed in the US (it has and does in the world throughout, even the UK), but rather your claim that racism "racism played an important role" (your words, not mine) in the parents wanting to not having their children participate. If you can provide such evidence, I would consider it. If not...

If you are going to demand such high standards of others you should be willing to do the same yourself if you don't want to be a hypocrite. I'm just saying.
Bikerman
Since I made it clear that it was an opinion, not a 'fact' then I see no grounds for an accusation of hypocrisy. If you can suggest a method of testing then I'll happily consider it. If you can't then opinion is all that is possible.
I demand evidence when statements of 'fact' are made, or opinions are expressed which can easily be tested. It would be absurd to demand evidence when such opinions cannot be tested.
Now, of course, being a science-type, I maintain that it should be possible to test the hypothesis. It should be possible to design a study which would reveal motivations for certain actions. The point is that I don't know of any study in this instance, so all we have is opinion.

I can't, to take another example, 'prove' that Joe Wilson is a racist. I can look at such evidence as is available - the fact that nobody has called the President a 'liar' in Congress before (to be best of my knowledge) is, I think, relevant. I don't think the Democrats ever used such language in the 'house', even when Bush was at his most unpopular. Now, maybe Wilson was indeed so incensed by the politics that he couldn't contain himself. I don't know any way to test it. In my opinion there is a deep current of racism there, but how could I possibly prove it? I can't, therefore, state that he is a racist. I can say that I think that he is, based on my consideration of such evidence as is available to me.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
Since I made it clear that it was an opinion, not a 'fact' then I see no grounds for an accusation of hypocrisy. If you can suggest a method of testing then I'll happily consider it. If you can't then opinion is all that is possible.
I demand evidence when statements of 'fact' are made, or opinions are expressed which can easily be tested. It would be absurd to demand evidence when such opinions cannot be tested.
Now, of course, being a science-type, I maintain that it should be possible to test the hypothesis. It should be possible to design a study which would reveal motivations for certain actions. The point is that I don't know of any study in this instance, so all we have is opinion.

I can't, to take another example, 'prove' that Joe Wilson is a racist. I can look at such evidence as is available - the fact that nobody has called the President a 'liar' in Congress before (to be best of my knowledge) is, I think, relevant. I don't think the Democrats ever used such language in the 'house', even when Bush was at his most unpopular. Now, maybe Wilson was indeed so incensed by the politics that he couldn't contain himself. I don't know any way to test it. In my opinion there is a deep current of racism there, but how could I possibly prove it? I can't, therefore, state that he is a racist. I can say that I think that he is, based on my consideration of such evidence as is available to me.


I'm fine with agreeing that your cries of racism are your opinion only and not statement of fact. I think we get into deep water when one person's opinion (not to say others may not hold the same opinion) becomes a basis of fact. If you want to hold the opinion that criticism of the president is racist, that's your right (at least in the US). But that doesn't make it true any more than, for example, some people's opinion that the US government took part in the September 11 attacks, etc. Unless such an accusations can be proven or at least backed up with some real evidence, it is just opinion, no matter how fringed it is.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Two things here.
Number 1.
I think that MOST of the uproar around Obama's speech was BEFORE he actually spoke. In other
words, a lot of 'republican types' were 'anticipating' something that did NOT happen. I have NOT
heard complaints since the speech actually came out. In fact, Rush Limbaugh of all people, said
that Obama's speech looked like something a conservative would give......the day AFTER the speech
was given.
That is one interpretation. The other is that a lot of racist types did exactly the same thing. The simple fact is that a lot of people pre-judged the speech based on some personal 'notion' of what it would contain. What was that notion based on (since it was clearly irrational)? Party dogmatism? Racism? Obviously, like all real life situations, it will be a mix of the two. I don't know what proportion the mix is - and I suspect it is impossible to quantify. I am becoming more sure, however, that racism played an important role.
Quote:
Number 2.
My 'patently absurd' contention that people disagree with Obama's IDEAS more than his race, is
a GENERAL statement addressing your contention that this disagreement is racism. It is NOT
a statement on his speech to the school kids, but a more general statement that Americans who disagree with Obama's ideas in general are NOT racist. And guess what? Most Americans seem to agree with me and NOT Jimmy Carter:
Well, I doubt that many Americans would happily describe themselves as racist - that sort of goes without saying. Most racists I have come across generally use words like 'I'm not a racist BUT...' or 'some of my best friends are black, BUT'.....
I'm not saying that racism IS the major reason for the fuss over this speech, but I have still yet to hear a convincing alternative...


Well, first I would tackle, the fact that people pre-judged his speech based on the personal notion
of what it would contain. A notion you say is irrational. I think that people pre-judged the speech
based on history......Obama's history of speech making. Much like any politician, his speeches are
FULL of political rhetoric....that's what politicians do after all....and this is really the only time
I have seen one of Obama's speeches that did NOT have political rhetoric in it......is that fair for
people to do? Not really, but as you remarked earlier about people saying things about Bush....
that IS politics.....people do unfair things in politics. I think it was admirable of Obama to NOT
inject politics in this particular speech, and suspect that part of the reason for this may have
been the uproar about the speech......I know at least part of the speech was removed (a part that
I did NOT feel was partisan either, but apparently the White House wanted to remove some
perceived criticisms they felt might arise)

Second, you claim that you have yet to hear a convincing alternative to racism. I would say I have
yet to hear a convincing argument that SUGGESTS racism. I mean I guess we can agree to disagree and all. By the way......guess who else agrees with me?.......

"To NBC News, Obama put it this way: "It's an argument that's gone on for the history of this republic, and that is, What's the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look out for one another? ... This is not a new argument, and it always evokes passions."

Read the rest of it here.....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obama
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Two things here.
Number 1.
I think that MOST of the uproar around Obama's speech was BEFORE he actually spoke. In other
words, a lot of 'republican types' were 'anticipating' something that did NOT happen. I have NOT
heard complaints since the speech actually came out. In fact, Rush Limbaugh of all people, said
that Obama's speech looked like something a conservative would give......the day AFTER the speech
was given.
That is one interpretation. The other is that a lot of racist types did exactly the same thing. The simple fact is that a lot of people pre-judged the speech based on some personal 'notion' of what it would contain. What was that notion based on (since it was clearly irrational)? Party dogmatism? Racism? Obviously, like all real life situations, it will be a mix of the two. I don't know what proportion the mix is - and I suspect it is impossible to quantify. I am becoming more sure, however, that racism played an important role.
Quote:
Number 2.
My 'patently absurd' contention that people disagree with Obama's IDEAS more than his race, is
a GENERAL statement addressing your contention that this disagreement is racism. It is NOT
a statement on his speech to the school kids, but a more general statement that Americans who disagree with Obama's ideas in general are NOT racist. And guess what? Most Americans seem to agree with me and NOT Jimmy Carter:
Well, I doubt that many Americans would happily describe themselves as racist - that sort of goes without saying. Most racists I have come across generally use words like 'I'm not a racist BUT...' or 'some of my best friends are black, BUT'.....
I'm not saying that racism IS the major reason for the fuss over this speech, but I have still yet to hear a convincing alternative...


