9.06.2009

Dan Just Wants People to Discuss the Real Issues

This is Dan and I'm going to get political. This post isn't about supporting one side or another. It's about using lies and fear instead of meaningful intelligent discussion and I know that both parties do it. I apologize for the length - I pasted full quotes so you don't have to visit the links.

You may have heard that President Obama is giving a speech to schoolchildren in a couple of days. I have been following this in a few news articles and I decided to look into it a little more today. Apparently a number of states/school disctricts have banned the viewing of the speech due to Republican outcy.

The US Department of Education stated the following about the speech:


(http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html)

"During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation's children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning."

They also released some Q and A about the speech:

"Q: What is the speech about?

A: The goal of the speech and classroom activities is to challenge students to set goals, work hard and stay in school. This isn't a policy speech.

Q: Who came up with the idea?

A: The White House and Department of Education collaborated

Q: Is it mandatory?

A: No. The Department is inviting schools to show the address. The choice is entirely up to schools and their communities.

Q: Would the administration be willing to release the speech in advance of its delivery?

A: Yes. The speech will be released on Monday and delivered on Tuesday.

Q: Has any other President done something like this?

A: In 1991 President Bush addressed the nation's students on live television from an American history classroom at Deal Junior High, in Washington, D.C."

To summarize: The President wants to promote education and setting goals, something that President Bush Sr. did during his term. It's specifically not a policy speech.

Here is what the Republican Party of Florida(Jim Greer) has to say about this event. This is currently a featured story on their homepage with the headline "Greer Condemns Obama's Attempt to Indoctrinate Students ":


(http://www.rpof.org/article.php?id=754)

"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.

"While I support educating our children to respect both the office of the American President and the value of community service, I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates.

"Public schools can't teach children to speak out in support of the sanctity of human life or traditional marriage. President Obama and the Democrats wouldn't dream of allowing prayer in school. Christmas Parties are now Holiday Parties. But, the Democrats have no problem going against the majority of American people and usurping the rights of parents by sending Pied Piper Obama into the American classroom.

The Democrats have clearly lost the battle to maintain control of the message this summer, so now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."

Apparently the Republican Party read something different on the Department of Education's website than I did. The Oregonian contacted them an asked for the sources that led them to believe Obama would discuss issues such as taxes, banks, healthcare and the automobile industry and they had none. Mr. Greer's comment appears to be an outright lie and the Republican Party has not only failed to retract the statement, but they are featuring it on their homepage.

Aside from what this particular comment, other Republicans have raised concerns about the optional class activity that teachers could do with their classes after the speech. They claim it is designed to force students to write a letter about how they are going to support his policies. This is a direct snippet from the (again, optional) worksheet on the Department of Education's website. Keep in mind that this will follow a speech about the importance of education and setting goals, not a political speech about a policy:



"After the Speech

•Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes, or place notes on a butcher‐paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, such as citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty.
•Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
What do you think the president wants us to do?
Does the speech make you want to do anything?
Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
What would you like to tell the president?

Extension of the Speech
Teachers could extend learning by having students:
•Create posters of their goals. Posters could be formatted in quadrants, puzzle pieces, or trails marked with the following labels: personal, academic, community, and country. Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in that area. It might make sense to focus first on personal and academic goals so that community and country goals can be more readily created.
•Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short‐term and long‐term education goals. Teachers would collect and redistribute these letters at an appropriate later date to enable students to monitor their progress.
•Write goals on colored index cards or precut designs to post around the classroom.
•Interview one another and share goals with the class to create a supportive community.
•Participate in school‐wide incentive programs or contests for those students who achieve their goals.
•Write about their goals in a variety of genres, such as poems, songs, and personal essays.
•Create artistic projects based on the themes of their goals.
•Graph individual progress toward goals."

It is discusses doing what President Obama is asking them to do, which is actually very specific and non political given the context of the assignment. I know the answer to the question! He wants them to set goals for their education. This is not asking them to serve him or agree with his socialist agenda. The Department of Education made it very clear that this is not about policies. It would be political suicide for Obama if he crossed that line. I think it's ridiculous that any part of this would be made into something controversial and scary. Perhaps you still have an issue with the whole thing and you're going to keep your kid at home...go ahead that's your right, but I don't think anyone truthfully say that this is being fairly represented by the Republican Party. I guess we can all watch it or read it tomorrow and see what all the fuss is about.

Many people disagree with Obama about different issues: universal healthcare, cash for clunkers, gay rights, abortion, gun control, global warming, the earth being more than 6000 years old, etc. There is nothing wrong with having a different view and there is a lot of healthy debate going on about those issues. I personally feel that it's wrong to get everybody terrified about a speech that is strictly about promoting education and setting goals. I also think it's wrong to call the President a terrorist, Nazi, Communist, etc. I am a registered Republican and I'm generally for limited government, but I will not support anyone who makes statements like these. I really hope that we can turn all of the garbage into a meaningful discussion about specific policies, and that we can seek to build and not destroy our political system.

If you receive some political literature in your inbox, here is a simple set of questions to ask yourself before you forward it to me:

  1. Could this be a lie?
  2. Would I feel like a liar if I read this out loud?
  3. Does the writer of this content appear to be more of an angry liar than a constructive, informed citizen?
  4. Do I just want my party to win, even if that means lying?
  5. Am I Jim Greer?
If any of these questions make you say "yes", "maybe" or "kindof," you may not be helping your cause.

46 comments:

Hoppers said...

I totally agree with you. I think it is crazy for people to get upset about their President wanting to encourage our kids! Let's watch it first and then decide. Heavens to betsy!

Courtney B said...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

this speech is nothing but inspiring.

i hope Jim Greer makes an apology statement. unless he is offended by The President telling kids to wash their hands. how dare he tell us what to do! (sarcasm)

Darcy Taylor said...

Couldn't agree more. Chris and I were talking about this craziness just this morning.

Anonymous said...

Courtney, the how to wash your hands and sneeze properly comments came from Obama's recent speech regarding the swine flu. There is nothing wrong with Obama making those comments, except some people feel the president has more important things to do with his valuable time than give basic hygiene advice, and that the swine flu is less of a threat than regular seasonal flu. Some people feel it was a speech that created unnecessary fear/panic about the swine flu (they are telling people 50% of all Americans will get the swine flu and thousands will die). I don't know enough about swine flu to have an opinion, but I was just bringing that up yesterday as another topic people have been debating regarding what a President's duties are (or should be). I don't think this speech was big deal, but it's worth discussing what each of us thinks the government's role should be in our lives, and what the President should do personally, as opposed to what he could delegate to other capable people. He's the leader of the free world, with limited time. -Greg

Courtney B said...

Greg,
I just spent some time watching and reading speeches Obama gave about the swine flu and I have no idea what you are even talking about. He is telling the people what precautions his administration is taking to prevent the spread of the flu. If you remember, people were really worried about the swine flu, they were closing schools. He does say in one speech that people should do what they would with any other flu "wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home from work if your sick" ... taking about 2 seconds of his 4 minute speech. What I get out of the speech is that he is fulfilling his presidential duties in addressing the nation about the h1n1 flu, making them feel better by the steps being taken. He says he doesn't want people to be alarmed, he wants them to be prepared.

I am curious who this "they" are that you speak of telling Americans that 50% of people will become infected. I have yet to hear or see that. I'd love to... because I agree, they should not be making everyone fearful.

And personally, I think it's ridiculous for people to spend THEIR time finding any little thing they can to criticize Obama, especially if this is what they come up with. There are way bigger fish to fry.

Anonymous said...

It's all over the place:

"Up to half of the U.S. population could contract swine flu this upcoming flu season, killing up to 90,000 people and hospitalizing 1.8 million, according to a report released by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology" http://www.ethiopianreview.com/scitech/507

This came from the White House although many health experts feel the Swine flu is even less of a threat than the seasonal flu.
I was just repeating comments I've heard from both Republicans AND Democrats this week that they felt the President could have someone else address issues like the swine flu. You said you think it's a "presidential duty" to address things like that. A lot of people do not agree. Otherwise, we could be getting health updates from the President on a weekly basis about every other virus/disease which is more of a risk than the swine flu. There is nothing wrong with what the president said in his speech, but that doesn't mean it was his "presidential duty" to say it. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. That's the debate that people are having right now, and I was just saying that it's a debate worth having, "What are the President's duties and what are not?" -Greg

Anonymous said...

