Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crazy Cousin Dan

Here is a sampling of some of the #$%!@#% crazy e mail content cousin Dan sends me.
Usually I "round file" this stuff..... but hey-- we are entitled to a good laugh, right?

Here goes---

Last Monday was a profound evening, Dr. Charles Krauthammer spoke to the Center for the American Experiment. He is a brilliant intellectual, seasoned & articulate. He is forthright and careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal insults. He is NOT a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments and views. He is a fiscal conservative, and has received a Pulitzer Prize for writing. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes weekly for the Washington Post.

>>>>Whoah!!! FOX news writer--Big red flag!!!!

His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for free college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it free and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive rationing of services, like in Canada.

>>>>>> His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. Sounds good to me! By the way-- as opposed to previous president Bush's goals?
Wars, obstruction of justice & ruining this country (by ways of obsolete energy practices, neglecting public edication, and letting everyone fend for themselves re healthcare?)

Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong. Republicans are pining for another Reagan, but there will never be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party.. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and info if she is to be a serious candidate in the future. We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and state's rights.

>>>>>Palin is intelligent! Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha!

But wait!

There's more!!!!

Ed Rollins quotes:

No American president has ever stood before the U.N. body and condemned his predecessor or American foreign policy in such a way. President Bush, like every president before him made some mistakes, but he did not deserve this put down. And let's not forget America was attacked on September 11, 2001, and thousands of American lives were lost. President Bush and his team got us through all that and kept us safe for the rest of his terms. And I hope Mr. Obama realizes the "haters" of America are still out there.

>>>> President Bush made "some mistakes"????

Torture & a war based on lies-- he sure as hell earned this put down.

President Bush kept us safe. But not from his administration & their worldwide torture program.
And why, might I ask are there haters of America out there?

The real work of the U.N. Security Council should have been condemning and again warning North Korea and Iran that they are not welcome into the nuclear club and that every effort is going to be used to stop them from continuing on that path. It took French President Nicolas Sarkozy to call the Security Council exercise weak and to chastise its members, including President Obama, for not condemning Iran and North Korea more forcefully.

"How, before the eyes of the world, could we justify meeting without tackling them?" He went on to say: "We live in the real world, not a virtual world. And the real world expects us to take decisions."

Iran's reaction to their "view of the real world" was to walk away from the U.N. meeting and test-fire missiles with sufficient range to strike Israel and parts of Europe and American bases. Far from being humbled, a senior Revolutionary Guard official told the semi-official Fars news agency, "Iranian missiles are able to target any place that threatens Iran."

I for one would like to remind them that we have a lot more missiles then they have and we can strike any place they fire a missile from. Of course, I am not a diplomat and never have been one -- for obvious reasons.

>>>>>>> Let's use a sandbox analogy. Some kids have baseball bats. Other kids decide they too need baseball bats, but the ones who already have them, think they are "good" and no one else can have them because they said so, and they are "bad".

The problem with nukes is once you open that door, it becomes fair play that anyone can decide to have them.

And of course the obligatory bitching about anything Obama does....

As if he doesn't have enough on his plate, he is flying off to Denmark to head the lobbying effort for his hometown Chicago's final presentation to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2016 games.

I'll stop now.... hope you had some good laughs over this propaganda.

I bet you are glad I usually round file this stuff, huh?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A proposal

Imagine this scenario~
At a wedding reception, the bride does the traditional throwing of the bouquet, one lucky girl catches the bouquet. No sooner does she turn around, and her boyfriend of a few years is right behind her, dropped to one knee, asks her to marry him.

That's the story of how my older son proposed to his girlfriend recently!

The wedding will be next year.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Signs of the times

Play on words~ Beck portrayed as the "Mad Hater" (instead of the Mad Hatter).

