Friday, September 04, 2009

But of Course

Obama school talk stirs furor
Planned TV speech next week is decried as 'creepy' attempt to brainwash students

Wait, that's not quite histrionic enough; let's do it up like the Daily Star's front page this morning:

There, that's more like it. [headdesk] [facepalm] [heavydrinking]

Wow, so somebody who knows about these things is calling Tuesday's planned stay-in-school speech brainwashing! Maybe a retired PsyOps commander or high-level CIA spook? I mean, it was in the headline, so it must at least be a psychologist or childhood development specialist, right? Oh.

Trent Humphries, a 36-year-old computer consultant who counts himself among the Tea Party members, blames the controversy on the president himself...

"If he were going to a school to speak, that would be a different issue, but to speak to all children in America without their parents present, I don't know," he said, describing it as "creepy" and saying parents should be included in conversations about staying in school.

A Teabagger dad thinks it's creepy. Well then. That settles that. And Obama thinks he can just beam into a first-grade classroom and talk about the highly controversial topic of staying in school without asking parents who send their kids to school about that? The nerve of that man. What's next? A lecture on regular flossing and eating vegetables? That's a topic for parents to present to their children only as they see fit! The unbridled hubris! Thanks for alerting us, Daily Star!

Some parents apparently see the address as a campaign speech to a captive audience. Fair enough. Others see it as an end-run around the excellent arguments the town-hallers have been hollering, like Obamacare! and HitlerHitlerNaziHitler!

[Flowing Wells Unified School District Superintendent Nicholas] Clement received another note from a pastor, saying he was recommending that members of his congregation keep their children home on Tuesday. Acknowledging other presidents have made similar speeches encouraging youths to succeed in school, the man said he finds the speech "highly suspicious given the timing and the battle for health-care reform."

Because lord knows if you give that Socialist Nazi Commie Fascist an opening, he'll totally exploit the opportunity to explain all the policy and financial nuances of insurance regulation and co-ops and public options to your sixth-grader--in 45 minutes--and your kid will totally absorb all of that information and then run out to lobby his senators and possibly bring them coffee and stuff to keep them awake for the floor vote and wham, before you know it we'll all be speaking Canadian and sieg-heiling maple trees and little Johnny will start pestering us for curling brooms.

Unless it's a ploy to turn the kids into homos, of course.

In the Amphitheater Public Schools, Superintendent Vicki Balentine said she's heard similar concerns from about two dozen people.

Much of it, she said, stemmed from misinformation. Some callers thought the purpose of the speech was to sell kids on health care, or to address students about homosexuality.

To be fair, it's not all about the speech, although the shorts-knotting springing up around it is enough material for a solid week. The curriculum supplement sent out has raised the ire of people like Michele Malkin for being "activist" and people like Arizona education head Tom Horne for, well, oh, Tom Horne.

Arizona schools chief Tom Horne put out a press release objecting to the "worshipful" tone that the White House expects students to use, drawing examples from some curriculum prompts suggested by the U.S. Department of Education to engage students in dialogue about the speech. One singled out by Horne asks students to brainstorm: "How will he inspire us?"

Because the only inspiration in Arizona comes from Jesus, thanks--well, except for that bit about compassion towards the weakest among us he was always going on about, but that's a discussion for another time--and because inspiration is always and only religious in nature, schoolkids are being directed to worship Obama. QED.

The White House hasn't had a complete tin ear on this--hey, if we've learned anything from the healthcare kerfuffle, it's that maniacs must be appeased--so they changed one really offensive activist question in the lesson plans.

The White House altered the language of one suggested activity, which initially read, "Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”

That was changed to: “"Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.”

How awful that first directive was. What other president would have have the unmitigated gall to require such a thing of children? Oh.

President George H.W. Bush made televised address to students in October 1991 as campaign season was heating up... Bush asked students to “take control” of their education and to write him a letter about ways students could help him achieve his goals, strikingly similar to Obama’s messages.

Sigh. Coming soon to a breathless headline near you: Obama pulmonary action stirs furor: President's insistence on continuing to draw breath in the White House decried as 'creepy.'

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