Controversy continues over Obama's 10 a.m. video talk to students today Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:12 am
Controversy over President Obama's scheduled 10 a.m. address this morning to the nation's school children continued over the Labor Day weekend including here in Pleasanton where parents are still discussing whether to allow their children to participate in classroom activities that will air the program.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 5:34 AM
(The following is a speech that Obama might have given, if he were willing to actually be honest with America’s schoolchildren.)
This is me. Barack Obama. You might know me from a lot of magazine covers. Also I helped Spider-Man fight crime and I keep interrupting American Idol to give speeches that no one listens to anymore. Well just try turning me off now. That’s right, you can’t. Because you’re in school, which means you have to listen to me.
Now because I appeared in comic books and my loyal press corps keeps taking photos of me with haloes shining around my head, you might think I’m an imaginary character like Spider-Man or George Washington, but don’t worry, I’m completely real and I’m running the government. Mostly anyway. Some parts of it Congress runs and the rest is in the hands of my many Czars, like this week’s Czar, LeRoi Muhammad Johnson, Czar of Children. Yes that’s you. Take a bow LeRoi. You all belong to LeRoi now and he’ll be giving you instructions on what to do shortly.
Looking around at all these classrooms through my array of surveillance cameras, I notice that most of you came to school, and the ones who didn’t will be getting visits from the Department of Child Services. Which is good. School is very important. Without school, you can’t get a good job. Not unless you lie a lot and happen to lose all your transcripts, like me.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:07 am
Mike, that is not based on reality and adds nothing to the REAL controversy of the ACTUAL speech our president is slated to give. Given the content of your post I found it unnecessary to waste my time looking at your links; they are likely filled with more nonsense.
I'm still amazed that parents would keep their children out of school because the leader of our country has prepared a speech that discusses staying in school!
Posted by Kathleen, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:17 am
Ms. Melson is not representative of the opinions held by families in the PUSD. In fact, she is in the minority. She has the right to speak her mind, but keeping her children out of school for the day instead of having them excused from the broadcast is counterproductive on many levels. It does not allow them the opportunity to participate in informed conversations and debate after the speech, nor does it allow them access to wider discourse at the national level. Ms. Melson, you are forcing your children into narrow-mindedness at a very young age. What are you so afraid of? That maybe they might become informed citizens and make decisions on their own some day?
Posted by new to this, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:46 am
hope the link below is accessible. If not, then I'd suggest copy/paste it least you too be guilty of the "narrow-mindness" that the above poster suggest.
"What are you so afraid of "
I think the link clearly addresses the underlining concerns many have not necessarily w/ today's "speech" but w/ the other things this president has said, done and people he has associated. You may not agree w/ the author of the link, but at least it explains what the "minority" may be thinking.
Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:56 am
I respect parents' rights to have their children excused from listening to the speech. (I may not fully understand those parents' objections, but I respect the parents' rights to decide whether their children participate or not.)
What I don't understand is the need to remove those children from school for the entire day.
The district has said that if parents send a note saying they don't want their children to listen to the President's speech, then they will be included in an alternative learning activity.
This parental choice would permit those children to participate in all the other activities of the day -- reading, writing, arithmetic, and recess. Why are parents with objections choosing to keep their children home for the entire day?
Posted by Kathleen, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:05 am
"Brainwashing"? Do you actually believe that paranoid, irrational argument postulated in your link, New To This? If that concerns you so much, opening your ears and mind to the president's stay-in-school message may actually coincide with your argument. School is all about indoctrination. But learning to think for yourself is a triumph over inappropriate indoctrination and institutional brainwashing, and to have the opportunity to hear the speech and formulate their own opinions is necessary in the development of every citizen of the republic, even those in the minority.
Posted by Timothy T, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:05 am
I'm in agreement with Sandy.
The parents that are taking their kids out of school for the day are the using the same childish behavior as "If you don't play my way, I'll take my toys and go home." Those parents are being children themselves.
I just sent a note with my child and he'll do something else during that time. Problem solved.
It's sad that there are conservatives out there that that give the rest of conservatives, like myself, a bad name. They obviously feel so impotent about actually doing something that matters to change the way things are that they have to resort to this level of immaturity.
Posted by Sue, a member of the Donlon Elementary School community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:19 am
In the e mail from the school district the last statement reminded us that it would cost the district around $30.00 if the child stayed home. The district should have thought about that before they decided to show the speech. All the money the parents raised this summer and now it will go to waste because of the action of the school district allowing the speech. Maybe this will be a LESSON to the district that school is for learning. We don't need a president telling the children to stay in school. That is the parents job. I guess he is going to take over our children next. Like the reader above said. Now a child czar. Is he going to tell them the debt he is leaving them?
Posted by Maria, a resident of another community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:22 am
As a new person in this country I am learning that Republicans seem to have paranoid traits. I don't understand why you wouldn't allow your child to listen to the President of your country even if he is from another party than yours. He's your President!
Posted by Mom - waiting at home, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:23 am
I sent my children to school today - BUT - you can bet that we will be having our OWN lengthly lesson at home about what Mr. Obama had to say. We will make it an opportunity to debate the issue and discuss what is right and what isn't. I'm taking it as an opportunity to engage our children to be part of the system when they are old enough.
If it opens my children's eyes to the size of the debt they will have to repay during THEIR entire life and their children's lifetime, then it can be a good opportunity. Maybe it will be a teaching opportunity for us parents that still sit around the kitchen table and talk about what happened at school today.
Posted by Hahaha, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:28 am
The most ironic thing here is, had it been Bush giving the speech, the liberals would be doing the same thing the conservatives are doing. It is funny to hear the ``he is our President,'' argument, when just 10 months ago, it would have been the exact opposite.
Posted by Jan, a resident of the Carlton Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:28 am
There are several issues I have with this speech:
1. The Lesson Plan - Why is the White House taking it upon themselves to *teach* my kindergartner ... without my knowledge or consent.
2. The Character Of Who Is Teaching My Children - I would *NOT* let someone like William Ayers or Jeremiah Wright tell my kids *anything*. I don't want a good friend of theirs teaching my kids anything EITHER.
3. The Poor Handling of This By PUSD - There is a very clear sense of arrogance coming from the school district. They could & should have handled this better. Instead, they chose to simply force this down everyone's throat.
I'm with Dr. Melson...our kids are staying home today!
Posted by Perfect Opportunity, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:33 am
Parents PLEASE use this opportunity to actually talk to you children about school and what they thought of the speech the president gave. How did it affect them, what do they think the president was trying to convey, Take whatever he said and talk about it at home. It's a perfect time to instill your own values. He won't be talking about health care reform - it's supposed to be about making the most of their educational opportunity, about becoming a sponge and learning everything they can while they are in school. Stay in school and learn to use your brain. Parents still should be the bigger influence in their child's life, having a great deal more time than one speech from a man temporarily in power.
Posted by Melanie, a resident of the Castlewood Heights neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:33 am
Grasso said: "When asked if the timing of the speech after students are returning from the Labor Day weekend could lead to surprised parents and students, in Pleasanton, Grasso said she didn't think so given the national attention it has received."
In other words...we parents were NOT going to here it from the school district!!! Thank goodness for that "national attention". Our school district has failed us on this one folks.
Posted by Patricia, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:42 am Patricia is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Oh for goodness sake. Just listen to yourselves! "Take over our children?" "Brainwashing?" What on earth makes you so afraid of this guy? He's not some superpowered mutant you've seen in films. He's just another politician who got elected president -- like Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton. And like them, he's being demonized by the politicians on the other side so they can scare up (literally) enough votes to win the office next time. Republican presidents have spoken to school kids and told them to work hard and stay in school. So have Democratic presidents. And mostly, the kids doodle notes and wonder when recess is.
My hat goes of to Mom, waiting at home, who at least credits her kids with enough of a brain to discuss the issues with them, teach them her own values, and model that time-honored American tradition of discussing what they have heard or read in school and how it fits into the family's view of faith, politics and morality. That's what I did when my kid came home telling me that one of their teachers said the Holocaust didn't happen. And when they toddled off to listen to George Herbert Walker Bush say:
"And as you begin the school year, just think of what you can make of the future. Many of you are the class of the year 2000. In NASA lingo, that means ``T'' minus 8 years, 3 months, and 13 days. And you, the students of today, will help keep America the world's leader. And all of you, if you work hard, but all of you can turn learning into an adventure.
And to do this you have to prepare not just by studying, but by studying hard, especially math and science. And that means doing what I too often fail to do, that means homework. And it means setting goals both for you and for America."
Which sounds remarkably like the speech Obama is giving today. Probably because Bush was just another president, just another politician, too. If either one of them had superpowers or mind control abilities, we wouldn't keep having contentious elections. And surely they'd stop all the shouting!
Posted by Hallie, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:50 am
Thank you PUSD for not succumbing to a head-in-the-sand, narrow-minded minority. We should all stay informed. Withholding the President's speech to our children would be censorship, and I wouldn't opt my kids out even if it was the previous President speaking.
Posted by A Parent, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:59 am
My frustration with this whole thing is that VH school did not inform parents in a timely fashion. I called the school on Thursday to inquire about the speech and if alternate activities would be made available for those children, who's parents would be opting out. No one knew anything and they sounded so befuddled. I was told an email went out to all teachers on Thursday morning and the parents would be notified. As of this morning, I still have not received an email from my children's teachers. My issue is with the district not keeping the parents informed of what's going on. We turn to them to find answers and they don't have any. It felt like a very sneaky and underhanded thing that they did....an email was sent out Friday evening regarding the speech; after hours and before a 3 day weekend which left us no way to contact the school. I was told each principle was responsible for making the decision of informing the parents..why did Mrs. Parker not inform us earlier. We have to sign a permission slip for other teachings and things are children are to be involved in, we have to attend a workshop to view the curriculum for Soul Shoppe, but we are completely left in the dark as to this.
I have my personal opinions regarding Obama and I have the right to make the decisions for my children and their education - no one else does. The White House should have released the transcript earlier for parents to review and the schools should have been forthcoming with information. All we wanted was information and it feels like we were intentionally kept in the dark. I am disappointed in Vintage Hills administration for the way this was handled.
Posted by Julia, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:03 am
Hey folks, it's called brain washing by a community organizer/social worker of the highest level. Mr. Obama is not qualified to be the President of the United States. Give him a community cause and let him run with it...that he and his followers can handle.
