September 4, 2009

Are you going to keep your kids home from school Tuesday to protect them from Obama’s speech? Do you take your parenting cues from Rush, Bill, Glenn?

Update September 6: Mt. Diablo Schools support students viewing of President Obama's speech. From Superintendent Dick Nicoll:

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District supports the President’s address to students on the importance of education to be broadcast on September 8. Schools may show the speech either live or at a later time.

Friday: Apparently, there are some parents in Walnut Creek who are afraid that President Barack Obama’s webcast to U.S. school kids Tuesday amounts to some sort of political indoctrination. These poor worried parents might be listening to conservative pundits who have likened the speech to indoctrination in the style of North Korean dictator Kim John Il or Adolph Hitler and his Hitler Youth.

Kevin Collins, principal of Walnut Creek Intermediate, told the Contra Costa Times that the school has received parent phone calls and emails “with interest and concern.”

The 15- to 20-minute address, scheduled for 9 a.m., Tuesday, is being billed as a challenge students to work hard, set goals for their education and take responsibility for their learning, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a letter to principals.

The Education Department is encouraging teachers to create lesson plans around the speech, using materials provided on the department website that urge students to learn about Obama and other presidents.

"He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens," Duncan said in a press release.

And viewing the speech is encouraged, not mandatory, Duncan said in the letter.

Some conservatives are crying foul, among them the usual suspects of reasoned and thoughtful discourse in our contemporary American society: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck. Actually, it’s driving them batty. But aren’t these guys batty to begin with?

According to the Huffington Post--yes a site dedicated to indoctrinating the American public with liberal ideology:

"Glenn Beck hit this early, in a hurry, announcing that he would be countering Obama's address by airing a "special one-hour broadcast next Tuesday on
television on the indoctrination of your children."

Oh goody.

The Huffington Post adds: The National Review's Mark Steyn told Rush Limbaugh's audience Wednesday that the video address was Obama's attempt to extend his "cult of personality."

Well it’s not like Obama is the first U.S. president to talk directly to students. President Ronald Reagan and his successor George H.W. Bush spoke to kids, no doubt attempting to indoctrinate them in their cult of personality. But wait! Did the elder Mr. Bush have a personality?

In his 1988 televised discussion with students, President Ronald Reagan covered the following topics: gun control, the balanced budget and the line-item veto.

Hmm. Talking to kids about gun control. Nah, that wouldn't be indoctrinating school kids on a political issue?

Three years later, President George H.W. Bush gave a speech solely to students, but stayed toward a less politically controversial issue, touching on the importance of saying no to drugs.


Masterlock said...

Can he address my boss and tell him I need a day off?

MickeyMartin said...

Some people will just cry foul to anything Obama does, even if it is motivating children to exceed. Some people are just retarded. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who feed into this BS. It just lets me know that I walk upon the stupid and the intolerant daily. This helps me to better understand the world.

MickeyMartin said...

Point in case....The small group of "concerned citizens" that have disrupted healthcare town halls to support the crooked insurance providers who refuse to give healthcare to almost 50 million americans. Why would anyone support the views of the companies that continue to raise fees, fail to cover the most vulnerable, and take human life to be a statistic. But Glenn beck, Rush, Hannity, and the rest of the pundits are so far into the pockets of big business lobbying and have such an ideological (and racist) hatred for Obama that they continue to mislead Americans into singing the insurance company song. It is ridiculous and a farce. There is a special place in hell for these folks.

Anonymous said...

nice slant soccer mom-
did reagan and bush have a lesson plan that stated "how can you help obama" - did the lesson plan also state "how you can help the presidents AND Barack Obama? I don't care if the Pres speaks to kids about staying in school, stay off drugs, but the lesson plan pushes it (and, the white house has since pulled the "how you can help..." plan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:06 You are correct. Reagan and Bush did not have a lesson plan that said "how you can help Obama".

(Do you realize how ridiculous your question is?)

However, Reagan did pitch his 'tax cuts for the rich' plan in his speech to students. I bet you were ok with a white Republican president politicizing a speech to young students.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading this blog but the liberal slant is just too much.

Please stop referring to all conservatives as "crazy". This does not advance your arguments one bit.

I do not mind my kids listening to Obama's speech because I have raised them to be independent thinkers. Obama's speech seems harmless, but I think the uproar about it reflects the unease the population is starting to feel about his far-left ideas and agenda.

Anonymous said...

Hey he's jsut doing what politicians do, basically every kid over the age of 14 is a voter in the next elections cycle.

Obama is essentially kicking off his campaign with this speech.

Anonymous said...

