Saturday, February 9, 2008

“One Love, One Heart”: Reagan/Marley ‘08

WRITTEN BY RED EMMA (and posted by Chunk)
.....I got a laugh out of my Dissent editor when I proposed manufacturing a bumper sticker advertising this unlikely ticket, and he asked me to share with Dissenters because both of us are all about sharing the love. One love. Or, if you prefer, the luv.
.....Ronald Reagan and Bob Marley are both dead, which makes them ideal presidential candidates, even Kennedy-esque. Weirdly, their birthdays were the day after SuperDuper Tuesday, noted on the radio even as we were offered a preview of the big match-up: Audacity of Hope vs. the Hundred Years War. The liberal NPR “Morning Edition” chose to remind listeners of the Gipper’s big day (1911) while the radical weirdos at KPFK celebrated the Rastaman’s (1945). More, perhaps, of the funny dichotomy of our political moment, which requires us to choose sides.
.....Remember, once, when you were either a fan of the Beatles, those charming and adorable moptops, or a fan of the Stones, the street-fighting Satanists? That’s how voters make their choices, or are offered them, so that my own reductio ad absurdum political pair-up echoes I think quite modestly the symbolic excitement drummed up by the horse-race media and, more to the point, the corporate owners who are the singular beneficiaries of hustling “change,” “hope,” “pride,” “the future,” or whatever other useless psycho-spiritual commodity is for sale this season. Think $100 million in ad revenues.
.....But, to the big point (because Red does have one): Reagan, the former wax museum president, should be poster boy for the biggest transfer in history of public wealth into private hands, Star Wars, invading itty-bitty countries, firing trade unionists, murderizing thousands in Central America, destroying public education. But, no, he is perpetually avuncular, jolly, strong, wise and patriotic.
.....Bob the Rastafarian died of brain cancer, smoked a lot of dope, fathered about 20 children, went to Zimbabwe to celebrate Pan-Africanism, seemed to support a Socialist Jamaica, but mostly worshipped a dead Ethiopian monarch and wrote a whole lot of freedom songs. (As a former South County waterman, I spent a lot of time with white, ganja-smoking OC surfers who loved Bob Marley and his music, play it constantly but, interestingly, vote Republican and hate black people.)
.....So, yes, Reagan, the Great Communicator with nothing to say except taxes are bad, the jingoist iron fist in the iron glove, embraced by right-wing religionists who hate women. And Bob, the dreamy Black artist-musician humanitarian whose songs, intrinsically political, transcend politics and whose “One Love” will no doubt be played at the next Republican convention, if it hasn’t been already.
.....Bookends, it seems to me, and an ideal ticket, not even trying to reconcile the choice we are offered between McCain and Obama but, My Friends, embracing it! Why settle for either the current old man Viet Nam war criminal on his zombiesque anti-historical death march (clearly, he is just fucking mental, poor guy) or the all-things-to-all people cipher whose ambiguous hot air of hope “transcends” race, sex, politics, civil rights (in other words, history).
.....One is never, ever, not even once asked to account for dropping bombs on civilians from a big fat American plane. The other is never asked what he will do, exactly, with the garrison state, Star Wars, the corporations, James Dobson and Newt because that would mean he might be fighting a class war. So: “Let’s get together and feel alright!” No, my ticket, Fellow Americans, has something for everybody, and all of it symbolic and therefore sell-able, a real consensus.
.....To misquote Mother Mary Harris Jones: Vote for the dead, and pray like hell for the living.

"I Guaran-damn-tee it"

Here’s the latest on Irvine Valley College’s “Hometown Hero,” Mike Carona—transcripts of wiretaps:

• OC REG: Feds file wiretap transcript they say shows Carona plotting testimony:
"Whatever we did, as long as our stories are straight, I'm OK, as long as I know there's no trail anywhere," Haidl told Carona, according to the transcript.

Carona replied, "No trail anywhere," the transcript said.

When Haidl needs further assurance, Carona added, "Period. Period. In fact, not even close to being a trail."
•LA TIMES: Transcripts of secret Carona tapes released:
"On my end, nothing's traceable. It's hidden," Haidl tells Carona, explaining that money he had given Carona had come from a private safe.

"Well, on my end of it, completely untraceable, completely untraceable," Carona responds.

"So we're going to be . . . facing these guys at some point, I believe," Haidl says, referring to federal authorities.

"Oh, I guarantee it," Carona responds. "Guaran-damn-tee it."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The IVC Accreditation letter arrives and it's a doozy

.....The ACCJC's action letter, explaining the agency's latest determination regarding IVC's accreditation, arrived on campus yesterday, and it once again tags the college for the problems identified the last time around: trustee micromanagement, a plague of despair, unclear roles and responsibilities for governance groups, etc.
.....Evidently, we are required to submit yet another report in October.
.....None of this is surprising. What IS surprising is that, apparently, we are now in danger of losing our accreditation.

.....Both letters are now available at the college websites. For IVC's letter, see Jan. 31 ACCJC letter -- a pdf file. (For Saddleback College's very similar letter, go to Saddleback College ACCJC letter.)

.....The letter states:
.....The ACCJC, WASC, at its meeting on January 9-11, 2008, reviewed the Focused Midterm Reports submitted by IVC....

.....The Commission took action to accept the Focused Midterm Report with the requirement that the college complete a Progress Report...[to] be submitted by October 15, 2008.

.....I also wish to inform you that under US DOE regulations, institutions out of compliance with standards or on sanction are expected to correct deficiencies within a two-year period or the Commission must take action to terminate accreditation. [!]

.....Irvine Valley College must correct the deficiencies noted by January 2009. The recommendations below represent deficiencies that were first noted by the Commission in January 2005 (as a result of the Oct. 2004 comprehensive evaluation team), and therefore IVC has exceeded the two years permitted to resolve deficiencies.

.....The Commission has extended the time permitted for good cause because the college and the district have done significant work and have sought and received advice from expert consultants....
The letter again repeats Recommendations 6, 7, and 8: the ACCJC recommends...
6: The Board of Trustees cease involvement in college and district operations....

7: The Board..., District leadership and College leadership define, publish, adhere to, regularly evaluate, and continuously improve the respective leadership roles and scopes of authority of college and district constituent groups....

8: The Board of Trustees, chancellor, president, administrators, managers, faculty senates and unions, classified senates and unions, and students come together and take measures to reduce the hostility, cynicism, despair, and fear that continue to plague the college.

.....So we've got trouble.

.....Our board of trustees has a history of displaying contempt for the ACCJC, and now we're paying the price, I guess. For some of that contempt--especially concerning the charge of board micromanagement, which reaches back to 1997!--check out the video below. Pay especially close attention to Mr. Fuentes' bullying of the student trustee toward the end of the video.

.....For the ACCJC's recent institutional actions, go to: ACCJC actions.


Over the Rainbow

Thousands of people turned out at the Del Mar Fairgrounds yesterday to urge the Coastal Comission to reject the extension of the 241 toll road -and you know what? - they did! The Commission voted 8-2 after a 14 hour hearing.

Read all about it here in the OC Register.

We're on a roll, folks.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Old documents provoke reverie

.....I happened upon some old documents today, and they provoked special memories.
.....Remember when then-IVC President Mathur joined his Board Majority patrons in deploring the practice of reassigned time? (For those not in the know, reassigned time is an instructor's taking on non-teaching duties—e.g., chairing a department or penning an accreditation self-study—in place of part of his/her normal teaching "time.") That was back in the late 90s. Ten years later, Raghu is still pretty down on reassigned time, as you know.
.....And do you recall the enthusiasm with which Chancellor Mathur helped his trustee patrons determine how many fiendish faculty were members of the "one hundred thousand dollar club"? Gosh, I do. That wasn't so very long ago.

.....Well, today, I happened upon district salary records from 95-96 and 96-97. According to those records, for 95-96, Mathur, then a lowly Chemistry instructor, was the third highest paid faculty member in the district, making $118,312.
.....For 96-97, Raghu was again the third highest paid instructor in the district, this time making a cool $123,305. —That's right. Mr. Goo was in the friggin' hundred twenty thousand dollar club! And that was more than a decade ago!
.....Did Raghu have any reassigned time? Well, I can't say. On the other hand, everybody knows that he held on to that "School Chair" job like a dog with a bone. And some chairs of little schools who saw themselves as especially hard-working received 80% reassigned time, know what I mean?
.....Golly! I do believe he suffered a slight cut in pay when he became IVC President!
.....But don't worry about our Goo. He now makes about $300,000.

