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Thread: Barack Obama's address to students

  1. #1

    Default Barack Obama's address to students

    President Obama will be delivering a speech to all public school students across the Untied States. I've got 2 different links to confirm it. One from the dept. of education, and one from a document site.

    My first reaction was to be very suspicious, It seems like a president speaking directly to the children is a bit, I don't want to say indoctrinating, but I can't think of a better word at the moment.

    I find this part a little disturbing: "Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?" This part doesn't seem to be about education, and seems kind of brainwashy. We shouldn't accept everything our elected officials say, we should challenge their opinions if we think they are incorrect.

    On the other hand, the speech is supposedly purely about education (even if that one part seems a bit off-topic). I know that Obama has a lot of fans with younger people, and they look up to him. He could definitely be an inspiration to get kids to try harder with their educations. So I'm kind of on the fence about this one. What are everyone else's thoughts on this?
    Last edited by Gaius; 01-Sep-2009 at 20:49. Reason: Added a bit more

  2. #2

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    Ooh! I want to jump into this before the extreme left-wing, extreme right-wing members of our board pull each other's fingernails out over completely unrelated issues! That always seems to happen when there's a topic about politics.

    I share many of your views on this, matrix. I find that Obama's intention is pure, and I believe using that established point of contact and familiarity with the younger generation is a great opportunity to get them interested in not just their education, but with the events of the world around them. As for asking them to listen to the president and other elected officials? Likely a very accidental sublimation. At the same time, though, it does make a part of me -- the one that sees the world as becoming gradually Orwellian in nature -- shudder in fright! Challenge is the heart of an effective democracy, after all.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by matrixroks354 View Post
    President Obama will be delivering a speech to all public school students across the Untied States. I've got 2 different links to confirm it. One from the dept. of education, and one from a document site.

    My first reaction was to be very suspicious, It seems like a president speaking directly to the children is a bit, I don't want to say indoctrinating, but I can't think of a better word at the moment.

    I find this part a little disturbing: "Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?" This part doesn't seem to be about education, and seems kind of brainwashy. We shouldn't accept everything our elected officials say, we should challenge their opinions if we think they are incorrect.

    On the other hand, the speech is supposedly purely about education (even if that one part seems a bit off-topic). I know that Obama has a lot of fans with younger people, and they look up to him. He could definitely be an inspiration to get kids to try harder with their educations. So I'm kind of on the fence about this one. What are everyone else's thoughts on this?
    As the late great George Carlin said: Question everything!

  4. #4

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    Barack Obama is an excellent speaker who gives inspiring speeches. This will fall exactly along those lines - he's most likely going to say nice things about how important it is to stay in school and get higher degrees. It will probably have well-chosen anecdotes from his own experiences in education, and perhaps something from a letter or conversation he had with some student at some point in the past 3 years.

    If anyone is expecting anything other than a pep-talk, you can stop worrying now. Obama isn't looking to create controversy; he's looking to say nice things that nobody questions. A cynical way to look at it is as a PR stunt, an optimistic way to look at is as the president promoting something that he feels strongly about (he certainly owes a great deal to his education), and the pragmatic view is to say that it's a little of both.

  5. #5

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    I am thinking there has to be something up with this. I mean no president has ever addressed directly to students before. Besides isn't this how a lot of dictatorships work out the leaders start sending out messages straight to the youth. Honestly I think this speech of his is a bad idea I mean so for I haven't seen one decent thing proposed by or done by the Obama Administration

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by genbaby View Post
    I am thinking there has to be something up with this. I mean no president has ever addressed directly to students before. Besides isn't this how a lot of dictatorships work out the leaders start sending out messages straight to the youth.
    Wait, really?

    Obama is going to say nice things about getting a good education - how can this possibly be construed as the beginning of the brainwashing of our youth? Unless celebrating intelligence and being informed is somehow the first step to despotism (generally, it's the exact opposite, tight-gripped control of information, that gets you there), this is a good thing.

    It stuns me that people could be so paranoid about this.




    Quote Originally Posted by genbaby View Post
    Honestly I think this speech of his is a bad idea I mean so for I haven't seen one decent thing proposed by or done by the Obama Administration
    Seriously, this kind of rhetoric is simply over the top, and its a blow below the belt - you've just added a general condemnation of the entire administration with no justification to a thread about one upcoming speech. It's simply ridiculous, polarizing, and intellectually unsound to put this kind of statement at the end of a post about an Obama speech.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by genbaby View Post
    I mean no president has ever addressed directly to students before.
    Didn't your previous president speak to a kindergarten class on 9/11?


    Quote Originally Posted by genbaby View Post
    Besides isn't this how a lot of dictatorships work out the leaders start sending out messages straight to the youth.
    Heh, that's true. Let's look at Chairman Mao, in China. During his reign he told the youth to defy adult leadership and destroy any artefact's from China's past. Eventualy bands of teenagers were running around, trashing stores and beating people up for the Cultural Revolution. This is CLEARLY the exact same thing as Obama telling students to do good in school.

    I'm no fan of your president, but I don't think this is something to freak out about. Obamas been getting a lot of flak lately, and he just wants to reach out and make it look like he's a good person.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by NutFreeFruitcake View Post
    Barack Obama is an excellent speaker who gives inspiring speeches. This will fall exactly along those lines - he's most likely going to say nice things about how important it is to stay in school and get higher degrees.
    Hahahaha--yeah, fuck that.

    I propose the "get drunk and laid, drop out, and take your handout" approach. In this country, that seems to pay off in spades and for spade-holders (e.g. unskilled labor).

    Pol Pot is here, and this time he doesn't come with the grinning death's-head lapel pin. Rather, it is a battle of attrition and economics.
    Last edited by h3g3l; 04-Sep-2009 at 20:47.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NutFreeFruitcake View Post
    It stuns me that people could be so paranoid about this.
    Just because somebody is paranoid, that doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get them.

    And there is some cause for concern, part of the report said that he would be discussing why it was important to listen to our elected officials. It is our responsibility to question our leaders, not to simply go along like sheep. It's a good idea to have him trying to inspire students, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. A better solution would be leaving civic matters out of it, and discussing only education.

  10. #10

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    Did anybody see the context of the comment about listening to public officials? It was in the pre-k to sixth grade part of the document.

    Yes - I think a 1st grader should know that being teh 'president' is an important job and that it IS important to listen to what they say. However, I feel like people here are taking that as the evil statement - listening is important, even when the next step afterwards is to critique.

    Unless people like to critique without listening to what they are critiquing, in that case, well...

    Also, please note, the document was also probably created by a couple of education interns in the department. I don't think the document was the draft by Barack Obama on the socialist, Muslim takeover of the country through indoctrination...

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