Thursday, September 3, 2009


Okay folks, I'm back in action. 

First off, I've been trying to ignore this hooey about the health care shouting match "debate", but it is just so maddening to see people getting so riled up about things that they either haven't bothered to research or are willing to buy some crazy misinformation about. In this day of miles of readily available information, it is incomprehensible to me that this can happen. WHY is it so hard to figure out what the hell you're talking about before you open your mouth? Grrrrrrrr. 

On the "ignorance is bliss" wagon, why in the world are so many parents up in arms about the President wishing to address school children about long-term goal planning and personal responsibility? Since when is good character a political issue? Good Lord, people, get ahold of yourselves. If you're so afraid of your kids being "indoctrinated," talk to them about what YOU believe and let them make up their own minds. They do have them. Rant over.

I am highly enjoying seeing my little boy explore his Mimi's house. He is really enamored of his "new" toys and all the new places to walk, run, crawl, peek, etc. He also loves to get in his Mimi's lap and talk and sing to her. Ahhh. He also got some new shoes. The first real pair he got at the beginning of the summer were 5s. Today he was measured at 6 1/2. Sheesh! I can't believe how fast he is growing. Anyone know a good flatiron store so I can get one to put on his head?

Before I forget, Paige left a beautiful rondeau on the placeholder for this week's poetry challenge. You can check it out here. I believe one other person claimed to be working on one, and others are of course welcome to join in...I'm thinking I may just wait on putting up a new challenge until next week to allow more participation.

Haiku News

California fire
was arson, according to

High school quarterback
tackles girl with gun on bus,
saves twenty-two lives.

Taxidermy school
owner peppered with questions


paige said...

jeepers, i gotta study to read your blog :) i was unaware that obama had decided to directly address school children, so i had to look that one up.
i guess as someone who would not have voted for obama if i lived in the States, i can understand where those parents are coming from... i wouldn't want someone who i didn't trust giving any type of address to my children no matter how benign the topic seemed to be. In Canada, the schools are forced to adopt curriculums that directly go against what i am trying to teach at home - & it's a big reason why we've chosen to homeschool.
Pretend that you were living in a country where you were completely morally opposed to the type of leadership that was in power - i bet you'd have second thoughts about having kim jong il or mahmoud ahmadinejad address your children.. (i know, 's extreme, but you know what i mean...)

Anonymous said...

Hi, paige.

I did vote for Obama, and I do live in the U.S., but I like to think I'm not a knee-jerk Obamaphile.

My problem with the current round of outrage over the President Addressing the Kiddies is simply that so many of those objecting are going on about it not being appropriate for him to do so (lest he indoctrinate them to his point of view), yet it was apparently entirely appropriate for previous Presidents to do so---provided that those Presidents were Republicans. It's another example of the "It's all right if it's us doing it!" mindset that I find completely repulsive, whoever is doing it, and whether on a foreign or domestic scale. And, for that matter, whether secular or religious. Or one religion against another. Etc.

To me, the smarter move would be for the parents to see what the President---of whatever political stripe---actually says, and then, if they find it objectionable, explain to their kids what they object to, and why, and what they think should be preferred. And, for that matter, why it should be preferred.



paige said...

That's a decent way to go - depending on the ages of your children & what kind of reasoning they are capable of... but my understanding is that this was to be a live broadcast from the whitehouse, so it would be pretty hard for parents to prescreen, if it's being viewed as a school activity.
& i can also understand parents who perhaps trusted a previous president not making a stink over an address - but then all of a sudden having an issue when it became a president that they didn't trust... it's human nature, we don't care until it's going to adversely affect us. (i would let my toddler sit on her grandpa's lap, but not some stranger at the park...)
Little ones are vulnerable - & that's why i'd like to be able to maximise these years to have the biggest possible impact on them so that they're ready to recognise lapses in moral or ethical judgement in leadership when they're a lot older...
But then, i'm probably extreme because i wouldn't put my littles in public school at all, because of all the external influences i wanna avoid - so this type of problem wouldn't arise for us.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, paige.

