Friday, March 17, 2006

Six Degrees of Fuentes Nation


id you read Jean Pasco’s article in the Times this morning? Pasco reports that

A supporter of the Orange County sheriff's reelection bid filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the ballot statement of a rival candidate that calls the sheriff's term a "failure" marked by "scandal after scandal."

The sheriff, of course, is Mike Carona, a fellow who is indeed up to his eyeballs in scandal. He’s a player—a star—in Fuentes Nation (aka Fuentes World), a community that is peopled by like-minded right-wingers.

Being accused of corruption or at least ruthlessness seems to be an entrance requirement.

No doubt thanks to Mr. Fuentes, three years ago, the Irvine Valley College Foundation named Carona its “hometown hero.” That's when everybody in the country was falling all over themselves in a mad rush to honor the "hero" of the Samantha Runnion tragedy.

Some hero. Have you been reading the paper? Carona is about as dirty as that other Fuentean hero, Orange County DA, Tony Rackaucus.

The “supporter” referred to in the Times article is Ronald Young, who will appear in court today with his lawyer, Michael Houston.

Houston, of course, is a crony of Mr. Tom Fuentes. Why am I not surprised?

Pasco informs us that Mr. Houston works for Rutan and Tucker, a fancy-schmancy OC law firm.

Hmmm. Rutan and Tucker. That would be the firm that represented the district in my First Amendment lawsuit. They lost the suit but appealed. During the appellate process—I essentially prevailed there, too—Rutan and Tucker had two attorneys on the case: Dave Larsen and Robert E. King.

Robert E. King? That would be the guy just hired as the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources!


ave you ever played the trivia game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”? According to Wikipedia, the game is

inspired by the stage play Six Degrees of Separation. [It] requires a group of players to connect any film actor to Kevin Bacon as quickly as possible and in as few links as possible.

I play a variation on the Bacon game. It’s called “Six Degrees of Fuentes Nation.” Essentially, to play, you’ve gotta find patches of the fabric of Fuentes Nation, aka OC Right-Wing Republican Web o' Cronies.

OK, so far, I’ve got

Young → Houston → Fuentes and

Fuentes → Rutan & Tucker → Larsen → King → SOCCCD → Fuentes.

Let’s start from Mr. King, who, as I said, is our new VC of Human Resources.

Human Resources? As you know, Teddi Lorch is the district's Director of Human Resources. (How come we've got both a Vice Chancellor and a Director of HR? What's next, a chief petty officer?) Back in 2000, Teddi ran for a seat (representing the 73rd Assembly District) on the OC GOP Central Committee. That would be Fuentes’ OC GOP. (He was the chair at the time.) Teddi came in dead last.

Who represents the 73rd Assembly District these days? That would be Teddi’s best pal, Nancy Padberg, who, of course, accompanies Mr. Fuentes on the SOCCCD Board of Trustees.

Teddi, too, was on the SOCCCD board, until she was replaced in 1998 by—you guessed it! Nancy Padberg!

OK, so that’s King → Lorch → SOCCCD → BOT → Padberg → Fuentes.

While hangin’ with the OC Republican leadership, no doubt Nancy rubs elbows with conservative pollster Adam P, the guy who assisted Mr. Fuentes so ably on that night five and a half years ago when Fuentes made his successful bid to replace Steve Frogue on our board.

Remember the Frogue Recall? The leader of that effort among Republicans was close Fuentes associate Michael Schroeder, who just happens to be the chief legal advisor of both Tony Rackaucus and Mike Carona. (Schroeder’s wife is Carona's spokesperson.)

Like I said, Central Committee member Nancy P might run into Adam, cuz Adam is on the executive group of the Committee.

Adam, of course, can also be found, along with Fuentes’ wife Jolene, on the board of governors of the IVC Foundation, as can John Fleischman, who is also on the GOP executive leadership group and, by day, works for Sheriff Carona.

Confused yet?

The executive director of the local GOP is Kathy Tavoularis, another Fuentes crony, who also sits on the IVC Foundation board.

Paul Hernandez, another Foundation board member, is ex-officio alternate on the OC GOP Central Committee.

Foundation board member Anthony Kuo, a Mathur apologist during his student days at IVC, is now Jo Ellen Allen’s alternate on the Central Committee.

IVC Foundation board member Keith Carlson is the alternate for Scott Baugh, who represents the 67th Assembly District on the OC GOP Central Committee.

Baugh, of course, replaced Tom Fuentes as chair of the OC GOPers back in 2004.

I could go on like this forever.

But you get the idea.

h—one more thing. Did you know that Nancy Padberg is running for Superior Court Judge? See

Nancy runs for Judge (a pdf file)


MARCH 18 UPDATE:
in TODAY'S REGISTER


Yesterday's Times article didn't reveal who was behind the legal challenge, aside from Young and his lawyer Houston. I implied that Fuentes or his crowd (Schroeder, Fleischman, Probolsky, et al.) were behind it.

But today's Register article ("Carona wants phrase barred," by Peggy Lowe) "connects the dots," owing in part to a misdirected email between Schroeder and Fleischman. Some excerpts:

...Carona's top two advisers – Jon Fleischman and Michael Schroeder – recruited a voter with no name recognition to challenge it [i.e., inclusion of language referring to "scandal" and "failure"] in court.

In an e-mail inadvertently sent to The Orange County Register, Fleischman reported to Schroeder on Wednesday that the campaign's lawyers were working with someone named Ron Young "to challenge the questionable language (on) Bill Hunt's campaign statement."

To connect the dots: Young is the husband of Mary Young, a GOP activist, and was found by pollster Adam Probolsky, according to Fleischman's e-mail. Further connection: Probolsky has worked with John Lewis, Carona's campaign manager.

"We'll all have to thank the Youngs – and also TY (thank you) to Adam for calling them and getting them to agree to this!" reads Fleischman's e-mail from a personal account.

Schroeder responded to Fleischman in an e-mail that "Hunt may stipulate to removing the offending language in order to avoid an attorney's fees hit." [Classic hardball tactic!]

Reached Friday, Fleischman said he was working at his county job as the sheriff's spokesman and must keep politics separate.

..."What we're seeing here is a very concerted effort from a select few behind the scenes from one party that is controlling and manipulating what happens in the office of the sheriff," Hunt said. "That should be problematic for anybody, especially with the string of scandals coming out of that office."

...Carona has faced many controversies, including the firing of an assistant sheriff and his chief of staff, George Jaramillo, who has since been indicted on several charges, including bribery.

Carona, who is seeking a third term, has also weathered reports of questionable campaign contributions and one case of money laundering through his campaign. The attorney general is investigating three issues surrounding the sheriff's department, including a claim of sexual harassment against Carona.

The issue will be heard in Orange County Superior Court on Monday.


Also, check out an article in today's Register concerning Fuentes crony Chriss Street:

Trustee: Official abused firm funds

O.C.'s assistant treasurer is accused of fiscal misconduct as a bankrupt trailer firm's asset manager.


By MARTIN WISCKOL

Chriss Street, the leading candidate to become county treasurer-tax collector, has been accused of "mismanagement, conflicts of interest and greed" in a bankruptcy-court document filed this week....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Plagues, then and now

Ever hear of two OC community colleges plagued by “hostility, mistrust, cynicism, and despair”?

I'm not talking about NOW. Nope, I'm talking about six years ago.

Today, I happened to run across an old Dissent article that revealed striking parallels between conditions then and conditions now.

And it's not just the "plague of despair" either. It's the defiance. As you know, Mr. Fuentes has expressed contempt for the Accrediting agency and its authority over the board. Everybody is rushing to give the Accreds what they want--everybody, that is, but Mr. Fuentes, who thinks that outside agencies--whether here or in Sacramento--have no business setting the board's agenda.

Here's an example from a February board meeting in which the topic of responding to the Accrediting agency's recommendations is discussed. The speakers are Trustee Lang, Chancellor Mathur, and then finally Trustee Fuentes:

this is an audio post - click to play

Well, a similar spirit of defiance prevailed on the board six years ago. Back then, faculty were pressing for meetings between constituency groups to overcome tensions as per the Accred's recommendations. But the board--or at least its Majority--resisted.

The 1999 BOT was dominated by Fortune, Williams, Wagner, and Padberg. Faculty were represented by Anne Cox and Peter Morrison.

