President Obama

The Greatest Crisis For National Security: Education And Our Future

As a college professor, I have witnessed the catastrophic decline in educational standards in public education over the past 40 years. This represents the greatest crisis for our national security in the 21st century.

Young people today may be able to do well at video games, and to connect socially via Facebook and other social websites, but they do not have the basic skills or higher level thinking processes necessary for the secure future of our nation.

When half of our students drop out of high school before graduation in many urban districts, and when only one third of high school graduates come to college, if they do at all, in a well prepared way without the need for remedial work in English and Math, that is a real warning sign for our future.

When countries in Asia and Europe outdo our graduates, and are ahead of us in many fields of knowledge, that is a sign of impending emergency. How are we, the leaders of the free world, to compete and to meet the challenges that face us in this new century?

I wonder, as many do, are we in the direction of dramatic decline, when we have young people who have no thirst for knowledge, who are easily bored, who lack an attention span, who come out of high school with no GK, general knowledge base, to build on?

When we have so many examples of college students, including many who are so ill equipped and lacking in motivation, who seem to show up just to gain financial support from government, and are more interested in the money than the learning, it screams out that we MUST raise standards of what our country expects from its students.

But also, it mandates that our parents MUST instill in their children the importance of learning, not just the acquisition of money for “trying” college, but really putting education first as a priority goal, over video games and “hanging out” on social websites as the way young people “waste” their youth NOT learning what they need, and we need, for their and our survival long term!

If one thinks about it, this is exactly what President Obama has said over and over again. Education is the single most important goal and aim that all of us must emphasize for our own personal futures and our national security.

Do not forget that even in this Great Recession that we are going through, that those with education and professional degrees, have a LOWER unemployment rate than other groups. So again, it rings true: EDUCATION, EDUCATION, and EDUCATION–similar to the saying that when one buys a home, what matters is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! 🙂

President Obama’s Call To The Nation On Health Care Reform

President Obama gave a fantastic, inspiring speech this evening, fully explaining all of his goals on health care reform, attacking the myths and lies that have been spread by propagandists and critics, and calling on the country to unite around the need to give this nation what every other democracy in the world has–a commitment to health care for everyone.

He gave credit to Republicans who have worked on various aspects of health care in the past, including John McCain and Orrin Hatch. He called for bipartisan cooperation to promote a plan that would protect all Americans from illness and injury. He invoked the memory of Ted Kennedy as a leader who felt the moral cause to insure all Americans for the basic right to good health care.

It was disturbing to see most Republicans most of the time sitting on their hands, looking bored and uncaring. Some seemed distracted by their Blackberrys, leaving a terrible image for the younger generation, that it is acceptable to be rude and avoid listening to a person presenting a speech. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor particularly stood out in this regard, and that is not the type of image he should be wanting to present. 🙁

Health care propaganda has just been designed to insure continued high profits for the health care industry, and many Republicans have been well supported by lobbyists for that industry, and that is not going to be a benefit to their party in the long run. The GOP stands out as the party of NO, the party of no interest in solving this problem, and showing an image of being uncaring and mean spirited.

The hope is that the President’s eloquence and passion will finally lead, as he stated, to action on a subject that was first promoted almost one hundred years ago by Theodore Roosevelt during his 1912 Progressive Party campaign for President.

In conclusion, this moment hopefully will be a watershed moment on the way to true health care reform!

Newt Gingrich, Laura Bush, And The National Review Agree On Obama Education Speech

Imagine this: The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, no friend of President Obama, believes that the Obama education speech was a great speech.

Former First Lady Laura Bush also expressed support of the President’s message, and said she believed overall, Obama is doing a good job as President.

The National Review, the leading conservative journal of opinion, declared that the Obama speech was the BEST of his Presidency, quite a coup for the President to gain the backing and support of the most significant and legitimate opposition political periodical.

So do all the parents, the conservative talk show hosts, and the political operatives of the Republican party feel foolish, as they should, with spades? No! Instead, such conservative luminaries as Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley, and Michelle Malkin, trying to compete with the “boys” that have more notice than they do, proved they are just as outrageous and crazy, despite the fact that we would like to believe that women are the smarter sex and use more reason. I would believe that, but these women mentioned above contradict that belief I so strongly hold! 🙂 LOL

Realize that Obama won today, and made conservatives and Republicans who were reckless, as always, with the truth, look totally ridiculous and out of touch.

Any thinking American will see that the intention of the opposition is not to improve America, but instead keep it as it is–a haven for the rich and privileged, and also the biased and bigoted, who don’t want to see any improvement or change that might affect their position of power and wealth.

But it is time to let these forces of reaction be made aware, that their time of domination is over! We will bring change and reform whether you like it or not! You had your chance and you blew it!

Bill Clinton’s Advice To Barack Obama: Move Ahead On Health Care Reform

Former President Bill Clinton has advised President Obama to move ahead on reform with or without GOP support.

Clinton points out that there are enough Democrats to bring about health care reform without Republican backing if that party’s members refuse to back any bill. We should move ahead and not let the opposition prevent change because of their unwillingness to compromise and support any legislation.

It is clear to me that if we are to let the Republicans dictate what is to be done in health care, we will lose the best opportunity in a generation to bring about what has been talked about on and off since the time of Harry Truman–the need to protect ALL Americans by providing low cost health care that has no people left out because of preconditions medically.

Obama, by his victory by a larger margin than any President in a generation, needs to keep his promise to his supporters and fight for what he feels we need–a public option and REAL reform of the whole health care system. Democrats need to remember that they have won this election in 2008 decisively, and the winners decide the future, not the losers.

The Republicans know how to promote their victories, and Democrats need to stop apologizing for their triumph last November and assert their authority to change the future.

We are waiting with baited breath for what we hope will be a President utilizing the techniques of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan to accomplish his goals.

Bill Clinton failed to accomplish his goal 16 years ago of health care reform. It is time for Barack Obama to fulfill what President Clinton was unable to achieve!

The Obama Education Speech: What Was The Ruckus About? NOTHING!

President Obama’s education speech, to be delivered on Tuesday at an Arlington, Virginia high school, and just released on the White House website, should cause radio talk show hosts, parents, and politicians who were screaming and yelping all kinds of crazy, whacko thoughts to feel a sense of embarrassment and a symbolic “egg all over their face”! Much ado about nothing is the sum total of the speech.

What did President Obama say in his speech? He said students need to have a sense of personal responsibility. They need to study, do their homework, obey their parents and teachers, plan for a career by finishing school, rather than dropping out.

Obama emphasized the importance of exposing oneself to education to find something that inspires every young person, and that could lead to a career that is rewarding and productive, not only to that person and his family, but to the broader society in America. Obama said training, working hard, and learning is essential for success. All students have to develop their talents, skills and intellect to solve problems that will benefit the nation at large.

Students should have no excuses for dropping out, or cutting classes, or talking back to their teachers, no matter what their personal situation, as the only way to make one’s life better, Obama states, is to get an education. A good attitude can make for a good future. One must not let a failure define you for the future, but instead struggle harder to overcome adversity, as many successful people have had to do. Hard work is unavoidable for success, and students should consult with a reliable adult to help them along the way. Most importantly, do not give up on yourself, the President warns.

Now I ask all of the naysayers: What is wrong with this message? Why did you feel the need to promote disrespect and hate for our President among your children in particular, and among Americans at large, in general? Why do you have to see evil intent in our leadership at a time when it is essential to promote UNITY to overcome the many challenges we have? Why is it you have to play politics and divide the country when we can accomplish so much more if we only see the crises we are in, as a united nation?

I know, realistically, the bitter attacks will not end, but I will say it would be a wonderful thing if we would give at least enough credit to our President, that even if we do not all agree with everything he says and does, that at least he has the right intentions.

Do not, please, paint him as a dictator, a Hitler, a demagogue, and even an evil man, who one so called Baptist preacher prays should die in office. That is not true religious doctrine, to promote hate and wish death. This kind of hate needs to be condemned universally. Realize that those who promote such hate and division only do so for their own advancement, not the good of the nation, and we as a nation need to say “ENOUGH”!

Steven Anderson: A Sick, Deranged, Dangerous Baptist Minister Who Should Be Condemned!

News has just emerged of a clergyman, who is obviously sick, deranged, and dangerous, and should be condemned by all thinking, moral people.

I am referring to Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, who has openly been preaching for the death of President Obama. He thinks Obama is a very evil man and deserves death.

Needless to say, this is disgraceful, unacceptable rhetoric, and it amazes me that ANYONE in his congregation or anywhere else, could possibly term this as acceptable freedom of speech. How can a man of God say such things and expect to be respected and keep his dignity? It seems to me that despite his obvious civil liberty to speak, that he should not be kept on as pastor of his church, as it reflects terribly on the church and its members if they see no problem with keeping him as their leader. Any such thought shows real sickness in our society and should be condemned. Also, the Secret Service should keep close tabs on Pastor Anderson as a possible promoter of violence against the President, as freedom of speech should not include death threats against any occupant of the White House.

We are in deep trouble as a nation with clergymen preaching hate and calling for the death of our President, no matter who he might be. This only makes clear the constant danger that our President faces as he tries to deal with a multitude of issues facing the nation. And it has to make one wonder if a lot of this hate is based on race more than anything else, a sad commentary on America in 2009. 🙁

A Crucial Week For President Obama

The week of Labor Day and remembrances of September 11 is indeed a crucial week for President Obama.

Not only is he going to engage in a much criticized education speech to the nation’s students, and also attend the Pentagon ceremony on Friday to commemorate September 11’s eighth anniversary, but also his speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night on the health care reform plan will be a turning point for his administration.

It can be said that Obama underestimated the opposition to his health care plan, and its well oiled machine. He also failed to show discipline in planning the bill, leaving too much control to Congress, which has led to a sense of chaos on what exactly the bill is supposed to cover. His earlier insistence on a quick vote only undermined the whole idea and promoted suspicion of his motives.

So in a sense, Obama has to start anew on Wednesday and state CLEARLY what his aims and motives are, and appeal for his party to unify, and for some Republicans to join in on dealing with one of the toughest issues Congress has had to face in many years.

He needs to tell us that a public option is essential, and that he is willing to use whatever techniques and tactics needed to get it through, with the preference for a bipartisan bill and a unified Democratic party, but willingness to use the Democratic majority to his advantage if need be. He has to calm the fears of the elderly, in particular, who seem to believe that Medicare would be under attack.

In other words, he must be a diplomat, but also show willingness to go the distance and play “hardball” if need be, and not worry about alienating some groups, as no President can possibly unite everyone, but the majority should rule and a program NEEDS to be promoted, maybe with some compromise, but not giving up the heart and soul of the legislation.

Those who oppose Obama and want his downfall must not be catered to, and Obama has to be concerned less with being liked and being popular, and more with being successful and respected.

In a sense, he must be a combination of Lyndon Johnson with his aggressiveness, Franklin Roosevelt with his craftiness, and Ronald Reagan with his commitment to principle.

This is indeed not an easy task, and we all need to hope he can accomplish what needs to be done for the nation. If he fails to accomplish his goals, it could be the achilles heel of his Presidency, and that would be terrible for both him and the people of this country.

So those who support his goals must root him on with our willingness to fight for him, and even, a little praying for good to result!

Retirement Initiatives Of President Barack Obama Are Great Step!

One of the biggest problems most Americans face is the crisis presented by failure to prepare for retirement, something that is too often ignored until it is too late, forcing people to continue to work beyond the age they would like to retire from full time work.

President Obama has now taken major administrative moves to assist Americans in pursuing what all must do: plan for retirement.

Among the actions taken are: Employees will be automatically signed up for employer sponsored 401K retirement plans unless they ask not to be so enrolled. Also, tax refunds will now be a possible source of retirement savings for taxpayers. Also, unused vacation time and overtime would be allowed to be contributed to a retirement plan. Finally, an easy to read retirement guide when changing jobs would be offered to all workers by the U S government to educate Americans in planning for retirement.

There is certainly no reason for anyone to criticize the government for trying to encourage attention to retirement planning, as it is a true disaster if someone reaches retirement age and expects to live just on Social Security, which was never meant to be a sole source of retirement income.

President Obama: Please Listen To Vice President Biden On Afghanistan!

In the midst of all the controversy over health care and other Obama Administration initiatives, the background struggle is going on over plans to increase substantially the number of US troops in Afghanistan, in a war which is starting to cause greater American casualties at a time when many NATO nations are planning withdrawal of their forces.

Vice President Joe Biden, an acknowledged expert on foreign policy, and formerly, for many years, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, has privately been spreading the word that Afghanistan is a war that will be going on for years with almost no chance of real success, and one that will eventually be fought primarily alone. Biden sees this as another Vietnam, which cost the country a lot of treasure in men and money, and divided the nation in a way that had not been seen since the Civil War. The cost is astronomical, at a point when the debt issue is a gigantic one, and we are being told that millions of Americans cannot be considered to be protected on health care.

Of course, it is obvious that the opposition Republicans will claim that Obama has “lost” Afghanistan, as they, sixty years ago, charged that President Truman “lost” China. Both charges are of course ridiculous, but if we want to discuss who has “lost” Afghanistan after eight long years of combat, it is George W. Bush, who took his “eye off the ball” from the beginning of the intervention in the Fall of 2001 by his obsession with Saddam Hussein, and the decision to wage a major, disastrous war in Iraq.

Some people complain that Joe Biden talks too much, which he does at times, but on this issue, foreign policy, I call upon President Obama to LISTEN to the man who better understands international affairs than any military man.

Instead of committing blood and treasure for an interminable period of many years, let’s follow George Will’s view that it is time to get out, and use intelligence and aerial bombing, rather than sacrifice the young men and women of the nation in an impossible, hellish country that NO ONE has been able, historically, to take over and control. And let’s also build up our intelligence capability and homeland security instead!

President Obama And Staying In School

President Obama is going to spend an hour next Tuesday speaking to the nation’s students via cable and television as the Fall term begins, or has already begun for the education community.

His goal is to emphasize and support the idea that all students should stay in school and graduate high school, and that college students should complete the degree that they start.

Is there anything wrong with the President advocating this to American students as a goal for the nation’s growth and prosperity? I would say certainly not, but apparently already there is a backlash of so called parents who seem to think it is none of the President’s business to be pushing education on their youngsters.

This growing criticism is just mind blowing to me. Have America’s parents been doing a good job of emphasizing education when millions of parents have no time for their kids; do not provide books, magazines and newspapers to their children in their homes; do not work to prevent their sons and daughters from dropping out and going to work at a dead end job; never emphasize learning and education as an important part of the parenting role; and in many cases fail to improve their own educational levels so as to create the chance of changing their own occupational future?

While there are many parents who do what should be done, is there any harm in the President raising the standards of the nation by encouraging “stay in school”? I think not, and all we can do is ignore these stupid complaints and the President move ahead and do what he plans to do–promote education as the best way to mobility in American society!