Right on 9:45 am. You hit it right on the money.

I, for one, am glad that you take the time with your children to teach them to be independent thinkers. No sheep in your family.
Keep up the good work and you will have active and productive adult kids.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you don't even try to hide your slant/bias. However, you haven't said anything original here. It's all stuff that you, and we, have read or heard elsewhere, repeatedly.

Fortunately, my children are already adults, who think for themselves, so Obama's speech is not something I have to consider, for my own children.

MickeyMartin: I think you got the phrase backwards. It's "case in point," not "point in case." It is interesting that you insult those who disagree with you ("retarded," "BS," "stupid and intolerant"). This gives us all a strong hint that the person who is intolerant of people who disagree with him is YOU.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not a President speaking to school children. In fact it is nice to have the President telling kids to stay in school and seek to achive an education. What people have a problem with is the White House issuing "lesson plans" for teachers to use in conjuction with the speech. Asking kids "what is President Obama inspiring you to do?" Brainstorming sessions with the kids are to include the topic "How will he (the President) inspire us?". Shouldn't the focus be on education and not the President? This is not a big deal but come on, if President Bush was asking students how he inspired them there would be uproar on the left. This post simply shows how folks on the left (the Contra Costa Times included based on today's paper) are starting to get very defensive as the President's poll numbers drop into the 40's and his agenda stalls. Ppeople are seeing the true colors of this administration. Our own Nancy Pelosi has some of the worst approval ratings in the history of Congressional leadership-around 13%. It will be an intersting election next year.

Anonymous said...

Wow. We certainly don't want our kids learning about civics or current affairs. And God forbid they come home and we have a discussion about politics (gasp!) around the dinner table (outdated concept, I know). They might grow up to be good citizens, free-thinkers and could even have opinions that differ from their parents. The horror!

Anonymous said...

I hate to think this fuss could be about racism. Do these same concerned parents also monitor their children's classrooms in case the teacher expresses a "liberal" thought? What impression are these kids getting when they hear such vitriol against the first black president?

Anonymous said...

Oh, 11:28 AM, where did the word "racism" come into the discussion? You injected it because of how you view others' observations on the subject at hand.

Everything that people object to is not about race, period. The actions of the current president would rile just as many people no matter what color, race religion he/she may be.

Besides, according to everything I have read about President Obama, he is half white. Where does that come into play? How does that influence people's opinions about his policies?

MickeyMartin said...

It is not people who disagree with me. It is people who follow sheepishly into these fabricated ails of socialism and choose to walk blindly into an argument based upon fear and rhetoric. I do think there is a certain amount of the population that is simply unreachable and lack the rationale to even have a debate. If people think that Obama is brainwashing our youth and turning America into Russia that is their right. It is just not accurate and borderline insane. Other than that, Rock on! Thanks for the grammar check. It was early.

MickeyMartin said...

A funny piece on my grammatical error:

Either way, the reason I came up with the PIC name in the first place is because I've always had major beef with the term "case in point." To me, when you are giving an example of some event to bolster a theory, the resulting effect would be the point within that particular case--the case being the specific incident you refer to, and the point being the reason it relates to your initial theory. Thus, the point is enclosed within the case. The opposite would be way too abstract.

Point in case: an arrowhead displayed in a glass case in the Museum of Natural History. (practical)

Case in point: a glass case in the Museum of Natural History jammed into the tip of an arrowhead. (practical...if you've just dropped acid for the first time)

More to the point, the term "case in point" actually originates from the French term à point, meaning something relevant or to the point. In the 17th century, this resulted in one being able to use the term "in point" by itself to label something as "revelant." Over a hundred years later, a gaggle of lawyers squabbling over precedents demanded that some cases be produced to prove relevance. Thus, a case in point. Or as some call it, the birth of literary confusion and an over-litigious society.

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 9:45 and others:
Thanks for posting. Interesting debate, and, as 9:45 says, the debate probably reflects a larger "unease" in the country, though whether it is with Obama's policies, or with conservatives, without any real leaders, just finding ways to vent--I don't know.
No, I did not refer to all conservatives as "crazy." Hey, I'm "crazy," and I'm a liberal. Yes, I used the "L" word in references to myself. If my occasional expressions of a liberal slant bother you, don't read this blog.

I specifically referred to Rush, Glenn, and Bill as "batty." Would anyone out there like to defend them as models of thoughtful discourse, who are advancing enlightened thought in our society? I'm sure their latest fit about this issue has boosted their ratings, gotten them in the news again.

As for the accompanying lesson plan, I agree that it might not be worth taking up school time on it. Then again, it might be as useful a way for students to spend time as the silly coloring homework my middle school son had to do last night. But that's a whole other blog.

