Friday, July 3, 2020

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report — up again
USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes
LA Times
 -- Amid the alarming surge in coronavirus spread, USC announced it will no longer bring all undergraduates back to campus for the fall semester and will move to mainly online classes, reversing an earlier decision to welcome students back for a hybrid model. Tomás Mier in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/2/20
Social distancing fail
Mounting Faculty Concerns About the Fall Semester
Inside Higher Ed
Professors across institutions increasingly wave red flags about the private and public health implications of default face-to-face instruction come fall, along with a lack of shared decision making in staffing and teaching decisions.
For a lengthy discussion of the pseudo-scientific book "White Fragility," check this out (especially the interview with Reed at 55:20):




Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Trump refuses to lead; OC really spikes

See Gov data — SPIKE!
Washington Post Coronavirus update:
Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, warned lawmakers Tuesday that there may be as many as 100,000 new cases per day, 2.5 times the present record rate of infections, if the United States continues on its current trajectory. When asked by the Senate's health committee what the overall American death toll might be, Fauci said: “I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing.” 
As infections climb precipitously across the South and West, hospitalizations are rising in seven states — Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Montana, Georgia and California. Average hospitalizations in these states are up at least 25 percent from last week, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

Because of the surge, states are closing back down and workers are getting laid off for a second time, and Congress appears less inclined to provide additional aid. California, Florida, Arizona and Texas have implemented new policies that partly restrict restaurant or bar service. Nine other states have postponed or slowed their reopening plans. You can see where states are lifting restrictions (or shutting down again) on our reopening tracker.

The European Union confirmed Americans will not be allowed to travel there when it reopens Wednesday. The United States is leading the world in both officially confirmed infections and fatalities.

Despite what President Trump and some Republican leaders are saying, more coronavirus tests are coming back positive, and there’s been an increase in the number of states seeing positive test rates above 10 percent. The World Health Organizations suggests at least 14 straight days with those rates below 5 percent before relaxing containment measures.

Economists say a nationwide mask mandate could save 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. The Goldman Sachs analysts are not health experts, and their research focused on the effects of federal policy on the GDP, but the findings are in line with published studies on the efficacy of masks.

As such evidence mounts that masks alone would have a significant impact on the spread of the virus, Trump's Republican allies are practically begging him to encourage wearing them. There's been a massive uptick in recent days of well-known Republicans pleading the case for masks, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Fox News host Sean Hannity and “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy. New data from the Pew Research Center suggests Trump’s handling of the pandemic is pushing his support lower.
Irvine Community News and Views:

Posted by Phyllis Agran, M.D. | June 26, 2020
     …Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on locally.  Our own County Supervisor and former Irvine Mayor, Don Wagner, has shown himself to be a menace to public health by first urging in May that the County be “opened up” without meeting State public health metrics.  Soon after that, Wagner began questioning the usefulness of masks, bullying the County’s chief Public Health Officer Nichole Quick, MD over the masking matter. What was Dr. Quick’s transgression?  Quite simply, she was doing her job.  To protect workers and customers alike, Dr. Quick issued an order that required the use of facemasks in public as our small businesses reopened.  Wagner challenged the science behind masking, forced the rescission of Dr. Quick’s order and, ultimately, he forced her resignation.  Fortunately, Governor Gavin Newsom ended this dangerous nonsense in Orange County by imposing a State mandate of facemask use in public, effective June 18, 2020…. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Flat Earthers among us

LA Times
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order June 18 requiring all Californians to wear face masks came as welcome news to those in the state concerned by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum instead greeted the mandate with a message of defiance.
     “Our governor does NOT have that unilateral power to make such orders,” Senum said in a Facebook post, joining sheriffs in Orange, Riverside, Sacramento and Fresno counties who have said they will refuse to enforce Newsom’s decree.
. . .
     Opposition to the mask order continues to stir. Members of the group Freedom Angels, anti-vaccine activists who have protested against the governor’s coronavirus actions, have accused Newsom of abusing his power.
     “Welcome to Prison Planet,” the group posted on Facebook....
San Diego Union-Tribune
… In Chula Vista, Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said she has seen people blatantly ignore both face masks and physical-distancing guidelines. The most recent episode happened a few days ago while the mayor walked her dog along Third Avenue.
     “I was walking and there was a group of people congregating outside a Jiu-Jitsu studio there,” she said. “There were a good 10 people standing outside the building and not a single one of them had a mask on.”
     When the city’s mayor approached the group – parents waiting for their children taking martial arts classes inside – “they looked at me like I was from outer space,” Salas said.
     Earlier this week, Salas compared people who refuse to wear masks outside to Flat Earthers.
     “I know that there’s a very, very small segment of the population out there – God bless them, members of the Flat Earth Society – that don’t believe in the science out there,” she said during the June 23 City Council meeting. “But you know what? It’s really important to be wearing those masks.”….


