Cause for Pause

SEPTEMBER 5, 2009 10:39AM

Texas Letter to the Editor

Rate: 36 Flag

Galveston Daily News masthead

My letter of outrage went out this morning. Hope they don't bomb my house....

BR

 

Dear Editor:

 

I certainly hope that the Galveston Daily News is going to give print and equal time to those of us who are outraged by Texas school districts at the decision to ban, in effect, Obama's attempt to encourage and challenge our students.

"Districts in Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Virginia and Texas are telling reporters they won't show Obama's speech to students on Tuesday. (I'd urge parents of kids in those districts to protest by keeping their kids home, except liberals value education too much to do that.)" (Joan Walsh appears regularly on msm political reviews:Joan Walsh at Salon.com)

Letters across the state went out to parents on Thursday outlining Obama's message next Tuesday giving a glowing review of its contents:

"According to Arne Duncan, US Dept of Education, The President will challenge the students to work hard, set  educational goals and take responsibility for their own learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school district receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding, productive lives as American citizens."

The letters then go on to state that the speech is going to be 'made available' online after they've taped it live on Tuesday. Yes, teachers will be able to use and show the speech to their classes with advance parent notification. Objecting parents and students will be given alternative assignments.

Why laud the contents of the speech, then go about soft-peddling the fact that they refuse to air an address by the President of the United States in real time? Shame on Texas.

What are these states and districts afraid of? Go to any Teacher's Lounge and listen to dedicated educators who are deeply saddened by this decision. No doubt, it's over 50%....

Who censors the message as outlined by Arne Duncan?  Did a directive come from our illustrious, secessionist governor's office?

Did these districts receive a 'talking points memo' before they sent the letters to make sure the entire state is on the same, Red, boycotting page?

Are the districts afraid that a handful of students will be absent? Or that if they decided to air it in real time, it would be in conflict with the governor's revolutionary agenda?

Have they caved in to pressure by only one side? Or is it yet another form of veiled racism?

Should the parents who support the upcoming message from the President and find it positive, much-needed reinforcement keep their children home if it ISN'T aired?

Did they do the same thing when George the First addressed our school children in 1991? No. Why is that?

Texas, along with the other five states, once again, appear as laughing stocks to the rest of the world.


It's a sad state of affairs in this country when a handful of Oppositionists push their political agendas on the backs of our children and at the expense of the 40% of Texans who oppose them.

Shame on us.



Sincerely,



LMT/BR

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Good letter and I hope lots of Texas parents are also writing to protest. "I'd urge parents of kids in those districts to protest by keeping their kids home, except liberals value education too much to do that." IMO, the best thing to do for your kids IS to keep them home to listen to the speech. I I I think you will share with your children the respect for government and American values that way. Given the rhetoric over this innocuous subject, it's clear that indoctrination is Job One for these state school boards, and not true education.
You go! I think opposing our president's effort to speak to the youth is just outrageous. I was born and raised in Texas and I am ashamed of them and any other state who tries to obstruct our president's efforts to speak. BTW....I am also a conservative, but this is just horrible and I am as outraged as you are.
The whole thing is just sick. Could we get some "journalists" to go to these districts and ask what is it that is so offensive? That the president wishes to challenge students to take part in their own educations? Is it the part where he wants them to study or put down video games? Is it because those teflon coated millionaires of right wing radio and television need to keep them worked up so that their arbitron books will get bigger rating numbers and make even more money for themselves at the cost of freedom and and our nations future? What's so terrible about that?
Excellent letter. I'm sure if it had been W speaking, it would have been mandatory to attend, listen AND pray.
"Veiled racism"? I see no veiled racism. It's everywhere you look. If it's veiled, you need to clean your glasses. It is racism so plain to see that it's frightening. Reagan, Bush, no problem. Obama, current President of the United States. Priceless!!
Bravo BR!! Give 'em hell. I'd write an angry letter too, but I live in the Republic of Santa Monica and ain't nobody pulling that shit here.

But I'm glad you stood for all of us. R
Thanks, John -- Dudn't matter where you live, write a letter to anybody in any of those states. I'm on a mission!
Thanks BR.. For your encouraging comments.
We are joined in freedom reign..to first SAVE AMERICA then make it a better place to live.

Very soon we have to fight logic and seek to make the quality of life and the living conditions in the "trailer park" humane. It will decrease , I think, the migration to White Supremacism.
Bravo. Don't want to educate them kids. They might grow up and think for themselves. Then who'll go to the tea parties?
@ Stim - At first glance, it looks as if that's the case but we're educating the kids in unmentionable ways -- teaching them Censorship and worse, I'm afraid.
I can only imagine what conservative would have said if, for example, San Francisco schools had banned an address by W. when he was Prez. Godless communist traitors would have merely been a starting point of the accusations.
Really, Silkstone -- When have we ever seen the likes of this No-Party Opposition? When? It embarrasses me.
Well done. I bypassed the Editor and went directly to the Mayor and School Board Meeting this past week. I didn't make any friends, but I sure got their attention Thursday night.

WE have to speak up on a larger scale than Open Salon. We are for the most part birds of a feather, and I know that MOST on here are heard outside of here. It's time for another revolution, and we shall try to keep it civil.

Respect and Rated
G
I like the idea of parents who want their kids to see the speech keeping their kids at home and letting them watch it on CSPAN - and screwing the school districts out of the money they would have earned if the kids had showed up for school.
Yes, iamsurly -- Fer shur those parents who keep their angels home from school will be watching it full front an center at home. They must love Obama more than we will ever know or give them credit for.

Tin foiled,

BR
"This country is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together . . . mass hysteria."
You're right, TMichael -- especially about the dawgs and cay-uts...



BR
Teaching your children to perpetuate the shameful practice of black-and-white partisan bickering that has been rusting the gears of progress to a halt over the past 40 years of our shared history is an abomination.

Our parents always taught us to respect the office of the President of the United States, even if we (or they) do not agree with the President's policies. That President Obama's message to America's youth will be one of encouragement and belief that the children of this country have it within their power to be everything they want to be if they are willing to keep at their studies and work hard makes certain school systems' rejection of his message doubly tragic.
It is shameful that people are frothing at the mouth over nothing, "Oooh, I'm so afraid! He might tell my kids to do well in school!"
I wonder what would happen to teachers who showed the speech anyway? People are all up in arms about teacher tenure these days, but this is exactly what it if for--to protect a teacher who teaches a lesson opposed to the politics of the school board.
Texas has been the source of so much crap that has happened to this country. The great energy ripoff in California, anything Bush, and now an increasingly ugly and bizarre series of racist and politically sick events!

When the Texas school districts lose the federal money that will be withheld for their day of stupidity, maybe they'll finally secede and get the hell out of my country.
Good letter. I do hope it gets published.

Having been born at Galveston County Memorial in Texas City, I am ashamed of what my home state is doing. Thank you for fighting the good fight.
Very good letter. Good luck!
I wish media folks wouldn't always highlight the nutty right-wing things about Texas and give some air to we lefties that live here, too. We're just as Texan as they are, damn it! (Bless their little hearts.)
Renaissance Lady -- Small wonders. My son was born at GCMH, now called Mainland Center Hospital. It was also the place of my first job as Admitting Clerk and all around gopher.
You know, Douglas, my sentiments exactly. People tend to forget that 40% of us or more are not wingnuts. We always get clumped in altogether. ::Sigh::
From Harold's Left Blog (he's on FB) - msnbc video

http://www.haroldsleft.com/2009/09/good-ol-republican-double-talk.html
You mean Oklahoma isn't part of the insanity? Well, maybe we're better than I thought!
Don't worry, Steve....Oklahoma's leading the 10th Amendment pack, so don't feel left out.

"Joint House Resolution 1089, passed by an overwhelming 92-3 margin, reasserts Oklahoma's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and, according to the resolution's own language, is "serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates."