Well, first I would tackle, the fact that people pre-judged his speech based on the personal notion
of what it would contain. A notion you say is irrational. I think that people pre-judged the speech
based on history......Obama's history of speech making. Much like any politician, his speeches are
FULL of political rhetoric....that's what politicians do after all....and this is really the only time
I have seen one of Obama's speeches that did NOT have political rhetoric in it......is that fair for
people to do? Not really, but as you remarked earlier about people saying things about Bush....
that IS politics.....people do unfair things in politics. I think it was admirable of Obama to NOT
inject politics in this particular speech, and suspect that part of the reason for this may have
been the uproar about the speech......I know at least part of the speech was removed (a part that
I did NOT feel was partisan either, but apparently the White House wanted to remove some
perceived criticisms they felt might arise)

Second, you claim that you have yet to hear a convincing alternative to racism. I would say I have
yet to hear a convincing argument that SUGGESTS racism. I mean I guess we can agree to disagree and all. By the way......guess who else agrees with me?.......

"To NBC News, Obama put it this way: "It's an argument that's gone on for the history of this republic, and that is, What's the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look out for one another? ... This is not a new argument, and it always evokes passions."

Read the rest of it here.....
Obama says anger is NOT motivated by race...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obama

And one more article

Dems distance themselves from race remarks

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/27248;_ylt=AqRS75wWaNZ07EwLCax_RQAGw_IE;_ylu=X3oDMTE4dDk3M3I4BHBvcwMyBHNlYwN5bl9wcm9tb3NfdG9wX2JhcgRzbGsDcG9saXRpY28-
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Also, I would love to see a working class individual make it to office. Wealth doesn't equate to intelligence, common sense, or a desire to do what's right. The opposite is quite often the case. Basically, this new party would need to have huge balls, and not have vested interests in(be in the pockets of) big corporations.
Or a person who may have wealth but complete relates to "what is real". And yes, is completely unafraid of the establishment. Funding would probably be a huge issue though, isn't that how Presidents get to be told what to do before they get elected? The real people in power being the ones contributing to his presidential campaign?

Also, I would like it to be more than just about one person in the party. There should be a group of people from different industries and places in the social environment, all speaking at the same time. The more, the better.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
At this point America has a center party and an insane party.
Which is the center party and which is the insane party? For once I have to agree with you however. I would not state it as "insane" though, the Republican Party collectively from the point of view of the people that get quoted in the media is coming across everything but clear and rational. The only one that makes a good point now and then is McCain. But possibly both he and Cheney need to retire now. Surely the Conservative Party can come up with mainstream dignified politicians who can also do the talking. But I guess they would first have to get together and decide what their policies are? Who knows, since everyone is always thinking in parallel in life, they are working on it as we are discussing this.
deanhills
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Some definite good comments here. I too would welcome something new.....I think politics as is
in America is......well I compare it to pigs playing in the mud. You might get into it for the
right reasons, but within 5 minutes, you are dirty, just like the rest of them. And the way politics
works, just tends to INCREASE our national debt. Want to get a road or school built in your district?
Ok, but to get the votes, you have to give other politicians something for their district......even if it
is NOT really needed. That's the way the system works, and I for one do NOT want to hand this huge
debt to my children........they do not deserve to have a 30% lower standard of living than I do, just
because our government can't figure out that we can't keep spending money we don't have!
I'd support term limits for EVERYONE, getting big money out of politics and many other reforms.
Unfortunately, I am a realist, and know the chances of any of this actually happening is very
slim.
I am really enjoying your comments Alaska. I was just wondering whether I could put two questions to you?
1. What do you think could the solution be for the upward spiralling of national debt, as it seems to be a reflection of a political system that is in a rut.
2. I've always wondered about this, and maybe you can comment on this, the US debt is owned by the rest of the world. China owns about 25% of that debt. If I were to owe someone that amount of debt, I would not be able to sleep at night, especially if their Government policies are in conflict of mine. How does this work? If I were to be a private individual, the bank would be able to call in my loans at any time. Can China do that, call in its loans, and what do you think would the effect of it be? Or can the US continue with ad infinitum trillions of debt? It's just a paper tiger growing bigger and bigger?
Alaskacameradude
deanhills wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Some definite good comments here. I too would welcome something new.....I think politics as is
in America is......well I compare it to pigs playing in the mud. You might get into it for the
right reasons, but within 5 minutes, you are dirty, just like the rest of them. And the way politics
works, just tends to INCREASE our national debt. Want to get a road or school built in your district?
Ok, but to get the votes, you have to give other politicians something for their district......even if it
is NOT really needed. That's the way the system works, and I for one do NOT want to hand this huge
debt to my children........they do not deserve to have a 30% lower standard of living than I do, just
because our government can't figure out that we can't keep spending money we don't have!
I'd support term limits for EVERYONE, getting big money out of politics and many other reforms.
Unfortunately, I am a realist, and know the chances of any of this actually happening is very
slim.
I am really enjoying your comments Alaska. I was just wondering whether I could put two questions to you?
1. What do you think could the solution be for the upward spiralling of national debt, as it seems to be a reflection of a political system that is in a rut.
2. I've always wondered about this, and maybe you can comment on this, the US debt is owned by the rest of the world. China owns about 25% of that debt. If I were to owe someone that amount of debt, I would not be able to sleep at night, especially if their Government policies are in conflict of mine. How does this work? If I were to be a private individual, the bank would be able to call in my loans at any time. Can China do that, call in its loans, and what do you think would the effect of it be? Or can the US continue with ad infinitum trillions of debt? It's just a paper tiger growing bigger and bigger?


Very good comments. Here's what I would say

1. Yes, it is a reflection of a political system in a rut. Why? Cause it's popular to run a deficit.
Think about it.......we WON'T tax you (or in Obama's case will promise to lower taxes on 95% of
you), but we WILL give you more and more government programs to help you! Who is NOT going
to like that? It is politically popular to run a deficit, as you are giving the citizens programs for
(basically) nothing! I really don't know if this CAN be solved, until we, the voters, wake up and
realize that we DO have to pay for these things! And then, we, as voters, have to REFUSE to elect
these 'Santa Claus' candidates who promise us EVERYTHING and hold us accountable for NONE
of it. It's the American way......I want national Healthcare, Social Security, Medicaid, Section
8 housing, and anything else I can get......but I want SOMEONE ELSE'S TAXES to pay for it!
Well, as a country, we have only OURSELVES to blame. After all, these politicians are just
giving us what we want......or think we want. It is personally very frustrating to me, as I sometimes
feel that I am one of the only ones who notices this kind of thing......for example, I KNEW during
last election, that Obama would NOT be able to do what he promised....he can't lower taxes on 95%
of the people, give us new programs, and yet not raise our national debt, which is what he claimed
he would do. It's not physically possible. McCain on the other hand, was just very vague with his
plans, I think he was hoping as most politicians do, to not have to get specific as there is really
no popular answer here. The only REAL alternatives to running a national debt are:

(a) Cut Programs
(b) Raise taxes
(c) Print money which cause massive inflation
as you can see, these are not going to be popular. My personal opinion is that we need
to cut a lot of waste out of our government and raise taxes.