Lambrose Canyon/Live Oak Canyon, earlier today

Construction at IVC: moving right along!

92 goes down

In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed: Californians Reject Community College Measure:
California voters on Tuesday rejected — by a wide margin — a controversial measure that would have set aside a specific share of state appropriations for community colleges and cut tuition at two-year institutions.

With more than 60 percent of precincts reporting, the measure was attracting only about 41 percent of the vote.

“Obviously, we are disappointed by the decision of California’s voters,” Scott Lay, president and chief executive officer of the Community College League of California, which worked on behalf of the measure, said via e-mail early this morning. California’s deteriorating budget outlook hurt the effort, he said.

…Proposition 92, as the measure is called, is the latest in a series of California ballot questions designed to shape how the state spends its funds. Supporters of these measures (as was the case with this one) cite the importance of setting aside a share of the state budget for particularly crucial agencies or services. But critics see the measures hurting other, equally vital state services (including much of higher education) by making everything not covered by a special measure compete for a smaller and smaller slice of the budget pie. Because much of the state budget in California (as elsewhere) is set aside for required spending, higher education tends to be particularly fearful of the impact of more budget set-asides — however worthy the set-aside.

As a result of these tensions, Proposition 92 won the backing of many community college advocates, but was opposed by many public university leaders.

Supporters of the measure noted that California’s community college system — the nation’s largest higher education system — served many low-income, minority students who can be discouraged from enrolling by large classes, closed sections and even seemingly modest tuition increases. Supporters provided plenty of stories — not contested by others in higher education — of the need for more state support and more stable state support for community colleges.

But critics — within higher education and elsewhere — focused on the impact the measure would have had on the rest of the state budget. A resolution from the University of California Board of Regents, for example, expressed strong support for the mission of community colleges, but opposed Proposition 92.

“Proposition 92 requires more state funding and reduces student fees for one segment of higher education without regard to the needs of all of higher education. Since it does not create or identify any new revenue sources, unprotected state programs such as UC and CSU would be competing for a smaller share of available general funds,” the resolution said. “Passage of Proposition 92 could result in a reduction in the university’s state-funded budget, which in turn could result in an erosion of university programs and services. It would limit fee increases for one segment of higher education while potentially increasing pressure to raise fees even further at UC and CSU to make up for unavailable general funds.”
Bruce Benson, the only finalist named by the University of Colorado Board of Regents to become system president, is facing tough questions — and a vandal — on the Boulder campus. The Rocky Mountain News reported on an open forum at which Benson, a career energy industry executive whose highest degree is a bachelor’s, was grilled by students and faculty members. He was asked about his lack of an advanced degree (he said he would leave academic decisions to campuses), whether he believes in climate change (he promised not to interfere in research), his Republican ties (he pledged to work only on behalf of the university), his DUI (he said it was a long time ago and he took responsibility) and his donation to a legal defense fund for former Sen. Bob Packwood, who faced sexual harassment charges (he said everyone deserves a defense). Also this week, a painting of Benson in a geology building named for him was defaced. Someone wrote on it: “I’ve given CU enough $ for an individual right-wing nut like me to be CU’s president.
McCain, not Romney

From this morning’s OC Reg: GOP: an untidy contest:
… “I can’t remember an election where conservatives were so intently confused about the right direction to go,’’ said former Lincoln Club Chairman Michael Capaldi. He waited until the last minute to choose who he would vote for. He went with John McCain.

…Capaldi, like many conservatives, has had a lot of problems with McCain over the years…“It seems like he’s left the reservation and now he wants to come back,’’ Capaldi said of the Arizonasenator. “And I’m willing to give him a chance.’’

…The mainline leadership of the Orange County GOP – Chairman Scott Baugh, former Chairman Michael Schroeder, Rep. John Campbell and most recently Rep. Dana Rohrabacher – lined up behind Romney.

…The question often asked – in an election season in which Democrats have outraised Republicans nationally and the pundits all say the GOP lacks passion for this race – is whether Republicans will get energized for the fall election.

…Romney’s California chairman Michael Schroeder isn’t so sure either Clinton or Obama will be enough to motivate conservative Republicans here if Romney doesn’t capture the nomination.

…Marianne Zippi may be one of the Republicans McCain needs to convince. She voted for Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. Zippi prefers Romney over McCain, who she called a “loose cannon.’’

"To me, voting for McCain would be the same as voting for Obama or Clinton, so I have no idea (if I'd vote for him). I'd have to wait and see."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Election Night at our Home

Still many to be decided.

Rebel Girl's Father Phones In

.....MODJESKA CANYON: It's 2:15 on Super Tuesday and Rebel Girl's father has already telephoned her to inform her that her vote for Obama (he knew, he said, that she voted for Obama without having to ask) was naive.
.....He has, he reminded her, lived longer than she has and has seen more things.
.....This is true. He was born in 1927, the youngest son of Juan and Teresa, two immigrants from Mexico, and grew up in Los Angeles. He served in WW II as a teenager, came home and went back to high school for his diploma (back then you had to sit in classes with the high school students in order to matriculate, no special classes or equivalency tests). He then applied for a job with LA City Fire Department and was denied on the basis of the physical given him by the department's doctor. His health was good enough to go to war but not to fight fires in his hometown. He had to fight the doctor and the department and, in the end, he prevailed. Rebel Girl's father doesn't use the word "racism" often, but he uses it when he recalls this incident. He became one of the first Mexican-American firefighters in the department and when he retired a few years back, he was the oldest active duty firefighter at age 74. His health, once judged so poor, had apparently held out. Yet among his defining experiences were the four decades he spent in firehouses and what he saw there among men (it was mostly men in his days) who were supposed to be brothers.

....."There is no way," Rebel Girl's father said this afternoon, "that this country will elect a black man president." It saddens him, he said. He worries that Americans won't elect a woman either, but he doesn't worry about that as much.
.....He liked his daughter's optimism but he doesn't share it. "I have lived," he said. "I have seen things. Change doesn't come as quickly as you'd like." Then suddenly his tone changed. Maybe he remembered he was talking to his daughter. "But, I don't want you to be discouraged," he said. "I don't want you to be disappointed. That's just the way it is."
.....He sounded tender, full of regret.
.....Rebel Girl's father, of course, like most parents perhaps, is unaware of the depths of his own child's experience, doesn't perhaps spend too much time measuring what she may or may not know about disappointment or defeat. There's a level of naivete there as well and hope, of course.

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "no false patriotic wreath"

A little poetry for Super Tuesday. Oh yes, you can tell, it's getting to Rebel Girl. Don't worry, she is used to losing, even expects it -- but what she is unaccustomed to is all this damn hope that keeps following her around, hope from unexpected quarters. She prides herself on being resistant to such appeals. Something's happened. What?

Today's poem is long but Rebel Girl is confident that your attention span can carry you to the end.

You do want to get to the end, that final stanza. Really. Written by Langston Hughes in 1938:

Let America Be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

(Jasper Johns on the paintbrush.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Obama fever!

.....Call me crazy, but I think I feel the ground moving under me. All of a sudden, things are shifting, and, for once, the change is good!
.....Maybe I'm wrong--about Obama fever. We'll soon find out.
.....But it sure was a beautiful day today! Clean air, big clouds! Took these shots a couple of hours ago driving home from work: Saddleback Mountain, from my place and from Lake Forest.

.....Don't forget to vote!
.....And, uh...YES WE CAN!

Yes We Can

Rebel Girl has already voted - lots of no's (No! No! No! No! No! No! - she's like that)and one big YES.

Here's some music for you all to vote by. I know we're not the prime audience for this thing 'cause Rebel Girl recognized only one of the muscians. Still, rock out.

Rebel Girl suspects that Chunk will dislike this video but she posts its anyway knowing that it is their aesthetic differences that make this blog the fairest blog in all the land.


8-14: do you regret all the lying?

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

Goals and Values and Twaddle

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

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

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

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

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

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary