Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A guide to understanding (anti-education) parents

The ongoing flap over President Obama’s scheduled speech to the nation’s students has to be the saddest, most desperate action yet. Numerous school districts (including both in my current city and my hometown) will allow parents to opt the children out of the speech, during which they’ll apparently convene in another room with talk radio to keep them company.

Granted, defending what is essentially a suppression of free speech and education is a difficult ordeal. After all, it’s a new notion that schoolchildren should avoid listening to the president. So they’ll do what they always do when excusing the inexcusable: couch it in defensive terms. See, they’re just doing it for the children!

We already know what Obama is going to say to our students: "Stay in government indoctrination schools so that you can become a good citizen of me. Socialism. ACORN." But what parents are saying is less clear. Here is a translation guide for today's festivities:

“It’s up to me as a parent to decide what my child can handle.”
“I couldn’t name my child’s teacher or find their school on GPS, but this is going too far!”

“I don’t want my kids brainwashed.”
“I don’t want my kids brainwashed by anyone other than me.”

"I don't want my children exposed to socialist propaganda."
"I don't want my children exposed to a smart liberal president."

“I don’t want my kids indoctrinated.”
“My kids are such blank slates that I’m a failure of a parent.”

"I don’t think Obama should give this speech when parents aren’t around."
“I don’t want my kids seeing for themselves that Obama is a compassionate, reasonable role model, and not Satan incarnate. They might decide I’m wrong, then who knows what else they’ll start questioning?”

“The presidential speech is not part of the typical curriculum.”
“I thought No Child Left Behind was supposed to remove thinking from classrooms!”

“Obama is out of line in addressing America’s schoolchildren.”
“I cut class the day every other president did it.”

“Obama is just trying to recruit new votes for 2012.”
“I totally fucking suck at math, unless - oh noes! - Obama plans to lower the voting age to 12. He would do that, the traitor.”

"We don't know what he's gonna say!"
"The text has been available since yesterday! Next excuse?"

“How dare the president address the nation's schoolchildren? He's just going to turn it into a political push for the health care reform and socialism, such as.”
“I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, but just like with the 2008 election, the teabagger parties and the health care town hall heckling, I have to pretend my hatred for Obama is based on something other than race and deliberate ignorance.”

14 comments:

Tom Alday said...

Why do you insist on this ridiculous meme that the only reason people oppose Obama is because he's black? Is it that you just can't fathom why people wouldn't like him so that's the first thing you liberals always fall back on or what?

He's a joke as a leader and a shit president dude, that's why people don't like him.

Ian McGibboney said...

That was fast, Tom. I hadn't even finished the post. If I ever need a speed-reader, I'll know who to call!

I do think race is a big issue with Obama. This speech issue is a perfect example. It's the most inoffensive thing a president could possibly do, and yet it sparks almost as much rage from the right as health care reform. Why is that? In the past, presidents of both parties may have been blasted by critics for political decisions, but this is the first time I recall such intense invective aimed at every single aspect of a president.

If it's not racism, Tom, then what is it? I don't think it's because he's a joke or ineffective, because you guys can't stop harping on how he's steering this country in a radical direction. Either he's a joke or he's too dangerous. Pick a side and stick with it.

If you Obama critics could discuss his policies on a reasonable level, then I'd love to hear it. But you don't, and you never do. You instead paint not just Obama's stances, but the man himself, as a boogeyman who must not be seen or heard. Gee, nothing suspect about that. And by the way, "No, we don't" is not a defense. Elaborate.

Your oh-so-clever and mass-produced avatars with Obama as a clown and in Kenyan garb don't help either, Tom. Don't even try to argue that race isn't a factor when your own entries illustrate otherwise.

Tom Alday said...

I do think race is a big issue with Obama. This speech issue is a perfect example. It's the most inoffensive thing a president could possibly do, and yet it sparks almost as much rage from the right as health care reform. Why is that?

//I think in the beginning most issue was with the DOE directing teachers to have students write essays on how they can help the President. Obviously someone higher up thought it was wrong too because those DOE orders were quickly amended to exclude that assignment. Considering several "blue states", including Obama's home state that elected him Senator, isn't showing the speech it's safe too assume it's not just right wingers that are opposed to it. I guess they're racist too, huh?//


In the past, presidents of both parties may have been blasted by critics for political decisions, but this is the first time I recall such intense invective aimed at every single aspect of a president.