(2) This question is a little more complicated. Yes, I do worry a little about us owing all that
money to China. But it is a little more complicated than that. Although China and the US are NOT
on great terms, the LAST thing China wants is for the US economy to crash. Could China 'call in'
it's loans to the US? I would guess it is theoretically possible. But think how interrelated the whole
world's economic system is now. If the US economy was to crash, what would happen. Well first off, I bet there would be a LOT of Chinese product that would not get bought......stuff that the US
usually would be buying. See, this is a tricky situation, and China could crash their OWN economy by 'calling in the loans'......
As for how long this can go on.....who knows? I have a friend that has been in college for 12 years
because he owes so much in student loans that he doesn't want to stop going to college......once
he stops going to school he has to start paying off the student loans. How is he funding his
'continuing' education? Student loans. At some point, they are going to come due, and by
putting off the 'pain' now, he is making it worse for later. We as a country are doing much the
same. I cringe when I read, that our children will have a 30% lower standard of living than
we do, because we will be having to make so much payments in just INTEREST on our national
debt. We are supposed to be sacrificing to make life for our children BETTER than ours......not
handing them some huge national debt......well, in my opinion at least.
deanhills
Alaskacameradude wrote:
I have a friend that has been in college for 12 years
because he owes so much in student loans that he doesn't want to stop going to college......once
he stops going to school he has to start paying off the student loans. How is he funding his
'continuing' education? Student loans. At some point, they are going to come due.
I also saw it the same way, i.e. the interrelatedness of it all, however, the part that I cannot understand is that there is no clear picture of what point those loans become due, or whether they would ever become due?

I'm probably complete off topic here, so will start a new thread in the Economics Forum:
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-110327.html#917824
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
the 'house', even when Bush was at his most unpopular. Now, maybe Wilson was indeed so incensed by the politics that he couldn't contain himself. I don't know any way to test it. In my opinion there is a deep current of racism there, but how could I possibly prove it? I can't, therefore, state that he is a racist. I can say that I think that he is, based on my consideration of such evidence as is available to me.


I don't see what Wilson said as racist at all. I don't excuse his behaviour but I can't imagine he would have said it unspontaneously. As what he said actually was detrimental to what he had been passionate about, which was that he did not believe the facts Obama was using in his speech at the point of his outburst were true. Any rational reasonably intelligent person would have known that was the worst thing to do as it immediately garnered sympathy for Obama and nothing happened with Wilson's criticism, he could not say why he thought it was a lie or dare speak his mind after this blunder. His apology was also as spontaneous as his comment. He knew he was wrong and the Dems of course capitalized on it as much as they could. If it had been the reverse situation I'm sure the Republicans would have done the same thing. I doubt the Dems would have been called racist though!

With respect, could your present moment views of racism be coloured by what is happening in the UK instead of the US? Up to a decade or more ago, the UK did not have as much problems with racial hate issues than it is having at present including far right Nazi type parties being established in the conservative areas of the UK.

The US obviously still has issues with racism especially as seen in the far right parts of its establishment, but I think it is far more advanced in its progress than in the UK, as the US has had much more struggles to grow through in its melting pot of cultures. UK for the first time in probably its history is becoming to grapple with serious racist issues on its own home island instead of only having the luxury of pointing fingers at countries where racism has been/is prevalent. I can offer the following "evidence" from the UK Department of Justice "Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2007/8" released in August 2009:

Quote:
This report provides details of how members of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community in England and Wales are represented in our Criminal Justice System. As a statistical publication, it does not aim to provide a detailed commentary on the figures. Instead it seeks to collate information provided by CJS agencies on BME representation. Based on this material it can be seen that there are nearly eight times more stops and searches of Black people per head of population than of White people (see Chapter 4), there are four times more arrests of Black people per head of population than of White people (see Chapter 5), and there are five times more Black people in prison per head of population than White people (see Chapter 9).

http://www.justice.gov.uk/stats-race-criminal-justice-system-07-08-revised.pdf

Things seem to have become worse in 2005 by a great percentage after the bomb attacks.

Quote:
Mr Phillips' concerns appear to be backed by crime statistics which show that race hate crimes soared by almost 600 per cent in London in the month after the July 7 (2005) bomb attacks with 269 offences motivated by religious hatred reported to the Metropolitan Police, as compared with in the same period last year.

He warned that the levels of segregation were now reaching those experienced in the US, where the faltering response to Hurricane Katrina has been widely blamed on the fact that many of its victims were poor and black.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article569491.ece
Bikerman
Quote:
With respect, could your present moment views of racism be coloured by what is happening in the UK instead of the US? Up to a decade or more ago, the UK did not have as much problems with racial hate issues than it is having at present including far right Nazi type parties being established in the conservative areas of the UK.
Dean, you haven't got a clue what you are talking about.
Racism in the UK was FAR worse in my youth than it is today, and going back further, did you ever hear of Oswald Mosely? The brown shirts? No, you probably haven't, otherwise you wouldn't make such breathtakingly stupid comments.
Deanhills wrote:
UK for the first time in probably its history is becoming to grapple with serious racist issues on its own home island instead of only having the luxury of pointing fingers at countries where racism has been/is prevalent.
Do you actually know ANY history at all? Clearly, based on this, you don't.

Remember Lincoln's wise words?
Abraham Lincoln wrote:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Of course we have racism here - I have never said otherwise. As someone who has marched with the anti-Nazi league, I find the suggestion that I don't know about racism in my own country quite insulting. I have spent much of my adult life speaking against all types of bigotry, including racism.
The reason I didn't go off on this tangent is because it is entirely irrelevant to the topic under discussion, just as the issue of racism in your chosen country of residence is not really relevant. Do you really want me to distract this discussion into a consideration of racism in the UAE?
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Well, first I would tackle, the fact that people pre-judged his speech based on the personal notion of what it would contain. A notion you say is irrational. I think that people pre-judged the speech based on history......Obama's history of speech making. Much like any politician, his speeches are FULL of political rhetoric....that's what politicians do after all....and this is really the only time I have seen one of Obama's speeches that did NOT have political rhetoric in it......is that fair for people to do? Not really, but as you remarked earlier about people saying things about Bush....that IS politics.....people do unfair things in politics. I think it was admirable of Obama to NOT inject politics in this particular speech, and suspect that part of the reason for this may have been the uproar about the speech......I know at least part of the speech was removed (a part that I did NOT feel was partisan either, but apparently the White House wanted to remove some
perceived criticisms they felt might arise)
OK - let's deal with this. As I have tried to make clear, the issue is NOT so much that people prejudged the speech. The issue is that they then lied about it by saying their objection was based on the content of the speech, or some other completely spurious reason.
Now, why would they do that?
If the objection was just to Obama making the speech in the first place then why not say so. Instead we have school districts saying that they objected to the content of the speech, or they didn't have time to broadcast the speech. To my mind this indicates that they are afraid to give their real reasons and that those reasons are both irrational and perhaps racist.
If the schools, or districts, were really concerned that the speech might have been political, then why did they not simply put-off the broadcast for a couple of days, until they had time to view it in full, and then use the webcast on the DoE site?
Check out the response of one particular district in Missouri:
Quote:
"The central office has received several parent calls in regard to a letter for all school principals from Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education) which announces that on September 8th President Obama will provide a national address directly to all students across America. The letter encourages principals to allow the broadcast to be live in their buildings. This has not been confirmed through DESE and will not be something our schools will be participating in. We have no background information or guidelines to follow within our curriculum to try to provide a setting for this format."
Check the last sentence. Is that credible? Remotely? Are we really to believe that they don't know how to turn on a TV?