Posted by Me, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:09 am
Bridget Melson - "psychiatric practice" All that education trying to heal herself - and she is still a cookoo. I won't let my kid listen to the president because it will harm him/her -- break out the tin foil hats!!
Posted by Me, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:16 am
Come on folks this is not sex education. It is our democracy at work. You kids could benefit from hearing the thoughts of any sitting president. I did not sensor Bush from my children, even as morally bankrupt as he was. (Starting a war to avenge an assassination attempt on his father under false pretense is pretty bankrupt) Nor did I disparage him. A teacher should not have to look for permission to show a presidential speech. Now back your therapy!
Posted by Debi, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:18 am
My children will watch it and I am so glad they have the opportunity to hear something from the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES that is directed at them, so they can understand. I think people are being disrespectful of our President. I was lucky enough to see President Nixon when I was in 2nd Grade. I don't believe in everything he did, but I realize the huge opportunity I was given as a child and cherish that - I saw the PRESIDENT. Hello, people, give some respect.
Posted by Pleasanton Mom, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:20 am
How dare the President give a speech and tell my children to stay in school and get a good education. How awful! You would think he was the leader of the free world and deserved our respect. Like, as an educated person he rose to something my children might aspire to be. Dreadful I tell you! Maybe I should have kept my children home so they could remain closed minded. Ugh!
Posted by Mom - waiting at home, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:24 am
EVERYONE of you has something to offer - everyone has something they are good at.
This sounds encouraging - towards educating ourselves as a nation. Do what it takes to get an education - train for your future - what you make of your education is up to YOU. We need you to learn to problem solve and learn science techniques - we need you to develop your talents so you can help our country as we age.
The message is FOCUS on education - focus on getting prepared for your future.
This does not sound like anything more than what you or I should be saying at home - we should be pressuring our children to make the most of their education.
There are no excuses for not trying - no excuse for bad mouthing teachers, no excuse for not doing homework. Work hard, learn what you are asked and cooperate with your teachers.
He talks of specific children with challenges refusing to give up but taking responsibility for their lives and make the most of their life. Volunteer in your community, stand up for the picked on kids, take care of yourselves as best you can. Wash your hands often, do what you need to do keep the flu from spreading.
Thinking you can become a superstar like on tv is not a reality for everyone - it takes hard work to succeed. You must try your hardest to make opportunities happen for you.
Failures should not define you - they should help you become better.
It takes practice to become better at anything. Your first draft probably won't make it.
Asking for help is a sign of strength.= so ask for help - DON'T ever give up on yourself - because when you do - you give up on your country.
sounds like a fine inspirational speech to me.
Learn what you can - become what you dream.
Stay in school, stay focused - DO YOUR PART - put your best effort forward. Don't let us down. Don't let YOURSELF DOWN.
Even as a more conservative individual - it was a good inspirational speech. No brainwashing involved.
Talk about it at home tonight. Help your child set their own goals for this month, semester, year.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Golden Eagle neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:25 am
To those people that do not want their children to hear the speech or are actually keeping their children home from school today:
Did you actually even read the speech?? If you did, you would notice that it has NOTHING to do with a democrat or a republican agenda. He asks students to take responsibility for themselves, to go to class prepared, and to set academic goals.
Shouldn't parents want their children to hear this? What is so wrong about encouraging our youth to do well in school????
This is also an awkward position to put teachers in....what if the student actually wants to watch the speech, even if their parents don't want them to??? Is it the teacher's responsibility to kick a kid out of the classroom because of a parent email when the student actually wants to stay in the class and watch the speech? What happens then???
Teach your children to look at an issue from all angles and make the decision for themselves on whether or not they support or don't support the President's message. In my opinion, it is NOT the parent's responsibility to make that decision for them.
Posted by Rae, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:51 am
LOL!! You're joking, right?
You want to hold Sarah Palin up as a role model for staying in school and graduating? The woman who, when embroiled in ethics complaints, quit on her constituents, and her state, halfway into her term of office?
That's your role model? She's the one you want your kids to look up to for staying the course, being responsible for your actions, and accepting any consequences of those actions?
Posted by Janna, a resident of Dublin, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:53 am
Huh? Well, for one thing, she's not the freaking President of the United States! You don't get an alternative to the President. You either watch or don't. Besides, parts of her life are examples of what you don't want your kids to aspire to.
However, if you watched, you would know he was sharing his life story of his educational struggle as part of his speech. That means something in case you don't understand that. He if offering something personal of himself to the students that they may be able to relate to and draw inspiration from. If you caught it on C-Span, you also saw that every person who called in after, student or teacher, were very inspired and happy to have heard it.
Posted by Tina Huey, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:59 am
Well, I am going to record the President's speech just in case my child does not get the opportunity to watch it in the classroom (which I hope he does). Not only do I like President Obama, I think it's wonderful that he wants to address our Nation's children and inspire them to stay in school, work hard, and love our country. That's what I would hope any President would do. The fact that he has published his speech (which I'm wondering if many of you read) shows he is not indoctrinating our children. May I also suggest that you go back and read President Ronald Reagan's speech to our children - which was indeed partisan and mentioned things like gun control. I really think people need to get a grip and think about what you are saying and doing.
Posted by We Stayed Home, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:02 am
To "a resident of the Golden Eagle" -
Yes, I read the speech. I *also* read the lesson plans (did you?). This wasn't just a speech ... it was a LESSON. With questions like "How can you help the president?" and "What is the president asking you to do?"
I do not want a man that I believe to be of questionable character teaching my kindergartner. Period.
Also, if my kindergartner wants to do something that I disagree with...guess what??? I'M THE PARENT. They do what I say.
If my children were in high school & able to form their own opinions, I would not have a problem with it.
Posted by Another Patriot, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:03 am
I'm with Dr. Melson,
Our children are staying home and not because of the text of the speech. They are staying home because we do not like what he represents as an individual. We don't have any respect for the company he keeps and his character is in question. We do not believe our students should be participating in any of his lesson plans etc.. We have had a talk with our children as many other parents have. And if the School Dist. did not want to lose any funding, then they should have opted out. They caused the problem not the Families who choose to protect their children from those who preach hatred etc..
Posted by Janna, a resident of Dublin, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:06 am
Your thinking is completely backwards! You've got a lot of nerve keeping your child home and then complaining about the money lost when the school offered an alternative for the 20 minutes or so the speech lasted. The kids are in school for seven hours! You don't have a leg to stand on here. The district over-rode your way of irrational thinking by having the speech. You all got your panties in a bunch for nothing.
Everyone loved the speech. The kids were inspired. All that happened is yours lost out. That you would do that is a sad statement on the times were living in today. I feel sorry for your kids and all the other kids with parents who think like you.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Golden Eagle neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:15 am
We Stayed Home:
I sure did read the lesson plans, how awful of our president to ask the students "What are your academic goals?" Terrifying, right? "What is the president asking you to do?" The president is asking students to try hard in school and do well! He is not asking your child to go support his health care reform!
The teachers did not have to use the lesson plans. In fact, most of the teachers that I talked to were not using the lesson plans but were going to have a simple discussion about the speech in class.
questionable character??? Seriously? I bet that many of the people that your children come in contact with on a daily basis have lower moral character than our elected President of the United States.
I would love to know what exactly in President Obama's speech did you not want your child to hear because I didn't see any part in that speech where Obama's so-called "questionable character" came through.
Posted by Tina Huey, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:16 am
I don't really know that you have a leg to stand on "we stayed home". You were given an alternative to your child watching the speech. You chose to keep your children home so what, you can "hurt" the school because didn't like the alternative given? What does that teach our children about love for their school, community, country? You were given an alternative. Why try to take away everyone else's choice? I truly don't understand and I'm trying.
Posted by Stay Cool, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:31 am
You can throw around the radical, marxist, and communist labels all you want. No one is buying it except extremest conspiracy theorists. If you have a legitimate policy complaint about the President, I'm sure you can make it without ratcheting up the accusatory rhetoric.
Kudos to the school district for not censoring the President of the United States from our students!
Someone above said that we could be sure the liberals would do the same thing if Bush had spoken to the students. I am a liberal and I never would have dreamed of pulling my kids from school to avoid a speech on this topic by the President, whether I agreed with him or not.
Posted by Rae, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:40 am
All this talk about "character" and "those who preach hatred" . . . y'all ever hear the one about glass houses and stones? This whole out-of-proportion "outrage" over President Obama talking to our children about staying in school and graduating is absolutely ridiculous!
I really question what a parent is teaching their child when they remove them from school for an entire day just to avoid a specific hour of school. You've just shown them that it's OK for them to skip class and hang out with like-minded kids when they have a class they don't like. Is there a teacher they don't want to listen to? Just cut class. Homework isn’t complete? Not prepared for a test they don’t want to take? No worry, just cut that class too! A teacher's sick and a sub is filling in? He/she might be a (insert your favorite anti-Obama label here); that class will definitely have to be skipped!
Think how proud you'll be when you get that call from the Attendance Office about your kid missing school. Hey, they did listen! They're doing exactly what you taught them to do.
Posted by Stunned, a resident of another community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:44 am
I can't believe the things I am reading from those who oppose the speach by our President. It is shocking to me that adults can even think this way and put their selfish narrow-minded beliefs on their own children. President Obama is speaking to our children as a father to encourage them to succeed in life and get a good education. Our children are privileged to have the opportunity to receive education in this country. It's not about politics, it's about our future generation. I applaud him for his encouragement. We need to be enlighted humans and name bashing and the terms those are using against him are deplorable! Wake up and smell the roses. This country needs change. The past eights years were a nightmare, so wake up! It will be a sad day when your innocent children turn out just like you.
Posted by Kolohe, a resident of another community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:45 am
What happened to just being excited to hear the president speaking to you in your classroom. The children don't understand what issues the parents are having with the president. Like the other posts, why teach the young children to dislike someone only cause the parents do? What happened to having our children learn all they can. When did it become necessary to make our children be our (the adults) voices. If you did not like President Obama's platform, why Ms. Melson, were you not out there, with your group to protest against him getting into office. I just feel sorry for the children who's parents will not allowed them the joys of being a kid.
Posted by Good question, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:08 am
"What are the kids who were kept home today doing while their parents are blogging about Communism on PW?"
