Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

On the Ironies of Indoctrination

Our own Cheryl Kopec has already planted her (far superior) flag in the subject of President Barack Obama’s pending address to students, and the ‘controversy’ we all probably should have seen coming given the birther/bircher/deather/oligarchy contamination in our current political environment.  You know, the whole Obama iz comin’ fir yallz childern to make ’em Nazis meme.


After the jump, I’ll recount my own very personal experience with this matter.  The names and most other identifying details have been redacted or omitted to protect the innocent, and not-so-innocent alike.

Yesterday, I noticed that one of my ‘friends’ on Facebook – the older sister of one of my college roommates, whom I barely know in real life – had answered “NOES!!” to one of the silly polls asking if the United States President should be allowed to do a nationwide address to our children at school, without prior parental consent? Well, you know me. I just had to ask:

fogiv: Curious. Why do you see this as a problem? Trying to remember if people were as bent out of shape when George H.W. Bush did the same thing in 1991.

My gentle ribbing was met with this trifecta:

FB Friend: One, I didn’t have children in 1991 (if I remember right, I was serving a one year tour in South Korea during my 10 years of service in the US Army defending our right to disagree with our President); Two, people back then who were not comfortable about the President addressing their children in school had the same right to protest it as we who object, today; Finally, I don’t recall George H.W. or W. Bush calling for “Pledging my service to President (fill in the blank)”, as it is by Obama;

I agree with pledging my service to my God and my Country, but NOT to a man.

A.)  Huh? B.) She’s obviously getting her news from FOX, or maybe {shudder} church gossip.  Its here I begin to realize that I need to make an effort to set the record straight, and as gently as possible.  My snark kicks like Bruce Lee, but my delicately-talking-someone-off-the-ledge skills are markedly underdeveloped.  All the same, I dusted them off, and gave it a try.

fogiv: Don’t misunderstand. I’m certainly not suggesting that you don’t have the right to disagree with the idea, I was just curious why you disagreed. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Do you have a reliable link that proves that children will be asked to take some sort of ‘loyalty’ pledge? Frankly, this is nothing more than a very popular President making a video address to students about personal responsibility and the importance of staying in school — this according to reliable non-partisan news sources:…

Knowing the facts, I don’t have a problem with it. It’s funny, when Bush did same in ’91, people did complain pretty loudly. Guess who? The Democrats, of course. Know why? It was some political kibuki, and I suspect that’s just what this current movement is: Much ado about nothing.

Not too bad, right?  I sprinkle in some facts, appeal to reason, provide a link, and end with my best awww shucks, that’s politics for ya.  No dice!

FB Friend: Your article just contradicted what you were saying about Pres. Bush. In the final paragraph of the article Sec. of Ed. Arne Duncan stated, “This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation’s school children about persisting and succeeding in school,”.

Well, if that….wait, what?  No response to the facts I’ve presented.  Instead, she’s chosen to focus on the statement (misstatement – in point of fact) from the Secretary of Education, to prove me wrong.  But wait, she wasn’t finished, and quickly posted this addendum:

FB Friend: as for my reasons why, I don’t like Obama and what he stands for and certainly did not vote for him. If he wants to speak to my children, do it during primetime and invite parents to view with their kids. Here is a link for you to check out:…

I am not saying he is the Anti Christ, that might be giving him too much credit, but, there are some things that make one wonder and make my spirit uneasy.

Translation:  Obama = Satan.

{sirens wail, red lights strobe}


Normally, this is where I would write her off as a lost-cause wing-nut, the kind devoid of sense; an utterly empty skull-bucket.  But I couldn’t.  I know this woman.  She’s not an abstract or an archetype.  Granted, I barely know her personally, but I know her family.  I know her brother very well; I went to high school with him, roomed with him for a few years of college.  At this point I’m not sure how to proceed, or even if I should proceed at all.  I do anyway, and as I forge into the dark, unmapped caverns of Wingnuttia, my snark slips out to light the way forward.  ‘Cause nothing calls for a snark flambeaux more than a ‘healthy’ discussion about the AntiChrist, AMIRITE?!?

fogiv: So then, when I ask if you have a reliable source confirming that Obama will solicit a ‘loyalty pledge’, I’m can only assume your answer is ‘no’. Actually, I think that your idea for a televised broadcast is a fine idea, and hasten to remind you that schools aren’t required to participate.