I've also tried to draw what I feel is an important distinction between political speeches and 'head of state' speeches. This particular speech was in the second category. Of course Obama has made many speeches full of political rhetoric - that is how he got elected. I haven't yet, however, seen him make a speech as head of state that could be judged in those terms. Have I missed something?
Sure, he will make speeches supporting the policies of his administration - be it health reform or whatever. That is completely different to a situation where he is speaking specifically as 'Head of State', as in this case.
Quote:
Second, you claim that you have yet to hear a convincing alternative to racism. I would say I have yet to hear a convincing argument that SUGGESTS racism. I mean I guess we can agree to disagree and all. By the way......guess who else agrees with me?.......
It doesn't surprise me at all that Obama would want to distance himself from allegations of racism. He is a good political operator and he knows that there is no mileage in pursuing that line of argument. The last thing he needs is to stir-up the racism issue at the moment. I bet he cringed when Carter came out - but that doesn't mean Carter was wrong.

I presume you think that the objections to the speech were based on political 'conviction' (whether rational or not)? OK - I agree that this is certainly going to be a factor - I have said as much. I don't think, however, it is anything like the 'complete story'.

Consider the Arlington district in Texas as a case study. First the administrators say that they cannot interrupt their lesson plans for a 15 minute broadcast by their head of state (any teacher will tell you that this is completely unbelievable), then they arrange to bus the kids to a Bush speech.
Now, is this simply political double-standards or is it something more? You tell me. I think it is more than simply political 'bias'.

I can remember (just) the Reagan, Clinton and Bush broadcasts into schools. As a teacher I take an interest in such things - if for no other reason than I might want to show such speeches to my own students. I don't remember the school districts taking this sort of stance. Sure, there was controversy after the Bush speech - quite rightly because it was partisan - but did schools really decide not to show it at the time? Did schools refuse to show Clinton's broadcast? I really don't know, but my impression is that they didn't.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Well, first I would tackle, the fact that people pre-judged his speech based on the personal notion of what it would contain. A notion you say is irrational. I think that people pre-judged the speech based on history......Obama's history of speech making. Much like any politician, his speeches are FULL of political rhetoric....that's what politicians do after all....and this is really the only time I have seen one of Obama's speeches that did NOT have political rhetoric in it......is that fair for people to do? Not really, but as you remarked earlier about people saying things about Bush....that IS politics.....people do unfair things in politics. I think it was admirable of Obama to NOT inject politics in this particular speech, and suspect that part of the reason for this may have been the uproar about the speech......I know at least part of the speech was removed (a part that I did NOT feel was partisan either, but apparently the White House wanted to remove some
perceived criticisms they felt might arise)
OK - let's deal with this. As I have tried to make clear, the issue is NOT so much that people prejudged the speech. The issue is that they then lied about it by saying their objection was based on the content of the speech, or some other completely spurious reason.
Now, why would they do that?
If the objection was just to Obama making the speech in the first place then why not say so. Instead we have school districts saying that they objected to the content of the speech, or they didn't have time to broadcast the speech. To my mind this indicates that they are afraid to give their real reasons and that those reasons are both irrational and perhaps racist.
If the schools, or districts, were really concerned that the speech might have been political, then why did they not simply put-off the broadcast for a couple of days, until they had time to view it in full, and then use the webcast on the DoE site?
Check out the response of one particular district in Missouri:
Quote:
"The central office has received several parent calls in regard to a letter for all school principals from Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education) which announces that on September 8th President Obama will provide a national address directly to all students across America. The letter encourages principals to allow the broadcast to be live in their buildings. This has not been confirmed through DESE and will not be something our schools will be participating in. We have no background information or guidelines to follow within our curriculum to try to provide a setting for this format."
Check the last sentence. Is that credible? Remotely? Are we really to believe that they don't know how to turn on a TV?

I've also tried to draw what I feel is an important distinction between political speeches and 'head of state' speeches. This particular speech was in the second category. Of course Obama has made many speeches full of political rhetoric - that is how he got elected. I haven't yet, however, seen him make a speech as head of state that could be judged in those terms. Have I missed something?
Sure, he will make speeches supporting the policies of his administration - be it health reform or whatever. That is completely different to a situation where he is speaking specifically as 'Head of State', as in this case.
Quote:
Second, you claim that you have yet to hear a convincing alternative to racism. I would say I have yet to hear a convincing argument that SUGGESTS racism. I mean I guess we can agree to disagree and all. By the way......guess who else agrees with me?.......
It doesn't surprise me at all that Obama would want to distance himself from allegations of racism. He is a good political operator and he knows that there is no mileage in pursuing that line of argument. The last thing he needs is to stir-up the racism issue at the moment. I bet he cringed when Carter came out - but that doesn't mean Carter was wrong.

I presume you think that the objections to the speech were based on political 'conviction' (whether rational or not)? OK - I agree that this is certainly going to be a factor - I have said as much. I don't think, however, it is anything like the 'complete story'.

Consider the Arlington district in Texas as a case study. First the administrators say that they cannot interrupt their lesson plans for a 15 minute broadcast by their head of state (any teacher will tell you that this is completely unbelievable), then they arrange to bus the kids to a Bush speech.
Now, is this simply political double-standards or is it something more? You tell me. I think it is more than simply political 'bias'.

I can remember (just) the Reagan, Clinton and Bush broadcasts into schools. As a teacher I take an interest in such things - if for no other reason than I might want to show such speeches to my own students. I don't remember the school districts taking this sort of stance. Sure, there was controversy after the Bush speech - quite rightly because it was partisan - but did schools really decide not to show it at the time? Did schools refuse to show Clinton's broadcast? I really don't know, but my impression is that they didn't.


Well, it depends. Were there schools that refused to show Clinton's and Bush's broadcasts?
Yup there were. Was there as much of a fuss about those speeches? I guess that depends
on where you live in the world and so on. I live in the capital of a state. It is a VERY political
town. So EVERYTHING is ALWAYS a big deal if it has to deal with politics. Maybe that is coloring
my view. The people I know that objected to the Obama's speech were VERY clear that they were objecting because they THOUGHT it would be a political speech. Of course your argument would probably be:
'well yeah, it's not like they will say they are racists.' So, I dunno that that will solve anything.

You also claim that you have yet to see any 'Head of State' speech by Obama that contains
political references. I really have to wonder......what 'Head of State' speeches are you
talking about? As far as I know, this one to the school kids is the only one he has made.
If you know of another, 'Head of State' speech that Obama has given,
I would be glad to analyze it and give you my opinion.

As for your one school district in Arlington.....if I could find you another school district that
did something similar, but in 'reverse' (letting Obama's speech be aired but not Bush's)
would you concede that is some kind of racism against whites? Because after all, they
would not have KNOWN that Bush's speech would contain political rhetoric....they would
have just assumed that it may.... Or, instead of racism, would you tend to think that
maybe this district would have possibly been politically motivated (especially when said
district is in a very liberal community)?

I mean, I'm sorry, but when almost 70% of the country calls BS on Carter.....the president
himself calls BS, and most Democrats in congress call BS.....
well, as the old saying goes.....if it walks like a duck....and quacks like a duck.....it's probably.......
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Of course we have racism here - I have never said otherwise. As someone who has marched with the anti-Nazi league, I find the suggestion that I don't know about racism in my own country quite insulting.
With respect, there was no suggestion that you are unaware of racism in your own country. I was trying to figure out how you got to the thinking that Wilson was a racist because of his outburst. The equivalent of an educated and enligtened thinking person like you in the US, most likely would not have come to the same conclusion. My conclusion was then that perhaps you have been defining racism in the US by your experiences in the UK.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Well, it depends. Were there schools that refused to show Clinton's and Bush's broadcasts?
Yup there were.
Can you support that?
Alaskacameradude wrote:
You also claim that you have yet to see any 'Head of State' speech by Obama that contains political references. I really have to wonder......what 'Head of State' speeches are you talking about? As far as I know, this one to the school kids is the only one he has made.
If you know of another, 'Head of State' speech that Obama has given,
I would be glad to analyze it and give you my opinion.

