Wait, what if idiocy is blood-borne? »« It’s going to be a long election season…

Do we need another dumb Texan for president?

This is awful: Rick Perry’s Texas A&M Transcript is now available online. He was a pre-vet student in college? Unbelievable. This is a fellow wobbling between a C- and a C+ average from term to term. As an advisor, I would have taken this poor student aside in his second year and explained to him that veterinary school is really, really hard to get into — even harder than medical school — and with his grades he didn’t stand a chance of getting in, and even worse, he demonstrated no aptitude at all for the field. I would have recommended that he switch majors and pursue some field that doesn’t require much math and science, instead of limping along to barely squeak through with a degree in a field he’d never be able to pursue further.

And I guess he did that anyway, going into a career that any dumbass can do, Texas governor.

No wonder he can prate about disbelieving evolution: he’s got negligible biology in his education, and he barely passed what little he took.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. says

    He’s too damned ignorant to figure out whether evolution or creation is true, so he knows that those who very well might know more than he does–elementary school students–would be more likely to be able to think it through.

    Yes, they probably would know better than he does, but they still need to be taught science, not that science and superstition are equals.

    Perry might actually be too dumb to win the presidency. I just wouldn’t want to count on it.

    Glen Davidson

  2. Nate says

    And he got a D in Economics, which makes him well qualified to comment on the Fed’s monetary policy.

  3. says

    You see the problem with Bush was that he was too smart. He gots his C’s and D’s at an Ivy league school. What america needs now is some old-fashioned common folk stupid runnning the country.

  4. b00ger says

    It needs to be called out that he got a C in U.S. History. Also, it looks like he go a C every semester in A. S. (whatever), which appears to me to be his ROTC courses (e.g. World Military Systems, The Professional Officer). Oh yeah and he got C in P.E. his Sophomore year.

  5. says

    This sort of thing frustrates me, on a personal level. If I graduate, I’m likely going to graduate with a GPA above 3.5. And I’ll remain poor. Whereas this dumb fuck is rich.

    My brain feels quite worthless right now.

  6. TV200 says

    No wonder he hates evolution, he can’t understand it.
    Also middle ground in US history, which explains the revisions.

  7. Circe of the Godless says

    Also vet is a vet SCIENCE degree, not a ‘did you know the world is only 6ooo years old’ degree,and also not an ‘ooh I luv fluffy kittens too’ degree.
    Fuck that fucks me off when I get that.

  8. Circe of the Godless says

    Also I wonder why if he wanted to be a veterinarian he thinks its ok for his god to give parvovirus to innocent little puppies, or to let nice little feral kittens suffer from their corneas bursting when they get cat flu. Nice god there.
    Fucking bunch of assclams.

  9. says

    I wish I could believe this would hurt his chances, but I have a horrible feeling the conservative wingnuts will just package him as an average joe

  10. Reality Chic says

    Check out Spring Semester 1972 . . .

    What in the world is “Writing for Professional Men” supposed to mean? Am I reading that wrong? WTF?

  11. Randomfactor says

    I fear Shak is right. Unless the porn connection and Gardasil positions (he’s already backpedaling away from that one.

  12. Carlie says

    If only he hadn’t failed org, perhaps right now he’d be rural Texas James Herriot instead of a threat to the country.

    But honestly, I’m torn here. I do think that people running for office need to bare their qualifications to the world, but I also strongly believe in HIPAA and I doubt he authorized this leak.

  13. uncle frogy says

    well it is a good tactic to use to win the republican nomination alright the fundy conservative will like it and they form a large part of the primary voters. Whether he really believes any thing at all or just wants the power I have no idea it comes out with the same results.
    he is a self righteous ignorant human being and could get elected as POTUS.
    I wonder what skeletons are in his closet
    uncle frogy

  14. truthspeaker says

    Carlie – HIPAA covers medical information, not grades in university.

    I had at least one potential employer ask for my college GPA so I’m OK with the president’s employers (us) asking applicants to disclose their grades.

  15. Randomfactor says

    Much as it pains me, I must agree about the FERPA regulations. Please note the fine print at lower right of the top transcript section. I believe PZ as an employee of a college may have a FERPA duty here, regardless of whether or not others have broadcast this…

  16. says

    I heard Perry in a radio news sound bite this morning, saying if he were elected he would not willingly allocate money toward climate change research because “too many climate change scientists present false data”. This country is in deep shit if this apocalyptic imbecile is elected.

  17. Randomfactor says

    But in the immortal words of George Bush the Elder, “Read my lips…no new Texans.” (He may have been misquoted earlier.)

  18. says

    Ah yes, lots of students with grades like that are in pre-vet or pre-med. Since I intruct a lot of first years, I get to be among those who mash all their dreams (at least in their minds – they never clue in that they usually did crappy since they put no effort into anything).

    What’s scary is that he’s now trying to pretend that he completely understands climate science. He says that, “the climate has been changing since the earth was formed,” as though he’s offering some sort of insite into the changing climate that the people studying it don’t already know.

    Newsflash for Rick Perry: Climate scientists know that the earth’s climate has been changing through its history. They take the factors that cause those changes that into account in their models.

  19. says

    Ah yes, lots of students with grades like that are in pre-vet or pre-med. Since I intruct a lot of first-year students, I get to be among those who mash all their dreams (at least in their minds – they never clue in that they usually did crappy since they put no effort into anything).

    What’s scary is that he’s now trying to pretend that he completely understands climate science. He says that, “the climate has been changing since the earth was formed,” as though he’s offering some sort of insite into the changing climate that the people studying it don’t already know.

    Newsflash for Rick Perry: Climate scientists know that the earth’s climate has been changing through its history. They take the factors that cause those changes that into account in their models.

  20. Carlie says

    truthspeaker – corrected in #18 to FERPA. Anyone can ask you what your grades were, but nobody can look at them without your permission. It’s a lot of “fun” telling parents that when they try to call up college to check on their kids.

  21. borrofburi says

    I don’t agree with the aptitude remark. Everything is a skill and skills can be learned. Aptitude simply describes prior knowledge: you learn something well, and you get good at it so you enjoy it, so you keep learning it.