Surely not watching PBS? Sesame Street, with all of its teaching kids to share toys, cookies etc. with those who don't have any is definitely a primary Socialist vehicle, insinuating itself and its goals into any household the minute any parent leaves the room. Not to mention, you never know when Pete Seeger or some other undesirable, Communist musical guest will show up and slip in nasty ideas via their songs. My sources also tell me that Dora the Explorer is equally dangerous, with the idea that anyone can achieve if she tries really hard, no matter where you come from. Poppycock.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:15 am
Obama gave a very good speech. Unfortunately, like most if not all his speeches, his words do not reflect the way he governs nor the policies he ardently pursues. He is a big government guy despite his speech in January to the first joint session wherein he stated he was not. He told the kids today all about personal responsibility, while he is trying to take that away from the citizens and replace it with governmental responsibility.
It is inappropriate for a partisan politician to have direct access to school kids who have no choice, but are forced to watch. The objections by parents were on this principal and after reading the education departments suggested discussion topics which included asking kids how they can help president Obama.
Posted by Amazed, a resident of another community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:16 am
I'm amazed by what I am reading from those of you who oppose President Obama's speech. If you haven't heard it, or read it, you are really missing something special. What an inspiring speech! I can't imagine that those children listening to him don't come away with feeling that they are truly wonderful human beings. What an incredible opportunity to hear his message of encouragement. Yes, they can! These children are our future, and they need all the positive feedback and encouragement from parents, teachers, friends and yes, our President! I am so proud that my daughter is living in a time where she can hear such a wonderful man who really cares and who she can respect. I truly believe that President Obama's speech today will make a positive difference in the lives of so many children. They certainly deserve it.
Posted by Terry in Livermore, a resident of the Las Positas neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:18 am
a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
I don't want my kids learning anything from a fascist!
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Golden Eagle neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:20 am
We Stayed Home:
Unless your kids aren't let out of the house, they will probably come in contact with those kind of people. Face it, it happens.
I really could care less who your kids come in contact with, I wasn't specifically talking about your children because obviously, I don't know you and your kids! However, I made an assumption which I believe is realistically true! And to say that it is not is pretty naive.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:26 am
Remember also that this president wants to change America and since America has been about the individual having freedom and responsibility, parents were rightly concerned about what might have been in the speech. Especially since all last week we were finding out that the man Michelle Obama praised and Obama's right hand woman (Valerie Jarrett) picked to be a green jobs czar, turned out to be a communist, Mumia (the cop killer) supporter, 9/11 truther among other neat qualities. So you know the company you keep tells something about you - as Obama reminded us not too long ago.
Posted by David M, a member of the Mohr Elementary School community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:34 am
Dr. B, the Tea Party Patriots, conservatives, and concerned parents across the nation should be proud.
If we had not spoken up, the demagoguery of the Obama administration would have proceeded unchallenged. We are in a surreal world with videos with Aston Kutcher "pledging allegiance to Barack Obama"! Next we’re hit with the announcement of Obama's speech to our children containing a government curriculum focused on “helping” the president and unanswered questions as to the specific content of the speech. Fortunately, our voices were heard and the curriculum was cleaned up and the speech published before hand. This would not have happened otherwise. I hope this teachable moment sinks in with the federal government that they should keep their tentacles off our children. Education is a local matter, stay away DC!!
Posted by Great speech, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:36 am
I just watched the speech in its entirety online. I'm a 50-something white male who went to college and voted for George Bush, and I came away from the speech inspired. If this speech and its message gets through to even one at-risk youngster who turns his or her life around to become a productive member of society, then the speech was worthwhile.
We teach our kids that they can grow up to be president. Obama, like Lincoln, is one of the few presidents we've had who is in a position to use of his personal life as an example of what can be achieved through self-discipline and hard work even growing up relatively poor.
This is a message that kids need to hear, especially kids of color. Let's hope that today's speech will move our country closer to closing the achievement gap between test scores of Asian / white versus Latino / African-American.
For parents reading this whose teachers chose not to show the speech today, I highly recommend you gather your family in front of a computer screen this evening and watch the 15-minute speech online. It's a 'teachable moment' and a simple and straightforward message every child should hear from our president.
Posted by Jackie, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:37 am
The Livermore School District Principals decided to leave it up to the teachers to determine if it was classroom appropriate. My daughters teachers (Granada High) told me they did not plan on presenting it, nor participating. The ORIGINAL curriculum that caused the outrage had too many political undertones. I'll give just 3 examples and then leave it up to you to Google the original docs online to read for yourself:
1. Instructing teachers to read up on Obama and then tell kids that it was "important to listen to your President". To me this felt like it was all about HIM and we do not agree with his ideology, associations or policies.
2. Instructed teachers to 'review excerpts from Obama's speeches on Education and pull quotes to publish around the classroom. No quotes were provided and it left it up to teachers to 'find' quotes. All speeches on Education you can Google are ALL Political campaign speeches AND pushing an 'agenda'
3. The original curriculum glorified Obama as something higher than the office of the President, and instructed the children to 'write down HOW they were going to "support Him". We don't support him or his agenda.
He is in a position of authority and having a captive audience of young school children is suspect based on his track record of associations. from his published speech.. I read the speech as soon as it was published (and it was only published because of the outrage his ORIGINAL CURRICULUM PUBLISHED CREATED) and I was still a little suspect.. some lines IMHO that felt as if he was campaigning to children:
1. "turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve" (where do children not have opportunity?)
2."fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free."(we are the freest nation in the world, what is he trying to convince our children that our nation isn't fair or free?)
3. "Some of you might not have those advantages"(doesn't everyone have educational opportunity? when did having an education become an "advantage')
4. "Iâ€™m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn" (really? budgets in CA have been slashed and he's quadrupled our deficit in just 7 mos in office.. he's lying to our kids again.. he's not working hard for kids.. he's focused on government healthcare)
those few lines in his SPEECH to me are political undertones.. at least it was published even though Americans had to become outraged to make it to happen..otherwise he would have slipped this right under your nose.. just like Wright, Ayers, Holdren, Jones... and just like Obama says, "You are what you learn"
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:45 am
Personally, I'm glad the President is addressing our school children and reinforcing the importance of an eductation - regardless of what I, or others, feel about the President.
I'm glad the administration listened to the valid concerns of parents in regards to the lesson plan that followed the speech and made appropriate changes to it.
Personally, at this point, I think any parent that takes their child out of school for the day in an effort to "protect" them from the President's speech is missing out on an important learning opportunity - if nothing else, an opportunity to discuss why they do or do not agree with what the President is saying.
Posted by Kevin, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:47 am
I opted my child out of obama's speech. At five I didn't think it appropriate that he listen to someone who has socialists and communists as his personal advisers. Who has quaddrupled the national debt in only six months, and that, after Bush had increased it beyond what a reasonable person would consider. He continue's to increase our debt to the point that our grandchildren will be still paying for it. Economics 101, you can not spend your way out of debt!!! It's not logical.
We don't really know that much about how Obama really did in college he still hasn't allowed his transcripts to be released. One thing we do know about him is that he was given scholarships that he should not have recieved because it was something that is suppose to only be available for foreign students. Obama also benefited more from afirmative action where I had to put myself through college sling hash in a flipping Denny's.
I am responsible for my child and his education not some politician no matter who he is. I worked hard to get to where I am and continue to work hard. My son receives constant encouragement from his mother and I to work hard and do well in school. It's my job and I have not nor will I allow any politician to subvert that duty. I refuse to allow my son to become a member of the obama worshippers, he will be taught to study and think and make his own decisions within the core beliefs his mother and I have raised him with.
Posted by John, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:48 am
When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings
By: BYRON YORK
Chief Political Correspondent
09/08/09 7:11 AM EDT
The controversy over President Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.
Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president's school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported.
With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. "And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'"
Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush's appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. "The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC," Ford began. "As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event."
Unfortunately for Ford, the General Accounting Office concluded that the Bush administration had not acted improperly. "The speech itself and the use of the department's funds to support it, including the cost of the production contract, appear to be legal," the GAO wrote in a letter to Chairman Ford. "The speech also does not appear to have violated the restrictions on the use of appropriations for publicity and propaganda."
That didn't stop Democratic allies from taking their own shots at Bush. The National Education Association denounced the speech, saying it "cannot endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers' money on a staged media event at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C. -- while cutting school lunch funds for our neediest youngsters."
Lost in all the denouncing and investigating was the fact that Bush's speech itself, like Obama's today, was entirely unremarkable. "Block out the kids who think it's not cool to be smart," the president told students. "If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now, when they're stuck in a dead end job. Don't let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:54 am
A reminder that when it was a Republican speaking to one school (not the whole of the nation's school children) a major newspaper, the Washington Post, considered the event a staged political stunt, and Democrats were not happy.
From The Washington Examiner
When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
09/08/09 7:11 AM EDT
The controversy over President Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.
Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president's school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported.
Posted by Stay Cool, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:54 am
Jackie of Livermore writes:
1. (where do children not have opportunity?)
2. (we are the freest nation in the world, what is he trying to convince our children that our nation isn't fair or free?)
3. (doesn't everyone have educational opportunity? when did having an education become an "advantage')
All I can say is wow, things must be really good in Livermore!
How can you take issue with the suggestion that teachers reference Obama's other speeches on education when specific quotes were not recommended? That completely leaves it up to the teacher - it is not some instruction from the top down on what to say to kids! The original curriculum did not glorify Obama as something higher than the President, and certainly didn't capitalize the word 'him' the way you did! Opinion is different than fact.
People knew all about Wright and Ayers - and we voted for him anyway!
Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 11:57 am
Dr. Melson is right.
Our Kids do not need Obama's wisdom - you know, like the "wisdom" that hired an anti-American communist conspiracy-theorist. The "wisdom" that kept him in a racist church for 20 years. The "wisdom" that quadrupled the deficit. That sort of thing.
The original speech was whitewashed after national outrage, thank God.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
What I get out of your post about Democrats up in arms over Bush speaking to school children is just more evidence that the reason some people don't like Obama giving a speech to school children is because Obama is a Democrat and the parents are Republicans just as the reason back then was because Bush is a Republican and the parents are Democrats. So it really comes down to which side of the bi-partisan circus you identify with and all that talk about indoctrination are just excuses because if fear of indoctrination were the real reason, Republicans would also have been up in arms over Bush speaking to school children.
