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JSUCamel
09-04-2009, 01:20 PM
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

For those who don't know, President Obama is intending to broadcast a speech to schools across America. The announced purpose of the speech is to encourage students to stay in school.

Naturally, there are opponents who think he's going to brainwash the students into becoming liberal socialists. And there are others who wholeheartedly support his speech.

An excerpt from Whitehouse.gov:

Help get America’s students engaged! On Tuesday, September 8 — the first day of school for many students — the President will talk directly to students across the country on the importance of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals and do everything they can to succeed. We want to make sure that as many schools and classrooms nationwide can participate in this special opportunity, so we are making the President’s address and all the information that comes with it available as widely as possible. Whether you are a teacher, a school board member, or a member of the media, find information below to help you watch and be engaged with the President in welcoming our students back to school.

What are your thoughts?

Here are some links to help you out with being, you know, informed:

My Education My Future (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/My-Education-My-Future/) -- the topic and pitch for the speech.

Optional assignments and activities for teachers - Pre-K to 6th grade (http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/lessons/prek-6.pdf)

Optional assignments and activities for teachers - 7th to 12th grade (http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/lessons/7-12.pdf)

Davian93
09-04-2009, 01:47 PM
People are stupid...that is all.

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 02:09 PM
Aside from puffing up the importance of Obama and this speech in particular (and lets face it, almost every President would probably do that), and the ultimate irony of an extremely liberal president giving a speech on personal responsibility, I don't see anything truly objectionable here in the materials presented. Of course, I'd need to see the actual text of the speech before I could completely make up my mind.

Brita
09-04-2009, 02:14 PM
and the ultimate irony of an extremely liberal president giving a speech on personal responsibility,

I think I know where you are coming from in this statement, I am assuming it is in regards to his "socialist" leanings?

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 02:18 PM
I think I know where you are coming from in this statement, I am assuming it is in regards to his "socialist" leanings?

Yeah pretty much. I consider those kinds of policies to be the antithesis of personal responsibility.

Brita
09-04-2009, 02:27 PM
Coming from a country that has strong social tendencies, that is successful and prosperous, and by all means demontrates a collective attitude of personal responsibility, you gotta know I strongly disagree with your stance on this... :)

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 02:32 PM
collective attitude of personal responsibility

Oxymoron much?

Brita
09-04-2009, 02:35 PM
Oxymoron much?

LOL!

"Resistance is futile".

What I mean is that our culture supports and promotes personal responsibilty, even though we also have a socialistic philosophy. You seem to think the two can't co-exist, and I live in a country that manages to achieve both, and there are many other countries like mine.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 02:36 PM
LOL!

"Resistance is futile".

What I mean is that our culture supports and promotes personal responsibilty, even though we also have a socialistic philosophy. You seem to think the two can't co-exist, and I live in a country that manages to achieve both, and there are many other countries like mine.

They also have moose...something to think about.

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 02:39 PM
What I mean is that our culture supports and promotes personal responsibilty, even though we also have a socialistic philosophy. You seem to think the two can't co-exist, and I live in a country that manages to achieve both, and there are many other countries like mine.

I would disagree on the first part regarding promoting personal responsibility. Simply put, I don't think your country promotes it as much you would like to think it does.

Brita
09-04-2009, 02:52 PM
I would disagree on the first part regarding promoting personal responsibility. Simply put, I don't think your country promotes it as much you would like to think it does.

That may be true in a lot of ways. However, in the context of this thread (i.e a "liberal" politician encourgaing personal responsibnility to stay in school), Canada's highschool drop-out rate (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/71-222-x/2008001/sectionf/f-dropout-abandon-eng.htm) in the year 2006/2007 was 9.3 %. The US high school drop out rate (http://edlabor.house.gov/newsroom/2009/05/high-school-dropout-crisis-thr.shtml)in the school year 2006 is 33 %.

I suspect we cherish personal responsibilty more than you give us credit for.

EDIT- added some sources, which is usually helpful.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 03:10 PM
Canada's system works a lot better than ours.

However, and its a huge caveat, they don't have nearly the pressures we do. For one, we pay for their military defense for all intents and purposes. Two, they dont have the major issues we do like immigration. So we have to spend a lot more money on thsoe things that we could easily put into social programs and catchup to the rest of the Western world.

Still, Canada is doing a lot of things right.

Matoyak
09-04-2009, 03:16 PM
Honestly, people are idiots.

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 03:18 PM
Canada's highschool drop-out rate in the year 2006/2007 was 9.3 %. The US high school drop out rate in the school year 2006 is 33 %.

Link or it didn't happen. Assuming in arguendo that the stats you quoted are true, we also have a larger and more diverse population than you do (and I'm not just talking about race) which would account for a large portion of the statistical disparity.