Asking students to learn about the office of the presidency, and the biographies of presidents, well, my son and I visited the American History museum of the Smithsonian while in Washington D.C. It contained a whole exhibit on the office and role of the presidency, with plenty of bio information on different presidents, and information on their accomplishments and challenges.
It was an interesting exhibit.

Masterlock said...

Meh, I went to private school, all we ever did was our lesson plans. No one pulled us out of class so a President could lecture us on common sense.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:01 -- so you wouldn't have any problems if your kids expressed conservative views? I think not.

Anon 11:28 -- your racism comment is ridiculous and deserves to be ignored. As to your question "Do these same concerned parents also monitor their children's classrooms in case the teacher expresses a "liberal" thought?", the answer is yes, I do discuss with my 11th grader and my 8th grader what was said in their classrooms, and we discuss why the teacher's views are incorrect, if in fact they are. For example, last week my child's 11th grade science teacher made the class view a film on why turning off water to farmers in the central valley of California in order to save the delta smelt was a correct action to be lauded. There was no pro/con dissussion in class, rather it was a teacher imposing his political views on a captive classroom. I discussed with my child why my view differs from what was presented in class. That's how I am raising independent thinkers.

SoccerMom: "Batty" is generally defined as "crazy. I think we now know why you are crazy in suburbia. Thank you for giving me permission to stop reading your blog. After the comments on this thread grind to a halt I will do just that!

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom...I agree that Glen, Rush and Bill seem batty lately. Is it just my imagination or have they gotten worse since Obama got elected?

It's just as well that 1:16 stops reading your blog. Ideas and opinions can sometimes be troublesome. They may even drive some of us crazy! Even in suburbia

Cheryl said...

I really don't have much of an opinion on it. The lesson plans are optional to use, and lets face it, there are some teachers (not at my kids' schools thankfully), that need a lesson plan handed to them to be able to lead a discussion.

My kids are all below high school age, so I doubt they'll be watching it. I'm sure their teachers would have mentioned something before now if they were planning on viewing it during class time.

Anonymous said...

I think it speaks volumes that Obama carried the most educated. McCain carried the folks with less education.

That's what we're seeing play out nationwide. I'll bet that if we polled folks, you'd see the least educated in opposition, and the most educated in support.

Anonymous said...

I was ok with it until I read the instructions for indoctrination...I mean "lesson plan" that goes along with it.

After that it seems a bit of a stretch that this isn't intended to get school age children to push socialism.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:36 Careful, your liberal arrogance is showing.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:14,

I just reported your message to as you intentions seem a little fishy to me. I hope the administration puts you on thier list.

MickeyMartin said...

Spirited debate indeed. It is pathetic that folks have nothing better to worry about than the leader of the free world wanting to help inspire children to try harder. How dare he try to reach out to my child. The parents the most outraged are probably the same parents who could really give a rat's ass about their kid's education and simply want to create controversy where they can using their beloved children as simple pawns in a game of political chess. It is tiring. As much as I thought Bush was the most ignorant person ever to hold the office of the presidency, the truth is I could care less if he wanted to address my children in their learning environment. Just as long as he was not going top read them "My Pet Goat," we would be alright. This is nonsense from an opposition who lives for nothing more than to simply oppose. The right wing loons can continue their march to extinction for all I care. It is comical and even the most died in the wool Republicans are at home wondering what the hell happened to their party. The dems got their own issues, but at least they are keeping their composure for the most part.

DumbAsBricks said...

We had lesson plans to go along with all sorts of discussion initiated by the federal government.

We watched the space shuttle launches (and disaster), Reagan's inaguration speeches (and assassination attempts), movies on the holocaust, American Revolution, on socialism, communism, democracy, the good and the bad about everything. Election coverage, both sides of an argument was mandatory. We were too young to make up our minds, but we were instructed to accept all sides of an argument before we started our conclusion.

This was in elementary school K-5.

Perhaps it is a little shocking to hear. The last administration gave us very little worth listening to and we are knee jerk reacting to the possibility of a president that looks, talks, and acts like a president.

Anonymous said...

I'm a staunch conservative, and I would rather see them die on another hill than this one. Obama is just using this for political hay, as did all the other presidents before him both R and D. Not a big deal at all. Conservatives should attack B.O. because he is a radical leftist, not because he will have a speech to school kids about working hard and staying in school and achieving something.

Maybe some good will come of this. Maybe all the minority kids whose parents have anointed him the savior and messiah will listen and actually get an education and earn their own way instead of taking Obama's handouts.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 1:16. Yes, I would find it difficult if my child espoused conservative views. I would probably discuss and argue with him about it, but I wouldn't prevent him from being exposed to those views, and I wouldn't condemn him for holding them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:16 I find it of interest how you chose your words:

"...we discuss why the teacher's views are incorrect, if in fact they are. For example,..."

You use the term incorrect which implies that there is a correct view, presumably yours.

This shows that you are as guilty as the teacher you accuse in indocrinating your kids. If you wanted to truly raise your kids as independent thinkers you would say that the teacher's views are incomplete or biased wich is different from incorrect.

Anonymous said...

The racism and race-based hatred repeating itself through comments on this blog are nauseating. (This is why I stopped reading CCTimes comments.) I'm all for lively discussion of issues, but life is too short, and I'm too busy to waste time with illogical feeble-minded hate-mongering. Thanks to SM for espousing with neutrality, while admitting her perspective.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:38

Where is the "racism and race-based hatred?" Please give a few concrete examples from this posting...maybe we can all learn something.

Anonymous said...

I teach 5th grade (where we focus on American History), and have not yet decided whether or not I will have my class watch the speech in class. Just out of curiosity, I printed the suggested lesson plans. They seem pretty harmless to me, basically suggesting activities for before, during and after the speech, that any teacher would hopefully choose to do anyway. The topics range from basic questions for kids such as discussing "What do you think it takes to be President?", to something more personal where kids set educational goals and brainstorm ways to make their community stronger. How sad that goal setting and working for a strong community has become such a questionable, debatable, and heated topic.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:35

Are you deliberately being obtuse?

The original lesson plan released by the Dept. of Education asked children to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”

Lifting a phrase from the president himself, let me be clear. Some parents who do not agree with President Obama's policies might not want their children to be asked by a teacher to come up with ways to help the president.

The DOE has since changed that task to “Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.”

No one objects to "goal setting and working for a strong community", and it is ridiculous for you to say so.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:20
"Some parents who do not agree with President Obama's policies might not want their children to be asked by a teacher to come up with ways to help the president."

Why do you have such a deep hate for the president. Wether you like it or not it is your president too. Wouldn't that be an opportunity for your child to help the president see your arguments? But of course you are guided by hate and rather see the country and the president fail than help him with your arguments.

Anonymous said...

How does the Great Leader...eeerr...President Obama inspire you!

Soccer Mom your biggest defender on this site is the pot advocate! I love it. You lefties are really getting nervous. Bet you weren't as upset when Bush was getting trashed in the media daily.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:03

I'm sorry, could you please explain how not agreeing with Obama's policies means that I have a "deep hate for the president."?

When did we get to the point in this country where policy differences are seen as hate?

I don't hate Obama. He actually seems like a likeable person. I'm sure it would be very enjoyable to talk to him on a personal level, but I don't agree with his political views and policies and will continue to say so. I'm really puzzled why you see that as hatred.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:34 it is pretty obvious from your words. If you would simply disagree with the president you wouldn't have any problems if your childern would be asked to reflect how they could help the president do a better job.

MickeyMartin said...

What does being an advocate for cannabis medicines have to do with this conversation and why do people continue to try and use my advocacy as something to be ashamed of. Lefty, righty, in-betweener, I could care less. Whatever happened to honest dialogue and debate without the petty name calling and passive aggressive tones. We are talking about the President of the United States addressing children in the United States about educational opportunity and responsibility. Why are we talking about this again?

Anonymous said...


Not arrogance, but the truth. Look at 2008 election voters by education. Obama carried all college-educated voters, especially post grads. McCain carried HS grads.

Sorry if you don't like facts, but that's what they are.

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern with all this is that parents are teaching their children that when you don't agree with the President (or anyone else possibly) you withdraw...refuse to listen...refuse to participate. They fear discussion rather than welcome it.

That's what terrifies me. A generation of children who are schooled in confrontation rather than civics.

Anonymous said...

What worries me most is the tone we see over the last months in politics. I remember when a had an add comparing GWB with Hitler and the outcry it caused. Now it seems to have come accepted to call the president names such as Hitler, Kim Jong Il, dictator, raciest etc.

Children are thought to not even pay attention what the president has to say.

I don't mean that people should not have the right to disagree with the president's politics but why not use this to teach your children how to have a civil argument about politics?

Of course if your only arguments are Death Panel, Hitler, Racist etc. then maybe disrespecting the President is your only option.

Anonymous said...