Posted by FCWatson, a member of the Fairlands Elementary School community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm
If Mr. Obama would spend less time flapping his jaws apologizing for this country and spending less time in the classrooms and got to work getting the economy in better shape, maybe the parents of these children would have jobs today. Not to mention those families who are losing their homes.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm
Stacey, my post was meant to point out the news media bias - when a Republican talks to a few students it's a political stunt, when Obama does even more so, it's just a great message. And when I wrote Democrats, I meant the congressional Democrats mentioned in the story who wanted to hold hearings on the Bush speech. I do not remember there being an outcry from the public general population Democrats. Possibly because the Bush speech was not simulcast to all the nation's students and was not accompanied by the directive from the Dept. of Ed. to ask kids to support Bush and read about Bush etc. Also, as I wrote before, Obama wants to change America, and Obama's policies are in direct conflict with his speech on personal responsibility, and Bush did not have the un-American associates in his past and in his administration that Obama does/did. It's a lot more than just Democrat vs. Republican. The Democrat party under Obama/Pelosi/Reid et al of modern day is not the old Democrat party.
Posted by SJ, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm
I can not believe parents were that concerned about their children hearing a speech from the president. There was absolutely nothing wrong with his speech and shame on you parents for sheltering your kids. Hopefully those kids that did stay home and didn't see it won't have play dates with any kids that did see it because god forbid they may talk about staying in school and working hard to get a head. What an awful message for kids to hear. Get a clue and stop sheltering your kids so much!
Posted by Jackie, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm
Dear "Stay Cool"
In response to your question, "How can you take issue with the suggestion that teachers reference Obama's other speeches on education when specific quotes were not recommended?" I specifically said, "Because ALL the speeches I read, going a year back, were POLITICAL speeches with a POLITICAL agenda.
Many, many people just canâ€™t understand what the big deal is. After all, itâ€™s just a pep-talk about doing well in school and working hard. Sure, there was some language promoting Obama and political leaders. But who cares? Itâ€™s just a brief speech by the President after all. Just like Bush the Elder gave in gentler times (which got him a Congressional investigation).
If you knew about Wright and Ayers and STILL voted for Obama, I would keep you away from my child too..
I didn't have to keep my child out of school today because after the enormous outrage this caused for our district and school administration, they proactively gave parents the option of opting out IF a teacher decided to force this indoctrination upon our kids. Without those few lines I cited previously, I agree the speech was a good one.. I can only imagine what he would have said had the outrage not reached the doorsteps of the White House.
Posted by Jackie, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm
"That's a lot of people that you would need to keep away from your kids."
so be it, I will and do, obviously you have a problem with that. Some are calling Dr. B narrow-minded. Interesting the "tolerance" coming from the left side. It seems like a lot of people here need an Education on our Republic.. Here's a link to what I 'chose' to use as a teachable moment for my child and many others that asked.. take 10 minutes to review what this country was founded on.. unless you are too narrow minded..
Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm
We have not received an explanation of why Van Jones was hired in the first place.
Does this President really make this many mistakes with his friendships, partnerships and appointments? Rev. Wright, Van Jones, William Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, Jeff Jones, The Apollo Alliance, ACORN, SEIU, Cass Sunstein, John Holdren and the list goes on.
This president has not earned the right to address my children.
Posted by Arroyo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm
The NRA has a great program called "Eddie the Eagle" that stresses gun safety and what to do if you accidentally find a gun.
If President Obama was going to give a speech on gun safety, in the hopes of saving a young persons life from an accidental shooting, many of you would keep your child out of school on the day of the speech because of your anti-gun and anti-violence positions.
Bottom-line, it is up to you, the parents of the child, not the government, as to what your children are allowed to see.
(I know, I know -- far fetched analogy, but I hope you get the point. There is no right or wrong answer -- it's called a parent's right.)
Posted by Jackie, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm
And for those of you who have also forgotten the written words of Obama in his published books: (which you can rent at the library so you don't have to pay for it)
From â€śDreams of My Fatherâ€ť
'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'
'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'
'There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.'
'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.'
'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself: the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'
From Audacity of Hope:'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'
I agree with "Pleasanton Resident" he has not earned the "Right" to educate my child. I do not teach my children HATE.. I teach them to question authority so they can either support it, or rally against it.. Absolute Authority Corrupts Absolutely .. he will NOT have my children as a captive audience to learn his HATE..
Posted by SJ, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm
Gun Safety and telling you kids to stay in school are not the same thing. You should be more concerned with all the TV shows that are on now of days rather then then a Presidential speech that is re-enforcing what parents have being telling their kids for century. It is up to the parents to make the decision as to what are children are allowed to see, but educate yourself first as to what they are seeing rather then just saying no way and keeping them home from school.
"A lie told often enough becomes truth." - Vladimir Lenin
President Obama's skill as a liar is critical to his success as a Socialist.
Considering the zeal with which President Obama has in a very short time remade America, we can conclude that he will not stop until America is completely socialist. But one building block remains: government-controlled healthcare. As Lenin once said, "Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism." To embark upon such an ambitious project that has yet failed at every attempt, President Obama must lie, since it is clear that a sizeable majority opposes his healthcare reform.
And President Obama is a most gifted liar. We're not talking about a new Clintonian era of likeable misinformation. This is not, "I didn't inhale." President Clinton's loveable way of twisting the truth pales in comparison to Obama's brazen boldness in lying even when Obama knows he will be caught.
President Obama is a special breed of liar, employing an array of varying techniques intended to marshal public emotion in his favor. For example, he uses his own grandmother to gain sympathy for a plan that will leave millions of grandmothers without care.
Unlike his predecessors, when caught in the midst of a deception, Obama is not deterred. He lies to cover his lies. Remember confessed terrorist Bill Ayers? First, then-Senator Obama denied knowing Ayers at all. Then, when the evidence was incontrovertible that Obama had indeed not only known Ayers, but also worked with him professionally, Obama changed his defense to one of ignorance, claiming that he was only a child when Ayers committed his crimes, and assumed that Ayers had been rehabilitated. Obama has continued and applied this pattern to a host of crucial national questions.
Obama is a Socialist. And the authentic Socialist is not driven by morality or truth, but by the end that justifies the means.
This philosophy reveals itself quite starkly in President Obama's patent fabrications regarding his healthcare reform plans. Observe the consistent mismatch between the facts and what Obama says:
Obama says that he does not support a "single-payer system" even though his comments in favor of single-payer healthcare are on tape, and his "public option" amounts to a piecemeal takeover of private-sector medical coverage.
Obama says, "You will not be waiting in any lines," but Section 1151 of HR 3200 penalizes hospitals for the costs incurred in readmitting patients, permitting the Health and Human Services Secretary to "reduce" payments to hospitals for readmission, a decision likely to force the sick out into the cold. If a cancer patient has a relapse, they might as well get drunk on morphine, because readmission will be exceedingly difficult.
Obama ridicules the idea of "death panels" as right-wing hysteria, saying that HR 3200 contains no such entity. He is right. The Independent Medicare Advisory Council, the source of the death panel concerns, is the topic of another bill introduced by the Obama Administration. Its job? To cut Medicare payments. And specific sections of his proposed legislation create mechanisms that will result in the loss of care for elderly persons. In addition, Medicare Advantage programs would be ended, a cut of $150 billion. This has not stopped the President from saying, "We are not talking about cutting Medicare benefits."
Obama makes the transparently false claim that private insurance will not be affected by HR 3200, and that those who like their current plans can keep them, despite the fact that individual Americans will only be allowed to obtain private plans for a 5 year grace period, and government plans will become the default should citizens switch employers.
Obama says that "46 million of our fellow citizens have no coverage. They are just vulnerable. If something happens, they go bankrupt, or they don't get the care they need." But everyone can currently obtain care, even if they cannot pay. That is why 60 hospitals in California have closed, because the law requires them to treat everyone. And that 46 million number is known to be bogus, since 9.7 million of this number are illegal aliens. By one estimate, 14 million Americans choose not to obtain coverage. 18 million are under 34 and are either dependents or simply opt not to seek insurance, according to one study. When these numbers are subtracted, only 5 million uninsured remain.
Obama says that "we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need," but responding to a Medicare recipient that had been denied the only drug that would alleviate his condition, Obama had this to say, "Look, there may be -- in nine out of 10 cases, the generic might work as well or better than the brand name. And we don't want to just subsidize the drug companies if you've got one that works just as well as another."
Obama says that the healthcare reform measure will not be used to expand federal funding of abortions, knowing that the vaunted Hyde amendment applies only to Medicaid, not the public option, and that the Capps Amendment, as passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, explicitly requires every enrollee of a government-subsidized health insurance plan to be charged an extra fee to cover abortions. Obama can hardly plead ignorance.
Obama makes outrageous claims that his healthcare reform will reduce the deficit and rein in healthcare spending, but the CBO says just the opposite. How can the present healthcare crisis, supposedly a crisis of spending, be solved with more spending, and by an institution known for its reckless disregard for fiscal realities?
At the heart of this barrage of deception and dishonesty is an uncommon genius, innate to only the most devious sort. While Obama's opponents spend their precious time addressing each new lie, Obama will keep the focus off the end-zone, and government healthcare will sail into place. This strategy has a name; it is called "the big lie," and it depends on a fundamental truth of human nature: fatigue.
At some point, citizens grow weary of hearing that their leaders are out for their ill, that political policies are nothing more than grand deceptions. Who wants to believe their President is a serial liar that seeks to impose full Socialism on the land of the free? Some truths are too big to contemplate, an observation that would lead one of the world's most successful propagandists to write:
It would never come into their [the people's] heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.
Obama is counting on this principle. Most Americans are growing tired and are ready for some sort of compromise, but we cannot give in to this impulse. Obama will not give up and neither can we. Be encouraged. Don't lose hope. We must push forward, and keep the heat on the enemies of freedom. Americans must stay alert or the lie of all lies will consume what is left of liberty in America.
Posted by Sick of Pleasanton Weekly Removing Non-Offensive Posts, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm
The Pleasanton Weekly has gone through all postings on it's multiple postings of articles regarding President Obamas speech to the school children. Even when these postings did nothing more than disagree with opposition arguments on the same forum providing facts to back them up.
One of the most important issues at hand with parents not wanting thier children forced to listen to this president is much different than other presidents. A man is only as good as the company he keeps and the case of President Obamas it's his "Advisors and Csars". Based on who he surrounds himself with, who is whispering in his ear is a direct reflection of who he is and what his positions are as their past does not seem to bother him at all.
Czar Green Advisor, Van Jones Resigns Under Cover of Darkness... Who is Van Jones?
Shortly after midnight Sunday morning the White House announced that President Obama's adviser Van Jones had resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements. President Obama had the opportunity to make this announcement himself - boldly and in the light of day. He could have told the American people face to face that he had made a mistake in appointing Mr. Jones as one of his many czars and that he was accepting his resignation now that he knew the truth about his radical and offensive politics.
Mr. Jones is a radical, polarizing, admitted Communist who had boldly and publicly accused the United States government of murdering 3,000 innocent civilians on September 11, 2001. To avoid this announcement, President Obama authorized a midnight press release about the resignation while the country sleeps.
On Saturday, Jones quit after Fox News and other websites confirmed the story and headlined it around the world.
According to Klein, a day after the 9/11 attacks Van Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as with what he called the victims of "U.S. imperialism" around the world. Klein also charges Van Jones with being an admitted black nationalist and radical communist.
When Jones was in jail for participating in a “peaceful demonstration,” he reportedly said, "I met all these young radical people of color - I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."
Jones was the leader and founder of a radical group, the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. The group led a vigil Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif. The radical group's manual boasted that the 9/11 vigil was held to express solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans and to mourn the civilians killed in the terrorist attacks "as well as the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world".
"We honored those who lost their lives in the attack and those who would surely lose their lives in subsequent U.S. attacks overseas," STORM's manifesto recalls.
That is just one Czar, when will the Pleasanton Weekly start reporting on who these Czar's are that are advising the president?
Posted by Just My Opinion, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:58 pm
I am not an Obama fan. But I read the speech and found that I actually agreed with much of his speech. Interesting that Obama's big government, welfare state policies are in sharp contrast to EVERYTHING he had to say today.
Posted by Me, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm
"Stunned, a resident of another community, 3 hours ago
I can't believe the things I am reading from those who oppose the speach by our President. It is shocking to me that adults can even think this way and put their selfish narrow-minded beliefs on their own children. President Obama is speaking to our children as a father to encourage them to succeed in life and get a good education. Our children are privileged to have the opportunity to receive education in this country. It's not about politics, it's about our future generation. I applaud him for his encouragement. We need to be enlighted humans and name bashing and the terms those are using against him are deplorable! Wake up and smell the roses. This country needs change. The past eights years were a nightmare, so wake up! It will be a sad day when your innocent children turn out just like you."
What is your definition of Adults (is it age based) because this whole absurd boycott the presidential speech is totally politically motivated.
The Right is mad that they lost (especially many of the racist elitist that have moved up here from the OC) and have to resort to such childish antics.
I was republican before the bizarre moral majority, we are better than you so we will tell you how to live, era.
And the PW quoting a fundamentalist like the doc is disturbing as well. Why give such a nut job a podium
Posted by Conservative, a resident of another community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm
It is not necessarily about the message, BUT the messenger. Don't be fooled people. Would you have Van Jones, Rev. J. Wright, Bill Ayers, Acorn affiliates, etc...speak to your child at his or her school? I think not. The company we keep and how we are affiliated with that company, speaks magnitudes about an individual.
Posted by Hank, a resident of the Apperson Ridge neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Dear Just My Opinion...
Did you ever stop to think that Obama's (edited) message to schoolkids was nearly 100% "conservative"?
Also, he emphasized "individual choice" and "self-reliance" when in fact Obama does NOT believe in either and his direction for us all is to take individual choice away from us?
He is for collectivism and is anti-free market capitalism.
By his "conservative" message, he wanted to lure kids to his side and then he'll issue his "bait and switch".
One more thing, since when has he been interested in quality education for kids? He is a strong supporter of the NEA (which is in large measure the reason for the decline in education in America) and and an even more revealing indicator...Obama yanked all those black kids out of their quality charter school to usher them back to their miserable and dangerous DC public school. It was only because of public outrage that Obama backed off his decision.
I hope you and others will wake up to realize who this guy, Obama is. He is a smooth talking, personable MARXIST/COMMUNIST!!!
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm
to "Me" who does not have the guts to sign her/his name: Your insult of a fellow citizen, and your assumption and criticism of her religious views is uncalled for and shows you to be an intolerant bigot. People who object to their children being forced to watch a speech by the most radical leftwing president are not "nuts". I watched the speech and it was a good one (except for all the "I" references) and it was in complete opposition to the policies he is enacting. It's true that the problem is trust with this guy.
Posted by Momof3, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 4:06 pm
Patricia, thanks for your post. It certainly gave me a giggle after reading all the other posts. The speech today made me flashback to my middle school and high school days when Reagan and Bush Sr. said the same thing to my classroom as I sat in a classroom chair. I didn't see any political agenda in anything Obama said and I never was offended to hear our former Republican Presidents tell me to do well in school. In fact, isn't that the very same thing we tell our children? Whether or not I agree or disagree with whoever our executive leader is, I'm thankful they all take the time to recognize how hard these kids work and encourage them to do their best.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm
I Love It: You are being deliberately obtuse. The controversy was never about the content of the speech. It was the principle that a partisan politician should not have access to the nation's school children on public school time where the kids are legally required to be for the purposes of a nationwide presidential address. It is unprecedented and inappropriate. The addition of the Department of Education's materials with suggested activities was blatant proselytizing. The fact that they withdrew some of the more egregious elements after planting the ideas in the nation's teachers heads was slim comfort to parents who are uneasy about Obama's past, his policies, his czars, and his desire to change America, when he has clearly shown a preference for leftist dictators who use easily influenced children and young adults without developed critical thinking skills to achieve and maintain power.
Posted by Rebecca, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm
Jackie, I kept my kids out of school today because I didn't want them to have to leave the room and then get ridiculed by the other kids. The school told me it was opt-out yet the teachers never said anything so we just extended our "labor" day union holiday another day.
When Bush Sr. did it the left complained just as much. I was sick of hearing Obama telling me how to raise MY kids every time his face came on the television during the election. It was just another scheme to get people to like him during that time and he's doing the same thing now. I had the off button then and my off button today was keeping the kids home.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Thanks for that info. I was looking for a history of czarism in the US earlier and was certain that the practice started mid-20th century, but all I could find at the time was mention that it started with Reagan. Wikipedia lists many others much earlier than Reagan. I'll have to wade through the sources later.
Posted by Ahem, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:01 pm
To jen, whose post seems to indicate that because President Obama used the word "I" 56 times in his speech to the schoolchildren today, he is self-centered, egotistical and doesn't care about the children:
Posted by Rae, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm
One more time . . .
What it really comes down to is that it doesn’t matter to the Obama-haters what he planned to say, or even actually said! They will disagree with any and every thing, making sure to use at least one anti-Obama buzz word in their comments.
For example, if President Obama stepped out on the White House lawn, gazed at the setting sun and said, “That sunset sure has a lot of red in it today,” the Obama-haters would say:
Only a Communist would see red in the sunset.
Obama hates America because he didn’t mention the blue sky and the white clouds.
He is going to destroy America with all of his talk about sunsets.
Obama is spreading Socialism by attempting to make sure everyone has access to the sunset.
Only a Marxist would define a specific color in the sunset.
That proves it! Only someone born in Kenya will stop and watch a setting sun.
Obama cannot be trusted. He’s just trying to pull a bait-and-switch scheme – it was really a sunrise.
By commenting on the sunset, Obama is reinforcing that sunsets are the property of the Federal government, and that the government has taken over control of the earth’s orbit around the sun.
It is “unacceptable and chilling and inappropriate and scary” that this man would comment on the sunset. I certainly will not allow my child to hear that kind of unfiltered information.
“Sunset” is a code word for “death panel”.
“It makes my blood run cold” that this President speaks about the sunset, let alone a specific color. He obviously wants to divide people by who identifies which color, and then will use the “death panels” to kill everyone who doesn’t see red – just like Hitler.
“Obama is OUT OF CONTROL!!” He obviously plans to frequently watch and comment on the sunset and wants you to do the same. Just say NO to this kind of mindless indoctrination.
Refuse to watch any sunset you think Obama may be watching. It’s been proven by experts that by watching the same sunset as Obama, he can brainwash you with his <insert your favorite anti-Obama label here> ideology.
Only a liberal would mention the setting sun. Only liberal “sheeple” will talk about a sunset now.
Obama didn’t really see the setting sun - it’s all left-wing propaganda. Everybody knows the sun only sets in the west, not in the east.
Posted by Dissapointed, a resident of the Foothill Farms neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm
I am so disappointed in the parents that refused to let their children listen to what the President of the United States of America had to say to them. His message was so inspiring and what many children needed to hear. These children do not need to listen to a President that influences their lives with fear....fear of terrorist. They need hope. They need to be influenced with hope. President Obama does not live in a dream world, but he does dream. He dreams that one day the reality of our lives will improve and he spoke to the children in a real down to earth tone, in words that they understood. I feel sorry for the kids that were not allowed to hear the President's speech for they will probably grow up to be as spoiled and as narrow-minded as their parents. I will pray that they will reach out to someone other than their parents and hopefully develop a tolerance and understanding of other person's views and form their own opinions
Posted by Rebecca, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm
well, you're right about that. a czar position is never a good one no matter which side does it. it destroys the balance between the president and congress and is NEVER a good thing no matter what party the president belongs to. rebecca, a proud libertarian.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:46 pm
I Love It: Don't take my word for it, here's Arne Duncan
The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, sent a directive to teachers and administrators declaring: “This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation’s school children about persisting and succeeding in school. We encourage you to use this historic moment to help your students get focused and begin the school year strong. I encourage you, your teachers, and students to join me in watching the President deliver this address on Tuesday, September 8, 2009.”
Duncan, head of the Federal Dept. of Ed also had the accompanying materials (thousands of printed pages - oh the trees!) which asked kids to express what they could do to support the pres., etc. you can read that bit of nonsense they had to pull back on. That is unprecedented.
President Reagan had some high school kids invited to the White House and he took questions. The meeting was made available afterwards. No across the nation live airing, no accompanying teaching guides with creepy suggestions.
President Bush the first one, was promoting a space program, he delivered a short few paragraphs and had a Q and A. Again, no accompanying propaganda.
As far as I know, neither had their Dept of Ed contact all the nation's schools with pre planned materials.
Bush had been pres. for 3 years, Reagan for 6. They had actually accomplished something for the country, and they did not have communist, cop killer supporter, 9/11 truthers in their White Houses.
Posted by Humbert, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm
Unfortunately, the speech by Sarah Palin was censored, as far as I can tell. In my opinion, the Sarah Palin should have been mandatory, and not optional. The difference is Sarah Palin was born in the US, is a Christian, and doesn't hate her country.
Posted by Judy, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:30 pm
To those criticizing Dr. Melson:
She is very well educated about today's politics. That is, exactly, why she has chosen to keep her children home. She is right to question the latest "Hurry up, get it done, don't let the public know anything in advance, and (this time) talk to the children" scheme.
What did Obama do during his college years? One thing we DO KNOW: He visited a country where American citizens weren't allowed, at the time. That's why HE CHOSE to use his INDONESIAN CITIZENSHIP passport. At that time, he was required to give up his American citizenship to use his INDONESIAN CITIZENSHIP (let's see - adult Obama chooses another citizenship = questionable???!!! YES)
My advice to those criticizing Dr. Melson is as follows: Start paying attention to those little things in Obama's life (passports - mentors, etc). Educate yourselves. Find out who his CZARS are and what they believe now and in the past. Watch the congressmen and senators at their job, like I do each day. Learn exactly what Obama voted for and against while in the senate. How many times did he vote present? FIND OUT!!!
You soon will be PRAISING Dr. Melson. AND be able to carry an educated conversation with her.
By the way. Learn about Sarah Palin - she has single handedly reinvigorated the economy of Alaska. It's the only state, I know, of that has an almost 0 deficit for medicare. Every person in her state got $1500 (man, woman, child) from the oil companies AFTER SHE WENT AFTER THEIR CORRUPTION (more money to come every year). HER party's corrupt are still serving prison time because of her. ALL THIS AND TONS MORE IN A COUPLE OF YEARS - LEARN PEOPLE - LEARN!!!!!!
Livermore Jackie, Once again another politically educated person. Those who are TRULY educated about todays politics are intelligent enough to be concerned.
PS. Some of the children who stayed home, today, watched the Senate in action!!! Far better than a last minute speech from the friend of the federal buildings bomber - Maybe Ayers should pay this country back for his destruction - that would help with the deficit.!
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm
Terry, many many people did not trust George W. Bush, and with very good reason. Not only was the man morally reprehensible with his incidious dishonesty and mind numbing ill placed confidence in his inability to make a mistake, but he was also the least intelligent president to date and subject to the control of rogues like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Yet even with all this the left did not raise a ruckus when Bush would talk to students, even while 9/11 was happening. Perhaps this was because they felt that Bush could do less damage talking to grade school children than when he was signing laws and changing their meaning, something he did regularly unlike any of his predecessors. Conservatives say that the left should stop bringing up Bush in defense of Obama, but it was Bush who ran up the deficit, who started the wars that continue, who callously lost millions of American jobs, and who slept during the run up to 9/11. We will be dealing with these issues for years. Obama has an incredibly tough task before him, and yet he takes time out to give an on-point speech to your children about the benefits of education and hard work. Why don't you people put your heads back in the sand where you obviously kept it for the last eight years. Unlike Bush Obama was actually elected president. Let him do his job fixing the mistakes made during the illicit Bush regime.
Posted by Judy, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm
Checking out the history of Czars. You may find that that the press labelled some advisors "Czars". Historically, that term has not been used by the administration. This administration is comfortable using the term. This time, the vetting has been questionable and even members of Obama's own party asks why these "Czars" are kept away from congress.
Obama said, "If you want to know who I am, look at who I surround myself with."
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm
Mary, I am sure your kids did learn a lot today. They learned that:
1)Sometimes, if I don't feel like going, it's okay to skip school.
2)I can skip an entire DAY of school, even if just 20 minutes of it may be challenging/uncomfortable/disagreeable for me.
3)My mom does not respect the office of the President of the United States. The president = leader of our country = authority. Perhaps your child will extrapolate: "My mom does not respect authority"/"Perhaps *I* don't need to respect authority".
4)It is okay to avoid even the slightest contact with anything we disagree with. I do not need to even consider different points of view.
5)"I am above the rules".
Mary, your child IS being brainwashed...not by Obama, but by you! Let's see how today's lessons play out as your child becomes a teenager.
Rae, you can post that a hundred times, I love it every time. I think you should have it published in an actual newspaper.
Lesson plans do not = "propaganda". Did any of you READ the plans?
Posted by I Love It!, a resident of another community, on Sep 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm
It has already been pointed out that Arne Duncan's statement about it being the first time was incorrect. You are picking on the DOE as a detail because it is different than what the other Presidents did. I think it is great for them to offer supporting materials if they are using classroom time for the address. It's called doing a thorough job.
Posted by Judy, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm
Obama was instrumental in spearheading the bill that allowed Fannie and Freddie to keep up their charade. When the Bush administration questioned that Fannie and Freddie were in trouble, on SEVERAL occasions, they were met with HUGE opposition from Dobbs, Pelosi, Reid, and, especially, Franks.
Of course, Obama got the second largest amount of money from Fannie and Freddie and Franks was not far behind. (Interesting - what was all that money for?). The facts show that these are the people that, actually, helped escalate the fall of our economy. (So we have OBAMA, PELOSI, REID, DOBBS, & FRANKS to thank!!!!)
Bush was guilty of NOT vetoing the efforts.
Bush = Highest IQ of any president to date!!!
Bush = Did more for the humanity of Africa than any one person in the HISTORY of the world.
Bush = Only one of two world leaders ever to be invited to the private quarters of the Pope during a visit without formal Papal clothing. This is an honor bestowed to ONLY the Pope's best friends, family members and two leaders (the other Constantinople)
Bush = SUCCEEDED in his FIRST PRIORITY - keeping this country safe on his watch.
Posted by That's a laugh, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm
"keeping this country safe on his watch"
I don't think the people in the twin towers felt particularly safe.
Then there are all those soldiers who died in Iraq to protect us from the WMD that we knew were there (and weren't).
Blaming the credit crisis on Fannie and Freddie is a joke. Tell me again how Fannie and Freddie caused AIG to write derivatives that caused them to collapse, requiring a $180 Billion bailout from TARP funds approved by Bush? Who was it that said we have to abandon capitalism to save capitalism?
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm
I Love It: Pointing out the influence of the Department of Education, being the federal government entity primarily responsible for the "rally round Obama" speech and initial political propagand, which is what caused concern among independent minded parents, is not an insignificant detail considering the differences between what Obama did and the 2 Republican presidents you mentioned did. The other specific differences I outlined earlier are also not insignificant. But have it your way. The main difference between Obama's speech and Reagan and Bush is that the Reagan/Bush policies were consistent with their message to school kids. Obama's are in complete opposition. Only government can solve our problems is his governing philosophy - not personal responsibility. You see? The problem is his dishonesty, lying, pretending. Obama went to a private school in Hawaii - yet today he tried to claim the mantle of the same depressing childhood of those who grew up in Chicago slums and foster care. The man is just not what he pretends to be.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:04 pm
right on and pleasanton parent. stop the nitpicking. emails and internet communication is casual. get with the program you stuck up school marms - hey by the way have you noticed that despite Democrat control of the education system in this country for the past 4 decades American kids don't test too well in comparisons nationally?
Posted by holiday or school, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:04 pm
If you are so interested in the 3 Rs (reading, writing & 'rithmetic) and your kid in the 4th (Recess), then why pull the kid out for the entire day. Obama didn't talk the entire day. You, who voted for an additional tax & making all of us pay lots of money for that extra vote, should certainly keep your kids in school. Each child out cost PUSD $30 each.
School should be teaching the basics and how to think for yourself. Yes, even elementary school kids can figure out things and not just parrot parents and teachers. If you cannot support the President of the United States (pulled your kid out), why didn't you write a note and say you want an alternative during the broadcast? Saves the school money.
My Girl Scout troop in 3rd grade did a mock UN. 1/2 the girls had money, the other 1/2 had disasters and one was the President of the UN. There was not enough money for all and more than 2 had to chip in to help any country fully. One special needs girl started. She gave some to each in need and kept some. She said she wanted to see what others would do before giving more. Her mom thought she might not understand. Seeing that mom was amazed. This girl definitely understood. We also learned about being or becoming a citizen and who could be president of the USA. Those girls will be voting soon. They were asking very good questions about school, health and wealth distribution back in 3rd grade. I hope they continue to do so.
Perhaps you should try to give your children similar chances.
I used to dread this time of year. In the month of March, Girl Scouts are out in force in their smart little green and brown uniforms selling cookies. There was a time I would buy a box from every girl I encountered as a payback for my positive scouting experience.
However, buying that box of cookies now presents a moral dilemma, as the Girl Scouts have become a training ground for the left-wing feminist agenda.
I used to get a knot in my stomach as I turned down these Girl Scouts. Last year I came up with a better plan. I began giving each girl who approached me a letter with an offer to give her troop $100 if it will change its affiliation to the American Heritage Girls. I greet the leader or parent with the girl and hand her information from the AHG website, along with my column "Confessions of a former Girl Scout" and my contact information.
(Column continues below)
I can still remember the pride I felt as I stood at attention in my crisp Girl Scout uniform to recite the promise:
On my honor, I will try:
To do my duty to God and my country,
To help other people at all times,
To obey the Girl Scout Laws.
How times have changed! Now God has an asterisk telling the girl that "it is OK to replace the word 'God' with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate."
The word "duty" (to God) has been replaced with "serve" and the new all-inclusive Girl Scouts are free to serve anyone, including themselves, which seems fitting after reviewing some of their materials that stress "girl empowerment" and moral relativism.
Is it any wonder that the "Covenant of the Goddess" website now boasts that the Girl Scouts allow its members to earn and wear its Over the Moon
and Hart and Crescent Award, offered to any young person who is a member of a nature-oriented religion (Wicca, Druid, Asatru, you name it)?
While the Boy Scouts have clung to their original God-centered charter, the Girl Scouts adopted a policy of nondiscrimination and now accepts atheists and lesbians as troop leaders and staff. In 2004, the Arcus Gay and Lesbian Fund gave a $21,500 grant to the Glowing Embers GS Council in Kalamazoo, Mich., to develop and produce a series of interactive games based on the new diversity (code word for homosexual) curriculum, "Living on My Honor"
The changes began in 1970 when feminist Betty Friedan was put on the national governing board. Soon afterward, the Girl Scouts began purging their materials of all positive references to homemakers. Partnerships with Planned Parenthood followed and the Girl Scouts begin showing up at gun control rallies like the Million Mom March. The Scouts have adopted a new global agenda under the Studio 2B program. The Scouts bemoan the fact that the United States has not signed the radical feminist treaty, the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which would force nations to legalize abortion and prostitution. Guess a girl has to make a living!
To earn the Women Worldwide Interest Project Patch, senior girls are asked to research women who have made an impact. Eve Ensler, the author of the "Vagina Monologues," and Rigoberta Menchu Tum, the lesbian Guatemalan Marxist activist, are held up as role models.
To be sure, there are many good people engaged in Girl Scouting, and the experience largely depends on the character of the local leader and the disposition of the area council. Local councils select area delegates. However, these delegates have no say in national policy. This presents a real conflict for most people of faith, especially since the Girl Scouts brought in the controversial New Age group the Ashland Institute to assist in leadership training.
Today, the American Heritage Girls is everything the Girl Scouts used to be. AHG began in 1995 and offers a scouting experience similar to the Boy Scouts of America. AHG's highest honor is the Stars and Stripes Award patterned after the BSA's Eagle award. It is not at all surprising that the Girl Scouts is losing members, while AHG is one of the fastest-growing youth organizations in America. AHG now boasts 185 troops and more than 6,300 members in 33 states with plans to expand to all 50 states in 2008.
Posted by Cathy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm
September 08, 2009
Alternative Discussion Questions for Barack Obama's School Address
Eric Richter (In "American Thinker")
Some real questions for students to ponder:
1) The Obama administration mixed calls to responsibility and public service with discussion guides encouraging students to discuss how to "help the President". They withdrew this wording after widespread protest. Hollywood friends of the Administration previously released a celebrity video mixing similar pledges to public service with pledges to be "a servant to our president".
a) Would you be willing to emulate the celebrity who pledged to be a "servant to our president"? How does this compare to the American idea of the President as servant of the people?
b) Do you consider these celebrities to be well-educated and informed in American civics?
c) Do you think the Obama administration has encouraged or discouraged the idea of pledging to serve a President? How does this compare with our pledge of allegiance to the Republic?
2) Washington D.C. had a school choice program to allow poor students to choose a private school if their assigned public school was failing educationally. President Obama sought to close the program to new students, but like many Washington elites he chose to send his daughters to an expensive private school attended by the children of rich and powerful people.
a) Should politicians and their families be required to live under the same laws and conditions they impose on everyone else?
b) What is the effect on American democracy of having a hereditary elite class that exempt themselves from the educational, tax, and healthcare programs they impose on others?
c) Would it help or hurt American democracy and society to have the freedom of school choice to enable poor kids to mix with rich kids?
d) Elucidate a position for or against the following argument: "School choice programs promote green goals by attracting families with students to live in the city instead of moving to the suburbs for schools, thus reducing pollution from commuter traffic."
3) The 10th Amendment to the Constitution specifies that the powers not delegated to the U.S. government are reserved to the states and the people. Under this system of federalism the primary authority for education is at the state and local level through elected school boards. The Obama administration chose to bypass these elected authorities and directly contact school principals to promote his speech.
a) Do you think this was respectful of state and local education authority and federalism?
b) Would you favor nationalizing education through the federal government, or do you prefer local control of schools? Which do you think provides the best defense of academic freedom and liberty?
4) American democratic tradition and law draw a distinction between political parties (which are private institutions) and the elected offices of the Executive and the Legislature (which are public institutions). This prevents the tyranny of one party controlling the assets of the government to destroy political opposition. President Obama has appropriated billions of our tax dollars for groups that mix social programs with partisan politics. One such group (ACORN) has been convicted of election fraud. He also urged federal art grant recipients to promote his political agenda.
a) Do you believe it violates the First Amendment to force taxpayers to contribute to political parties they do not support?
b) Do you think the Obama administration is trying to blur the line between private political parties and public institutions?
c) What happens to democracy if one party takes control of government resources to promote itself and prevent others from being heard?
d) What will happen to democracy and the country if political dissenters come to believe that elections are fraudulent?
e) Examine the Obama election campaign symbol (a private campaign symbol) and compare it to the symbol of the "stimulus program" (i.e. the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act", a public program).
i) Do you see similarities between these symbols?
ii) If so, do you think this was intentional or accidental?
iii) What political parties in 20th-century history mixed party symbolism with public/government symbolism? What was their attitude toward constitutional democracy?
iv) What was the outcome for nations where one party became the state?
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm
"Posted by jen, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, 4 hours ago
Hmmm...I thought Obama's speech was suppose to be about the schoolkids today. I've heard that in his speech he used the word "I..." no less than 56 times. 56.
The message was always going to be about Obama.
That is what dictators do...demand the spotlight be on them."
My 6th grader saw your comment jen- he is wondering what your logic and point really is. How is using the word "I" 56 times in a 10 min. speech making it all about him. My son said that you should pay attention to what he was saying, since you completely missed his point.
He also wanted you to know that the President said "you" 160 times making the 10 min. speech about those he was speaking to much more than about himself.
It is hard to be open minded when YOU are not listening.
Posted by Yo Mary, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm
Why do you think kids should be able to listen to Sarah Palin instead of Obama? Sarah Palin is a socialist. Sarah Palin was for the bailouts of companies like AIG with tax payer dollars. AIG operated a casino that couldn't pay off when the bets went bust. So Bush bailed them out. Sarah Palin said she supported the decision. Socialism for the rich.
Posted by Yo Brian, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm
Sarah Palin's speeches to school kids in Alaska have always been about her. That is how she operates. The is an ego maniac. Does she also want to be a dictator? She has proven that she is a socialist. Why would you want your children exposed to a speech by Sarah Palin?
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm
Humbert - just say no to contraception? I don't agree with that. Is it a religious point of view? If so, no problem since that is completely voluntary and not coerced by the gov't. What is the basis for your point of view? Really I'd like to know. I have heard that certain religious orgs. like traditional Muslims believe that, but I personally do not adhere to it.
Posted by Right On, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm
Mary, when you blog ad nauseum about pulling your kids out of school because of a ten minute speech, you open yourself up to an analysis of how you present yourself in terms of the things that they might have learned during the other six hours of school today, had they been there.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:39 pm
Posted by Rae, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, 11 hours ago
"LOL!! You're joking, right?
You want to hold Sarah Palin up as a role model for staying in school and graduating? The woman who, when embroiled in ethics complaints, quit on her constituents, and her state, halfway into her term of office?"
Rae: Sarah Palin is an exemplary role model. The ethics complaints, as you well know, were frivolous accusations by political opponents designed to distract and thwart her efforts as governor. Therefore, despite the fact that she loved her job and was good at it, she resigned leaving the furtherance of her policies in the capable hands of Sean Parnell who is continuing the excellent policies and direction that Sarah started. She is of more value now that she is free of the pettiness of her Alaskan political enemies, more effective in the lower 48, and a welcome counterweight of forward thinking, freedom loving, regular Americans to the despotic, soul crushing, economy ruining policies of the ass in office. She is also the complete opposite of Obama with regard to honoring and protecting innocent human life. He wouldn't even help babies born from botched abortions. He proposed that people should live out their days drugged with cheap pain killers instead of life enhancing corrective surgery. What a dichotomy - no joke.
Posted by Judy, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm
Jayne, Common Sense, Humbert, Mary, Rebecca, Jen, Just my Opinion, Conservative, Pleasanton Resident, Arroyo, Another Pleasanton Neighbor, Sick of Pleasanton Weekly, Hank, FC Watson, Susan, We stayed home, David, Kevin, Patriot, Another Patriot, Hahaha, Jan, John, Sue, Mike and any others I may have missed.
It was a pleasure reading your posts. It is, always, interesting viewing informed citizens' posts.
Remember: SOCIALISM CANNOT SURVIVE WITHIN CAPITALISM = Wait for the next speech!!
I've never visited this site and have no intention of revisiting. You Patriots keep up the good work!!! Keep quoting the facts and stay strong!!
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:17 pm
you are just the same old tired song and one of hate and envy. I hope you get what you wish for but please leave people who think differently than you alone. If you wish to have someone else raise your children it is your choice just as my choice is to raise my own children my way.
Posted by Whoa..., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 10:22 pm
I think you've crossed the line with your last post. Using an expletive to refer to the standing President of the United States is beyond the pale. Remember, it's all about the company you keep - you are a representative of your viewpoint and your behavior reflects on your "side."
Posted by Freddy, a member of the Lydiksen Elementary School community, on Sep 9, 2009 at 4:34 am
For OVER two years, on the campaign, then Senator Obama did everything in his power to destroy George Bush. For the past several months President Obama has not taken responsibility for his decisions and policies and their consequenses and continues to blame Bush for every problem. President Obama is not getting anything worse than he gave. This is sadly American politics. The chickens have come home to roost. He should just deal with it.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:29 am
You are viewing conservatives through the eyes of a media outlet that may view things in a completely different way. Assuming that all conservatives share "paranoid" traits is naive. I'd like to suggest that you learn how to research both sides of an issue and to make your own informed decisions.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:38 am
I don't see a problem with a school district choosing to offer students and parents a choice. Watch the President's speech or do an alternate learning activity. I don't think that anyone should be vilified for their choice.
What bothers me in all of this is not the fact that the president would be speaking to the school children, but that someone in his circle (the education secretary?) said that peoples' fears about this speech were "silly". Calling anyone's concerns "silly" raises a red flag. It's as if people are being criticized, albeit in a small way, for feeling negatively about the speech. That's certainly not something that is going to help Obama's image or his approval ratings. It would have been a far better move for that person to have said "We understand there are some concerns, but here is what the speech is really about..."
Why didn't that guy take the time to say something like that?
Posted by Rae, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:55 am
LOL!! You and Humbert should get a room . . . with Sarah Palin. Put your money where your mouth is and start the bidding on Ebay for a dinner with your "exemplary role model". Hey, it only takes $25,000 to start.
Of course, just like in her political life, she reserves the right not to show up, if, even after a full background check on the winner and guests, "in her sole discretion, the winning bidder is not a suitable bidder based on her subjective standards of suitability, professionalism, background and other factors."
Take your blinders off for a minute and just think what would have happened if she'd been elected as Vice President, or heaven forbid, had to take over as President. What if she was subject to the same "frivolous accusations by political opponents designed to distract and thwart her efforts" and the "pettiness of . . . political enemies", that President Obama is. She'd cut and run, just like she did on her constituents and her state, and may do to the winning bidder of her Ebay auction.
You're right. She's a perfect role model for all you Obama-haters.
Oh, and BTW, as an avid Palin supporter, of course you know that as Governor, Sarah Palin proclaimed "Health Care Decisions Day" on April 16, 2008. Kind of Alaska's own little "death panel" . . .
Posted by Jeffery H, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm
Come on folks it is/was a harmless speech to our children to study hard and stay in school.
We're blessed to live in American and to have a free 2 party system, but there are those who need to step away from the Fox News shows, the endless talk radio crap, and get a life. Contrary what you may hear on Hannity, Beck, O'Riley,....both parites love America, it's people, and our children. Repulician friends - you lost the election. Stop with the hating!
Posted by Jackie, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm
I am cracking up! It is absolutely hilarious to see the 'Leftys' on this comment track resort ONCE AGAIN to name calling and lies..
Sarah Palin was for the bailouts!? you people have got to be kidding.. just like the drive-by media who has been shoving the left agenda and half truths & ignorance down our throats for years + your leader (not mine I don't follow Commies), you lie and distort the truth instead of providing and paying attention to the FACTS..
Thank GOD for the internet and alternative media who uncovers the TRUTH!
And you all thought WE were silly to be concerned!
What can High School Students possibly do for him re: Healthcare? Oh yes.. SOME OF THEM WILL BE VOTING IN 2012! LOL! LOL! Indoctrination by a Commie! He pushed his Socialized Medicine agenda but forgot to tell the students that the quality of care in 'those' 36 countries is an abomination!
Posted by Love Palin, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm
Sarah Palin was asked why she supported TARP in a televised interview with Katie Couric. She provided an almost incomprehensible stream of consciousness justification for the bailouts even saying that it was about health care! Did you watch the interview? The position of the McCain/Palin ticket was to support TARP (the $700 billion bailout).
Posted by Juanita, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm
I have no idea why people keep talking about Bush and Palin as they are long gone and the new and significant danger is Obama, Biden, Pelosi, and Reid. The level of damage they are creating will take generations to correct so why aren't we focusing on the existing danger rather than living in the past?
Posted by Ed, a resident of another community, on Sep 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm
I am a conservative, but can never be a Republican because of their close-mindedness and this controversy highlights over and over their shortcoming of keeping an open mind: open to a black man as their president, open to diplomacy before preemptive war, open to move our country onto the right path after 8 destructive years.
I agree with Jeffery. Republicans are just butt hurt that they lost the election and are just acting like a bunch of sore losers. They only have themselves to blame for that, not Obama or the Dems. I say to them to suck it up and don't let your biases and your own failures get in the way of what's right for America and our children.
As for Ken Mettler calling the speech "highly intrusive federal manipulation:" are you serious? It was a speech to inspire kids to do well in school. Like we really want our kids to do poorly in school so that all our jobs can be shipped overseas to India and China.
Melson is not a little cuckoo, she's a nut case! She considers 10 parents calling the district office a strong showing that a lot of parents feels the same way as she does? Please...
Posted by Juanita, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm
Palin is insignificant and gone politically but Obama is outright dangerous at this point and I cannot figure out why you are so fixated on Palin when her approval ratings are in the 30's. obama is in office and everyday our economy gets weaker and weaker. You know many people who are doing well right now or many people who are optimistic about their prospects? I sure do not. We need to get someone in that office and running the government who is pro jobs and actually does something about it other than talking about green jobs which do not exist in serious numbers.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm
I really admire the Republicans/Conservatives who have openly admitted that they found no fault with the president's speech. You are excellent examples of your party! You analyze things case by case and do not regurgitate extremist comments originating out of extremist people. Good for you! I've said multiple times that I was no fan of George W., but I would have respected his right as leader of our country to address my children, in their *public* school, in an age appropriate speech. I have some major misgivings about GW's character, but likely my school aged children would have had no knowledge of that - they simply would have heard an inspiring speech from the man they know as President. I did not personally respect GW, but I respected his position. Perhaps I am jaded, but I don't think *anyone* reaches such a powerful level in government without some "questionable" traits.
For those so critical of Obama's character & claiming hypocrisy, do you interview your child's teacher every year? What do you know of their true characters? Maybe they have grades they are not proud of; a questionable past; current morals that differ from yours. What if you found out about these teacher's "indiscretions" - would you allow your child to continue in their classroom? Change teachers? Choose to home school? Should a parent who once experimented with drugs try to lecture their child on not doing drugs...or is that just too hypocritical? Would that lecture be less important or inspiring?
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm
Rae, if you had the ability to think you would see the very stark, very clear, very real and meaningful difference between Governor Palin encouraging people to on their own, voluntarily, with only themselves and if needed their chosen representatives, family or advocates come up with their own determination of health care decisions and choice of next of kin to make decisions in case of their own incapacity. The government advocating, paying for and mandating - in a health care bill whose main objective is to curtail medical care spending costs - end of life counseling is completely different. But you knew that, and like many other close minded hypocrites, prefer to not see the clear differences and gruesome implications.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Golden Eagle neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm
You make some really great points. I think everyone at some point in their life has made some "questionable decisions"......who are we to judge? There is no possible way to shelter your kids from everything and if you try, you are doing these kids a great disservice.
Maybe if we stopped focusing on everyone's faults and started focusing on the positives, people would be a lot more productive.
Posted by Jayne, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm
Ed, your comment is complete b.s. Republicans have no problem with a black man as president and your making that the first line of offense in your post shows you're bogus. Conservatives, true conservatives, object to the most left wing, unexamined by the media, radical inexperienced man as president. And everything he has done and tried to do since inauguration is big government, support socialists like Castro and Chavez, and run around the world apologizing for America. So don't call yourself a conservative - if you think you are, you don't know the meaning of the word.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm
For those of you who love slinging insults, do you truly expect anyone to listen to you? Jayne, you have some nerve saying to Rae: "if you had the ability to think". First, I've read Rae's comments and they definitely show the intelligence of someone "able to think". Second, I know we aren't supposed to pay attention to anyone's grammar, but my GOD...your sentence structure (or lack thereof) makes your "points" almost impossible to decipher. I feel justified pointing out the irony of your poor grammar in a post where you insult someone's intelligence.
If that weren't enough, you call her a "close minded hypocrite".
Your insults to Rae weren't enough! You decide that you know better than Ed HIMSELF, whether or not he is a "Conservative". Not only are you the sole decider of what entails "being a Conservative", you can also speak for ALL Republicans! How can you possibly submit the following sentence as a fact: "Republicans have no problem with a black man as president". And again, I'm left amazed at the irony that you are insulting the intelligence of other posters!
Resident, despite this post (I just couldn't stop myself) you are correct - we should stop focusing on faults. I do believe that it is okay to make judgments. A huge part of my job is observing and making judgment calls. There are many people paid large sums of money for their "judgments". I just think that we need to focus on resolving problems, not creating more of them. Likening our president's speech to Hitler addressing the masses simply creates more problems than it solves (which by the way = zero).
Posted by Love Palin, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 8:49 pm
How can you support Sarah Palin if you don't like socialists? Palin supported biggest socialist program of the century -- The $700 billion bailout of failed companies. She even went on TV to support it. It was the government taking money from people who earned it and giving it to people who didn't earn it.
Posted by Love Palin, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2009 at 9:29 pm
So you mean Obama is "the socialist", but Palin is just a socialist. I'm having trouble seeing the distinction. Maybe you mean that you just want socialism for the very wealthy (Like Sarah Palin's support for bailouts), as opposed to Obama's socialism for the masses.
Posted by cbrook, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 10, 2009 at 9:21 am
Wow Pleasanton is full of comments and digs to one another, why not just agree to disagree?
Last week the Official White House website only had the classroom assignments posted for the speech, but no speech. I looked at this and called Amador. I was told that all the teachers had access to the speech for the duration of the day and potentially students would have to listen to it for all 6 periods. Based on this information I was prepared to keep my child home. By Friday the White House had pulled the assignments due to complaints and announced it would have the speech for preview on Monday. Progress was made! I am glad things got changed, even if by Friday the teachers should have already had a lesson plan for Tuesday and most parents already planned an extra long weekend. The White House should have had this information out a week before!
The speech was long (18 minutes), not age appropriate for for grade school kids and the role models cited not too inspiring.
I would rather our children had an extra 18 minutes of Math or Science!
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm
I just don't have time to read all the posts...someone thought 18 minutes was too long a speech for grade school children?? Now you're really getting picky! I'd say that might be long for preschoolers & *possibly* younger kindergartners. How long are those sunday sermons you take your children to? How long do you think the average lessons in school are? Geez, 18 minutes is less time than a sit-com if you fast forward the commercials!
Posted by Lisa B, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Sep 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm
I had no idea that this many members of the lunatic fringe lived in the area! A back to school speech about working hard and doing your best in school by the President of the United States is an occasion for outrage?? Do you have any idea how paranoid and out of touch with reality you sound? Wait, that would require clear thinking.... What are you teaching your children when they see you wildly overreact like this? All the justifications and sad attempts at the moral high-ground can't disguise the hatred, people.
It's not about the children, unfortunately. It's about how angry and misguided the parents are, though they are acting out like children. It's not too late! You can still learn to act like civil adults who don't believe everything the apoplectic political talk show host tells you!
Posted by Jay, a resident of another community, on Sep 19, 2009 at 4:49 am
Gee am I glad I live in a calmer community. So much angst in Pleasanton, the city's name is becoming quite ironic. I'm retired from a fulfilling military career, and I'm truly embarassed by my neighbors that have wrapped themselves in our flag and hurled insults at the President for even this matter. Disagree with him on taxes or other specific initiatives...but like a sucessful military unit, pick your battles and allies with care. Don't let those that unquestioningly revere resigned-governor Palin's and Mr. Beck's ill researched commentaries ruin the potentially positive aspects of your movement.
Posted by Patriot Liberal, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm
IF I saw this type of communication taking place in a high school debate class, not only would I be in shock, I would suggest calling in outside HELP!
With the average level of education and ability of Pleasantonians to hold down good jobs, to get along with co workers and be such great parent role models, It is way beyond me why WE feel it's o.k. to speak to and treat one another the way we do on these forums?
How about a little respect and civility. YES, I admit I am human and have let my own emotions get the best of me at times, but to remain in constant conflict with my fellow community members is just not healthy.