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Author Topic: Recruiting the children
Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
Gina did make a personal attack upon JoshCrow; but he seems to have responded to it more than adequately, in the process making her look bad.

I don't want to tell you how to run your board, but what I think you should be addressing is the atmosphere of hostility towards conservative posters here. It's unremitting and very often personal in an oblique if not direct way. I would think it was only me, but the sneers apply equally towards G2 and Daruma, though since I'm newer there appears to be a particular verve about insulting me. I mean, it is apparently kenmeer whatever's favorite pasttime currently. I don't know how many "but I told you you won't get anything reasonable out of her" one-line posts I've overlooked.

I didn't know how G2 could handle it until I saw that he has an ignore function. Frankly, why anyone would continue to participate in a forum like this is beyond me.

I have liberal friends and we can have spirited arguments, but I actually like them. I don't see anything here to like, which is odd, given the fact that we all presumably came here because we like Orson Scott Card's books (although I can imagine some people are here because they hate his political commentary). Should have stayed away the last time I decided it wasn't worth my time.

And now we'll be treated to a few posts about how I deserved it.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I don't want to tell you how to run your board, but what I think you should be addressing is the atmosphere of hostility towards conservative posters here. "

Bull****. We adore conservative posters who don't toss garbage in lieu of conservative thought.

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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
"I don't want to tell you how to run your board, but what I think you should be addressing is the atmosphere of hostility towards conservative posters here. "

Bull****. We adore conservative posters who don't toss garbage in lieu of conservative thought.

Considering your posts are sometimes not even coherent, I don't exactly trust your estimation of what "garbage" entails. But I'm not surprised to see you jump quickly on the chance to sling another insult.

And now you're going to say "it's not personal," of course.

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hobsen
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Actually I am of two minds about this. Ornery does seem to me to have a liberal bias at the present time. On the other hand, Gina, you fairly frequently seem to me to respond to hostile remarks with replies still more hostile - and if both sides do this, Ornery will simply dissolve. So I would encourage both parties to tone it down whenever possible. And there are a relatively few people here who regularly test the limits; I should think no more than ten at the most among 75 or so who post regularly. So my suggestion does not seem impossible.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
I don't want to tell you how to run your board, but what I think you should be addressing is the atmosphere of hostility towards conservative posters here
I don't think the hostility comes from simply being conservative. G2 tends to start threads implying some very extreme conspiracy theories regarding the Obama administration and liberals in general. He also tends to respond to challenges with contempt, as though only an idiot would fail to agree with him. The combination of poorly supported positions and snide disregard for rebuttals generates most of the hostility, as far as I can see.

Your posts seems, to me, nearly identical. Discussing the merits (or lack of them) of policies and actions is what makes someone a liberal or conservative. A post like this:

quote:
No, I mean that the man obviously can't get enough of hearing his own voice and seeing his image flickering across TV screens. They've demanded more prime-time air time than most Presidents got away with, and now they're demanding air time in schools. If he could get away with it, Obama would no doubt make it socially unacceptable- if not illegal- to not listen to him drone for a specified amount of time every week.

I call to mind the faces of North Koreans with their plastered-on smiles listening to Dear Leader crank on and on and on, clapping at all the required moments. Kim Jong-Il no doubt includes lots of mushy niceness in his speeches, too- do well in school, work hard for the people, etc. etc. It's not the content, it's the packaging, the narcissism of it all, that is creepy and nauseating.

We would have regular school activities suspended at times to watch the news, but that was when actual world or national events were happening, not when Obama got an itch to give another Historic Moment In Political Rhetoric.

Is neither. Its only identifiable as "conservative" in that the target of your disdain is a democrat. There isn't really any political content at all, just speculation about Obama's motives/personality.

I've only been back here for a week, so maybe situations developed in ways that I'm unaware of. However, as a neutral observer to this particular flame war, I don't see this as a partisan conflict. While many of Ornery's best posters have left, this forum has always prided itself on intellectual rigor. I suspect the hostility is directed at the debate tactics and posting style, not the political affiliation.

Adam

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Ornery does seem to me to have a liberal bias at the present time"

Whatever the seeming, something else is also happening: currently, a small but dedicated numbers of posters claiming to represent some form of conservatism, are posting a ton of blatantly false and crassly libelous nonsense about politics.