Just click on the link below. (The article is in the Archives.)

You might want to skip down to the second half, which presents a glorious shouting match between Anne Cox--then the Saddleback College Academic Senate President--and Dorothy Fortune (the "Bumptious One"), who then reigned as board president.

LINK

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Feature! Madame Emma's Astrological Forecast


By Red “Madame Blabatsky” Emma

The Accreditor (March 21-April 19)
Your sign is the State Accreditation Team, all ten of them. It’s a group shot. Look, here you are, visiting Irvine Valley College. You are sensitive yet ineffectual. Your sign used to be the cadaver left in the elevator at the mortician’s college. That was a very bad sign, indeed. And it smelled funny. There is no cadaver in the elevator at Irvine Valley College, only a failure of shared governance, illegal behavior, incompetence, and bullying. And you, crowded into an elevator. You should probably just go ahead and accredit.

The Board Majority (April 20-May 20)
Your sign is the oversized custom-made podium. Walnut, or maybe oak. Big. Hard to see out from behind it. Hard to hear what people say about you, too. Especially at election time. The voters of South Orange County don’t pay much attention to education politics, except for the ones that do. Offer a prayer to distract them, or invite a fife and drum corps to the next meeting. Build a very big golf net. You are fiscal conservatives, after all, accountable to no one. Stay on your present course. Run for Assembly.

The Lang (May 21-June 21)
Your sign is the gavel. You are a sad, silly person with a funny mustache, willing to believe anything in order to pretend that your vote matters. The gavel is now up your ass, quite far, and you are beginning to notice a tiny bit of swelling. Still, you will get used to it, even perhaps seem to enjoy it. Yield to Tom Fuentes. Shift uncomfortably on your seat of power. Why not call for a vote? Try Preparation H.

The Nazi Wannabe (June 22-July 22)
Your sign is illegal in some Western European democracies, though every Boy Scout knows it’s really, really easy to draw. You’ll have plenty of fun promoting wacky Holocaust theories and stewing over the Grassy Knoll. Aliens are enrolling in classes, and they are not from Mexico. Somebody just like you should alert the media, the academy, the Warren Commission. Start now, immediately. Someday all of this hard intellectual work battling the Academy, the Martians, and the Illuminati will earn you a merit badge.

The Great Communicator (July 23-Aug 22)
Your sign is, of course, the Jelly Bean. Every day is a great day for rightwing historical revisionism. Hang some inspirational posters on a wall and call it art. Then cut funding for the arts. Thatta boy. Start an employee of the month parking spot. Name yourself Employee of the Month. Pat yourself on the back with a Xerox of your own hand. Invade a small country, or at least Laguna Woods, since they don’t like airports. Old people can’t defend themselves, and they may not even realize they have been rescued from a Soviet threat. It’s never too late to chop some wood.

The Mouse (Aug 23-Sept 22)
You live in high places, mostly the ceiling of the A200 building. Bad people want to remove you, but you are here to stay. Leave droppings where they are hard to get at. Find warmth in the fluorescent lights and cozy insulation of temporary modular classroom instruction facilities, which have been there for twenty-six years. Your home is your castle, strong little rodent. Long live you!

The Lawyer (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Your sign is blind justice. Apply for work at the district, defending the board and Chancellor. Pay is good, and you almost never win. Bill the taxpayers for all your pointless work. In depositions, act surprised about information your clients might have disclosed to you but failed to, even though you really are surprised, since they didn’t. Recommend anger management counseling as a way to settle shared governance conflict. Everybody is angry, especially at the people they are suing, but who are the same people that hired them. Maybe you are angry too. No, on second thought, it’s hard to be angry, especially with billables piling up higher than mouse turds in the ceiling.

The Diplomat (Oct 24-Nov 21)
Your sign is the bull—in the china shop. You’re looking out for our students, for our county, for America. Consultant, patriot, top-secret spy, you’re the one the Big Boys turn to when they need to leak some of that top-secret inside info on terrorists in Mission Viejo or Spain. And since you don’t have a real job, you’ll share that information, if for a price. It’s all about connections, baby, and you are him, El Gran Jefe. Viva to you, Senor, and let the tortilla chips fall where they may. Toro!