Per my link, Sec. Duncan is clearly mistaken. According to “”, a Pulitzer Prize winner for national reporting, G.H.W. Bush addressed school children in 1991, and before that Reagan did in a nationally televised Q & A session. These are incontrovertible facts.…

As for the link you provided, that’s simply partisan propaganda, not responsible journalism. The only verifiable fact in that ‘article’ is the brief quotation from the Dept. of Education (which is the same cited in the initial link I gave you). All else is from wildly partisan sites or ‘bloggers’.

Think of it this way: I am a blogger. On my blog, I can say that your brother [REDACTED] wears a mask to disguise the fact that he was born with the head of an African Lion. Having done that, someone like Bob Unruh at WND can “quote” me, and present my outrageous claim as if it were factual. Obviously, it’s not. Please confirm that my old roomie is a bonafide human (and show your work).

Listen, ‘articles’ that suggest that President Obama is the AntiChrist, or that he’s somehow the next Adolf Hitler, are ludicrous on their face. Clearly, you have every right to believe as you choose; I just find it disheartening that so many people’s opinions are so poorly informed.

In America, I have the right to believe that the Federal Reserve Bank is secretly controlled by a cabal of Egyptian gophers. Of course, I’d be flat-out crazy if I believed that, but I’d be well within my Constitutional rights.

Apparently, I’m in need of some spiritual enlightenment, but not before a quick back-pedal, followed by a bone-cracking lurch forward into ‘Froo-it of the Deb-eel’ territory once again

FB Friend: I didn’t say that he was the anti Christ but I agree it may have been harsh (unless it is true).

I do research a lot before I comment most times. This being one of those times. I also do not go on just what I read but also what I feel my spirit (that is The Holy Spirit in case you were wondering) is telling me. God is still and will always be in charge, not Obama or any other being for that matter.

As far as change – Our world, our existence, in fact was created by The Lord God Almighty, every tongue will one day confess this and every knee will bow, either here or in the hereafter. Our country was founded on this Truth and I am all for change as long as it does not veer from that Truth. But so far all I see is that we are a wicked and adulterous generation and God will not ignore that forever.

He loves us and is a patient, faithful God who is willing to discipline those He loves to bring them back to where they should be. After all, He created us.

I knew [REDACTED] looked funny somehow. Glad you pointed that out to me…. ;0)

Okay, enough is enough. God is God and we are not (neither is Obama). God is still in charge and all this discussion is not going to change it. I am bowing out so as to not seem argumentative. Although I will add, I do not see how a true Christian, in a loving growing relationship with Christ can ever back someone who does not follow His teachings and tries to get others to agree with them. We all make mistakes, but our leaders should be God fearing, God loving, sold out believers in GOD.


Wow.  When people start talking like this in my presence, and that ominous GOD fog rolls in to blot out all natural light, I start looking for every available exit.  Ninth floor window?  So be it – dial 911 while I’m on my way down.  This conversation was over, or at least I thought so, until I received the following private message from her:

FB Friend: Here is the Pledge I spoke of. It all sounds great until at the end they say “I pledge to A SERVANT of President Obama” A man can not serve two masters… My Master is My Lord and Savior Jesus. NOT OBAMA.

OMG!  This is the fricking ‘loyalty pledge’ she was talking about?!?  Obviously, I couldn’t leave that bit of crazy untended, even though I thought the situation was largely beyond hope:

fogiv: Thanks for digging this up.

You’re right that this all sounds pretty good. I tend to agree with most of the things people are ‘pledging’ to in the video, but let’s remember that these are a bunch of celebrities pledging to try to make the world a better place in various ways. At the end there, I take that to mean that they are pledging to support what they perceive to be Obama’s platform (which was then thought to be comparatively progressive), not blindly to the man himself.