They are being hammered for their MO not their professed ideology.

Back in '03/'04, there were a lot of self-described leftists at Ornery accusing Bush of everything under the sun, and there were plenty of Orneryans, con and liberal, taking them to task for it.

It's not a liberal or conservative bias: it's a profound distaste for bull****, period.

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
I don't want to tell you how to run your board, but what I think you should be addressing is the atmosphere of hostility towards conservative posters here
I don't think the hostility comes from simply being conservative. G2 tends to start threads implying some very extreme conspiracy theories regarding the Obama administration and liberals in general. He also tends to respond to challenges with contempt, as though only an idiot would fail to agree with him. The combination of poorly supported positions and snide disregard for rebuttals generates most of the hostility, as far as I can see.

Your posts seems, to me, nearly identical. Discussing the merits (or lack of them) of policies and actions is what makes someone a liberal or conservative. A post like this:

quote:
No, I mean that the man obviously can't get enough of hearing his own voice and seeing his image flickering across TV screens. They've demanded more prime-time air time than most Presidents got away with, and now they're demanding air time in schools. If he could get away with it, Obama would no doubt make it socially unacceptable- if not illegal- to not listen to him drone for a specified amount of time every week.

I call to mind the faces of North Koreans with their plastered-on smiles listening to Dear Leader crank on and on and on, clapping at all the required moments. Kim Jong-Il no doubt includes lots of mushy niceness in his speeches, too- do well in school, work hard for the people, etc. etc. It's not the content, it's the packaging, the narcissism of it all, that is creepy and nauseating.

We would have regular school activities suspended at times to watch the news, but that was when actual world or national events were happening, not when Obama got an itch to give another Historic Moment In Political Rhetoric.

Is neither. Its only identifiable as "conservative" in that the target of your disdain is a democrat. There isn't really any political content at all, just speculation about Obama's motives/personality.

I've only been back here for a week, so maybe situations developed in ways that I'm unaware of. However, as a neutral observer to this particular flame war, I don't see this as a partisan conflict. While many of Ornery's best posters have left, this forum has always prided itself on intellectual rigor. I suspect the hostility is directed at the debate tactics and posting style, not the political affiliation.

Adam

I think that's a pretty good summary there Adam.

G2 reminds me of no-one as much as Baldar, although I don't know how many people left here will remember him. Baldar was an intelligent (and conservative) guy who had G2's unfortunate tendency to lead with ridicule and insult and only get down to the actual argument worth having under extreme duress [Smile] He was worth talking to if you could just ignore his ongoing (and frequently stated) assumption that anyone who disagreed with him was a blathering moron. G2 likewise makes some worthwhile points, but seems very reluctant to do when the "Lol WTF noob" option is on the table.

(Conversely, I can think of a few posters on the liberal side of this board right now who have the same writing style, but have so far provided no evidence that they have anything worthwhile behind the fatuous facade).

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cherrypoptart
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The joy of unintended consequences:

There is plenty of talk now of an "Obama school sick day", at least in Texas, to keep kids out of his clutches, or whatever.

Oh the ironies abound.

Obama trying to get kids to get educated having the effect of keeping them out of school for a day so they don't get that message.

Also, to be fair, the conservatives or whoever, people who supposedly value the education of their kids, helping their children play hookie.

------------------------------------------

More irony: The wishes of parents and kids who don't want to listen to the President will be treated with the same respect as other children who refuse to salute the flag or recite the pledge of allegience. [Smile]

http://blogs.chron.com/schoolzone/2009/09/katy_isds_mea_culpa_on_the_oba.html

"The next paragraph is what sparked controversy:

Allowing parents to opt their children out of listening to our president or any other elected official will be honored as we honor requests of those who desire to opt out of saluting our nation's flag and reciting the pledge of Allegiance."

-------------------------------------------

I'm going to go back to the Josh-Gina thing momentarily. No need to rehash the whole thing but I think the point is in the dismissal of the possibility that there could be legitimate, substantive concerns about Obama and his agenda.

There also seems to be a racial undertone in this assumption that opposition to Obama isn't based on issues, but instead just based on Obama himself. Well, sometimes it's an undertone; other times it's just flatly stated.

