YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Obama's message

September 08, 2009

Re "Planned school speech by Obama hits resistance," Sept. 4

Enough. To suggest that our president will use a speech to schoolchildren to brainwash them with a political agenda is just plain going too far.

No such diatribes were levied against previous presidents who delivered positive messages to receptive students promoting American values rather than pitching their own controversial political agendas of the time.

Why now? Because we are being overwhelmed by an epidemic of absurdity -- driven by little men with access to microphones -- that is killing our ability to extract ourselves from the complex economic, healthcare and social problems we face as one nation.

All of us must object, loudly and publicly, to the nonsense that is infiltrating our national conversation, rather than letting it pass -- out of allegiance to one side or another.

John Brock

Redondo Beach

What a wonderful idea to inspire our young people. Kids have enough discouragement today, with parents out of work, program cutbacks at their schools, the threat of violence and drug trafficking all about them.

President Obama has been there, as the child of a poor single parent. He knows how important emotional support is to teenagers to help them look beyond today's setbacks to tomorrow's possibilities.

As a poverty-stricken student in an Appalachian high school, I was inspired by then-President Truman to keep trying and not to give in to despair.

All our presidents should hold this torch aloft for each generation of young people.

Bonnie C. Hanson

Santa Ana


Here is the difference (or rather one of the many differences) between Obama and John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Initially, the Education Department's activity suggested that "schoolchildren write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."

Lea Osborne

Woodland Hills


There appear to be a few people who believe that Obama's speech addressing our schoolchildren will be beaming socialist indoctrinating thoughts into the minds of our youth.

To counter this, parents can teach their kids how to fashion a proper pirate hat from tinfoil. The brands made in mainland China seem to work best at blocking obtrusive thoughts.

Kevin Powell

Long Beach


That anyone, much less the head of the Florida Republican Party, would suggest our children will be safer if we could keep the words of the president of the United States out of their little ears shows such a lack of understanding about our country's long history of diverse ideas and beliefs that I really do hope it is just another political stunt.

The problem is these so-called patriots who have wrapped themselves so tightly in the flag that they have lost not only the flexibility to move but the oxygen to think.

Silly me, I went to Vietnam when called -- and now because I believe healthcare should be a right in our country, I'm called a socialist dupe and an anti-American what-have-you. I consider it a badge of honor to be so labeled by the cowards who would not stand for their country when called but are willing to stand for their paychecks when threatened.

Martin Wauson


Los Angeles Times Articles