That aside, I’m not sure what this video has to do with President Obama talking to school kids about the importance of education and responsibility to ourselves and our community? This video and the planned presentation aren’t related at all. Again, this video was made for general consumption around the time of the inauguration, as a way to inspire responsibility and community service; it doesn’t have anything to do with his address to schools. Technically, it’s not affiliated with the Administration in any way. Especially not now.

From what I gather from a host of unbiased sources, the gist of Obama’s address to kids will be about better taking care of ourselves and one another. That’s not a far cry from the traditional ‘Golden Rule’, actually. In fact, I’d wager that you’d hear much the same sentiments in Sunday Schools across the country on a weekly basis.

Sincerely, I don’t believe Obama is seeking idolaters, or servants. Rather, he wants us to do more for ourselves, and those around us. We’re all in this together, after all. If he can get some kids stay in school longer than they would otherwise (think inner city kids for example); or convince their parents to recycle more often, or spend more time volunteering with the elderly, or those with special needs, or be more involved with their respective church-based charities…heck, I’m all for that, you know?

BTW, I found this too:…

It explains exactly what they’re aiming for.

Hope beyond hope, here in my best and last effort, I may have made the smallest of cracks – just wide enough to let a little reality seep in.

FB Friend:Sounds benign enough. I will just have to watch it and see. My girls’ schools have said they are not viewing it live, but may use it in appropriate class discussions later.

Will she watch it?  I can’t say.  Has her mind opened up a tad?  I don’t know.  I hope she does watch though, and maybe she’ll see the President of the United States give what will likely be a fairly banal education PSA, instead of a horned Mephistopheles feasting on the still-beating heart of a freshly clubbed baby seal.  If she sees the former, and not the latter, maybe she’ll start to question the likes of Glenn Beck, and doubt the veracity of shit-holes like WorldNetDaily.  At the end of the day, some of these folks simply cannot be reached because they are either incapable or unwilling, but maybe some can be reasoned with, little by little.  Hope springs eternal.


  1. fogiv

    …for my friend [REDACTED], please refrain from bashing this girl too much.  She seems to be entertaining the possibility that the POTUS doesn’t actually want to scoop out the brains of her young with a salad fork, and that’s as good a first step as any.

    If there’s a better way to talk to folks in this particular ‘state’, I’m all ears.

  2. sricki

    Good dialogue on your part — hey, at least you tried. And you may have even altered her perception a bit. Maybe she will give the speech a chance.

    But the fact is, some people — and in my experience, they are usually Rightwingers — will not respond to logic and reason, no matter what you do. Even going point by point, they will just come back at you with hate or nonsense or both. They would prefer to believe rumors and misinformation — and use those things as “evidence” — because they are more in line with what they already think. That’s one reason Fixed News is so popular. It’s the easy way out. By and large, you can’t change the opinion of someone who is determined to be ignorant.

    Part of the reason, in my opinion, that GOP politicians don’t like the idea of this speech is, the last thing they REALLY want is for kids to stay in school and educate themselves. And yes, I really believe that. They want the population ignorant and stupid because dumbasses are their core demographic — their largest and most reliable voting block. An educated populace means a liberal populace. That’s the last thing they want.

  3. louisprandtl

    likes to call it, is in charge of this country.

    The Constitution of United States clearly states the powers belong to Congress, President and Judiciary. The preamble clearly states “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    The answer is “We the People of the United States…”

  4. To speak sanity to irrationality.

    To speak peace to violence.

    To speak freedom to oppression.

    You did all of those things and you stand commended.  

    That is the only productive use of words.  The much more common and much more instantaneously satisfying act of telling your fellows how stupid the other person was is not only impotent but counterproductive.

    I like talking to you all here and I hope that we can bend each others’ thoughts in productive ways.  I hope there are those who read our conversations and come away slightly more evolved in some positive fashion.  But it is in the one-on-one conversations with conservative friends and strangers and comments to groups of sheer opposition that are more likely to have some positive effect.

  5. from the lunatic fringe. I’m going to ignore some stuff, like the nonsense over this address and the Van Jones silliness unless I find myself in a situation like you did on FB. I think it’s necessary to maintain a hold on sanity.

  6. Hollede

    talking to people as you have, does work. You were very respectful and patient. And from her response, I think you did make a crack.

    I have had several conversations with someone over the past few weeks, who really does not like President Obama. The point of our meetings had nothing to do with politics or the President, but me being me, I brought up the health care debate, which led to some thoughts on the President. The first week she told me that she just can’t like the President because he is a hypocrite. When I asked why she thought this, she responded that he isn’t the Christian he makes himself out to be. After all “true Christians drink the blood of Christ.”

    After swallowing my tongue a bit, (and not asking if this was some sort of vampire cult, or pointing out the President does not need to share my religion) she went on to say “and I am NOT for health care reform!!!”

    This really shocked me as she works with people, like me, who have been screwed by their insurance company and are in need of help from a public option. I pointed this out to her, and she must have considered what I said, because the next time we talked about it she agreed we need a public option.

    What I have found over and over is if you start the conversation out trying to find common ground and/or agreement, it is possible to make those cracks.

    Well done Little Fog!

  7. creamer

     If you come from a place that says God is never wrong. Your churches interpetation of the bible is absolute. God is involved with everything that happens(Gods will). Then taking a position different than your church/pastor is a painful, emotional process.

    My sister is much like your freind fogiv, except much more stubborn. I’ve found that using facts in political discussions with her a waste of time(wich makes political discussion a waste of time.)

    If there’s a better way to talk to folks in this particular ‘state’, I’m all ears.

    I would suggest riding a chariot down from the clouds with angels singing in the background.

  8. Cheryl Kopec

    It’s not for the fainthearted, for sure. One thing you might point out is that the pledger in the video pledges “to be a servant to our President and to all mankind” (my emphasis). Jesus also encourages his followers to be a “servant of all” (Matthew 20:27 & 23:11, Mark 9:35 & 10:44). Your friend avers, “My Master is My Lord and Savior Jesus” — would this be the same Jesus who said that “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren [whom He enumerates as the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the sick, the imprisoned, etc.], ye have done it unto me” (Matt 25:40)? How else does she propose to serve Jesus, except in the way He Himself commanded, under pain of hellfire?? Just read the passage — at the end He commands that those who have NOT served their fellow man be cast into “everlasting punishment.” In other words, it appears to me that every one of the pledgers is actually pledging to follow Jesus.

    On a different tack, here’s a heads-up on another tactic they’re using vis-à-vis “Speech-gate” — they’re quoting the “Communist Goals” listed in the 1963 Congressional Record, of which the 17th is “Get control of the schools.” Just a heads-up — I haven’t come up with an adequate counter to this one, at least not one that would appease the mouth-breathers.

  9. alyssa chaos

    that anything productive actually took place on facebook. ha.

    My local school districts aren’t airing Obama’s address in real time, they  will ‘pre-screen’ it to make sure its ‘appropriate’ and then if deemed worthy it will be aired later in the day. in my eyes its censorship.

    I will say that its entirely rational to answer no to the poll. If the parent wants to be a douche bag and deny their kid the opportunity to see Obama talk then that’s entirely up to them.  Prior consent seems better than not showing it all based on the politics of a few district officials.

    Its a sign of how ridiculous politics and people have become. If you dont agree with the president’s politics you have to shelter your children from him/her. its really sad actually how politics have become so petty.

    I would have stopped the conversation after this little gem:

    As far as change – Our world, our existence, in fact was created by The Lord God Almighty, every tongue will one day confess this and every knee will bow, either here or in the hereafter. Our country was founded on this Truth and I am all for change as long as it does not veer from that Truth

    [uhh yeah…..I cant even take people seriously after they pull that shit!]

    congrats on surviving that without pulling all of your hair out [hopefully.]

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