An obvious response to this would be the assertion that even if it were a white person proposing some of the things Obama is, they would also get a lot of opposition from some of the same people opposing Obama. Proof? Hillary Clinton and Hillarycare anyone? Sound familiar?

So maybe these people opposing Obama aren't just racists, they are mysogonists as well. That must explain why so many of the same people opposed to Obama and Hillary voted for Sarah Palin. It couldn't possibly be about issues...

And about speaking out in opposition to Obama, there was also the point raised about people being better served waiting until we hear what Obama says, and seeing what he does, before we come to any decisions, pass judgment, or protest.

Needless to say, that's too late. President Obama has made his intentions perfectly clear, and making the decision to protest based on his clearly stated goals and the means he proposes to achieve many of them, also obviously taking into account his past writings, associations, and influences is only perfectly logical.

One of the questions/assignments supposedly to be raised in regard to this Obama presentation was going to about what kids can do to help Obama.

That's a bit presumptious.

Who says people should want to help Obama? What if they think what he wants to do, even if it's with the best of intentions, will end up hurting Americans? The best way to help President Obama is to oppose him so that he doesn't end up getting what he wants and hurting Americans inadvertently. At least that's how many Americans may see it, including me.

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kenmeer livermaile
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It's kind of cute, really: president encourages kids to strive harder in school; certain parents have them skip a day so they don't catch commie cooties from a -- what? 20-minute presentation?

It's cute.

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hobsen
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The following by a resident of the school district makes it clear the problem was poor wording.
quote:
Being a former Marine, I took serious offense. The way they made it sound was like if you didn't watch the address, you were not patriotic or you were anti-American because of the way they had the examples grouped together. Now that it has changed, there really isn't an issue there, just think before you post KISD.
Otherwise the request that children think of ways to help Obama was taken over from Bush's address to schoolchildren which asked children to think how they could help Bush. That has been revised to ask children to list their short term and long term goals in education, and the text of the planned speech will be posted on the White House website on Monday.
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DonaldD
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I like the way the marine assumed that refusing to recite the pledge is somehow unpatriotic or even anti-american...
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Greg Davidson
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cherry, let me state that I don't think that the response to Obama is primarily based on racism.

While all sides have extremist voices (ie; loons), the leadership of the Republican Party led a campaign of attacks against Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, and John Kerry that are similar to what is being done with Obama (actually, I felt that the attacks on Al Gore had less venom even though they included an equally silly amount of imaginary content).

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hobsen
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That Marine might have changed his tune if he had been asked whether children should be forced to salute the flag when their parents thought that was worshipping an idol, and so forbidden by the Ten Commandments. While many secularists resent the addition of "under God" to the Pledge, probably few care strongly enough to ask that their children be excused from such exercises, so most of those actually refusing probably would be condemned by their churches for participating. Children should not be forced to defy their parents to attend a public school.

[ September 06, 2009, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Who says people should want to help Obama? What if they think what he wants to do, even if it's with the best of intentions, will end up hurting Americans? The best way to help President Obama is to oppose him so that he doesn't end up getting what he wants and hurting Americans inadvertently. At least that's how many Americans may see it, including me.
When there is a Republican President in office, will you similarly endorse the same behavior?
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cherrypoptart
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posted September 06, 2009 03:11 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> When there is a Republican President in office, will you similarly endorse the same behavior?

Of course not.

I endorse whatever behavior helps my side, no matter what. Even if it makes me look like a total hypocrite. That's not the important thing. The important thing is getting the agenda through.

And indoctrinating impressionable children more toward my way of thinking before the other side gets ahold of their brains first.

---------------------------------------------

By the way, first we heard that this idea of an assignment dealing with what kids will do to help Obama and how Obama inspires them came out of the brain of some minor functionary in the education beauracracy, whose name we happen not to know in our new government filled with transparancy.

Now I'm hearing that this was the result of a sit down between education and White House officials.

Also, the fact that it's been taken out shouldn't really put anyone who was concerned at ease. It should be troubling that this stuff was there in the first place, and shows that unwavering vigilance is required so that something else doesn't get slipped in a side door while we're watching the front and back. In short, trust no one.

Also, taking it out of the lesson plan doesn't make everything okay now. The hand was still played. It was called. They folded.