I wonder if they'll try to invoke that statute against universal healthcare?
Blue Roses. Maybe You can send commenters to the barn with a Big Tale? Tail!
Pitchfork!
Oy! Michael T. Stone?
Ay! Order him banned!
He can shovel cow muck!
He makes me cry and moo!
I respect his:` ouch and wit!
Flashbacks too. okay. ouch!
`
Medic! A Moo Cow is down!
Call a med-dust-off chopper!
This is a `Nam jungle? USA!

Yet, all the human pain moan!
[!] No overuse the EXCLAIM!
It's a passion. I can't help it?
My loves passion conceals?
I am working at caring too.
The human must discover.

You know I tease and affirms.
At dusk last night I moo too.
Shame is right. Shame 'um.
Shame them with Truths.
Oy ~ them nincompoops.
Force 'um to sit in pews.
Front seat on Sundays.
Morn while 'um ruins.
Put 'um in barn choir.

Hymn:`Hypocrite scats.
Serve thee moo cow flop.
Get then prepared to burn.
'Um will chop, gnaw, chatter.
Teeth will grind to dust powder.

Weak journalist need to scrub their moth and soul with Clorox bleach. They thrive on artificial 'Dairy Queen' chocolate cones.
I mean:`Homer said:`Labor in honest work before the Dark visit.
okay stoop? They pump the moo cow tail up and down for mousse. Moo cow chocolate milk shake dessert. Ugh. A Amish stupor shrill.
`
Oy they are disgusting. Gut talk comes from the inner being depth.
Gut talk is understood by truth seekers. Why serve a Big Black Lie?
Since humans formed a Voice ... Bards Shamed Scribes, Pharisees, Big Lies, Hades cohorts, rotten buzzing horseflies who buzz `round Barns with empty slogan words and chew chop-chop soft cow flops.

Muse? The Bard within (alert consciences) says 'um vile words stir Up! Frauds ferment sickness. Of course:` I am commending those @ Open Salon (here to) who comment wisdoms - Ya observe beautiful boldness. So- Thanks again (modern noble virtues). You help offset and hold back potential civil strife. The unruly mob (They know who they are) sits on the proverbial devil lap. The Sold Outs. Barn Sales.

But they use devil's stinky butt tail/tale pitchforks. That's a truths!

Creeps who cause unrest are modern mob cutthroats. I opine that. Hypocrites are void of human passion and are miserable servile peon slaves (in the real chain of Being links -cowards who are broken and depraved ruins, captive t hellish powers. I am not a academic or literature know everything. You read these awakening sentiments throughout history) [!] But? But a Beetle Scat Bore Bug has them servile!
Tell! They serve?
O serve crap scat!

They Labor?
Digs up fecal!
What scabs?
Principalities!
Old Time Wretch. Financier. Darkened 21st century savages.
Depravity? O Totally!
Why scatter war seed?
They will languish soon.

I like your etc., advocacy.
Blue Rose? You still single?
Just remain merry. single.

You like cheese? Feta cheese!
Feta in good virgin olive oils!
Ya serve melons with yogurt!

Ya help at thee Farm market?
Ya a exquisite flower bouquet.
At my age, or some age:`Truth!
Age Feta for 60 days. O Yummy!
I know Ya will never sell Yourself.
`
I'll share this with teachers. My son will be speaking in DC schools on nutrition. So much is happening. Transition. I think of Beauty:`
Cezanne:` People do labor.

- Still Life With Plaster Cupid.
- Seated Man
- Smoker
- Still Life With Jug and Fruits
You may admire Cezanne art?

- The Blue Vase
-Women in Blue
While you're at it BR, why not write to protest the rewriting of history in Texas schoolbooks? We can't have a whole generation of children growing up without knowledge of the founding fathers, civil war justifications, the Depression and the civil rights movement, but being well schooled in illustrious historical figures like Phyllis Shafley.
Something is very wrong with the water in Texas.
@Sirenita - "I wonder what would happen to teachers who showed the speech anyway? People are all up in arms about teacher tenure these days, but this is exactly what it if for--to protect a teacher who teaches a lesson opposed to the politics of the school board."