Mt. Vernon, Washington, birthplace of Glenn Beck held an official ceremony to give him the key to the city.
Sane locals rolled out the "unwelcome wagon", complete with a plane flying above with a banner reading:

A very unwelcome to you Glenn Beck, insidious hate monger, who serves no purpose but to divide the country by repeating unsubstantiated lies in a vile and venemous style. Beck's words have crossed the line going beyond rating's grabbing with outrageous stuff, but a kind of call to action that is dangerous because of it's frenzy of fear and hate. Signs of the times.....

* Read the HuffPo article & more sign pictures by clicking here.

Friday, September 25, 2009


U.S. Influenza and Pneumonia-Associated Hospitalizations
and Deaths from August 30 – September 19, 2009
Posted September 25, 2009, 11:00 AM ET
Data reported to CDC by September 22, 2009, 12:00 AM ET

Hospitalizations 10,082
Deaths 936

This data is confusing, because they just added 1 weeks data to the previous 2 weeks data....

Bottom line, in one week's time

Additional 5513 hospitalizations

Additional 572 deaths. (summer average was 40 per week, until the end of August).

Yea, the media is doing a great job covering the topic.
CNN has a Test Your knowledge about the H1N1 flu quiz.......

Hint: It is related to the graphic

P.S. We are soooo screwed!

Friday Music


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ostrich tour

Meghan McCain (daughter of failed presidential candidate John McCain), has visions of a new Republican Party...

Well OK, maybe it was just a freudian slip-- the part where Megs refers to Joe Lieberman as a Republican.
After all, he was a Bush bootlicker, and he stood at the podium of the Republican convention, selling John McCain for president. Officially, he is an "Independent", but clearly he has crossed the line. Maybe Megs just stated the obvious.

Besides the "like, totally, whatever" valley girl persona, and the oversized oober gaudy jewelry, and ripped jeans (we KNOW your family members are multi millionaires), Megs, straight republican girl has gay friends & followers.

Megs thinks the Republican Party needs to be more moderate, and embrace gay marriage, rather than be like an elite country club.

Your parents are going to be some kind of pissed off at you, girl!!!!
Maybe she did not notice her parents are gay hating, elite country club types???

Megs said "The last election was so inspiring!!!"

Really Megs? Jack booted thug riot police in the streets bashing heads & busting into protest march organizers homes having them hit the ground at gunpoint, while their computers were seized as evidence is "inspiring"?

Or was it the fact that neither the President or the VP had the balls to even attend the National Convention of their own party- either because they were such an election liability, or they were scared of the 10,000+ people in the streets protesting their torturous regime.

Any way you look at it, Megs, the word inspiring does not capture the election.

Palin evoked angry villagers yelling "kill" when she accused Obama of palling around with terrorists, while stumbling on such heavy hitting questions as "what newspapers do you read?".

Your Daddy played dirty, and below the belt-- the campaign was even sued by Jackson Browne for using his song w/o permission, and the Palin high end clothing spree misuse of funds. The riot inciting finally stopped when a number of members of Congress publicly complained they had crossed the line.

Insipid • Insane • Insulting, yes.
Inspiring, no.

The Republican party is on the losing side because they have embraced hateful, divisive, corporate greed ways, and clearly are not representing the best interests of the people.

Meghan~ as sure as Joe Lieberman IS a republican (at heart), it will be a cold day in hell when they change their ways to accept & allow gay rights-- because if you hadn't noticed, the allegeldy progressive Democrats can't even get their shit together to put an end to Don't ask don't tell, or allow equal rights for gay marriage.

I appreciate her taking on the issue, but I don't think she should hold her breath for the Republican party to share her view. They are too busy with wars, corporate profit, and selling their votes to the highest bidder.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I kid(ney) you not!

Uh, yea.

I had a suspicion, but had hoped it was either wrong, or if right, it would literally, pass.
So I guess you really can call me a stoner-- as this would be the 3rd kidney stone I know about, that I have had.
I won't bore you with the details. I am drinking so much water, I feel like I could float away at any given moment.
This is a stubborn stone working it's way out, I first declined pain meds..... I am rethinking that option!