//Hahaha you're joking right? Bush was lambasted for his speech, his mannerisms, his wife, his kids, his supposed "daddy issues", his golf swing and his accent. Don't feed me that line of bull that "OMG no one has EVER been so mean to a president!".

If it's not racism, Tom, then what is it? I don't think it's because he's a joke or ineffective, because you guys can't stop harping on how he's steering this country in a radical direction. Either he's a joke or he's too dangerous. Pick a side and stick with it.

//He's steering this country into the pot with his shit policies and horrible leadership skills. You don't have to be a mastermind to be a total fuckup and Obama is proving that daily.//

If you Obama critics could discuss his policies on a reasonable level, then I'd love to hear it.

//No you wouldn't. He can do no wrong in your eyes. Pundits discuss his shit policies everyday, but you only get your red meat sound bites from Olbermann and Maddow so you don't see the people that have real disagreements with his policies.//

But you don't, and you never do. You instead paint not just Obama's stances, but the man himself, as a boogeyman who must not be seen or heard. Gee, nothing suspect about that. And by the way, "No, we don't" is not a defense. Elaborate.

//Elaborate about what? Why he sucks? I don't know Ian maybe it has to do with the fact that he's fiddling with health care while the unemployment rate ticks up every month and GDP drops. He needs to get the fuck off this plan to take over health care and actually work on creating jobs and instilling confidence back in the economy. Have you heard that most countries want to do away with the dollar and base their economies on another form of currency? What's he going to do about that? How does creating ObamaCare stop that Ian? ELABORATE.//

Your oh-so-clever and mass-produced avatars with Obama as a clown and in Kenyan garb don't help either, Tom. Don't even try to argue that race isn't a factor when your own entries illustrate otherwise.

//Oh so I'm a racist now? How is Obama as the Joker racist Ian? You know it was made by a Kucinich supporter, right? Maybe I should find a pic of him with a halo, maybe riding a unicorn or wearing a crown of thorns, eh? That's the only acceptable Obama depictions allowed, right? Please provide a single word I've said about Obama that is racist, a single word. ELABORATE!//

NOLA Progressive said...

I find it funny how the entire point of this post was to illustrate how unbelievably ridiculous it is that we have a sincere political push not to allow our Democratically elected President to address our school children about the value of education. Yet, it denegrates into Tom yet again throwing a bunch of B.S. claims around not backed by a single hard fact evaluated for context about Obama dragging this country down the shitter in flames.

There is absolutely nothing in the k-6 or 7-12 lesson plans (any version of them) that doesn't fall right in line with Grade Level Expectations and Comprehensive Curriculum. Holy shit! Obama originally wanted to have kids answer a constructed response question (you know the kind that show up on absolutely useless high-stakes testing) about how they could help the President! Why would helping our President and as a result, our country be a bad thing. Perhaps a student could outline how he would letter write and participate in activism to change some of the things that Obama proposes. Nothing wrong with that idea or response. The student could outline how he/she wanted to bring certain inadequacies of the President's plans to light and fix them.

However, this must have obviously been a direct attempt Socialize all of our kiddos.

Again nice job of pointing out the insanity of a certain vain of our American culture, Ian. And Tom, nice job of acting like a paranoid and egotistical jerk while fixating on only one small piece of a thesis that is solid.

Sure some of these wackadoos are playing politics, but there is definitely bigotry being displayed here. In many cases it is self-admitted pigmentation bigotry, and in many cases it is ideological bigotry, but it all amounts to the same thing.

I will say this, I believe it is mostly ideological. Our country is going through a major social evolution, and many can simply not handle it. It is bumpy and much must be worked out, but it's all changing and it's about time.

Tom Alday said...

Yet, it denegrates into Tom yet again throwing a bunch of B.S. claims around not backed by a single hard fact evaluated for context about Obama dragging this country down the shitter in flames.

//Unemployment and the deficit have both SOARED under Obama and he's giving speeches to kids that will neither care or remember what his words are in week. He's wasting time and all his plans are shit and have done nothing to help the majority of Americans that are suffering through his recession. He's Jimmy Cartering it up and setting this country up for a long, hard fall. If that's not dragging the country down the shitter I'm not sure what is.//

There is absolutely nothing in the k-6 or 7-12 lesson plans (any version of them) that doesn't fall right in line with Grade Level Expectations and Comprehensive Curriculum. Holy shit! Obama originally wanted to have kids answer a constructed response question (you know the kind that show up on absolutely useless high-stakes testing) about how they could help the President!

