Jindal and GOP think volcano monitoring is silly. Alaska volcano reportedly ready to blow.

One of the things that GOP posterboy Bobby Jindal criticized in his response to Obama’s address to Congress was “volcano monitoring.” Jindal thinks it’s silly, and a waste of taxpayer money. Well, one of the volcanos that Jindal finds silly is apparently ready to blow. Ironically, it’s just outside of Anchorage.

I was in Anchorage the last time Mount Redoubt blew in December 1989. It was surreal. We were driving to an officemate’s sister’s place when we heard on the radio that the volcano blew. Weird, we thought. I didn’t have a camera with me (it was 1989, no cell phone cams back then – well, no cell phones other than the huge luggables that John McCain still uses). As we were driving, suddenly we noticed a black cloud on the horizon. Over the minutes, it crept closer. And closer. Suddenly, 1/3 of the sky was black. The rest was sunny and clear. It was afternoon, I think – maybe even noon. But I remember it was a clear sunny day, except for the black mass that was slowly advancing on us as we drove down the highway. By the time we got to my friend’s sister’s house, the sky was black. Pitch black. Street lights came on. It was the middle of a sunny day. And it was darker than the darkest closet, lights off, middle of the night. But there were no stars. Nothing. I’ve seen few things as creepy, and nothing as apocalyptic-seeming, in my life. The city initiated a quarantine, so I was stuck at my friend’s sister’s for 24 hours. Then the ash fell. Fascinating. A snowshower of volcanic ash – they’re these sort of large grey snowflakes that fall even slower than snowflakes. Beautiful in a way. But not very good for you, healthwise. Volcanic ash has a way of making you choke. It nearly brought down a commercial airliner after it got sucked into the planes engines and they all turned off.

The next morning I had to cab it through the volcanic ash over to the FAA headquarters in town because Senator Stevens was upset that I wasn’t at work. Mind you, it was still pitch black, in the middle of the morning, and everything in town, the roads, the buildings, the cars, everything was covered in volcanic ash. We were all wearing surgical masks to help our breathing. We were still under quarantine, and Stevens was pissed that I wasn’t at work. Ah, the memories. Anyway, I made it to work, then back to my hotel. The ash started making its way into the hotels, into everything. The central heating was bringing in the ash, and you could feel it in your throat. It was a bit scary. I think at the time I didn’t use my camera because they were warning us that the ash could kill any electronic device (it was so gritty, it would lodge in any moving parts), and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my new $700 SLR that mom and dad got me. So, no pics.

Anyway, this is what Bobby Jindal finds silly. Bobby Jindal who doesn’t mind sucking at the teat of the federal government any time a strong wind blows through New Orleans has a problem helping other states through their own natural disasters. Then again, he is a Republican. And we learned long ago that Republicans love to practice what they preach against.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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