Monday, September 7, 2009

Don’t hate the message

Jarts The cookout went great yesterday! We had a really nice time visiting and having Ken's family over. Jimmy and Paula had never been to our place, so it was nice to have some Nutwood Newbies. :) Ken fixed up the horseshoe pits, and the four of us played a round. I had never played horseshoes before, isn't that odd? I grew up around people playing horseshoes at family reunions and get-togethers, but had never played. I really enjoyed it, and did okay! (They were kind to me, though...just like in golf, they let me pitch from a closer spot. I was pitching from the “women's tees.”) I didn't get a ringer, but I got a couple of points. It was fun. Now if they'd only bring back Jarts! Nothin' says family fun like the flinging of steel-tipped projectiles!

The food was excellent. We made some adjustments on Ken's burger recipe; the last time he made them, they were moist...a little too moist. They started coming apart when they were on the grill. I suggested some bread crumbs, so we put some Italian ones in there, and voilá! Perfect! We have a couple of burgers and a couple of brats left over, but today is another nice day, so we'll take advantage of it and grill some steaks. (Back from the basement...I thought I'd better get them out of the freezer while I was thinking about it. We're slowly but surely getting the freezer emptied, because we've got another side of beef coming this fall. But I digress.)

I hope everyone is having a relaxing and fun holiday weekend! You can see a picture of yesterday's gang over at Ken's blog.


It is with growing astonishment that I watch some people continuing to protest President Obama's 15-minute speech to school kids tomorrow.

The guy wants to talk to kids about studying hard and staying in school, but some are saying that he's trying to promote his "socialist agenda."

Vintage headshot Really, people? Really?

This is beyond ludicrous. I'll say okay to the objection to the lesson wording about "helping the President." That was taken out of the lesson. I'll also give you that apparently some Democrats objected to a school feed from Bush the Elder several years ago. (Personally, I wouldn't have had a problem with him speaking to kids, either.) I'm willing to bet it was nothing like this hooraw, though, with people keeping their kids at home, or not allowing their kids to watch the broadcast. Yes, that's a very clever tactic: in order to keep your kids from hearing the President of the United States telling them about the importance of staying in school...keep your kids out of school! That's nothing short of brilliant! Way to go with passing your prejudices and ignorance on to your kids.

The fact of the matter is that while parents should ideally be the ones stressing the importance of school to their kids, sometimes an outside influence can have even more impact. President Obama is a perfect role model to show what kids can achieve if they work hard and stay in school: he came from humble circumstances, he worked hard...and I suppose you could say that it paid off for him, if you consider becoming the President some sort of, you know, achievement. To be completely honest, I believe that our President is even more of an inspiration to minorities or kids of mixed race; at some point in their lives, they have probably received the message, either explicit or subliminal, that they were a little bit "less than." I see absolutely nothing wrong with a role model such as our President reaching these kids who way too often believe that they are incapable of achieving great things.

Obama teaching It's not like he's planning on going in there and telling kids details about his health care plan. This is simply a message about the importance of staying in school. If you've got a problem with that...well, maybe you need to examine your reasoning. Sometimes we let our own biases stand in the way of what is obviously a positive thing. Believing that telling kids about the importance of education is somehow pushing a socialist agenda is...I hate to use the word crazy, so let's just know what? It is crazy. I'm not going to spin it in any nicer way. It's dumb and it's crazy, and it makes these people sound like ill-tempered idiots.

One of our local districts, Penn-Harris-Madison, is allowing its teachers the option of showing the broadcast; I'm proud to say that the South Bend Community School Corporation will be showing it.

It's time to stop this fear of the message because of your hatred of the messenger. Knowledge is power, and that is all that the President wants to convey. Our education system is lagging behind much of the rest of the industrialized world, and it's time to stop the skid and turn this around. I believe it can be done, but this attitude that other opinions are to be avoided and other viewpoints are somehow bad is ridiculous, although it's a time-tested tactic of the reactionary right. It is avoidance of the worst sort. It is avoidance of exposure to other beliefs, orientations, cultures, and systems in the mistaken belief that such exposure will result in personal downfall and moral turpitude. Like it or not, he is our President; like it or not, he has something to say; and like it or not, there are plenty of people who want to, and plenty of kids that should, listen to what he has to say about staying in school. It's a simple--and important--message. Quit making such a big deal about it.


Here is a link to the full text of Obama's speech to schoolkids tomorrow. Anyone got a problem with it? No? Good.


  1. You said that it's time for Pep Talk Deniers to "examine (their) reasoning". I think it's too late for that. In a certain segment of the American population, reasoning appears to have gone out the window some time ago. My own feelings have gone well beyond frustration and even anger, all the way to great disappointment in what always seemed like a country full of upbeat, hopeful,democracy-loving citizens. Although I know I'm preaching to the choir here, all I can say is PLEASE stop the insanity!!!!

  2. Beth,

    I am glad you cookout went so well. It sounded like fun.

    As far as Obamma, "Why cant we all just get along?"

  3. I can't believe people are freaking over his speech. Ridiculous. I am so happy that you had a great bbq yesterday!

    be well...

  4. Glad the cookout was fun and that you played horse shoes! Sounds like a good day.

  5. Maybe those who hate the message will start home schooling, lets see how that works for them :o)

  6. Keeping your kids out of school so they won't hear a message from the President about why they shoud stay in school is insanely funny, and all the parents who do it should be lined up and have spit balls thrown at them. Americans are getting stupider by the day.


  7. The problem is there is a growing distrust of the President, as is evident in his rapidly falling approval rating which is down around 50% now, & those who "strongly approve" are down around 39% or so. Still higher than Congress! I think there would be a similar reaction if a member of Congress were doing the same thing. Something I haven't seen in recent years is the number of people who are angry at their incumbents. Used to, incumbents were pretty safe, but not now.