I love how liberals always think they are the only ones with an education...oops, maybe I should type "educashun" since I'm suppposed to be so stupid. I also love how liberals think that they are so civil in their arguments, and how they are so concerned about everyone respecting the president now that Obama is in office instead of Bush.

Anyway, it's wonderful day since we all woke up to news of Van Jones resigning, so I'm not going to ruin it by arguing with a bunch of yahoos.

Soccer Mom said...

Brian Copeland devoted the full two hours on his KGO radio show to this issue.

I have to agree with Copeland with some of the things Copeland said. If you disagree with the president's policies, that's democracy. We're supposed to challenge, question, etc.

But the way this issue is playing out, as Copeland says, goes beyond healthy disagreement with policies. It reveals something darker. It is the latest example--following the birthers, the townhall shout-downs, people showing up at Obama appearances armed with guns, and the alarming increase in threats against the president's life--in a rising tide of fear about the person of the president himself. And, Copeland contends that the fear is based on the fact that Obama is black. It is racism.

Would there be this fuss if we had a white male Democrat with the same policies speaking to school kids? And even supplying with schools with lesson plans asking how you can help the president. I doubt it.

Copeland says he remembers when Gerald Ford was running for president and having to do some kind of class assignment, writing the president with suggestions about how to help the president. There was no fuss back then. I don't remember those lesson plans but I remember my Walnut Creek school letting kids out early so that we could go to downtown Walnut Creek and listen to Ford's speech. He was a candidate for re-election. Was my school taking sides for a particular candidate or just letting us local kids enjoy a local historic moment and the chance to see the President of the United States, when he happened to come to our town?

One listener emailed Copeland to say something along the lines of "I wasn't a fan of George Bush, but if wanted to address my kids, I wouldn't fear for their souls, I'd fear for their grammar."

I came to despise pretty much everything George Bush and his cronies stood for. There's my liberal slant for you. But if were to address my son, I wouldn't put up a fuss or withdraw him from class. But we'd have an interesting family discussion later that evening.

Anonymous said...

I voted for George Bush both times but towards the end I was embarassed that I had. I mistook rhetoric for intelligence and swagger for leadership. Barack has great skills and intelligence, I pray that he can lead US despite all the ugliness and disrespect in the public arena.


Anonymous said...

I think people like Anon 3:16's view why let the fact that they lost the presidency stop them from continuing to destroy our country.

Soccer Mom said...

A description of how a writer, investigating JFK's assassination, found Dallas in the time leading up to that event. Does this sound familiar, and could it apply to the mood of the United States--or portions of it--in general?

"In that year ... a kind of fever lay over Dallas country. Mad things happened. Huge billboards screamed: Impeach Earl Warren.' Jewish stores were smeared with crude swastikas ... Radical Right polemics were distributed in public schools. Kennedy's name was booed in classrooms ... A wanted poster with JFK's face on it was circulated, announcing 'this man is Wanted' for--among other things-- 'turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations' and appointing 'anti-Christians ... aliens and known Communists' to federal offices.'"

Thud said...

Sm....I'm surprised at you.I was not aware that I was part of such a hate mongering sector of society.

Anonymous said...

I am not a parent, but welcome this chance to comment on one person whose influence on this debate really, really makes me angry. Glenn Beck is an immoral, ignorant clown who will say anything to attract the lowest, most hateful common denominator in society. O'Reilly and Hannity are loud and obnoxious, but Beck is just plain stupid and irresponsible. Free speech is a valued right in this country, but Beck regularly crosses a line that feeds bigotry and hate mongering. People should read about how the Rwandan media fueled the violence there that led to genocide. Fox should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Beck's ratings wouldn't be so high if conservatives had someone else to listen to.

Let's do a test. Please name one person in the MSM who was investigating the Van Jones story.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:24 I can just hope that you're not a parent.

"Maybe Beck's ratings wouldn't be so high if conservatives had someone else to listen to."

What the KKK had no members if White Supremacists had another organization to join?

Somebody making such a foolish argument certainly should not be allowed to raise children.

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 12:24 (and everyone else):

Here is a story that MSM did on Van Jones.

It's from the New Yorker from this past January. Okay, it's been a while since I read it, but I remember coming away from the article feeling rather skeptical about him. No, I didn't read his best-selling book, but I did a little research on his Oakland-based organization. In viewing their website and talking to some of their reps, I couldn't really find a simple answer to the question: "what is this organization doing?" It just seemed to be a lot of flash and not much else. Then again, the organization was supposedly just starting out...
So, here's one leftie who had not jumped on the Van Jones bandwagon. Maybe he was getting things done in Washington. Maybe he'll return to the Bay Area and get things done on his green economy idea. We'll see.