Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Before returning to education themed posting, I want to counter the disgraceful people in yesterday's post with the classy letter to Sasha and Malia Obama written by Jenna and Barabara Bush.
The twins finish the letter with the following:

And finally, although it's an honor and full of so many extraordinary opportunities, it isn't always easy being a member of the club you are about to join. Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.


At 4:43 PM , Blogger Ms. V. said...

Great letter.

At 5:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is touching advice. Anyone who enters public life must be ready to be interpreted by the public, for better or for worse. In some cases it really doesn't matter who the person is because the public/media will believe whatever has current momentum.

My fingers are crossed for the new president, and my prayers are there for his daughters, all about to cross into a land of no return.

Rob in Canada

At 7:50 PM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

Integrity? Bush? Reading nightly? I sense some incongruity here.

At 3:01 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Mr. B-G,
You know that President Bush did not read to his children? And I hope you are as critical of President Obama's lack of integrity. He did say he would accept public financing, only to realize he could do far better on his own; so, he made a selfish decision and changed his mind. Integrity rarely implodes. Instead, it erodes one decision at a time.
When challenging someone's integrity, I think we ought to be far more judicious than our current social climate requires. Be above the rest, Mr. B-G; the haters are taking the easy route.

At 2:27 AM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

Have you seen the picture of Bush "reading" My Pet Goat as he holds the book upside down? My previous post was an allusion to that.

Let's be honest: Bush's violations of integrity are some of the most egregious, ever, in the history of the presidency. He will go down as the worst president we've ever had.

And you say he's above criticism?

At 3:27 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

I'm willing to let the lense of history take a wider view before labeling him the worst ever. And at no point to I say he's above criticsim, though I do think we ought to have much more civility in our criticism.
And as for reading the book--you've made a decision based on what? One photo? As the man carries the weight of the world on his shoulders?
President Obama can't properly follow the oath; he wasn't supposed to start talking yet. So, if I judge him on that moment, he's an unsophisticated speaker, too quick to talk and too slow to listen. But that's not a fair evaluation.

At 12:16 PM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

Obama's body of work as an orator insulates him that particular gaffe, which was actually Justice Roberts' mistake because he misplaced the word "faithfully."

Bush's body of work, however, does not insulate him from this particular criticism. The "My Pet Goat" example is just one of many. There are hundreds of instances of Bush violating standard English conventions (Google Bushisms for hundreds of real, idiotic utterances emitted from his mouth over the past eight years.)

It's not hard to make the link between being a poor speaker and a non-reader, which even Bush has admitted to being.

As a teacher you should be embarrassed that he symbolized the best our country could offer. As an English teacher you should be doubly offended.

I'll close with a quote from the man himself:

"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" --George W. Bush, Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

At 2:53 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

I'm no more embarrassed by him than I am of the man I recently voted for having chosen a lobbyist for the position of deputy secretary of Defense. President Obama did just declare new ethics rules for his administration, but quickly used the "waiver" because he deems it in the public's best interets.

At 8:30 PM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

And what's wrong with making decisions in the public's best interest? Isn't this what a president is supposed to do? It's quite a departure from the 8-year George Bush error.

Judging by your comments, you're probably in favor of Bush's jingoism and keeping Guantanamo open.

At 5:19 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Well, I am in favor of this nation having been kept safe. judging from your comments, you probably believe it had nothing to do with President Bush and his policies. And why is it that President Bush did not act in the best interest of the country, which you imply in your statements.
I hate to be condescending, but some people in this country are so blinded by their own ideaology and hatred that they cannot see beyond the back of their hand. If you cannot recognize that much good has been done ( and before you begin your loony liberal Mass. ranting, remember I didn't say he was perfect, only that much good has been done) then you, sir, ought to be embarrassed by your narrow focused, selective observations.
By the way, I think I've written a thought provoking post related to English classes. As you are an English teacher, I'd rather read your comments on that post than continue to read such ungracious comments (considering the post you are currently focused on is one about the kindness of the Bush girls that has somehow turned into you attacking President Bush--perhaps you have a man crush and are simply devastated that he won't be in the public eye anymore, so you show your hurt through animosity)

At 10:31 AM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:33 AM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

Just for the record, Bush did NOT keep this country safe. Despite multiple warnings from top intelligence officials, Bush dropped the ball and the greatest act of terrorism on American soil occurred on his watch.

I don't hate Bush. I just profoundly disagree with the policies his administration put in place. I think the results speak for themselves - the worst economy since the Great Depression, failing schools, a misguided trillion-dollar war that has resulted in the unnecessary loss of over 4,000 American lives, the erosion of our civil liberties via the USA Patriot Act. The list of egregious policies goes on and on.

I don't even need to remind you that after more than seven years, the man who orchestrated this horrific crime on our soil remains a fugitive.

I have no beef with Bush's children. I do have a beef with the man and his policies, as do the overwhelming majority of American citizens as evidenced by Obama's landslide victory. If you're such a Bush proponent, why didn't you vote for McCain? Why run a video supporting Obama for months on the top of your blog?

You chose to make politics a fair game on your blog by adding political content. And now because I disagree with you, you want to silence my opinion? Is that how you deal with dissent in your classroom?

I recommend you take your own advice and keep your posts on the subject of teaching English.

At 11:49 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Yes, I voted for Obama, but again, this post has NOTHING to do with President Bush and his policies. If I wrote a post that lauded President Bush and painted a beautiful rosy picture of the past 8 years, then by all means, disagree away.
And yes, of course that is how I deal with dissent in the classroom, especially when that dissent is moronic. Come on B-G, don't be so hateful. Is that how you are with your students? You ridicule them and put them down?
It isn't that you disagree with me, it is simply that you are off topic for the post. I've already gone down the bunny path with you, given in to your of task behavior, and for that I apologize to myself.
The problem with the Bush bashers is that they really can't get over the fact that he's done, his term is over. Instead of focusing on the future, on actually doing something positive, they would instead prefer to write hateful diatribes on posts about his daughters' elegant letter to the Obama daughters. If only the citizens from liberal-land Mass. or hateful by the bay Cali. could get over themselves, perhaps President Obama will succeed to a greater degree than his predecessor.

At 12:34 PM , Blogger Mr. B-G said...

I am not off topic. Your post of the letter portrays Bush in a glorious light. I was simply trying to inject some reality into your commentary.

Don't equate hate with dissent McNamar. They are not mutually exclusive.

And why the need for name calling and personal attacks? It's obvious you have no ground to stand on, as you weren't able to repudiate any of the points I raised in my previous comment.

Your rebuttals reek of sophistry.

At 4:17 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Okay, I'm done commenting on this post because Mr. B-G thinks that this post is my commentary on President Bush. Plus I just can't keep up with his intimate ken of Jenna and Barbara's father.
I just wanted to post a well written and kind letter, as well as a beautiful example class and elegance, for my readers to enjoy. I'm sorry for all my "personal attacks" and "sophistry."
And now that I've learned so much, I see the evil of that dumb, dumb man with his stupid head ideas. How dare his bratty, silver-spooned daughters say he has integrity and get away with it? We have an obligation to tear that dumby-head apart at every chance. From now on, every time I hear the word "bush" I will be reminded of how stupid our 43rd President was. It will make me feel better if I do this. I know it will. I know it will.


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