Thursday, June 25, 2020

South County racism; an OC Covid-19 spike; other news

The latest data — a shocking spike
(orange line: 7-day average; that's the more relevant factoid)
Voice of OC
Formerly, Saddleback "Gaucho"
     At a high school tucked away in the hills of San Juan Capistrano, a grand staircase separates the upper level of the campus from the lower level.
     During the school year, Latino students usually fill the lunch tables downstairs, while mostly white students and others sit upstairs.
     San Juan Hills High School alum Olivia Fu — now a junior at Stanford University — remembers training to be a member of the school’s student leadership program, “Link Crew,” when a senior member, giving a tour of the campus, pointed to the tables near the bottom of the stairs and said “that’s where the beaners sit.”…. (continued)
OC Register
Board of Supes Prez Michelle Steel
1. Soaring case counts 
. . . 
2. Record hospitalization numbers 
. . . 
3. Rising death projections 
. . . 
4. Troubling testing trends 
. . . 
5. Outbreaks at congregate living settings…. (see)
Newsom threatens California counties that defy coronavirus rules as cases spike
San Francisco Chronicle
Don Wagner
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom could withhold financial relief from local governments in the upcoming state budget if they do not follow guidelines that he says are necessary to tamp down the spike in coronavirus cases in California.
     The budget deal with legislative leaders announced this week ties $750 million in funding to replace lost tax revenue for county services, as well as $1.3 billion for counties and $500 million for cities from the federal bailout package, to local governments’ compliance with the stay-at-home order and other state requirements on the coronavirus response.
     Newsom, through his Department of Finance, could order state officials not to send local governments their portion of the money if they do not certify they are following the rules, which include a new mandate for Californians to wear masks nearly everywhere outside the home…..
     At a news conference Wednesday, the governor said that authority would give him leverage over those who “simply thumb their nose” at state guidelines. He did not specify how cities and counties would be expected to prove their compliance, though he added that he was trying to encourage good behavior rather than punish bad behavior.
. . .

     Since the state rolled out its requirement for face coverings last week, county sheriffs and local police chiefs from Orange County to Sacramento have announced that they do not plan to enforce the order. The mayor of Nevada City, in Nevada County, encouraged residents to defy the mandate to “prevent all of us from slipping down the nasty slope of tyranny.”
. . .
     On Wednesday, Newsom pleaded with the public to continue washing their hands, wearing face coverings and avoiding large crowds and intimate gatherings.
     “Consider others in your life and strangers. Love thy neighbors like yourself,” he said. “If you cannot practice physical distancing, then are you practicing love?”
San Diego Union-Tribune 
     A large and sudden increase in coronavirus infections across San Diego County has raised doubts about whether UC San Diego will be able to proceed with plans to welcome students back to campus for the fall quarter.
     The university had been expected to release its “Return to Learn” plan late last week. But the announcement has been delayed several times to give UCSD time to evaluate the surge in cases that are being reported regionally.
     On Wednesday county health officials announced a record 332 positive test results for COVID-19, three days after 310 became the new record. The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also has been growing.
     The surge surprised and alarmed UCSD officials, who have been planning to announce that it will reopen this fall, in part, by offering a COVID-19 test to all of its 65,000 students, faculty and staff. Such tests would be voluntary…. (continued)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Don Wagner and the pushback crowd


     You'll recall that, on June 18, Governor Gavin Newsom made face coverings mandatory for all Californians in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The action was taken in response to the failure of many Californians to wear face masks in public.
Guv Newsom
     Orange County in particular hasn't been real good about this whole Covid thing. For instance, for months, OC Supervisors Michelle Steel and (former SOCCCD TrusteeDon Wagner have pushed back against measures—promoted by the Governor and even some board colleagues—to respond to the crisis. 
Dr. Quick
     On May 23rd, faced with increasingly worrisome data, County Health Officer Nichole Quick issued an order requiring that people wear face masks when in public. That unleashed mega peevitude among the anti-maskers. The OC Sheriff declared he wouldn't enforce the mask order. The anti-maskers were pissed—the nerve of the woman to require non-spewage of Covid-19 droplets! Quick was soon pressured (death threats, demonstrations outside her home) to quit her job.
     The mask order was downgraded to a mere recommendation.
     Soon thereafter the shit commenced hitting the fan, Coronavirus-wise. The state-wide numbers started looking bad and many citizens defied safety recommendations, leading to Newsom's action six days ago. More locally, the Covid data are worrisome. The latest report (Covid-19) indicates that 26 Orange Countians died from Covid-19 yesterday—a new high, I believe. The number of cases keeps going up and up. 
     As far as responding to Covid-19 is concerned, OC now looks pretty bad compared to some neighboring counties.
     That's because it's been fucking up.

* * *
     As you know, Don Wagner is the Supervisor of the County's 3rd district—my district.
     If you go to Don’s government page (https://d3.ocgov.com), you’ll see this:


     As you can see, Don has chosen to provide Covid-19 info on his opening page, which is sensible. 
     I draw your attention to the “Covid-19 Resources” graphic that appears at the bottom of his page. 
     Golly, no mention of mask-wearing! 
     How come?
     I looked at the pages of the other OC Supervisors. Most refer to the Covid-19 crisis, though none provides the graphic Don has chosen.
     Supervisor Andrew Do’s page provides a prominent link to “Coronavirus Updates,” and, in particular, to a timeline of board actions re Covid-19. It’s pretty helpful. Check it out: update.
     For some reason, Superivor Michelle Steel’s page does not draw attention to the Covid crisis at all. What's up with that?
Wagner
     As you know, she's board president.
     Supervisor Doug Chaffee’s page has a link to Covid updates. I see that the “infographic” that the link yields provides basic info about Covid-19 but, despite the Governor’s recent action, the graphic does not mention the need for mask-wearing. 
     Odd that.
     Supervisor Lisa Bartlet‘s page provides a gizmo that scrolls through various items, including “Covid-19 updates.” Clicking on the latter led me to “OC Health Officer's Orders & Recommendations,” which includes “Wear a Cloth Face-Covering“ as the 4th order. 
     Excellent.
     But no mask talk from Wagner. Or Steel.


* * *
     It's pretty clear that many tens of thousands of Americans have died unnecessarily thanks to President Trump's foot-dragging re the Coronavirus crisis. 
     That's bad, real bad. Right? And Trump shows no signs of wising up. On the contrary! Americans should be fully cooperating with the familiar guidelines, but many seem confused or clueless. Trump's actions and statements are one obvious reason for that. So, many more will die, unnecessarily. It's a tragic leadership vacuum—or maybe an unprecedented "misleadership."
Steel
     Meanwhile, here in OC, some substantial number of Orange Countians have died—and will die—thanks to the efforts of Wagner, Steel, and the whole "pushback" crowd. —I mean, Dr. Quick was doing the right thing and for the right reasons. And, for her trouble, the pushback Supes got rid of her and undid her orders.
     Golly.
     It will be interesting to see how our County "leaders" respond to our new self-perception of abject FUBARitude.

See also: 
….More than two months after the United States recorded its worst day of new infections since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation reached another grim milestone on Wednesday as it reported 36,880 new cases.
     The number of infections indicated that the country was not only failing to contain the coronavirus, but also that the caseload was worsening — a path at odds with many other nations that have seen steady declines after an earlier peak. Cases in the United States had been on a downward trajectory after the previous high of 36,739 cases on April 24, but they have roared back in recent weeks.
. . .
     The tally of new cases, based on a New York Times database, showed that the outbreak was stronger than ever even as the United States continued to reopen its economy. The elevated numbers are a result of worsening conditions across much of the country, as well as increased testing — but testing alone does not explain the surge….
. . .
     On Wednesday it was as if the country had found itself back in March — at the start of the pandemic, in the early days of the lockdown, when masks were in short supply and when the death toll was skyrocketing.
     Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said that the state had recorded more than 7,000 new cases over the previous day.
. . .
     The World Health Organization warned on Wednesday that if governments and communities in the Americas are not able to stop the spread of the virus through surveillance, isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts, there may be a need to impose — or reimpose — general lockdowns….
Yesterday: 26 Covid deaths in OC.
The trend is worrisome.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Saturday, June 20, 2020

OC: huge jump in cases reported

Go here.

Meanwhile, testing (in OC) is way down:

The solid orange line represents the average number of tests over the past seven (7) days.
What's going on here?
It ain't good.


Voice of OC
     Orange County’s enforcement of the new state-mandated coronavirus mask order is unclear, as the virus continues to spread, especially in OC’s two biggest cities, Anaheim and Santa Ana. 
     On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled out a mandatory mask order for the entire state – fresh on the heels of a tense debate among Orange County supervisors about walking back local mask orders.
. . .
     [County Health Care Agency Director and interim Health Officer, Dr. Clayton] Chau … stood by the effectiveness of the masks at a Thursday press conference and addressed the anti-mask group that has been showing up at the Supervisors meetings to rail against masks during public comments. 
. . .
     “I believe in what science says.” [he said]
     Sheriff Don Barnes previously said he wouldn’t enforce the mask order as Orange County had its own order briefly, issued abruptly just before Memorial Day weekend by former Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick late last month as restaurants and shopping malls began reopening. 
     “We are not the mask police nor do I intend to be the mask police,” Barnes told Supervisors at the May 26 meeting. 
. . .
     [OC Health Officer Dr. Nichole] Quick faced a wave of pushback from County Supervisors and residents following her [mask] order. She abruptly resigned June 8, following threats from residents and at least one protest in front of her house. 
     Chau, a psychiatrist by training who heads up the OC Health Care Agency and was appointed as Acting Public Health Director by supervisors after Quick resigned, quickly walked the order back on June 11 despite his support for the science behind masking. 
     Supervisor Michelle Steel, who’s publicly questioned the science behind masks, announced earlier this week that Orange County’s virus numbers are better than neighboring counties. 
. . .
     Steel’s comments have turned out to be off the mark. 
     …R]ecent death and hospitalization rates in Orange County are actually worse than three out of the four neighboring counties.
     In recent days, OC consistently has seen higher hospitalization and death rates than San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside counties. Orange County’s rates continue to climb faster than the surrounding counties.
. . .
     OC’s two largest cities, Anaheim and Santa Ana, continue to be hit hardest by the virus.
. . .
     “These two cities keep me up at night,” said Chau earlier this week at the press conference in response to Voice of OC questions about Anaheim and Santa Ana. “We have started the conversation with a group of community based organizations, with the city councils, with the school districts,” Chau said. “We just about two weeks ago started the conversation. We’re going to drill down into the number.” 
. . .
     And he expressed concern that the virus is hitting Latino and Black communities harder than other groups….

