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  #1  
Old 09-04-2009, 12:20 PM
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Default Obama's Speech to Schoolchildren

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:

Quote:
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 -- the topic and pitch for the speech.

Optional assignments and activities for teachers - Pre-K to 6th grade

Optional assignments and activities for teachers - 7th to 12th grade
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2009, 12:47 PM
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People are stupid...that is all.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2009, 01:09 PM
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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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinistrum
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?
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:27 PM
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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...
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
collective attitude of personal responsibility
Oxymoron much?
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2009, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinistrum
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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brita
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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
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.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinistrum
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 in the year 2006/2007 was 9.3 %. The US high school drop out rate 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.
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2009, 02:10 PM
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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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:16 PM
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Honestly, people are idiots.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matoyak
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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davian93
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?
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinistrum
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.

Quote:
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.
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  #18  
Old 09-04-2009, 02:45 PM
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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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:55 PM
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~drags out ESC couch~

This should get interesting.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:05 PM
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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.
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