That doesn't mean they didn't try to pull a fast one. It's no longer paranoia when you find their hand in the cookie jar trying to contaminate it. Yes, they admitted they were wrong. We still haven't gotten a good explanation of just who they think they were to try something like this in the first place.

We also have no real assurance that the thing they feel bad about isn't just getting busted, not what they were trying do. The mistake wasn't abusing the power of their positions of authority over a captive, impressionable audience to push a political agenda. The mistake was being too blatant about it. There is no assurance that they won't try the same thing in principle, just less obviously, more subliminally. These are sneaky people, and what has been revealed here is the complicity at the highest levels of our educational system to abuse their positions of power to push their ideology. Of course we all already knew about this. This is just classic over-reaching. And getting that hand slapped.

I mean, we all already knew that's why a lot of teachers get into education. This is just a little more proof. Sure, not this teacher, not that school, not this district. Not everyone, of course. But enough for concern.

As I'm writing this, I'm seeing something on Fox about exposing the the underbelly of school textbooks. If you teach Shakespeare, you need to teach Maya Angelou. Good stuff like that. Kind of interesting. It's not just about education. It's about making good citizens. Of course. But with hidden agendas.

And what exactly is a good citizen? There may be some common denominators, but plenty enough room for disagreement and plenty enough room for controversial ideologies to make their play.

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Greg Davidson
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If you read closely, you will find me criticizing liberals twice in this post

I will admit that I disapproved of the Presidential talk to children when Bush did it and I don't think it's a good idea now either. But the issue is a tempest in a teapot - not so bad that it should be boycotted.

If you even want to start discussing high school textbooks, there is a very strong set of evidence documenting how conservative forces have used public pressure to re-write history (mostly by excluding important events and struggles that pressure groups don't want discussed). Then on top of that editing of content there has the injection of liberal quota politics (must show so many women, so many people of color, so many handicapped people), but this liberal veneer is (a) annoying, and (b) a distraction from issues of real importance.

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cherrypoptart
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I actually don't mind Obama making one of his famous inspirational speeches directly toward kids in school and during school time which will hopefully result in more children staying in school and trying their best to learn. I'll admit that I missed it when Bush did it and Reagan did it so didn't have an opinion at the time.

I'd just like it to be a politically neutral speech, with politically neutral follow-up.

I'm quite sure it will be.

Now...

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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
While many of Ornery's best posters have left, this forum has always prided itself on intellectual rigor. I suspect the hostility is directed at the debate tactics and posting style, not the political affiliation.

I see quite a bit of pride, not much rigor. Nor do I see the "posting style" standards enforced against liberals with nearly as much acid. That is natural, of course, we go lighter on the ones on "our team," but I think it puts your judgment to some lie.

As for your assessment of my remarks on Obama: I put them in the category of commentary on the events of the day. People exchanging their views. That is not up to Ornery standards? If I were to look through the archives, would I find negative assessments of Bush's leadership persona, or only footnoted essays on his policies? Particularly in this presidency where so much has been and continues to be made of Obama's supposedly unique charisma, when his personality and je ne sais quoi were the chief thing to recommend him for some of those who endorsed him in the election (like Colin Powell), even more would I think discussion of it would be fair game.

But of course hobsen is right, I should not give insulting posters the dignity of a response, let alone respond in kind, and now I've sunk myself even further to whining martyrdom status. Pathetic. Eh well, perhaps Ornery will one day find a politically conservative Buddhist monk willing to post here as an ascetic exercise.

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Greg Davidson
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Gina,

It is clear to me that you are sincere and are expressing what you think, believe and feel. The place where we differ is in our understanding of facts and the true nature of people, events and how economic and social systems work. If I believed the things that you assert, then I would find myself agreeing with you most of the time.

I find it hard to have a discussion with you, because you sometimes make assertions that appear to me to be painfully obvious to you, so much so that you do not believe that they require substantiation for the rest of us. And unfortunately I generally disagree with your assertions.

I may be wrong about this next bit, but it seems like when we question you about your assertions, you feel as if you are being attacked by hostile liberals. I would prefer if you would respond to such questions by giving us compelling and credible information that would persuade us that your view of the world was correct in that given instance.