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Gosh thanks, Don

Voice of OC
     Orange County’s pace of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus have been consistently rising faster than its neighbors in recent weeks, and its rates have now overtaken three of the surrounding counties. 
     For the better part of the pandemic, which took hold locally in mid-March, Orange County’s deaths and hospitalizations for coronavirus were lower than all four of its surrounding counties on a per-resident basis. 
     But while other counties have seen hospitalizations and deaths rise more slowly or decrease, OC has jumped in recent weeks. For the last several days, Orange County’s rates have been higher than San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as OC continues to climb. 
     OC’s pace of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus are now at their highest levels so far of the pandemic, with 83 people dying in the past two weeks and 364 people in the hospital as of Tuesday, according to data published by the California Department of Public Health. 
     “Covid cases are on the rise and we expected that when we reopened the economy,” county CEO Frank Kim told Voice of OC regarding the county overtaking most of its surrounding counties’ rates. 
     He noted that Dr. Nichole Quick, the county’s former health officer, repeatedly said cases would rise as the economy re-opened. 
     “As we reopen our economy, the positive cases will go up,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency and acting health officer, in a statement to Voice of OC Wednesday about the rising hospitalizations and deaths. 
     “To mitigate this,” Chau said he’s asking the community to limit the virus’ spread by, among other things, wearing face coverings when a 6-foot distance can’t be maintained from people outside of their household, unless it’s unsafe to wear a mask. 
. . . 
     Supervisor Don Wagner, who has called for a safe re-opening of the economy, said the rising hospitalization and death rates are concerning and encouraged residents to wear masks. 
     “That [the rates] are climbing is a concern. And it’s important that we get a handle on it,” Wagner told Voice of OC in an interview Wednesday. 
     To prevent the virus’ spread, Wagner said people should wear masks when they can’t maintain a 6-foot distance from people who don’t live in the same household. 
     People shouldn’t interpret the county’s pulling back of a mandatory mask order as a sign that masks aren’t recommended anymore, Wagner said. 
     “Masks do work. If you can’t maintain social distancing, wear a mask. If you are sick, wear a mask,” Wagner said. 
. . . 
     “We’re now re-opening the county. And in my own personal observation, I think people have misinterpreted that to mean that they could go back to a lifestyle consistent with what they had before the pandemic,” said Dr. Thomas Cesario, an infectious disease doctor in Orange County and former longtime dean of UC Irvine’s medical school. 
     “We know the virus is still here, and we know that the curve of the cases in California in general, is on the upswing,” he added. 
     “Social distancing and masks, which combined with quarantining and tracking, have really been quite effective. And if you look at places in the world that have been strict in complying with those, it really does work,” Cesario said.      
     “The science now is getting overwhelming” about the effectiveness of masks, he said, pointing to journal articles like one published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 
. . . 
     Wagner, the county supervisor, said he hopes the re-opening of the economy is done safely, to prevent a surge in cases that could lead to a return to more restrictions. 
     “We’re headed towards a re-opening and opening more and more things. My hope is, and my expectation is, that [the county Health Care Agency] will keep a close eye on things. That, again, it will be done right, it will be done safely,” said Wagner, who has pressed county staff for clear answers on what thresholds would cause restrictions to be re-imposed. 
     “My real fear is that if there’s a second surge and we’ve got a mandatory [mask order] in place…we’ll have no fallback other than to shut things down again, and that would be a disaster,” he added. “I just don’t want to go to shutting down things again.”

OC Medical Association, Disease Experts Argue County Supervisors Should Have Kept Mask Order

Voice of OC

Dr. Nichole Quick
     Former Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick issued a mask order late last month as dine-in restaurants and shopping centers were reopening. But she faced blowback from Supervisors and residents on the order.  
     OC Health Care Agency Director, Dr. Clayton Chau, took over for Quick after she abruptly resigned following a series of threats, including one during a public meeting that Supervisor Michelle Steel deemed a death threat. 
      Chau walked the mandatory mask order back last Thursday and masks are now a strong recommendation. 
      The Orange County Medical Association condemned the County’s handling of the mask situation….

Sunday, June 14, 2020

OC: a new high in reported cases of Covid-19


OC Reg
     ...The California Department of Health reported that the positive test rate for Orange County has been 4% in the last 14 days out of 56,787 tests....

The Golden State is less exceptional and more like the rest of America than many would prefer to believe.
New York Times (Opinion); By Miriam Pawel
     …California, the novelist Wallace Stegner wrote, is like the rest of America, only more so. That truism has played out in recent days in scenes of triumph, anguish and incongruity, a mirror of the country seen through a distinctly California lens.
. . .
     “This is indeed where the future will be made,” [Stegner] wrote, with all “the noise, smog, greed, energy, frequent wrongheadedness and occasional greatness of spirit that are so American and so quintessentially Californian.”
. . .
     Alaysia Lyons, 19, ended her first-ever protest in tears, arrested by the Los Angeles police. Days later, she addressed more than 1,000 young people at a campus rally: “Me as a little girl would never expect this many people to come out. But you’re standing up for what you believe in, and I thank all of you.”
     In Oakland, another 19-year-old, Xavier Brown, home after his first year at college, used social media to organize a march that drew 15,000 people. He said, “We are disrupting the peace with our words.”
     The future of California’s exceptionalism is in their hands.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

MOTHERLY LOVE: a detailed examination of the Original Mothers of Invention (1965-69)


American way
How did it start?
Thousands of creeps
Killed in the park

American way
Try and explain
Scab of a nation 
Driven insane 

Don't cry 
Gotta go bye bye 
Suddenly die, die 
Cop kill a creep, pow pow pow

American way
Threatened by us
Drag a few creeps 
Away in a bus 

American way 
Prisoner: lock 
Smash every creep 
In the face with a rock

Don't cry
Gotta go bye bye
Suddenly: die die
Cop kill a creep!
Pow pow pow
[1967]

     It's music appreciation time, boys and girls! One of my favorite bands—in part for sentimental reasons (my late bro was a HUGE fan)—is the original Mothers of Invention. They were pretty wild, man—sometimes, downright unlistenable!
     I'm talkin' about the band that existed from May, 1965, until it was deliberately disbanded, by leader Frank Zappa, in late '69. The versions of the Mothers that Zappa assembled after that aren't nearly so interesting to me. 

