Why is this a problem??

8 Sep

I don’t live in America, and U.S. President Obama’s planned speech to American school students today hasn’t even been mentioned on the news here so far.



But I read about it online a couple of days ago. The first I saw about it was on a site recommending that parents keep their kids out of school on September 8th so that they wouldn’t be “subjected to Obama’s propaganda”.

I searched around the internet at various websites about the subject and even found a transcript of the U.S. President’s planned speech and, even though it appears that this is a very controversial subject in America right now…I don’t understand what the problem is!

It seems that U.S. President Obama plans to tell students to stay in school and study hard.

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…

(excerpt from U.S. President Obama’s planned speech on 2009 Sept 8)

That sounds like perfectly sound advice.

But it seems to be a problem to some Americans.
I saw a news video clip online from an American TV news program that had people debating whether or not children should hear the President’s speech.

As I said, I don’t live in America and therefore I don’t keep up with the current events and the culture there (which has become foreign to me over the years), but it seems that the people who plan to keep their children home from school today didn’t agree with the plan of the U.S. 教育委員会 (Board Of Education) to have the students write how they could “help the President”.
Or something like that.

Also, while I was reading about this online, I saw a news report about a church preacher in the U.S. state of Arizona who told his church to “pray for the death of the president”.

And it seems that a member of his church carried a rifle and a handgun to a speech that U.S. President Obama was giving. And he wasn’t arrested because it’s legal to carry firearms in Arizona!

This is all one of those “only in America” things, I think. 😉

Have you heard about this?
(If you live in America, maybe you could explain a bit about it better).

20 Responses to “Why is this a problem??”

  1. Tornadoes28 September 10, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    Now that he has given the speech, Obama has received praise for the speech from both democrats AND republicans including some very conservative leaders. See the article.



    • tokyo5 September 11, 2009 at 12:13 am #

      I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t think it is appropriate advice for kids.


      • becomingjapanese September 16, 2009 at 11:59 am #

        It’s not about whether it’s appropriate. The republican party has essentially been taken over by the crazies. It’s all about destroying his presidency. Even if he suddenly decided to get rid of unions and outlaw abortion, the right would still fight against him. It’s not about helping anyone, it’s about trying to keep him from accomplishing anything until the next election.

        Sad part is, he’s still trying to reason with them, and you can’t negotiate with terrorists…


      • tokyo5 September 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

        Well, that doesn’t make much sense to me.
        Even if the political party a person likes doesn’t win an election…the president is still trying to help the country.
        You’d think people would try to support that regardless the political party.


  2. Squimpleton September 10, 2009 at 12:37 am #

    I know there are gamers who feel insulted by the speech since it says something like “it’s up to you to make sure you don’t spend every waking hour on your xbox”.

    And naturally many of them misread that as the president attacking games (instead of the very sound advice that kids need to handle leisure and responsibility at the same time). They expect an insult, and then see one.

    I imagine there are a lot of people and groups who saw insults that weren’t really there. The media’s no different. They want the president to mess up so they have things to talk about, and so they look for anything that can be taken out of context and sound bad.


    • tokyo5 September 10, 2009 at 12:59 am #

      >kids need to handle leisure and responsibility at the same time…

      And they shouldn’t spend all of their free-time playing TV games.
      Kids need to play outdoors; interact with other kids, and exercise!

      BTW, I looked at your site.
      You’re studying Japanese? How long have you been studying it?


      • Squimpleton September 10, 2009 at 2:56 am #

        *nod* I wasn’t saying they shouldn’t. I just meant that instead of seeing what you and I see about the game statement, some people are taking it as a personal insult. Like if he were saying that games are bad and gamers do nothing but game. It’s people like that, who listen only partially to a statement, that cause this kind of weird hate toward normal speeches.

        And yes I do study Japanese. Technically I’ve been at it for about 6 years. However if you count actual study time (and not the various months of giving up), it’s actually more like 1.5 years. This time around I’m not giving up till I’m fluent. I figure if I keep up at the pace I’m currently going, I’ll be at normal (native middle school level) fluency in 2 years or so.


      • tokyo5 September 11, 2009 at 12:15 am #

        I knew that’s what you meant. I was elaborating on it.

        And good luck with the Japanese studies!


  3. Tornadoes28 September 10, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    It is unfortunate and these conservatives that are complaining are very hypocritical. Both President Reagan and senior President Bush gave national speeches to school children. Every president visits schools and speaks to the children. It is pure ignorance.


    • tokyo5 September 10, 2009 at 12:29 am #

      Personally I think America is too worked up over labels…Democrat / Republican, Liberal / Conservative, Left / Right, etc.

      And, I think, even if President Obama was the first and only U.S. President to give a speech to students…there’s still nothing wrong with it.


  4. Metal Misfit September 9, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    I was on my break looking at the news on my phone and saw a blurb about this. Absolutely ridiculous. The article mentioned that conservatives were upset because Obama was getting “too involved at the local level”. Something like that.

    Heaven forbid our president tries to make a difference. Would they rather he hid for months on end at a ranch and ignored the entire country?

    It was just a speech and it wasn’t very “local” seeing as house it was broadcast on the White House website and was meant for any and all schools to watch.


    • tokyo5 September 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

      What’s so wrong with “getting involved” when all it means is giving advice to children that anyone would agree is good advice?


  5. Kurt September 9, 2009 at 5:20 am #

    We do look like idiots a lot of the time, but with freedom and democracy, even crazy people have the right to express their opinions. I agree, though, that sometimes they go too far.


    • tokyo5 September 9, 2009 at 11:36 pm #

      That’s true…but I’ve never seen something so trivial get so blown out of proportion!


  6. In10Words aka "Galileo" September 9, 2009 at 4:45 am #

    You can blame the mainstream media’s various biases that spread misinformation, and its viewers are actually crazy enough to believe them.

    It’s also due to 1) People being upset that the Republicans didn’t win, and 2) Covering up for their racism. 3) We could also argue that security is much less Big Brother-ish with a Democrat in office, as silent protestors with “No Bush!” get arrested while the people who bring loaded semi-automatic guns to town hall meetings get in with no problem.


    • tokyo5 September 9, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

      As I said above…”Only in America”. 😉


  7. jerry bates September 9, 2009 at 3:49 am #

    Very inspirational speech I loved how he aimed for our kids of today to plan for tomorrow, its not giving them political empowerment or guiding them in the wrong direction as the media portrayed but its giving them hope that through all the struggles and storms you may cross you will come out the hero In the end way to go Mr. President.


    • tokyo5 September 9, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with it.


  8. Chris September 9, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    The gun thing is sheer stupidity. It’s people here in Arizona who haven’t gotten the message that it’s 2009 and not 1889. They think that just because the fight at the OK Corral happened in this state, that’s a good reason to keep carrying guns in the open.

    Out of curiosity, do you still retain your citizenship and did you do vote in the most recent election?


    • tokyo5 September 9, 2009 at 12:56 am #

      So, do many people walk around armed in Arizona?

      And, yes, I still have U.S. citizenship…so I can vote in U.S. elections (I have had 「永住者」 (Permanent Resident) visa in Japan for many years but sometimes though I do consider changing citizenship simply because I live here).


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