  22. carlie says

    I believe PZ as an employee of a college may have a FERPA duty here, regardless of whether or not others have broadcast this…

    I would think he doesn’t, because he’s not an employee of the school that produced the grades.

  23. says

    This is a test of the Kamakanui network.

    While I may attempt to take control of your computer interface, do not be alarmed.

    This is only a test.

  24. says

    borofburi:

    Aptitude simply describes prior knowledge…:

    No it doesn’t. At least, not exclusively. It also describes the ease with which you pick up unfamiliar skills. For instance, I got into computers because I discovered in the 7th grade I had an aptitude for computers. The Apple ][ had just come out, our school got one, and I was programming it within two weeks. No prior knowledge about it. I was just good at it.

    I had an aptitude.

    I didn’t discover I had an aptitude for being a smartass until much later in life, though.

  25. borrofburi says

    nigelTheBold, Porcupine Trainer:

    Your aptitude came from prior experience. Oh sure not prior experience with programming, but some transferable experience. What this ultimately means is that due to various random childhood experiences we may find some skills easier to acquire *initially* than others, but anyone can learn anything and become damn good at it. I happened to learn how to learn well, as a result if I can identify a skill I can learn it, eventually. I’ve impressed myself at how good I’ve gotten at things I started out simply awful at.

  26. Kevin says

    So, the choices for Republican candidate are:

    1. A certified dunce from Texas.
    2. The crazy church lady from Minnesota.
    3. The magic underwear guy from Massachusetts.

    Well, since we already elected a certified dunce from Texas at least once, I think my money’s on him.

    I may be scoping out property in Belize.

  27. says

    I don’t mean in any way to defend this dumbass, but grades are not always a surefire way to measure academic performance or intelligence. I failed my way through elementary school, high school and most of uni because of a huge problem with test-taking (nervousness or something, leads to a big blank and drawing dogs instead of writing answers). Since grades are based completely on test scores (except at uni, where they’re 70% of it on average), I had the appropriate Ds and Es. They mean absolutely nothing.

    Although I guess this is just a special case. Judging from Perry’s remarks, he seems to have worked hard at failing.

  28. Multicellular says

    Also, it looks like he go a C every semester in A. S. (whatever), which appears to me to be his ROTC courses

    You are correct, A.S. Is Aerospace Studies which means he was Air Force ROTC. If he was like most Air Force ROTC cadets who wanted to be pilots, which I think he did after he graduated, then he didn’t care what he majored in or how well he did – as long as he passed and graduated that meant he could get a commission and go to pilot training. That explains a lot though. There’s an old saying in the Air Force, “You can always tell a fighter pilot…you just can’t tell them much.”

  29. robro says

    Every time I see Scary Perry’s picture, I think two things: Elmer Gantry and sleaze ball. Oh wait, maybe that’s one thing. There is something about his eyes that says he’s a lying, cynical bastard.

  30. 0Megabyte says

    Of all the things wrong with this guy, getting less than A’s in school is the least of my concerns.

    Or do all professors secretly mock anyone who gets C’s?

    And what’s with the poster doing the whole “magic underwear” thing for Romney?

    What is up with the unnecessary scorn? There’s so much NECESSARY scorn to throw on these guys you’d think you’d never run out. Why take cheap shots when it isn’t necessary, when they’re so terrible in their actual current actions and beliefs already?

    I don’t care what grades the guy got. Neither should you guys. What I care about is his ideas. And they’re simply terrible.

  31. rad_pumpkin says

    Oh, our idiot governor did incredibly poorly in college, how quaint!
    Here’s what troubles me about this: A&M is far from being a bad (or easy) school, and his stated major was anything but a joke. I wouldn’t care if he had flunked one or two classes (shit happens, right?), but his performance is so damn consistent. He earned only two As, one was a repeat, and ten Bs (4 of which – required PE – didn’t count, apparently). This would make his final gpa 1.76. That’s abysmal! I fail to see how he could be hired for any job, much less a position in government. And let’s not even talk about how somebody with presidential aspirations only got Cs and Ds in history and economics…

  32. rad_pumpkin says

    Argh, there was a second page I didn’t see – many apologies. Make that a final gpa of 1.99, and 20 Bs (of which only 16 count). But hey, it looks like Rick managed to better himself a bit. His third and fourth year records show far fewer Ds than his first two years…

  33. says

    A&M is far from being a bad (or easy) school, and his stated major was anything but a joke.

    ^^This!^^ When I was a Young Texican™, we used to tell “Aggie” jokes (most of which were the Polish jokes our parents’ generation told, with the serial numbers filed off), but the truth is, we all knew it was a really good school. Certainly it was (at the time) more highly regarded than my own alma mater, University of Houston (though I think U of H has come up in the world considerably since then), and in some areas of specialty — including (IIRC) animal husbandry/pre-vet — it was world-class.

    The fact that it was a good school doesn’t help this transcript much, though, and even before this was leaked, I’d been hearing comments out of Texas that he’s “dumber than a box of rocks.”

  34. says

    oMegabyte:

    I don’t care what grades the guy got. Neither should you guys. What I care about is his ideas. And they’re simply terrible.

    I don’t care about any given grade, per se, but do you really think an extended record of intellectual failure is irrelevant to his ability to do the job? Or that it’s unconnected to the fact he does, in fact, hold to “simply terrible” ideas?

    A smart, intellectually agile person who’s simply wrong can at least theoretically learn, or be persuaded, and in any case can be expected to perform non-ideological tasks (of which the president has many) competently; a fool is just a fool.

  35. says

    Heh, he got a C in gym. I am sorry, but this is funny. Who gets a C in gym?

    Also, I noticed the poor bloke went through two semesters of organic chem. I thought he only went through one. And wow, did he barely get past the first one. This gets me thinking that when he decided on the major, I bet he was thinking: heh, this is going to be a piece of cake. And then when he encountered organic chem, he went like: WTF is this?!

  36. says

    Bill Dauphin, avec fromage:

    even before this was leaked, I’d been hearing comments out of Texas that he’s “dumber than a box of rocks.”

    Someone, can’t remember who, recently said something that just about nails it:

    “If you thought George Bush was too cerebral, Rick Perry is the guy for you.”

