Tag Archives: Louisiana

LA Gov Jindal: I Won’t ‘TipToe Around The Truth’ On Racial Islam

LA Gov Jindal: I Won’t ‘TipToe Around The Truth’ On Racial Islam

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) said that he won’t “tiptoe around the truth” on radical Islam on Wednesday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.

Jindal reacted to comments made by a guest on MSNBC that he was “trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin.” Jindal said that it was “foolish” for MSNBC to give anyone who would make those comments a platform, but that he knew people on the left would “go crazy” when he “called out radical Islamic terrorism” and called for assimilation, and defended that there were “no-go zones” where police are less likely to go into, where women feel uncomfortable and where there are attempts to impose Sharia Law.

He then declared “I think it’s embarrassing the president, somehow, for some reason, doesn’t want to use the word ‘terrorist’ to describe these individuals, doesn’t want to use the words ‘radical Islam.’… I think it’s time for the leaders to denounce the individuals, not just the acts of violence. I know the left wants us to tiptoe around the truth, I’m not going to do it. Part of the president’s job as the leader of our country, the leader of the free world, is to state clearly and honestly to us what are the challenges we face.”

“We’re at war with radical Islam whether he wants to call it that or not, that is exactly the conflict we face, I know the left’s not going to like it,” he continued. “But, Neil I’m also ready for us to stop calling ourselves hyphenated-Americans. Part of this assimilation…we need to stop calling ourselves African-Americans, Indian-Americans. My parents came over here 40 years ago, they wanted their kids to be Americans, they love India, they love our heritage, if they wanted us to be Indians, they would have stayed in India.

We also need to be teaching our kids in civics, in our schools about American Exceptionalism. We need to insist on English as our language in this country. I have nothing against anybody who wants to come here to be an American, but if people don’t want to come here to integrate and assimilate, what they’re really trying to do is set up their own culture, their communities, what they’re really trying to do is overturn our culture.

We need to recognize that threat, what that threat is to us. if we don’t, we’re going to see a replica of what’s happened in Europe in America. We’re going to see our own no-go zones, if we’re not serious about insisting on assimilation and integration.”

Regarding tax policy, he stated “this president wants to be all about redistribution. I think, in America, we look at federal taxes, we look at federal policies to promote opportunity and growth not redistribution like they do in Europe.”  He added that he supported across-the-board tax cuts because “I think rates need to be lower,” although he did not say what he would ultimately lower them to.

Jindal also said “we need a Constitutional amendment saying the federal government shouldn’t grow faster than our economy, than our private sector economy so they don’t keep spending more while our paychecks aren’t growing.”

He additionally defended his refusal to adopt Medicaid expansion in Louisiana, arguing “the reality is if we had done Medicaid expansion, we would have kicked over 200,000 people out of private insurance, more people would have been moved out of private insurance into Medicaid than uninsured would have been moved into Medicaid. That makes no sense to me…It would have cost our taxpayers over a billion dollars over ten years.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

Teachers Reprimanded in Louisiana for Speaking Out Against Common Core

Teachers Reprimanded in Louisiana for Speaking Out Against Common Core

Gov Jindal: ‘Outrageous’

AP

BY:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) blasted reports Tuesday that teachers are being reprimanded for speaking out against Common Core standards on social media.

A teacher in Rapides Parish, in Alexandria, La., was “written up” for writing a negative post on Facebook about the controversial standards, according to Town Talk.

“This is a hot national debate,” the teacher told the paper. “Why can’t I comment? I did not say a word about anything locally.”

Jindal, who is suing the Obama administration for coercing states into adopting the standards, said silencing teachers is not helpful to the debate.

“This is outrageous. Teachers are now being chastised for speaking out against Common Core,” he said. “Teachers have problems with Common Core, and we should be listening to them.”

“Instead, government bureaucrats and political elites are trying to quiet teachers who think Common Core isn’t the right direction for our state,” Jindal said.

The Town Talk reported on the “climate of fear” for teachers in the central Louisiana school district.  One teacher said they feel like they are living “under a dictatorship,” and others worry they could lose their jobs for speaking out against the school administration.

Teachers in the parish are also not allowed to speak to the press “without going through the chain of command.”

Controversy surrounding the Common Core standards has been brewing for months, as the curriculum has been criticized for its unusual methods of teaching math.

Jindal’s office has said support for the standards is “crumbling” across the nation. Common Core has been repealed in South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Indiana, and an additional 32 states have introduced legislation against the standards.

Louisiana residents warned of brain-eating organism in water supply

Louisiana residents warned of brain-eating organism in water supply

Water warning culprit is Naegleria fowleri, a type of warm-water-loving microorganism, which can work its way into the brain

by Peter Moskowitz, theguardian.com,

Naegleria fowleri amoeba under a microscope Louisiana brain eating bacteria in water
Once in the brain, N fowleri quickly eats brain tissue and causes an infection that with few exceptions kills its hosts within two weeks. Photograph: AP

For the third time in a year, Louisiana residents are being cautioned to watch out for a deadly, brain-eating amoeba-like organism in the water supply in part of the state.

Residents in four towns in St John the Baptist Parish – about 12,500 people in total – are being advised to take special precautions when showering and when swimming in nearby lakes, streams and pools that have been filled with tap water.

brain eating amoeba

The culprit of the water warning is a trophozoite called Naegleria fowleri, a type of warm-water-loving microorganism very closely related to an amoeba (it’s most often referred to as an amoeba in scientific literature).

If the organism is inhaled through the nose it can work its way into the brain. Once there, N fowleri quickly eats brain tissue and causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), an infection that with few exceptions kills its hosts within two weeks.

While PAM infections are extremely rare in the United States, there’s some concern among experts that the warming waters caused by climate change will increase Naegleria fowleri’s presence in the South, as well as pull the organism out of its southern strongholds and into northern water systems.

“The hotter it gets, the more likely this amoeba will be in our lakes and rivers and streams,” said Dr Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana’s state health officer and medical director. “I’m sure there are other waters systems that have the amoeba that aren’t even looking for it.”

A 4-year-old boy visiting St Bernard Parish, Louisiana from Mississippiwas infected and killed by PAM last September. A month later, N fowleri was found in the DeSoto Parish water system, the same parish where two people died from PAM in 2011.

Those incidents prompted Louisiana to rethink how it monitored its water systems. State health officials were trained by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the last year, and now the state is becoming the first in the nation to regularly test water systems for amoebas and amoeba-like organisms, according to Guidry.

The first test results from that program came back on Wednesday. Those tests showed the organism in St John’s Parish, leading to the current warning. Guidry said the organism might be in other parishes as well, but testing all 1,400 of the state’s water systems will take time.

The state is also working on raising the levels of chlorine in several dozen water systems.

“It’s not a public health threat where we need to alarm people, but it’s a serious enough threat that we’re focusing on chlorinating all our water systems,” he said.

Experts are also worried Naegleria fowleri is expanding beyond its usual hotspots in Louisiana to parts of the country where it had previously been too cold for the organism to survive.

There have been 132 cases of PAM caused by N fowleri in the US since 1962, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Only three people are known to have survived the infection. Until recently almost all of those cases have been in the most southern sections of the United States. But over the last decade, there’s been a spate of PAM infections farther north, including two deaths in Minnesota in 2010 and 2012.

Some also believe PAM infections are underdiagnosed, as symptoms can often look similar to those associated with bacterial meningitis. Travis Heggie, an N fowleri expert at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, said increased education about the infection is needed in the medical field in order to accurately assess how prevalent it is.

“Naegleria is common in the environment and it’s killing more people than we realize,” he said. “It’s just not being diagnosed. We’re still in the very early stages of creating awareness about it.”

LA Gov. Jindal Sues Obama Admin Over Common Core

LA Gov. Jindal Sues Obama Admin Over Common Core

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.)

BY: 

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over Common Core Wednesday, arguing that the government’s role in pushing the standards on states threatened states’ rights and abused federal funds.

Although proponents of the standards depict them as “a state-led effort,” states adopted the standards in order to qualify for federal Race to the Top funding.

Without directly naming Common Core, the federal government required states to implement standards with a list of attributes mirroring those of the newly-minted Common Core standards. Forty-five states then switched to the standards with little to no review or public debate.

Jindal is suing the Department of Education over this requirement, citing U.S. laws that forbid the federal government from controlling school curricula. According to Jindal’s case, states should be able to keep Race to the Top funds without retaining the standards or Common Core-aligned standardized tests. The push for national standards was “in contradiction to 50 years of congressional policy forbidding federal direction or control of curriculum, the cornerstone of education policy,” the lawsuit reads.

Jindal supported the standards in 2010, but since then a massive backlash against the standards and concern over his own son’s math homework has prompted him to review his position. He now says the program “effectively forces states down a path toward a national curriculum.”

Jindal attempted to repeal the standards earlier this year by executive order, but a Louisiana court struck his action down. The judge said Jindal’s order would cause “irreparable harm” and initiate “a state of chaos” in Louisiana schools.

Much of the controversy over Common Core hinges on to what extent standards drive curriculum. Supporters of Common Core argue that fears of the federal government pushing a “national curriculum” are unfounded, since the program merely sets standards and leaves educational content up to the schools. But opponents counter that the line between standards and curriculum is fairly thin, with the former inevitably shaping the latter.

Jindal said in a statement that Common Core’s crafters should “finally admit they want to control curriculum. These are big government elitists that believe they know better than parents and local school boards.”

The lawsuit claims the standards “started as good state intentions” but have “materialized into the federalization of education policy through federal economic incentives and duress.” It charges that these good intentions and the “voluntariness” of participating in Common Core-aligned testing “have proven to be illusory.”

Jindal’s opponents have already begun spinning the lawsuit story as a disingenuous political move on the governor’s part. The president of the Fordham Insitute, which has been at the forefront of defending Common Core, said Jindal will lose this case “just as he’s lost the others”, and that “It’s about Jindal’s political ambitions.”

Anne Hyslop, a senior policy analyst for Bellwether Education Partners, told Politico, “It’s unlikely he’ll get anything out of this suit other than padding his conservative credentials — which may be the whole point.”

The Washington Post writes: “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) just sued the Obama administration. He had to.” “As an early champion of Common Core,” the article goes on, Jindal needs the lawsuit to stifle criticism in a presidential primary.

Education historian Diane Ravitch, who has also lashed out at Campbell Brown’s attempts to reform teacher tenure, asked Wednesday morning, “Is Jindal Hoaxing Us?” Ravitch suggested Jindal’s opposition the standards amounts to “political machinations.”

The Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey rebuked Common Core supporters for making the argument about Jindal’s motives, saying that regardless of his intentions, “We should look at the merits of the lawsuit, which requires an honest assessment of both the Constitution and federal education statutes, just as we should look at the research on national standards, the content of the Core, and the reality of how so many states adopted standards that are now heavily disliked. Do those things, and I think the Core loses hands down.”

The Department of Education has not yet commented on the case. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has questioned the sincerity of Jindal’s position Common Core in the past.

National support for Common Core dropped sharply in the last year, both among teachers and the general public. At the same time, an increasing number of Americans say they object to heavy federal involvement in public education.