Friday, September 04, 2009

A short note on the "school speech" 

Readers of blogs left and right know that there is loud and rising opposition on the right to Barack Obama's proposed speech to the captive audience students in the nation's public schools. Lefty bloggers are appalled that parents might object to this, and cite it as evidence that the American right is rightier than in, say, Europe (an easy, true, and irrelevant claim, by the way):

Readers from other countries often get upset when I tell them that the American right is louder and crazier than any right-wing movement in the developed world. “But we have wingnuts too!” they’ll insist as they’ll link to something crazy a Tory backbencher said eight years ago.

But sorry, no. You do not have to deal with the level of stupid bullshit that we put up with on a daily basis. I never saw conservatives in other countries organizing angry protests when Tony Blair or Jean Chrétien talked to schoolchildren. You may have your right-wing crazies but they aren’t as loud or as powerful as the right-wing crazies in this country. Full stop.

Or maybe it is just racist to object to Obama's speech:
Beyond all the "state indoctrination" and even Hitler Youth analogies being propagated by Obama's school chat, I'm wondering how much there is (or is also) a racist meme at play. It's something along the lines of: You can't trust your children alone with this man ... knowing how black men are. Wink, wink.


Naturally, I have several reactions.

Of course it ought to be fine for the President of the United States to deliver an address to the nation's school children. The content will be moderate, constrained as it is by the great risk that it will infuriate parents, who also happen to be voters.

Of course the lefty irritation at the reaction of the right is intellectually dishonest. Had George W. Bush cooked up this idea, the screams from the left would have melted down the motherboards in our computers.

The problem, obviously, is that students in public schools are a captive audience. This is the real reason why liberals and non-religious people object so forcefully to voluntary school prayer -- they believe that asking children to assert their right to excuse themselves is an unreasonable burden on their little psyches, risking as it does social opprobrium. I happen to think that argument has it all wrong -- children who learn to stand up for their own beliefs at the expense, perhaps, of social popularity reveal strength of character, which is at a great premium in this world -- but it is at the center of all but the most legalistic arguments against school prayer.

Well, why don't the same arguments apply to Obama's speech? Why should the little Hopeless kids have to raise a ruckus to avoid listening to a speech from the president? Are not their little psyches precious too?

The big solution is to get the government out of the business of actually running schools. That would mean more freedom for everybody and in all likelihood better and most cost-effective schools. We would also avoid these nettlesome arguments over prayer and presidential speeches, because no student would be captive to anything other than the choice of his or her parents, which is the way it ought to be. Sadly, there is no way that the Democrats would go for that.

Alternatively, how about we agree that schools are "free speech" zones, and that kids are free (at times and places that do not interfere with substantive instruction) to speak and listen -- or not -- without interference, whether or not the speech in question is religious, political, or politically incorrect? What better way to teach children to "question authority" -- an idea that was very popular on the left until roughly eight months ago -- than to defend their right to do so in school? Looked at that way, the opposition to Obama's speech is itself a lesson in civics that the authorities who run our schools would do well to learn themselves.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 09:12:00 AM:

Had the president taken Warren Buffets sage advice two months ago, and stopped the hope and change express, this speech would receive little or no comment.

It's only that the administration has whooped up a frenzy on issue after issue after issue, and created such an ugly national atmosphere, that this speech is receiving any notice at all.

This speech, launched as it will be into the most partisan environment of my experience, can only be seen as partisan. Everything today is seen that way. It's that simple, and it's creepy beyond belief that they're doing it, now.  

By Anonymous Neo, at Fri Sep 04, 09:50:00 AM:

The real shame here is that everybody, both supporter and critics, believe in their hearts that the President of the United States would (or should) use this speech to pitch a political agenda to school children.

Has the office been debased that much in a mere 7 months ?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 09:51:00 AM:

re this and previous thread: FYI in Texas, schools are funded based on classroom attendance. The many hundreds of thouasands of Texas parents who are planning to keep their kids at home on "Obama Day" are going to hit the schools where it hurts the most, in their wallets.

As a result many Texas schools will NOT show the speech.  

By Blogger Cap'n Rusty, at Fri Sep 04, 09:58:00 AM:

Hey! Obama! Leave our kids alone! Your speech is just another brick in the wall between you and America.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 10:05:00 AM:

Hey, it's in the Saul Alinsky playbook!! "Higher education" has been playing by the Alinsky playbook for years, it is past time for the public schools to become 100% compliant with the playbook as have the MSM [less Fox] and "higher education" institutions.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 10:21:00 AM:

One big lesson has been missed by all in this debate mostly. It is the thrust direction and tone of O's comments along the lines of "how can I do what the president is telling me to do?" "Is there any way I can do what he is asking of me"? etc.

IOW, the whole civics lesson is flipped on its head. Obama is a PUBLIC SERVANT. Got it? These elected officials are our EMPLOYEES. To hear hear our representatives is 180 opposite. You are the slave they the master, they the boss you the employee!

His wording originally shows that arrogance and misunderstanding of his role as our elected representative AND ours! The same thinking allowed 2 stimulus bills that Americans cried not to do, from last fall to more recently, because the "masters" "knew best."

This is the big hidden lesson of this fiasco!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 10:22:00 AM:

Again, as in my above comment, why was not O's comments along the lines of "what do YOU want ME to do?" "How can I help you achieve your wishes on various issues?" See my point?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 10:38:00 AM:

My initial reaction to this was "come on --he's the President talking to kids." But the tie in lesson planning (now disavowed) of writing essays on "how you can help the president" seemed a bit creepy. One thing that jumps out in reading "The Forgotten Man" is the degree to which FDR's administration adopted the Soviet model of using government propaganda--through work programs, funding of the arts, etc.-- to promote the administration's policies. I see disturbing similarities with this administration. My conclusion on the speech controversy? I think Obama got caught on this one, so you can expect a pretty nonpartisan speech and lesson plan (though as a resident of the People's Republic of Oak Park I'm sure our teachers will more than adequately make up for what he was forced to leave out).