Meanwhile, enjoy some sarcastic political humor.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Awesome Obama

President Obama did an interview & answered questions about the Obama family plan for Swine flu.
He said they would do what is recommended.
Young children with highest risk factors, and pregnant women go first.
Kids are next in line, so his kids would get the shots first, then he & Michelle.

But here is where the Obama's really shine-- he said "We will stand in line like everybody else for the vaccination".

Now you KNOW that is not required of the President. He & the first family could have the first shots if they so chose, without any public knowledge. But they are choosing to make this public, and they are choosing to wait their turn like everyone else. Some may say it is nothing more than a publicity stunt.... but the intent is to encourage people to make a good health choice. The Obama's seem to genuinely make an effort to relate & be with "everyman", the everyday common people, those who will stand in lines to wait. I admire their effort & gesture.

We never saw this kind of action from the Bush family, except maybe for a Thanksgiving photo op. Can you imagine Dick Cheney insisting he stand in line with the general population for a vaccine shot?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kissing the kiss~ goodbye

In colloquial French, the word "bise" also means a light kiss, usually given to a friend in greeting or before parting.
Hands get shaken; hands get kissed. And the light cheek-to-cheek peck, known as "la bise," is a social greeting, woven in at the very youngest age.

CNN reports:
Some joke that before the French could ever give up such social graces, pigs would fly.

But then ... swine flu.

With official publicity campaigns about the H1N1 virus, to directives on avoiding practically any close encounter of the corporal kind, the country has been put on alert as the flu season gets under way.

In schools, teachers are telling their young charges to forgo the bise, and instead capture their displays of affection in heart-shaped greetings to slip into "bise boxes."

In France, they kiss on main street.....

But because of the pandemic, they are being advised not to do la bise, and to not wear neckties, because they are the least washed article of clothing.

Let's hope the French are able to kiss off spreading Swine flu, but at least they have the number 1 health care system, as rated by the World Health Organization.

Adieu doux baiser, pour l'instant

Translartion: Goodbye, sweet kiss, for now

Friday, September 18, 2009


U.S. Influenza and Pneumonia-Associated Hospitalizations
and Deaths from August 30 – September 12, 2009
Posted September 18, 2009, 11:00 AM ET
Data reported to CDC by September 15, 2009, 12:00 AM ET
Cases Defined by
Influenza and Pneumonia Syndrome*3,534291
Influenza Laboratory-Tests**1,03573

This is some strange data flow...

Usually the CDC posts the stats for the week.... the 9/11/09 update would have just last week's data, but it says the numbers are for the "week ending 9/5, data received by 9/10"

Maybe they are getting even more behind than the weekly reporting?
Anyway, besides the data backpedaling, the numbers took an alarming spike.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baucus' Bogus Bill

Dear Friends~ If you are equally disgusted with Baucus' bogus health care bill, please send him your thoughts directly.

I just did. Here is my note:

Dear Senator Baucus: Just one simple question, Senator, How do you sleep at night? Your health care bill is abysmal.

You too can express your thoughts about his waste-of-time, clearly prostituting his vote to the for-profit status quo.

If you can stand it ~ The full text of the America's Health Future Act

Max Baucus, Senator from Montana (click here to go to his web site to e mail him)

If you wish to read on about the bill......

Baucus' Bogus bill includes such atrocities:
After wasting more than a year, Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus introduced the America's Healthy Future Act. Baucus, chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Finance Committee, demonstrated the power of money & the insurance lobby.

In addition, The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Baucus plan would make an $856 billion investment in the health care system over ten years.(Please note, that is less than what they spent on wars in 8 years)

Provisions in Baucus' America's Healthy Future Act- Piece of crap proposal:

• Create health care affordability tax credits to help low and middle income families purchase insurance in the private market;

• Provide tax credits for small businesses to help them offer insurance to their employees; • Allow people who like the coverage they have today the choice to keep it;

>>>>>Tax credits and more tax credits! That's his answer!!!???

• Create web-based insurance exchanges that would standardize health plan premiums and coverage information to make purchasing insurance easier;

>>>>> Standardization or continued collusion???

• Give consumers the choice of non-profit, consumer owned and oriented plans (CO-OP); and • Standardize Medicaid coverage for everyone under 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

>>>>> They thought Grandma was endangered before????

• Shift incentives in Medicare to reward better care, not just more care;

>>>>> What if more care IS better care??

• Encourage all of a patient's doctors to coordinate care and reduce duplication and waste;

>>>>>>Deny services?

• Create incentives for health care providers to improve quality by using safer, more cost effective health technology like electronic medical records; and

>>>>> Not convinced things can't be equally screwed up.

• Increase health care research so doctors know what care works best for which patients.

>>>>> Cookie cutter "care" ?

• Provide annual "wellness visits" for Medicare participants and their doctors to focus on prevention;

>>>>> Adding an extra appointment would not be wasteful???

From Hot Air:

However, that’s not the main problem with Baucus’ plan. It assumes that the market will not change after he levies a whopping 35% excise tax on “Cadillac” plans. Insurers facing that kind of disincentive, especially as sharp as a 35% excise tax, will simply stop offering those plans. Either that, or they will pass the costs on to the consumers of the plans, but consumers will balk at paying 35% more for their existing plans when less expensive plans exist.

When those plans disappear, what happens to the funding for Baucus’ overhaul? It develops a big $259 billion hole, which will have to get filled some other way. The most likely outcome will either be cutbacks in spending and more rationing decisions, or bigger taxes on the middle class.

In fact, Jay Rockefeller objected yesterday on the basis that the Baucus revenue plan amounted to a middle-class tax in and of itself:

It’s not every day that you hear a Democratic senator charge that a fellow Democrat is proposing to raise taxes on the middle class, but that is what happened on Tuesday when Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., ripped into the health-care bill developed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

The Baucus proposal would impose, starting in 2013, a 35 percent excise tax on insurance companies for “high-cost plans” — defined as those above $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for family plans. …

These are the traps that static tax analysis lays for those who use it. In this case, this is so obvious that it’s questionable whether we should blame static tax analysis at all, or just the bureaucratic cluelessness of people who have no familiarity with the private sector and its normal reaction to taxation."

>>> Essentially a 35% taxation to insurance companies will be passed along to employers, who will pass it along to employees.


Baucus’s proposal would require almost all Americans to have insurance or pay a penalty, expand Medicaid and provide subsidies to help millions of low-income people get coverage through an online exchange.

Democratic senators including Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Roland Burris of Illinois objected, saying the public option was the best way to lower costs. Union heads decried the plan, and House Democrats said their chamber wouldn’t accept the omission.

Seeking a Unicorn

“Any health-care proposal that does not have the competition and cost containment that could only be achieved with the public option will be considered dead on arrival,” New York Representative Anthony Weiner told reporters, adding that Baucus was wasting time trying to appease Republicans.


In the past six years, nearly one-fourth of every dime raised by Baucus, D-Mont., and his political-action committee has come from groups and individuals associated with drug companies, insurers, hospitals, medical-supply firms, health-service companies and other health professionals.

These donations total about $3.4 million, or $1,500 a day, every day, from January 2003 through 2008.

  • From 2003-2008, the Baucus campaign and his Glacier PAC, which raises money and distributes it to other candidates, received 23 percent of their $14.8 million from health-care and insurance interests.

    The $3.4 million from these sectors includes $853,000 from pharmaceutical and health-products, $851,000 from health professionals; $467,000 from hospitals and nursing homes, $466,000 from health-service and HMO interests, and $784,000 from insurance.

    The insurance-sector money includes donations from all types of insurance-company interests, including health insurance.

  • Five of the top 10 specific donor sources for Baucus were drug companies, health insurers or health-related firms. For example, employees of Schering-Plough Corp., a major drug firm, gave him $92,000 over the period, more than any other single source.

  • Grassley, the highest-ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, received 23.5 percent of his funds from health and insurance interests, but a lesser dollar amount than Baucus ($2.3 million out of $9.8 million total funds).

  • "I'm convinced that this (money) has a profound influence," says Quentin Young, national coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program. "Otherwise, how could Baucus, an otherwise respected and wise politician, say categorically that single-payer (national health insurance) is off the table?" Since 2003, perhaps no other member of Congress has received more money from health and insurance interests than Baucus. Only his Republican counterpart on the Finance Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, rivals him in terms of percentage of funds from these business sectors.

    Something to ponder...

    The animal kingdom seems to have a higher evolution.
    Why can't WE all get along?

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Another GOP guy for the Apology tour....

    Joe "You Lie" outburst Wilson needs to join the Public apology tour.
    It's not enough that he just called Obama after his rude episode in the President's Health Care reform joint session.

    I think Joe was made to apologize, then quickly went public to say "No more apologies".

    Joe liked that he was able to yell out publicly, then apologize privately, therefore saving his face.

    It's not about making Joe comfortable.

    The House voted to rebuke him....

    Make Wilson apologize---in public--- for his outburst.

    Time to eat some humble pie, Joe.

    We ALL want to hear the apology-- a little louder this time.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    We're number 37

    Hat tip to DK for finding this gem!

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    Raise more hell

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.

    That IS what Molly Ivins said about democracy & the democratic process.
    It is as if Molly had the wisdom of the ages in her comment-- maybe she'd been around long enough to have witnessed it herself-- or maybe she was trying to soften the blow for all the hard work ahead.

    I am writing about Health Care Reform. Everybody & their brother/sister has something to say about it, but a lot of what I am hearing on the "internets" from progressives is they are fed up with the process. Not even discussing it anymore, disgusted with the lies and how rational, intelligent discussion has been abandoned. Gun toting, throngs of people are coming out of the wordwork as angry villagers, with emotional torches & pitchforks- ranting & carrying on in very aggressive & undemocratic ways.

    I'm not suggesting we attempt to debate with the screamers -they may be too far gone, brainwashed with the talking points, lacking the ability to have rational discussions.
    I'll give a little sampling:

    I recently spent a few days up in a campground with a blend of RV slots, tent spaces & cabins.
    The following is the conversation with my camp neighbor.

    CN= Camp Neighbor
    ME= Moi

    CN: We've got to stop this Obama health care thing.
    ME: What is your health care situation?
    CN: My job was recently eliminated, I'm near retirement, my insurance cost will go to over $600 a month very soon. I can't afford that, so I will drop out.
    ME: What will you do then?
    CN: I will change to VA- Veteran's healthcare.
    CN: No comment, looked slack jawed....

    How is it people are so confused to not realize the very safety net programs, Medicare & VA health care programs ARE socialized medicine?

    I despise the fact that fat cat liars- who are quite wealthy & don't have health care financial issues have been able to float total lies, and the masses (teabagger types) lapped it up without question. How does one lose touch of critical thinking?

    What floors me is how the anti health care reform people are SO delusional as to not have a clue that maybe someday....

    • they lose their job & healthcare
    • they get diagnosed w a disease that becomes a pre existing condition
    • they have a major medical bill that would exceed the value of their policy coverage
    • they have to file for medical bankruptcy
    • the current "system" is all about making for profit CEO's more wealthy by denying policyholders coverage.

    Even if none of those things has ever happened, any one of them is likely amongst them & their family & friends.

    How can anyone not see that???

    So dear progressives & critical thinkers.... I beg you, as weary as we are of the insane tactics and unintelligent rhetoric......

