Mamacita says: Before I say anything else, I want to send a huge, grateful shout-out to Mocha Momma! You should all be reading her blog anyway, because she’s great, but add to all that, I’ve won a laptop from her blog contest! Oh, Momma, I can’t thank you enough! I’m going to find you at BlogHer10 and give you a huge hug. You have been warned.
Mamacita gets political again. I don’t do politics much, but when I do, it’s usually about something that bothers/offends/delights/whatever me so much I HAVE to talk about it. Right now, I’m just plain disgusted with some people. Not all of you will agree with me, but that’s okay, too. Bark at me in the comments. If you have a LOT of barking to do, leave us a link to your own blog.
Since so many barking stupid concerned parents plan to keep their children home from school next Tuesday, lest they be exposed to the President of the Largest Free Nation on the Planet telling them that education is GOOOOOD and to “STAY IN SCHOOL,”and you really don’t want to get me started on THAT because I’d never stop, besides which those of you following me on Twitter and Facebook and BlogHer already know how much stupid people disgust me, I thought I’d take the Presidential Speech theme and run with it on Quotation Saturday.
Therefore, below please find some assorted quotations from our country’s presidents. Those of you who fear your personal family values might be questioned probably won’t want to read further. You might be exposed to something that will make you think, and you’ve already demonstrated to the world that anything that makes someone think is suspect. Yes, you have.
Your head has been stripped and found empty.
Moving right along, and heeere we go:
1. The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality. –John Quincy Adams
2. Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error. –Andrew Jackson
3. Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company. –George Washington
4. I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. –John Adams
5. It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t. –Martin Van Buren
6. Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. –John Quincy Adams
7. One man with courage makes a majority. –Andrew Jackson
8. To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. –Abraham Lincoln
9. Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. –John F. Kennedy
10. Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. — Thomas Jefferson
11. If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress. –Barack Obama
12. A child miseducated is a child lost. –John F. Kennedy
13. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. –John F. Kennedy
14. First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. –Franklin Delano Roosevelt
15. If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit. –Bill Clinton
16. Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don’t attack each other. Free nations don’t develop weapons of mass destruction. –George W. Bush
17. Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. — Abraham Lincoln
18. As Americans, we can take enormous pride in the fact that courage has been inspired by our own struggle for freedom, by the tradition of democratic law secured by our forefathers and enshrined in our Constitution. It is a tradition that says all men are created equal under the law and that no one is above it. — Barack Obama
19. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. –Theodore Roosevelt
20. Government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. — Gerald R. Ford
21. We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. — John F. Kennedy
22. If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together. — Richard M. Nixon
23. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. — Ronald Reagan
24. Today, many companies are reporting that their number one constraint on growth is the inability to hire workers with the necessary skills. — Bill Clinton (to which I say, “Amen.”)
25. We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it. — Lyndon B. Johnson
26. I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it. — Dwight D. Eisenhower
27. I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. — Harry S. Truman
28. Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. — John Adams
29. Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body – the producers and consumers themselves. — Herbert Hoover
30. The trouble with me is that I like to talk too much. — William Howard Taft
31. Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained. — James A. Garfield
32. Education will not (take the place of persistence); the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. — Calvin Coolidge
33. We cannot blame the schools alone for the dismal decline in SAT verbal scores. When our kids come home from school do they pick up a book or do they sit glued to the tube, watching music videos? Parents, don’t make the mistake of thinking your kid only learns between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. — George W. Bush
34. My country owes me nothing. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. — Herbert Hoover
35. A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity. — Jimmy Carter
36. A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt. — Woodrow Wilson
37. I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too. — Thomas Jefferson
38. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. –Barack Obama
39. Don’t worry over what the newspapers say. I don’t. Why should anyone else? I told the truth to the newspaper correspondents – but when you tell the truth to them they are at sea. — William Howard Taft
40. You can’t divorce religious belief and public service. I’ve never detected any conflict between God’s will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other. — Jimmy Carter
41. In all my public and private acts as your president, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end. — Gerald R. Ford
42. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life. — Theodore Roosevelt
43. Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country. — Theodore Roosevelt
44. The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight. — Theodore Roosevelt
45. Poverty is uncomfortable; but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim. –James A. Garfield