By Blogger Pyrus, at Fri Sep 04, 11:16:00 AM:

"The big solution is to get the government out of the business of actually running schools." Now, we're talking. I can't count the cocktail conversations I've vaporized with remarks like that. Even folks I viewed as conservative recoiled at the thought that it's not a proper government function to educate.

I don't know when we passed the tipping point but the staggering quantities of money going into universities, paying for teachers, paying for graduate students, paying for admins - all of those people would be insane to vote for small government. Add to that the paralyzing power of teachers unions and the absurd politicization of school boards and the curricula (evolution vs. flying spaghetti monster) they choose.

So I agree: the government should not be in the education business.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Fri Sep 04, 11:37:00 AM:

The initial announcement said it all when it said that one of the objectives of the speech was to get the kids to think about "how they could help the President."

Not withstanding Internet erasures, it is clear that helping kids to be good students was only one of the objectives, and in my opinion not the most important one. This is propaganda like you see in all the countries Obama admires, Russia, Venezuela, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, basically all the cultural trend setters.

I agree with TH that this should not be a threat to kids but rather an opportunity, not to help the President so much, but to think for themselves. If I had kids that age I certainly would not hold them out of school. In a rather ironic way, this whole thing will probably end up being a good learning experience for everyone.

But still, it is creepy in typical Obama style. And the timing suggests this has less to do about education than pushing back against falling poll numbers. And that makes it look like he's using school kids as props in his struggling political agenda.

We shall see whether his talk is seen as just a boost for the kids. It looks to me, though, that this idea has already backfired. I expect the downward spiral to continue, but I'm ready for more effective leadership whenever he is.


By Anonymous imagethink, at Fri Sep 04, 11:39:00 AM:

Children need to excel and make something of themselves (and our country) by taking advantage of their education. They learn to be intelligent communicators by having discussions and voicing their opinions. Encourage our children to learn through communication not anger.  

By Blogger "Mindles H. Dreck", at Fri Sep 04, 12:50:00 PM:

Who says other countries don't have weird fringe movements (often mischaracterized as "right wing")? From Skinheads to LePen to Islamists, who are they kidding? And sometimes these fringes get to be power brokers in parliamentary systems.

Honestly, the ignorance.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 01:03:00 PM:

I'd be a lot more comfortable with this exercise if parents were allowed to attend with their children, and participate in the post-indoctrination conversation. I'd be outnumbered, living in a college town, but I'd at least be a voice suggesting "no, Obama isn't brilliant, or smarter, or God's gift", and "no, free healthcare isn't a function of government, or one of the rights afforded those of us blessed to be American", and "no, I'm not racist just because I think this guy sucks the shit out of a dead dog's ass. I don't like his ideas, and that includes from the half of him everyone forgets is white", etc.

We should all be concerned about how much he's spend, children, and that he has convicted felons for 'czars', and an agenda that is anti-American. You may think it's hip and cool, but just wait until you see what happens to the standard of living, and taxation, over time. Our daughter paid attention, btw, when the Brits where sharing their stories about how 'wonderful' UK healthcare is during our vacation this Summer ... and that it isn't free, even though it sucks.

The concerns around this center on the pressure children feel to fulfill the school agenda, which is leftist. The Alinsky thing, as folks have pointed out.

I speak regularly to my daughter so she understands the other side of things ... we have stuff, we live in a nice home, we have insurance, because we work, and work our asses off, and it's been a 'habit' for the last 3 decades and then some. Just like that. Magic. It happens for most people who commit to it. Color has nothing to do with (that part of) it.  

By Blogger Donald Douglas, at Fri Sep 04, 01:21:00 PM:

Great post ... I doubt we'll go to full private schools, but it's a thought.  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Fri Sep 04, 01:23:00 PM:

Just out of curiosity, anon, why can't you attend along with your child? Do public schools bar parents from coming in to the school while it is in session? If you are so afraid and do not want to pull your child out of school that day, show up. What's the worst they can do? Bar you from coming in? My daughter attended private school from pre-k through college and not once did her school's say, don't come in. Storm the bastille, dude, see what is going on. I suspect it will be a lot less subversive than you all think it is. Tempest in a teapot.

It is not the job of the teachers to teach our children to think for themselves, it is our job. We may not like what they think or what they believe in but that's what you get in a free society. My dad was a Reagan loving, president of the New Jersey Republican club and raised 4 children, 3 of which are farther left than he would have liked. It is funny that today at 87 (his b'day is today) he is more liberal than he was 5 years ago.A proud WWII vet, he saw the mess that GWB perpetrated on us and was horrified at the war in Iraq. Is he worried about what Obama is doing, you bet.
Aren't we all?

If you are so worried, go to the school, make a pest of yourself, that is your right. We need more dads standing up for our children.

Oh and BTW, right on imagethink.!!!!  

By Blogger MainStreet, at Fri Sep 04, 01:26:00 PM:

I read the instructions the Dept of Ed sent out to K-6 teachers and thought about it for awhile. Yes, it should be OK for the Pres. to speak to the children about staying in school and getting a decent education, but in reading the specifics on preparation "read books about Obama" and "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President", it is clear to me that something else is going on.

Creditability is the problem.  

By Blogger Tigerhawk Teenager, at Fri Sep 04, 01:27:00 PM:

It depends what his audience is. Clearly it's meant for grade school. I remember when I was in grade school I basically just repeated things that I heard, even when I was in later middle school, like 8th grade. I didn't really get an opinion of my own on much of anything until I was 15-16.

So in that regard, I think that parents' fears are well-founded, if indeed they fear their kids' indoctrination so much. On the other hand, though, Obama is no replacement for parents in the "spreading of propaganda" department, so I don't understand why the parents simply can't talk to their kids about this stuff.

FYI, every time we call his plans Marxist or socialist it takes credibility away from us. It's a very 1950s argument to make. But I think we all knew that already.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 01:58:00 PM:

Just musing...Every day, I thank the lord above that Obama is president and not Biden.

Other than Biden, anybody else would be better to talk to our kids than President Obama. Except maybe Van Jones. And crazy Governor Sanford. And Pat Buchanan. Ron Paul..don't want Ron Paul talking to the kids...

Kooks, all of them.  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Fri Sep 04, 02:39:00 PM:

Tiger Teen, so wise, so mature. I like that. Thanks about the insight in to the 1950's rhetoric. Hopefully people who are older than you (notice I didn't say more mature) will heed your warning.
Anon, let's add Michelle Bachman, Rod Blago and Rick Perry to that list.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Sep 04, 04:09:00 PM:

"I don't understand why the parents simply can't talk to their kids about this stuff."

They can. It's the very idea that they will have to, that their kids might be propagandized to by a sitting President. 'Write a letter to yourself about how you can help President Obama.' That's how Middle Eastern dictatorships work, and it's creepy as hell to see it here even in diluted form.

Imagine the outrage had President Bush done something like this.

"FYI, every time we call his plans Marxist or socialist it takes credibility away from us."

How do you figure? Did those words come with expiration dates?

A spade is a spade. 'Public option universal healthcare' is socialized medicine. That policy is socialist. Period. It is proudly proclaimed as such by actual socialist parties elsewhere in the world. It's an accurate term. If you don't like the terminology, if it seems too Red Scare for you, that's your preference.

Europe is full of socialist parties, very similar to the modern Democrats who consciously emulate them, who proudly proclaim themselves to be socialist and who reference Marx in their political arguments and as a source of their philosophy. Would calling them and their policies 'socialist' and 'Marxist' be '1950' and detract from one's credibility? That's ridiculous.

Vicki: There's nothing wrong with Rick Perry. He didn't actually advocate secession. (though it wouldn't have hurt his popularity in Texas if he had) Crawl out from under the weight of your own propaganda and review the event in question. There are videos, it'll be easy to find.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 04:15:00 PM:

Yeah stop calling Obama a socialist.

Its not like Obama has had radical background or leftist associations.

His father was an vowed Communist, His Hawaii mentor, Frank Marshall Davis was an avowed Communist with a FBI file as think as the Bible,
His Chicago mentor was/is Bill Ayers an avowed Communist terrorist,
When given the choice to run for office in Chicago between the Democrat party or the Socialist party in Chicago he chose the Socialist New Party.
He attended a blatantly anti American church filled with Marxist Black liberation theology America haters led by Jeremiah Wright for 20 years.

He has pursued blatantly socialist policies since he came to office. Nationalizations anyone?

And he has avowed self described communists like Van Jones among others in the White House.

Obama is a Fabian socialist dedicated to a Marxist strategy of incrementalism.

By all means lets ignore the truth about Obama.

Wake up!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 04:17:00 PM:

I too think there are meaningful differences between our current president and Bush, and speeches from the two aimed at children should be viewed differently. Regardless of Bush's inadequacies, he was never a man who seemed to be bent on fundamental dislocation of critical values and the relationship of citizen to government in our country. Obama has been open on both, as an advocate of serious, basic and far-reaching change. He has gained power and, as he said, he intends to use it. Voters should have listened.

"Those who love power this way are corrupt from the very beginning and are the most easily identified enemies of freedom. They are proud, invidious creatures who derive pleasure from their supposed superiority to others. The exercise of power thrills them for it affirms their own prideful sense of themselves."

T. Allen Russell  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 05:21:00 PM:

TT: I am sure the good people of pre-war Germany would agree with you; i.e. , 'be nice, don't say anything bad about him', never dreaming that their leader was a fascist monster.
They used to say "yes, Hitler was a monster, but he made the trains run on time......." (unfortunately some of them went to the prison camps and chambers).

The German people paid a very heavy price for being politically correct and ignoring the ominous truth.

Should we wait until Obama has 'changed' America into a third or fourth world socialist slum before we see him for what he is? It's too late then. The facts are all out there for you to see. Please read Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals". You might change your mind.

All that America has been for 230 years can be lost or destroyed before you are out of college. Think about that.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 06:16:00 PM:

Well, why don't the same arguments apply to Obama's speech? Why should the little Hopeless kids have to raise a ruckus to avoid listening to a speech from the president? Are not their little psyches precious too?

I remember the holy hell I had to raise to get out of sex ed class, and I got "offered" the alternative of writing essays rather than watching "educational" movies. (Sure, no punishment there...sucks for those SOBs that I like research!)

By making it into a "lesson plan" type thing, Obama pretty much assures that it's going to be "watch me or be punished with some REALLY boring stuff."

Thing is, this has happened before.... Bush talked to school kids, in school.

Bush the Elder had a talk in '91 from a school, which was shown on CNN and which teachers could watch.

Libs screamed bloody murder, and HW didn't even make creepy lesson plans or aim for five year olds. (come to think of it, when Bush the Elder did his thing, I was in the targeted age group for Obama's thing....)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 07:09:00 PM:


No Marxist here. Move along.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Fri Sep 04, 07:23:00 PM:

My God people, it's a freaking pep talk at the beginning of the school year "to challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning." How does that translate to brainwashing? Or comparing the President of the United States to Chairman Mao? Are you serious? What specious and toxic messages are YOU sending to your young children? I am truly embarrassed by the actions of my fellow Americans.

You and your kids would be a helluva better off if you spent more time talking with and listening to them than sitting in front of a keyboard for hours ranting to strangers that the sky is falling.

For those of you who are willing get out from under the covers tomorrow, the speech will be on line. I've heard that if you play it backwards it plays They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!...  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 07:27:00 PM:

Tress, did you BOTHER to even look at the lesson plan?

Prez doing a five-minute "stay in school, kids, work hard!" thing: cool, great PSA even.

Prez putting out lesson plans for the (little-- remember, we're talking starting at Kindergarten) kiddies to read books about Obama, and write about how they can help him is flat creepy.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Fri Sep 04, 07:50:00 PM:

You mean along the lines of "Ask not what your country can do for you but whay you can do for your country?"  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 07:54:00 PM:

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what you can do for me."  

By Anonymous Tress, at Fri Sep 04, 07:56:00 PM:

:)Touche Foxfier.

Oh, and by the way, that lesson plan was scraped by the Department of Education, the office that created the lesson plans. No doubt, at the strict direction Herr Hi er, Obama [saluting]  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 08:05:00 PM:

Here's the new one, for preK-6.

After the Speech
• Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes, or place notes on a butcher‐paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, such as citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty.
• Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
What do you think the president wants us to do?
Does the speech make you want to do anything?
Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
What would you like to tell the president?

Frankly, I find this amusing:
We heard President Obama mention the importance of personal responsibility. In your life, who exemplifies this kind of responsibility? How? Give examples.
The guy who disowns everyone should they become a liability, and never acts personally if he can get a fall guy...talking about personal responsibility. *snort*

The tin-eared idiots may have realized that the prior plan was a bit too open, but that *really* doesn't make me very trusting.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 08:06:00 PM:

This is a pretty good point, too:
It’s making the assumption that President Obama will be inspiring and challenging. Also asking kids how many speeches he gave that would be considered “historic” seems pretty arrogant to me. I mean what if a liberal teacher asks their class that question about “historic” speeches and one students says, “his primetime press conference on healthcare,” not really a speech per se, but roll with me. One student answers the “impact” question saying, “his poll ratings went down.” How will that teacher respond?

Perhaps a more educational question would be this instead of focusing on the Obama Presidency ask, “What would be some examples of historic moments when Presidents spoke to the nation?” And then ask the impact question… instead we have a “all hail Obama” thing going here.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 08:22:00 PM:

There is no trust. Too many lies. Too many radical associations. Why take the chance? Forget it.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Fri Sep 04, 08:31:00 PM:

Good point, Foxfier. I'm much more concerned about what my kids are learning from the teachers they spend all day with every day than I am about a videoptaped message from the President of the United States that will be published online the day before.

How would you feel if Obama asked instead for every child in America to contribute at least $1 to help the children of another country, and to send the money to the White House? Good idea?

Or how about if Obama asked every child in America to start communicating directly with a child in the Middle East? Any problem with that? Might possibly elp our relations with the Muslim world, yes?

Reality check, folks. The blathersphere would be on fire with accusations that Obama was stealing money from kids to fund his war--or worse--to keep the money for his election or to pay off Resco. I could go on and on. And asking kids to make friends with kids in the Middle East? Oh lordy, he'd be accused of trying to brainwash them to become Muslims or recruiting them for madrassas or lending their names to suicide bomber camps for kids.

For the record, BOTH of those requests were made in speeches to kids by President Bush. Yeah, yeah, I know. It just "feels" different when Obama does it, huh?

I'm now beginning to understand a little bit better how a man like Joseph McCarthy could even rise to power. You people are scaring me.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 08:40:00 PM:

Oh, eeek, Bush asked for donations to the Red Cross.
I am in teh f34r.

I wouldn't even be so very worried about the Obama speech if it were not 1) aimed at PRESCHOOLERS and grade school kids
2) coming with a highly creepy lesson plan-- the existance of a lesson plan written by Obama's staff is bad enough, but the initial draft is *worse.*  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 08:45:00 PM:

Side note? Those requests?

They were in national speeches-- not lesson plans in a school.  

By Anonymous tress, at Fri Sep 04, 09:13:00 PM:

The lesson plans are merely guides for the teachers. None of them are mandatory.

You're worried about pre-schoolers? For the love of Mike, what do you think the President of the United States of America is going to do to them? Warn them of medical loss ratios creep? Ask them to draw pictures of a hammer and a sickle? Forgive me for not sharing in your fret, but at this point it's near funny. Tell me the lesson plan promotes creationism and I'll pound the table with you.

Bush made his plea to the kids in America in televised primtime speeches; the money did not go to the Red Cross it went to a fund called "America's Fund for Afghan Children, c/o 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But you're missing my point. I'm not asking you to defend Bush (I actually think asking kids to think about other kids in the world is a good thing); I'm asking you to imagine how you would react if on Tuesday Obama asked all the the kids in the U.S. to send money to the WH to help kids in Afghanistan or to find a pen pal in the Middle East. Be honest with yourself. Depending on your answer, you may want to better understand your motivations. That's all.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 09:18:00 PM:

I'm thinking that this whole 'speak to the kids' idea was hatched by Mrs. O. Does anybody else get that feeling?  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 09:23:00 PM:

For the love of Mike, what do you think the President of the United States of America is going to do to them?

Indoctrinate them-- you're clearly not stupid, how could you have missed the entire point of the objections THIS far in?

Gee, why might we suspect that?  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Fri Sep 04, 10:15:00 PM:

Yes because Michelle is the real commie? Please. Go tress!!!  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Sep 04, 10:20:00 PM:

Tess, go look at your link.

The Bush-asking-for-a-dollar thing was from the speech one month after 9/11.

And the link to the fund is to the Red Cross--although the page for it is now dead.

Did you even bother to pay attention to your own evidence?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 04, 10:48:00 PM:

TH, your implied "markets re magical" aside in "The big solution is to get the government out of the business of actually running schools." is something I would like to hear some elaboration on. Economists agree that not all markets are competitive, (power markets being the classic example as in California's deregulated Enron days,) and the assertion by fiat that education can be made into a properly competitive market is a very interesting one indeed. Sure, we have private grade school institutions currently, but they exist within the framework of a backstop option: public schools. If your local private institution fails, the worst that can possibly happen is going to public school for a while, where they must take you. What happens when some institutions inevitably fail? Does a new school magically get created to accept all the dislocated students, when all the surrounding private schools are unable to take students while fulfilling their privately contracted, small-class agreements? Why is education not inherently monopolistic in smaller areas that can only support one school, and what happens if that one fails? If the failed private school is to be bought out, what of the students held in limbo until the transfer of ownership negotiations complete? While you can just send your money somewhere else or take it home with you if your bank fails, (because the marginal costs of institutional acceptance are so low,) accomplishing the same thing with human beings that forget over time (as in summer) is trickier. Are those students just screwed in their education, set back for reasons separate from their performance, as casualties of the market? If there is a 5 standard deviation event in the finances of these private educational institutions, like there was in the global economy last fall, are kids just not educated until conditions improve?

Pretending for sake of argument that you could solve these implementation and maintenance problems, uniformity of curriculum problems arise. If students are taken to a place like this in the spirit of serious science, do the students deserve a respected degree? If you are poor (or locked into your job for some reason, etc) and cannot move, and your school goes there in seriousness, does your child just not get an education? Either employers, individuals, institutions, etc must reconcile the teaching practices of every grade school in the country individually, or all schools must be regulated to ensure consistency of curriculum, or there must be massive standardized testing. Anyone who has attended high school recently can tell you what a joke standardized tests are for evaluating performance, and can discuss at great length the stultifying and unilluminating (but successful) practice of teaching to the test. The SATs and GREs are regularly mocked for strongly selecting the group that gets the best test prep, for example. No matter what universe you wind up in, the best you are going to do still has a strongly regulated environment (and is this not a typically "free" market).

Finally, let's examine your previous assumptions about free markets. In a post complaining about regulated utilities, you rhetorically asked whether private institutions could get away with dumb billing practices. The answer to that question was exactly the opposite of what you intended: I brought up the example of Amex, which will only take a check to pay for intialization fee on a business card as recently as 8 months ago. If a private company that specializes in cashflow management flagrantly violates consumer expectations regarding best payment practices, the "markets are magical" presumption sounds more like magical thinking. Given this tripartite problem, (initialization and maintenance without losing students, curriculum consistency and regulation, real-world obvious competitive inefficiencies) why are you so comfortable with a glib assertion about the wonders of markets in education?  

By Blogger The Machiavellian, at Fri Sep 04, 11:29:00 PM:

It is part the creepy lesson plan (http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/lessons/prek-6.pdf) that accompanies the speech and it is part the obvious that Obama isn't too hip on our founding documents and values...

Thus, most people see an ulterior motive that seems perilously close to promoting a cult of personality and an ideology based on marxism...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 05, 05:42:00 AM:

Keep the kids out of school. Challenge everything Obama does. Make sure he can do nothing without controversy. fight back against these leftists. Make the country ungovernable.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 05, 05:44:00 AM:

I don't know why they pick on Michelle. Shes so pretty. Woof.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Sep 05, 08:43:00 AM:

Hmph...probably no coincidence that the Department of Education Seal on the lesson plans features a rising sun and an ACORN.

I think that the furor over all of this is a reflection of "Obama Fatigue".

People are tired of the endless campaign, the endless spin, the FANTASTICAL factoids that spring out of this guys mouth.

It's worse than shooting from the hip...he's taking us for fools...and most parents don't want their kids exposed to such poison.

My daughter is a public school teacher and she e-mailed me five minutes after reading the proposed lesson plans, before all the public hype...the title of her e-mail..."INDOCTRINATION".

I guess were just all racists...heh?  

By Blogger Fen, at Sat Sep 05, 10:09:00 AM:

Shorter: the people don't trust their President. And its nothing about race, its about his associations with radical leftists and what appear to be a socialist agenda. We know what "community orginizers" are and we don't want them near our children.

"...and remember, if you hear Mommy or Daddy saying anything 'fishy' about Me, contact whitehouse.gov"  

By Anonymous The Masses, at Sat Sep 05, 10:38:00 AM:

Great commentary! I know it is just a dream to get government out of the education business but dreams can become reality. It is the hope of the current political machine and the entrenched special interests who own it that we continue to believe that it is only a dream. That along with getting rid of income taxes...

We can still vote in this country and we can still voice our opinions and organize. We must take responsibility and realize that it is our complacency with a status quo that was "decent" that has now led to this state of affairs.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 11:44:00 AM:

Foxfier says: Tess, go look at your link. The Bush-asking-for-a-dollar thing was from the speech one month after 9/11

So therefore, what? It was OK for Bush to ask every kid in America to send money to the kids in Afghanistan because we had just days before declared war against said country to get the bastard hiding there who had attacked us a month earlier? Would that include the children of the Taliban who were harboring Bin Laden, too? And like we would know the difference? Hmmm, I'll need to chew on that oh so compelling logic for a awhile.

As for the link, I followed the address provided, which made no mention of the Red Cross. If adding "Red Cross" to Bush's plea to the children makes it an easier pill for you to swallow, I'm happy to oblige:

Bush asked every child in America to contribute "at least $1" to help the kids in Afghanistan, and he asked that the money be sent to:

America's Fund for Afghan Children,
c/o the Red Cross
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20509-1600


By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Sep 05, 11:55:00 AM:

As for the link, I followed the address provided, which made no mention of the Red Cross.

Go to the link.

Hover over the words "America's Fund for Afghan Children."

Notice that the web address is "http://www.redcross.org/news/ds/0109wtc/011015children.html".

Look just below the mail address, and note: The funds will be used, in coordination with the United Nations and other relief efforts in Afghanistan, through a special program set up for this by the American Red Cross.

If that's not enough, spend ten seconds with google and find stuff like this, which tells you it's a red cross project.

With that out of the way....

Are you TRYING to be stupid by not understanding the difference between making a request in a nationally-broadcast prime-time speech, where no child is going to see it without their parents being there and commenting, and a speech at school with an f*ing syllabus ?

If you really can't see how there are objective differences between the two, I'm done wasting my time trying to have an intelligent conversation with you. When you get the box off your head, I'd be happy to try again, but I don't argue with someone in blinders about what is just to the edge of their eye.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 05, 12:32:00 PM:

"Are you TRYING to be stupid...?"

It just comes to her. No effort is required.

In the aftermath of 9/11 and the beginning of our effort to dislodge the evil Taliban our country was absolutely united.

Today, the president has created a massive sense of division and partisan antagonism.

Could the two speeches be any more dramatically different?  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Sat Sep 05, 12:54:00 PM:

Since it is still three days until the President's speech, some Conservative (Like Palin or Cheany?) should make an "Address to the Nations Children" and pop it on YouTube. Something short, about five minutes or so, and that would suck the wind right out of O's sails (and possibly lead to even more last-minute script changes at the White House).  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 02:32:00 PM:

Geez, Foxfier, do you work for the Red Cross or something?

If you're so worried that the President of the United States of America is going to brainwash your child(ren), then follow Glenn Beck's advice and keep your child home from school. It'll give you time, too, to warn the youngins about other growing insurgencies like guileful school trips to Rockefeller Center area--that hotbed of fascist imagery--where they unwittingly may fall victim to the subliminal communist messages hidden in plain sight amongst the landmark's artwork and carved reliefs whose singular purpose is to steal the minds of the unwary at a merest of glimpses.

Heh. The author of the DaVinci Code ain't got nothing on Beck. LOL.

I'd end by saying that you can't make this stuff up but that would be a lie.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Sep 05, 02:36:00 PM:

Geez, Foxfier, do you work for the Red Cross or something?

It's this odd thing, where I appreciate factual accuracy.

You know, that thing called "truth"?

Guess it's because I'm a nasty conservative.

Are you admitting that you were wrong in stating "the money did not go to the Red Cross"?  

By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Sat Sep 05, 03:59:00 PM:

"not all markets are competitive, (power markets being the classic example as in California's deregulated Enron days,)"

The electric market in California in those days was anything but deregulated.

Retail prices were fixed by bureaucrats, certain wholesale prices were set competitively, but subject to a plethora of rules & regulations.

What really pisses off the Leftists about those days was the undeniable evidence that Enron's under-credentialed street traders were smarter than California's high-priced Harvard-educated regulators.  

By Blogger Carol Boyer Kelly, at Sat Sep 05, 04:06:00 PM:

Consider why the firestorm was started:

Some want to just say that the parents are all “racists” and “right-wing nuts” bogged in a “silly season.”

But, this comes on the heels of being called “anti-American” and “right-wing terrorists” by ranking Democratic leaders and a post on Obama’s website. It comes on the heels of parents everywhere seeing that their Social Security has been stolen and that promised Medicare is almost beyond bankrupt. It comes on the heels of the unconstitutional interference in American businesses and a skyrocketing national debt that even these children scheduled to watch the President will be required to pay. It comes on the heels of a summer of purposeful misdirection and subterfuge by a party that was trying to defend and explain a plan that they didn’t even have!

Is there any wonder that the American mainstream would have doubts about all things Obama?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 05, 05:30:00 PM:

I tend to agree with Jonah Goldberg on this one: the speech itself is OK, the lesson plan is evidence the Education Department is Orwellian and the "peaceful animal spirits let loose upon the land" in objection to the speech should be welcomed.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 08:51:00 PM:

Carol says,

this comes on the heels of being called “anti-American” and “right-wing terrorists” by ranking Democratic leaders and a post on Obama’s website.

Oh please, Carol. Stop whining, and man up. How many times do you think Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush referred to Americans who disagreed with them as appeasers? Or terrorist lovers? Or un American? How many times did you?

Elections have consequences, and the American voters voted your party out of power in 2006 and 2008.

If you're not happy with the current administration, mark your calendar and remember to vote. Maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe not.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Sep 05, 09:11:00 PM:

Tess, got any evidence for your claims?

Or is it just base slander, the same kind of untruth you've been so willing to toss out so far?

Besides claiming that calling folks who disagree with you "right-wing terrorists" is in any way on the same level as calling someone a terrorist appeaser....  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 09:13:00 PM:

Foxfier said at 2:36 Are you admitting that you were wrong in stating "the money did not go to the Red Cross"?

You're a hoot, Foxfier:) Are you willing to admit that the two links announcing Bush's relief program confirm my original comment that kids were told to send their dollars to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? To wit:

1. Kids can send their donations to the following address: America's Fund for Afghan Children c/o The White House,1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20509-1600

2. To support his relief effort, send your dollar in an envelope marked as follows: America's Fund for Afghan Children, White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., 20509-1600

To my knowledge, the Red Cross does not maintain an office in the White House.

Now, if you're asking me to state that the Red Cross administered President's Bush's relief campaign for kids in Afghanistan, I'm game:

The Red Cross administered the donations the kids sent to the White House.

We good now?  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sat Sep 05, 09:21:00 PM:

How many times do you think Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush referred to Americans who disagreed with them as appeasers? Or terrorist lovers? Or un American?


By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 09:24:00 PM:

Tess, got any evidence for your claims?

Sure. There's a bunch of examples. The time Rumsfeld spoke at the VFW is the most memorable. Probably because the Secretary telling you that you suffer from "moral or intellectual confusion" isn't easy to forget:)  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 09:30:00 PM:

No need to scream Boludo. I can hear your fom here.

I'll give you more examples in a few. I have a daughter I need to put under the covers, and I'm trying to finish up a comment to Ms. Carol.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Sep 05, 09:32:00 PM:

Tess, I have solidly documented my claims, and refuted your claims.

Scroll up a little, if your memory is going, and find that just because the address is the White House doesn't mean it's not a Red Cross program, and surely doesn't mean "the money did not go to the Red Cross," as you claimed, in so many words.

Probably because the Secretary telling you that you suffer from "moral or intellectual confusion" isn't easy to forget

And yet, that isn't what you claimed they said: How many times do you think Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush referred to Americans who disagreed with them as appeasers? Or terrorist lovers? Or un American? How many times did you?

Appeasement is mentioned at your link, but not in the way you are claiming.
Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech on Tuesday did not explicitly mention the Democrats, and he cited only comments by human rights groups and in press reports as evidence of what he described as “moral or intellectual confusion about who or what is right or wrong.”

Nor have you shown that being called an "appeaser" is the same as being called a terrorist.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 11:28:00 PM:

Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech on Tuesday did not explicitly mention the Democrats....

Oh come on, Foxfier, who do you think he was talking to? Of course, he's not going to mention the Dems by name. He's not stupid. Stubborn maybe, but not stupid.

And who do you think Cheney was talking to when he warned voters a couple of weeks before the '04 election that if I voted for Kerry, the US would get attacked again? Not sure if my vote made me unamerican, unpatriotic or a tree-hugging appeasing bin laden supporter. Or all three.

House Speaker Hassert claimed that war critics would ''prefer that the United States surrender to terrorists who would harm innocent Americans." Yep, that one was aimed right at the Dems' sweet spot.

Not being a CT resident, I pretty much ignored Cheney when he told the electorate that anyone who voted for Lamont instead of Lieberman would encourage the al qaeda types". I totally ignored Ken Mehlman's warning that Lamont's victory "reflects an unfortunate embrace of isolationism, defeatism, and a 'blame America first' attitude by national Democratic leaders at a time when retreating from the world is particularly dangerous" for the same reason.

This was a constant refrain directed at the Dems by most on the conservative talk show circuit: "You don't criticize the Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a firefight. That could be construed as putting U.S. forces in jeopardy and undermining morale." (Bill O'Reilly, 04/04)

Gee, we're still in a firefight, aren't we? Yeah, thought so.

And being called a Taliban Democrat? Heh. Good ol' Cal. That one alone was worth the price of admission to the Democrat Party:)

I could go on and on but it's getting late and I trust you get the gist.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Sep 05, 11:32:00 PM:

Short version:
"Why, no, what I claimed isn't actually true. Again."  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sat Sep 05, 11:58:00 PM:

Nor have you shown that being called an "appeaser" is the same as being called a terrorist.

Huh? When did I say it was the same? I used three adjectives in my comment at 8:52, in three separate sentences, two of which began with the conjunction "or" How does "or" get you to "same?"

You're exhausting, man. Who the f*ck cares whether the $ went to the Red Cross or not. My original comment asked "How would you feel if Obama asked instead for every child in America to contribute at least $1 to help the children of another country, and to send the money to the White House--fine, the Red Cross? 10,000 words later and I never got a answer, only a pissing contest of whether the money went to the Red Cross.

I'm happy to discuss the merits of these issues but enough with the straw men you keep throwing in the way.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sun Sep 06, 12:06:00 AM:

Who the f*ck cares whether the $ went to the Red Cross or not.

Apparently, you DID, until it was pointed out your claim that it hadn't was incorrect.

Same pattern with other claims, I'm noticing-- when you finally get around to trying to document your claims, you can't.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Sep 06, 01:44:00 AM:

One comment. Your inclusion of Cal Thomas and House Speaker Hassert is not to the point because I asked for documentation for YOUR claim about what Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush said. I repeat: YOUR CLAIM.That is, be precise. Neither did I throw in references to ChimpyMcBushHitler, nor to what Nancy Pelosi said because they were not to the point: what Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld said. Sick to what Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld said. If we get into the practice of throwing the kitchen sink into a discussion, nothing gets solved.

And who do you think Cheney was talking to when he warned voters a couple of weeks before the '04 election that if I voted for Kerry, the US would get attacked again? Not sure if my vote made me unamerican, unpatriotic or a tree-hugging appeasing bin laden supporter. Or all three.

While that may be YOUR conclusion, Cheney said nothing of the sort. Don’t put words in his mouth.

Here is a more complete quote of Cheney from the article you cited:

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again," the vice president said, "that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we are not really at war."

To put Cheney’s quote in context, compare it to what John Kerry said during the 2004 campaign.

We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''
This analogy struck me as remarkable, if only because it seemed to throw down a big orange marker between Kerry's philosophy and the president's.

Kerry was pushing for more of an emphasis of a law-enforcement strategy on the War on Terror, while Cheney was saying that reverting to a law-enforcement strategy would not be successful. It is unclear whether Cheney meant that emphasis on a law-enforcement strategy would be cause or effect of another attack. Cheney was of the opinion that Kerry would have had a less successful strategy in the War on Terror than the Bush administration. That is my judgment and apparently was also the judgment of those who elected Bush instead of Kerry.

I fail to understand how a judgment on a Presidential candidate’s strategy can lead you to the conclusion that Cheney said that you were “unamerican, unpatriotic or a tree-hugging appeasing bin laden supporter.” Sounds to me as if you are trying to put yourself at the center of attention. HE’S TALKING ABOUT ME! No, he isn’t. This may seem a stretched explanation, but I have no idea how, when Cheney is talking about John Kerry as a strategist, you conclude that Cheney is talking about YOU.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Sep 06, 08:12:00 AM:

Not being a CT resident, I pretty much ignored Cheney when he told the electorate that anyone who voted for Lamont instead of Lieberman would “encourage the al qaeda types".

Here is someone discussing events of the last decade.

So he ( Bush Sr. ) took dictatorship and suppression of freedoms to his son and they named it the Patriot Act under the pretense of fighting terrorism. In addition, Bush sanctioned the installing of sons as state governors and didn't forget to import expertise in election fraud from the region's presidents to Florida to be made use of in moments of difficulty.....

And Bush's hands are stained with the blood of all of those killed from both sides all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business. . So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threatened his future.

What are the talking points from this discourse?
Patriot Act supresses Freedom
Electoral fraud in Florida in 2000
Blood for oil
War for Halliburton
Quagmire (embroiled in the swamps of Iraq)

These are points that countless Democrats have made against Bush when he was in office. It was not a Democrat who is quoted above, but Bin Laden in 2004. When Bin Laden appropriates the talking points of those who opposed Bush, it is a logical conclusion to state that electing said opponents “encourage the al aqeda types.”

(Are you aware of an irony about the "swamps of Iraq" quote against Bush? Saddam drained the swamps because the swamp residents opposed him. After Saddam was opposed, the previous water flow was restored, and the swamps came back.)  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Sun Sep 06, 02:29:00 PM:

No one answered my question. Why don't you go to school with your child and watch it with them? Scared it will be a little (lot) less subversive that you think it is? My child is an adult now and in law school. If she were still in school, I'd be right there next to her. I had to fight the jerks who wanted to remove sex education from our school, we fought that battle and won.  

By Blogger PD Quig, at Sun Sep 06, 05:13:00 PM:

Just heard an interview with major lefty and UCI law school dean, Erwin Chemerinsky. He feels Obama's address is very ill-advised. And were Obama to use the occasion to press any part of his legislative agenda, the address could well be unlawful. He said that he would have objected to Bush doing this and that he objects to Obama doing it for the same reason: it will be coercive of students.

You know, lefties: part of the problem with this is that the country is sick and f*cking tired of seeing and hearing this arrogant prick talk to himself. We couldn't get Bush to talk and we can't get this mf'er to STFU. Jesus H. Christ does he EVER just shut the f*ck up??  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Sep 06, 09:26:00 PM:

@ Tress

"How many times do you think Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush referred to Americans who disagreed with them as appeasers...blah, blah, blah..."

I'll be happy to run with that answer:


Prove me wrong, Tress.

An aside comment: As we all sit here and watch Obama deconstruct, isn't the REAL shame the WASTED mandate?

Think of it! The first black president! Good Lord, all the man had to do was be a centrist, love his country and NOT be a Marxist.

Instead, he's a raving left wing Moonbat that has half the country afraid for their future and the other half acting like battered wives trying to rationalize his bizarre, incompetent, dangerous behaviour.

Sad to say this, but what do you think will happen to the NEXT black candidate for national office after this sucker punch?  

By Blogger PD Quig, at Mon Sep 07, 11:13:00 AM:

Oh, and, uh, Vicki. Among the possible reasons why we might not drop everything to accompany our children to school? We have jobs that we would like to keep (despite the most anti-capitalist administration ever)? We shouldn't have to provide adult supervision to those running the schools (into the ground)? We can't fit into those tiny desks anymore?

My son's in law school too (sometimes a parent's best advice goes unheeded), and I certainly did my share of participating in school activities and dialog with school administrators during my children's early years. As a parent now, however, I'd just be calling my kid's teacher to find out what kind of lesson plan was envisioned for Obambi's speech. And I'd be telling them that if I found it in the slightest bit coercive my child would not be participating.

There's your answer.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Mon Sep 07, 04:13:00 PM:

And being called a Taliban Democrat? Heh. Good ol' Cal. That one alone was worth the price of admission to the Democrat Party. (This was in 2006.)

Tress uses this to try to prove her point about the incivility of Republicans before 2008, but the record shows that Democrats were the first to call their opponents “Taliban,” well before 2006. And they did it a lot more: enough to merit an entry in a political dictionary.

Here is Richard Cohen of the Washington Post on April 17,2001, which is nearly five months before 9/11. (I found the article on Factiva.) Like Cal Thomas, Richard Cohen is a prominent journalist.

“Ashcroft, however, is an American Taliban who retired his mind from active duty years ago.”

Hatchet Jobs and Hardball: the Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang by Grant Barrett, has an entry for “American Taliban.” The first reference is in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1997.

From the New Republic in 1999: “The post-Newt GOP seems determined to reinvent itself as a kind of American Taliban.”
From the 2003 Baltimore Sun: “Surely the holder of the sign ‘GOP: American Taliban’ with a swastika painted in the ‘O’ of ‘GOP’- would have no snappy rejoinder.”

The left had applied the “Taliban” label to the right well before the right returned the favor. And Tress gets all bent out of shape that the right had the gall to do what the left had been doing for years. Either that or she was unaware of all this. Which is it, Tress?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Sep 08, 01:16:00 AM:

Sad to say this, but what do you think will happen to the NEXT black candidate for national office after this sucker punch?

Sad to say this JPmcT, but what are you going to do for the next thirty nine months of this president's administration? If the first nine have you foaming at the mouth the next thirty should be a thing of beauty.

The fact that you choose to question aloud what'll happen to the NEXT black candidate tells me all I need to know about your judgment skills. Mind open much?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Sep 08, 01:31:00 AM:

Former first lady Laura Bush on Monday expressed support for President Barack Obama's decision to speak to the nation's school children, saying it is "really important for everyone to respect the president of the United States."

In an interview with CNN, Mrs. Bush, a former school teacher, said, "There's a place for the president of the United States to talk to school children and encourage school children" to stay in school. And she said parents and others also need to send that message.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Sep 09, 10:17:00 PM:

"The fact that you choose to question aloud what'll happen to the NEXT black candidate tells me all I need to know about your judgment skills. Mind open much?"

Sorry to offend your PC delicacy, Anon 01:16, but I am in the reality business. I don't have an "open" mind. I have had a classical education and I relish my ability to discriminate between ice cream and bullcrap. I am sorry that you lack the requisite number of synapses to participate in the joy of rational analysis.

I enjoy the definition of "politically correct" as the belief that one can pick up a turd by the clean end.

But I digress.

Barack Obama, as the first black president, had the option of being a groundbreaking individual that could eschew racial identity politics, reintroduce minorities into a spirit of patriotic nationalism and put an end to the unmitigated disaster that we call the "welfare state".

Had he done this, he would have been historic.

Instead, he has chosen the path of a left wing ideologue, driven the country into almost incalculable debt, replaced his inspiring dialogue with a glibness that makes Clinton look like an amateur and fostered (intentionally?) a spirit of divisiveness, classic racial preference, failed social engineering and economic brinkism.

Electing a minority president was an "experiment" in the eyes of many Americans. They hope to assuage the "white guilt", negate racial discord and move the country "up a notch".

Instead, they got sucker punched.

Somewhere out there is a monority candidate who actually "gets it"...he is an American patriot, appreciates the exceptionalism of the American "experiment" and is able to pick up the pieces of our divided society and make us great again.

After Obama, such a man is a snowball in hell.

I find that sad.

Sorry to offend.  

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