Mini-Rumination: Another Dunce Cap for Bobby Jindal

At the very beginning of the Obama administration, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, considered a rising star on the national political scene, gave the Republican response to the president’s state-of-the-union speech.  To say it did not go well is an understatement.  It was a disaster, and Jindal found himself the object of nation-wide derision.  See for yourself here.

Jindal was in the news again last month when he complained about Congress’s attempt to require Americans to purchase health insurance and wondered – aloud, no less – whether Congress would next require people to eat tofu.  The Curmudgeon wrote about that here.

Now Jindal is back in the news with his decision to eliminate all of his state government’s financial support for public libraries:  nearly $1 million a year.

It’s not like libraries are a luxury in a state with exceedingly low educational achievement:  according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Louisiana ranks forty-ninth (out of fifty-one, including the District of Columbia) in educational achievement for the K-12 years. (See those rankings here.)  The money – less than $1 million for the entire state – isn’t a lot, but its elimination speaks volumes about both the governor’s values and his aspirations for the people of his state.

Way to go, Governor Bobby.  That’s three strikes:  you’re out!

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Comments

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On July 28, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Great blog! I am someone who spent a considerable amount of time during my childhood in a library–the coolness of my town library on hot summer days, the county library across from the mall that we had to take the bus to reach, the school library to do research on a project. I read books and magazines, wrote papers, chatted with friends, met with groups on joint projects, and got to know the librarians, who were friendly, helpful, and knowledgable about various topics, including how to do research. The library was a safe place, a quiet (mostly) place, a home away from home, a place to work and relax, to get lost in a book or in thought, a sort of “church” for me. I know there are kindred spirits who feel the same. Cutting funds for libraries is like taking food away from children in Louisiana; Jindall deprives them of nourishment they need for a better future. This is a travesty.

    • foureyedcurmudgeon  On July 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Agreed. While back in my old stomping grounds a few weeks ago I made a point of visiting one of the libraries of my youth. I just spent a hour-hour or so, but it was great. The amount cut in Louisiana wasn’t much, less than one million dollars for the entire state, but the symbolism of a governor cutting all state library funding in a state that produces mostly ignoramuses is pretty strong. I was reading last night about a new trend: paperless libraries. That’s right: nothing but electronic materials. No one who visits those libraries will ever have the pleasure of just browsing through a shelf of books and finding something wonderful that they were never even looking for – never even knew existed. How sad.

      • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On July 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

        That IS sad. I like progress, but I don’t think that extreme move IS progress. My 19 year old son mentioned the other day that watching “Game of Thrones” makes him want to read the books, and when I suggested downloading to his IPad or an audio book, he said, “Yeah, they’re ok, but I’d like to read these from a REAL book.”. Yup. I get it.

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