  37. rad_pumpkin says

    The fact that it was a good school doesn’t help this transcript much, though, and even before this was leaked, I’d been hearing comments out of Texas that he’s “dumber than a box of rocks.”

    I don’t know about you yanks, but down here we don’t like to insult boxes of rocks by comparing them to our most illustrious governor.

    If you want a metaphor for his governorship of Texas, this may be appropriate: the capitol building in Austin was repainted last year. It now bears a wonderful brown color, which is eerily reminiscent of excrement, especially from a distance.

  38. Ryan says

    “I had at least one potential employer ask for my college GPA so I’m OK with the president’s employers (us) asking applicants to disclose their grades.”

    I agree and I’d like the who currently has the office to release his college records that he has hidden for years.

  39. DavidD says

    A C is History of the US. Gets my vote for prez. Getting a D in ochem 1 wasn’t a clear enough sign that you should not take ochem 2. Sad.

  40. Doug Little says

    And what’s with the poster doing the whole “magic underwear” thing for Romney?

    Because anybody who believes in magic underwear is delusional. Sure there are other aspects that make him undesirable as a possible candidate for the POTUS but the magic underwear really sticks out front and center.

    Perry is worse, he thinks the only course of action left is to prey to his imaginary friend for solutions to real world problems. Anything that can make these nut jobs less electable is not a cheap shot.

  41. truthspeaker says

    Kevin says:
    18 August 2011 at 6:39 pm

    So, the choices for Republican candidate are:

    1. A certified dunce from Texas.
    2. The crazy church lady from Minnesota.
    3. The magic underwear guy from Massachusetts.

    4. Ron Paul, who came in second in the Iowa straw poll.

    Sure, his ideas are completely nuts, but no nuttier than those of Bachmann or Perry.

  42. David Utidjian says

    Sign on the wall at the UC Berkeley OCF computer lab:

    The world is run by C students.

  43. squigit says

    Make that a final gpa of 1.99

    How the hell did he actually graduate?!

    My first two Universities ( I transferred a few times) required a GPA of at least a 2.5 to even be allowed to enroll for the next semester much less to graduate (my last Uni required a 2.0). And no, they did NOT round up.

  44. Carlie says

    I don’t care what grades the guy got. Neither should you guys. What I care about is his ideas. And they’re simply terrible.

    I don’t hold grades as necessarily important either, but it gives me great pause that someone who wants to run my country got a C in the history of it and a D in how money works in it.

  45. Igakusei says

    I don’t care what grades the guy got. Neither should you guys. What I care about is his ideas. And they’re simply terrible.

    Unfortunately, this is exactly the response you’ll get from a lot of his supporters as well. They don’t care that he did badly in school, since he clearly knows more about how things really work than us stupid liberals.

  46. Adam R. says

    Need? Of course we don’t need another science-illiterate fool as president.

    That’s what we’re going to get, though.

  47. aleopold says

    I’m a veterinary student, and am relieved that I will not be calling Perry a ‘colleague’ once graduated. Granted, addressing him as ‘president’ would be much worse.

    Perry’s transcripts do suggest that his scientific knowledge is lacking (and his recent statements prove it beyond all doubt). Unfortunately I know students in both veterinary and medical school programs that reject evolutionary theory, and profess complete support for creationism (either something is terribly wrong with the grading system in certain schools, or the indoctrination is holding fast). Either way, it’s alarming considering that evolution is the base for understanding practically everything from a disease standpoint.

    We are in a constant race against pathogenic microorganisms/viruses. Anyone that will not, or from sheer wanton stupidity cannot, recognize the integral role knowledge of evolution plays in our fight against these pathogens has no place in the medical field, and has absolutely no business running a country.

  48. teawithbertrand says

    For the anti-intellectual dimwits who would actually vote for this guy, none of this is a problem. His lackluster performance in school just reassures them that he’s their kind of guy. All he has to do is love baby Jesus and spread his horseshit in that moronic southern drawl, and the white trash of this country will line up to vote for him. 18 months into the Perry Administration, we’ll look back on W. as the good old days.

  49. movinbutnotshakin says

    Holy fuq, Perry actually went to college. All this time I had assumed he was an elementary school drop out.

  50. rad_pumpkin says

    How the hell did he actually graduate?!

    My first two Universities ( I transferred a few times) required a GPA of at least a 2.5 to even be allowed to enroll for the next semester much less to graduate (my last Uni required a 2.0). And no, they did NOT round up.

    It may just be that they didn’t have a 2.0/2.5 requirement back then. If you look to the bottom left of the transcript, you can see the letter-number grade equivalence. It turns out that a D is about what we would consider a C today, so it’s reasonable to assume that it would be considered passing. That’s still not an excuse for such lackluster scholastic accomplishments, of course.

  51. GraduateOfNothing says

    Fair amount of snobbery on display. Yes, it’s true that a lot of his dumbass supporters will take the attitude that academic achievement says nothing of intelligence or quality of ideas, but truly, academic achievement says nothing of intelligence or quality of ideas. Academic failure is not the same thing as intellectual failure, and academic education is only a part of the experiences necessary to form a well-rounded education. (Not that I think Perry is well rounded or intelliegent.)
    I’m not in the least bit interested in how Perry did at school. I’m interested in, and terrified at, the economic damage and social inequity his policies, especially those based on his religious views, may cause.

    Some of the stupidest people I ever met, including quite a lot of YECs, did really well in academia.

  52. says

    …academic achievement says nothing of intelligence or quality of ideas. Academic failure is not the same thing as intellectual failure,…

    Sustained academic failure — especially stuff like failing to master the first class in a sequence and nevertheless going on to the next class, instead of repeating — says something about inability to learn. If you think that’s unconnected to intelligence, or that it’s irrelevant to potential success as the fucking president of the most powerful nation in the world[1], then I don’t know what to say to you.

    This is generally an educated crowd, and I suppose it’s fair to say we’ve got a pro-education bias (we should apologize for that??), but it’s not a snobbish group: All sorts of non-academic skills and achievements get full respect around here all the time; stupidity and inability to learn, not so much.

    *****
    [1] That’s not nationalistic bragging, BTW: Unless we get our act seriously together right away, our (undeniable) status as a world power is definitely a Bug, Not a Feature©.

  53. Old Rockin' Dave says

    He got a D in large animal anatomy. That must be the reason he can’t identify the horse’s ass he sees in his shaving mirror every day.

  54. says

    GoN:

    I’m not in the least bit interested in how Perry did at school.

    I’m interested in, and terrified at, the economic damage and social inequity his policies, especially those based on his religious views, may cause.

    How he did at school has a great deal to do with what terrifies you. It’s dense on your part to handwave it away with accusations of snobbery. Academia is not the same as how you did in school, so it’s disingenuous to even bring that up.

    Perry flunked out barely passed on pertinent subjects, such as history and economics. He managed to skate on the other subjects, but it’s obvious he didn’t do much learning in school. What he learned (or managed not to learn) is the basis for much of his thinking. It’s also rather obvious he isn’t enamored of learning or thinking. So yes, how he did at school is pertinent.

    By the way, there are a healthy number of regulars here who did not attend college or dropped out. There are also a number of us here who do not have white collar jobs or careers. Making assumptions about the commentariat here tends to be a stupid thing to do.

  55. ichthyic says

    Some of the stupidest people I ever met, including quite a lot of YECs, did really well in academia.

    most didn’t.

    so your point is inane in this context.

    “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.”

    – John Stuart Mill

  56. says

    Old Rockin’ Dave:

    He got a D in large animal anatomy. That must be the reason he can’t identify the horse’s ass he sees in his shaving mirror every day.

    Expect delivery of one sniny internet… along with a bill for my new keyboard! ;^)

  57. says

    The thing is that Perry wants to be the president of the United States. I think he should be capable of doing better than a “D” in economics. That is about as bad as someone who got Ds in human anatomy and physiology wanting to be a doctor.

    While grades aren’t everything, Perry hasn’t exactly done anything else to show that he has the intellectual and emotional fortitude to do a good job as president. He wants “intelligent design” taught in science classes, and he organizes prayer meetings in response to problems. He accepted money from a hate group (the American Family Association) to fund his call to prayer meeting.

    He’s pro death penalty and people who may have been innocent were executed under his watch. Yet he says he supports the “sanctity of life.” He thinks the federal government should amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage but says he’s for small government.

    He’s basically an all-round dumbass no matter how you look at him. The bad grades just affirm that.

  58. David Utidjian says

    I also find it strange that he managed to get a commission in the USAF (I say “get” rather than “earn” because it seems fishy to me.) When I was in the USMC Platoon Leaders Class (sort of like ROTC), as I recall we had to maintain a 2.5 GPA overall in order to qualify. That was back in the mid-1970s (post Vietnam). Perry got his commission in 1972 and flew C-130s transports and got nowhere near Vietnam. Perhaps the USAF was really hard up for pilots in 1972.

    According to his Wikipedia page he graduated from Texas A&M with a 2.22 GPA.

  59. aspidoscelis says

    One entertaining point to notice here… he only got two “A”s. The first was in something called “IMPROV. OF LEARNING EDUC 101″. I note this as a very minor example of a general problem with American universities–often, education courses have only the bare minimum of rigor and difficulty. We do not require that our K-12 educators be well-educated. (Of course, we also overwork them and pay them dismally, so it… evens out?)

  60. Margaret says

    Who gets a C in gym?

    I find the thought of gym in college bizarre, but I doubt if I ever managed anything as high as a C in high school gym. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to suffer through gym in college or grad school, since the company I work for requires something like a 3.8 gpa to hire somebody.

  61. says

    I find it amazing that he got a ‘D’ in Org.Chem.I and was then allowed to take Org.Chem.II. Guess things must have been different back then (no offense), cause that would not happen now. At least not in Canadian schools.

  62. says

    @margaret
    I am sorry if I ended up insulting you. Maybe my gym classes were just easier, or maybe your circumstances were different, but I shoudn’t have made fun of all people who get C in gym. It is one thing to get one C, it is another thing to consistently get Cs.

  63. ss123 says

    There are plenty of acedemic intellectuals that would make very shitty leaders.

    A president needs to lead, know how to delegate, get deals done, and project confidence in the country. Grades in animal health have little to do with these qualities.

    Acedemic achievement is just one measure of intelligence. Many people mature and keep learning way beyond college.

    it’s way too early in the process to really matter anyhow. Lots of dirt digging to be had.

  64. Nij says

    Am I the only one who notices the use of the word “dumb” in a negative context given its historical relation to muteness?
    We don’t appreciate words like hysteria for their etymological connotations. Especially since Deaf are quite invisible in most of society, should we be accepting of this one?

    ss123, did you miss the part where he got a D in Economics and a C in US History?
    I mean really: would YOU want somebody that doesn’t know much about the country or the economy (i.e. two of the four most important fields POTUS should be knowledgeable of)? That he would be largely in charge of the direction healthcare and education and science and secular government take, when he has consistently shown to not only know nothing about them but actively work against them? That he didn’t just get a C here and there with a rare D; these were the majority of his grades?!

    I think it’s absurd to think a person who couldn’t maintain their own attention and commitment to their own study, would be suitable to lead any form of group.

  65. says

    aspidoscelis:

    We do not require that our K-12 educators be well-educated.

    SRSLY? In most states, certified teachers must have advanced degrees NLT 5 years after starting on the job, and must take continuing education and training throughout their careers. Admittedly we’re not talking about doctorates in string theory here, but compared to others at similar rates of pay, teachers are generally quite well educated.

    Margaret:

    I find the thought of gym in college bizarre, but I doubt if I ever managed anything as high as a C in high school gym.

    PE in college need not be “gym” in any traditional sense: for example, my two required PE classes (at a Texas public university, though about half a decade later than Perry’s time) were rifle marksmanship (taught by the ROTC department, but not for cadets) and bowling, neither of which required me to change clothes, break a sweat, or shower. The question is not so much how do you fail such a class, but how do you get a C? In my experience, the only plausible grades were A (for top performers), B (for most everyone else), and F (for people who simply didn’t attend, or didn’t do the “work”). What could possibly earn a C in a college PE class entirely eludes me. High school gym class is completely different.

    ss123:

    A president needs to lead, know how to delegate, get deals done, and project confidence in the country.

    And precisely how does it follow that someone evidently incapable of managing the comparably trivial demands of going to class, listening to lectures, doing and turning in assignments, etc., will be able to manage a whole fucking nation? Nobody’s insisting that “book larnin'” is the key to being president (though subjects like Economics and U.S. History do seem vaguely relevant to the job)… but this record speaks to an utter lack of basic personal competencies.

  66. H-Bomb says

    Wow. With grades like that I would be laughed right out of my current program. As to the people who say that you don’t need a college education… have you tried finding a job lately? Unless you want to work a cash register at Mickey D’s, you’d better demonstrate that you are capable of learning as an adult by presenting at least an Associate degree in something, even if it is basket-weaving and kiln maintenance.

  67. NuMad says

    Bill Dauphin,

    And precisely how does it follow that someone evidently incapable of managing the comparably trivial demands of going to class, listening to lectures, doing and turning in assignments, etc., will be able to manage a whole fucking nation? […] but this record speaks to an utter lack of basic personal competencies.

    All of this from one page from over thirty years ago? The nature of his academic dysfunction could be very specific (instead of covering all of the demands of high education evenly,) it could say something about his character… or it could not. Maybe he’d be more capable of getting better grades today than he was then.

    I’m not saying this out of admiration for the man; there’s just nothing there in those grades that tells a story of why he got those grades, or a story of what he’s capable of now. And I think the same would be true of any such Transcript for anybody else.

    What I’m saying is that what those grades mean is ambiguous at best. So in the end I think that the extrapolations are unwarranted, superfluous (in light of the miles and miles of clearer criticism) in addition to probably being ultimately ineffective.

    It’s the tacky paperweight of discredit.

  68. TheBigD says

    We’re fucking doomed.

    He is considered a front-runner. No matter how stupid, no matter how “un-electable” or whatever, this buffoon is now a national political figure.

    First Sarah Palin, now this douchebag.

    The fact that this is even possible shows that not only is the USA well into its decline, it deserves it.

  69. TheBigD says

    NuMad @ 83:

    His transcripts say everything. Do you really think that he educated himself since that time to a level of competence equal to someone who actually got the education he r she paid for?

    I do not consider myself exceptionally intelligent by any stretch, and i partied my brains out as an undergrad, and still managed a 3.75 GPA as a History major. I also went to Burning Man every year, even though The Burn is during the first week of school, so I missed a week of school and numerous assignments each year. And that was nothing compared to the drugs/partying I did just in the course of my daily life (and still do). I’ve probably done more acid than Perry has conjugated verbs correctly.

    Sure, I didn’t attend the Ivy League but I went to Nevada and it is an accredited university, at least as good, if not better than Texas A&M.

    Perry could not get into any accredited graduate school in the country.

    So, would you say that makes him qualified to even be considered as the leader of the US? What experiences has he had, or could he have had, that would give him the knowledge and wisdom needed to run a country of 300+ million people–especially considering that he was in an environment DESIGNED for learning and he sucked at it?

  70. ichthyic says

    There are plenty of acedemic intellectuals that would make very shitty leaders.

    one, this has little to do with the fact that they ARE intellectuals, and two…

    list please.

    oh, and 3…

    “SS123″….

    Is this Slanted Science?

    I bet it is.

  71. Djahn says

    I did an undergraduate in mechanical engineering at a Big Ten school in the ’80s while working 30 hours/week to pay for tuition, rent, food, beer, etc., (I graduated debt-free!) and weekends usually started Thursday evening, and I *still* managed to graduate with a 3.6 GPA.

    If you’re half serious about school a 3.0+ is a piece of cake — especially if Mommy and Daddy are paying the bills. Sub-2.0 is absolutely unacceptable — especially for a presidential candidate. And it shows a serious problem with the student.

    What happened to this country that we’re happy electing fundagelical idiots to public office? If a transcript like this came across my desk, it would continue across my desk without stopping. People like Perry should be laughed at, and then shunned.

  72. NuMad says

    Big D,

    Do you really think that he educated himself since that time to a level of competence equal to someone who actually got the education he r she paid for?

    I don’t think he did, actually. But that judgment is in no way based on those grades. My point.

  73. M says

    If you get a president like THAT again in the US, or another clownhead like Bachmann, well… the US is screwed then. It’s really only a little push away from the abyss.

    Empires all have in common, historically, that they fell. And without a long stretch of sensible leadership the US decline is completely inevitable.

    And honestly? I think the US is boned in the long run because it just wouldn’t tax the rich.

  74. ichthyic says

    But that judgment is in no way based on those grades.

    but WITH the grade information, we now can form a hypothesis as to WHY he never managed to educate himself afterwards.

    my point.

  75. Carlie says

    Nobody’s saying that his bad grades make him a bad person, or that he’s not a smart person for certain definitions of smart. But for the one person who is going to be the leader of the entire country, I think we ought to have some pretty high standards.

  76. lordsetar says

    M #89: The problem is, no empire in the history of the world until now has had access to weapons that could destroy most of the planet in short order, let alone a significant portion of the population who would readily and willingly use such weapons in the event of war.

  77. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Acedemic achievement is just one measure of intelligence. Many people mature and keep learning way beyond college.

    Sure. But there is no evidence that Perry has done any of this either. He demonstrates STUPID in his role of gubernator.

    For example, what he told a NH child yesterday*, is patently false**. I don’t believe that Perry was dissembling. Rather, he has no idea what happens in the schools that he supposedly administrates.

    *that we teach both evolution and creationism in TX schools
    **thanks to the continual vigilance of dedicated citizens

  78. NuMad says

    ichthyic,

    but WITH the grade information, we now can form a hypothesis as to WHY he never managed to educate himself afterwards.

    Since the grades could have multiple explanations behind them (unseriousness, innate stupidity, aquired lack of intellectual curiosity,) which would then define the hypothesis on his latter life, I don’t really see how that figures.

    Carlie,

    Nobody’s saying that his bad grades make him a bad person, or that he’s not a smart person for certain definitions of smart.

    Djahn kind of did, for one.

    In any case, I won’t belabour the point any more and just flounce on out.

    Rick Perry: still a dolt.

  79. David Marjanović, OM says

    that moronic southern drawl

    *sigh*

    @margaret
    I am sorry if I ended up insulting you. Maybe my gym classes were just easier, or maybe your circumstances were different, but I shoudn’t have made fun of all people who get C in gym. It is one thing to get one C, it is another thing to consistently get Cs.

    Over here, gym isn’t compulsory at university and doesn’t get you any credits. In secondary school, I got what would be a C equivalent most of the time, simply because I’m a wimp and wasn’t very good at soccer and basketball (gym and sports are the same subject). Granted, that C equivalent is actually supposed to be average – on the Sb thread, someone said B+ is the average in the grade-inflated USA.

  80. KG says

    I heard Perry in a radio news sound bite this morning, saying if he were elected he would not willingly allocate money toward climate change research because “too many climate change scientists present false data”. This country planet is in even deeper shit if this apocalyptic imbecile is elected. – Cosmic Snark

    A couple of necessary amendments.

    And following on from that, a couple of more general points.

    Bill Dauphin, I can’t agree that we should be hoping for the most batshit insane candidate to win the Republican nomination, because despite what you say, (s)he could well win. I remind you of the most-quoted saying of your fellow-Bill, and right now, the subject of that saying is gurgling down the plughole, thanks in considerable part to deliberate Republican sabotage.

    Raven, the only sane policy for the USA right now is most definitely not to increase taxes and cut public spending. It’s precisely the austerity measures adopted in Europe and the inadequate stimulus in the USA that look like plunging us into a 1930s-style slump. The only sane policy is to tax financial transactions and the rich (the latter as much to give a signal to the rest of the population as for revenue), slash military spending (which has a relatively small multiplier effect), and start a vast programme of public works, aimed chiefly at improving energy efficiency and boosting renewable energy production.

  81. KG says

    Extracting what amusement I can from our economic plight, I note that capitalism’s best hope of avoiding complete disaster now lies with the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

    “And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges” – Wm. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

  82. David Marjanović, OM says

    Extracting what amusement I can from our economic plight, I note that capitalism’s best hope of avoiding complete disaster now lies with the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

    Please explain.

    I mean, I have often said that the strongest force for capitalism in the world is the EU Commissioner for Competition, but I don’t understand your example… is it because they buy all the debts and started to warn the USA when the Reptilians refused to raise the debt ceiling?

  83. mike1210 says

    Perry’s bad grades in economics are probably because he disagreed with the following statements, that all students of basic economics were required to recite before the fall of the Soviet Union, or else be failed:

    That the Soviet system has made great material progress in recent years is evident both from the statistics and from the general urban scene…One sees it in the appearance of solid well-being of the people on the streets…and the general aspect of restaurants, theaters, and shops…Partly, the Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower.” – John Kenneth Galbraith, distinguished Harvard economist, 1984.

    What counts is results, and there can be no doubt that the Soviet planning system has been a powerful engine for economic growth…The Soviet model has surely demonstrated that a command economy is capable of mobilizing resources for rapid growth.” – Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson, MIT. Excerpt from 1985 textbook.

    Can economic command significantly…accelerate the growth process? The remarkable performance of the Soviet Union suggests that it can…Today the Soviet Union is a country whose economic achievements bear comparison with those of the United States.” – Lester Thurow, MIT economist, 1989.

    In any case, fuck Governor Gardasil. He’s too left wing for my tastes.

    By the way, where are the Affirmative-Action President’s transcripts?

  84. Doug Little says

    Just a question, I looked up the grades to percentages and it seems that you guys are scoring quite high. Our grades were mostly scaled to a standard bell curve with mean 60 and standard deviation of 12.5. There was always people failing courses regardless of how easy or hard the coursework was. To get an A you would have to be well above 2 standard deviations. In Australia the highest you could get was a High Distinction (HD) which was 85-100%. I remember one course that dealt with determining whether certain problems could be solved by computers (more specifically Turing machines) 11 of the very best engineering students (including some top 10 Westpac mathematics competition winners) attempted the course and all but 2 failed it. The sensible students ditched that one for an easier course. I mostly got Credits and Distinctions with a smattering of High Distinctions and Passes So I probably averaged around 72-73%.

  85. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    In any case, fuck Governor Gardasil. He’s too left wing for my tastes.

    Ok Generalissimo. You go get ‘em tough guy.

  86. KG says

    David Marjanović, OM @101,

    No, because China is now by far the largest economy growing at a non-negligible rate.

    Which, BTW, is a sufficient answer to far-right lackwits like mike1210@102. The Chinese economy, while it has greatly increased its use of market mechanisms since 1979, remains far more state-controlled than any western economy – it has just begun a new Five Year Plan, which focuses on increasing domestic demand. For that matter, the performance of the Soviet economy was in fact remarkably good, given that it managed to sustain competition with the far larger global capitalist economy for nearly three-quarters of a century, starting from a state of utter devastation, and including bearing the brunt of defeating Nazi Germany at a cost of 20,000,000 dead. None of this justifies the brutalities and lack of democracy of either the Soviet or Chinese Communist systems, of course.

  87. Dr. Strabismus (WGP) of Utrecht says

    PZ:…veterinary school is really, really hard to get into — even harder than medical school…

    Is that a fact? I didn’t know. Why for? How come? Seriously, I’m curious.

  88. KG says

    mike1210,

    Obama graduated J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Of course racists pretend, without the slightest evidence, that this was a result of racially-based favouritism – just as they pretend that he’s a Muslim, not an American, etc., etc. ad nauseam.

  89. ChasCPeterson says

    PZ is correct.
    Also, the vast majority of the relatively few veterinary schools in the US are at public land-grant state universities, and they limit out-of-state enrollment. In contrast, there are tons of private medical schools that don’t care where you come from.

  90. sparky-ca says

    I would think that it would be a given that Vet school is harder. In Med school, you only have to learn one species. In Vet school, you have to learn several.

  91. aleopold says

    The “it’s harder to get into vet school than med school” quote has been around for a while. I went through the vet school application process, and I have many friends that went through the med school process. To be honest, the application process for both seems to beat the head in of the applicant. I think part of the reasoning comes from:

    – the fact that there are only 28 accredited DVM schools in the United States vs. 133 MD/28 DO accredited medical schools (161 total). That being said, I can’t quote you the number of applicants each school receives.
    – the acceptance rates for vet school are generally lower than for med school (though these numbers fluctuate from year to year and do just about average each other out)
    – veterinary schools require MUCH more experience to grant entrance than medical schools do. Applicants log thousands and thousands of hours in clinics, research, rehabilitation centers, etc. This is not to say that medical school applicants don’t have a lot of experience – it’s just that veterinary schools place heavier emphasis on it.

    Having made those points, there is still the fact that med schools require the MCAT for entrance (and place heavy emphasis on this score), and vet schools require the GRE (and generally put less emphasis on this score).

    Chances of getting into either program vary from school to school. To my knowledge there’s never been an official study on which application process is “harder.”

  92. aspidoscelis says

    #81:

    “SRSLY? In most states, certified teachers must have advanced degrees NLT 5 years after starting on the job, and must take continuing education and training throughout their careers. Admittedly we’re not talking about doctorates in string theory here, but compared to others at similar rates of pay, teachers are generally quite well educated.”

    It ain’t about the number of classes, it’s about the rigor.

    This very minor example in Perry’s transcript–imagine for a second that this were the norm. People who barely pass in Chemistry, English, Animal Science, etc. routinely get “A”s in Education. This would not reflect well on the rigor of education classes, right? Well, imagine no more… AFAICT this is indeed the world we live in.

  93. Anri says

    mike1210 @ #102:

    Really?

    Dude, this is Pharyngula. You’re gonna have to troll a lot harder than that to get a serious rise out of the locals here. We get better troll posts than that limp excuse in our breakfast cereal every morning.

    On the other hand, if that was an attempt at ironic humor, I suggest you stick to trolling.

  94. truthspeaker says

    mike1210 says:
    19 August 2011 at 8:56 am

    Perry’s bad grades in economics are probably because he disagreed with the following statements, that all students of basic economics were required to recite before the fall of the Soviet Union, or else be failed:

    Lie much?

  95. Vicki, running low on patience says

    Who gets a C in gym? In some places, gym is graded partly on attendance, so the person who gets a C in gym is the one who is either sick a lot, or who cuts class because s/he finds it unpleasant. That can be the unathletic people, including those who haven’t been given the chance to find a sport or kind of exercise they like. It can also be the ones who the coach or the class bullies choose to pick on.

    I suspect you can also get a C in gym for being clumsy, or in some places if you’re of a group the teacher dislikes (I’d be a little surprised if that last was behind Perry’s C). A good gym teacher isn’t going to grade people down for being poor, but they’re actively looking for dexterity, whether or not they know how to teach it or make any effort it.

  96. Jim Mauch says

    You know we don’t really need to teach science in our science classes. We can just keep on making little Rick Perrys.

  97. petejohn says

    Yikes, that’s grim. Of course he only got a C in US History. But wait, I’m sure that’s because of his liburul history professors who taught him all that revisionist history shit about slaves who wanted to be free and Indians and stuff. He got a C for standing up for The Truth.

  98. ichthyic says

    Since the grades could have multiple explanations behind them (unseriousness, innate stupidity, aquired lack of intellectual curiosity,) which would then define the hypothesis on his latter life, I don’t really see how that figures.

    LOL

    so you DO recognize what those grades suggest then.

    your argument is insipid.

  99. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    For the record, I failed art class in third grade, and made a pretty strong run at flunking wood shop in 6th grade. A’s and B’s in everything else.

    If it were customary to fail gym class, I would have failed that. Not only couldn’t I climb the rope, I refused to entertain rope-climbing as a concept.

  100. mike1210 says

    KG: “Which, BTW, is a sufficient answer to far-right lackwits like mike1210@102. The Chinese economy, while it has greatly increased its use of market mechanisms since 1979, remains far more state-controlled than any western economy – it has just begun a new Five Year Plan, which focuses on increasing domestic demand.”

    China is growing in proportion to them having adopted capitalism. Even so, they’re still trying to catch up to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    KG: “For that matter, the performance of the Soviet economy was in fact remarkably good,”

    Entirely a Potemkin village. What little growth existed was entirely attributable to Soviet conquest of more advanced nations.

    KG: “Obama graduated J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School”

    So let’s see his transcripts.

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So let’s see his transcripts.

    “Obama graduated J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School”

    If you don’t understand what it takes to graduate from Harvard Law school magna cum laude, you shouldn’t be asking the question, but showing us your transcripts to prove you aren’t a total and abject idjit.

  102. ichthyic says

    So let’s see his transcripts.

    all you have to do is contact Harvard Law school.

    …and have any legitimate reason for needing to see someone’s transcripts.

    I’m betting you don’t though.

  103. ichthyic says

    China is growing in proportion to them having adopted capitalism.

    so.. their economy is growing exponentially despite complete state ownership of large sections of it, and tremendous tariffs and insane trade restrictions on imports.

    capitalism at its finest.

    wait…

    of course, you missed the point about relative control.

    the Chinese economy is growing far faster than the US economy is.

    you think that’s because the US has abandoned capitalism?

    really?

  104. ichthyic says

    What little growth existed was entirely attributable to Soviet conquest of more advanced nations.

    oh, sorry, you’re an idiot.

    I didn’t know.

    carry on.

  105. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    So let’s see his transcripts.

    If you so doubt it, you know, you could call Harvard and find out you fucking self. But that would require you exerting some form of effort and not just repeating dumbfuck talking points from your ideological masters.

    moron

  106. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    mike1210 says:

    So let’s see his transcripts.

    I wonder what you expect to find there. You hinted above that all the Cold War-era economists were part of a communist conspiracy and that they would shun any student that didn’t accept their ideology. So, in your mind, Obama should’ve got good marks from his socialist professors. Isn’t it so?

  107. says

    It looks like I can no longer reach FtB from work (the web nanny bots figured out it was a dreaded blog), which is why I didn’t respond earlier.

    KG (@98):

    Bill Dauphin, I can’t agree that we should be hoping for the most batshit insane candidate to win the Republican nomination, because despite what you say, (s)he could well win.