Furthermore drop out rates, by themselves, aren't indicative of one country being more responsible than the other. I think its pretty much universally agreed that dropping out isn't a good idea, but that its still a personal choice. I think its more telling about how Canada embraces personal responsibility to see how they deal with the consequences attached to that 9% making the decision to drop out. Do you let them fail as the result of their own stupidity or do you come in and wipe their asses for them, even though they've proven themselves to be complete morons? If the answer is the latter, then you really don't believe in personal responsibility.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 03:20 PM
Honestly, people are idiots.

You cannot emphasize that enough. The problem with the United States (well one of them) is that since the end of the Cold War, we have allowed our great diversity to become one of our greatest weaknesses. Before that, it was our diversity that made us a powerful nation that was fairly respected. 9/11 put it on pause for a little bit but it has since gone back to full-strength. Our Congress does not have a middle ground anymore, there is no compromise on any issue. It is extreme Right and extreme Left. I blame the FoxNews type of journalism for sowing hatred of the other side. People can't have rational discussions about issues they disagree with anymore. Modern journalism is destroying us as it promotes this sad new phase of our democracy.

Ivhon
09-04-2009, 03:32 PM
You cannot emphasize that enough. The problem with the United States (well one of them) is that since the end of the Cold War, we have allowed our great diversity to become one of our greatest weaknesses. Before that, it was our diversity that made us a powerful nation that was fairly respected. 9/11 put it on pause for a little bit but it has since gone back to full-strength. Our Congress does not have a middle ground anymore, there is no compromise on any issue. It is extreme Right and extreme Left. I blame the FoxNews type of journalism for sowing hatred of the other side. People can't have rational discussions about issues they disagree with anymore. Modern journalism is destroying us as it promotes this sad new phase of our democracy.


But...sowing hatred brings out the nutjobs, and the nutjobs pull ratings, and ratings = profits and profits = capitalism. So how can that be bad?

Brita
09-04-2009, 03:32 PM
Link or it didn't happen. Assuming in arguendo that the stats you quoted are true, we also have a larger and more diverse population than you do (and I'm not just talking about race) which would account for a large portion of the statistical disparity.

Done!

Furthermore drop out rates, by themselves, aren't indicative of one country being more responsible than the other. I think its pretty much universally agreed that dropping out isn't a good idea, but that its still a personal choice. I think its more telling about how Canada embraces personal responsibility to see how they deal with the consequences attached to that 9% making the decision to drop out. Do you let them fail as the result of their own stupidity or do you come in and wipe their asses for them, even though they've proven themselves to be complete morons? If the answer is the latter, then you really don't believe in personal responsibility.

There are certainly factors and diversity to consider. All I am railing against in your implication that it is ultimately an absurd irony that any "liberal" or "socialist minded" person would promote personal responsibility.

I am not even saying one way is right and one way is wrong. Both capatilism and socialism have their pros and cons, their good philosophy and bad.

Simply put, to state that a liberal president promoting personal responsibilty is "ultimately ironic" is a false statement. As if someone who is "liberal" or "social minded" can never speak of the importance of personal responsibilty because they will automatically be considered a hypocrite.

Our Congress does not have a middle ground anymore, there is no compromise on any issue. It is extreme Right and extreme Left.

Exactly, and stating that liberal politics are the "kinds of policies to be the antithesis of personal responsibility" is a polar statement that doesn't allow any middle ground or converging of ideals.

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 03:45 PM
As if someone who is "liberal" or "social minded" can never speak of the importance of personal responsibilty because they will automatically be considered a hypocrite.

Um yeah its pretty much that way IMHO. It is hypocritical to me for someone to talk about the importance of being personally responsible and then go ahead and absolve people for the consequences of many of their choices through the policies they enact. Furthermore, the justifications for many of those policies revolve around blaming someone or something else (corporations, the white man, rich people, fate, society, parents, heavy metal music, violent video games, fast food restaurants, inanimate objects like guns, the list goes on) for those consequences. So yeah, it is totally hypocritical to me for someone who is "socially minded" to preach on personal responsibility because the content of their actions completely contradict that idea.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 03:55 PM
~drags out ESC couch~

This should get interesting.

Brita
09-04-2009, 04:05 PM
Um yeah its pretty much that way IMHO. It is hypocritical to me for someone to talk about the importance of being personally responsible and then go ahead and absolve people for the consequences of many of their choices through the policies they enact.

The intent is not to absolve anyone. Social policies are meant to be a saftey net in the time of dire need, not a neverhending handout to anyone whio is too lazy to take care of themselves.