I understand it to be a live broadcast, also, but I don't see that as a disadvantage to parents wanting to rebut; not only would it give the parents the "last word", but if they want to do a little intarwebbing, they can no doubt find no shortage of offerings by other people more of their own convictions with material they could use to reinforce their own opinions.

"Post-screening" is easier than "pre-screening" anyway, in that what is assumed will be broadcast, may be changed before airtime, whereas what has already been broadcast, has been.

I think that most kids are capable of more understanding and rational capacity than they are sometimes given credit for.


Minerva said...

I've been reading this discussion with interest. I wanted to let you know that the White House has said they will release the text of the speech the Monday before the Tuesday of the speech for parents to preview and make up their minds.

I tend to agree with Cicely's issue that Republican presidents have been allowed to address students in the past, but there is a big stink now that a Democratic president wants to do the same thing.

paige said...

yeh, it's a funny thing about being capable of reasoning though - when i've done that test with my littlest ones, "what would you do if someone asked you to get in their car?" the answer is always "NO!!" (yay!) but then right after, i can ask, "what would you do if a really nice man lost his puppy, would you help him find it?" the answer is "yes!!"
i figure a little sheltering doesn't hurt - especially in the grades 9 & down (again, depending on maturity etc...) but that's me...
As for the addresses - was it directly to students in their schools in the past? Maybe that's the difference, you'd have to educate me on how the previous addresses were carried out... i don't think i'd appreciate it from any president (seems a little communist china to me..)

paige said...

ooooh, & cicely, one thing that i totally appreciated about my childhood is that my parents were constantly "talking back" to the media, the tv, the newspapers, challenging what had been said in conversation etc... & it's something i try to bring into my home too (especially now that i have kids in those jr. high years...)- but sometimes i choose not to enter the ring - there are so many voices opposing mine that it's nice to be able to pick & choose battles.

Ron Rollins said...

I don't think any president has ever addressed the nation's children before.

Many presidents, of all parties, have visited schools, or spoken at schools (by invitation), but none have ever addressed the entire nation of school children.

Children shouldn't be used as a poltical platform. Talking to them about the importance of education, being healthy, or being good people is fine. The president telling them that his health plan is what they need is out of line.

Anonymous, I'm curious about your statemen: "I did vote for Obama, and I do live in the U.S., but I like to think I'm not a knee-jerk Obamaphile." Italics didn't copy.

I don't live in the states, but I do vote. I'm an American citizen living in a foreign country. Or don't ex-pats count?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ron.

I think I see the source of the misunderstanding; the part of my comment you quoted was my direct response to paige's "i guess as someone who would not have voted for obama if i lived in the States". Of course your vote counts! I would never suggest otherwise!

With reference to previous presidents addressing of the kids, see here: (Article title, "Outrage over Obama school speech was missing during Bush and Reagan school addresses".)

paige, I wasn't aiming for any sore spots, re kids and rational capacity, so if I hit one, I promise you it was an accident, and definitely not my intent! I agree that with very young kids, you do have to cover for them, and the stranger-in-the-car scenario is an excellant example of why; but I doubt that really young kids would get much "programming" out of Obama's address.


lovefam6 said...

I have a problem w/a mass broadcast made to my children from just about anyone. I will google this after my post to make sure I'm correct, but I've never heard of a republican president addressing all the children of the U.S. So for me, my problem is not that it's a democratic president, it's that it's someone w/a political agenda speaking to them.

I am not republican, nor democratic. My problem is that the President of the U.S. is addressing the nation's children w/his agenda. I would have had a problem w/George Bush (either one) doing the same thing. I may have faults as a parent, but I can assure you my children know the importance of school. If there is a child that Obama's address is going to touch, than that child's parents is NOT doing their job of making sure their children's lives are filled w/hope and dreams.

I don't need anyone to teach my children the importance of anything. I do, however, need the teachers to teach the standard curriculum that has been tested and approved. Thank you teachers for helping us as parents to give our children all the knowledge they need to succeed!