46. The people have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge – I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers –John Adams
47. There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility. –Lyndon B. Johnson
48. If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. — George Washington
49. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. — James Madison
50. The American continents . . . are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. –James Monroe
51. A decent and manly examination of the acts of the Government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged. –William Henry Harrison
52. Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality. — John Tyler
53. Public opinion: May it always perform one of its appropriate offices, by teaching the public functionaries of the State and of the Federal Government, that neither shall assume the exercise of powers entrusted by the Constitution to the other. –James K. Polk
54. For more than half a century, during which kingdoms and empires have fallen, this Union has stood unshaken. The patriots who formed it have long since descended to the grave; yet still it remains, the proudest monument to their memory. . . –Zachary Taylor
55. It is not strange . . . to mistake change for progress. –Millard Fillmore
56. We have nothing in our history or position to invite aggression; we have everything to beckon us to the cultivation of relations of peace and amity with all nations. –Franklin Pierce
57. There is nothing stable but Heaven and the Constitution. –James Buchanan
58. The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people. –Andrew Johnson
59. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. –U.S. Grant
60. He serves his party best who serves the country best. –Rutherford B. Hayes
61. If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth. — Chester Alan Arthur
62. It is the responsibility of the citizens to support their government. It is not the responsibility of the government to support its citizens. –Grover Cleveland
63. We Americans have no commission from God to police the world. –Benjamin Harrison
64. Unlike any other nation, here the people rule, and their will is the supreme law. It is sometimes sneeringly said by those who do not like free government, that here we count heads. True, heads are counted, but brains also . . . –William McKinley
65. Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little. –Warren G. Harding
66. There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America. –Barack Obama
That’s enough for now. As always, when I blog about quotations, it’s hard to stop unless I force myself to stop.
Tuesday’s presidential speech should never have become an issue. Other presidents have spoken and their words were listened to, pondered, and taken to heart, or not. In my mind, I’m trying to somehow pinpoint the moment when the President of our nation ceased to become important. I’m trying to understand exactly when so many “Americans” decided that the President was undeserving of simple respect.
Our ancestors traveled across oceans that their children might be educated here. It was once a point of great honor and family pride that one’s children knew more than their parents. Now, parents fear knowledge, and if their children bring home ideas not already familiar, they go batshit crazy and assume the worst. Some families keep their children home rather than risk their exposure to new ideas. Such backwards thinking. Such dreadful fear-based, ignorance-based thinking. And I use the word “thinking” somewhat loosely.
I don’t doubt for a moment that these families don’t have their own best interests at heart: that they’re truly acting in a way they believe best. What I DON’T believe, not for a moment, is that these parents know what the hell they’re talking about. Fear = wanton ignorance.
I am seriously wondering about the intelligence level and even the legal parentage of those who are ranting and raving and publicly declaring their intention to remove their children from any place that would subject their innocent ears to PROPAGANDA and anything that might go against their family values.
I’ve said this elsewhere already but it merits stating again: if your values are so shaky that one outside reference will topple them, you’d better take a long, serious look at those values, because something’s wrong with ’em. And if your values are such that no outside information must EVER taint them, then your values are not only iffy, they’re unhealthy.
I don’t like everything Obama says or does, either, but I’m not SCARED to listen to what he has to say. Nor would I be scared to allow my children to hear their own president speak. If they had questions after the school finished, those questions could be discussed at home. DISCUSSED, not put down or ridiculed. Respect would be maintained. Our children should not be taught disrespect, and it’s especially dreadful when disrespect is modeled by their parents. Questioning, yes. Disagreement, sure. But disrespect, never.
Does it not seem to you that parents who would remove their children from school rather than let them listen to a speech probably don’t take school attendance very seriously anyway?
I’ve run into this mindset with parents before. They’re often the same parents who objected to their children’s being taught personal hygiene and dental care. And parents who don’t take school attendance seriously have been a problem for years. Having their children told that education is important and that decent people work for a living is an alien and abhorrent concept, also. Yes, it goes against many families’ personal value systems. Heh.
Families who teach their children fear and disrespect are in the same category, as far as I’m concerned. Stand there all you want, with the breeze from the air conditioner blowing away what black dust remains of your teeth as you speak, and rant to me that you’ll take your son to the dentist when the pain is too much to bear and not before, and thank me very much not to put such ideas in his head as regular dental exams, and I’ll still label you a pathetic smelly nutjob whose children should be taken from you and given to clean, decent people to raise properly. People who encourage knowledge, and welcome questions, and don’t mock you if you want to bathe more than once a week and like to read them there books. Pretty much anybody but you, chickenshit.
Bring it on.