Here's another article about the whit house swine flu announcement that agrees with you guys that government should be careful not to create unnecessary panic.

http://www.geneveith.com/half-of-americans-will-get-swine-flu-and-90000-will-die/_3143/

It's one thing to be cautious about the economy, terrorism, global warming, epidemics, etc. It's another to get everyone scared to promote political agendas. Both sides are consistently guilty of this.

Anonymous said...

Seems the trend the last few years has been to get people scared, and then pass huge new legislation quickly before the public knows what hit them.

Anonymous said...

"This post isn't about supporting one side or another"

Clearly you don't expect people to believe that you are open to both sides of the debate when you are promoting Obama and bashing the Republicans with one of the most radical statements that a republican has said on the topic. I love how people can say, I'm not saying but I'm totally saying....

You want a better republican quote, try this one on for size, it's Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty giving his say on Obama addressing the kids, "At a minimum it's disruptive. Number two, it's uninvited. And number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it. I don't think he needs to force it upon the nation's school children," That is what more of the republicans think rather than the radical statement you scrounged up and tried to throw in people's faces.

I love how you are basically saying I'm republican so I can say these things, shame on you for bashing people who don't agree with their kids being subjected to the presidents speech. It is MY obligation as a parent to teach my kid the value of education not the presidents.

I hope YOU will "apologize" for your clearly one sided garbage that you made us waste time reading thinking that we would actually get anything useful from it

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Daniel Edwin said...

I apologize if I've offended you. I considered taking my post down but I didn't you want you to feel like I'm trying to hide what you said.

Your comment and the Minnesta Governor's comments are absolutely acceptable discussion about the topic. As of last night, the quote I posted was still on the font page of the Florida Republican Party website, and it was quoted in television broadcasts and newspapers around the country. I did not scrounge it up. I am upset that a lie is influencing people. I have no issue with your opinion, because you are not lying.

I honestly had only heard statements about the broadcast that were untrue and didn't feel that it was right. I know that people in both parties make false statements and I believe I mentioned that. Despite having an opinion, my intention isn't to tell people they need to let their kids watch the broadcast and I truly do apologize for anything I said that approached a statement like that.

All Republicans should be upset about the lies I mentioned, because they hurt our credibility. It makes our party look bad and that was my point. Even though I am criticizing Republican Party officials, I honestly felt I was complaining on behalf of my party as much as criticizing it.

My personal opinion is that there are many children who don't have parents or good examples (such as yourself) to say some of the things President Obama said and out of all of his actions, its sad to see people lie about this positive message. I'm glad President George Bush Senior delivered a similar address during his term. I think kids need all the positive motivation they can get.

I'm sorry if people feel I have thrown these things in their face and that I'm a hypocrite. This is one of my first attempts to share thoughts in a public setting.

Andrea said...

Wow, you two have gotten worked up about this! I have wondered about the big deal people are making about this, wanting to shield their children so close-mindedly from the President's speech. I do understand, appreciate, and share their concern about this issue but to a lesser degree. I don't agree with 90% of Obama's policies, but I have to say the description of the President's speech put out by the Department of Education makes it seem harmless and IF Obama sticks to that description, I wouldn't mind my children hearing him. We have the opportunity to preview the speech and/or watch it with them at school. That is our school district's policy, and I'm comfortable with that. I am surprised at your vehement defense of President Obama if it's not about one side or another. I think you've been rubbing shoulders with the Oregon liberals too long (ha ha). Although there is no concrete reason to believe he will address healthcare, taxes, banks, etc. in his speech, Obama has many of us frightened for the future of freedom as we know it, with a trend towards big government. I suppose that fear seeps into our thoughts about him addressing our children. Yes, it has been blown out of proportion.
P.S. Dan, I like your brother:)

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Heather said...