The Toady (Nov 22-Dec 21)
Your sign is, of course, the warty amphibian. You live to please the Diplomat, the Nazi and the rest. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim. Complete the project you’ve been putting off: toad gotta crawl around, eat some bugs, and hibernate. Your blood runs cold now, but your time will come. Wait patiently in the mud.

The Administrator (Dec 22-Jan 19)
You can hire and fire, or at least pretend to. Your sign is the Cushman, the golf cart. You are stealthy and electric. Be sure to recharge regularly. Who knows when the man at the top will need you? Remember that people cannot hear you coming. Use this to your advantage. This is a good week to hire a family member.

The Distance Learner (Jan 20-Feb 18)
Your signs, the TV screen and computer monitor, are off right now. The server is down. Who cares? You’ll transfer soon anyway, to the Nova-Phoenix Institute for Advanced GOP Management Oversight. Count up your online credits, and add a few. Who’s counting, anyway? Soon Raghu P. Mathur will be a U.S. Senator and your undergraduate years at IVC (or Harvard, or Yale) will be only a memory. Think big. Dream. Use white-out.

The Laser (Feb 19-Mar 20)
A beam, a bright light. Laser, you point the way for others, although occasionally burning out their retinas when used without protective goggles. Ouch, that smarts. You blaze a trail, beat a path, or at least treat acne scars and resurface the parking lot. Nothing can hold you back, laser, not even drops in enrollment, bomb squads removing bags of sand, millions in lost taxpayer dollars. You go, Laser!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Trustee Fuentes' boss, Buffalo Bill Lange

een surfin’. Once in a while I just type in “Tom Fuentes” and follow the trail. You could do a lot worse than spend time Googlin’ the Fuenster. Maybe. Well, probably not.

CARPAGE:

The Blogosphere—i.e., the world of blogs (daily web logs)—is pretty amazing and bewildering. Blogs, like TV shows and insects, appear and die in great numbers. This can leave an impression of utter chaos and hopelessness. A sensitive oldster like me is tempted to look away.

But no. Some blogs rise to the top and attain a large or loyal readership. Some of these blogs are fun and informative.

The blogosphere, as it concerns Orange County politics, has a few standouts. One of ‘em, I guess, is “Orange Juice,” which bills itself as “Orange County's source for political news & views, featuring comments from the right by Art Pedroza, and comments from the left by Claudio Gallegos.”

Back on February 7, Orange Juice's guy on the right, Art Pedroza, carped about our own Tom Fuentes. (The Reb turned me on to this.)

The upshot: that Fuentes (a) is taking money from one hopeless GOP hopeful in the race for the 47th Congressional District, (b) is doing a lousy job for that fool, and, in the process, (c) is essentially betraying a worthy GOP stalwart. Read and judge for yourself:

An anonymous blogger posted a comment on OC Blog today insinuating that Tan Nguyen, the former Democrat who is running in the GOP primary against Santa Ana School Board Member Rosie Avila, for the 47th Congressional District, paid Tom Fuentes to work on his campaign. I took the time to look up Nguyen's campaign filings, and sure enough he paid Fuentes a total of $10,000. However, the report is murky as to what Fuentes did to earn the money.

It turns out that Fuentes, the former Chair of the Republican Party of Orange County, is indeed acting as a senior adviser to Nguyen, according to Nguyen's latest mailer. You might recall that Nguyen has dedicated about $250,000 of his own money to his campaign. His latest filing indicates that he is now $57,000 in the hole. That's not good.

I already commented on Nguyen's first political mailer, and this week I received the follow-up, which announces Fuentes' connection to the Nguyen campaign. The funny thing is that the picture on the back of the slick, cardstock piece depicts Fuentes in all his glory--and the back of Nguyen's head. It is a photo taken at an appearance made by Congressman Tom Reynolds, who is displayed in profile. But poor Nguyen--all you see is one ear and his back. Well done Tom--at least you got yourself a little publicity, and $10,000 to boot.

What really galls me about all this is that Nguyen's Republican adversary, Avila, has been a lifelong good Republican soldier. Fuentes knows that but he is backing Nguyen because the latter has money, or rather he had money. Not so anymore, apparently.