    Please keep up the pressure.
    Write editorials.
    Contact your Representatives & Senators in Congress.
    Now IS the time to put the pressure on.

    Do what you can to make a ruckus.
    We know what the hurry is, we know why things have to change, we know our lives depend upon it.

    Squeaky wheels get the grease.
    We do not have the money for-profit-insurance companies & big pharma have, to fight back against them watering down the reforms we desperately need.

    Don't let up now!

    Give voice to reason, and common sense, and the real needs of We the People.

    Molly Ivins was adamant that WE ARE THE DECIDERS.

    Molly always signed her books & letters with "RAISE MORE HELL".

    Let's do just that.

    If we don't raise hell now & demand the reforms, we will continue to live in the hellish mess that is not a system at all, leaving so many people locked out and destitute for access to health care.

    Find the fire within you, bring that compassion out & if need be, rattle those pots & pans, as Molly implored us to do.

    getting wiser.....

    Yes indeed, another year gone by.
    I like to think I am getting wiser....
    but that is debatable.
    Don't know what I'll do today, but it will include laziness, alcohol, and additional slacking.
    Had a nice getaway to the Cascades earlier this week. Only problem with that is now I'm all relaxed & going back to work is less appealing.

    Anyway-- here's to surviving yet another year. Woo Hoo!

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Wind on the Water

    Had the opportunity to hear Crosby, Stills & Nash play live Friday night ~ this is one of the songs they played.
    Wow! After all these years.... they still sound great.

    Thank you Mr. President & Buh bye Joe Wilson

    Jeez! What a roller coaster this health care topic has been. Now Congressperson Wilson R SC, has adapted some kind of bed playground/sporting event kind of tactic- Yelling * You Lie*, while the president makes his address.


    If looks could kill, Pelosi herself sent the daggers.

    I saw a news blurb saying the rude republican has amassed $200,000 in donations after his inappropriate outburst.

    What they failed to report is, the front running democratic opponent Miller has raked in $850,000 in just 24 hours!

    I hope Joe Wilson's antics result in his days being numbered in the House of Representatives.

    Bad form Joe, not adult enough for the big league/prime time.

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Swine Update

    Kind of strange.... usually the CDC posts the stats for the week.... the 9/11/09 update would have just last week's data, but it says the numbers are for the "week ending 9/5, data received by 9/10"
    Maybe they are getting even more behind than the weekly reporting?
    Anyway, besides the data backpedaling, the numbers took an alarming spike...
    for the last few months there has been an average of 40 people per week dying of Swine flu.

    1380 new hospitalizations
    196 additional deaths

    That is a huge increase, and school is just now resuming.

    For real hand washing video....

    Good idea to use the paper towel to turn off the tap, but you can also use it for the door knob to exit the restroom as well.
    They say you should wash for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.....

    Hmm! Traditional or Beatles version?

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    The big, bad Presidential speech to students

    Here is the speech some people have been in an uproar about:

    Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Back to School Event

    Arlington, Virginia
    September 8, 2009

    The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
    I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
    I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
    Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
    So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
    Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
    I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
    I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
    I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
    But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
    And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
    y single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
    Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
    And 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.
    And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
    You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
    We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
    Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
    I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
    So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
    But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
    Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
    But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
    Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

    That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
    Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
    I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
    And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
    Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
    That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
    Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
    I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
    But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
    That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
    These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
    No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
    And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
    The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
    It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
    So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
    Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

    This is the speech some feared.
    Work hard. Overcome failures & difficulties.
    Dedicate yourself to your education.
    Think of the greater good.

    That's the big bad Presidential speech some feared.

    Can you believe it?
    Even Laura Bush spoke out in favor of Obama's speech to students.

    Maybe the fear & banning will make more students make an effort to hear or read the speech.
    Making the speech forbidden could have the opposite effect.... making students make an extra effort to know what all the ruckus was about.