There is no tenure in Texas anymore. Takes only 1 out of 21 'violations' to oust a teacher via non-renewal. One. It's a stacked deck. They are not out to 'protect' the teacher, to be sure.

I will tell you this: I'd show the film come hell or high water. I'd put it in my lesson plans online well in advance, send letters home, do what ever it takes, but I assure you........I would show it.

Most teachers won't however. They are, now, because of all of this hoopla, afraid to draw any more attention to themselves, fearful to go against "The Decision."

I say, SHOW IT with the alternative assignment, clearly approved by the district for the past zillion years: To Kill A Mockingbird Trial Scene.

Or a little Langston Hughes poetry memorization:

"Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

or some Maya Angelo.....or a little DuBois....or.....

Come to think about it just now, I'm off to design a few Alternative Lesson Plans. Sheesh.
@Tim4change: "While you're at it BR, why not write to protest the rewriting of history in Texas schoolbooks? We can't have a whole generation of children growing up without knowledge of the founding fathers, civil war justifications, the Depression and the civil rights movement, but being well schooled in illustrious historical figures like Phyllis Shafley."

As a matter of fact, my letter to the Texas Department of Education Director cc'd to 50 within the division is almost finished. I'm afraid though, you might not like my suggestions. What that committee is trying to pull is abominable. We stopped their inclusion of fundamentalist tenets in the science texts, now it's time to contain the same slant in History books. Jeeezzz....I get tired of doing this every time, but guess it's in my dna.
Something is very wrong with the water in Texas.
Tim4change
Arthur James - you are a sight to behold, you truly, truly are. What a wonderful soliloquy, which grows and grows, to see on my screen this morning..

"Gut talk is understood by truth seekers. Why serve a Big Black Lie?
Since humans formed a Voice ... Bards Shamed Scribes, Pharisees, Big Lies, Hades cohorts, rotten buzzing horseflies who buzz `round Barns with empty slogan words and chew chop-chop soft cow flops."

"Weak journalist need to scrub their moth and soul with Clorox bleach. They thrive on artificial 'Dairy Queen' chocolate cones."

"So- Thanks again (modern noble virtues). You help offset and hold back potential civil strife. The unruly mob (They know who they are) sits on the proverbial devil lap. The Sold Outs. Barn Sales."

"I like your etc., advocacy.
Blue Rose? You still single?
Just remain merry. single."

;) Yes, Arthur, I'm single (long ago again), but not still.

Thank you for making each line sing and fostering think.

BR
Great letter--I hope they do print it in the paper. Even the President can't have freedom of speech apparently. And what exactly is it to oppose about his message?
True, Susan --

Those six states have, in effect, restructured the First Amendment to our Constitution to apply only to this President. Says a bunch, doesn't it?

Obama should wait a couple of months or so, then announce another address to our school children and see how they respond.... I hope he does.
Thank you for your post. It's absurdity. Okay, so I'm a high school teacher and the district I work for--IN HOUSTON TEXAS-- makes this point of saying that we are teaching the nation's finest, that children must be responsible for their own learning, that failure is not an option.... yadda yadda yadda.... yet we didn't show the speech. Well, I will. F--- it. I pretty much teach what I know will inspire the kids and what is relevant to their lives--to pull them out of the barrio of gang fighting and the minimum wage and drug-sells of the illegals.... and that is not racist or a stereotype, it's just true. These kids are desperate for encouragement... and this is a man of power who these kids happen to respect--in part because he is a man of color and a man who came from a single mom household without money and when he speaks, they do listen. Last year I showed his inaugural address and got my kids actually volunteering and looking beyond themselves. ... I answer up and pay the price later, but since my kids rank high in the state testing, I've started being left alone.

Testing. Texas simply teaches to the TAKS, our state test. That's all that we do. That's all that matters. We teach how to take this multiple choice test. If kids don't pass, schools aren't rewarded with funds. It's all CYA. The test doesn't prove anything. It proves you can take a MC test. Period. Money.