Paige, your ability to successful homeschool amazes me, lol. There's no way that would work for us!

paige said...

oh, no sore spot, cicely! (about rational children...) it's just the same scary argument that other groups have used to lobby the gov't to lower the age of consent etc... i'd like to keep children children... kwim? Even the really bright ones who are capable of amazing reasoning... (like my brilliant offspring) hehe.

Anonymous said...

Hi, paige.

Yeah, my kid is (in my, of course, absolutely unbiased and objective opinion) also completely brilliant and totally awesome, always has been, a veritable paragon of all the virtues, etc. So that counts for two of us! ;) But lets, face it, there is no totally- brilliant-and-awesome cookie-cutter factory-producing everybody's kids, and this is where I have a slight problem with mandated ages of responsibility and consent. Don't get me wrong; I don't see any better way of deciding when a nascent human being is emotionally and mentally mature enough to manage his/her own affairs and make his/her own choices, but some people mature early, and some....don't. I have this cousin, for instance; 40-mumble years old, not unintelligent (not that he ever, ya know, plugs his cortex in and uses it for anything), but has got less sense than some 12 year olds I could name. I'd yank his "adulthood" authorizations in a hot minute, in the name of the Public Good. But until he actually kills someone....

One size doesn't fit all, and never will, but I don't see any better way of deciding who can be trusted with alcohol, or weapons, or motorized vehicles, or you-name-it. We need...the Adultometer. With digital read-out. And if you order now, we'll include, at no extra charge, this lovely set of steak knives, a $125.99 value...

But I digress.

Back on the Obama-addressing-the-troops matter, I've been thinking about it some more, and I think that it does come down to whether parents do or don't trust any given president to pursue his political agenda---but that, to many conservative parents, Obama is a political agenda, in his own person, just because he's black and President, and that, for them, it isn't possible to separate that agenda from him.



paige said...

because he's black and president? Woah, i don't think that colour plays into it in my mind at all... The fact that he voted 3 times against born alive legislation does affect my opinion of him & his respect for little vulnerable people though...

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter in my mind, either. Race shouldn't be an issue...but it is. Here in the Fundamentalist Heartland, I've heard an awful lot of outspoken bigotry where Obama is concerned; 1) he's black (and never mind that whole bi-racial, do-black-people-think-he's-black-enough thing; in these hyar parts, he is, in fact, a ni...., and therefore completely unacceptable to be President; 2) he's got a funny, non-Christian name; 3) he was raised partly outside the U.S., making him a furriner (and incidentally, a stunning number of people around here don't think Hawaii is part of the U.S., either); and 4) it doesn't matter how much anyone protests, there's just no way he ain't a Muslim. At the same time believing that he's only pretending to be a Christian, or that he's the wrong kind of Christian (flashback to the Rev. Wright affair).

And, of course, he's a Democrat.

As I said; Agenda Incarnate. His personal beliefs and political opinions are completely beside the point.

And and large, these are not evil people who believe these things. They are generally good neighbors, mostly considerate of others, and it's entirely possible to talk and share jokes with them; goodness knows, they'll happily have a beer with you. They just desperately want the outcome of the election Not To Have Happened. And they are afraid he's contagious.


paige said...

i'm sure that *this canuck* is not the only one for whom his personal beliefs & political opinions are *completely the point*. :)

Anonymous said...

I may have missed my target with my phrasing. What I meant was, where Obama in his own person may be considered by some to be an Agenda, just by who he is and where he is and has been, his personal beliefs and opinions are beside the point, in that they are sufficient to damn him in their eyes. His beliefs and opinions are just indignity heaped on indignity. Yes, they would dislike him on those grounds alone, but find him objectionable even discounting them. Did that make sense?

Or, trying it from the other side, while this same segment of the public would dislike anyone with Obama's political "set", be they ever so "old white guy", they loathe him that much more, and seperately, for his heritage.