...Nguyen has shown me, by virtue of his atrocious campaign mailers, that he is not ready for prime time. Even if he wins the primary, which is a stretch, he will be eaten alive by the incumbent, the inexecrable [sic] Loretta Sanchez. Shame on Fuentes for not being loyal to Avila, who has been such a solid Republican leader in the otherwise blue central county area. Her overwhelming success on the Santa Ana School Board makes her a much better candidate than Nguyen, who is just the latest of so many Republican "businessmen" to waste his money in a political campaign he cannot possibly win.

Jeez, this story reminds me of a another story goin’ round--about Fuentes’ (alleged) less-than-wholehearted “support” of Dave Lang’s (now non-existent) bid for the OC Treasurer gig. Have you heard it? If not, just ask around.

FUENTES' SPECIAL MAGNETISM:

checked out Trustee Fuentes’ bio on the district website. It informs us that he is "Senior Vice President of the LFC Group of Companies.”

So I looked up the LFC “group.” LFC is owned by one William Lange (the L is for "Lange"). The company arranges online auctions of real estate. Imagine that!

Apparently, LFC is doing very well. According to a news release (likely authored by LFC) that appeared on PRnewswire in January,

In a record setting online auction, a 200… acre parcel of real estate in South Florida is being auctioned with a record setting seller's suggested value of [$]80 Million USD. This mixed use property has the potential to attract a wide range of buyers both in the US and internationally, in what is believed to be the highest value online real estate auction of all time.” The auction is being conducted by “LFC Online.”

This Fuentes fella sure does have an interesting relation to big money. He’s like an iron filing in a world of Filthy Rich Magneto-Men.


BUFFALO BILL'S BEANS:

If you go to the LFC website (http://www.lfc.com/), you'll find a very odd “history” of the company. Inexplicably, the entire history is devoted to the tale of a “Buffalo Ranch” in Newport Beach. We’re told that

Until recently, this working ranch, located in the heart of Newport Beach, California, doubled as LFC’s corporate headquarters….

In 1986, after a 25-year absence, LFC’s founder, Bill Lange, reintroduced a herd of American bison, commonly called buffalo, to LFC’s Buffalo Ranch. The new herd included Scotty, our 2000-pound male, along with Wendy, Amanda and Patti. The Buffalo Ranch soon became a standard fixture on the elementary school circuit. After all, not every city has its own buffalo herd!!

Each summer LFC would invite its clients from throughout the United States and around the world to what became known simply as the “Buffalo Ranch Barbecue.” This one-day event became famous for its diverse group of guests. Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Canadians, Europeans and Americans would all show up in their best cowboy and cowgirl outfits to share a day of great country western music, good steaks and Bill’s Beans.

I’m not making this up, honest I'm not. If you take the online tour, you learn lots more about the history of the Buffalo Ranch:

...the Buffalo Ranch was used as a working part of the Irvine Ranch until 1954, when buffalo rancher Gene Clark opened it as a public attraction and imported over 100 head of buffalo to the 115-acre parcel of land….

Occupied in the 1970’s by the late famed architect William Pereira, a self-proclaimed "barn freak," the Buffalo Ranch red clapboard barn and buildings provided a tranquil and relaxed setting for Pereira, who renamed the ranch "Urbanus." From his office atop the silo, Pereira produced plans for UC Irvine and Fashion Island.
--Well, I guess that explains why so much bullshit emanates from UCI. But I digress:

From 1986 to 1994, The LFC Group of Companies made the Buffalo Ranch our headquarters…. Employees played volleyball on the back lawn, tended the bison, held western barbeques and enjoyed the rustic setting of Lange Financial Plaza.
--Do you suppose they were chewin' on their beloved buffalo? Figures.

Newport Beach provided the perfect setting for the bison to roam amid beautiful surroundings. When The Irvine Company announced plans to develop the adjacent property into condominiums and apartments, an outspoken contingent of Orange County residents took it to heart. Attempting to block the proposed development, they started a grass roots organization called "Friends of the Buffalo Ranch." The development ultimately received approval from the planning commission. Part of the barn structure was declared an historic site and was moved to the Orange County Fairgrounds.

The bison herd was donated to the Discovery Museum of Orange County and auctioned (naturally). Becky was donated to the Orange County Fairgrounds and is still visited today by Buffalo Bill [i.e., William Lange] and his family.

