Saturday, July 7, 2007

Demolishing the reminders

THIS MORNING'S OC Register offers a typically chirpy story about the Demolition of the defunct El Toro Marine Base

Now, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a positive guy, and I’ve been boosting and celebrating the Great Park project, which is slowly supplanting the base with all manner of eco-friendly whiz-bangery (to be surrounded by more housing developments—d'oh!).

I’ve been boosting ATEP, too, which is our district’s development of about 60 acres of the old Tustin Helicopter Station, home of those enormous and supremely cool blimp hangers that manage simultaneously to be in the middle of OC and in the middle of nowhere.

Well, anyway, the Reg chirps that

Every week another building falls at the old El Toro Marine Corps air base. Offices, barracks and homes all are appearing again in piles of wood, concrete, doors, windows and more to be recycled…The Lennar Corp. has been demolishing some of the buildings, trees, asphalt and concrete on its property that surrounds the future Great Park….

As though tearing things down were the most wonderful thing a body could do, the Reg gushes forth with: “Here is what Lennar has demolished as of June’s end[!]….” It then lists over 1,000 structures.

THIS OLD HOUSE

Now, I’ve got mixed feeling about some of this demolition because I love history and I love old buildings and I especially love old buildings with history. I mean, I always feel like hugging them or something.

That’s why, twenty years ago, Kathie and I bought a “historic” house in old town Orange. That was great until I asked my crazy brother Ray to “retrofit” the place, earthquakewise, and he crawled under there and started laughing, and I said, “what’s so funny?”—and Ray, being Ray, wouldn’t tell me, he just laughed, only harder. And he crawled out from under there and finally said, “Man, your house isn’t even attached to this dumb-ass foundation! In an earthquake, your place will just bounce down the street and fall into the Orange Plunge!”

Har har, very funny, I said. But Ray loved to laugh at things, and he was on a roll. He pointed to the roof. “What’s that?” he asked.

“The friggin’ roof,” I said.

“No, I mean, what’s up there?”

That old house, built in 1903, had a skinny, haunted-house kind of chimney poking out of the middle of its roof. It was way cool.

“You’ve got a chimney,” said Ray, but there are no bricks under your house!” He beamed at me.

It took me about a second to process the brick factoid. Then we busted out with hearty peals of laughter. —They had built the chimney on top of the floor, which hovered three or four feet above the earth to which this house was not particularly attached.

That meant that, in an earthquake, the chimney would be free to rip around like a lead ball in a birthday cake.

Ever been to Angelo’s and Vinci’s Ristorante in downtown Fullerton? When it comes to extremely cool old deathtraps, it doesn’t get much better than that. Going there is like munching on a pizza while skydiving in John Wilkes Booth’s suit. (No doubt it's been properly retrofitted, but c'mon.)

Orange County has lots of wonderful old structures, but they're disappearing. And most people don't seem to care about that. Most people are idiots, I say.

COOL MILITARY STRUCTURES

They’re probably death traps, but you’ve gotta love some of those old buildings at the Tustin Base and El Toro. A couple of days ago, I took some snaps of this one:


I don’t know what it was—some kind of hanger—but it’s absolutely fabulous. No doubt, they’re just gonna rip it down, and that’s too bad.

Above: chapel on ATEP property (Tustin Helicopter Station).

NEGATIVITY

OK, BUT HERE'S THE THING. When it comes to these old Marine facilities, people never seem to say what needs saying, in my opinion. It’s this: the conditions that these Marines live and work in are squalid.

Well, maybe not squalid, but consistently shoddy, ugly, and substandard.

I taught out at the base about twenty years ago, and I recall that the building I was assigned to was old, but not in a cool way. It was dusty, ugly, poorly designed, and badly maintained. There was no AC—OK, I get it, Marines are tough—but there was no ventilation either. Everybody sweated profusely in the thick, still air.

I kept expecting some gal to pop her head through the door asking somebody if they'd bust up her chifforobe.

I recall fanning myself, saying, "Man, it's hot in here." The Marines would just stare. I expected a private to ask, “How come they put us in this shitty room?” But nobody ever said that. They were used to shittitude.

Years ago, I drove by the officer housing against the hills along Trabuco Road, and I used to think, “Jeez, if this is where they keep the officers, they must keep the grunts in total shitboxes.” I would look over at what appeared to be basic Marine housing, and, sure enough, I saw seriously cheap apartment buildings, surrounded by dirt, pounded by the sun.

Somebody told me once that those cheap apartment buildings were a a big step up from what they replaced. Old quanset huts, I guess.

PICS

Well, a couple of days ago, I took some pics of Marine housing too:

This appears to be family housing. It probably looked better ten years ago. Still, it's undeniably minimal. Strictly cheapy.

To the right, we see typical Marine apartments. Obviously, made on the cheap, cheap, cheap.

The credit union was in this permanently temporary shitbox:


Clearly, at one point, this old theater was remodeled, using cheap, inappropriate, ugly stucko.


I know: nothing new here. We treat our soldiers and veterans like crap. So what else is new?

Yeah, but at least let’s be honest about it. Let's not act like it isn’t right there in front of us, as plain as day.

No doubt, everyone will be relieved when the evidence of our never-ending shittiness is entirely hauled away, replaced by a beautiful New Agey park.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Presidential chutzpah!

A FRIEND sent me this Sac Bee article about the recent resignation of the President of Lassen College, Homer Cissell—an entertainingly corrupt fellow, it seems.

My friend writes: “some leaders know when to quit.” No doubt, she was alluding to one of the many deficiencies of SOCCCD's "leader," namely, Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur, whom our board seems determined to support no matter what he does or fails to do.

According to the Sacramento Bee,
Homer Cissell, president of Lassen Community College since 2002, resigned Thursday in the midst of a crisis that includes academic probation, declining enrollment and a projected deficit of more than $1 million.

…The college with about 1,600 full-time students has been on academic probation since January, when an accreditation commission found "a pathological college culture" and a power struggle that "has crippled the college governance structure."

Last month, critics of the college administration launched a campaign to oust four members of the governing board.

Citing a 20 percent drop in enrollment, financial deficits and "a failed administration," the recall committee targeted the four trustees who have "consistently supported Cissell without question," said Carole Hack, one of the recall proponents.

…A native of Illinois, Cissell had 25 years of college teaching and administrative experience when he arrived on the Lassen College campus near Susanville. The college had 2,600 full-time students and had just learned that its accreditation had been reinstated after six years on academic probation.

…Cissell said one of his proudest accomplishments is obtaining $1.8 million in grants for a campus computer system that will allow students to register, add and drop classes and pay bills online.

But his Lassen legacy also includes a faculty vote of no confidence, a class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination, and a 2006 grand jury report citing several incidents involving abuse of power by Cissell.

A state attorney general review of the grand jury allegations found Cissell's actions "somewhat unorthodox" but not illegal….
(My emphases throughout.)
Naturally, one wants to know more about these “unorthodox” but “not illegal” actions.

According to a year-old Chronicle article (which refers to an article in the Lassen County News),
the jury found that the president, Homer L. Cissell Jr., arranged to be the only student in a carpentry course one of whose objectives was to remodel a barn where he keeps two horses.
Wow. Homer L. Cissell, we wish you well!

See also China sentences official to death for corruption

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A straw hat, a kingly wave

"Man is a military animal, glories in gunpowder, and loves parade."

—Philip James Bailey

AS YOU KNOW, parades are stupid. No intelligent person who witnesses a parade is not stunned and amazed by its inanity.

That doesn't mean he or she can't enjoy it.

In the 17th Century, the word “parade” meant an “ostentatious display.” (My, how vulgar.) Pretty soon, the word could be used to refer to the “assembling or mustering of troops for inspection or display, esp. at set hours.” (Oxford English Dictionary)

Not long after its appearance, the word started to refer to ostentation or raw power on the move. (Doubly vulgar!)

That’s our word.

Now, it is true that there was a time, not so long ago, when one could present something impressive to a multitude only by parading it in front of them. For instance, when I was a child, I, and millions of others, could see the Queen of England in the flesh only because she zipped by us in a motorcade. I remember her as a flash of pink, a gloved hand.

Nowadays, of course, they could tie the Queen to the end of a rope and fly her around from city to city, pleasing millions more.

And yet, still, we have parades!


AN UNSAVORY THING

Let’s face it, parades arose from and with vulgarity, and vulgarity attends them still. In fact, there is little about parades that isn’t embarrassing and even unwholesome.

Think about it: If you had to work with one of two people, and one of ‘em loves parades while the other hates ‘em, who are you gonna pick? Well, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

And who would want to be IN a friggin’ parade? No doubt, most paraders parade involuntarily. You can’t blame ‘em for their ostentation. I get that.

But what about paraders who seek being objects of vulgar paradery? You know the sort I’m talking about.

And what about those who do that year after year, without fail? Every time you look up, there they are again, waving at the multitude!

Why, they’re narcissistic rat bastards. Obviously.

LEPRECHAUN

Years ago, I was at a colleague’s home for dinner. He told a story of coming across the yearly Lake Forest parade (it had a different name then). He couldn’t avoid it, cuz he lived there then.

At one point, to his surprise, he observed Raghu P. Mathur in the goddam parade! That's right, Raghu P. Mathur.

According to my friend’s story—I might have the details wrong—Mathur was waving to the crowd from a car while dressed as a leprechaun!

That’s another thing about parades. There’s no dignity in them, especially for participants.

Dignity-wise, willing participants may as well stick a flag pole where the sun doesn’t shine. It’s bad enough wanting to be seen by multitudes—“I am important. Behold me.”—but wanting to be seen by multitudes while wearing some stupid hat or costume? Now, that’s just sicko.

At the time, Mathur was a lowly chemistry teacher at Irvine Valley College, but, by hook or by crook, he had snagged a seat on a local school board, and so he counted as a local “official.” Hence, his paradery.

By 1997, again by hook or by crook (crook), Mathur managed to situate himself as interim president of Irvine Valley College. Thanks to the SOCCCD board’s indifference to the law, a few months later, Mathur was appointed permanent president.

Rumors began to fly that the fellow was back in the parade.

In 2001, after Mathur had received two massive votes of “no confidence,” the board naturally decided to make Mathur Chancellor of the entire district.

The rumors continued.

HUCK FRIGGIN' FINN

Last year, we reported that Mathur was again spotted in the Lake Forest parade. According to our source, sitting next to him was Thomas Fuentes, a notoriously ruthless and disagreeable fellow with a broad “I hate you” smile. I can see why somebody might want to take a gander at that guy. It’s like seeing a famous criminal.

Yesterday, the source wrote me a quick email. He offered a riddle:

Where can you find six llamas, some Scottish bagpipers, a shiny OC Waste Management truck (complete with a precision drill team, rolling shiny trash containers), Thomas Fuentes, and Raghu P. Mathur?

He had witnessed the annual Lake Forest 4th of July parade!

I asked him for details. He wrote back:

I never expect to see them, so it is always a bit of a shock. Last year they were on top of the back seat of a convertible and Oscar and I were waving like idiots because it didn't register who they were until they were upon us! I still have nightmares.

This year they sat down in the back of a Cadillac. I spotted them earlier this time, so I was able to smack down Oscar’s wildly waving arm before they got to us. (Poor Oscar.) Raghu donned a straw hat and waved a kingly wave. Tom, hatless but unfortunately not headless, waved hugely and yelled “Happy 4th of July” to everyone.

I felt a chill. Had Oscar and I remained on the other side of the street, where we had just been, our faces would have been about five feet from these two. Yikes!


Straw hat?! A friggin' straw hat!? ■

See also
Tom and Raghu poop on our parade
Lake Forest parade
Narcissus (Mathur)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hey, Baby!

Young Adam turned three today! Adam's a great kid, a happy kid. Laughs at the drop of a hat.
Whatever happened, I apologize
So dry your tears and baby, walk outside
It's the Fourth of July

On the stairs I smoke a cigarette alone
The Mexican kids are shooting fireworks below
Hey, baby, it's the Fourth of July
—Dave Alvin


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Editing, archiving old family photos

THIS SUMMER, I've already spent about a hundred hours editing, archiving, and digitizing old family photos—prints, slides, and negatives, some of them going back to the 1920s. (I've even got a shot of my grandfather, wearing a Communist uniform in the late 20s.)

¶ In 1951, my dad, an eighteen-year-old German emigrant, showed up on Canadian shores with nothing, really, but his camera, a Kodak Retina, one with a Carl Zeiss lens. He used that camera until the early seventies, when he switched to a Pentax. He seemed to stop taking pictures in about 1990.

But, before then, he took thousands of 'em! Mostly, they're preserved as slides or negatives, in dozens of boxes. Some of those boxes are organized; some of them aren't. Sheesh.

Have you ever scanned photographs? It's like watching paint dry. I expect this to take me a while.

I'm writing some family history, too. (See Chunk's Mom for the beginnings of that project.)

It's late, but something makes me want to share some of these pics.



¶ These first two are from 1952, in eastern Canada (Niagara Falls?). (My grandmother and mother; then my mother.)

¶ The mountain shot is from 1968. That's my dad and my littlest brother ("Dr. Ron"), who, these days, has little kids of his own. He takes them to the Sierra Nevada, too.

¶ The next two pics are from the mid-seventies. The shoreline is between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. Not sure about the desert scene.




I almost never took pictures back then, but, back in '75, I took this shot of Attila the Pup ("Billy"). What a guy!


¶ The next two are from the mid-eighties, when my dad was a director of a local water district. He took lots of trips up north to check out rivers and reservoirs and such. The Mono Lake shot is from a family vacation, apparently.

¶Last: my dad's Retina, which, naturally, I snagged years ago. Still works fine after sixty years!

Have a good Fourth!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Looking at nothing




LAST NIGHT, I looked outside my window and saw the moon, shining bright.

Took my camera out to the balcony. Mr. Moon was an eyeball in the sky. It seemed to look upward, toward empty space.

I took a snap.

I turned around and saw Sunny Girl sitting, silently, on a chair, looking over to the left, looking at nothing.

I hate when she does that.

• • •

Re the price of gas in 1974:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Old oil

THINGS SURE DO CHANGE. I remember the first time I changed the oil on a lawnmower when I was a kid. I asked an adult what I should do with the old oil. “Just dump it into the ground near the garage,” he said.

PICCOLO PETE:

When I was a kid, experimenting with fireworks was a part of growing up, at least around here. I had a big Bangsite cannon that was perfect for shooting marbles across the street into the neighbor's garage door. Did that a lot. Using powder from Red Devil fireworks—sold by a local Boy Scout troop—I used to make “bombs” and blow stuff up in my backyard, too.

Near as I could tell, all my friends were doing similar things. I remember thinking how “safe and sane” I was, compared to them.

I recall that, years later, a friend of mine—a spoiled brat whose dad was the team physician for the “California Angels”—blew up the plumbing in a restroom at Cerro Villa Junior High (in Villa Park). I think he used a Cherry Bomb or an M80. The incident was all hushed up. They had money.

I sure do remember Piccolo Petes. They whistled. Loudly. Reportedly, if you pinched ‘em with a pair of pliers, they’d whistle for a second and then they’d just blow up.

According to this morning’s OC Register, “Earlier this year, Buena Park banned the sale of the popular Piccolo Pete and the Orange County Fire Authority urges residents to abandon personal fireworks parties in favor of taking in one of the many public displays.”

Well, I’ve gotta say, that makes sense. If kids today are anything like I used to be, then they should have zero access to fireworks.

The Reg article is about some knucklehead who dubs himself the “unofficial ‘Fireworks Historian of California.’” The guy builds miniature fireworks stands in his garage and spends the rest of his time carping about increased fireworks restrictions.

The Reg quotes Capt. Stephen Miller of the OCFA: “I've never really understood the Fourth of July in that we teach our children not to play with fire and yet we allow them [to do that] during that day. It just makes no sense."

You are correct, sir.

THE DEAD BARON:

As a kid, I read books. Do kids still do that?

The Reg has an article about the closing of one of the biggest used book stores in California: Book Baron in Anaheim turning the page:

Bob Weinstein is writing the final chapter on his career as a bookseller…He's closing Book Baron in Anaheim, the used bookstore he opened in 1980 and nurtured to its current size of 400,000 books spread over 20,000 square feet….

…The departure of the Book Baron…is part of a nationwide wave of used bookstore closures. In recent years, the ranks of well-established secondhand bookstores that have shut their doors include Gotham Book Mart in Manhattan, Wessex Books in Menlo Park and Black Oak Books' Berkeley branch.

Locally, the venerable Acres of Books in Long Beach, an institution known for its dusty, maze-like corridors of books, is closing its downtown location, which is slated for redevelopment. And what was the oldest used bookstore in Orange County, Apollo Book Shop in Costa Mesa, closed its doors recently.


I remember going to Acres of Books about thirty years ago. I recall thinking: If there’s an earthquake right now, we’re toast. It made Acres special; a portal to a dangerous past, full of unreinforced masonry and lethal shattering windshields.

I still get that special feeling when I go to some of those antique shops in Old Orange. I get it bad when I’m in the basement of one of those places. Sometimes, you hear the creaking of the old wood somewhere above your head. I remember once, in the 80s, hearing some of that and meeting Kathie’s eyes. “Let’s get the fuck out of here,” I said. We nearly ran.

MR. OC ALL-AMERICAN:

In the early seventies, I worked at a Mobil gas station on Fourth Street right along the Newport Freeway. I was just a kid. In those days, gas was like 39 cents a gallon. I don’t recall exactly.

The assistant manager was Mr. Orange County All-American, a former High School football star. Very clean cut. Very straight. The owner, a bit of a redneck, was grooming this kid for big things, gas stationwise.

Once in a while, when things got quiet, Mr. All American would suddenly appear up front with these crazy eyes. He’d say: “Royston [my nickname]! Come to the back!” I’d follow him back there, shambling, just to annoy him. Once I arrived, he’d proceed to pull out a pump action shotgun and shoot twice straight into the air! He'd laugh maniacally. You shoulda seen his eyes.

I’d always say, “Hey, isn’t that dangerous?”

“Shut up, Royston! Go back to the front! And don’t tell Haight!”

That’s right. The owner’s name was Haight.

THE CASE OF THE SYRUPY ANGEL:

One time, when I was in Boy Scouts, we “camped” in O’Neill Park. Two or three of the kids got the harebrained idea of putting molasses into a plastic bag and throwing it at one of the Hell’s Angels as he rode down Live Oak Canyon. They didn’t ask me to join ‘em cuz I was some kind of leader.

I remember those dopes running into camp and diving into their tent. They told me what they did. They were scared shitless. Soon, this big Hell’s Angel (well, that’s the way I remember it) came stomping right at me, demanding to know where those “fuckin’ kids” were. I saw ‘em run “way over there,” I said.

Later, the biker, still dripping molasses, showed up with a cop. We got a lecture.

I’ve gotta say, the Hell’s Angel guy was pretty nice about the whole business. I mean, he didn’t bring any of his friends.

I remember studying the cop’s face. Even he appreciated that.

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