     Plus these original guys loved doo-wop. And so do I!
     But I've always found it difficult keeping track of who was in the original Mothers, given the band's many personnel changes and the many iterations of "Mothers" bands after the original band disbanded in late 1969, sometimes including original Muthas.
     Part of the problem is keeping track of the faces in all the old photographs.
     Below is my effort to get this stuff sorted.

     (Instructions included. See map below.)


The Mutha-Land (click on map)

The ORIGINAL MOTHERS OF INVENTION

     In 1965, R&B bar band the Soul Giants, which had formed in 1964, fired their guitarist, prompting singer Ray Collins to invite his friend Frank Zappa to replace him. With Zappa on-board and starting to change things around, the band’s saxophonist/leader quit, leaving four Giants: newby Zappa (guitar), Collins (singer), Roy Estrada (bass), and Jimmy Carl Black (drums). 
     This remnant of the Soul Giants soon renamed themselves the “Mothers”—as in "mother f*ckers"—and agreed to play Zappa’s compositions, with the promise that the revamped band would thereby secure a recording contract. 
     Collins, Estrada, Black, and Zappa are the core of that 60s band we now remember as the “Mothers of Invention.” (The record company, fearing offensiveness, insisted on adding “of Invention”). With the quasi-exception of Ray Collins, who repeatedly quit and rejoined, each of these four musicians stayed with the band until its sudden resolution, by Zappa, in late ‘69. The subsequent “Mothers,” starting in 1970, featured a revolving door of musicians, often including some of the old gang. But these post-60s Mothers were not the same as the original Mothers. The new band(s), much more than the first, were simply Frank Zappa’s sidemen, albeit occasionally stellar ones (Steve Vai, et al.).



     A surprising number of musicians, including some notable ones, joined the original Mothers band—and then left or were fired—in the months prior to the group's first recording in early 1966. I discuss them in the pages below. 
     That part of the story is pretty dang interesting.
     Guitarist Elliot Ingber was with the Mothers when they recorded their premier album in March of 1966. But Ingber was soon fired over drug use. Notoriously, Zappa did not tolerate drug use—an eccentricity perhaps reflecting paranoia about police.
     Saxophonist James “Motorhead” Sherwood, a very old friend of Zappa’s (1956), was a Mothers constant, though he did not become an official musician/member until late 1967. 
     Don Preston (keyboards) and Bunk Gardner (woodwinds) had briefly palled around with Zappa several years prior to the formation of the Mothers, the three having amused themselves playing “experimental” music together. Preston and Gardner were auditioned and hired during recording of that first album and remained with the unit until the end, in '69.
     With the exception of drummer Billy Mundi (1966-68) and woodwindist Ian Underwood (1967-69), other members of the 1960s Mothers were relatively transient. More on those people—both men and women—below!

Jimmy Carl Black
(1938 – 2008)
Drummer
"Hi boys and girls. I'm Jimmy Carl
Black and I'm the Indian of the group!"

     Jimmy Carl Black, who hailed from Texas, was the original drummer for the Soul Giants, which, after Zappa’s joining in 1965, quickly morphed into the Mothers. He was an important member of the band—especially during their live, essentially unplanned, shows (punctuated by random intrusions directed by Zappa's hand signals)—until its breakup in late ’69. 
     After the Mothers, Black’s career faded, though he eventually toured with the Grandmothers.
     Jimmy moved to Italy in 1992 and then to Germany in 1995.
     Steely Dan’s Walter Becker unsuccessfully lobbied the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Black's inclusion as a founding member of The Mothers of Invention, when Steely Dan was inducted in 2001. (Zappa, not the Mothers, was inducted back in 1995.)
     Black was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2008, and died on November 1, 2008 in Traunstein, Germany. 

Ray Collins
(1936 – 2012)
Singer
What's with all the crazy music, Frank?

In 1964, singer Ray Collins, drummer Jimmy Carl Black, bassist Roy Estrada, saxophonist (and leader) Dave Coronado, and guitarist Ray Hunt formed The Soul Giants, which specialized in R&B covers.

In 1965, Collins asked his pal Zappa to take over as guitarist in the Soul Giants, after a fight between Collins and Hunt. Zappa convinced the Soul Giants that they should play his music to increase their chances of getting a record contract. Dubious Davy then quit. The band was renamed the “Mothers” on Mother’s Day (May), 1965. ("Muthas" as in "mother-f*ckers.")

They soon had a contract.

Ray, unhappy with Zappa’s experimentalism, quit the band after Absolutely Free but rejoined for Ruben and the Jets, in which Collins’ singing is especially prominent.

After the Muthas disbanded, Collins, a fine singer, largely faded from public view; he eventually settled in Claremont, California where he remained until his death in 2012, aged 76. O
wing to Zappa’s treatment of the band, he was perhaps the most bitter of the original Mothers, eschewing reunions. The band had started as an essentially democratic organization, with Zappa as musical director, but, toward the end, it seemed to become an autocracy with Zappa's personal issues adversely affecting his relationship with the band.

While in the band, Collins often complained about Zappa’s experimentalism and embrace of uncommercial music. Zappa plainly desired commercial success, but his increasingly eccentric musical direction seemed to ensure the band's remaining at pop music's margins. Recall that Collins was the one who brought Zappa into the Soul Giants—which then became the Mothers.

Ray Collins’ niece/protege Shay Collins has been leading her own mission to preserve the memory of Ray Collins (she is in a rock duo called Mother Legacy).


Roy Estrada
(1943 -     ) 
Bassist; singer; pedophile
Oo-ee-oo!

     Orange Countian truck driver Roy Estrada was a founding member of the Soul Giants, the band from which the Mothers of Invention were formed. Prior to Soul Giants, he briefly fronted his own band.
     For the Mothers, Estrada played bass guitar, but he also sang vocals—often in a falsetto for the doo-wop numbers that Zappa, and some of the others band members, loved so much.
     Estrada formed the band Little Feat with Lowell George, Richie Hayward and Bill Payne in 1969, playing bass and singing backing vocals on their first two albums. In 1972, he quit to join Captain Beefheart's Magic Band where he supplemented Rockette Morton’s bass playing, thus allowing the latter to play guitar for live shows. “Roy toured the US and Europe with the Magic Band in 1972 and 1973.
     Estrada has also done session work as a bassist.
     In the 90s, Estrada, then back in Orange County, was convicted of "lewd acts with a child." He returned to prison a decade later where he’ll remain until he dies.
     Good grief.

Jim Fielder 
(1947 -     ) 
Bassist

     Fielder attended high school in Anaheim, there befriending future Zappa associate (Bizarre Productions) Tim Buckley.
     Felder was hired to play rhythm guitar for the Mothers during the recording of Absolutely Free (November, 1966) and right after the hiring of Don Preston. Fielder quit the group before the album was released, and his name was removed from the album’s credits.
     He also played briefly with the Buffalo Springfield (replacing Bruce Palmer who had been deported for smoking pot).
     Fielder was a founding member of Blood Sweat & Tears and played on their early and successful albums. 
     Fielder has worked extensively as a session musician. He is currently in Neil Sedaka's band. (Suicide imminent.)

Bunk Gardner
(1933 -     )
Woodwinds/tenor sax

     By late 1966, long-time professional musician Gardner had joined the Mothers of Invention—right after his pal Don Preston joined. He remained with the band until the breakup in late ’69. (In recent years, he’s worked many odd jobs, including as a chef in Laguna Beach.)
     Zappa had become acquainted with both Preston and Gardner several years before the founding of the Mothers. The three had gotten together to play “experimental” music.

Late 60s: Marshall Brevitz’s Thee Experience on Sunset in Hollywood.
Frank was friends with Brevitz. At Thee Experience, bands in town would often "jam" with Zappa and the Mothers: Jimi Experience, Jefferson Experience, et al.

Jim Guercio
(1945 -     )
Guitarist; producer; manager

     Guercio moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s and began working as a session musician and songwriter. He wrote Chad & Jeremy's 1966 hit "Distant Shores." 
     He is listed as a "contributor" to the Mothers’ 1966 debut album Freak Out! 
     He later managed and produced the successful band Chicago. He split with that band in 1978 when the band discovered that Guercio was taking 51% of the their profits. 
     He later went into cattle ranching and oil and gas exploration. Natch. (Wikipedia)

Elliot Ingber
(1941 -     )
Guitarist; chemical adventurer

     Ingber was hired to replace Steve Mann. He was one of the five Mothers featured on Freak Out (1966) but was later fired for using LSD during a performance. A big no-no.
     He played with Zappa-associate Captain Beefheart off and on from ’71 to ’76. 
     No doubt the Captain was relatively chemically open-minded.

Gary Kellgren 
(1939 – 1977) 
Audio engineer

     Kellgren was an American audio engineer. He co-founded The Record Plant recording studios.
     He engineered the Mothers’ third album, We’re Only In It For The Money (recorded March–October 1967; released early ‘68). He did the memorably creepy whispering on that album.
     In 1977, Kellgren and his girlfriend/secretary were found dead in the swimming pool at his home. Evidently, Kellgren died from electric shock while trying to fix underwater speakers. His girlfriend drowned trying to save him.
     —A very "Muthas" ending.

Steve Mann
(1943 – 2009) 
Guitarist; schizophrenic

     Mann was a songwriter and a highly-respected acoustic guitarist. In 1962, he was introduced to Janis Joplin and he began accompanying her on guitar at open mics around the Los Angeles area. Eventually, Mann left LA for San Francisco and Joplin returned to Texas.
     By 1965, he was a studio musician playing for the likes of Sonny and Cher (he played 12-string on “I Got You Babe”).
     Mann joined the Mothers before the recording of Freak Out! (1966) but was uncomfortable with the band’s change in direction and so he left (or, more likely, he was asked to leave). Mann is name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!": "These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them."
     Around 1967, Mann suffered a mental breakdown and went into retirement. He kinda disappeared. His few recordings became collector's items and his work became legendary in musicians’ circles. After the breakdown, he spent the next decades medicated at a series of halfway houses and psychiatric rehab facilities.
     By 2003, with the help of friends, Mann briefly returned to performing. 
     He died in a nursing home in 2009.

Billy Mundi 
(1942 – 2014)
Drummer

     Mundi joined the Mothers during the recording of Freak Out! bringing the band briefly to a six-piece (although Elliot Ingber was soon fired, bringing the number back down to five). 
     In 1968, he was enticed to join the new band Rhinoceros and thus to leave the Mothers.
     Drummer Jimmy Carl Black disliked Mundi’s drumming, since, according to Black, Mundi tended to speed up songs.