Dan and Courtney,

Thank you for sharing your opinions on Obama's speech to school children. I personally don't see what the big deal is because I think it's cool that he wants to impact our children positively while he can. I remember people talking about George H.W. Bush when he spoke to school children and how amazing it was that he was taking an interest in our future. I feel like everyone just needs to find the facts and truly LISTEN to what's being presented before they jump on their political platforms and start freaking out. I say we need more people interested in working towards preparing for our futures instead of worrying who is on what side and if the opposing side is (gasp) talking to our children! You can't protect your kids from everything, and trying will just wear you out and screw up your kids. And if someone wants to promote studying, civic duties and personal responsibility, I'm not going to stand in the way.

Also, thanks Courtney for posting the link to his speech so others can read it for themselves. Hopefully people will read it and actually pay attention to what is being said instead of assuming that everything is riddled with liberal/socialist propoganda.

Anonymous said...

hey this is the anonymous author from yesterday. I tracked down your blog again to be able to comment again. The reason I didn't leave my name is because you don't know me so I didn't think it would make any difference. I saw your blog title on a friends blog roll and thought, I'd like to hear what someone else has to say about the matter.

I came back to apologize for my brashness with my other comment. While I still feel the way I do about the topic I attacked you personally and that was rude. When I went to sleep after that comment I laid there thinking I should get back up and let them know it wasn't them that set me off. I have been defending my right to keep my kids home from school to EVERYONE in the last little bit and it was just so tiring to hear yet another, the republicans are crazy Obama's just fine type of comment.

Like you pointed out we should be upset about the lies, I am infuriated by the lies, that is what is making me seem like such a loon to everyone when they hear that I don't support him talking to my kids. I have read the speech and while I don't find anything offensive in it I still decided to not send my kids to hear it. I don't support Obama or his idea of what this nation should be therefore I do not want my kids idolizing him as a man to look to. It's a matter of not putting them out there for the exposure to him without me being there to tell them what we think about what he's saying. I don't think it's ok to have him address the kids directly and cut the parents out, he can address my kids with me there, I'm fine with that as long as I approve of what he is teaching them, but not alone where their schoolmates and teachers can influence their idea of Obama being great.

Again I apologize that I attacked you personally and that I came across so rude. It's just exhausting defending yourself when others are so quick to dismiss your ideas and judge

Ksenia said...

From the time this country has been organized, the role of the president was to, primarily, be a representative of the nation, an ambassador, and a liaison. Yes, in the last 100 years congress has given way too much power to the president, and I don't agree with that. However, in this on particular case, the president is acting entirely appropriately. During these hard times, he is trying to inspire children to take their future in their own hands and to take full advantage of their free education. 30 years from now most kids will have no idea what his political agenda was, but will remember that he was a man who encouraged them to succeed.

I am absolutely embarrassed about my community and the people of this country for making such an ordeal about it.

If your child enjoys a government-funded education, one set up by the very people that helped write this speech, then you have no room to complain, especially when you had the opportunity to read the speech before hand. If you're still really wanting to complain, then take your children out of public schools and pay 20K/year for their education.

And Dan, you did not say a single thing that is offensive and have no reason to apologize. Especially on your own blog.

Ksenia said...

P.S. I am registered as an independent because I don't want to be associated with either party (both are kind of embarrassing).

Courtney B said...

Amen, Ksenia. My thoughts exactly... thank you for your comment, it was very well put (in my opinion). I was just telling Dan this morning almost the same thing (about being embarrassed or appalled that people are acting the way that they are. I don't get it and it worries me.)

These are not private institutions. Many, many presidents have traveled around to schools and visited classrooms. This is a lot "safer" since we are getting to read in advance what he is saying, in other situations, we have not.

And as Dan mentioned, there are thousands of children who don't have people in their lives to encourage them like this. I have worked with children who don't have people to tell them these things first hand, and I know that someone telling them these things could be the one thing that keeps them in school. If kids do have parents to teach them this, that is wonderful, it is a parent's job to teach their kids about the importance of an education. However, sometimes kids need to hear things from other people once in awhile. It will confirm what their parents are telling them and maybe add something extra to it that they wouldn't have heard otherwise to inspire them further.

As I watched the news last night, they had a poll (unofficial and not scientific) asking people whether they support the speech or not and 30% of people who took the poll did not, and I really wonder how many of those 30% actually read the speech.

Daniel Edwin said...

