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  1. #1
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    Default What's with Obama and commencement speeches?

    Seems like everyone of them is a trip to the wood shed. Warnings about not listening to your parents about government, warnings about getting your birth control and now in Annapolis yesterday. He addressed the Naval Academy graduates and made a lecture on the crime of sexual assault part of his address.

    I'm certainly not minimizing or defending sexual assault. But in a commencement address? Surely, the great orator could find more uplifting subjects for these graduates who are about to put their lives on the line for their country.

    I would be plenty disgusted if I'd spent my entire life preparing (keeping my grades up and nose clean) so I could get into the academy, suffer thru 4 years of rigorous training and education (no party school THAT) and then be lectured about sexual assault in the military.

    I try to like him but I keep getting disappointed. He's like that boy friend that you keep thinking will do and say the right thing but he never does.
    Ride like you mean it.


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  2. #2
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    I think it's a great idea for the next generation of military officers to realize they are a part of the solution to preventing it, and to be tasked by their Commander-in-Chief to DO something about it. It seems like no one else is.
    RIP my beautiful Lola, ????–August 29, 2014


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    I would be plenty disgusted if I'd spent my entire life preparing (keeping my grades up and nose clean) so I could get into the academy, suffer thru 4 years of rigorous training and education (no party school THAT) and then be lectured about sexual assault in the military.
    Do you have any idea how many women are assaulted and raped in the military? Perhaps having the president of the united states think it is important enough to mention at commencement will cause some to sit up and pay attention.


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  4. #4
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    A friend of mine and her husband are ex military. She has been involved in trying to the get the military to provide abortions and rape medical help for women in the military who are getting assaulted, and under current law cannot get help, especially if stationed overseas.

    Yeah, good thing to start actually talking about how women count and we can't ignore this sort of thing. Can you imagine a man telling other men that they should take responsibility?


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  5. #5
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    The sexual assault thing I can see being relevant in the future of these academy graduates. As for the other things, commencement speeches are meant to congratulate the graduates and give them some words of advice that they will hopefully carry through life, it's not an appropriate time to preach your political agenda. That goes for anyone Democrat or Republican.

    Nor is it a time to gloat about yourself and how successful you are. We had a semi-famous actor come and speak at my school's commencement last year. Holy crap can you say self absorbed?


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  6. #6
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    Yeah, that's great. On the proudest day of their young lives as they embark on a career of service to their country, address the graduating class like they are a group of potential rapists

    His speech at Morehouse was even better. Though Daniel Schorr at NPR hailed Obama as the initiator of a post-racial America in 2008, Obama sees things differently. His speech emphasized past racial strife in the US.

    I thought is was particularly ironic when he quoted Benjamin Mays;
    “It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates… but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private life — men who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills.”
    Anytime now, President Obama, anytime.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


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  7. #7
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    Yeah, you could see that he's adressing them as a group of potential rapists, if that's the way you must see things. Or you could see talking about not seeing race as a bad thing. You could.

    Or, you could see it as talking about how we, as adults and a nation need to moe forward and thing of each other and try to be better people.

    So, I guess how you interpret that says a lot more about you than anything else. Anytime now, anytime.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    A friend of mine and her husband are ex military. She has been involved in trying to the get the military to provide abortions and rape medical help for women in the military who are getting assaulted, and under current law cannot get help, especially if stationed overseas.

    Yeah, good thing to start actually talking about how women count and we can't ignore this sort of thing. Can you imagine a man telling other men that they should take responsibility?
    Agreed. And honestly, people who don't want to hear his politics? He's the President. What did you expect?

    Next year invite Kristen Stewart to speak.


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  9. #9
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    I took a few minutes to double check my first impression, which was that President Obama didn't spend every second of every commencement speech pounding on some political nail. In other words, the speeches were about "more uplifting subjects for these graduates who are about to put their lives on the line for their country", as the OP put it.

    In fact, the speeches were full of praise for the graduates for reaching a hard won goal. Reading the full text of any given speech gives you a clearer picture of everything that was said, as opposed to exposure to only a few lines offered in a way to elicit a desired reaction.

    Full text of the commencement address at the Navel Academy:
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/0...naval-academy/

    Video of entire speech at Ohio State:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQMIfpqi8e0

    Video and full text of Morehouse College's commencement address:
    http://straightfromthea.com/2013/05/...deo-full-text/

    Google. It is a wonderful thing.
    Sheilah


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    He addressed the Naval Academy graduates and made a lecture on the crime of sexual assault part of his address.

    I'm certainly not minimizing or defending sexual assault. But in a commencement address? Surely, the great orator could find more uplifting subjects for these graduates who are about to put their lives on the line for their country?
    You are aware, I assume, that the military is in the midst of a scandal because several of their officers whose job it was to prevent sexual assault have been found to have committed assault or run prostitution rings. This is a timely issue that is a major problem for the military and the only way for it to change is to address is head on and with better leadership. The Commander in Chief speaking to the officers of tomorrow is the perfect person to address the issue.

    Commencement addresses aren't about telling graduates what special snowflakes they are. It is about talking about their future and the good and bad they will face. Theses graduates have a chance to be part of a sweeping change in how women are treated in the military. Hopefully they take it to heart.


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  11. #11
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    The daughter of a friend of mine attended the naval academy. His commencement address was entirely appropriate.
    Join the Clinton 2016 campaign...Hillary For America. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/


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  12. #12
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    You are aware, I assume, that the military is in the midst of a scandal because several of their officers whose job it was to prevent sexual assault have been found to have committed assault or run prostitution rings.
    Too bad they can just fire them.

    No, they are going to be re-educated by refreshing/repeating the training that didn't work in the first place. Brilliant
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


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  13. #13
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    I say this as a democrat (didn't vote for him). I despise listening to any of his speeches. He loves to hear his own voice. What I found down right appalling was the damn dinner they had for him and the press. Lets see... Lets have this while people in Boston are grieving. Lets spend outrageous amounts of money on a party for the folks of Hollywood while we're cutting people's jobs. Lets have Conan get up and make a bunch of racist and tacky jokes. Must be satisfying knowing you are the "coolest" President in history. Not the smartest, not the greatest leader... But the coolest.

    Sorry. Got going on a rant. But bottom line... I disapprove of all of his speeches


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhwr View Post
    Too bad they can just fire them.

    No, they are going to be re-educated by refreshing/repeating the training that didn't work in the first place. Brilliant
    Hopefully, this isn't true. The frequency of sexual assault in the U.S. military, which is currently coming to light, is both astounding and unacceptable. Offenders need to be held accountable, not swept under the carpet. I'm glad Pres Obama is noting this in his speeches. We would look terrible if our commander in chief did not acknowledge the depth of this problem. Discussing the problem at a speech to West Point graduates is highly appropriate, in my opinion.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


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  15. #15
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    The Morehouse speech was fantastic. Unlike some of the previous posters, I've actually read the entire thing. What it's about is giving back to your community, working hard, being a good partner and responsible father, and being a mentor to other young men. You have to work pretty hard to be offended by that speech.

    As for the "damn dinner," it's been held since 1920 and is a fundraiser for scholarships. Although the president traditionally attends, he doesn't hold it, the White House Correspondents Association does.

    Oh, and accusations of being too Hollywood aren't new either. The New York Times bowed out during the Bush years because of it.
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.


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  16. #16
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    I have a new personal rule to not get involved in political discussion on the internet... However, I personally shudder to think that anyone would consider rape/sexual assault to be politics. Tell that to the next victim you meet.

    Be seriously opposed to rape and sexual assault and serious about its prevention is not a political position, it's being a decent human being.

    I refuse to believe that anyone would hate Obama enough to resent his position on this, I hope I'm not wrong.
    Last edited by abrant; May. 27, 2013 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Spelling. I'm gonna blame public school.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by abrant View Post
    I refuse to believe that anyone would hate Obama enough to resent his position on this, I hope I'm not wrong.
    Unfortunately, you are quite naïve. Obama could cure cancer and the haters would find a way to disparage it. That's what haters do.
    Founding member of the "I Miss bar.ka" clique
    Founding member of the "I Miss Pocket Trainer" clique


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    I'm certainly not minimizing or defending sexual assault. But in a commencement address? Surely, the great orator could find more uplifting subjects for these graduates who are about to put their lives on the line for their country.
    Yes you are.

    The point of any commencement speech is to address the country's or world's problems and ask graduates with diploma in hand how they can use their recently acquired degree to go forward and make the world a better place. Sweeping the rape scandals in the military under the rug during a speech at West Point does indeed "minimize" the extent of the problem.

    The commencement exercises at West Point is the perfect place to address this issue. You have an audience of the military's future elite. If anyone can affect change in the military, it's these young men and women.

    I graduated from college a long time ago. But I do remember vividly that the commencement speaker did address not-so-pleasant subjects and how we, as graduates would be expected to use our education to improve the lives of others. I don't think it's remotely unacceptable that a commencement speaker, the President or someone else, make graduates wake up and pay attention.
    Fan of the Swedish Chef


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  19. #19
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    Ok, read the Naval Academy speech. Talk about a tempest in a teapot.

    Here is the extent of the Pesident's "lecture" on sexual assault:

    And yet, we must acknowledge that even here, even in our military, we’ve seen how the misconduct of some can have effects that ripple far and wide. In our digital age, a single image from the battlefield of troops falling short of their standards can go viral and endanger our forces and undermine our efforts to achieve security and peace. Likewise, those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong. That’s why we have to be determined to stop these crimes, because they’ve got no place in the greatest military on Earth.
    So, less than a minute of text (in the paragraph as a whole) in a 15-20 minute speech is a "lecture?" Really?
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.



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