    Yeah, I know it’s a risk. I just finished explaining to Brownian (on the other thread) why I think it’s a risk we need to take.

    aspidoscelis (@112):

    It ain’t about the number of classes, it’s about the rigor.

    This very minor example in Perry’s transcript–imagine for a second that this were the norm. People who barely pass in Chemistry, English, Animal Science, etc. routinely get “A”s in Education.

    You’re full of shit. I don’t have any idea what EDUC 101, Improv. of Learning, might have covered (and neither, I’m almost certain, do you), but I do know what it takes to become (and stay) a certified public school teacher (at least, I have knowledge of the requirements in 3 different states… but they’re broadly similar in most states), and your assertion that education is a “gut” course is flat wrong. Teachers (in every state I know about) must have a legitimate Master’s degree before they finish 5 years of teaching to keep their certificate, and even if you think Education is an easy major (it isn’t, but I’ll stipulate for the sake of the argument), even an “easy” Master’s is more education than most people who work for the measly amounts most states pay their teachers.

    Oh, BTW: In most cases, secondary school teachers (who, unlike elementary teachers, teach specific subjects) must have degrees in their area of specialty, not in Education.

    Why do I care? Because bite me, that’s why!

  108. says

    BTW, in case some of you don’t know, the whole “where are Obama’s transcripts” thing is a subset of birtherism. Maybe some people are genuinely interested in his grades, but there’s a whole world of crazypants folks out there who think his transcripts (esp. his first one, from Occidental) will reveal him as a furriner, and bring his whole secret-Muslim, socialist reign of terror to a close.

    IOW, same shit; new day.

  109. mike1210 says

    ichthyic:

    all you have to do is contact Harvard Law school.

    …and have any legitimate reason for needing to see someone’s transcripts.

    Not without Obama’s written authorization. That’s how it was at my university.

    ichthyic:

    so.. their economy is growing exponentially despite complete state ownership of large sections of it, and tremendous tariffs and insane trade restrictions on imports.

    If it was due to socialism, they would have been a first world nation during Mao, instead of suffering poverty and famine. Hong Kong and Taiwan would be third world.

    ichthyic:

    oh, sorry, you’re an idiot.

    So you concede my point.

  110. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    mike: If your point is that you are an idiot, you could just say that.

    QFT

  111. John Phillips, FCD says

    robra #37, whenever I see Perry, I don’t know why, but visions of the TV program The Dead Zone pop into my head, and not in a good way.

  112. KG says

    If it was due to socialism, they would have been a first world nation during Mao, instead of suffering poverty and famine. Hong Kong and Taiwan would be third world. – mike1210

    No-one is disputing that Mao’s reign was in many respects disastrous – particularly the “Great Leap Forward”. Nor that the move toward market mechanisms since 1979 has been economically beneficial – although it has brought with it very serious environmental and social problems. Nonetheless, the basis of an industrial economy were clearly laid even before 1979; and as I pointed out, and you cannot dispute, China remains far more state control of the economy than any western country, and yet is growing much faster.

    Incidentally, Taiwan also has considerable state involvement in the economy, as do the other “Asian tigers”. It has a quite different history from mainland China, having been under Japanese rule from 1895-1945 (this was in some ways oppressive, but included highly beneficial land reform, giving ownership to small farmers, very much as the Peoples’ Republic did from 1978, although in the latter this is in the form of long leases rather than freehold). Post-1949, Taiwan benefited for many years – and to some extent still does – from American patronage, while Hong Kong benefited from being able to export freely to Britain, while having its infant industries protected by tariff walls.

    As for the Soviet Union, you are simply demonstrating your abysmal ignorance. Hitler made the same ignorant and prejudiced mistake as you – and paid for it. The industrialisation of the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s was what enabled it to defeat Hitler – the German army found themselves fighting Soviet-built tanks which outclassed their own both in number and quality – I’d recommend you read the relevant chapters of Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy, but it’s all too evident you are not only ignorant, but carefully protective of your ignorance. I quote from Tooze, p.436:

    According to credible Western estimates we now believe that Stalin’s regime increased total industrial output by 2.6 times between 1928 and 1940

    This, of course, happened long before the conquest of the east European satellites.

    You’re a pitiable fool, Mike. In many respects, indeed, you closely resemble a 1960s Maoist – the same refusal to look at the world other than through a distorting, absolutist ideology, or to recognise that things you oppose and detest may nonetheless have their strengths.

  113. KG says

    BTW, mike1210, just what is it you expect to gain from seeing Obama’s transcripts? Do you think Harvard Law School awarded him the J.D. magna cum laude on the basis of a poor student record? If so, do you have the slightest evidence for such a belief? Or is it simply that the thought that a black man gained this distinction through intelligence and hard work just sticks in your craw?

  114. mike1210 says

    Nonetheless, the basis of an industrial economy were clearly laid even before 1979; and as I pointed out, and you cannot dispute, China remains far more state control of the economy than any western country, and yet is growing much faster.

    This always happens when you let up a little with the jackboots on people’s necks. China is growing faster because they’re catching up to places like Taiwan and Hong Kong. Regression toward the mean.

    Post-1949, Taiwan benefited for many years – and to some extent still does – from American patronage, while Hong Kong benefited from being able to export freely to Britain, while having its infant industries protected by tariff walls.

    When did Hong Kong ever have protectionist tariffs on any of its industries?

    As for the Soviet Union, you are simply demonstrating your abysmal ignorance. Hitler made the same ignorant and prejudiced mistake as you – and paid for it. The industrialisation of the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s was what enabled it to defeat Hitler

    What enabled the Soviet Union to fight Hitler was massive aid from the United States. The USSR was no longer a great military power as it was under the Tsar, as it could only fight Finland to a draw. Stalin, by sacrificing large amounts of human lives, was able to produce guns, tanks and rockets, but very little else. What little growth existed in the Soviet Union was almost entirely attributable to Soviet conquest of more advanced nations, such as Poland, East Germany (which was the more industrialized part of Germany), and Czechoslovakia.

    BTW, mike1210, just what is it you expect to gain from seeing Obama’s transcripts? Do you think Harvard Law School awarded him the J.D. magna cum laude on the basis of a poor student record? If so, do you have the slightest evidence for such a belief?

    What did you hope to gain by seeing Perry’s?