Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The president's dog ate my homework.

"I'm an American. I don't have to see something to know it's stupid."
- Tom Smothers
President Barack Obama is going to address public school children today in a televised address that some are opposing ... before they heard it, which I suppose is one of our inalienable rights as um ... Americans. The White House released the text of the speech on Monday, but for the two weeks or so prior, that didn't stop right-thinking Americans (emphasis on the right) from speaking out in opposition to something they have only heard about.
"As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education - it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
Some conservatives, driven by radio pundits and bloggers, are urging schools and parents to boycott the address. They say Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools.
Districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.
Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer said in a statement he was "absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology." Despite his rhetoric, two of the larger Florida districts, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough, plan to have classes watch the speech. Students whose parents object will not have to watch.
The full text of the speech can be found here, and these are some selected passages that the kids will hear if their parents will allow it:
At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work.
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
What horrible things to tell children. Work hard, dedicate yourself and make the best of your education. God forbid they work at something. I suppose it would be acceptable to tell kids they can win the lottery, a big lawsuit or succeed at something because they have it fall in their laps. I can see why some Americans would oppose the president's speech to children.
It might make them realize what lazy shiftless people their parents are, and we need to keep children in the dark about that; or that they actually have to do something in school besides send text messages, go to social events or spend their parents' money on the prom.
Tonight's Pick-6 is worth $47 million, American Idol auditions are opening soon and if you get sick from smoking cigarettes you can sue the people who sold them to you.
God Bless America.

1 comment:

jerry bates said...

Very inspirational speech I loved how he aimed for our kids of today to plan for tomorrow, its not giving them political empowerment or guiding them in the wrong direction as the media portrayed but its giving them hope that through all the struggles and storms you may cross you will come out the hero In the end way to go Mr. President.