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President's address in Pleasanton schools tomorrow causing a stir

Original post made on Sep 7, 2009

President Obama will address students tomorrow in a live broadcast to participating classrooms, which has stemmed debates throughout the country.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 7, 2009, 7:38 AM

Comments (57)

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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:29 am

First, I would hardly call 10 parents "a stir." Second, the message does not sound partisan or controversial AT ALL. Even if it were, wouldn't it be good for our students to grapple with the message! Don't we want them to learn the art of thinking things through???

For goodness sake, I remember when Americans actually respected the office of the President.


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Posted by Maria
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:38 am

I think its hysterical that any American has a problem with their President giving a speech in the schools! He is after all, your President! some of the newscasts are acting like this is the head of some terrorist group! Good Lord people, grab a brain!


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Posted by Pablo
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:42 am

Here is his much watered down speech after much complaining and for reason it looks like because even after all the complaining he mostly talks about himself, discrimination, poverty, green jobs etc. typical left leaning stuff with nothing about patriotism creating industry and making the US the most powerful economic country on earth.

Web Link


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Posted by Toni
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

View the Video first, then make a decision. It's a speech, pure and simple. Frankly, our students would probably find it either too long or somewhat interesting.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:57 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"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."

Wow! How left-wing ideological that is!


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Posted by Hallie
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

Anyone who thinks that the President speaking to schoolchildren is controversial, is hardly patriotic.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:32 am

Amen to all of the above posts with the exception of Pablo. All I can say to him is-"you've got to be kidding me!".


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Posted by Pablo
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:41 am

You must be a bunch of teachers and I will be so glad when you go back to your community organizing tomorrow and the vitrol hate of people who work leaves this post. If you cannot see what he is doing to this country then you are either blind or hate this country.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:44 am

The President speaking to school children sounds Hitler-ish, not patriotic.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

I am no Obama fan...and think his policies are disastrous for our economy and the future standard of living for all Americans. However, after reading the speech it is benign and appropriate coming from a President ...even if you don't like him.


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:49 am

He's a community organizer. This is what community organizers do - make speeches...


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Posted by Anna
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:57 am

What everyone is failing to recognize here is that the controversy stemmed from the "original" video which had the "I pledge allegiance to Obama" statement. It wasn't until the uproar that the Administration revised the video.


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Posted by jill
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

Pablo and Jerry are right on. If, after all the controversy, anyone thought this would be anything but a watered-down talk full of platitudes, then you were fooling yourself.

He is a good salesman. Trouble is what he is selling us is to CHANGE our US Constitution, culture, way of life, our quality healthcare, our national defense, free-market capitalism, and our freedom.

I won't buy what he is selling and am ashamed that others don't see his ideology toward weakening the US in favor of some global new world order.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

Where are you people getting this stuff???? World order? what? Maybe you have quality health care, our national defense became an offense and we have listened to former administration people tell us they are above the law.
AHH!


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Posted by I Love My Country
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

1. There is no original video - at least not one that had anything to do with this speech.
2. Pablo, I think your teacher bashing is out of place and out of line here.
3. He's not actually a community organizer any more - he's the President. Presidents also make speeches.
4. I guess when G.H.W. Bush and Reagan addressed schoolkids, that was "Hitler-ish," too.
This country is being split apart by hatred. There is little genuine discussion coming from Obama's opponents, just a lot of hate speech. The woman crying on CNN this morning because the President wanted to give a speech to schoolkids about education says it all. It's reached a level of utter insanity.


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Posted by Jean
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:24 am

Hallie:
Regarding your comment on its "unpatriotic" not to listen to the President give a speech to school kids...

Guess you must have a different definition of "patriotism" than mine.

I define patriotism is that which supports our
- US Constitution,
- our inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,
- our National Defense,
- our Economy based on free-market capitalism,
- our American Culture, our Freedoms

Nearly EVERYTHING Obama has done thus far and is planning to do opposes the above. Therefore, I believe he is the one who is unpatriotic and, by definition, opposing him is the being patriotic.

What is YOUR definition of patriotism? Merely supporting the President regardless of the direction he is taking us?

Would you criticize the citizens of Iran who opposed their last election "unpatriotic"?

Would you criticize the citizens of Honduras who opposed the reinstatement of their last socialist President as "unpatriotic" (by the way, did you notice that Obama has withdrawn US aid to the people of Honduras who only want their Constitution to be followed?

My guess is that it is you who would blindly support Obama regardless of the direction he wants to take us.

And that is being a sheep.




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Posted by Kathleen
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:41 am

I Love My Country is absolutely right on all four counts.

In the last six months we have all witnessed absurd and often extreme public reactions to unfounded and baseless fears which have taken over the political process in this country and paralyzed it. Take a deep breath, people. What we need now is calm and rational discussions, not rumor mongers and random hate speech.


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Posted by Adding value
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:43 am

My thanks to Pablo, for posting the link to the speech.

Clearly an example of adding value!


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Posted by Anna
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:50 am

Another link...which somehow made it to schools in Utah, regardless of who produced it.

Web Link

I believe it's called the "I Pledge" video.




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Posted by longdrive
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:56 am

So you think you want Obama to talk to your children?

In reviewing Obama's background and where he comes from (remember he said, "Judge me by who I associate with…") think about this:
In his early years 1) (Communist stepfather figure, Chicago radical politics), 2) the authors he was influenced by (Saul Alinsky, Communist fellow traveler), whom he has associated himself with over the years, 3) (anti-American and racist church, terrorists community organizers), who he admires 4) (left-wing dictators), his approach to the supposed financial crisis is (government takeover of businesses), 4) who benefited from some of these takeovers (left-wing union leaders that wanted payback for helping get him elected), and whom he hires as czars and operatives (Communists and other radical left wingers). Is this really someone you would want talking to your kids?

Obama is a low-life fascist with a belief system that has Communist/Marxist underpinnings who has managed to fool a vast number of Americans while he tries to destroy a great capitalist society and build a utopia based on Communism, an evil political system that has been proven a failure over and over again, which requires, for any chance of success, that the people be enslaved, indoctrinated, and oppressed?


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Thank you for the link to the speech. I definitely want my daughter to learn about the importance of responsibility in the context of school. I also want her to learn about showing respect for the office of the President.

I especially liked this part of the President's remarks: "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."

I hope that parents who don't want their children to hear this message from the President (though I still have a hard time imagining why) will deliver it themselves. I think that having other authority figures reinforce the messages that we send to our children as parents helps to make sure those messages stick -- and the President's message, about the importance of personal responsibility, is a valuable one.

I also hope that parents with concerns will still send their children to school tomorrow. Our teachers will respect parents' wishes, as Ms. Grasso was quoted in the article above. All you have to do is send your child with a note stating that you want him or her to engage in another activity if/when the class is listening to the speech. The school will make other arrangements -- an opportunity to go to the library, for example. Then your child won't miss out on all the other opportunities for learning that will occur at school tomorrow.

We can all agree on that, I hope -- that we want our children to be exposed to opportunities to learn at school?

PS -- here's the link to the speech again, if you missed it above: Web Link


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Posted by I Love My Country
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Just for clarification, people who support Obama don't do so blindly. Quit trying to imply that if we're not on your side, we're "sheep." It's called disagreement. We disagree with your assessment of Obama's presidency. Disagreement is healthy, unless one group consistently tries to imply that the other group does not put equal thought into their decision making. Then it an opportunity for debate just becomes destructive. Disagreement used to be normal, until the recent ratcheting up of hate speech to include the implication of some radical agenda on the part of the President.
As for the I Pledge video, it was discussed on another thread earlier. Definitely shouldn't have been shown in schools, but cannot be placed in the same category as the President himself giving a speech to students. There is no "there" there. They are not connected.
Jean, you make a lot of broad and innacurate accusations. No one is implying that a President should be supported regardless of where he is taking us. This isn't about supporting the President; it's about letting a democratically elected President talk to kids in the country he is President of about education. That's it.


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Posted by Thelma
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm

How in the world can anyone find anything objectionable about this speech....are the right-wingers so blind that they are just looking for something in Obama's comments to make it sound like it's a political diatribe against our country??!!! Please, guys, wake up, smarten up and use your "common" sense to see this is an inspiring speech meant to give our children a goal to shoot for, and not something that they would be damaged by!!


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Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Anna,

thanks for the link to the story about the "I pledge" video. The article itself does not mention that the video was not produced by anyone affiliated with the White House. Rather, it was produced by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore...

Web Link

I too would be upset if a principal decided to show a video at a school assembly and did not preview it first. That's irresponsible.

Fortunately, the White House has released the text of the President's speech in advance, so that it is possible for parents, teachers, and school leaders to make responsible decisions.


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Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone β€" 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 β€" 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 β€" 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 β€" maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper β€" but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor β€" maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine β€" 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 β€" 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 β€" if you quit on school β€" 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 β€" what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home β€" 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 β€" hundreds of extra hours β€" 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 β€" 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 β€" 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 β€" a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor β€" 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 β€" 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 β€" 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.


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Posted by Hallie
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Jean:

Here is what I call patriotism:

-Being educated
-Voting
-Speaking your mind after careful thought
-Listening to other points of view
-Honoring our differences while not tolerating hate
-Doing work that you enjoy to the best of your ability
-Respecting authority
-Acting for the general welfare of everyone, not just yourself

Listening to the President speak is educational whether you agree with him or not, and I wouldn't want my children to miss that opportunity. If you disagree with the President, discuss it with your children and tell them why you disagree. Listening to someone is not the same thing as supporting them, and ignorance is hardly patriotic. It's hard to breathe with your head in the sand.

And by the way, if you question whether Obama's presidency is valid or not, I'm even more worried about your sanity than your patriotism.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Obviously, the people against this speech are against responsibility and staying in school...cause that's what the speech is about.


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Posted by Ngo Wan Mao
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm

What people are getting upset about is not that the President wants to speak to children about education, its that Obama's Department of Education prepared material in conjuntion with this that:
- Had content that amounted to Socialist indoctrination training
- Would have children writing essays on "what I can do to help the President", i.e. promote his (socialist) agenda.
- Would have children write down memorable "Obama sayings" from his speach (its not the message, its collecting Obamaisms!)
- Included posters with already prepared "famous Obama sayings"

Do you remember any other President doing anything close to this kind of indoctrination?

It is all just too close to the practices of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung Il,Mao Zedong, Adolph Hitler, and the Soviets. Probably the next thing is that they would compile all these "famous sayings" into something like Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.

Parents should not only be concerned, they should be raising hell! So should anyone else that is dialed in to just how dangerous this Administration is to our cherished freedoms. Helloooooo! It's time to wake up!!!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm surprised my post got removed. Here it is again. It was in response to this:

"Posted by Anna, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, 5 hours ago

What everyone is failing to recognize here is that the controversy stemmed from the "original" video which had the "I pledge allegiance to Obama" statement. It wasn't until the uproar that the Administration revised the video."

I wrote:
"I pledge allegiance to Obama"?!?!

OH! Do you mean the video produced by Oprah Winfry?


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Julie is a registered user.

Ngo, to what "indoctrination" are you referring? Have you READ the lesson plans? I have copied the 7-12 grade lesson plan from the "after the speech" part. I see nothing that you write about. I think that if you WANT to find "Socialist indoctrination training" you will find it anything - even in something as benign as a speech meant to *inspire* children to think about goals and about staying in school. Some people want to create controversy where none should exist.

After the Speech

Guided Discussion:
• What resonated with you from President Obama's speech? What lines or phrases do you remember?
• Whom is President Obama addressing? How do you know? Describe his audience.
• We heard President Obama mention the importance of personal responsibility. In your life, who exemplifies this kind of responsibility? How? Give examples.
• How are the individuals in this classroom similar? How is each student different?
• Suppose President Obama were to give another speech about being educationally successful. To whom would he speak? Why? What would the president say?
• What are the three most important words in the speech? Rank them.
• Is President Obama inspiring you to do anything? Is he challenging you to do anything?
• What do you believe are the challenges of your generation?
• How can you be a part of addressing these challenges?


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Posted by Humbert
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I posted this on another thread, but maybe someone can help me here because there are a lot of like minded people here.

I was in Blockbusters today and I heard two people talking about the speech and they said that Sarah Palin would be giving an alternative speech that children could listen to instead of Obama's speech. They said she would talk about lower taxes, less regulation of business and the importance of teaching creationism in schools.

I'm trying to find out how to get my kids in on Sarah Palin's speech, but I don't know how to.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:25 pm

So this speech of Sarah Palin to the schoolchildren that Humbert mentions is NOT inappropriate propoganda in a school setting? How can the conservatives have it both ways, condemning the Presidents speech on the importance of education, respectful behavior and personal responsibility as socialist propoganda that they don't want their children to listen to since politics doesn't belong in schools, yet feel super-duper-ok about Palin pushing a political agenda to these same students?

"They said she would talk about lower taxes, less regulation of business and the importance of teaching creationism in schools."


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Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm


Wow.. & Humbert...

Isn't this the second time someone here tried to introduce something they 'overheard' at Blockbuster as news??

Somebody's spending too much time at Blockbuster!

unclehomerr..


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Posted by My sentiments exactly...
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:01 pm

The Day The Joker Came to School
Obama's Fairytale School Spin

Web Link

By Judi McLeod Monday, September 7, 2009
When Barack Hussein Obama tried to pass himself off as `The Poor Boy Who Grew Up to Become President', tens of millions of Americans recognizing the spin, didn't buy it.

Now Obama is spinning the tale of `Poor Boy Makes Good' during their children's first day back at school tomorrow.

(More of the article below)

Web Link


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Posted by Humbert
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:18 pm

But how can I sign my kids up for the Sarah Palin speech? Is it too late?


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Posted by Rebecca
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 7, 2009 at 11:35 pm

My kids will not be attending school so they will not feel bad when they want to leave the room when the speech starts. The liberals did it when Bush Sr. did a speech way back when. I didn't think it was right to interrupt class then either.

The speech may seem harmless, but he's just a showman trying to make his path look nice by buttering up a bunch of kids. Not only do I want my children to watch his acting, I do not want them looking up to a cigarette smoking man who has a foul mouth and no problem making fun of mentally and physically handicapped kids. Or did we all forget that he's just not that presidential?


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:16 am

This is a good experience for the children. This is an educational experience into consuming information, debating it and forming their own opinion.

Isn't anyone concerned with that alone?

Why is it ALL about your own opinion? How selfish this community is, when it can not put the children's growth forward and constantly read into the politics of things.... LET GO and allow the community to grow... the children are the future, they will make their own opinion on their own, no matter what YOU think.


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Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

To concerned Pleasanton Parent- please leave this forum, you are insane and more scary than any President speech to our children could ever be.


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Posted by anony
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:32 am

To concerned Pleasanton Parent- please leave this forum, you are insane and more scary than any President speech to our children could ever be.

to the person who posted this:: are you a racist? or a republican?


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Posted by the white house
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:39 am

Web Link

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.


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Posted by Eileen M
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:41 am

WONDERFUL SPEECH AND SINCERE!!
THANKS TO THE PRESIDENTS !!


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Posted by Violet
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

There is nothing political in this speech. There is a great deal of concern for children take accountability in their lives for their futures. Right On Mr. President! Positive enforcement of values for today's children!


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Posted by Maria
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

With morbid fascination I read these posts. There is a line of hypocrisy within comments from certain posters. And scarily enough some people DO actually sound mentally ill, I am sorry for you, your paranoia is what injures this country. You see yourself as a world power but some of the comments make you pathetic. Democracy is about having all the information at hand and making a decision based on good information, not the rantings of a slightly paranoid person. If Sara Palin can speak to the students why on earth can't the President??? You really should think before you post because your ignorance is showing.


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Posted by Eunice
a resident of California Somerset
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:53 am

Yes, Maria, completely agrees with you "Democracy is about having all the information at hand and making a decision based on good information, ..." THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT. YOUR WISDOM IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!


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Posted by Mom - waiting at home
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:05 am

Parents please take the opportunity to engage your children in a discussion at the dinner table at home! Take the time to listen to what their opinion and discuss it at length. Talk about what YOU expect of your children, listen to what your children want to become, and what they'd like from education - Discuss what he said and talk about specific points. Its a PERFECT time to get your children talking about what they learned in school today.
Even if it's not at dinner maybe a half hour with the TV off and family talking. YOU as parents have the most influence in your child's life. Use the opportunity to strengthen your family values. Obama is giving your family a perfect opportunity to discuss your family values. Don't let it slip away.


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Posted by Unemployed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

Whatever it may be, the final outcome of the speech is sensible to me. Maybe it started out one-sided but through 'the stir', the speech came together fine. BTW, I am usually on the other side. But I am fine with it. However, I AM NOT FINE with the Secretary of Education making it a point to have a lesson around the speech. This is one-step too far. I think the teachers should have the right mind to ask for comments back and encourage a discussion. There is NO RIGHT OR WRONG to the discussion, even though some students do feel that by speaking out it might hurt their grade or their relationship with other students.

As for disagreement, it is health as one of the blogger mentioned. As for 'the lone ranger' or 'go it alone' attitude by Congress on the Health Reform, that is totally wrong. They need to take a lesson from this as well. So, Congress - Listen and Behave like civilized people. This is OUR COUNTRY and YOURS!


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Posted by Raven
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:15 am

Presidents of any political party may make speeches, sometimes directed to students in classrooms.

But to make up a curriculum to accompany a President's classroom speech is indoctrination,- smacks of a cult of personality a la Chairman Mao.


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Posted by Pleasanton Wake Up
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

Those of you "threatened" by this pure and simple address to "INSPIRE" the younger generation, shame on you. This clearly is in no way politically motivated. Are you all blind to the world we live in today? Where television personalities, even talk hosts, athletes and the likes make phenomenal amounts of money for doing what? Yet, how often is such grace bestowed upon a child? Can't believe we call our community a community of character if we have individuals such as noted here that question what this speech epitomizes/encourages: responsible citizenship, make something of your life, you have the ability no matter who you are to overcome obstacles and make good of your life, determine your path, make it a goal AND achieve it. People hailed JFK for such ability to give vision/motivate.

As noted above, our family will definitely take this opportunity this evening to discuss the meaning and what each of my children came away with after hearing this address. "Julie" I'm with you.

Too many silver spoons in this city have brought about a sense of entitlement. Let's get back to the basics of a real community of character that Pleasanton, before all you silver spooners arrived, retained so many of us born/raised and drew all of you newcomers.

God bless the USA and the leaders who lead us.

In my book integrity will always reign over $$. Get over yourselves and take the time to inspire this next generation to be responsible, well-balanced citizens.


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Posted by XX
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Web Link


the SPEECH..........

he actually took the time to speak to the children,
tell me, how many other Presidents have done this?
how very cool.


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Posted by Swami
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm

This is a communication from our President to the future leaders of this country, is premised on the core value of personal responsibility, and is relevant to our times.

So why the rancor?

If you are one of those perturbed, please answer the following: Would there have been an issue if President Bush had delivered a similar speech with different personal references? If the answer is a "no", then there is need for introspection, and we've to get better at moving forward- there's a lot to do.


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Posted by Good for the Goose
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I wonder if Bush had tried this what the reaction would be from all of these people who support Obama?


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Posted by John
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Here's the thing. I was never a supporter of G.W. Bush, but if he had chosen to speak to the students of America (as if he'd have anything to say), I would certainly NOT have kept my kids out of school that day. Rather, I'd have let my kids see what he had to say and then attempt to intelligently engage them in a discussion of what he said, how he said it, and whether it meant anything to the kids. In other words, I would have accepted my parental responsibility for my children's education and the development of their critical thinking. Refusing to expose your children to varying points of view, or refusing to talk about what is going on in the world only serves to stunt their intellectual growth.


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Posted by Former Foothiller
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 8, 2009 at 2:13 pm

This reminds of the time when my kids were in high school and Dick Cheney came for one of the campaigns and the Foothill band went to play for the event. I remember some very irate parents calling me knowing that I am moderately liberal. I told them at the time that even though this was a campaign against some of the things I believed I felt that it was important that my kids observe the process from the left and the right. (They certainly were not going to get a balanced perspective from me as I had already made up my mind.) I am really appalled that for some, there doesn't seem to be any point of reason and certainly no intent to trust their own children to learn to evaluate, and think critically. What are they so afraid of?


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm

I don't know if it's the Pleasanton Weekly "staff", or not, but some worthy posts are being removed. Since, I do not consider my posts objectionable, they may, however, be objectionable to some who cannot stand intelligent dissent -- I can only presume this includes the PW "staff".


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Maybe the difference here is one of trust. I think that fewer and fewer people are trustful of Obama and based on what he is doing everything is questioned and will continue to be.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

I think the trust issue is right on, except it has been a long time coming. Many felt lied to by President Bush, many felt their rights were being taken away so he could follow his agenda of war. I can relate to distrust of a President since I spent many of the last 8 years feeling it. But never did my distrust lead me to the level of irrational thinking that I read about President Obama on these blogs.

Where does our own personal responsibility to better ourselves, our community, and our country begin? All I hear is blame, what are you doing to make a difference, regardless of all the excuses of hard economic times you may be experiencing. Maybe the adults of this community needed to hear the message more than the kids!


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Paul,

Bush is long gone and living in Texas. You are fighting battles of the past and do not be blinded about what is going on right now just as the polls are showing that people are wising up to Obama and that is the reason why his numbers are now at an all time low and I bet will go lower as his policies continue not to work/


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