No, for the last time, I’m not making this up!


BUFFALO BILL'S WILD FRAUD SHOW

I Googled the name “William Lange” with “LFC” and I didn’t find much.

I did, however, find that, in 1997, Lange was sued by the government. Evidently, the Justice Department was convinced that “Buffalo Bill” was committing fraud in a very big way. A year after charges were filed, the matter was settled, and the defendants (including Buffalo Bill) admitted no wrongdoing.

The charges are amazing. You’ve really got to check this out. I tell you, this "fraud" yarn is like an episode of Knott’s Landing! Picture Buffalo Bill as William Devane and his wife as Donna Mills.

The tale is told on the website for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) news releases [News Release]:

FDIC PRESS RELEASE:

SETTLEMENT OF LAWSUIT AGAINST FORMER FDIC AND RTC CONTRACTORS

The suit described in PR-49-97 (7-18-97) [see below] was settled by an agreement between the United States Department of Justice, William W. Lange, Alisha A. Jensen Lange, Lange Financial Corporation, Asset Clearinghouse, Inc., and Richard H.W. Bennett, executed by all parties on November 13, 1998. That agreement contains a statement that it does not constitute an admission of liability or an admission of the truth, substantial merit or validity of any previously disputed claim or factual assertion.

[The site next presents what appears to be an earlier press release [from 7/18/97?]:

THREE FORMER FDIC AND RTC CONTRACTORS SUED IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FRAUD CASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FDIC Inspector General Gaston L. Gianni, Jr., announced today that the Justice Department filed suit July 15 against three California residents charging them with fraud that resulted in nearly $3.6 million in profits from contracts issued by the FDIC and the former Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to auction assets.

This case is the result of an ongoing investigation by the FDIC Office of Inspector General. The defendants named in the lawsuit are:

• William W. Lange of Corona Del Mar
• Alisha A. Jensen Lange (William Lange's wife) of Corona Del Mar, and
• Richard H.W. Bennett of Yorba Linda. Mr. Bennett is a certified public accountant and the brother-in-law of Alisha Lange.

The civil complaint, filed pursuant to the False Claims Act, alleges that the defendants fraudulently acquired contracts and overbilled the two agencies for work performed. The three were allegedly responsible for more than 2,500 false claims submitted to the FDIC and the RTC.

In the scheme outlined in the lawsuit, Ms. Lange owned "on paper" a sham company called LFC Real Estate Clearinghouse, Inc. (LFCREC). The company in fact was created, owned and operated by her husband, William Lange. The Langes improperly certified that LFCREC was woman-owned, enabling the firm to obtain lucrative government contracts. Those contracts, procured from 1992 through 1994, called for the LFCREC to auction property for the FDIC and the RTC that the agencies had acquired from failed financial institutions.

According to the lawsuit, LFCREC fraudulently obtained contracts to perform more than a dozen auctions in California, Texas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. The shell company was paid more than $1 million in commissions, approximately one percent of the assets sold. LFCREC was also reimbursed more than $2.5 million for expenses the firm claimed to have incurred in connection to the auctions.

The civil complaint alleges that LFCREC was a shell company for Lange Financial Corporation, a Newport Beach firm that is one of the largest auctioneers in the country with several subsidiaries. In addition to falsely stating that LFCREC was woman-owned, LFCREC allegedly hired subsidiaries of Lange Financial to perform auction-related work and failed to disclose that the subsidiaries were "related companies." The subsidiaries purportedly overbilled for services, including charging the government $80 per hour for work that cost $24 per hour. Mr. Bennett allegedly prepared and submitted "padded" bills to the FDIC and RTC.

Under federal law, the Langes and Mr. Bennett are potentially liable for damages of up to three times the nearly $3.6 million paid to LFCREC, and up to $10,000 in fines for each of the more than 2,500 alleged false claims. The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) provides an additional $5 million penalty for making false statements designed to influence the RTC and the FDIC.

Like I said, it’s essentially an episode of Knott’s Landing.

And our Tom Fuentes is the Senior VP of Buffalo Bill (Devane) Lange’s LFC.


Why does this make so much sense? I am filled with calm and a profound sense of understanding.

Be likewise.

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary