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  1. #1
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    Obama speech to school children

    President Obama will be giving a speech today directed at school children and it has many conservative parents concerned , so much so that they are pulling their kids from school so they don't hear it. There are talks of Obama pushing his partisan political agenda, to indoctrinating America's children to his socialist agenda.

    I've read the speech he has prepared and it seems like neither to me. It is just a speech to inspire kids to do their best in school.

    Are these fears justified or just paranoia and would you let your kids listen to the speech?

    CNN Reference

    Obama's Planned Speech
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  2. #2
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    The part where he talks about the government's responsibility to "set high standards" for schools is definitely partisan politics. That is neither in the Constitution as a right or duty of the Fed nor is it the general consensus in the country or in the political bodies of the government that such a right or responsibility exists.

    Also, while I agree with the idea of stressing responsibility to the society, after the stunt his PR people pulled with "being of service to the President," it all sounds pretty damned Statist to me. It may be pretty benign on the whole... in fact, it's a really well-written speech. But there are just enough points in there that start introducing the idea of Statist thinking that it bothers me.

    I wouldn't want my kids to just take that speech in and listen to it without a critical ear. If I had kids in school, I would dissect the speech myself and discuss it with my children when they came home. But the problem is that most parents either don't know how to do that very well, or they don't think to do it at all. And so the vast majority of the kids in schools today listening to that speech will get unfiltered, un-examined propaganda piped directly into their heads at their government-mandated schools.

    I say again... Goebbels would be very proud.

  3. #3
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    The "controversy" over this is ridiculous. Painfully ridiculous and pathetic.

    This event has highlighted the fears I have with our current divisive nature as a culture.

    Of course I'd let my child listen and I commend Obama for continuing on this tradition.

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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by daman View Post
    President Obama will be giving a speech today directed at school children and it has many conservative parents concerned , so much so that they are pulling their kids from school so they don't hear it. There are talks of Obama pushing his partisan political agenda, to indoctrinating America's children to his socialist agenda.
    There are good reasons why some would believe such a thing since the Republican Party of Florida - a mainstream political party - as been making this claim.
    As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.

    http://www.rpof.org/article.php?id=754
    The claim is however baseless, and those parents that have indeed pulled their children out of school on that day would benefit themselves from a day of schooling or two.
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape View Post
    This event has highlighted the fears I have with our current divisive nature as a culture.
    When there is a pervasive and persistent... and powerful... contingent of the government pushing a Statist agenda from as many angles as possible, it's quite reasonable to be opposed to it if you aren't a Statist. Strong, vocal opposition is the only way that we will be heard when the people pushing this agenda use "shouting louder and longer" as one of their tactics to get people to believe lies and meaningless political slogans.

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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    When there is a pervasive and persistent... and powerful... contingent of the government pushing a Statist agenda from as many angles as possible, it's quite reasonable to be opposed to it if you aren't a Statist. Strong, vocal opposition is the only way that we will be heard when the people pushing this agenda use "shouting louder and longer" as one of their tactics to get people to believe lies and meaningless political slogans.
    There is only one mention of anything that can be construed as "partisan" which is what you pointed about before about Government setting standards.

    That is a incredibly minor and insignificant part of the speech and shouldn't prevent a parent from letting them have someone talk to them about the importance of education.

    Moreover, I doubt many of these detractors do not agree with publically funded education but rather the current system. (As in they would rather see something like a voucher system) So, if there real problem is government's involvement in education, is this the best place to fight that idea?

    This isn't "brainwashing" or partisan in any nature. And even if education was totally private, I would hope our President speaks on the importance of education! And he could use the exact same speech without the one minor point you mentioned.
    Last edited by thegreenape; September 8th, 2009 at 10:31 AM.

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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    When there is a pervasive and persistent... and powerful... contingent of the government pushing a Statist agenda from as many angles as possible, it's quite reasonable to be opposed to it if you aren't a Statist. Strong, vocal opposition is the only way that we will be heard when the people pushing this agenda use "shouting louder and longer" as one of their tactics to get people to believe lies and meaningless political slogans.
    This has to be one of the craziest and silliest fear mongering that Republicans are issuing. "Oh no, our poor little children are going to be indoctrinated by the President of the United States in front of LIVE CAMERA'S. He's pushing his socialism on our little ones now". These fear-mongering conspirators will say ANYTHING...anything just to criticize the guy. I always thought I was the one who was so staunchly opposed to so many of his views and policies (and I still am) but this is getting ridiculous. Everything this guys does seems to be a conspiracy by people dedicated to criticize anything and everything he does.

    The speech, just to let you know, is about teaching kids to be responsible for their education and not give up. It's NOT about banks, bailouts nor the health care bill.

    PolitiFact.com wrote:

    The speech drew fire from some Republicans who said school children should not be required to listen to the Democratic president's address. The Republican Party of Florida went further, saying Obama would "indoctrinate" school children with "socialist ideology," forcing them "to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other president." We rated that claim Pants on Fire!

    What's important to note is that Republican President, George H.W. Bush in 1991 also spoke directly to junior high school students in Washington, D.C. about taking responsibility for their own education.

    At the time, the Democrats criticized Bush for giving the speech. However:

    Republicans, though, defended the right of the president to address students. "Why is it political for the president of the United States to discuss education?" asked Newt Gingrich, who was then the House Republican whip. "It was done at a nonpolitical site and was beamed to a nonpolitical audience. . . . They wanted to reach the maximum audience with the maximum effect to improve education."

    Even admired Republican Ronald Reagan had a question-answer session for children in the White House back in 1986 which was broadcast nationally. However, what's amazing to note is that he also discussed overtly political matters, such as national defense funding, nuclear disarmament and -- in suprising policy detail -- taxes.

    But you don't hear Republicans mentioning any of that now do you? Is there any word other than h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-es that can describe the level of criticism that the extreme-right in the Republican Party are issuing in this overtly extreme fear mongering here?

  8. #8
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    I love how Obama-fans are falling all over themselves to show how unreasonable Republicans/Conservatives are being. The fact is that very few Republicans have spoken out against Obama's speech. The fact is that, unlike the Reagan era, people on both aisles largely do not trust the government. So, being suspicious of a seemingly ideological President give a speech to children brings out, uh, suspicion. When your approval rating is falling and Congress' is at an all-time low, expect people to question everything.

    Personally, I think its great for the President to address students. If he can motivate some of them to work harder and if his speech has a positive impact on some amount of kids, kudos to Obama. Even if he had given a somewhat partisan speech to the students, I believe (as has been noted) there is nothing wrong with that. He's the elected President.

    As has been noted earlier, Reagan gave a partisan Q & A session for students. Also, George H.W. Bush gave a non-partisan speech. It should be noted that Dick Gephardt (D), criticized the speech saying, "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students." So, let's not pretend politics stops because children are involved. Calling one side hypocritical ignores the games being played by the other side. Gee, who was it that claimed in another thread there were no significant differences between the two political parties???
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    It is OK to question policies, ideas, and the actions of the government. It's ok to not agree with them.

    However, to blatently misrepresent a speech about the importance of education to children by calling in brainwashing and agenda pushing when there is zero evidence in the speech(!) is ridiculous.

    Also, falling approval rating poles should have nothing to do with someone's ability to make reasonable judgement with facts other than suspicious judgements of pure speculation and obvious bias.

    But as Ibseld rightly point out, I don't see either side of being any better.

    I would hope both could take one second away from their precious agenda and allow the elected leader of our country address students about the importance of education...much like I would expect the leader of any organization to talk about important issues with its group members.

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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    The fact is that very few Republicans have spoken out against Obama's speech.
    While there has been few Republican diplomats that have spoken out (Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer) there are many conservatives that are outraged.

    From CNN: Many conservatives enraged over Obama school speech

    Many conservative parents aren't buying it. They're convinced the president is going to use the opportunity to press a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds.
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  11. #11
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape View Post
    It is OK to question policies, ideas, and the actions of the government. It's ok to not agree with them.

    However, to blatently misrepresent a speech about the importance of education to children by calling in brainwashing and agenda pushing when there is zero evidence in the speech(!) is ridiculous.

    Also, falling approval rating poles should have nothing to do with someone's ability to make reasonable judgement with facts other than suspicious judgements of pure speculation and obvious bias.
    I think the poll numbers merely suggest a lack of trust. If you don't trust someone, you are going to have a different interpretation of their actions than if you do trust them. I believe those speaking out against his speech, are afraid it'll be partisan. By speaking up now, they are more likely to effect the outcome than if they wait to see if they right or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape View Post
    But as Ibseld rightly point out, I don't see either side of being any better.

    I would hope both could take one second away from their precious agenda and allow the elected leader of our country address students about the importance of education...much like I would expect the leader of any organization to talk about important issues with its group members.
    I would hope so too. However, in this political climate, its unlikely. It is, though, on their shoulders. They, the politicians, have created this climate. Now, they have to swim in it.
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by daman View Post
    While there has been few Republican diplomats that have spoken out (Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer) there are many conservatives that are outraged.

    From CNN: Many conservatives enraged over Obama school speech
    I do believe that this is another instance in which the fringe is hardly distinguishable from the mainstream when it comes to the political right and the voices most heard are simply the ones shouting the loudest. - no matter what they are shouting -.
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by daman View Post
    While there has been few Republican diplomats that have spoken out (Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer) there are many conservatives that are outraged.

    From CNN: Many conservatives enraged over Obama school speech

    Many conservative parents aren't buying it. They're convinced the president is going to use the opportunity to press a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds.
    How many conservatives are really "outraged"? I mean, we can cherry-pick from this group or that group, but seriously does that really mean some significant number are outraged? Again, the reaction to Obama's speech is no different than the Democratic reaction to Bush's speech I referred to in the previous post. Another point, that seems to need to be repeated is that trust of govt is really at a low. That's just the environment we're in.
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    How many conservatives are really "outraged"? I mean, we can cherry-pick from this group or that group, but seriously does that really mean some significant number are outraged? Again, the reaction to Obama's speech is no different than the Democratic reaction to Bush's speech I referred to in the previous post.
    The controversy is large enough that School administrators are caught... Some have decided to show the president's speech, while others will not. Many, such as Wellesley, Massachusetts, superintendent Bella Wong, are deciding on a class-by-class basis, leaving the decision in the hands of individual teachers. (1)

    I would say this is very significant and the quote from Dick Gephardt (D) you submitted is hardly a counterweight to say it's all good and all the same.

    (1) http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/...ols/index.html
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  15. #15
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape View Post
    There is only one mention of anything that can be construed as "partisan" which is what you pointed about before about Government setting standards.
    That one mention is what I object to. It should never have been in there if the people that wrote the speech were being honest about their intentions.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape
    That is a incredibly minor and insignificant part of the speech and shouldn't prevent a parent from letting them have someone talk to them about the importance of education.
    Never did I say it should.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape
    So, if there real problem is government's involvement in education, is this the best place to fight that idea?
    It may not be the best place to fight the idea, but as I said earlier, when there is a massive ideological campaign that attacks from every angle, you have to fight every battle you can.

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape View Post
    This isn't "brainwashing" or partisan in any nature. And even if education was totally private, I would hope our President speaks on the importance of education! And he could use the exact same speech without the one minor point you mentioned.
    My response was not directly an address to the speech itself. I made my feelings on that particular matter clear in my post previous to the one which is being criticized currently.

    The statement I made about Statist propaganda and the need to dissent loudly and often was a direct response to the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by thegreenape
    This event has highlighted the fears I have with our current divisive nature as a culture.
    It only addressed the issue of the speech tangentially. While I don't necessarily approve of *either* party arrogating to itself the right to preach political ideology to a captive and impressionable audience, I have already said that my approach if I had children would be to examine the speech and discuss it with my kids in great detail to make sure that they took out of it what I as a parent wanted them to take and not what the President's PR guys wanted to push when they helped him write his speech.

    The general order of the day for US politics for the past 5 decades or so has been an incrementalist strategy to get the public to accept increasingly authoritarian laws and governmental power structures. I oppose this goal, and I oppose every methodology that has been employed to accomplish it, including the use of carefully crafted speeches with mostly agreeable points... with that one bit of propaganda slipped in there for good measure, like a bit of arsenic with the antibiotic.

    As I said before, I would have been a little less suspicious of the whole thing if it hadn't been for the most recent PR stunt before this, calling on people to "be of service to President Barack Obama" and then equating that misplaced service with things people should be doing already simply because they are socially responsible people and good citizens. The hell of it is that if they had left the commercial alone with just the pledges to be good, responsible, open-minded people, I would have fully supported it. However, since they *did* decide to put in their bit of Statist propaganda, it puts this new seemingly benign speech in a much different light, which I don't think is alarmist or at all unreasonable. It makes me a person who examines what I hear critically and puts some real thought into what it means and what the people who wrote it hoped to accomplish. When I do that and put the pieces together, what emerges is not appealing to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    This has to be one of the craziest and silliest fear mongering that Republicans are issuing.
    Ad hominem and irrelevant. I'm not a Republican; I don't trust them, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast
    These fear-mongering conspirators will say ANYTHING...anything just to criticize the guy.
    Ad hominem.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast
    Everything this guys does seems to be a conspiracy by people dedicated to criticize anything and everything he does.
    Ad hominem and tu quoque. Liberals did the same thing with Bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast
    The speech, just to let you know, is about teaching kids to be responsible for their education and not give up. It's NOT about banks, bailouts nor the health care bill.
    It doesn't have to be in order to insert minor, "starter" points for a Statist ideology in an otherwise benign speech directed at a captive and impressionable audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast
    But you don't hear Republicans mentioning any of that now do you? Is there any word other than h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-es that can describe the level of criticism that the extreme-right in the Republican Party are issuing in this overtly extreme fear mongering here?
    Ad hominem and ad hom tu quoque.

    In short, your argument is full of fallacies and has not meaningfully addressed any of my points at all.

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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by daman View Post
    President Obama will be giving a speech today directed at school children and it has many conservative parents concerned , so much so that they are pulling their kids from school so they don't hear it. There are talks of Obama pushing his partisan political agenda, to indoctrinating America's children to his socialist agenda.

    I've read the speech he has prepared and it seems like neither to me. It is just a speech to inspire kids to do their best in school.

    Are these fears justified or just paranoia and would you let your kids listen to the speech?

    CNN Reference

    Obama's Planned Speech
    I see nothing objectionable in the transcripted speech. My big problem was with the White House's official lesson plans for the students that involved them answering the question "How can you help President Obama?"
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    That one mention is what I object to. It should never have been in there if the people that wrote the speech were being honest about their intentions.
    How, exactly, is it partisan? I haven't heart either party advocate the elimination of goverment standards in public schools.

    Never did I say it should.
    True

    It may not be the best place to fight the idea, but as I said earlier, when there is a massive ideological campaign that attacks from every angle, you have to fight every battle you can.
    I would disagree. Fighting battles that diminish your causes rationale and legitamacy is a poor battle to fight. That's what this does, in my opinion.

    My response was not directly an address to the speech itself. I made my feelings on that particular matter clear in my post previous to the one which is being criticized currently.

    The statement I made about Statist propaganda and the need to dissent loudly and often was a direct response to the following:
    Fair enough

    It only addressed the issue of the speech tangentially. While I don't necessarily approve of *either* party arrogating to itself the right to preach political ideology to a captive and impressionable audience, I have already said that my approach if I had children would be to examine the speech and discuss it with my kids in great detail to make sure that they took out of it what I as a parent wanted them to take and not what the President's PR guys wanted to push when they helped him write his speech.
    Obviously, things would be a lot better and there wouldn't be the need for such outrage if parents took the time to explain and discuss thigns with their children as opposed to ban their children from exposure.

    And it is precisely this political attitude propgation that I find disturbing. Let your children watch and explain to them why you think its wrong instead of complete denial.

    The general order of the day for US politics for the past 5 decades or so has been an incrementalist strategy to get the public to accept increasingly authoritarian laws and governmental power structures. I oppose this goal, and I oppose every methodology that has been employed to accomplish it, including the use of carefully crafted speeches with mostly agreeable points... with that one bit of propaganda slipped in there for good measure, like a bit of arsenic with the antibiotic.

    As I said before, I would have been a little less suspicious of the whole thing if it hadn't been for the most recent PR stunt before this, calling on people to "be of service to President Barack Obama" and then equating that misplaced service with things people should be doing already simply because they are socially responsible people and good citizens. The hell of it is that if they had left the commercial alone with just the pledges to be good, responsible, open-minded people, I would have fully supported it. However, since they *did* decide to put in their bit of Statist propaganda, it puts this new seemingly benign speech in a much different light, which I don't think is alarmist or at all unreasonable. It makes me a person who examines what I hear critically and puts some real thought into what it means and what the people who wrote it hoped to accomplish. When I do that and put the pieces together, what emerges is not appealing to me.
    As far as the "I pledge" video, would you provide evidence that they planned on re-airnig this video to the students in addition to his speech?

    Because that particular video was uploaded to youtube in January and made by Ashton Kutcher and others, not the Obama administration. And the only incident I can find where this has to do with school is here:

    An elemtary school in Utah


    "Chris Williams, Davis School District spokesman, said school principal Ofelia Wade and school PTA leaders decided to show the video as part of an assembly about the school's theme for the year, service. He said the PTA board chose the video and Wade did not see it before it was shown in the assembly. "

    So, this has nothing to do with the Obama administration in any way, shape, or form.

    I will await your evidence to the contrary.

    ---------- Post added at 02:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I see nothing objectionable in the transcripted speech. My big problem was with the White House's official lesson plans for the students that involved them answering the question "How can you help President Obama?"
    Well, this is different than the "I pledge" video.

    Just for clarity's sake: can we have some support for this?

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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I see nothing objectionable in the transcripted speech. My big problem was with the White House's official lesson plans for the students that involved them answering the question "How can you help President Obama?"
    Contextomy

    Please support that the context in which the question is being asked would have as a reply, something that would be objectionable. You are implying that the question leads to objectionable thinking without framing it within it's full context.

    Reading the content and intent of the speech, how can the proper answer to the question not be: "by staying in school", or "by being the best student I can be".
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    I see nothing objectionable in the transcripted speech. My big problem was with the White House's official lesson plans for the students that involved them answering the question "How can you help President Obama?"
    Why don't we take a look at this?

    After a speech in which the President does little else but implore the audience to do better academically, be more outgoing in extracurriculars, and work harder in all of their pursuits, what would the children be most likely to answer? Would their answer be something partisan? Or more likely oriented to better academic performance?
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    Re: Obama speech to school children

    I picked up my second grade son today.. He was actually pretty excited to get to hear President Obama's Speech. Seemed rather inspired. I asked what he learned from listening to President Obama, and he told me, Never give up and taking care of his body and education was his most important job.
    He was however confused at why some of the parents of children in his class would not allow them to listen to the speech. Personally, parents that would deny their children the opportunity to listen to their President speak seem rather idiotic and rather unpatriotic. It is fine to disagree. I think it is great that this country has so many differing opinions and ideals.
    I hope my son will learn to form opinions and think for himself, even if his views oppose my own. I also hope he will have a strong love for his country and want to know what is going on. To deny school age children the opportunity to listen to the President and then discuss what they heard at home is just weak parenting.

 

 
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