Saturday, March 15, 2008

Remember the "Orange County News Channel"?

Good for you! You get a prize—namely, by clicking the big arrow, you get to watch OCN's coverage of the FROGUE affair (1997-9).


Watch union VP Sharon Macmillan condemn the media and the "extremists" they pay attention to!
It turns out the extremists include both the local Republican and Democratic parties, which, months later, supported the Frogue Recall.
Watch John Williams stand by his man as the fellow presents a stack of very important papers—pumpkin papers, I think.
☺● For those who missed it: here's Teddi Lorch evidently getting all bent out of shape because we put her head on a pterodactyl:



Aside from her association with the Board Majority—and the fact that she's south of competent and that she managed to weasel that job she now has—we've got absolutely nothing against Ms. Lorch. She was never on our radar. So what was all the fuss about? I don't get it.

Plus we always used her high school photo, which is nice. Even on that pterodactyl! Sheesh!

(We fixed the technical snafu. Now it's smooth as silk.)

Sunny Girl on the prowl




FOR FANS OF SUNNY GIRL ONLY:
Sunny & Chunk spend a few minutes together in the blustery weather (Sunday, the 16th)

Some background on the Spellings Commission and its criticism of the college accrediting system

RECOMMENDED READING:

.....The documents below shed light on, among other things, trustee Williams' familiar talking point concerning the accrediting agency and its alleged failures of transparency.
.....Essentially, right-wingers want to dump the DOE in favor of local control, but (say right-wingers) if we've gotta have a DOE, it ought to make colleges focus on "outcomes," especially as this concerns a useful workforce. For these people: Academic Freedom, Schmacademic Freedom.

Spellings Commission Report, 2006 (Warning: this is a pdf file.)
...Accreditation agencies should make performance outcomes, including completion rates and student learning, the core of their assessment as a priority over inputs or processes. A framework that aligns and expands existing accreditation standards should be established to ... allow comparisons among institutions regarding learning outcomes and other performance measures… In addition, this framework should require that the accreditation process be more open and accessible by making the findings of final reviews easily accessible to the public…. (25)
An AAUP review of the Spellings Commission Report. It's brief and it's unimpressed.
...[In the report, A]cademic freedom and democracy do not even warrant discussion. Infringements that have taken place on campuses because of laws such as the Patriot Act are not discussed. The postsecondary institution is seen as having a single function—to transmit skills that equip people for the workforce....
Conservatives v. the very existence of a DoE (Wikipedia)
...President Ronald Reagan promised during the 1980 presidential election to eliminate the Department of Education as a cabinet post…. Throughout the 1980s, the abolition of the Department of Education was a part of the Republican Party platform…. In 1996, the Republican Party made abolition of the Department a cornerstone of their campaign promises, calling it an inappropriate federal intrusion into local, state, and family affairs…. During his 1996 presidential run, Senator Bob Dole promised, "We're going to cut out the Department of Education." …In 2000, the Republican Liberty Caucus passed a resolution to abolish the Department of Education…. 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul has campaigned in part on an opposition to the Department....
The Need for Accreditation Reform (DoE). (Warning: this is a pdf file.) An "issue" paper at the DoE website. It recommends a replacement agency.

Margaret Spellings (Wikipedia)
...Before her appointment to George W. Bush's presidential administration, Spellings was the political director for Bush's first gubernatorial campaign in 1994, and later became a senior advisor to Bush during his term as Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000....
• From Inside Higher Ed: Can You Say NACIQI? (12/5/06)
…Judging from Monday’s meeting of NACIQI (nuh-SEE-kee), the first since Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and the report of her Commission on the Future of Higher Education put major changes in accreditation near the top of their reform agenda, that visibility is likely to turn up the pressure on accreditors and colleges to provide tangible proof that they are educating their students…[S]ome of the reports the panel’s staff prepared for this week’s meeting were perceived as pushing accreditors harder and further on measuring learning outcomes than they have been pushed before. And the one accreditor that had a chance to respond Monday — WASC — was firm in pushing back…The staff report for the Western accreditor found four areas in which the agency needed to improve, including a need to “clarify how it will evaluate the quality of an institution’s effectiveness based on the student outcomes data it collects and to outline in its procedures its expectations for institutional improvement (student learning) throughout the accreditation cycle.” Although the staff recommended that the Western association be re-recognized for the standard five years, it urged that the accrediting agency be required to report back in a year on its progress in fixing the perceived deficiencies….