Don Preston
(1932 -     )
Keyboards; lunacy

     Preston met Bunk Gardner in the Army in 1950.
     He backed Nat King Cole in the late 50s.
     He joined the Mothers in 1966, playing on Freak Out! He was hired when the band consisted of Zappa, Black, Estrada, Mundi, and Collins (Guitarist Ingber had been fired by then).
     Later in his career, Preston scored more than 20 feature films. He’s a widely respected musician.
     He has remained a close friend and associate of Bunk Gardner’s. The two often performed together (however, considering their age, that likely ceased).
     Preston and Gardner, despite their Muthahood, are the Muthas who refuse to die!
Motherly love
Motherly love
Forget about
The brotherly and other-ly love
Motherly love
Is just the thing for you
You know your Mothers gonna love ya
Till ya don't know what to do

Calvin "Cal" Schenkel 
(1947 -     )
Graphic artist

     Schenkel is an “American illustrator, graphic designer, animator and comics artist, specializing in album cover design” (Wikipedia).
     Starting in 1967, he was the main graphic arts collaborator for Frank Zappa (and the Mothers). He designed many Zappa/Mothers album covers. 
     The first large Zappa project he worked on was the cover for We're Only in It for the Money (the notorious Sgt. Pepper parody). (Zappa asked McCartney if the parody was OK, but Mac was kind of an asshole about it—he just kicked it to the lawyers—and so the parody was relegated to the inside of the gatefold, not on the outside, the cover.)

James “Motorhead” Sherwood
(1942 – 2011)
Soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone; lunatic

     Sherwood came to know Zappa in high school in 1956, owing to their shared interest in old blues records. Sherwood, a saxophonist, sat in with Zappa's first band, The Black-Outs, an R&B group.
     Sherwood graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston but he returned to California. So, there's that.
     After Zappa's first marriage began to fail in 1964, Zappa bought Pal Recording Studio in Cucamonga, California, renaming it "Studio Z." The two were in the habit of living in the studio.
     Sherwood first joined The Mothers of Invention as a roadie and equipment manager. Sherwood seemed to do lots of clowning around with the early Mothers, contributing sound effects to their first album, 1966's Freak Out! He became a full member of the band around the time of their experimental residence at the Garrick Theater in late 1967. 
     Sherwood appeared (not always as a musician) on all the albums of the original Mothers line-up.
     Sherwood later joined Los Angeles doo-wop group Ruben and the Jets (named after a fictional band associated with the Mothers), which toured in support of Zappa in 1972. 
     Between 1975 and 1979, Sherwood seemed to drop off the map. Zappa said he'd “got into scientology for a while, but then he recovered." He returned to music in 1980, reuniting with former members of the Mothers of Invention to form the Grandmothers.
     He also worked as a plumber.
     At the end of his life, he is reported to have been suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. He  died in his sleep in 2011.

Alice Stewart
(1942 -     )
Guitarist, singer

     In 1964, folksinger Stewart met with Zappa at a coffeehouse in Santa Monica. A year later, Alice became a member of The Mothers, which at the time was mostly a blues band. Zappa wanted to incorporate Stuart's acoustic delta blues style with his electric leads. However, she left before they made their debut album.  
     Zappa later said, jokingly, that he fired Alice from the band because she could not play "Louie Louie.” 

Art Tripp
(1944 -     )
Percussionist

     In 1962, Tripp enrolled at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music to study percussion.
     Tripp played as timpanist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and with both the Cincinnati Summer Opera and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
     In 1967, Tripp auditioned for Zappa in New York. He joined the band in time for Cruising with Ruben & the Jets (1968) and Uncle Meat (1969), etc. 
     After the Mothers folded, Tripp decided to move to northern California with Beefheart & the Magic Band in 1970, commencing a five-year period of recording and touring.
     Tripp retired from music in the 1980s and now works as a chiropractor in Mississippi. In the early 90s, he practiced chiropractic in a small town just north of Eureka (McKinleyville). It turned out Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) was living less than a mile down the road; the two reconnected and Beefheart became one of Tripp's patients. 

Ian Underwood
(1939 -     )
Woodwinds and keyboards

     In 1961, Underwood earned a BA in composition at Yale; in 1966, he earned a master's in composition at UC Berkeley.
     He joined the Mothers in 1967 in time for their third studio album, We're Only in It for the Money. The Mothers disbanded in late ’69, but Zappa included Underwood in his new Mothers lineup emerging in 1970.
     Underwood played with Beefheart on the landmark Trout Mask Replica in 1969.
     Underwood left the revamped Mothers in September of 1973.
     After Zappa, he became a session keyboardist, and has been busy making music for film and TV.

Henry Vestine
(1944 – 1997)
Guitarist

     Vestine—a founder of Canned Heat (1965)—was hired by Zappa for the original Mothers of Invention in late October 1965. Vestine was in the Mothers for only a few months (he was fired for smoking pot) and left before they recorded their debut album, Freak Out!. Demo tapes from Mothers of Invention rehearsal sessions featuring Vestine appear on the Zappa album Joe's Corsage
     Vestine was a guitarist for the band when they were “discovered” by Tom Wilson in 1966, but he was not a member when they recorded their first album a few months later.
     He died from heart and respiratory failure in a Paris hotel in 1997 while touring with Canned Heat. (Wikipedia)

Frank Zappa
(1940 – 1993)
Guitarist; composer; producer

     1964: during his Studio Z days (Cucamonga, CA), Zappa played with a power trio called the “Muthers.” He was convicted of a phony pornography charge, leading to brief imprisonment and his loss of Studio Z. That incident likely embittered him to police and other authorities.
     Influenced by his brief involvement in advertising in the early 60s, Zappa had a plan for filling a “gap” in the music market between classical (serious, advanced) music and pop (simple) music. According to the young Zappa (interview, 1966), those who control the music industry “love business” but “hate music.” He would need a band that could help him with this project to bring quality and complexity to the music-consuming masses. [Indented for emphasis.]
     After his brief stint in jail, Zappa joined the Soul Giants in 1965 (replacing fired guitarist Hunt) and convinced the band to record his music. At the time, the band included Black, Collins, and Estrada, but also saxophonist Davy Coronado (leader), who soon quit. ("Davy, who was the wise one of the band, knew the actual truth of the matter, which was if you play original material you cannot work in a bar. He was afraid of being out of work so he quit the band. And he was right, we couldn't get a fucking job anyplace." —Zappa, 1970)
     The band, now renamed the Mothers, moved to Los Angeles in early 1965 after Zappa got them a management contract with Herb Cohen. (Cohen remained a key player in the Zappa saga for several years—until litigation ended their partnership in 1976.) The band found steady work at clubs along the Sunset Strip.
Tom Wilson
     In early 1966, thanks to Cohen, the Mothers were briefly observed by record producer Tom Wilson when playing "Trouble Every Day", a song about the Watts riots. Wilson erroneously took them to be a white blues band, something his label was looking for. (Canned Heat’s Henry Vestine was in the band at the time.)
     Wilson signed the Mothers to the Verve division of MGM—perhaps with the modest plan of putting out some singles. Just prior to recording, however, Wilson spoke with Zappa and realized that the band did much more than “white blues,” and soon a plan was hatched to record an entire album.
     Freak Out! was recorded between March 9 and March 12, 1966; it was released 3 months later, on June 27, 1966. (The tracks "Motherly Love" and "I Ain't Got No Heart," however, were recorded earlier, in 1965.)
     Among other things, the album captured the "freak" subculture of Los Angeles with which Zappa identified, at least to some extent (nevertheless, on the Mothers albums, he often mercilessly mocked the freaks along with the hippies and the straights).
     During the recording of Freak Out!, Zappa moved into a house in Laurel Canyon with friend Pamela Zarubica, who was later hired to be the Suzy Creamcheese of the ’67 European tour. (She has emerged in recent years seeking attention for her trivial role in the sixties pop scene.)
     After a short promotional tour following the release of Freak Out!, Zappa met Gail Sloatman (1945 – 2015), who soon moved to Laurel Canyon. The two married in September of 1967, a week before Moon Unit Zappa’s birth. (Upon learning of the pregnancy, 17-year-old girlfriend Sandy Hurvitz, who had signed to Zappa’s new production company, Bizarre, advised Zappa to marry Sloatman. Hurvitz was briefly a member of the Mothers, likely after the recording of Freak Out! According to Hurvits (who later took the professional name Essra Mohawk), Zappa lost all professional interest in her after that.)
     Absolutely Free was recorded in November 1966, and released in 1967. At the time, the band comprised eight members: Zappa, Black, Estrada, Collins, Preston, Gardner, Mundi, and Fielder. During this time (late ‘66, early ‘67?), Zappa recorded much of his solo album Lumpy Gravy, a collection of orchestral works ultimately released in early 1968 (after an 8-month legal dispute between record companies).

Zappa briefly attended Chaffey College in 1959.
It is said that he learned to despise formal education there.

     The band had a successful New York show in late ’66. That led to the experimental Garrick Theater shows that started in March of 1967. That residence was so successful that it was extended to six months. 
     We’re Only In It For The Money was recorded, in New York, March–October 1967 (essentially, during the Garrick stay); the album was released in 1968. 
     Soon thereafter: December 1967 - February 1968; recording of Ruben and the Jets (at Apostolic Studios in New York).
     The first albums associated with Zappa’s Bizarre production co./record label–We’re Only In It For The Money & Lumpy Gravy—were released in early 1968.
     In early 1968, after an 18-month stay, the band left New York, relocating to Hollywood.
     March 1969: Zappa produces Trout Mask Replica for Beefheart.
     Mothers album Uncle Meat is recorded September 1967 – September 1968. Released, April 21, 1969. It features a large number of overdubs and experimental elements.
     Mothers' second European tour in September/October 1968.
     Zappa solo album Hot Rats was recorded July – August, 1969. 
     In late 1969, Zappa broke up the band, citing finances. It seems clear that Zappa was unhappy, too, with the band’s inability to handle the increasingly complex music that he was writing. (Subsequent iterations of the Mothers typically comprised more highly-trained musicians, though he frequently asked original Mothers to join in.)
     Hot Rats is released (October 1969), featuring extended guitar solos.

OTHERS:

Herbert Cohen (1932 – 2010)
Business manager/partner (of Zappa)

Sandy Hurvitz/Essra Mohawk (1948 - )
Singer signed to Zappa's Bizarre Records.
Briefly, a member of the Mothers.

Pamela Zarubica (1948? -     )
Played “Suzy Creamcheese” (on tour) after the fictional character was 
devised for the artwork of Freak Out! Did recorded telephone 
conversations on Mothers albums.

Gail Zappa (1945 – 2015)
Married to Frank: 1967 - 1993 (i.e., until his death)

Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) (1941 – 2010)
Even more eccentric than Zappa.
Led the legendary "Magic Band"


A friend of Zappa's.

He appears on the cover of "We're Only In It For The Money"




Why you fool! You poor, sad, worthless, foolish fool!


A Collins composition (vocals by Collins) that appeared 
on Ruben and the Jets (1968)



Hey Punk, where you goin' with that hair on your head?




I hold in my hand three letters
From the stages of your fine, fine, super-fine career

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report  — up again USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes LA Times  ...

Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix