Saturday, November 18, 2006

The cultural war, Apocalyptic dog-faced felines, and the LOVE CHILD mystery!


THE CULTURAL WAR
[Praying] gives us pause to reflect on what is really important in life and society. It motivates us to defend causes that are so critical in the cultural war that today engulfs our nation and its society.”
—Thomas Fuentes
Jeez, they want to take away our right to pray. And now they're banning our beloved Pledge.

The enemy must be destroyed.
—Joe Redstate

As you know, some of our trustees view themselves as soldiers in a “cultural war” between the Pious & Traditional and the Godless & Homosexual, more or less. Trustee Don Wagner has been pretty explicit about this role (see Protecting your right to “pack a gun”!), and so has Trustee Tom Fuentes (see Tom’s farewell speech).

In the minds of those who speak of a culture war (I'm thinking: "anger management counseling"), college faculty are definitely on the Godless side. We’re the enemy, the people to be attacked and weakened. Consider how Mr. Fuentes portrayed faculty during his infamous Leisure World TV interview. We're lazy, over-paid, and suspiciously lispy! We're like a disease!

SO: Tom is a steward of college education like James Watt was a steward of the environment. Watt sought to chop down trees. Tom seeks to chop down college professors.

As board president, Wagner was canny enough not to go about that job purely in terms of this supposed cultural war. But one suspects that Mr. Fuentes is quite prepared to use whatever power he has to weaken the supposed Godless and Gay forces who control education and indoctrinate America's innocent children in the ways of abject jocundity and wanton voluptuary libertinism--and worse!

Recently, I raised the specter of a Board of Trustees led by Tom Fuentes. I do believe he’s the only trustee who has not served as president of the board—aside from Bill Jay, who lack’s Tom’s seniority and his impressive stinky-cheesular theatrical pomposity. Plus he’s got the votes.

The yearly “organizational” meeting will occur on Dec. 11, just a month hence. That's when board officers will be elected.

BUT HEY, sources tell me that Tom doesn’t want the job, that others who might want it don’t have the votes, and that Dave Lang, who has support among his colleagues, wants another go at it.

We’ll see.
"I am on the side that thinks ‘under God’ belongs in the pledge of allegiance and that it's all right to wish people ‘Merry Christmas,’ but that free speech does not include burning the flag or dancing in the nude."
—Don Wagner

THOSE CLUELESS WESTERNERS AND THEIR SILLY POKAGE

According to the New Zealand Herald, the Chinese people are turning away from traditional medicine in droves:
In the West, demand for traditional Chinese medicine [acupuncture, etc.] just goes on growing...[Meanwhile]...the Chinese...are taking a great big acupuncture needle and trying to prick this bubble.

More and more of them are rejecting their ancient remedies in favour of Western medicine. A proposal to remove from the Chinese health care system traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has divided public opinion and outraged the Government which backs its use.

The controversy was sparked by an online petition proposing that only Western-style healthcare be available in China's hospitals. Behind it is Professor Zhang Gongyao, who describes TCM, practised in China for 4000 years, as "untrustworthy" and "pseudo-science".
According to the National Council Against Health Fraud, none of the 46 medical journals published by the Chinese Medical Association is devoted to traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture).

NOW THAT’S A LOVE CHILD!

OK, according to Reuters (Puppies born to cat), a Bazilian couple is claiming that their cat gave birth to dogs. They and their neighbors are blaming the Apocalypse on a neighborhood mut named “Dog.” A geneticist has been brought in to do the necessary tests. The results will be in on Tuesday.

Naturally, if these little guys turn out to be pups, that’ll only mean that the cat found those pups somewhere and enlisted ‘em into her feline brood. But, of course, that’s not what most people will say or think. That’s cuz they’re morons. Or just under-educated.


As you know, in the South Orange County Community College District, we’ve got our own LOVE CHILD somewhere. At least that’s the rumor, and it is, without doubt, intensely VERISIMILITUDINOUS. I mean, we NEED a love child like the Pacific Northwesterners need BIG FOOT. It's a powerful need.

Help us to identify the LOVE CHILD and its notorious districtular PARENTAL UNITS!

Why oh why couldn’t they “hold on hold on just a little bit longer”?

Was the love they were contemplatin’
Worth the pain of waitin’?
Will they only end up hatin’
The LOVE CHILD they’ve been creatin’?

LOVE CHILD!

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Random images, more or less

I took this one on the way home from school last night. Driving into Rancho Santa Margarita. They've got a Trader Joe's. Plus ducks.

I'm a close personal friend of the guy on IVC's Holiday Bash committee who is making posters to advertise the event. He said he wanted to go for "elegant and simple." That's Tony as "California Santa." They're trying to make people show up in big numbers. Hence the "free money."

OK, I took this picture of four high-powered IVC faculettas, and, as it turns out, my Nikon was somehow weirded out by their power. Me too.

As you know, IVC's Prez Roquemore promised to finally put some furniture in the so-called A200 "faculty lounge." That was, like, I dunno, a year ago or something? I think Wayne's in charge of securing it. So it could be another year or two before we see the furniture. And when we get it, it will be ALL WRONG, you watch.

Speaking of urinals, somebody told me that the men's bathroom over in B100 smelled like, um, urine. I went in there and found this. Evidently, Wayne had installed a "waterless urinal," but he forgot to order new cartridges for it, and so this is what we get for a while.

Coulda been worse. Wayne mighta bought a waterless toilet.

A few weeks ago, they wheeled in this spiffy new blue contraption over in A200 and they plugged it into the wall. "What the hell is that?" we said. Well, it seemed to be working for a while. I think it made change or something. Or maybe it spit out students' fortunes, or their future careers. Dunno. Then, about a week and a half ago, the thing broke. It's just been sitting there, dead, ever since. I bet it never gets fixed. Nice blue, though.

OK, I took this one out my car window yesterday on Portola. It looks spooky to me. I like spooky.

If you look closely, you can see some kind of monster face in the rear view mirror at the bottom. Could be Raghu, I guess. Or a bug.

We found this one hangin' around the A complex yesterday, and so we took turns watchin' 'im and tossin' 'im in the air. He kept making faces at me. I said, "Go away kid, you bother me."

I think Karima finally grabbed him and sent him on a snipe hunt. After a while, he came back, smilin' more than ever.

This is a highly adulterated picture--cropped to within an inch of its life, filtered up the ying-yang, and still it looks like sh*t. It shows students hangin' in the A quad at IVC. They seem to like it there. I like that they like it there. Ain't life grand?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday, driving home

Looking over the valley toward the ocean from the toll road near Portola.

Driving down from Rancho Santa Margarita, to Trabuco Canyon. The Santa Ana Mountains are especially beautiful as the sun sets.

Heading up Live Oak Canyon Road, near O'Neill Park. Three minutes from home!

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Less "yadda-yadda-yadda," more "yabba-dabba-doo"

Aha! The “Pledge” controversy LIVES! Here are excerpt’s from A push for the pledge, in this morning’s OC Reg:
"Our early patriots gave up their lives to be United States citizens," [George Key, the great-great-grandfather of Francis Scott Key] said. "(The Pledge) means to me that you are pledging your allegiance and life to your country and your flag."

…Though vets have yet to show up [as they did in 1996, objecting to a similar “ban”] at Orange Coast College, the issue has outraged the community at large, including state Sen. Tom Harman, who criticized the move Thursday in a prepared statement.

…"I think it's amazing how you don't want to say 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance but you'll spend our money, which says 'In God we trust,' " …[said student Justine Wiggans].
Like I said, it’s a nation of morons. ✌

See also:

● 11/17 Conflict in the name of loyalty -- Oregonian commentary defends students
● 11/10 Flashreport: "lack of patriotic leadership" -- A local right-wing perspective
● 11/16 State Senator Harmon criticizes students -- Bold fellow!

● While Googling, I came across the following comment. Apparently, it was written by someone who went to my High School (Villa Park High). I remember the incident well:
This story is deja vu for me. 36 years ago the high school I attended in O.C. had a similar controversy. The newly elected student body president announced he would not lead the pledge because he didn't believe in God and it was a lie that America provided "liberty and justice for all". Great controversy ensued and the story was picked up by the wire services and reported as far away as New York. Eventually there was a recall election, and the students voted in favor of keeping the new president. The vice president ended up leading the pledge, everyone got a lesson in democracy, the republic survived, and those of us on the school newspaper got the thrill of seeing one of our stories go national. And Orange County was way more conservative then than it is today. (Little green footballs)
Previously in DtB re "Pledge":

● 11/9 "Yadda-yadda-yadda," he said
● 11/11 Much ado

Monday's board meeting: preview


OR: "SECRET LOVE CHILD"

This afternoon, I downloaded the agenda for Monday’s board meeting (Nov. 20). (This time, only the brief [undocumented] agenda was available at the district website.)

It’s impossible to predict what will spark one of this board’s notorious FOOD FIGHTS. Sometimes these trustees’ll fight over lint--or less.

Nevertheless, below, I mention the items that seem most likely to provoke snipage—or that simply seem most interesting to me. You really ought to review the agenda yourself. (Click on link above.)

CLOSED SESSION:

The 5:00 Closed Session agenda includes the following item:
A. Public Employee Appointment, Employment, Evaluation of Performance, Discipline, Dismissal, Release (GC 54957):

1. Public Employee Appointment/Employment...

2. Public Employee Evaluation of Performance

a. Chancellor

3. Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release (5)
I wouldn’t get too excited about this. The board'll likely issue Raghu a Brownie Point or two. They do that, even when they think he's an incompetent rat bastard. Go figure.

OPEN SESSION

The 6:00 Open Session agenda includes:
• A report of any actions taken during Closed Session
• The invocation
• The Pledge [there’s a rumor that somebody plans to sit on a Whoopee cushion in the middle of this; can't wait]
• Resolutions
• Public comments
• Reports
Among the “consent items”:
13. SADDLEBACK COLLEGE: NEW RESTROOMS AT MCKINNEY THEATER: HIRE ARCHITECT -- Agreement with R2A Architecture in the amount of $90,850.00
OK, do I read this right? $91K to draw up plans for the Theater restrooms? Must be the world's biggest restrooms.

Item 23 is the crew of speakers for Spring in-service:
SOCCCD: SPRING 2007 IN-SERVICE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS -- Approval of keynote speakers Dr. Wallace Walrod, Dr. Robert Bramucci and Jim Gaston and singer Scott Robertson to perform at Spring 2007 In-Service for an amount not to exceed $500.00.
Who is Dr. Wallace Walrod?

Back in July, Walrod gave a presentation re OC’s “economic future” before the Association for Strategic Planning in Costa Mesa. According to ASP’s website, Walrod is (or was) Research Director of the Orange County Business Council--you remember them. Evidently, he has headed research projects for various corporations, including the Irvine Company. Nowadays, he's the managing partner of TCCG Tech Coast Consulting Group.

Bramucci is the "district dean" of the "open campus" of the Riverside Community College District. I.e., he's in charge of distance ed.

Have you been reading recent positive reports about the efficacy of distant ed? Hey, you oughta read your DtB more regularly. It's all here, baby.

Robertson? Well, I’m not sure who this is. There’s a (more or less) local guy who does an Elvis Presley tribute. Is it possible...?

—Naaaah. This guy'll likely warble about the Lord. Well, I guess he could warble about the Lord as Elvis.

Among the “Chancellor’s items” is
29. SOCCCD: EFFECTIVENESS OF BOARD AGENDAS AND MEETINGS -- Authorization to develop a revised Board agenda format and implement changes to increase effectiveness and efficiency of Board meetings.
Raghu’s been fretting about this for some time. I think the board is sick and tired of his makin’ them look bad. And his wasting their incredibly precious prayer-filled, Limbaugh-listening time.

There are two requests for “additional funding from basic aid”: to pay for temporary classrooms at Saddleback ($400K) and the “launch program project” at ATEP ($425K). These basic aid funding requests usually don’t piss off the board too much if they’re one-time requests.

Some board policy revisions are up for approval:
34.SOCCCD: BOARD POLICY REVISIONS: BP 4011: EMPLOYMENT PROCEDURES FOR ADMINISTRATORS AND MANAGERS AND BP 4083: VACATION LEAVE FOR ADMINISTRATORS AND CLASSIFIED MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL
THE CHANCELLOR’S COLA:

The board will be asked to approve some “academic personnel actions” (#35), including “Compensation Increase/Cost-of-Living Adjustment, Chancellor.” You’ll recall that, at the last board meeting, Raghu tried to sneak this item through, using various ploys--such as failing to even mention the item during docket and ultimately listing it in such a way that no member of the community could possibly detect that it concerned throwing more cash at the Chancellor, etc. Essentially, Raghu was trying to hoodwink both the public and the board into giving him EVEN MORE MONEY.

VC Bob King ended up taking all the heat. Wagner smacked him around pretty good. Raghu just watched, wearin' one of his fancy suits.


At the last meeting, a trustee asked for a report on “study abroad programs.” Item 40 is that report.

You’ll recall that Don Wagner (and Tom Fuentes?) got all bent out of shape because, in their view, Saddleback Lib Arts Dean Kevin O'Connor didn’t make a genuine effort to find cheaper study-abroad trips for Spanish students.

As you know, Trustee Fuentes wants students to go to Mexico, not Spain, cuz Mexico is way cheap. I don't know why he hasn't suggested Santa Ana. That's cheapter still.

Prompted by some peevish remarks by a Lariat editor—something about the Lariat’s not getting $14K in funding—a trustee requested a report on the paper's funding. Item 42 is that report.

Students have told me that something's rotten in the state of Denmark--er, Liberal Arts--and its funding of journalism/Lariat is seriously hinky. Maybe this "report" will shake something loose, if there's anything there, hinky-wise.

Don't count on it.

(Top photo: Thursday, taken from the 2nd floor of IVC's SCC.)

P.S.: I heard a "true rumor" yesterday that a certain manager or administrator (note the vagueness) has a SECRET LOVE CHILD. For now, I'm sworn to secrecy, but I thought you'd like just hearing about it.

I mean, even if it isn't true, it's a really cool idea. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wayne's teaching gig

As you know, Wayne Ward is the Director of Facilities and Maintenance at Irvine Valley College. According to the IVC website, Wayne has an M.A. from Chapman University, a B.S. from the University of Phoenix, and an A.S. from Rancho Santiago College.

Does anyone know what his Masters is in?

I ask because, when he’s not directing F&M, Wayne teaches Electronics 102, on Monday nights: Basic Electric Circuits.

No doubt he’s qualified. (Does Chapman give degrees in electronics? I did not know that.)

I mention Wayne’s electronics class because employees tell me that Wayne keeps parking his snazzy Camaro in the RED ZONE behind B300 when he teaches.

We’ll have a stake-out ready come Monday night. (Not.)

Employees also tell me that, a few months ago, President Roquemore issued an email to (F&M?) workers, instructing them to cease the practice of driving their personal vehicles across campus—you know, as if they were the King of the World or something.

Well, according to people with whom I’ve spoken, after that email was issued, Wayne continued to drive his Camaro across campus, especially in the morning, after his “workout.”

Is Wayne an insubordinate and defiant kind of guy? That would be ironic, if true. Know what I mean?

Tasering guys in the butt; paying CEOs after they leave; etc.

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● Uh-oh, they're on to us: Two-year colleges failing mission; 
Study finds too few students transfer up or attain degrees:
California's large community college system is failing in its role of graduating two-year students and as a feeder system for the state's four-year colleges and universities, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute…The report … was released Wednesday and found that only about one-quarter of students who concentrate on transfer courses eventually move on to four-year institutions. In addition, only one-tenth of community college students who concentrate on associate's degree courses eventually earn those degrees…..
See IVC's rate

● This morning’s OC Register offers an interview with Eric Schlosser, who is making a fictional movie about you-know-what, set in OC: 'Fast Food Nation' goes back for seconds.

● David Horowitz’s stupid “Academic Bill of Rights” is a dud, but then there’s this committee: Who Won the Battle of Pennsylvania?:
For all the fears about David Horowitz’s Academic Bill of Rights, the proposal ended up going nowhere in state legislatures last year. But in Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives voted to create a special legislative committee to investigate the state of academic freedom and whether students who hold unpopular views need more protection…The final report of the committee is still being negotiated between Republican and Democratic members of the panel. But consensus already exists that problems with students being punished for political views are rare and that no legislation is needed. From the start of Horowitz’s movement, academic leaders have been saying just that…..
● What’s next? Tasering the rabbits? A cellphone camera captures UCLA police using a Taser on a student who allegedly refused to leave the library Tuesday night:
…"It was beyond grotesque," said UCLA graduate David Remesnitsky of Los Angeles, who witnessed the incident. "By the end they took him over the stairs, lifted him up and Tasered him on his rear end. It seemed like it was inappropriately placed. The Tasering was so unnecessary and they just kept doing it."….
● Wait'll Raghu hears about this deal: 1,000 rally against CSU pay packages:
More than 1,000 students and faculty from California State University campuses rallied Wednesday to protest a controversial pay package that keeps some former CSU executives on the payroll for an extra year, even after they take other jobs.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gloomy

I left for school this morning at about 9:00 a.m. It was pretty gloomy, boy.


I took a snap of the Irvine Ranch Water District pumping facility across the street from IVC. It's where the IRWD is trying to deal with the military-caused volatile organic compound contamination in the groundwater maybe 1000 feet beneath the campus. I believe that, these days, IRWD is trying to push the plume of toxicity eastward, away from the aquifer that supplies, or that will supply, drinking water.

Eventually, the site will house a purification plant. They've been pretty busy over there lately, so maybe it's already there. (See The Irvine "Desalter" Project)

Did you read Saturday's OC Register article about PCB-laden fish found in OC water bodies? Not good. It's amazing what we put up with. Or what we try not to know.

I tell my students, "There's groundwater beneath us, you know. It's contaminated with toxic chemicals. They're trying to clean it up. It'll take decades."

Students stare. Their faces say: "No, that can't be true. We've never heard that. That's false.

Why do you hate America?"


At about 11:00, someone told me that there was some hubbub in the parking lot out toward the bookstore. Someone said they heard an ambulance. Something serious was happening.

I stayed put. I had lots to do. Stuff happens. Staring at it won't help.

Earlier, a friend insisted that, on my way to my 12:30 class, I stop by her classroom in A300 to take pictures of the trash that seems to persist there. On the way to the room, I noticed more hubbub over in the parking lot. I didn't ask anyone what it was about. Someone was hurt, I guessed. The usual suspects were out there. They seemed to have things well in hand. I saw a cop tramping through a planter. I saw yellow tape.

Sure enough, the friend's room was pretty messy. I took these snaps.




I told the friend that the room looked pretty bad, but I'd seen worse. At IVC, there's nothing special about trash on the floor, spilling from baskets. The floor is scuffed. Dust collects. Grime forms. Instructors and deans complain. Nothing happens. Or things happen only when they complain.

Ten years ago, the campus was clean. Things worked.

Then, thanks to corrupt unionists and trustees, Mathur became President. Everything got F-ed up. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. One hand washes the other. Disloyalty will not be tolerated. I'm not going anywhere. Hey, now I'm the Chancellor!

I headed to my classroom, in A400, and, when I entered it, I realized that, trash-wise, it was worse than my friend's. I walked around the room, inspecting the elements of trashulosity.

I guess you get used to it. I said that. Students stared at me.

After class, I headed over to A100 for a meeting, but I realized that it wouldn't start for another ten minutes. So I asked Ms. C about the hubbub. She said that a student was found dead in his car. She didn't seem to know any details. "Maybe an overdose," she said.

After a moment, I said, "That's sad." Silence.

The meeting was odd. We were organizing a holiday party. At one point, I opined that a certain activity that had been planned was, well, undignified. Some regarded me with incomprehension. "Explain that."

I went back to my office.

Eventually, we received an email from IVC President Glenn Roquemore. It explained that a student was found dead in his car, by his father, at about 11:00 a.m. The father had tried unsuccessfully to reach his son by phone. So he came to campus, looking for him.

"There is no evidence of violence or foul play," wrote Glenn. The kid was 21.

A friend dropped by. "This is a bad semester," she said.

At about 5:00, I hooked up with Rebel Girl, and we headed to the parking lot, headed home. Someone told us that we oughta check out B101, if we want to see trash. We dropped by there, and we peered inside. It looked trashy, but not very.

Out at the parking lot, we walked the walk of people who had had a long and strange day.

Someone accosted us. We turned around.

"Thanks, you guys," she said, from a distance.

We spun around.

(See also

Huntington Beach toxic dump fiasco in this morning's OC Reg

Are College Students Techno-Idiots? in Inside Higher Ed.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Night Dean Chronicles

AS some of you know, department chairs serve as “night dean” one evening every semester. For that evening, the ND holds all the power of the college in her hands. You know, the football, the red phone to the Kremlin, keys to Glenn’s office so the night dean can swivel in his chair, a sidearm for personal use, a private Cushman to tool around the grounds in, the presidential Seadoo to cruise the Gensler Lagoon. Being night dean is sort of like being lieutenant governor. Rebel Girl looked around for special orders to sign in during this evening’s power vacuum but found none, alas.

Rebel Girl knows she should use this time to grade papers, review applications in the adjunct pool, clear her desk and revise curriculum but she has been going all day and simply doesn’t have it in her. So she orders a medium size Moroccan pizza (baked eggplant, pesto, feta, pine nuts & mozzarella) from Z-Pizza and pops a lemon Snapple. She’s feeling particularly flush since she (and the other two chairs in her school) finally got paid! A check appeared in her mailbox, made out from the district's "Revolving Cash Fund" account. However, the amount of her check is puzzling and leaves her to wonder just how much she isn’t getting paid. Still, she’ll shut up and deposit it. She'll sit on the "Revolving Cash Fund" and rotate. She'll pay her property tax. And if anyone could help her figure out the compensation package, she would appreciate it.

6:00: My reign begins quietly with no fanfare at all. I look down at the slip of paper that Cathy at the front desk has provided me. It lists the extension for the campus police radio and the switchboard.

6:15: Distant colleague warns to watch for the famous IVC ghost: the spirit of excellence, dead these ten years. It occasionally returns to animate appliances and inspire paper jams.

6:45: Heightened activity at Xerox machine as 7:00 class start time nears. The mood is good. No paper jams.

7:40: Inquiry regarding location of adjunct professor mailbox. Parties directed to file cabinets adjacent to faculty office area.

7:54: Desultory patrol of A-200 hallway reveals a small oscillating fan purring in A241. Since the door is open and the lights are off and the fan seems to be cooling no one and nothing, night dean switches off the fan.

8:00: On the re-broadcast of Talk of the Nation, Lynn Neary interviews Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and George Packer (author of Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq) about the new politics of Iraq. Phased withdrawal? Phased redeployment? Civil war? Sectarian violence? Power vacuum? A new way into a new policy? Common ground?

8:35: Unexpected noise in the hallway inspires night dean to peek out of her office. She sees her H& L colleague with a bright yellow backpack. He appears to be leaving the premises. She waves. He waves back.


8:41: Lynn Neary wants to know: Does a candidate’s race or gender create complications for voters? In other words, Obama or Hillary? Who wouldn’t you vote for first? Last? To what degree are gender and race assets? To what degree liabilities?

8:46: Did Rebel Girl mention that Chunk bought her the terrific radio she listens to in the office? What would she do without him?

8:47: Virginia calls from Grass Valley CA to say she resents the whole discussion. She thinks of people as people. She thinks the media is promoting this thought process that divides America.

8:52: A quick patrol of the A-200 hallways reveals heightened activity at the Xerox machine. With her newly acquired room usage awareness, Rebel Girl is interested to see if indeed all the rooms are being used—indeed, all rooms in A-200 are full, with the inexplicable exception of A-205, which is already dark. In the honors lounge, a student stands behind the couch and plays with the pillows. Rebel Girl wonders if the faculty lounge will ever have comparable furnishings. She feels slightly ashamed at her envy, her pettiness.

8:58: Lynn Neary claims to be in Washington. Support for NPR from Abbott Cheese.

9:00: Coffee cart seems to be closing.

9:05: Rebel Girl leaves her home number at the front desk. There are three pieces of pizza left.

Education news

In this morning's New York Times: Big Givers Turn To Poorly Financed Community Colleges

"E-learning” positivity from yesterday's Inside Higher Ed

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Eck-a-lec-tic


WILL FERRELL KNOWS IRVINE
In today’s New York Times (A Wild and Uncrazy Guy), Will Ferrell is quoted as saying
“I have a love of suburban, lame white people.”
—Ferrell was raised in Irvine, CA, “a middle-class Republican community.” You got that right.
“I’ve actually had people say to me, ‘Thanks a lot for Bush,’ as if I helped him win the election. Luckily, no one has said that in a while. But I can’t help the fact that people in America seem to not mind stupidity.”
—Some have complained that Ferrell’s vaguely affectionate portrayal of Bush on SNL pushed the Texan over the top in 2000. Ferrell has repeatedly turned down White House requests to appear with W, fearing the appearance would be used to promote Bush.

THREE SHAKESPEARES AND A SIDE OF CAMUS
"I said I was looking for a book to read, Laura said you ought to try Camus. I also read three Shakespeares. ... I've got a eck-a-lec-tic reading list."
—George W. Bush, interview with NBC's Brian Williams


THE GLASS KEY

One thing about today's Orange County: it’s a throwback to an earlier time, when a small group of nasty men could control, well, lots of stuff. Ever read (1931) or see (1942) The Glass Key? Hammett shoulda called it The OC.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Orange County’s most powerful citizen is Michael Schroeder, formerly the chair of the state GOP. He’s a very close pal of Tom Fuentes, and he hangs with Adam Probolsky, a pollster, and Jon Fleischman.

Schroeder and his crew get their way in the county GOP, by hook or by crook. (Mostly by crook.) They seem to get their way in the county, too.

Schroeder’s the close advisor to CORRUPT OC DA Tony Rackauckas. He’s also the close advisor to CORRUPT OC Sheriff Michael Carona.

Until recently, Schroeder pal Jon Fleischman was Carona’s spokesman.

Naturally, Mike’s wife, Susan Kang Schroeder, is the DA Office’s spokesperson. (She started out as an obscure city attorney in Anaheim, home of Pluto.)

Schroeder’s dog, Alf, heads the Santiago Canyon Water District.

It’s amazing.

Which reminds me: did you know that…
In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan, at the height of its influence and popularity, decided to make Anaheim a model Klan city. In 1924, the Klan secretly managed to get four of its members elected to the five-member Board of Trustees. Nine of the ten members of the police force were also Klansmen. The four Klan trustees served for nearly a year, until they were publicly exposed, and voted out in a recall election in which 95% of the population participated. (Wikipedia)
FROM THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED BOOK, “I GATHER MATHUR BLATHER”
“We need to abandon the euphoria of the past and ‘move on’ to build a better system for all of us.”
—[then] IVC President Raghu P. Mathur, 12/13/98
“I...invite each one of you to...be thankful for [what] we have and what we don’t have....”
—[then] IVC President Raghu P. Mathur, 12/13/98
“I have God on my side.”
—Reportedly uttered by [then] IVC President Raghu P. Mathur, May, 1998, during a meeting with senate officers

AT LEAST THEY'RE PLEDGING TO TEXAS, AND NOT TO A FLAG

According to Wikipedia, the state of Texas has its own pledge of allegiance:
Honor the Texas flag [of 1836]; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.
Says Wiki, “the pledge [as it appears above] was instituted by the Texas Legislature in 1933….”

The Texas flag of 1836 was the flag of the Republic of Texas--the state of Texas did not come into being until 1845--and it was replaced by a 2nd flag in 1838. That 2nd flag became the State flag seven years later.

Hence, starting in 1933, Texans were in fact pledging to the flag, not of the state, but of the earlier slavery-lovin' "Republic" of Texas.

Texans, not known for intelligence, did not discover their error until 1965. The phrase “of 1836” was then deleted.

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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