//I'm sure if George Bush, during the run up to the Iraq war, urged students to write about how school kids could help him you liberals would have shit your pants. It's amazing how you lefties have totally forgotten how batshit insane you acted the last 8 years at anything Bush did. But anyway, as I said, someone high up OBVIOUSLY thought there was an issue with that assignment, as it was stricken from the record.//

Again nice job of pointing out the insanity of a certain vain of our American culture, Ian. And Tom, nice job of acting like a paranoid and egotistical jerk while fixating on only one small piece of a thesis that is solid.

//Solid, really? A screed full of straw man riddled fake conversations is "solid" to you?//

Sure some of these wackadoos are playing politics, but there is definitely bigotry being displayed here. In many cases it is self-admitted pigmentation bigotry, and in many cases it is ideological bigotry, but it all amounts to the same thing.

//Does it just DRIVE YOU INSANE to admit that most people don't like Obama because he's an empty suit neophyte that couldn't lead his way out of a closet? Is it so mind scrambling that you can only scream "RACIST!" anytime anyone criticizes him? This sad cult of personality he's built up that you all buy into is so going to fuck you all over, and I'm going to love watching it.//

I will say this, I believe it is mostly ideological. Our country is going through a major social evolution, and many can simply not handle it. It is bumpy and much must be worked out, but it's all changing and it's about time.

//Your glorious revolution is dying comrade. Take a look at some polls. Why do you think Obama is desperately having more and more prime time news conferences? It's because campaigning is all he knows, he doesn't know how to lead or win people over. His personal numbers are sinking daily, the numbers for his shit plans are in the tank and your little pals in Congress are about to get a '94 style asswhipping in mid-terms. Your revolution is kaput, and it's only been 9 months. lol.//

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, for someone who talks so much, you don't say a whole lot. Your only mode of speaking seems to be angry and/or condescending, even when just talking about my laptop on the newer thread.

Saying Obama is putting this country through the shitter does not pass for a political argument. Hell, it doesn't even jibe with your other favorite line that he's an ineffective empty suit. So already, two of your most-played cards are exposed as jokers.

Your use of words such as "revolution" and "comrades" show a serious lack of perspective. Like other conservatives without a leg to stand on, you base your arguments on some alternate universe where Obama is worshiped as a messiah and poll numbers represent gospel truth (at least, as long as they show Obama slipping). How can any of us have a serious conversation with you, Tom?

I'm with NOLA. If you can make a case that yours (and others') unprecedented kneejerk opposition to Obama is not at least partially influenced by race, then let's hear it. And no, defensive attacks on liberals does not count. I want to hear what you stand FOR, not just what you hate.

NOLA Progressive said...

Ian, I'm convinced that Tom is simply another part of a very loud minority in this country right now. You have a lot of folks that sense the change that is taking place. I personally think it is a beginning to the end of Imperialism for our country, a beginning to the end of widespread bigotry and racial hatred, a beginning to the end of intolerant Judeo-Christian superiority and edict. However, those are just my takes and quite possibly jaded by my own bias, but the fact that a social and organizational evolution is taking place is undeniable.

Sure these extremely vocal and angry minority will throw around "comrade" in order to juxtapose Communism and Socialism with this evolution, but it is nothing nearly so sinister or even planned. I'm sure I will like some of the changes and dislike others, but it is simply the natural process of a changing and expanding multi-cultural population.

The problem comes in when this vocal minority becomes apoplectic over the fact that it is no longer o.k. to do and say so many things they have become accustomed to. Whether those things are hanging minorities from trees when they disagree, being the firmly entrenched majority with no threat of more talented or different individuals threatening that status, running the good 'ol boy's club and having the ladyfolk sever them martinis, or just systematically declaring that we and our country our the best in the world with no acknowledgement of it's shortcomings or faults, it really doesn't matter. These guys and gals are just pissed.

I mean when you have supposedly educated and established members of the community actually standing up on a public platform and advocating violent secession from the Union, there is something seriously wrong. She even goes as far as quoting the "water the tree of Liberty" entire quote to justify it! Let me get this straight. The country was in economic turmoil long before Obama ever took office, but now that we have what? a black guy? a liberal guy? (yeah right, moderate so far at best) an outwardly intelligent guy? in office we should secede from the Union? What the hell are they suggesting? That we have millions of Americans die killing their friends and families like we experienced in the first Civil War?

It's absolutely sick and these people should be ashamed for either being the sensationalists or absolute sheep that they are.

Tom is just another one of these. I asked him in another thread if he wanted to play the "polls game". If he actually ever cited a real statistic and gave it appropriate reference anyone could simply spend a little time and throw another referenceable poll right back at him that contradicts his. Polls are virtually useless in a debate such as this. Not that he as actually cited one anyway.

He's another of the vocal/angry minority who simply spouts off at the mouth about "Obama ruining the country" or "Jimmy Cartering" without ever substantiating those claims, and he certainly has never gotten as far as to put any of his substantiating under scrutiny.

Tom Alday said...

I'm with NOLA. If you can make a case that yours (and others') unprecedented kneejerk opposition to Obama is not at least partially influenced by race, then let's hear it.

//Wait wait wait, you make a slanderous allegation, and I have to prove that you're wrong? Why don't you offer some proof that you're right? You make the charge, it's your obligation to back it up. I want some proof Ian, some proof that the ENTIRE right wing objection to Obama is due to his race as you claim. Let's start with that and we'll see where this goes.//

Ian, I'm convinced that Tom is simply another part of a very loud minority in this country right now.

//Minority? Do you even read polls that come from places other than MSNBC and MoveOn? I'm in the majority buddy..you're not.//

You have a lot of folks that sense the change that is taking place.

//If by "change" you mean wide spread unemployment and poverty thanks to Obama policies, then yeah, we sense "change".//

The country was in economic turmoil long before Obama ever took office

//And he's done nothing to alleviate the problem, in fact all indicators point to his policies making it worse! By the admin's own numbers the stimulus is a failure, it hasn't kept unemployment under 8% and it hasn't instilled any confidence in the market. Oooh he's so intelligent! Lol, and you call us sheep?//

Tom is just another one of these....blah blah blah

//Dude, this is so funny. You come off as someone who is so scared and angry that his chosen one is getting his ass beat by a public you feel should be worshiping at his feet. It's great, you see the dream of your liberal utopia slipping further and further away with every poll that you're just in denial that anything is wrong. You're like Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf and you don't even realize it. Step outside the confines of your partisan blindness and look around you. Obama is losing dude. I mean when the President has to lower himself to respond to a former governor's (that his party labeled an insignificant idiot just 10 months ago) Facebook posts he's OBVIOUSLY in trouble. Every poll that comes out has him sinking lower and lower, where do you get this idea that this great liberal revolution is coming? He can't even pass a health care bill with huge majorities in both houses! Your side won't even survive mid-terms. It's going to be a slaughterhouse in Washington come November next year. It's over man, just suck it up and ride it on out.//

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, it all started during the election. Obama, we were told, was Not One of Us. He went to school in Indonesia. His middle name is Hussein. Barry Soetoro. Secret Muslim. Deranged racist Rev. Wright follower. Michelle Obama being proud of her country "for the first time." The point of every one of these memes was to paint Obama as some sort of shady "other."

Of course, such pablum became uncool to say outright, so it moved underground. Now we hear that Obama is a Marxist, a socialist, a fascist. Not a citizen. He wants to get everyone dependent on the government. Gee, what could any of that be about?

And finally, you have the stay-in-school speech. The teabaggers' preemptive response to that cemented the racist notion in my mind. Because what's more inoffensive than a non-political speech and lesson plan about being a good student? As much as I hated Bush, I'd never argue that my little sister couldn't listen to him tell her to stay in school. Ideological differences have never rendered their head with past speeches, regardless of side. So what's the difference this time? I submit that it's tied to the very same practices that have completely defined this kind of reactionary opposition from the outset: the "other" argument.

I grew up in south Louisiana. I know EXACTLY how racism works. Usually it's couched in code language, such as "neighborhood schools" or "those people." This is the same barely veiled business.

Ian McGibboney said...

As for the polls, Tom:

1) Polls are subjective at best. For example, Obama failing on health care doesn't mean people despise him in general. It could also mean they simply want him to do more, as opposed to giving him low marks for trying to enact reform at all. Polls are good for getting a snapshot of a momentary sentiment, assuming that the poll itself isn't flawed through leading or loaded questions or from a flawed sample. I know. I've conducted polls.

2) I only hope you are so high on polls when they don't trend in your favor. This year may be the first in my memory that right-wingers have not completely dismissed them. Clinton got all sorts of shit for allegedly kowtowing to the polls, and Dubya bragged about not caring about them. Even during the '08 election, Obama's popularity in the polls meant nothing, at least outwardly, to Republicans.

3) Why are you basing your opinions on polls anyway, Tom? I don't do that. If I did, you'd accuse me of shifting in the sand. And you'd be right. I don't say what is popular; I say what I believe. I can only hope you do too.

Tom Alday said...

Tom, it all started during the election. Obama, we were told, was Not One of Us. He went to school in Indonesia. His middle name is Hussein. Barry Soetoro. Secret Muslim. Deranged racist Rev. Wright follower. Michelle Obama being proud of her country "for the first time." The point of every one of these memes was to paint Obama as some sort of shady "other."

//Other than the secret muslim crap, which was/is only floated by true idiots, all that other shit is true. So telling the truth about Obama is racist? Obama brought his race into the campaign more than his opponents did by the way.//

Of course, such pablum became uncool to say outright, so it moved underground. Now we hear that Obama is a Marxist, a socialist, a fascist. Not a citizen. He wants to get everyone dependent on the government. Gee, what could any of that be about?

//Other than the birther claims, all those claims are based on his actions while in office, not his race. Since when has calling someone a marxist or socialist been synonymous with race? Oh I know, since Obama was elected. It's awfully convenient how you guys have set up this environment where ANY criticism of Obama can be twisted into some kind of racist attack.//

And finally, you have the stay-in-school speech. The teabaggers' preemptive response to that cemented the racist notion in my mind. Because what's more inoffensive than a non-political speech and lesson plan about being a good student?

//The problem was with the "write a letter how to help the president" portion. And I'll repeat again: Obviously someone in the admin thought it went a little too far as well because they did away with that assignment.//

As much as I hated Bush, I'd never argue that my little sister couldn't listen to him tell her to stay in school. Ideological differences have never rendered their head with past speeches, regardless of side. So what's the difference this time? I submit that it's tied to the very same practices that have completely defined this kind of reactionary opposition from the outset: the "other" argument.

//So Illinois, which not only elected Obama to state senate, then Congress and then eventually the Presidency is all racist now? Because they chose not to show his school speech either. Your argument has no basis in reality.//

I grew up in south Louisiana. I know EXACTLY how racism works. Usually it's couched in code language, such as "neighborhood schools" or "those people." This is the same barely veiled business.

//Again, it's awfully convenient how this "code language" can pretty much include anything you want it to. It's almost like you have an agenda to paint all criticism as racist or something! funny how that works out for you.

By the way, I'm still waiting for you, or you little pal NOLA to show me what I'VE said that's racist, I'm dying to hear it actually //

NOLA Progressive said...

-Approval rating are lower no argument.

-How a poll is worded dramatically affects the outcome stats on healthcare.

-The Bastion of Conservatism the Wall Stret Journal released an article recently saying that we are indeed better off with the Stimulus than we have been without it. The Wall Street Journal!!

-I am worried, but not about any adherence to party or candidate. I'm worried about our precarious economic situation and what we do to fix it. The wrong moves can have disastrous effects. However, most economic forecasts and reviews I have read recently all seem to agree that we have pulled out or at least stopped the recession from worsening. Unemployment, is a lagging recovery stat as it is almost always the last to improve. It has slowed dramatically and with time will turn in the other direction.

-Defecit scare tactis are simply that...scare tactics. Even running a deficit that is 50 to 60 percent of GDP is not unheard for our or other countries in dire economic times. We have done it before following WWII to recuperate and successfully.
So have several other nations.

-Your smear just isn't working here Tom. Sorry chief.

Tom Alday said...

Unemployment, is a lagging recovery stat as it is almost always the last to improve. It has slowed dramatically and with time will turn in the other direction.

//Lawrence Summers disagrees with you. Unless your "with time" really means "unacceptably high for a number of years" as he says. That's a pretty bad "lag" for this supper great recovery you think we're in.//

NOLA Progressive said...

When have I ever said we are in a "super great recovery"? There is nothing great about any of it. The whole situation was and is horrible, but I'm simply saying that indicators show things are heading in the other direction.

I'm not trying to make an argument that everything Obama and the Democrats do is perfect or even the best way to go. I just don't think everything they do is the end of the world either.