I'd prefer if I got the same kind of questions when I posted something that others disagreed with. If you disagree with me, show me that the facts that I have asserted are wrong, or show me that my model for how systems work is wrong. When I make what I think is a strong case around here, what I get a little too often is either a tangential point that ignores the main thrust of the discussion or chirping crickets.

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philnotfil
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@Gina- Of course Olbermann should be held accountable for what he has accomplished, but he hasn't really accomplished anything. (which is what I was trying to say earlier, but I guess I wasn't very clear on the connection between those two things)
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Jordan
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quote:
Gina:
I think you should be addressing is the atmosphere of hostility towards conservative posters here. It's unremitting and very often personal in an oblique if not direct way.

When I think of excellent representatives of conservative perspectives on Ornery, I generally think of Paladine and jasonr. (Pete might make the list, but only for a couple of positions, aside from which he is generally liberal enough to make liberals uncomfortable.) It would, therefore, be interesting to know if they share your assessment of the general atmosphere towards conservatism on Ornery.

On a more general note, I've seen—and suffered—the reverse on conservative forums, and noted similar demonisation of conservatives on extensively liberal forums. The general impression I have is that few forums are free of vitriol or presumption, but that these are expressed differently depending upon overall political leanings. On conservative forums, I have been attacked (and seen others attacked) by interlocutors who are enamored by the idea that they are indubitably right and moral, and thus that others are wrong and immoral; on the other hand, conservative participants on liberal forums are often viewed as narrow-minded and sanctimonious by those who consider themselves more tolerant or enlightened, seemingly unconscious of the irony.

By far the greatest issue in such dialogue is that participants from each side of the argument see in their opponents those qualities which they most dislike, while failing to recognise their analogues in themselves.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Gina:
I see quite a bit of pride, not much rigor. Nor do I see the "posting style" standards enforced against liberals with nearly as much acid. That is natural, of course, we go lighter on the ones on "our team," but I think it puts your judgment to some lie.

As for your assessment of my remarks on Obama: I put them in the category of commentary on the events of the day. People exchanging their views. That is not up to Ornery standards? If I were to look through the archives, would I find negative assessments of Bush's leadership persona, or only footnoted essays on his policies? Particularly in this presidency where so much has been and continues to be made of Obama's supposedly unique charisma, when his personality and je ne sais quoi were the chief thing to recommend him for some of those who endorsed him in the election (like Colin Powell), even more would I think discussion of it would be fair game.

But of course hobsen is right, I should not give insulting posters the dignity of a response, let alone respond in kind, and now I've sunk myself even further to whining martyrdom status. Pathetic. Eh well, perhaps Ornery will one day find a politically conservative Buddhist monk willing to post here as an ascetic exercise.

Just calling it like I see it. I've never seen Msquared take any heat, and he's a self-identified conservative. Course, he's about the nicest guy in the world.

There seems to be a curve with people who decide to stay here. Regardless of their style, people seem to lose much of their fight after a few years or so. Most arguments have been played out to the point where both sides are fully articulated, and disagreements narrowed down to conflicting premises that neither side is willing to change. In my experience, most people are generally quite intellectually honest about their positions, once you get down to the core of them. A few years of debate, and we are generally satisfied that others' positions are rational, even if we disagree (and there is almost always a refinement of those positions, if nothing else).

Of course, that leaves needling the new guys, which its fair to say is an Ornery bias. Not only have people not yet heard the complete exposition of their positions, but they are commonly full of logical fallacies. As annoying as the forum may be for new posters, the logic and reasoning employed here IS pretty sound, because poor logic gets attacked, and the poster either tightens up their game, or leaves.

Again, these are just my observations, but I've been around a while and know most of these guys pretty well (hi guys [Smile] ). The best thing I can say about Ornery is that, if you can defend an argument with sound logic and reason, you will be respected, regardless of your position. Paladine's a good example: he's probably very close to you in terms of platform, but he's rigorous and assiduously rational in his presentation. I've debated him (very intensely at times), but he's always held my respect, and that of most of the posters here. Its really just a question of approach.

Adam

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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
Paladine's a good example: he's probably very close to you in terms of platform, but he's rigorous and assiduously rational in his presentation.

That's fine. It also sounds a little dull. I mean, different strokes and all.
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TomDavidson
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Yes, it IS a little dull.

Imagine Richard Simmons, bursting flamboyantly into some research conference at a local convention center, demanding, "I am a dietician! Good Golly, Miss Molly, why won't you people take me seriously?!"

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Gina:
That's fine. It also sounds a little dull. I mean, different strokes and all.

Yeah, Pal is a little dull. [Big Grin]

Seriously, there's nothing wrong with a little give and take. Daruma,s been here forever, and he's still as inflammatory, snide and argumentative as ever. [Smile] He's also totally consistent: to my knowledge, he's NEVER complained about taking flack from someone. He dishes out fire and doesn't mind taking it in return, and thats fine by me.

I got into the mother of all flame wars with a guy who used to post here about SSM a lot. It got so I couldn't stand the guy, literally. I hated a person I'd never met in the flesh. Went on for a long time, finally reached a kind of critical mass, and he sends me a detente email. Basically, it says: "I'm not the guy you think I am, and you're probably not the guy I think you are. Let's back off it and cool down." Long story short, I now consider him one of my best friends of the "e" variety (though I haven't heard from him since he left here). His SSM arguments still piss me off, but he's a decent guy, a dedicated family man, and he'll give people a second chance no matter how much shyte goes down; a very rare quality.

People will surprise you. Ken's actually a really good guy, and a very nuanced thinker. Took me years to figure that out with the way he writes, but its true. Anyway, I guess I'm saying, don't bail yet. There isn't a better politics forum on the web, and if all the conservatives leave, this place'll be pointless.

Adam

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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Yes, it IS a little dull.

Imagine Richard Simmons, bursting flamboyantly into some research conference at a local convention center, demanding, "I am a dietician! Good Golly, Miss Molly, why won't you people take me seriously?!"

That's me alright, flicking my feather boa.
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kenmeer livermaile
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" Ken's actually a really good guy, and a very nuanced thinker. Took me years to figure that out with the way he writes, but its true."

In my early days, I worked hard to be 'fair and balanced' toward all, although it must be noted that I rarely took the effort to pare my verbiage down from its inherently filigreed syntax.

But it.simply.didn't.pay. to exert that standard toward one and all. So I long ago decided I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

Way more fun and, whenever folks weary of name-calling and knuckle down to rigorous rhetorical hygiene, I am happy to do the same.

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cherrypoptart
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The latest news and my predictable knee-jerk over-reaction:

http://www.browardschools.com/info/obama.htm

Supposedly now, there is no opt out option for Broward County schools. Any kid not attending will be punished, according to FOX news.

This is a very liberal area so this shouldn't really be surprising.

I can't help but remember how great it was for kids to opt out of school to attend the pro-illegal immigration and amnesty rallies. But if you want to protest the Obama, you will pay the price. It's reminiscient of the radios in North Korea where the only channel is that of the Dear Leader, and you'd better not get caught not listening and nodding your head in fervent agreement whenever he's talking. Fascism comes to America. Thanks Obama!

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Any kid not attending will be punished, according to FOX news.
Source? I've never heard of a student being "punished" for an absence of any kind, anywhere.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I can't help but remember how great it was for kids to opt out of school to attend the pro-illegal immigration and amnesty rallies. But if you want to protest the Obama, you will pay the price."

Well, just for the record, there is a line of official authority running from a local public school district to the prez of the USA.

Not so with ad hoc immigration and amnesty or other grass-roots rallies.

"Fascism comes to America. Thanks Obama! "

Do you enjoy sounding stupid or just the effect it has on others? Oops False dichotomy. Re-ask: which do you enjoy more?

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JoshCrow
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I can't wait to see the text of the speech today, so that all the air can go out of the collective balloons of the people who are freaking out over this.
Then again, it seems nowadays you can find fascism in your oatmeal.

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PSRT
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quote:
Supposedly now, there is no opt out option for Broward County schools
There should NOT be an opt out option. Civics is mandated by most state laws, federal law does not require schools to let parents opt out except for reasons of religion, and most state laws only require opt out for human sexuality courses. The reason parents want to opt out is because they are fearful due to propaganda spread by right wing demagogues, and part of the mission of schooling is to teach students to distinguish between propaganda and reality. Schools should be standing firm against the fear of the parents, rather than bowing to fear mongering.

[ September 07, 2009, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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cherrypoptart
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I've always said that one thing left out of the Constitution that maybe should have been put in there more explicitly along with Freedom of Speech is the Freedom NOT to have to Listen.

It's interesting that some people seem to believe in one more than the other, at least in this case and at least in Broward County. I'd further contend that freedom to not listen to someone can very well be a form of freedom of speech, certainly of expression.

It's further interesting that there is someone who would actually contend that there should NOT be an opt out option. That's very brave. Hard to really defend. But brave. And telling.

I also have no doubt that Obama's speech is going to be so generic, watered down, and non-controversial that there won't be much if anything to object to about his presentation.

The objection was about what was to come afterward, when kids were going to be challenged to write assignments detailing what they planned to do to "help Obama". We can clearly see by the actions of the Broward County school officials exactly how much parents have to fear regarding the politicization of the education of their children. Education? Or re-education? The mask is off.

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PSRT
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quote:
That's very brave. Hard to really defend.
Actually, it's pretty easy to defend. Constitutional precedent is that parents do not have the right to opt their children out of public school lessons the parents do not like. Public schools are not designed to be subject to parental whims, that is what homeschooling is for. If parents do not like the public curriculum and would rather choose a different curriculum, they can work to change the curriculum through public means, or find a private school that more closely resembles what they want their students to teach. State laws demand that public schools teach civics to ALL students, not just students whose parents want them to learn civics. And this is a civics lesson. Schools also have a duty, usually in their mission statements, almost always in their curriculum, to teach critical thinking, and this speech could easily be used to teach that skill as well as civics, by having students separate propaganda from reality.

When students send their children to a school, they are sacrificing some of their custodial responsibilities, whether that school is public or private. What students will learn in school is made available to parents through the curriculum and state laws, and how to teach that is, again, under constitutional precedents, and state laws as well as school committee decisions, supposed to be left up to the teachers and administrators.

The idea that parents can opt their children out of any lesson that they do not like is, frankly, incompatible with the idea of any type of schooling that isn't parent-schooling. Parents complain about Catcher in the Rye, they complain about The Crucible, they complain about Shakespeare, they complain about long term projects in science classes, they complain about teaching Native American Culture, they complain about teaching about Christopher Columbus. They complain about every lesson you can imagine. Teachers being subject to the whims of parents, especially when those whims are fearful whims created by demagogues who are trying to win a partisan political battle, is not conducive to children getting an education.

Rather, the idea that is hard to defend is pulling your child out of class because the president is addressing the class. Until you see the speech and can point to particular concepts that you do not want your child to learn AND are not part of the curriculum, its actually impossible to defend.

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JoshCrow
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Cherry - while I agree that "freedom not to listen" is pretty fundamental, if one chooses to register a student at a school but remove one's child from things that form its curriculum, can one reasonably expect there to be no academic cost? For example, if I pull my kid out of science for whatever reason, is it the school's obligation to overlook that when it's time to apply grading? How does one determine what constitutes a good "reason" to excuse someone? It's not a simple decision, in any case. Most schools understand the idea of a religious exemption... but a political one?

Now, the decision to air Obama's speech is, as I understand it, in the hands of the school board itself. It occupies course time. Comparing it to withdrawal from a full course may be a stretch, but I hope you get my point.

Anyhow, I'm irked by the thought that some people are saying his speech will be watered down "now". The right has now slain an invisible dragon to protect the village. There's no way to disprove it, of course, but that won't stop some people from returning to it as another item on the anti-Obama list.

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cherrypoptart
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I'm trying to be nice to President Obama, but just because he's the President doesn't erase his association with the terrorist who got away with it, Bill Ayers, who coincidentally during his "redemption" laid out a "better" way to go about achieving his goals, namely through education.

If a parent wants to be extra wary and protest Obama on that count alone, that's their prerogative. It's their right.

I'm not saying that's why parents might oppose letting their kids hear a speech directed at them from Obama, but I could certainly see that happening. And they'd be completely justified. Or does pro-choice only apply to killing fetuses?

If people listen, Obama and his allies have pretty well laid out their plans, including their plans for your kids. OSC has even brought up the ties between Obama and known terrorist turned educator Ayers. If there was a guy down the street who was associated with a guy like Ayers or Wright or gave a thumbs up to someone like Van Jones before throwing him under the bus, would a parent have a right, even a duty, to be circumspect about allowing that individual access to their children? Because Obama is the President he gets a pass? If anything, the power inherent in his position of influence should makes parents even more protective. Again, it doesn't even matter what he says. In fact, what he says now, even if these are the greatest words ever put together in the history of the English language, can be deemed dangerous because this speech might lend him credibility in his other ventures, credibility parents may not think Obama deserves.

Obama still hasn't explained a lot of things. And the media has pretty much swept many of these things under the rug.

Turning it around a bit, wouldn't parents have a right to keep their kids from being talked at by a known torturer like Bush or Cheney?

You don't need to see the speech. People have every right to protest based on the person talking by simply refusing to listen to them.

--------------------------------------------

I do apologize for being so blunt about it, but there it is. Just calling it like I see it. I'm sure a lot of people won't see it that way at all, and that's what makes this such a wonderful world to live in.

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PSRT
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quote:
You don't need to see the speech. People have every right to protest based on the person talking by simply refusing to listen to them.
If the speech aligns with curriculum goals, they actually do NOT have a right to opt their children out of public school lessons in which the speech is used. This is my point. You can claim that they do, but the precedent is that they do not.

If we assume the right to opt out of any lesson DOES exist, there's really no point to having public schools and publicly determined curriculum in those schools.

Again, if your children attends school, you are sacrificing certain rights of parenting during the hours they are at school. Whether public or private.

Students certainly have the right to cover their ears. Parents have the right to pull their children from school tomorrow. But there might be consequences to exercising those rights, such as reduced grades.

[ September 07, 2009, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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cherrypoptart
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Well, perhaps some rights are debatable, and there may be some flexibility depending on how forcefully people intend to exercise their perceived rights intersecting the determination of others to make sure that the exercise of assumed rights they don't agree with gets punished, and then there is the weighing of the punishment with the utility of exercise. Or something like that.

Someone might assert that there is no right to opt-out, but when parents and school children do it, that'll be the test. If they get away with doing something that wasn't a right, then it may as well be.

What should the punishment be for the kids and parents then?

Truancy? Contributing to the deliquency of a minor?

I'd have to laugh at the prospect of the police and courts trying to enforce that in this case. Maybe we'll see...

----------------------------------------------

Now having said all that I've said, let me also happily admit that I think a lot of students have a lot to gain from listening to the President. He can be very persuasive, and if he convinces children to stay in school and diligently pursue their education, that can be of great benefit to those students, to their communities, and to America.

The students who have the wherewithal to choose to opt-out, or who have parents who care about their children enough to opt them out, in all probability will do quite fine without the inspiration that Obama might provide. There are other sources of inspiration besides President Obama.

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PSRT
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quote:
Someone might assert that there is no right to opt-out, but when parents and school children do it, that'll be the test. If they get away with doing something that wasn't a right, then it may as well be.
Yup, I agree. On the flip-side of that, non-fear-paralyzed districts where teachers show the address without letting parents opt out are, under SC and many circuit court precedents, acting within their rights as well.

I think what will happen inmost cases is that parents will not bother opting their children out, some teachers will show the address without notifying parents, the whole thing is going to be vanilla, and the only outcome will be that demagogues who talked about respecting the president for the last 8 years but really only have the good of the Republican Party (Note: This is different from the good of the country, the good of the people, or the good of you and me) in mind and do NOT respect the Office of the President will crow about the victory they won by forcing Obama to vanilla up his speech, and many students will be deprived of listening to a speech directed to them, and many others will hear a speech that will have a small positive impact on their lives.


Frankly, the Republican media outlet response to this speech has reminded me, yet again, that the current incarnation of the Republican Party thrives on fear mongering. And doing things out of fear seems to me a good way to have an unhappy life and be destructive towards the society you live in.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
In fact, what he says now, even if these are the greatest words ever put together in the history of the English language, can be deemed dangerous because this speech might lend him credibility in his other ventures, credibility parents may not think Obama deserves.

I'm glad you put it this way... I said as much in another thread where I asserted that the GOP is unhappy with any move that might lead to admiration for Obama, particularly when they don't have an equal player on the national stage. I called it "image-envy", for which Gina called me a narrow and nasty fellow.

It's not about the speech itself - the speech is just a pretense.

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