I'm grateful to our anonymous friend for coming back and explaining, because I couldn't sleep last night because I was worried about who I had offended. I appreciate their input in this discussion. I appreciate and want to respect the rights of parents to make decisions about their children. Parenting is too hard already and parents shouldn't have to take garbage from everyone all the time.

I'm grateful for all of the input from everyone, regardless of their opinion. Perhaps I should leave the political blogging to the Rohatinsky's (http://www.principleyrohat.blogspot.com/) so that I don't distract from John Mayer updates and cute pictures of Arlo.

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Andrea said...

Ok, so I didn't even realize there was another anonymous besides Dan's brother. Too much anonimity. I'm glad you're all feeling better about it all.The elementary kids didn't watch it in our district, but I thought it was just fine.(Many people at our family gathering here suspect the speech was changed b/c of the hype. I thought you two would LOVE that). Court, I booked flights today for us Sept. 30th. I can't wait to meet Arlo!!

Graham N said...

Greetings friends!

I thought I'd dip my toe in since this seems like a friendly crowd. I read the speech in it's entirety yesterday, and found much to admire. In fact, as a school teacher myself (and of course as a parent), I say many of the same things to my students: Be responsible! Work hard! Keep your pants on! (OK, I added that last one because I have a 14 year old middle school student who will shortly become the father of twins. Yikes.)

However, one important thing to remember is that Obama's speech to schoolchildren is not the issue, or rather, not the sole issue. The terms such as Socialist, etc, that have been bandied about are a result of radically (yes, radically) increased governmental powers, begining with the "spend and spend" Republicans of the last term to the "tax and spend" Democrats of the current congress. Couple that with Obama and the liberal's plan to increase the government's role in Health Insurance (which many argue lays the groundwork for a complete government takeover of healthcare, since who can compete with taxpayer subsidized insurance?). The hullaballoo is not necessarily about the content of the speech, but about a perceived effort on the part of the administration to create a cult of personality around a single person, namely Barack Obama. Why are people upset about Obama reaching out to our children at a time when liberal policies are being swiftly implemented? Because once you create an atmosphere in which people (especially young, impressionable ones) look to a PERSON to solve their problems (healthcare, new car, etc, etc,), and that person is promising them everthing they want, you have created a loyal constituency who will do anything to see that their leader succeeds in giving them what they want. Unfortunately, this type of sycophantic behavior is usually found in countries like Iraq under S. H., North Korea under Kim Jong Il, China under Mao, Cambodia under Pol Pot, and perhaps even Venezuala under Chavez. Each one of these counties had a period in which they idolized that leader. Pictures of the leader appeared everywhere: on the streets, on monuments, on telephone poles, and even in homes.

One thing I found disturbing even prior to the election was the sheer number of Obama portraits that were hung everywhere, printed on t-shirts, and everywhere else. Yes, it's historic to have a black man in the whitehouse, but we're way beyond that now. A few months ago a celebrity video was made in which people pledged to do many good and agreeable things, but at the end pledged to "be a servant to the president," after which a portrait of Obama appears. It seems that some people have forgotten that the president is elected to serve the people, not the other way around.

The reaction to Obama's school speech is merely the same reaction that freedom loving people have when it appears that a PERSON (King George III, anyone?) is trying to put themselves and their political/social/fiscal agenda ahead of the PEOPLE and the principles of freedom. The perception (not necessarily the reality, but the perception) of Obama circumventing adults in order to bolster his image with the youth has an immensely distasteul aspect to it when compared with other events in history, such as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge using the poor and the youth to destroy their parents and the middle class.

Anyway, all this to say that the substance of the speeach, or even the fact that Obama gave a speech, mean little by themselves, until you take into account the increasing distrust of the motives of the President and Congress, and the perfect storm of issues that led to this point.

Anyway, for what it's worth...

Disclaimer: I belive in supporting the office of president, and I have nothing against the speech, other than Obama's fishy use of the word "fair."
Also, not comparing Obama to Pol Pot, etc. Just explaining how the overuse of personality in leadership has histoically led to, shall we say, disappointment.

Graham

Ksenia said...

Thank you Graham. Very nicely put. Like I said earlier, I certainly think that the president has been given way too much power here in the US.

However, I think that arguments such as "I hate Obama because he is a socialist" are meaningless and sound ignorant. People should focus on the actual issues and reasons they are displeased instead of throwing out meaningless words. Your explanation was the first one for the "right" that I thought was meaningful and sensical.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ksenia. It's nice to know I've never said anything "meaningful and sensical" in our political discussions.

You said "30 years from now most kids will have no idea what his [Obama's] political agenda was". That may be true, but those kids will most certainly be paying for Obama's current deficit spending (and Bush's too).

May I also note that I never once said that I was against Obama's speech to the kids. I just said I understood why some people could be concerned about it, and that I think it's worth debating what the role of the President should be, which I'm glad to see people are debating in this Blog.

Also, can we all stop calling people "ignorant" every time they have a different opinion?

-Greg

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Daniel Edwin said...

Graham,

That was an incredibly well thought out comment. It's too bad you don't live up here so you can join in on the discussion during family dinner. You and Greg are definitely in perfect agreement.

I definitely think we should keep an eye on the idolizing of Obama. I watched the speech on C-SPAN this morning and after the speech they were taking calls from viewers. After a few nice remarks from teachers, a middle school kid called in and said something like "I thought the speech was very inspiring. We finally have a black President." I think that statement shows one way that a president can be made to represent something more than their policies, and I think that somewhat ties into what you (and Greg) are saying.

I am a little hesitant to agree with using oppressive dictatorships and countries that have a very different history than ours to express concerns about Obama. I have heard people very nicely explain how "this is just like when Hitler gained control" and I think that implies a lot more than any similarities that they are pointing out. I don't see us as a broken country that is looking for a savior to blindly follow. Obama didn't win the election by all that much and he certainly has plenty of critics, even if a lot of people do idolize him. I don't think anyone should be passive or ignore signs that we're creeping into socialism, but I think comparisons like that can be tools for creating fear by discussing events that are in so many ways far from the current topic. For example: the speech that took place today. How is it different from what President George Bush Senior did during his term? Can we assume that it was President Bush's plan to create a "loyal constituency who will do anything to see that their leader succeeds" or was it just a well meaning attempt to help the next generation succeed? If not, what makes the difference?

Personally, I agree with your overall point and I think it makes a lot of sense, but I think it applies much more directly to universal healthcare and other Obama policies than it does to this speech. I think you really expressed the overall concern about Obama very well.

"President Reagan did it, President H.W. Bush did it," Gingrich said on NBC's "Today" show. "If he could give a speech tomorrow night in the tone of his speech today to the students, this country would be much better off ... It's a good speech, I recommend it to everybody if you have any doubts."

Daniel Edwin said...

Mandee,

Greg does a great job paving the way for Graham. Sometimes we just have to hear it 2 or 3 times to realize that Greg didn't make it up.

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Courtney B said...
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Courtney B said...

Greg,

I guess I can't really speak for Ksenia, but it seems to me that she was saying that his comment was the most "meaningful & sensical" argument for this particular topic, I don't think she was talking about every political conversation she has ever had with you or anyone else who is arguing right-wing points. A compliment isn't made as a stab at anyone else. I know you have had some good things to say about this discussion.

Anonymous said...

"A compliment isn't made as a stab at anyone else."

It shouldn't be! But she at least stabbed "our friend" Anonymous #2.

Daniel Edwin said...
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Daniel Edwin said...

Anonymous #2, I meant the "our friend" thing. You are welcome to post any time and I think it's great to get your insight, but please go easy on me I'm still learning how to say things the right way.

Ksenia said...

I did not mean to offend anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. I'm sorry if I did so. My comments pertained to the current blog post only ("why the hoopla about the seemingly great speech to the children") and Graham made most sense in giving a response.

I think y'all were talking about other things that have nothing to do with the post or the speech so I should have stayed out.

I'm out. No offense taken.

Graham N said...

isn't it great that we have a lively discussion going where more emphasis is put on mutual understanding and avoiding giving or taking offense than on shouting down, flaming, and bashing?

Zach said...

I agree with the majority of things posted here in the last few days.

To Graham's point regarding the idolization of Obama as compared to Kim Jong Il and Chavez and the likes... It seems to me that this sort of celebrity that Obama holds in America is not solely a result of his campaigns. It was and is majorly fueled by the capitalist economy we have trying to capitalize on an exciting political figure in order to get some extra money in their pockets. Sure Obama isn't doing much to stop the buzz, but it doesn't appear to me he is out there passing out portraits (so to speak) for parents to hang in their house, or to bowling alleys for making plaques recording the time Obama bowled a 300 in their establishment.

So, bringing it all back to Dan's original point... it is excellent that we live in a country where those who do oppose our president can make arguments against his/her policies and political platform without fear of getting thrown in a traitor's prison. But the only way that can work is if people make reasonable arguments regarding the issues and avoid spotlighting misleading, fallacy ridden editorials and rhetoric.

I second the motion on Dan and Greg starting a political blog. I bet it would go viral in no time.

Anonymous said...

wait I'm Anonymous #2 I believe, I think Mandee and or Greg or whoever was anonymous 1. I didn't come back and throw out that comment "A compliment isn't made as a stab at anyone else."

It shouldn't be! But she at least stabbed "our friend" Anonymous #2.

Just to clarify.

I totally respect the direction the conversation has taken in terms of talking about the real issues and not the personal stabs. I Like what Graham said a lot and also what Dan has come back to say. If you (Dan) would have put your words spoken here, in the comments boxes, into the main part of your blog when you first wrote it I would have very much respected it when I first read it and not have thought you one-sided. I like how you make good points but follow it up with questions that make you think where the other side is coming from. I know that those thought were probably in your head when you first wrote it so you didn't see your original post as one-sided but now that you have expressed the rest of your thoughts I understand your view more. I also respect what Zach and Ksenia? have said on here coming from more of a liberal viewpoint. Although I agree with the more "conservative" ideas expressed on here I like hearing what they have said as well.

Good points everyone, great to read. Minus when some of us, myself included, have gotten heated.

NeilPatrickHarris said...

Wow! This post is incredibly addictive! So much so that I asked Courtney to delete all my comments (it only allows "blog administrator" to delete "anonymous" comments) in hopes that it would deter me from coming back.

Um...I actually made that anonymous post but wasn't trying to pose as A#2 (forgot to type my name). My posts were stupid because I was trying to stick up for people that didn't need sticking up for...I don't think my other comments were heated... just unnecessary... much like this one...

Just wanted to take responsibility and apologize.

Ok! Now I'm throwing my laptop out the window!!

-Mandee

Josh and Jena said...

Reading the blog post and all the comments, I see an inadvertent lesson for all of us: the majority of those in Washington (in both parties) care more about fighting each other than representing their constituents, because they know much of American is brain-dead and that's all they look at come election day. I un-registered from the republican party not too long ago because I realized that those representing the party don't reflect my conservative values anymore. We've been duped into thinking that because someone has an (R) by their name they're conservative and reflect our values, but it's been quite a while since that's been true.

When more people wake up to what's going on, we can get to ousting the slime balls on both sides of the isle and actually get people in who care more about our freedoms and representing our values than they do about getting re-elected.

NeilPatrickHarris said...

Anonymous #2!! I hope you come back and read this...

It was just brought to my attention that my wording could have made you think I was taking a stab at you! I was meaning to stick up for you. "At least" was meaning "you probably weren't the only one it hurt". Doesn't matter now. Just wanted to clarify that you are everyones anonymous friend...I'm an idiot and should be shot...

-M

Anonymous said...

Well put "Josh and Jena". Some may be surprised that I'm not registered as Republican either. There are plenty of things about the current Republican party that I feel don't represent me, so I'm still "Independent".

Ksenia, it's no problem. I guess I took your comment about "first one for the right that I thought was meaningful and sensical" a little personal since I've had various conversations with you (coming from a more "right" perspective) and I sorta took that as a general statement that nothing was ever meaningful or sensical to you. It appeared you were saying Graham was the first level-headed conservative you had ever come across.

I also appreciated Graham's comments along with everyone else's. It's helpful to talk these things through (and even argue a bit) because it makes us all understand both perspectives.

-Greg

Daniel Edwin said...

This turned out to be a great discussion. I definitely understand both sides of this discussion a lot better now. I went from thinking "I'll never do this again" to "Maybe I'll never do this again."