    Personally, I not only don't trust this president, but I just don't trust politicians in general. I don't hate Obama, or anyone in Washington. None of them, regardless of their party affiliation, really represent us. Once elected, it seems they forget what they said they would do & serve their own interests. Our only function seems to be to keep them in power.

    Your cookout sounds like the family reunions we used to have in Tennessee at my grandmother's house, complete with horseshoes! We would put a watermelon in a tub full of ice all day, pitch horseshoes all day, then eat the watermelon after it got too dark to play. Great times, great memories, and it sounds like you and Ken made a few too! Glad you had so much fun!


  8. The far right has completely lost its mind on this one. How could this possibly not be the kind of message we want from our president to our kids? Obama is a fabulous role model in every sense of the words. The naysayers need to open their collective eyes and appreciate how lucky we are to have a president who's smart and who gives a damn about the people. Even Laura Bush thinks the Obamas are doing a great job and supports Obama speaking to our kids. What do you think about that, you right wing freaks???

  9. distrust for the President? Gee, like he is going to brainwash children in schools just because he is going to send them a POSITIVE message. Why don't we let some real loonies Limbaugh or those two could do some damage. But our President was raised with no dad and was not rich but he had great grand parents and a mom who was intelligent and CARED. He has a lot to offer. My kids would not only be required to listen to this speech but i would question them afterwards as to what was said. Small minded people will be one of the reasons other nations mock us and send THEIR more intelligent children over here to the U.S. to make money that could have been made by Americans. All because people do not trust Obama..

    PLEASE. Get a damn grip.

  10. I'll say it again: the people who use every single thing that Obama does to ridicule him and condemn him are doing so because he's a black man, and we all know a black man shouldn't be instructin' our white chillun's t'all.
    God, I am so in need of a sacrasm font, but I digress. >=]
    Get over it, people. Realize you don't like the man because he's black and figure out where your own failings lie, without taking Socialist-Nazi-Hitler potshots at the man for every single freaking thing he does.

  11. Spin it any way you want to, Dirk. The bottom line is that this is a positive message about education from the President of the United States. A kid doesn't really want to hear about their parents' "distrust" of our President. A positive message about studying hard and staying in school? Well, maybe they don't want to hear that, either, to be honest. But at least it's a positive rather than a negative, and it's an important thing to stress. As I commented to a friend on Facebook, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that if the man found a cure for cancer, there would be some people that would find fault with him for that. There comes a point when saying "NO" to the messenger is nothing more than simple and thoughtless gainsaying.

  12. Beth, your last comment was perfect!

  13. What Dirk said. Sorry Beth. It's a matter of trusting this leader of our nation. I understand that this message is a good message and have no problem with my g/kids hearing it, but the hype isn't about that. It's about trust.

  14. To paraphrase Tina Turner, what's trust got to do with it? Do you think the majority of schoolkids have trust issues with our President? If they do, it's because they've picked up on that from their parents. I'll say it again: It's a positive message and an important one for kids to hear. You know I love and appreciate you, Joyce, but if you have no problem with your grandkids hearing the message...then what is the issue here? If you don't trust him, okay--that is your choice to make. But if you believe that it's a good message and you're okay with your grandkids hearing it, why the big hooraw that we're hearing about? I honestly don't get it. Good message, bad messenger? Sometimes good messages come from those who we wouldn't normally think would have them. Isn't it the message that is the main thing?

  15. Darlin I'm afraid in this land o'the free some will always abuse the right to speak their mind and instead use their words as stamps of law. In other words, this President will never find his true, complete audience, no less appeal. They pushed him out too soon, did his handlers. But any step outward is one upward hopefully.

  16. I love you, too, and as I have observed before, we must have been separated at birth! I definitely see a family resemblance.

    I don't buy the trust argument either. I haven't heard anyone clearly explain the "trust issue" except in idiotic terms about selling the nation out to terrorists or setting up death panels. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that most of the folks shouting about not trusting President Obama had no trust issues with former president G.W. Bush, who led us into the war in Irag, based on a total fabrication about weapons of mass destruction, took a surplus and turned it into the largest deficit ever, and left us on the verge of economic collapse.

    BTW, the cookout sounds like a lot of fun. I went to a family cookout yesterday as well, where I got to spend time with my darling little great nephew!

  17. two weeks into the new school year, no contract, 4 staff members short, same number of kids as last year and we are about to have a major shake up in the lower elementary.

    i am gonna make damn sure my kids watch that speech today, even if we have to eat in the classroom or miss recess we could sure use a pep talk.



  18. I agree with Bob 100% and it win't end today. Is ignorance bliss??? I actually saw a person who doesn't look old enough to be a mom CRYING on tv yesterday. I applaud Miss alaineus. Pres. Obama is going to be ok. The more they criticize him the harder he will fight. Right on as far as your comment to Dirk.

  19. Mixing steel pointed projectiles and alcohol, not that's a good time right thar'. :) Yee doggy!
    I think this should've been done a long time ago. When I was in school, we felt like politics didn't matter to us because we had no say so in things until we turned 18. No one paid much attention to anything that was happening outside of their little bubble. By having the president address students, it's shoving them into a discussion about politics and voting. Good thing, no matter who the current president is, no matter who you voted for and no matter what party you have aligned yourself with.
    (getting sick of comment after comment after comment from me in your morning inbox? LOL)

  20. I hit my aunt in the arm with a Jart and she required medical attention. Isn't it hard to believe they were ever even a popular "family" game!!! Glad you enjoyed your cookout & you rescued the burgers :)


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?