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Teachable Moment


Keeping one’s child out of school because The President of The United States is going to address American schoolchildren to tell them to stay in school speaks for itself.

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 7:21 am by Matt Davies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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35 Responses to “Teachable Moment”

  1. marinadog

    Matt Your ok with the original plan to have children write a letter to Barry on how to help him with Barry/Kennedy Memorial Unhealthy act care? Or Abortion rights, or Limits on Freedom of speech? Like lets shut down Talk Radio which would help… oh yea your RAG?????

    The idea that He must speak on the first day of school with no Idea what he would say (and this is just the first) is out there.

  2. Bitsy Farnsworth

    Just like you said, Matt, that cartoon should really make these people cringe with recognition. But I fear they are incapable of seeing themselves for what they truly are.


  3. notright

    Matt, I really like your work but this is very offensive. So if I have a different opinion than you on this Obama school speech than I am automatically labeled terrorist?

  4. Aaron

    I hear you Matt! Leave the sugar coating to Tony the Tiger.

  5. Matt Davies

    Notright, Can you please show me a transcript of the speech with the offending contents underlined? He is The President of The United States f’Godsakes. I wasn’t a huge fan of Dubya’s policies either, but I would not have taken my kids out of school for a Presidential address by him. Let’s let us adults act like children over policy, and leave the kids out of it.

  6. Martha Borrero

    Thanks, Matt!
    I hadn’t thought of this issue in those terms but, boy, it sure hits the nail on the head.
    By the way, I am rather amused to see a banner ad for Ann Coulter’s column on your site!! ;)

  7. notright

    Matt: The WH has not released a transcript of the speech, but they released lessons plans (which has been modified) which is what I have a problem with.

    In the original and modified lesson plan for K-6, there is a statement that says: Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor?

    What if the elected officials are currupt (i.e. Charles Rangel, Rod Blagojevich, Richard Nixon)?

    Based on the CNN article on 9/4 (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/04/obama.schools/index.html) – “Some of the controversy surrounding Obama’s speech stems from a proposed lesson plan created by the Education Department to accompany the address. An initial version of the plan recommended that students draft letters to themselves discussing “what they can do to help the president.”

    If the wording was help the country, I don’t have a problem with it. But it is to help the president. What if the parents don’t agree with the president’s agenda?

  8. notright

    I was not a huge fan of Bush II either. And if he proposed the same lesson plan, I would have opposed it as well.

  9. Marina Dog

    as with all of Barry Plans and press releases ,Matt, You know the have a life of what 10 minuets?

    we still don’t know what his Barrry/Kennedy Memorial Unhealthy act is. He learned from BJ Clinton not to release info before he had to.

  10. artisan33

    Cult of personality is what rules the mullah’s Iran, and has a long history going back through Pol Pot, Hitler, Napoleon, & Caligula.

    Mr. Obama has shown a great practical naivete’, and a thorough disregard for diverse philosophies (except those on the left), with a troubling tendency to demonize people he regards as superfluous ( the old, the white, the non-black fundamentalist Christian, the worker, the small business owner)

    Although it’s permissable to graciously allow his election to redress historic bias, it is not permissable to allow his narrow, and highly counter-biased thinking to marginalize parents, and create an Obama-Jugend.

    Give him YOUR kids, Matt.

  11. magz

    Please send me a copy of the cartoon you drew when Sen Dodd and the Democrates railed against George HW Bush’s address to the school children. Why is this time any different? How about those talking points? You think that’s the right thing for the White House to be doing? If so, why did they cave so quickly? They had an agenda and if you and the rest of the liberal media were fair, you would say so. If I had a child in school, I would not prevent him from listening to our President. I would however, make sure to read what he said and discuss it with him.

  12. jp

    @magz: What “George HW Bush’s address to the school children”??? I know that my memory can be faulty, but the only time I remember Bush coming close to “addressing school children” was when he was reading “My Pet Goat” while the twin towers burned.


    @notright: School children should be taught to form their own opinions (e.g., by listening to various elected politicians), rather than mindlessly parroting whatever their parents think. Thank goodness that I was taught to think on my own; otherwise, I might have ended up a Republican!


  13. artisan33

    No, children are legally & morally bound to their parents until age 21.

    Some families have political, religious, & behavioral norms far better than the leftist zombie mind-dreck proffered in our intellectually ruined public schools.

    It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, ... It only takes a village to raise a fatherless single-parent leftist child.

  14. DebS

    To the above,
    By any chance, are any of you ‘guys’ above actually female? I ask because your over-the-top macho posturing is a scream! – I mean in the funny way. None of the woman I know are so self-righteously bullying as any of you (ok 1 or 2 of you excepted. You know who you are.)

    What a load of bulls***t you’re shoveling w/your probably super-sized bulldozers. I can’t do anything but laugh @ your immature antics.

    Where’s Lord Baltimore when you need him?

    BTW, how does it feel for someone to stereotype you the way I just did?

  15. jp

    @DebS: If you think the comments on Matt’s blog here are immature, you should check out the comments on the various stories/editorials/letters the the editor here on the Journal News’s website. The comments here are tame in comparison.


  16. Lord Baltimore

    DebS –
    Sometimes I can’t muster the energy to come up with a comment with folks like artisan posting crud like this:
    “It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, ... It only takes a village to raise a fatherless single-parent leftist child.”
    Total crud, but the “righty wingnuts” (I suppose I’m obliged to label them as such, since they seem hell-bent on labeling anyone with an open mind a liberal leftist) are prolific with their pessimistic, anti-everyone-other-than-themselves drudgery. It’s tedious.
    I by no means agree with everything Obama does, but I don’t feel the need to rip everything he does either. Some people just like being negative. Bummer for them.


    Have we come to a point in time in our nations history where
    we actually have to have the President tell kids to “stay
    in school”? Where did i come up with the crazy idea that we
    are supposed to know that without ANYONE telling us that?
    Imagine that, i have a HS diploma and a BS and not one President ever had to tell me to stay in school.

  18. notright

    Lord B – the basis of my initial comment was Matt’s cartoon labeling parents who oppose the speech as terrorists. So would you agree that Matt’s cartoon is: prolific with their pessimistic, anti-everyone-other-than-themselves drudgery?

    Debs – I am a mom with kids in school so this subject is very relevant to me.

    jp – I’m not a republican, just an independent. If various elected officials are speaking then it would be interesting for my kids to listen to. But they are still not old enough to care about politics, they just want to go out and play.

  19. Lord Baltimore

    notright – I hear where you’re coming from, though personally I can’t believe what a big deal this has been made into. It’s a one-time speech from the President to school kids – I imagine an interesting experience for many kids who likely feel largely ignored by the “adult” world of politics. I know when I was a kid I would have felt pretty important being directly addressed by a President rather than reading about him in a textbook.
    Regarding the cartoon, where exactly does it label you and others who oppose the speech as terrorists? To me, it merely points out an interesting irony.

  20. Matt Davies

    Notright – All I did was draw two seemingly opposite people holding the same sign. If you are being honest, you will agree that each of those images seen separately is correct. The fact I drew them together was simply to incite discussion, place a spotlight on some irony and hopefully, trigger some thought.

    This discussion itself is ridiculous though. The kids can’t hear The President? I have never heard of such silliness. Every day my kids put their hand over their hearts and say the pledge of allegiance. The President is a representative leader of all that pledge embodies.

    This place has gone raving mad.


    It seems hard for me to even vision Obama saying the pledge of allegiance Matt. This is the same guy who wouldn’t even wear a pin of the American flag. You’re right, this place
    has gone raving mad.

  22. Matt Davies

    Hey Bulldog – How have you been?

    Seriously. Obama went a step further. the guy swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and serve his country as President. One of the more patriotic things one can do in this country, no?

  23. Pilgrim Pride

    But the pin, Matt, The Pin.
    Remember too, he botched that oath, probably on purpose and with his fingers crossed behind his back so that he could bring ruination on the country through health care reform, international diplomacy, encouraged volunteerism and the rest of his un-American platform.

  24. notright

    Matt, I still really enjoy your work but it is more silly if we cannot express a different opinion and be labeled as nut jobs and un-patriotic. Where does it say that we have to obey everything that the government and main stream media hands to us? It is a more dangerous place when the government drowns out any opposing views.


    Hey Matt, I’m fine. Glad you are well. I don’t know. With
    the resignation of Van Jones who seems to be a racist i’m
    really seeing Obamas true colors coming through. His preacher, the radical wife, the Cambridge police incident.
    I don’t trust him what can i say. Hey Matt how about a cartoon about this Van Jones situation but tell it like it is and not slanted to the left?

  26. artisan33

    Rightie wingnuts?

    I am an anarcho-millennialist. I believe the Republicans are as careerist-corrupt as the Democrats, but that their carboard faux philosophy is less intrusive, less fascistic than the Democratic krazy-kant, at the working family level.

    It takes a committed, caring, financially secure united couple , with both gender memes present, to raise a child.

    It only takes a “village” to raise an abandoned foundling.

    If you choose to demonize males, for expressing themselves, are we not viewing gyno-fascism at its evil (and ball-less) work?

    (Go ahead…. take a moment to consult your wikipedia, for a reply).

  27. artisan33

    Please view revision #1 at:


  28. D-Bag Detector

    artisan –
    Please google “scrotum” and view the first available image.

  29. Matt Davies

    artisan – I probably shouldn’t encourage the defacing of my work – But that was actually pretty funny.

  30. sharon

    Why do Republicans hate education?

  31. AJ

    If it keeps him away from “fixing” health care, I’d let him talk to the kids every day of the week!

  32. Lalas

    If this discussion is the state of America than we’re screwed.
    Lapel pins=patriotism, “demoncrats” and the myriad of other 12-year-old-type dialog are just sad. I envy the countries where the adults actually sound like adults.

    The empire is dead, long live the empire.


    I know Lalas there’s no squabling between adults in any other countries just this one.

  34. DebS

    Pardon my personal reminiscenses to follow (& the typos); I’m trying to make a point. I’m a middle-aged white woman in NY. ‘Brown vs. the Board of Education’ had already integrated my public school classes. We had pictures of current & former U.S. presidents @ the head of the classrooms. Some were great leaders, some not so much. All were intended to be patriotic symbols. Never did I imagine that 1 day a black man would govern from the Oval Office. Never did I imagine we would deomonize our own democratically-elected president (we saved the demonizing for the Soviet Union & other foreign enemies).

    Changing times forced us to practice tolerance. We did not demonize fellow Americans (always speaking generally). I would have cried w/joy if the President of the United States chose to visit our school (unless it was LBJ or Richard Nixon). Vietnam & Watergate taught my generation cynicism. Richard Nixon was a rogue-president & rightly forced to resign. Polarization was between my generation & the OLD one.
    What’s happened??! How come we can’t we disagree w/out spewing venom? Why & whence all this vindictiveness? What’s happened to independent thinking instead of our ‘group- think’ mentality?

  35. AJ

    As a conservative, I love the storyline of the first black US President. Unfortunately, he is a statist. If the first black US President were somebody like Thomas Sowell or JC Watts, who believed in the power of the individual over the power of the state, than I’m sure our liberal friends in here wouldn’t be too happy about it either whereas us conservatives would be ecstatic about it.

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Matt Davies
Matt Davies is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Journal News. Born in London, he immigrated to the United States in 1983 and pursued his love of drawing, writing and making fun of people in positions of power throughout his educational career, while fitting in schoolwork in his spare time.



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