Neither snow, nor rain, nor fact, shall detain the crazies from their frothing against Obama

September 8, 2009

Meanwhile, at the Daily [Ron] Paul:
On September 7th, 2009 Misfit4Peace says:

I was listening to some talk radio show tonight when I had to run to the store for a few things…So Im sitting in the parking lot..and this guy calls in…talks about his wife being a teacher…and the meno she got about Obamass visiting schools…
It seems the schools..some by force if they dont want a major budget cut..are making the kids write letters to Obamass telling him how proud they are of him..how they hope healt care is past so they will be able to go to good doctors..and how they all promise to serve him.
The kids are all made to learn the history of Obamass with of course all the lies and bs that goes with it…Songs where..it seems..written about him and the children will be singing them before and after the broadcast.
The older students…age 12 and up..will be ask to (forced really or face a bad grade and God knows what else) to sign a pledge to his new government!…
I just sat there for a moment….glad my daughter was out of school and my g/son isnt in yet.

Freedom is another way to God…A corrupt government is a straight way to hell.

How you can tell this is a hoax:

  1. It alleges a guy talking about a memo his teacher wife got; what guy reads his wife’s memos?
  2. School districts are not part of the federal government.  Federal funds are a small part of any school district’s budget.  No amount of letter writing from a district to the president can affect the district’s budget.
  3. If there were a way for letter writing to affect school budgets, threats of cuts in budgets for political action are a violation of the Hatch Act.  Crooks who tried to get around the Hatch Act wouldn’t write a memorandum about it.
  4. No school is forcing kids to learn Obama’s history.  History texts take years to write.  Generally the newest texts run about four years behind national elections.  No, there cannot be a federal curriculum on the topic — that’s against tradition, and against federal law.  No agency may write curriculum for local schools — that’s the job of the local school districts.
  5. Music has been cut out of most schools.  Who would write a song for the kids to sing to Obama?  Who would lead the singing?  This hoaxster hasn’t been in the schools in 40 years.
  6. Districts are moving to policies requiring no failing grades.  Without pointing fingers to blame anyone, let’s just note that it’s been coming for the last six years.  Consequently, a change in policy to require bad grades if kids don’t write a fawning letter to a president, ain’t gonna happen.  Besides, if this were doable in any fashion where the federal government has no say in local curriculum, Cheney would have done it years ago for Bush.  This Ron Paul fan, Misfit4Peace, has been toking way too much.
  7. Obama’s not on the state test, any state test.  What teacher has time to add stuff on Obama when it’s not going to be covered on the test?  No principal would stand for that.

Freedom?  This guy surrendered his freedom to inanity long ago.  Reality isn’t even a memory to these people.

It gets worse.  There’s the guy who complains that Obama shouldn’t be urging his kindergartener to stay in school — oh, the pressure!  There’s the guy who looks at Obama’s line about how policemen and soldiers need to have a good education, and complains,

One of them, I consider to be a hired murderer, and another to be a paid bully. But he calls them “good” jobs.

Cops and soldiers, he considers to be bullies and murderers?

We need a lot of healing. The critics need a lot of healing.  Not Obama’s speech, not Obama’s policies, nothing Obama ever did opened these wounds.


Happy birthday, Halfway There!

September 8, 2009

I know, I’m over a week late.  But happy fourth birthday to Halfway There, anyway.  (Hey.  I’ve been busy.)

It’s a great math blog, a great teachers’ blog — and I love the Running Guy with Briefcase in the header.

Plus, at least once a year I get to spring Zeno’s Paradox on some unsuspecting young student who makes some silly claim about the superiority of logic to evidence.  And then I send the student packing to Halfway There for serious understanding.  (Anyone who knows there are more than one size of infinity must be a fan of George Gamow, I figure.)

Funny, it doesn’t look like four years have passed.


Indoctrinate yourself! Obama’s education speech, full text

September 8, 2009

Unedited, direct from the White House website:

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK.  Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Should you watch it?  Here are the trailers:
Resources:

THE PRESIDENT’S BACK-TO-SCHOOL MESSAGE TO AMERICA’S STUDENTS

Help get America’s students engaged! On Tuesday, September 8 — the first day of school for many students — the President will talk directly to students across the country on the importance of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals and do everything they can to succeed. We want to make sure that as many schools and classrooms nationwide can participate in this special opportunity, so we are making the President’s address and all the information that comes with it available as widely as possible. Whether you are a teacher, a school board member, or a member of the media, find information below to help you watch and be engaged with the President in welcoming our students back to school.

The President’s Message

When

  • Tuesday, September 8th, at 12:00 PM (EDT)

How to Watch

  • The President’s message will be streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov/live, and broadcast live on C-Span
  • Downloadable video of the speech will be made available on this page later that day as it becomes available
  • For school districts hoping to access the satellite feed, it will be available beginning at 11:00 AM (EDT) using the following coordinates:
    * Galaxy 28/Transponder 17, Slot C (9 MHz)
    * Uplink Frequency 14344.5 Horizontal
    * Downlink Frequency 12044.5 Vertical

Classroom Engagement Resources

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