That's the whole thing, you know. Money. The fear that some kids would stay home. Texas has this whole thing now on absences. If you miss too many days, even with a doctor excuse and passing grades, you have to make up credit..... it's all about money. It is not about kids learning. Texas also has passed the 4 by 4 which means that all students must take 4 years of the 4 core subjects to graduate--not only forcing kids to take advanced mathematics, for instance beyond the average needs of anyone (seriously, algebra II--how many people use it?) but cutting out health, arts, PE, speech in order to do it--while increasing the drop out rate??? What motivation do kids have to come when the classes that actually help them in life are slashed and they can barely pass the classes they are forced to take. Seems a bit backwards. I'm afraid you're right--We don't need no education for these here kids.....

I'm not well liked by most of my peers..... but the ones who are paying attention to what actually happens in my classroom, respect me.
Thanks, Renee, for your comments and for your passion. It's frustrating living here, isn't it? I guess we're supposed to grow where we're planted.

I will never understand why it takes school districts sooo long to see the big picture about what they're doing to our kids. Maybe it's because the ones running the schools are EducationISTS, not EducaTORs? I could write 50 posts on the ills of public education without batting an eye. Instead, I try to be an Activist and sometimes, yes, a Reactionary.

Don't get me started about Testing, Rene. That's very close to home and I grieve for all of the Texas school children whose lives have been changed forever because of their inability to pass one or more sections of the TAKS. It's criminal. I will say this, however: I believe it's impossible to teach anything to anyone without touching on a TAKS objective, whether it be literary criticism or tuning up a car.

However, the 33 days every school year when the entire school shuts down to administer state, local, federal and military testing is an abomination. Why can't they see that? Thirty-three days taken from instruction and they wonder why our kids are dumbing themselves down through i-pods, cell phones and drugs? Duh.

Making up days missed is finally straightening itself out -- For years, though, many Texas schools 'double-dipped' by making kids not only pay to recover those lost days of absences, but making them pay for Tardies as well. Tardies. Took them about 5 years to figure out it was illegal.

How and why do they keep getting away with these Great American Rape-outs?

Lessee, Janie: How about the exorbitant fees that district upon district require to take classes, play sports, sing in the choir or park in the parking lot? Oh, and school supplies, especially for the lower grades? And......grant oversight and distribution? I could go on and on and on, one injustice at a time, and will.

If the public knew, REALLY knew what went on behind the scenes, not only in Texas schools, but in every school in the nation, they'd revolt. Maybe. Most, I'm afraid wouldn't do a blessed thing other than lower their eyes and go on like nothing ever happened. UNTIL it affects them directly.

Not airing the President of the United States is anathema.

To Barack: keep doing what you're doing. Set up another Address to the Nation's School Children. Do it every freakin' month if you have to until those six states acquiesce.

Thanks, Janie -- and show......the......film.....
Great letter; if you know of any others, please post them in the comments section here:
http://open.salon.com/blog/cejaxon/2009/09/07/letters_against_giving_into_temper_tantrums
Btw, I hope no one does just blame Texas for this -- northern, Blue State schools are afflicted by this virus of cowardice, too. I'm from Michigan, & we have apparently caught the infection... :-(
When is someone going to be honest about this and simply say that there are still too may white people in this country who don't want their kids to hear words of wisdom or any other kind of words from a n****r, and they don't care if he is president birth certificate or not....Rember Obama LOST the white vote nation wide......
HOT NEWS: Yesterday, the Galveston Daily News printed a benign article on the front page which spurred a small debate in online comments. Most supported the President and were outraged at the districts.

TODAY (before the site shut down).....Here's the good news: At least we have ONE rational parent in the State of Texas.....


".....our school district will not be airing it..so due to this decision my children will not be attending school tomorrow..i will be makin time to support our President. Any parent that can take one day out of there time to spend with there child to watch a live President address to our kids should do the same."

Maybe her stance will go viral. Cool.
Oh my, Blue Roses, I'd forgotten about your secessionist governor. Gulp. You really have a more dire situation than I do living in Ohio, which at least went blue last election. (Although polls show we're back in the red.) Anyway, good job and keep up the good work. It really is insane that people are treating this speech like it's something untouchable. This--in combination with the "I want my country back!" tearful pleas--will go down in the ages as a new era of unenlightenment.
“Shame on us.”

“Fool me once, shame on . . . shame on you. Fool me . . . you can't get fooled again.”

I can’t believe I just quoted that Bushism, but it seems so painfully appropriate for the latest mad foolishness sweeping our country. Seems we can get fooled again.

Thanks for this succinct yet potent letter calling attention to the ludicrous hypocrisy of the latest propaganda hijinks.

—Melissa
@ Love, Grandma -- If only more parents like rosie yana from Galveston would keep their children home tomorrow in support of the Presidency. Imagine what messages it would send to all of these dissenting states....

@JKBrady - I'm on your side and lately I've wished that comment was literal. Truly. This country is scaring me more than you will ever know. I never, ever in my life thought this kind of thing would take place here. It's passive aggressive civil disobedience, if you ask me.....What do they hope to gain? Control in 2010?

@cejaxon - At least the Bandits are equally divided this time so Texas doesn't have to take the hit yet as the lone dissenter. Jeeezz.

@TheBarkingLot4 -- Thanks for reminding me. I spent a while this afternoon forwarding this to a few choice newspapers across the state.
Whenever I have a piece of cake or a dough nut, I like to lick off all the icing to see what's underneath. In retrospect, I used to do that with my Big Mac's as well..deconstruction from the top bun down.

We all know what this is and after 30 some-odd comments, no one has said it. This is pure racism. Call it what you will, hide it behind bullshit issues, blow smoke up our collective asses, but it is what it is. Doesn't matter if there's chocolate sprinkles on top..

But for the most part no one is actually saying it. We're saying 'oh these people are ignorant and stupid' 'Oh I dont remember these people getting up in arms when President such and such went to school' Yes because they WERE WHITE.

God know, I'm the last white boy who wants to start sounding like the reverend Al Sharpton because I think he chooses to pull the racism card more times than not when anything remotely smells like it.

But folks, read what I'm writing. This is Civil War, Civil Rights 1965 bullshit right here. We all think that things have changed because we are so fucking politically correct and we can better hide behind our racist foundations

But we can't. And I won't.

Wake up Americans..and call them what they are.
Manchu - That's why I included this in my letter, giving them the benefit of the doubt:

"Have they caved in to pressure by only one side? Or is it yet another form of veiled racism?"

It's a shame, really, isn't it?
Amazing! (rated)

I have family-by-marriage in Amarillo, TX, so I know the mentality you are up against. It is definitely GBW country. You are so, so applauded.
@ Leeandra -- That's the greatest line I think I've ever heard..... and funny. Why do I have this strange feeling that the wingnuts have been thinking the same thing...
Thank you, Kate, for those encouraging words. I'm saving my thunderous applause for the hour, day and moment that we achieve public school reform in this country. It's coming and it won't be long thanks to this Speech debacle....
I encouraged my son to stay home today--to ensure he could watch the dang speech! Oy vey. Texas is so at odds with itself--let's put people to death while we deny children an education of value. I have sued my district more than once and I am ready to go again!
I encouraged my son to stay home today--to ensure he could watch the dang speech! Oy vey. Texas is so at odds with itself--let's put people to death while we deny children an education of value. I have sued my district more than once and I am ready to go again!
As we all know, working hard and doing your best at school are the first steps towards SOCIALISM!!!

On a more cheerful note, if the asswipes forbid any mention or contact with Obama, kids have a way of rebelling against their parents.
Shame on the Ewe Knighted States a Texas but kudos on you.
HOT DUMB AND DUMBER NEWS:


Texas Students Who Were Kept from Obama's Speech are being Bussed to hear..................ready?.................gwbush......at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Dallas later this month......

Because they can.

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/142522/texas_students_who_were_kept_away_from_obama_speech_will_be_bussed_to_see_bush_speak/
i love this challenge and the wonderful entries here! *goes to work on her own* :-)
I think we finally know why those red schools banned Obama's address? Didn't want to jeopardize attendance at last Saturday's event in War'shington by having their children listen to a sane voice of reason? Jus' sayin....