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What's all the fuss about?

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by B682GX, Sep 8, 2009.

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  1. B682GX

    B682GX TS Member

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    What

    Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Back to School Event

    Arlington, Virginia
    September 8, 2009


    The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
    I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
    I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
    Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
    So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
    Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
    I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
    I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
    I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
    But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
    And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
    Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
    Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
    And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
    And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
    You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
    We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
    Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
    I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
    So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
    But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
    Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
    But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
    Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
    That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
    Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
    I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
    And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
    Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
    That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
    Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
    I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
    But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
    That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
    These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
    No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
    And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
    The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
    It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
    So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
    Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
     
  2. himark

    himark Well-Known Member

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    I dont think the true controversy should be about his message or the content. The Controversy to me is the fact he is addressing MY minor children. I also want my kids to be armed with knowledge to defend there opinions heck that is the basis for our political system to have checks and balances. BUT, it is MY job to communicate with my formable minor until such time he/she turns 18 then I feel they can make there beliefs known and the cycle continues on. It is NOT fair to start giving the govt a leg up in such a competition. Heck if we let the govt do this now where will it stop? We have a society of govt followers. And IMO that is the true agenda.

    BTW, my kids will be attending school today but have instructed the school to opt out of the presidents message.
     
  3. B682GX

    B682GX TS Member

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    I wonder what parents did when:

    1)President George H.W. Bush delivered a nationally televised speech to students from a Washington school in fall 1991, encouraging them to say no to drugs and work hard.

    2) In November 1988, President Reagan delivered more politically charged remarks that were made available to students nationwide. Among other things, Reagan called taxes "such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper ... because they have to give so much to the government."
     
  4. himark

    himark Well-Known Member

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    So you agree we should co-mingle more govt. with our schools? or you dont see a problem with it at least.
     
  5. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    The speech ended up being a pretty good one. Your putting it on here now that it has been made available to the public, though, does not mean that this was the same speech that he planned on delivering (on closed-circuit tv) before everyone found out about it and raised questions.
     
  6. AKJim

    AKJim TS Member

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    There were a number of things planned for the kids prior to the speech that were leaked to the public. Lesson plans on how the kids can support the presidents policies, books that the children should read on how the president nearly walks on water, etc. This may indeed still happen in some places. However, as was stated previous, because the alarm was sounded ahead of time, it's very easy to change speeches. Especially so when the teleprompter-in-chief reads so well.
     
  7. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Curvey and Russ:

    Exactly. This was a whitewash job, and not the original speech planned.

    if you examine the lesson plans given ahead of time, they did not jube with the actual content of the speech.

    What was given was full of platitudes and banalities, and all well and good.

    I have a ten spot that says it was not the one that was planned to go along with "What can I do to help President Obama?"

    these guys are so busy covering their butt it's unbelievable. They try one bizarre thing after another, and then get you dizzy with the spin after the initial reactions.

    I would like to help President Obama too. I would be glad to write his resignation address, giving many good reasons.

    HM
     
  8. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Books that the children should read? Don't worry about that one guys, you would be lucky to get the average elementry student to read one book per semester and even then it is going to be pretty simple Dick and Jane stuff.

    I was hunting blue grouse this weekend with the son of a good friend who is a principal of a Reno high school. We talked about the this infamous Obama speech quite a bit and he assured me that there were no mandated readings or other prerequisites for listening to the speech. No deals with the devil, no pledges to the POTUS. BTW this nice young man is very conservative and not by any means an Obama supporter.

    Why all the shock? Obama made public education one of the major positions in his campaign, now he is acting on that with a speech of encouragement. What, you really weren't aware that the federal government has a role in public education? This isn't new stuff folks.
     
  9. blowin smoke

    blowin smoke TS Member

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    The speech (as released) I think is great. The concerns were the "corresponding curriculum" that went along with it requiring kids to make pledge to obama - not to the flag, not to the Nation, but to obama. There is also an "I Pledge" video with a bunch of popular hollywood figures (Demi Moore), which also had some good parts, but ends with them all "pledging to be a servant of obama". This video I Pledge was part of the stir since no one knew if this was part of the "production".

    Those who don't understand why this would be a problem should try to imagine your kids being made to watch a video where a bunch of celebs pledged to be a servant of George W...

    It wasn't so much the message as the messenger given all of the unknowns.
     
  10. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Whats all the fuss about? HE doesn't practice what HE preaches!!
     
  11. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

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    "Subject: What's all the fuss about?
    From: B682GX
    Email:
    Date: Tue, Sep 08, 2009 - 10:36 AM ET
    Website Address:

    I wonder what parents did when:

    1)President George H.W. Bush delivered a nationally televised speech to students from a Washington school in fall 1991, encouraging them to say no to drugs and work hard."

    Yeah, what is all the fuss about,,,,I await the investigations,,,,B682GX, I assume you are demand the investigations, RIGHT????
     
  12. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    blowin smoke

    "The concerns were the "corresponding curriculum" that went along with it requiring kids to make pledge to obama"

    I agree with you. It seems to me the last time I saw any one pledging to a person instead of a country it was Heil Hitler!

    Bob Lawless
     
  13. B682GX

    B682GX TS Member

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    Didn't realize how many White House insiders there are here who know what the originally intended speech was. I hope they post it here as I for one would like to know the intensions of the evil-doers now residing in the White House.

    And on "co-mingling more govt. with our schools": I wonder what was said here about the "No Child Left Behind" initiative of our last great leader. I am certain that this did not involve co-mingling!
     
  14. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    "...Now listen to me, kids. I need each and every one of you to work really, really hard. Our greatest legacy, is to be able to give back to society some of what it has given to each of us. When you see what will happen to your tax bill over the course of your lifetimes, to pay for the checks my programs are writing...well, let's just say - head janitor at the GM plant just ain't gonna cut it anymore. That may have been good enough for your granddad, or your dad. But it's a New Day in America. Now don't get me wrong. I like GM. Hell, I OWN GM. But you're all going to need the salary of a Philadelphia Lawyer to make it in this world, if our nation is to live up to the legacy I have in mind for it..."
     
  15. luvnbearhugs1

    luvnbearhugs1 TS Member

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    B682GX, the original speech was not released to the public. In fact, nothing was released until people started questioning why the President's speech included a study guide for educators, instructing them to guide the children in exercises that will show how they are willing to help the President make his goals and realize his policies. It was THEN that people questioned, well what are his goals and policies that involve children? Given the talk of the President wanting to have his own civilian military, who wouldn't question him for wanting to talk to the children, the logical place to look for recruits for the civilian service?
     
  16. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Politics should be part of a Governement Class in schools not a statement of a stance.
     
  17. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    With Bushes speech the kids stayed in class. With Obama's speech kids left the classroom and or school. Bushes speech was for the kids while Obamas speech was for the Dem party and himself. Its only a no big deal if you don't care about your kids.
     
  18. Old Texas Marine

    Old Texas Marine Member

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    My Grandkids were not subjected to the risk of what POTUS might say.

    My kids were in complete agreement.

    HBT
     
  19. JB Logan Co. Ohio

    JB Logan Co. Ohio TS Member

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    I am/wasn't too awfully concerned about the speech, I didn't even read it at the beginning of the thread but what does worry me is the teacher comments AFTER the speech was over. Everyone knows that MOST (notice I didn't say ALL) teachers are in Obama's pocket. What kind of whitewashing, schmoozing , butt-kissing went on via the teachers comments AFTER the speech was over?

    JB=Jerry Beach 8503917
     
  20. SirMissalott

    SirMissalott Active Member

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    Do you recall the uproar that followed when George Bush gave his speech to our kids?
     
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