George Bush goes to school

February 27, 2009

Well, visits, anyway.

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, visiting John J. Pershing Elementary in Dallas, February 25, 2008

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, visiting John J. Pershing Elementary in Dallas, February 25, 2008

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, visiting John J. Pershing Elementary in Dallas, February 25, 2008. Photo from Dallas ISD, via Dallas Observer

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, visiting John J. Pershing Elementary in Dallas, February 25, 2008. Photo from Dallas Independent School District, via Dallas Observer

This is from the press announcement by the Dallas Independent School District:

 

Former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush made a surprise visit Wednesday to their neighborhood school, Dallas ISD’s John J.Pershing Elementary. Mr. Bush visited every classroom at the school and stayed for more than an hour.

“He and Mrs. Bush were very warm and inviting and they stopped and acknowledged every person in the school,” said Pershing principal Margarita Hernandez. “This is an experience that our children will never forget.  President Bush made several students pledge and commit themselves to read more instead of watching TV. He told students that reading is the key to everything, including to being president.”

Pershing Elementary has an enrollment of 482 students and is located at 5715 Meaders Lane in Dallas. This past school year, it received the Recognized ranking from the Texas Education Agency.

No interruptions this time.

 


Bobby Jindal: Dumb about rocks

February 27, 2009

I couldn’t believe it either.

Remember all the flap about a flurry of earthquakes in the Yellowstone Caldera over the Christmas holidays?  Volcano monitoring is critical to safety in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska — not to mention Hawaii’s special circumstances — and to all neighboring states or those within downwind striking distance of a volcanic event.

A volcanic field now in southern Idaho erupted a few millions of years ago, spreading ash that killed creatures as far away as Nebraska.  “Neighboring state” covers a lot of territory.

So, Bobby Jindal, in his response to the Obama budget proposal speech, said the U.S. should get out of the volcano monitoring business.  It was not clear whether there were no rocks in his head, but neither was there knowledge about rocks where it should be in his head.

Green Gabbro, a real geologist, couldn’t believe it either.

  1. DID HE SERIOUSLY JUST SAY THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE MONITORING VOLCANOES??!?!!!????@#$@!

Ignoring for the sake of argument the value of the basic science that always results from the data collected during routine monitoring – ignoring the general function of increased spending as an economic stimulus to the nation’s earth scientists, instrument manufacturers, etc., – even ignoring all that, volcano monitoring is still a very sensible investment in national security. A $1.5 million investment in monitoring at Pinatubo (near a U.S. air force base) earned a greater than 300-fold return when the volcano erupted explosively in 1991: hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property (mostly airplanes) was saved, as were thousands of lives. That 30,000% figure comes before you attempt to put a value on human life.

But then, Sarah Palin is in one of those areas where a failure to monitor volcanoes might lead to huge disaster.  It’s an unusual way to knock out a political rival, and not certain, but were Sarah Palin to disappear into a volcanic cloud, Bobby Jindal’s path to the Republican nomination for president might be less cluttered.  He’s a Rhodes Scholar — surely he can’t be that stupid about volcanoes, so the evil alternative, that he hopes to get rid of Palin, is the only thing that makes sense, isn’t it?

Is there no one in the Republican Party who will stand up for science and reason?

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