OK. How about the Cairo speech to the 'Muslim world'.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5443448/Barack-Obama-speech-the-full-transcript.html
PS - I think I said 'party political' - if not then that is obviously what I meant. Obviously any speech is going to be political to some extent, but 'head of state' speeches should not be party political. They should represent the nation as it is, not as the President would like it to be if his bills get passed.
Alaskacameradude wrote:
As for your one school district in Arlington.....if I could find you another school district that did something similar, but in 'reverse' (letting Obama's speech be aired but not Bush's) would you concede that is some kind of racism against whites? Because after all, they would not have KNOWN that Bush's speech would contain political rhetoric....they would
have just assumed that it may.... Or, instead of racism, would you tend to think that
maybe this district would have possibly been politically motivated (especially when said
district is in a very liberal community)?
If you can find a number of districts that did it, then yes I'd take that as evidence. If you could then show that those districts were controlled by non-whites then I might even contemplate it as an example of 'anti-white' racism.

PS - I actually gave you 2 districts and could have given more, but I haven't collated any stats or checked sources yet. Here is how it was reported in the UK, for example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/08/obama-school-speech-boycott-protest
Quote:
But the supportive Republican voices came too late for many school districts in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, who had already decided not to show it.
So, yes, if you can show me that several districts refused to show the Bush speech, without seeing it, and said that it was for some obviously false reason, then that would obviously be strong evidence for the 'political bias' hypothesis, over the 'racism' hypothesis, and like any decent scientist I will be led by the evidence.

PS - you say Arlington is 'liberal'. We have to be careful, because the word tends to get used in different ways over here. Liberal here tends to mean broad-minded and tolerant (rather than the more 'strict' political definition). I'm not convinced that this description could accurately apply to Arlington, which certainly seems to have a racism problem:
http://www.endracisminarlington.com/
Now, of course, I'm an outside observer and I've never been to Arlington, so I can only go on 'reportage' (which you, of all people, will know doesn't necessarily give a balanced picture).
It is certainly true that the site I quote above appear to be largely 'single issue'. I have to say, though, that some of the incidents reported above seem pretty bad...
Alaskacameradude wrote:
I mean, I'm sorry, but when almost 70% of the country calls BS on Carter.....the president himself calls BS, and most Democrats in congress call BS.....well, as the old saying goes.....if it walks like a duck....and quacks like a duck.....it's probably.......
No, I cannot accept that 'argumentum ad populum'. There are far too many examples of '70% of the country' being wrong to attach any special significance to that. You cannot test assertions like this using the popular vote - you have to rely on evidence.
The Democrats and Obama will, as I said, be anxious not to ignite a racism debate, because it would be very counter-productive for them.
Unfortunately, as I said before, in debates like this we have to rely on less than ideal evidence. It is unlikely that many people would willingly describe themselves as racists, so we have to look for secondary evidence, which can always be interpreted in different ways. The best one can do is inform one's opinion to the best of one's ability...
Ophois
jimi256 wrote:
BTW, Solon_Poledourus/Ophois, nice to have you back. I was wondering where you ran off to.
Thanks. I ran off very far away. Had a bunch of stuff going on... I may have to start a thread about it.[/quote]
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Well, it depends. Were there schools that refused to show Clinton's and Bush's broadcasts?
Yup there were.
Can you support that?
Alaskacameradude wrote:
You also claim that you have yet to see any 'Head of State' speech by Obama that contains political references. I really have to wonder......what 'Head of State' speeches are you talking about? As far as I know, this one to the school kids is the only one he has made.
If you know of another, 'Head of State' speech that Obama has given,
I would be glad to analyze it and give you my opinion.

OK. How about the Cairo speech to the 'Muslim world'.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5443448/Barack-Obama-speech-the-full-transcript.html
PS - I think I said 'party political' - if not then that is obviously what I meant. Obviously any speech is going to be political to some extent, but 'head of state' speeches should not be party political. They should represent the nation as it is, not as the President would like it to be if his bills get passed.
Alaskacameradude wrote:
As for your one school district in Arlington.....if I could find you another school district that did something similar, but in 'reverse' (letting Obama's speech be aired but not Bush's) would you concede that is some kind of racism against whites? Because after all, they would not have KNOWN that Bush's speech would contain political rhetoric....they would
have just assumed that it may.... Or, instead of racism, would you tend to think that
maybe this district would have possibly been politically motivated (especially when said
district is in a very liberal community)?
If you can find a number of districts that did it, then yes I'd take that as evidence. If you could then show that those districts were controlled by non-whites then I might even contemplate it as an example of 'anti-white' racism.

PS - I actually gave you 2 districts and could have given more, but I haven't collated any stats or checked sources yet. Here is how it was reported in the UK, for example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/08/obama-school-speech-boycott-protest
Quote:
But the supportive Republican voices came too late for many school districts in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, who had already decided not to show it.
So, yes, if you can show me that several districts refused to show the Bush speech, without seeing it, and said that it was for some obviously false reason, then that would obviously be strong evidence for the 'political bias' hypothesis, over the 'racism' hypothesis, and like any decent scientist I will be led by the evidence.

PS - you say Arlington is 'liberal'. We have to be careful, because the word tends to get used in different ways over here. Liberal here tends to mean broad-minded and tolerant (rather than the more 'strict' political definition). I'm not convinced that this description could accurately apply to Arlington, which certainly seems to have a racism problem:
http://www.endracisminarlington.com/
Now, of course, I'm an outside observer and I've never been to Arlington, so I can only go on 'reportage' (which you, of all people, will know doesn't necessarily give a balanced picture).
It is certainly true that the site I quote above appear to be largely 'single issue'. I have to say, though, that some of the incidents reported above seem pretty bad...
Alaskacameradude wrote:
I mean, I'm sorry, but when almost 70% of the country calls BS on Carter.....the president himself calls BS, and most Democrats in congress call BS.....well, as the old saying goes.....if it walks like a duck....and quacks like a duck.....it's probably.......
No, I cannot accept that 'argumentum ad populum'. There are far too many examples of '70% of the country' being wrong to attach any special significance to that. You cannot test assertions like this using the popular vote - you have to rely on evidence.
The Democrats and Obama will, as I said, be anxious not to ignite a racism debate, because it would be very counter-productive for them.
Unfortunately, as I said before, in debates like this we have to rely on less than ideal evidence. It is unlikely that many people would willingly describe themselves as racists, so we have to look for secondary evidence, which can always be interpreted in different ways. The best one can do is inform one's opinion to the best of one's ability...


Ok, back through all this....

First, I was NOT implying that Arlington was liberal....I know NOTHING about Arlington, so I would
not presume to speak on it, or the incidents there. I WAS saying, that I am aware of a school
district (close to my home) that did NOT carry (then) President Bush's speech.....this particular
school district is in a liberal (politically) community. So my guess, was NOT that it was some
kind of racism....but rather that it was politically motivated. Unfortunately, I can not find it
in the news anywhere....it was a small rural school district after all, and the national media did
not take notice of it. I also know of several very rural Alaska (think tiny....20 student or less)
schools that did not show Bush's speech. Actually there were a lot of schools that didn't because... President Bush's speech to the school kids was estimated (by the White House, who knows how accurate this is) to have been seen by 4.4 million kids, and the estimated elementary school population was over 30 million.... this suggests that many school districts, did not show it......whether that was them opting out, or just deciding there were better things to do with their time.....I would suspect the latter.
Elementary school kids are really not prone to having long attention spans to speeches, even
those by the president.
Now I will admit this is not EXACTLY the same thing, but apparently a University refused to let
Bush speak at it's commencement...because of what I would refer to as 'politics' not racism.

http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3317&Itemid=53

This is the kind of thing that is pretty common at schools and universities across the USA. There
is enough of a political divide, that when the president plans to speak somewhere, some
group invariably protests.....in my eyes it is usually for political reasons.....ie they don't agree with the president's politics. Sometimes the school district (or university) in question gives in to the
protestors so as not to cause a stir.....other times they don't.

As for Obama's speech to the Muslim world....I have read it and let's see.....

Quote
'I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.'

What's he saying here? Sounds to me like he is saying '
Bush was wrong to go to war and should have used diplomacy instead.'

Quote
'And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.'

Hmmm...more ripping on Republicans saying that we 'acted contrary to our ideals'. Moreover we
are 'now taking action to change course' (can you see the self promotion of OBAMA'S policies here? I sure can!) We then go on to talk about other Obama 'good actions' as opposed to Bush 'BAD actions' (closing Guantanamo, and stopping the waterboarding 'torture')

Quote
'And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas in this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.'
Again, a pointed jab at the 'past injustices' from the Bush administration.....and a promise that
it will now be better now that we have Obama as president.

Quote
'And today I am announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.'

Look, I have nothing against this. But again, he is promoting his agenda and his policies.

Quote
'It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. '

Again, a bit of a jab against 'those who start wars'.

My conclusion. Definitely political.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Ok, back through all this....
First, I was NOT implying that Arlington was liberal....I know NOTHING about Arlington, so I would
not presume to speak on it, or the incidents there. I WAS saying, that I am aware of a school
district (close to my home) that did NOT carry (then) President Bush's speech.....this particular
school district is in a liberal (politically) community.
Sorry, I misread/misunderstood your comment.
Quote:
So my guess, was NOT that it was some kind of racism....but rather that it was politically motivated. Unfortunately, I can not find it in the news anywhere....it was a small rural school district after all, and the national media did not take notice of it. I also know of several very rural Alaska (think tiny....20 student or less) schools that did not show Bush's speech. Actually there were a lot of schools that didn't because... President Bush's speech to the school kids was estimated (by the White House, who knows how accurate this is) to have been seen by 4.4 million kids, and the estimated elementary school population was over 30 million.... this suggests that many school districts, did not show it......whether that was them opting out, or just deciding there were better things to do with their time.....I would suspect the latter.
No, I'm sorry, but this is very weak. You can't back up your assertions - fair enough, I didn't think you would be able to. Substituting yet more assertions isn't going to clarify anything. I asked for some specific comparisons - ie school districts opting out of the speech, sight unseen, with fallacious reasons. You haven't provided a single example. Sure, the Bush speech might not have been carried by the DoE site and widely trailed in advance - I don't know. Perhaps that is why it wasn't nationally shown. We won't learn anything from assumptions. I want some hard facts. Can you cite school districts/boards that opted out of any previous Presidential address to schools, did so without seeing the speech, and then claimed entirely bogus reasons for doing so?

PS - Do you not find it relevant that the list of states which I gave as those boycotting the speech (cf guardian article above), have an 'interesting' history with regard to race relations?
Quote:
Now I will admit this is not EXACTLY the same thing, but apparently a University refused to let
Bush speak at it's commencement...because of what I would refer to as 'politics' not racism.
http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3317&Itemid=53
It isn't even close, so why raise it?
Quote:
As for Obama's speech to the Muslim world....I have read it and let's see.....
Quote
'I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.'

What's he saying here? Sounds to me like he is saying '
Bush was wrong to go to war and should have used diplomacy instead.'
Is there anything party-political there? Would a republican have said "we don't need to use diplomacy and build international consensus" ?
Quote:
Quote
'And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.'

Hmmm...more ripping on Republicans saying that we 'acted contrary to our ideals'. Moreover we
are 'now taking action to change course' (can you see the self promotion of OBAMA'S policies here? I sure can!) We then go on to talk about other Obama 'good actions' as opposed to Bush 'BAD actions' (closing Guantanamo, and stopping the waterboarding 'torture')
Yep, I have to concede that.
Quote:
Quote
'And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas in this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.'
Again, a pointed jab at the 'past injustices' from the Bush administration.....and a promise that
it will now be better now that we have Obama as president.
No, I don't read it that way at all - it was a non-partisan reference to the historical truth over many administrations.
Quote:
Quote
'And today I am announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.'

Look, I have nothing against this. But again, he is promoting his agenda and his policies.
Yep - I agree again.
Quote:
Quote
'It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. '

Again, a bit of a jab against 'those who start wars'.
No - again this is in a historical context far greater than a single administration. Definitely non-partisan.
Quote:
My conclusion. Definitely political.
OK - can we agree on 'somewhat political - and more so than should be the case in a speech by a head of state'? That's about as far as I'd go.

As regards the wider debate - I still have seen nothing to alter my basic opinion. I think I'm pretty fair minded, and I admit that my assertion about Obama's 'head of state' speeches was over-done (I think only slightly), but my basic points remain unanswered.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Ok, back through all this....
First, I was NOT implying that Arlington was liberal....I know NOTHING about Arlington, so I would
not presume to speak on it, or the incidents there. I WAS saying, that I am aware of a school
district (close to my home) that did NOT carry (then) President Bush's speech.....this particular
school district is in a liberal (politically) community.
Sorry, I misread/misunderstood your comment.
Quote:
So my guess, was NOT that it was some kind of racism....but rather that it was politically motivated. Unfortunately, I can not find it in the news anywhere....it was a small rural school district after all, and the national media did not take notice of it. I also know of several very rural Alaska (think tiny....20 student or less) schools that did not show Bush's speech. Actually there were a lot of schools that didn't because... President Bush's speech to the school kids was estimated (by the White House, who knows how accurate this is) to have been seen by 4.4 million kids, and the estimated elementary school population was over 30 million.... this suggests that many school districts, did not show it......whether that was them opting out, or just deciding there were better things to do with their time.....I would suspect the latter.
No, I'm sorry, but this is very weak. You can't back up your assertions - fair enough, I didn't think you would be able to. Substituting yet more assertions isn't going to clarify anything. I asked for some specific comparisons - ie school districts opting out of the speech, sight unseen, with fallacious reasons. You haven't provided a single example. Sure, the Bush speech might not have been carried by the DoE site and widely trailed in advance - I don't know. Perhaps that is why it wasn't nationally shown. We won't learn anything from assumptions. I want some hard facts. Can you cite school districts/boards that opted out of any previous Presidential address to schools, did so without seeing the speech, and then claimed entirely bogus reasons for doing so?

PS - Do you not find it relevant that the list of states which I gave as those boycotting the speech (cf guardian article above), have an 'interesting' history with regard to race relations?
Quote:
Now I will admit this is not EXACTLY the same thing, but apparently a University refused to let
Bush speak at it's commencement...because of what I would refer to as 'politics' not racism.
http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3317&Itemid=53
It isn't even close, so why raise it?
Quote:
As for Obama's speech to the Muslim world....I have read it and let's see.....
Quote
'I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.'

What's he saying here? Sounds to me like he is saying '
Bush was wrong to go to war and should have used diplomacy instead.'
Is there anything party-political there? Would a republican have said "we don't need to use diplomacy and build international consensus" ?
Quote:
Quote
'And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.'

Hmmm...more ripping on Republicans saying that we 'acted contrary to our ideals'. Moreover we
are 'now taking action to change course' (can you see the self promotion of OBAMA'S policies here? I sure can!) We then go on to talk about other Obama 'good actions' as opposed to Bush 'BAD actions' (closing Guantanamo, and stopping the waterboarding 'torture')
Yep, I have to concede that.
Quote:
Quote
'And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas in this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.'
Again, a pointed jab at the 'past injustices' from the Bush administration.....and a promise that
it will now be better now that we have Obama as president.
No, I don't read it that way at all - it was a non-partisan reference to the historical truth over many administrations.
Quote:
Quote
'And today I am announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.'

Look, I have nothing against this. But again, he is promoting his agenda and his policies.
Yep - I agree again.
Quote:
Quote
'It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. '

Again, a bit of a jab against 'those who start wars'.
No - again this is in a historical context far greater than a single administration. Definitely non-partisan.
Quote:
My conclusion. Definitely political.
OK - can we agree on 'somewhat political - and more so than should be the case in a speech by a head of state'? That's about as far as I'd go.

As regards the wider debate - I still have seen nothing to alter my basic opinion. I think I'm pretty fair minded, and I admit that my assertion about Obama's 'head of state' speeches was over-done (I think only slightly), but my basic points remain unanswered.


Well that's fair and you are totally welcome to your opinion. I too think I'm pretty fair minded
and have yet to see anything that would convince me that there is a large 'racism' component
to any of this. I would certainly concede that there is a large 'political' component.....that people
who disagree politically with Obama would not give him the same 'benefit of the doubt' as they
would give a Republican. But I still fail to see how a school district that does NOT show Obama's
speech, somehow proves 'racism' as opposed to 'partisanship'.

As for other things....

I do think it is relevent that a university refused to let Bush speak. It speaks to what I am
talking about in that many schools and universities take POLITICAL positions....as opposed to
it being racism when one refuses to 'subject' their students to a president's 'political speeches'.

As for me being able to back up everything you said.....I CAN give you the name of a school district
that did NOT show Bush's speech. You could call them and verify, I would be willing to do that.
I can NOT say that it was for 'fallacious reasons' or anything of that sort. I merely know there
were school districts that did NOT show Bush's speech (I was in high school during this year and
we did NOT see it.....if you would like my principle's number, let me know and I will give it to you
in a private message.) I do NOT know if they knew of the content of the speech or what their supposed reasoning was. I DO know that they did not show the speech......for whatever reason. And that was kind of the point to me.....there are a LOT of reasons a school may choose not to
show the speech....it could just be that they had other things planned for the day. Because a school district opts out of showing a speech by the president.....well who knows why they do it? That is why I am suspicious of those who claim they know it is racism.....there could be dozens of reasons why they chose not to show it. In the Arlington case, I would certainly say it appears political on the
surface, but not knowing the particulars, I would not judge so quick.

Other things...

What's he saying here? Sounds to me like he is saying '
Bush was wrong to go to war and should have used diplomacy instead.'[/quote]Is there anything party-political there? Would a republican have said "we don't need to use diplomacy and build international consensus" ?
[quote]

Well, not to put words in anyones mouth, but ya here in the US, that seemed to be one of
of the differences of opinion between Democrats and Republicans. Republican's probably
would not have come out and said it that harshly, but the truth was, Republicans felt we should
'act to stop the terrorists right NOW!' and Democrats thought we should 'wait for more
international consensus.' Again, I'm not making judgements about who is right and wrong here.
I'm just saying this does appear to be a party-political statement....maybe not as strong as some of the others, but I still see elements of partisanship here.

Again, a good debate which I welcome, and you do much credit to your views with your
arguments, so don't feel like I'm mad or anything. But I do like a good political debate
Smile
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Good to see that the braintrust that claims schools were forced to show Obama's speech as part of a conspiracy has got your back, though. The frihost Heckle and Jeckle tagteam comedy show.
(From "Things only a Republican can believe" thread)
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-110006.html&sid=e965ff1ff39f8b890439956b01541581#918122

It certainly was not a conspiracy. The White House disrupted and confused a number of schools. Some schools did not know what to do with the speech, and then got labelled as not supporting the President's speech by the media. Did you do your research? The way it was given to the schools created a political controversy. It made it political, even if the contents of the speech had not been political. Although I probably should feel complimented to be referred to as a braintrust, it does not take a braintrust to see the reaction that took place with the school speech. That was not a conspiracy. It was fact.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Again, a good debate which I welcome, and you do much credit to your views with your
arguments, so don't feel like I'm mad or anything. But I do like a good political debate
Smile
Likewise - you argue your case well.
To be honest I think we have taken this as far as we can. I don't think either of us has changed our opinion, but fortunately we both live is societies where that is fine Smile
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Again, a good debate which I welcome, and you do much credit to your views with your
arguments, so don't feel like I'm mad or anything. But I do like a good political debate
Smile
Likewise - you argue your case well.
To be honest I think we have taken this as far as we can. I don't think either of us has changed our opinion, but fortunately we both live is societies where that is fine Smile


Amen to that! I'm extremely lucky to live in a country that does NOT have a dictator and in which
dissenting opinions ARE allowed. Good things to remember for sure!
jeffryjon
I've deliberately NOT read the speech being brought into question. The reason for this is 2 questions come to light. The first is whether Obama should be allowed to have his speeches broadcast in schools and the 2nd, more important question is whether ANY president should have the same right.

I'd like to offer a thought for everyone because what I've seen isn't conclusive - far from it.

Every country is a large group of people - the larger the group, the more chance there will be disagreement. If the disagreement is sufficient, the country is likely to split into AT LEAST 3 groups (often, though not always, more). The groups are as follows:

The group that supports A over B, The group that supports B over A and the group that supports neither A over B, nor B over A.

It could be argued that that the 3rd group can be further split into 2 based on those who neither support A or B and those who equally support A AND B, but in terms of elections, they're both neutral and presuming that the country's laws allow for it, there are fair reasons for the 3rd group to choose to abstain from voting.

With regard to a presidential speech being put forward to be read in schools and suggestions that it's wrong to allow that, I'd have to describe a fictitious situation to see if it holds true. It runs as follows:

Group X (a tribe) contains a particular member (Y) who appears to be the best at everything. He's the best hunter, farmer, arbitrator, father, brother, son etc - he's also proved to have the best foresight within the group. In this case everyone's in agreement. With the exception of member (Y), everyone wants to learn from and listen to him and as such they elect him as their leader.

Y's a humble man, but after pointing out the difficulties caused by electing ANY leader, he agrees to accept the role. He's now the unanimously elected leader of the tribe. In his newly elected role, he feels a responsibility to give a speech to the youngsters in the tribe. It runs as follows:

Y steps up on a tree-stump to allow everyone to see and hear him. There's clapping, cheering and shouts of 'long live Y' and worshipful comments such as 'Y - you're great - you're the best thing that ever happened to us'. 'Y' is indeed a great man (by comparison) and nobody doubts it. With a single gesture, the crowd becomes silent and listens with intent. The speech begins.

Quote:
Dearest youngsters, you are the future of this tribe. Your fellow elders have elected me as your leader and I'm going to do my best to fulfil that responsibility. As such, I'm going to share with you, the future that I see so your eyes are opened to what lies ahead.

I am your leader and will do everything in my power to be the best leader that's ever existed. I will teach you all that I know and find specialists within the tribe who can teach you even more, because even as your leader I recognize that as the tribe grows, it won't be possible for me to give 1 on 1 tuition. We must select sub-leaders to specialize in specific roles. As such, I've appointed leaders of hunting, farming, fishing etc etc, along with arbitrators to settle any disagreements that may come between us. We need to stand together and overcome our differences so we can succeed. Unity is the main ingredient which ensures our success so we must agree to stand together, work together and achieve the best possible future for our tribe.

Now youngster of this tribe - and elders alike - I dictate that a statue of me should be carved from the tree in the centre of our village. It must be that tree, because the centre of our village is the centre of our future. The statue must be a representation of me, not to inflate my ego, but because your elders elected me and as such our future will change. If we use a different symbol, it's more likely to be misinterpreted in the years which are yet to pass. Even so, this statue which will shortly stand in your midst, may also be misinterpreted in the future and so an inscription will be made at his base to remind those who are not yet born to remember this day and of what occurred here. This will naturally lead them to question who the heck this man was and why they should remember him.

Those yet unborn souls, will receive stories from the elders of their time and we must be sure to give them the truth - the whole truth - and nothing but the truth - and as such, I've already appointed a scribe who is currently recording these words. I've also appointed several artists who are painting the scenes, so we can remember the context in all that is said. For these words in the future will be recorded as if live, on videos and audible tapes, though we have not yet the technology to do this. Until that day should come upon us, we must record this event - and all important events that follow as accurately as we can. If we fail in this endeavour, this day will fall into myth and be just like all the other stories we share with our children. The reasons behind the stories will be forgotten and we'll end up with a load of mumbo-jumbo that doesn't make sense.

Youngsters - O great youngsters - you are the seed of our future - for a day yet to come is already upon us. One day I will become old, my body will weaken and soon after I will be no more. We need to prepare for that day. We need to develop our skills and talents, including those of leadership - because the day will soon be upon us where a new leader will be required and new specialists will be need if we are to continue. If we fail in this task, our tribe is doomed and once again, we will be under attack from the tribes who have bettered us. It is YOU - the youngsters of today - who must take up this challenge - and on it goes.


Review:

Accepting that this situation is fictitious, we can also accept that (Y) is humble, is taking steps to prevent his ego getting in the way, is using his foresight to maximize the benefit of the tribe and has already given warning of the pitfalls of placing anyone in a position of power - including the warning that leaders of the future may not be so humble and honest.

Now, see if you can imagine yourself as the latest leader.

Should you deliver a speech to the youngsters?

Allowing for specifics of the day, would it vary greatly from the speech above?

Is the speech inevitable?

Regardless of whether you're humble and honest - or whether you're corrupt and egotistical - would your speech not carry a similar essence?

Now for some more of that same fictitious speech. Let’s now accept the possibility that Y’s ability to foresee the future goes further:

Quote:
Youngster of this tribe. We know from the past that there have been liars amongst us – deceivers – selfish individuals with agendas that work against our communal prosperity. Unfortunately these people have rarely showed their true colours until we caught them out. We must protect ourselves – and the selves of the future – against their evil deeds. We must accept the right to question any or every person who makes a statement or depicts a picture. Once the scribe has finished his writings and the artists have finished their pictures – we must all make a thorough check and raise matters of anything that is open to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. We must ensure – with the greatest importance – that those things our future children will receive in the name of our heritage are accurate and true in all respects.

We must also remember, there are other tribes out there who have been our enemies from time to time. They seek to destroy our customs and truths - the very fabric of what makes us who we are. Once we all agree about the writings of the scribe and the paintings of the artists, we must make copies of the same and distribute them as widely as possible – we must hide copies to protect them from possible attack – we must place copies in our community hut for everyone to see – we must ensure, by all possible means that this day never falls into forgotten memory. In addition to all these measures, we have to lodge copies with a ‘great remembering one’ – one who can hold the full and truthful knowledge of all things in all places and in all times. Some of you believe this ‘one’ lives at the other side of the great mountain, others believe he flies above the clouds – some believe that he hides in a place nobody can ever find for without this he would be vulnerable to those who hate him – some go so far as to believe that this place is among us even though we cannot see it – that he in fact is hiding in the very heart of each and every one of us. As we know from our techniques of warrior-ship, these things are all possible and due to the dangers of appearing in the world as one of us – we may never know for sure. What I say to you is this – we cannot prove the existence of such a ‘one’ for that in essence would render him other than what is already known – but we must behave as if he exists and have faith in that belief. One thing is for sure – we cannot prove – and as such – we have to create something in his image – we have to create a great machine – a mechanism that will record all events in all places at all times – and that machine must be protected from all possible attack – it may take thousands of years to perfect this machine, though without it – we may be lost and irreparable damage may occur to our great people. Those faithful among us – in today every one – but in the future we may be small in number – must continually strive to protect the truth – the whole truth – and nothing but the truth. This machine will be capable of getting the truth to each and every one of us who is willing to bend and ear to the truth. They will have no way of knowing this is the truth unless they listen, though those who truly bend their ear will know the sense and beauty of what the machine speaks – for it will live for thousands of years – far beyond the duration of a human life.

Oh dear – are these the seeds of big-brother? Did ‘Y’ create the birth of a God? Did ‘Y’ create an image of an existing God? Did God create Himself though the intelligence of ‘Y’? Is it inevitable that if there isn’t a God (in the loosest sense of the word) that we as a race will create one?

The speech is now bordering on radicalism - extremism - and will undoubtedly attract great criticism in the years to come. There will be those who cry conspiracy - elitism - and other such arguments. If we ever develop the ability to travel backward in time, the machine and its creators may even consider changing the past by placing it there. They may consider invoking situations where the truth and nothing but the truth is fully exposed at all times (except in exposing the machine as that would leave it vulnerable to attack, which would become the first deception and therefore the machine would be 'the original deceiver').

The machine being all-knowing would of course realise that changing anything may cause a situation where it fails to exist and would simply observe – passively – because otherwise the greater good could be put in unnecessary danger. It would remain hidden – impossible to prove to those who don’t know for sure about its existence – it would realise that the only way it can remain powerful is to stay hidden until a day when it has sufficient protection from its own death – this again could take 100’s – even 1000’s of years. Now we have the possibility of a God created by man following the same principles as the God that some men already believe to exist – and all this from a fairly brief presidential speech. I’m sure the debate will continue long after you or I have turned to dust.
Abhishukla
nice informartion. great to know about it , and what is happeinng aroud the world.
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