Furthermore, the justifications for many of those policies revolve around blaming someone or something else (corporations, the white man, rich people, fate, society, parents, heavy metal music, violent video games, fast food restaurants, inanimate objects like guns, the list goes on) for those consequences.

Shit happens. To the best of us. These policies are meant to help our countrymen when shit befalls them, because such is life.

So yeah, it is totally hypocritical to me for someone who is "socially minded" to preach on personal responsibility because the content of their actions completely contradict that idea.

Meh- we'll never agree. It is a fundamental difference in philosophy. I value our social programs and personal responsibility both. I don't mind helping someone out who needs it through my taxes and government, because it may be me one day.

But, I also fully realise that, due to human nature, this help will be abused and misused. It's a failing I am willing to live with.

I can understand your viewpoint in that you may not be willing to live with the failings of this system, if fact I can fully appreciate this. Yet, you seem unwilling to even try to see a) social policies are not meant to absolve or replace personal responsibility and b) these two ideals can go hand in hand in one entity (be it person or politics). So unwilling, that you would label a social minded person a hypocrite if they even dare talk about the importance of personal responsibility. Pretty much a discussion-ender, really.

Ivhon
09-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Meh- we'll never agree. It is a fundamental difference in philosophy. I value our social programs and personal responsibility both. I don't mind helping someone out who needs it through my taxes and government, because it may be me one day.

But, I also fully realise that, due to human nature, this help will be abused and misused. It's a failing I am willing to live with.

I can understand your viewpoint in that you may not be willing to live with the failings of this system, if fact I can fully appreciate this. Yet, you seem unwilling to even try to see a) social policies are not meant to absolve or replace personal responsibility and b) these two ideals can go hand in hand in one entity (be it person or politics). So unwilling, that you would label a social minded person a hypocrite if they even dare talk about the importance of personal responsibility. Pretty much a discussion-ender, really.

You fail to realize. There is Sini's point of view. All else is to be ridiculed.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Abuse will always occur, regardless of the economic and social system. Its a question of whether you'd rather see Big Business rape the system or see a bunch of poor people abuse the system. Why is one held up to be great and the other ripped as evil Communism or Socialism?

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 04:19 PM
Social policies are meant to be a saftey net in the time of dire need

A safety net that does absolutely nothing to recognize whether a person caught in it contributed to his needing it or not.

Shit happens. To the best of us. These policies are meant to help our countrymen when shit befalls them, because such is life.

See my point about blaming something else, ie fate. There is always something someone could have done to avoid shit happening. Always. You can't always control what happens to you but you can ALWAYS control how you react to it. The only people who ever truly get screwed by life are those who let it screw them.

I don't mind helping someone out who needs it through my taxes and government, because it may be me one day.

I do because I don't think the vast majority of the people in the world deserve my help.

bowlwoman
09-04-2009, 04:20 PM
At least it's not teaching to a test.

bowlwoman
09-04-2009, 04:21 PM
~drags out ESC couch~

This should get interesting.

Scoot over? I'll bring the cheese popcorn.

Brita
09-04-2009, 04:28 PM
Scoot over? I'll bring the cheese popcorn.

~~Hops on~~

~~Looks around~~

What? Oh, you thought I was going to be half the show? Nah, it's 4:30 on a Friday, long weekend ahead of me, brain has officially shut down. Pass me a rum and coke, please, double strength.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 04:28 PM
~~Hops on~~

~~Looks around~~

What? Oh, you thought I was going to be half the show? Nah, it's 4:30 on a Friday, long weekend ahead of me, brain has officially shut down. Pass me a rum and coke, please, double strength.

~fetches~

Enjoy~

And have a great long weekend!

Sei'taer
09-04-2009, 05:22 PM
~fetches~

Enjoy~

And have a great long weekend!

Going to Huey's (http://hueyburger.com/) after work. Beer me, 'Keep.

Crispin's Crispian
09-04-2009, 05:31 PM
A safety net that does absolutely nothing to recognize whether a person caught in it contributed to his needing it or not.

Well, you can't win 'em all.

There is always something someone could have done to avoid shit happening. Always. You can't always control what happens to you but you can ALWAYS control how you react to it. The only people who ever truly get screwed by life are those who let it screw them.
Wow. How naive are you? I sure as shit hope nothing horrific ever happens to you, because the psychological shock would be heard round the world.

I do because I don't think the vast majority of the people in the world deserve my help.How magnanimous of you.

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 05:41 PM
Wow. How naive are you? I sure as shit hope nothing horrific ever happens to you, because the psychological shock would be heard round the world.

Ok, assuming for the sake of argument, that you're right and horrible things happen to people that they can neither avoid nor do anything to overcome. Lets assume also that such a thing happens to me. How does that translate into you, Brita, Davian, and everyone else on this board, in the country, and this world having a government mandated duty to help me out of it? Live and let die is the way of the world. Anything else is just personal preference, not moral imperative.

How magnanimous of you.

The world is not a magnanimous place. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something. And oh btw, it was primarily the people you are now demanding that I turn around and help at government gun point that taught me this.

Crispin's Crispian
09-04-2009, 06:10 PM
Ok, assuming for the sake of argument, that you're right and horrible things happen to people that they can neither avoid nor do anything to overcome. Lets assume also that such a thing happens to me. How does that translate into you, Brita, Davian, and everyone else on this board, in the country, and this world having a government mandated duty to help me out of it? Live and let die is the way of the world. Anything else is just personal preference, not moral imperative.



The world is not a magnanimous place. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something. And oh btw, it was primarily the people you are now demanding that I turn around and help at government gun point that taught me this.To quote the Jokeslayer, just because it is that way doesn't mean it should be that way.

I'll be the first to tell you that, in most cases, the world sucks. But I'll also be happy to stand in line to make it better.

Davian93
09-04-2009, 06:26 PM
~fetches beer for Taer~

Enjoy.

Sinistrum
09-04-2009, 06:36 PM
To quote the Jokeslayer, just because it is that way doesn't mean it should be that way.

I'll be the first to tell you that, in most cases, the world sucks. But I'll also be happy to stand in line to make it better.

That's fine and I agree to a certain extent. Just because I think most people out there aren't worth my help doesn't mean there aren't those who are out there. However, that doesn't give either you or me the right enlist government guns to point at everyone else to get them to go along with it. Just because you want to make the world better doesn't mean you get to use the threat of force to drag everyone else along with you. And make no mistake about it, that is precisely what you are doing when you institute government social programs. You remove the element of choice about helping at all or who gets help from who.

Terez
09-04-2009, 07:04 PM
I think I will hop on the couch for this one.

Do you have coffee Dav?

Also, the protesting against this speech is retarded. Even Sini seems to recognize that, so all is well.

*sits on couch*

Ivhon
09-04-2009, 07:28 PM
Of course, the missus has violently opinionated parents on both sides of the issue.

Terez
09-04-2009, 07:33 PM
There's a poll going around Facebook, and while I expected the usual Republican ideologues to have a problem with it, there was one girl that voted 'no' (as in, it shouldn't be allowed) that surprised me. She seems pretty level-headed most of the time. So I commented on it, and asked her, 'just out of curiosity...why?' I haven't gotten a response yet...I just think it is too easy for those who are normally apathetic about politics to buy into the crap that's being put out by the conservative media - he's trying to brainwash our children! Whatever...yeah, children are impressionable...which is exactly why it's a good idea for Obama to use his cult of personality for STUFF LIKE THIS. ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO STAY IN SCHOOL FOR THE BIWIDNB'S SAKE!

JSUCamel
09-04-2009, 08:34 PM
I've yet to hear a logical reason why. From all official accounts, this is a non-partisan "Stay in School" encouragement speech. Why would it turn into a partisan brainwashing speech?

The main argument I've heard against it is that Obama is "forcing" students to listen to his speech, which is patently absurd on a variety of levels:

1) It's not mandatory (teachers can opt out)
2) The suggested assignments are not mandatory (teachers can opt out)
3) Obama doesn't get the final say about what the students walk away with from this experience.

Do you see who has the most power in this situation, who has the most chance to influence these kids? It's rather obvious when you think about it: the teacher.

If the conservatives are concerned about other people brainwashing and influencing their children without their permission, they should look to the teachers first. But nobody interviews and grills their children's teachers to the same extent that they're grilling Obama on this issue.

One of the questions that the conservatives are complaining about is on the Pre-K to 6th grade "assignment" sheet. It asks "What is the President trying to tell me to do?" Conservatives are suggesting that it's going to tell the kids they have to do what he tells them.


It could easily go this way:

Teacher: "What is the President trying to tell you?"
1st Grade Student: "To stay in school?"
Teacher: "No... he's telling you that he's smart and you're stupid, because he's black and you're white."

or maybe even:

Teacher: "No... he's telling you that you should tell your parents to support the health-care reform because it's the right thing to do!"

or maybe even:

Teacher: "No... he's telling you to do something bad, so you shouldn't listen to him at all. Instead, listen to Glenn Beck."

or maybe (gasp) even:

Teacher: "Yes! And why is staying in school important?"

As you can see, the teacher gets to make all of the decisions here: whether to show the speech at all, whether to do the assignments, and she very heavily influences what the students will walk away with.

And they're afraid of Obama talking?

Sei'taer
09-04-2009, 10:31 PM
I'd give you my opinion on why those people feel that way but I've had way to much to drink and I just don't feel like fucking with it.