The "Two-Year Rule": the accrediting agency dropped the ball, bigtime

.....Recently, our two colleges received dismal letters from the accrediting agency—the ACCJC. All of a sudden, we were told that we must satisfy the agency re its recommendations (i.e., we must fix the problems it identified three years ago)—or else. And we’ve gotta do that by October (that’s when we submit our progress reports; the commission meets and makes its decision about our colleges' accreditation status in January of 2009).
.....What’s that all about? Well, it concerns the Department of Education (DoE) and the federally-imposed “Two-Year Rule.” It's been around a while.
.....Here’s an excerpt from an article, by Janet Fulks, in the February issue of the (State Senate's) Rostrum newsletter:
.....At the second annual … Accreditation Institute…, many were surprised to hear about the impact of the “two-year rule” implementation on our accreditation process. The “two-year rule” is a federally imposed mandate that requires accrediting agencies to place a two-year deadline on correction of all recommendations that relate to deficiencies.
.....Following an accreditation visit, colleges usually receive commendations … and recommendations that may be either: 1) recommendations for improvement or 2) recommendations for correcting deficiencies. Since the Accreditation Standards represent the minimum qualifications for accreditation, fulfilling the standards are [sic] not something colleges must attempt to do, but rather are the minimum expected level of performance. If your college has not shown evidence that it meets this minimum expectation, the result will be a recommendation to correct this deficiency.
.....But why haven’t we heard of this short two-year timeline before?
.....When the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) was being reauthorized as an accrediting agency this fall, the reviewers discovered that this rule had not been enforced in the past, even though the federal government had required it for many years. The federal motivation for enacting this rule was to guarantee that students attending a deficient institution had an opportunity to see that corrected during the course of their study so that they did not receive a deficient college education. This is also why, when being accredited for the present year, the visiting team reviews the previous accreditation reports to see that recommendations have been addressed....
.....Many faculty have commented that in the process of reviewing previous accreditation reports to write their current self-study, they found that some of the same problems were still alive and well. Recommendations have often indicated that institutions failed to meet previous recommendations adequately, allowing the deficiencies to extend into the next six-year cycle (and some for two accreditation cycles). In January, the ACCJC sent out a letter explaining that the two-year rule must be enforced and that it requires recommendations be corrected within a two-year period or increasing sanctions will be placed on the institution. ….
[My emphasis.]
.....—Some of the recommendations given to our two colleges go back to 1998.

Pictured: Babs Beno, Managing Director of the ACCJC, in 2006, commending our colleges/district for the lovely progress we are making (See Explaining Babs Beno?.)

Beno's seriously odd "commendation," in 2006:
(For Beno, jump to 6:21)




SH*T HITTING FAN (recently in the news):

Splat N:

…Under U.S. DoE regulations, institutions out of compliance with accrediting standards are expected to correct deficiencies within a two-year period…There has been increased pressure recently on regional accrediting agencies to enforce standards following the Spellings Commission Report and subsequent review of all accrediting agencies, including ACCJC/WASC…The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Improvement of the U.S. Department of Education recently criticized ACCJC/WASC for failure to meet the "two-year rule." The rule requires accrediting agencies to provide no more than two years for an institution to meet standards.

Splat n+1:

…Shasta College has been given a warning by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in California…"This is all kind of new and a surprise to us," said Bill Cochran, vice president of academic affairs at Shasta College…But the college is not alone. Of the 109 community colleges in the state, 103 were given warnings or put on probation…" This is not a Shasta College thing -- this is hitting the whole state," Cochran said. [My emphasis.]

Why are these people so often dishonest?

.....
YESTERDAY, the OC Register reported that Westminster school trustees reject[ed] 'In God We Trust' motto.
.....The proposal to adopt the motto came from Ocean View School District trustee John Briscoe.
.....The Reg explains how Briscoe got his bright idea:
…[H]e wanted Westminster School District to be [the] first district in the county to display the words publicly because Westminster city officials in January became the first in Orange County to display the words in their City Council room….
.....Evidently, Briscoe has busied himself recently passing out fliers and sending emails, drumming up support.
.....But now get this. According to the Reg,
Westminster officials said a press release written by Briscoe and sent out to local media misrepresented his position with the district. In the press release, Briscoe identified himself as "Elected Trustee John Briscoe working with Westminster School District." [Westminster Trustee Jo-Ann] Purcell said some could infer that Briscoe had been elected to the Westminster School District, instead of to neighboring Ocean View. [My emphasis.]
.....Purcell has a gift for understatement.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Censorship at Saddleback College?

From the March 12 edition of the Lariat (the SOCCCD's student newspaper): College censors musical "Reefer Madness:

Lariat Editorial Board

.....The 1968 Federal Flag Desecration Law criminalized the act of flag burning when it was passed by congress. The legislation was a result from anti-war demonstraters who burned our flag in protest of the Vietnam War.
.....[Though] The act is extremely appalling, it is protected, by our first amendment rights and the freedom of speech.
.....Expression in art forms is also protected by our constitution. Music, or a scene from a play would fall under this protection.
.....In Saddleback College's musical, "Reefer Madness," which closed over the weekend, a scene was removed because it involved the burning of the U.S. Flag in a desecrating manner.
.....Although this was only a projection of the flag being burned, it was still deemed inappropriate by school officials and was ordered to be removed from the final production.
.....The administration of the school didn't have a premise to really demand this censorship. The flag wasn't ever really burned, it was just an illusion created by projection.
.....Even if the flag had been burned it is protected by the burners freedom of speech.
.....In this case the freedom was not about the flag-burners beliefs, rather the expression in art forms. The college's production was an expressive art.
.....While the musical is based on smoking marijuana, the last thing an administrator needs to do is worry about the projection of an American Flag being burned. It is a play, and plays are often filled with adultery, crime, or really anything that could be found offensive to anyone.
.....In this county, we are all too accustomed to the horrible act of censorship. With the unfortunate FCC, censored material is something we as Americans experience too much. Compared to other prominent nations, such as Germany and England, censorship is much more rampant in the U.S.
.....We rarely hear unnecessary bleeps, or see unnecessary blurs in foreign countries, that is, if we do at all.
.....If the reason we use censorship is to protect our society, morals and values, it would make more sense to stop it at its root, rather than smother expressive art forms that are doing their part to motivate and stimulate the public.
.....The musical was a satire focusing on education and awareness, and the burning the flag would have only fueled the message "Reefer" promoted about governments telling people what to think and how to act.
—Lariat Editorial Board

--NOTE FROM DtB: I don't usually say such things here, but some of our readers are IDIOTS. I'm sorry, but it's just got to be said. See COMMENTS. -CW

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bullying is working

.....(See Not Really a Banner Day at Irvine Valley College in this morning's Orange County Register.)
.....In this afternoon's OC Reg:
Little Saigon protests raise questions about freedoms
.....Tien Van stands on the sidewalk outside Nguoi Viet Daily News holding a loud speaker in one hand and the South Vietnamese red-and-yellow flag in the other.
.....Behind her is a shrine that has been erected to a much larger version of the flag with a fruit offering and incense burning on a table below it. She and a dozen others are protesting the newspaper's publication of a photo that showed a foot spa bearing the flag colors. Van says the photo broke her heart.
....."Our flag is sacred," she said. "People sacrificed their lives for it. My father and brother died for this flag."
.....Anti-communist protests and demonstrations have come to be a way of life in Little Saigon, whose residents are mostly refugees who fled the communist regime after the fall of Saigon in April 1975. This area is home to the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam.
.....But the recent wave of protests against Vietnamese publications such as the eight-month protest outside Viet Weekly in Garden Grove and the weeks-long demonstration outside Nguoi Viet Daily News in Little Saigon—as well as the threat of protests against Irvine Valley College over a campus flag exhibit that included the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam—has led to debates about a clash of freedoms.
.....The protests, which have been peaceful in recent years, are escalating in seriousness. Nguoi Viet's leadership has reported threats and intimidation. Merchants on Main Street in Garden Grove say they are being bullied and business is being disrupted. Nguoi Viet has fired two top editors.
.....Scott Weimer, president of the Downtown Garden Grove Business Association and owner of the Viet Weekly building, said he is worried the protesters won't stop until the newspaper shuts down.
....."If the newspaper buckles down, it means that this type of mob bullying works," he said. "I understand their feelings about communism, but it doesn't justify the use of these fear tactics—the kind the communists probably use themselves."
.....Protesters accuse Viet Weekly of taking a pro-communist stance by profiling communist leaders, publishing their interviews as well as opinion pieces that favor communists.
.....Nguoi Viet, the largest Vietnamese daily published outside Vietnam, fired two of its top editors after the controversy over the foot spa photo, which was published in the newspaper's Lunar New Year special edition. The paper's editor issued a public apology after an internal investigation, admitting the photo was an error that should not have occurred.
.....The article was about an art exhibit at UC Berkeley of a foot spa created by a UC Davis student in honor of her mother-in-law who worked in nail salons to put her through college.
.....But the protests continue even after the apology and the firings. Protesters now say that they want a public hearing. The newspaper has not responded to that request and protesters say they won't stop until that happens. In recent weeks Nguoi Viet filed a lawsuit and asked for a restraining order against the protesters, alleging that they are threatening and harassing the newspaper's employees and customers.
.....The paper's attorney, Luan Tran, declined comment.
.....Trong Doan and Ky Ngo, who are heading the protest, deny those allegations.
....."We're not trouble makers," says Ngo. "We're here because we love our flag and don't want to see anyone disrespect it."
.....Hai Phan, an editor at Viet Bao Daily News, said the issue has been tough on the Little Saigon media.
....."My friends are on both sides and I feel like I'm stuck in between," he said. "I'm thinking about a lot of different issues right now, but I can't talk about them."
.....Protesters have the constitutional right to assemble and express their dissent peacefully, but when a newspaper buckles under the pressure, it makes a dent in the First Amendment, said Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition.
....."It's easy to understand why these are sensitive issues in the Vietnamese American community," he said. "But the newspaper has the right to exercise its First Amendment rights too and when the media's voice is silenced by protesters, it's a loss for all of us."
.....The constitution protects the minority point of view and the unpopular opinion as well, Scheer said.
.....The Westminster Police Department is "caught in between" in trying to protect the rights of property owners and businesses in Little Saigon and making sure that protesters follow the law, said Sgt. Dan Schoonmaker.
.....Schoonmaker says the Nguoi Viet demonstration has been different from previous protests in Little Saigon. Officers are investigating reported threats against employees' lives and at least one reported bomb threat at the newspaper, he said.
.....Detectives are trying to determine who is responsible and what connection, if any, exists between these threats of violence and the demonstration, Schoonmaker said. Police continue to respond to disturbances outside the paper several times a week aside from regular patrol checks, he said.
....."It's unusual to have such disturbances, code enforcement violations and criminal threats associated with a protest in Little Saigon," Schoonmaker said.
.....Ron Bauer [sic], professor of philosophy at Irvine Valley College, said he believes his college was "bullied" by members of the Vietnamese American community into taking down the colorful flag exhibit.
....."It's one thing to raise a concern," he said. "But it's another thing to come in with the threat of bringing in protesters. Such bullying tactics are, I hate to say it, very un-American."
.....But Westminster Councilman Andy Quach and Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, who spoke with college officials on behalf of the community, said it was not a threat.
....."In Bolsa (Avenue), protests are a way of life," Quach says. "Our people love freedom because they lived without it. Protests should be done legally and peacefully, but they should certainly not be viewed as threats or bullying."
.....Nguyen said protests are a legitimate way for community members to disagree with an opposing point of view.
....."The press is a bigger machine," she said. "But these are ordinary people and it takes a lot for them to get organized and express themselves."

I head home, take pics, in the golden light


Not a banner day

In this morning’s OC Register: Not really a banner day at IVC:
College removes flag display over threat of protests about including Vietnam's


By RED EMMA/ANDREW TONKOVICH
UC Irvine lecturer who taught many years at Irvine Valley College.
.....Wait till they find out that evolution is taught at Irvine Valley College. The creationists, too, will threaten to put a headlock on the community college president, taking a page from the playbook of angry citizens who browbeat him last month. The school's chief administrator acquiesced to threats of disruption, protests, who knows, what—flag waving?—by local activists who didn't like the school's display of the state banner of communist Vietnam.
.....Responding like some confused King Solomon, the chief administrator instructed staff to not only remove the objectionable standard of the evil regime but all 144 of the colorful flags of the world which for 10 years had hung cheerfully enough from the second-floor atrium of the Student Services Center. This in Irvine, Orange County, California, USA. So, under cover of darkness, absent announcement, maintenance crews removed the entire "It's a Small World"-style display of banners and set the stage for more of, well, less.
.....Soon enough the campus could expect to be targeted by Darwin-hating religious fundamentalists, and might now expect the brave president, a one-time geology teacher, to again "consult" with members of the college's Academic Senate, as he claims he did in the case of the flags, and decide, in order to play it safe, to eliminate not only discussion of evolution, but all science classes: botany, biology, anatomy, astronomy, physiology.
.....Which will no doubt encourage other groups to demand that history teachers using textbooks with actual photographs (of Vietnam, say, Ho Chi Minh or perhaps even, yes, the Vietnamese flag) replace these with, well, nothing at all.
.....Or, responding to pro-war types who object to political-science teachers using the Los Angeles Time's "Other Military Deaths" column, he might reasonably be expected to remove newspapers and news racks from campus.
.....Stay with me. That action could, of course, cause anti-choice activists to demand that the school nurse cease handing out family planning literature, condoms and birth control, which means good-bye to aspirin. Finally, some group might discover that the school library contains bibles and "Fahrenheit 451" and works by Mark Twain and Toni Morrison, prompting librarians to remove not only those particular books, but, in a sublimely proactive Fahrenheit 451-esque move, get rid of all texts.
.....Slippery slope? Reductio ad absurdum? Maybe. But recall that this little public college in affluent, educated South Orange County once famously warned instructors not to talk about the Iraq war in class. At the time, its chancellor offered no restrictions on discussing the Civil War, Spanish-American War or War of 1812. Go figure.
.....Still, there's clear precedent at Irvine Valley College for just removing whole topics, discussions, whole cloth. Which makes good sense.
.....After all, not flying the Nazi or Confederate flags has certainly stopped racism and anti-Semitism. Not teaching about human sexual reproduction has certainly reduced teen pregnancy. Not acknowledging slave labor in China or Haiti or, yes, Vietnam, has improved labor conditions with these U.S. trading partners. And burning American flags has stopped imperialism and spread international goodwill, right?
.....Let's give flag-haters the benefit of the doubt and call them human-rights activists. They correctly abhor the policies of Vietnam, of which the flag is a symbol. But if removing a symbol would help anybody in Vietnam, or anywhere, then we should, indeed, remove it and all flags including, yes, our own. I'm with the IVC president there, though I'll bet for different reasons.
.....Instead of flags, we might hang up the U.S. Constitution (while we still have it). Or display a roster of those proud U.S. corporations doing business with oppressive regimes worldwide, including Vietnam. Or go the other route, my own preference, and hang 'em all: the old South Vietnam flag, right next to that of the nasty current regime. And the flags of the former USSR and Rhodesia and the Duchy of Prussia, too, alongside the Cross of Spain and the Upper Voltan tricolor and the flag of the Ottoman Caliphate, a pageant of color and history, benevolence and brutality. More flags, not fewer.
.....We might consider these banners toward educating ourselves about our rich, difficult history. In learning, after all, less is not more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The perfect Sturm und Drang

.....EACH COLLEGE'S accreditation progress report is due on October 15. That's just seven months away. But, of course, a progress report is a report on progress, and any progress, naturally, must occur before the reports are written.
.....—Unless, of course, we wanna get tricky—you know: describe our progress first and then do what we gotta to make the description seem plausible.
.....That's strictly Bush league.
.....Now, unless the report writers plan to wait until the last minute to write their reports, whatever progress that “we” make needs to be made by, say, August or September. Even earlier.
.....And don’t forget that, traditionally, faculty are virtually incommunicado during the summer months. If they figure into this "progress," it had better be made by May.
.....We're in the middle of March.
* * * * *
.....How will this work exactly? As I said, progress report committees are now forming. Will still other committees now be organized to actually make the progress—i.e., the progress to be reported by the committees now forming? It seems not. Evidently, the committees now forming are “the” accreditation committees. The idea seems to be that these committees will make the progress—or somehow cause the progress to be made—and then, having accomplished that, will set about to report on the progress.
.....It's crystal clear.
.....Perhaps we will rent Irvine's big fucking orange balloon, tie it up at the colleges, and paint on it: MAKING BIG PROGRESS.


.....The committees will be large and diverse. Evidently, Trustee Don Wagner, the board president, will serve on each college committee. I hear the Gary Poertner, too, will be on the committee, at least here at IVC. Plus a few administrators. Plus some faculty, the number not yet determined. Plus some classified. Here at IVC, Wendy and Jerry will also be on the committee.
.....Gosh. One thing about big and diverse committees, they really know how to focus.
* * * * *
.....I keep hearing that NO faculty at Saddleback are willing to serve on their college’s accreditation committee. After the way Mathur and Wagner messed with the last report, Saddlebackians are fed up.
.....That's gonna take the starch out of the Saddleback effort, for sure.
.....And then there’s this: it looks like negotiations between the district and the faculty union over the faculty contract have ground to a halt, or are threatening to do so. The word is that the district is seriously low-balling the faculty. (Keep in mind that the only solution to our 50% problem is to increase the proportion of district expenditure devoted to faculty salaries and benefits.)
.....I hear that union officials are contemplating a “work action” according to which faculty will do only the work that is identified by the faculty contract.
.....Naturally, that work is less than the work that faculty presently do.
.....But here’s the clincher. Were a work action to occur, it may, of course, affect these accreditation committees—well, not Saddleback’s committee, which can’t scare up faculty anyway. But if, for whatever reason, faculty refuse to be on these committees, it seems unlikely that these groups will succeed in their modest aims.
.....Imagine the ACCJC receiving a progress report that faculty refused to participate in. "Promising!", they'll shout.


.....It gets worse. Right now, owing to the Chancellor’s monumental screw-up regarding the 50% Law (by the way: we seem doomed to being in noncompliance with it, despite efforts now underway), about 40 search committees are gearing up to hire new faculty. It’s an all-out effort to increase “instructional” expenditures without resorting to, oh, raising salaries. Can’t have that. So saith certain trustees, namely, the ones who got us into this accreditation fix by bullying and insisting on their man Mathur, the screw-up.
.....But what if faculty, or even most faculty, refuse to do this work—this work for which they are not compensated?
.....(By the way: I don’t know any colleague who isn’t on one or more of these hiring committees. Thus far, everyone seems quite happy to do this work.)
..... Given the existing hiring policy, those searches will simply have to shut down, for the policy requires a certain number of faculty per committee. And if the searches shut down, the faculty don't get hired, which puts us even further below the 50% line.

.....Yikes.



UPDATE:

Today (3/13), at the IVC Academic Senate meeting, President Roquemore came to explain progress made in the formation of the Accreditation committee, which will be meeting some time soon after Spring break. Reportedly, he answered Senators' questions to their satisfaction. He also updated faculty on developments at ATEP, which seem to be taking an upturn.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "peace comes dropping slow"

At some moments, Rebel Girl feels like she must have done something right. For some summers, high in the Sierra, she has listened to Galway Kinnell recite this Yeats poem and it is as if Yeats himself is in the small room with the dark wooden walls, crowded with poets. He isn't, of course, his words are though and almost chanted or sung in the company of people who recite them with eyes closed or nearly so, and that is close enough, that is closer than she ever imagined she'd be to anything that felt like that.

A few years back Rebel Girl read a story in the NY Times about how Kinnell showed up when Stanley Kunitz was in the hopsital and recited this Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." Everyone thought that Kunitz, then 97 or 98, was dying, but he didn't - he lived to go back home and garden and write and read for a couple more years.

Last week, someone out there in the blogosphere requested some Yeats, so here it is, for you, anonymous one, and for Rebel Girl's friend, who has been struggling mightily this last year and half with cancer and is finally home now and forever, where his peace, she hopes, is dropping slow, with friends and family in Echo Park. Soon, she knows, her friend will arise and go. Yeats wrote this poem after reading Thoreau. The "purple glow" is the heather. He was 23.

THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Quaker oaths

.....Gosh, I remember having to sign a "loyalty oath" back in the late 70s when I worked for UC. Most of us took great offense to that.
....."What if we don't sign?"
....."Then you don't work."
....."Oh."
.....We signed.
....."Waddya gonna do?" we said.

From the San Francisco Chronicle: Pacifist Cal State teacher gets job back:
.....A Cal State East Bay math teacher and practicing Quaker who was fired for refusing to sign a state-required loyalty oath got her job back this week, with an apology from the university and a clarification that the oath does not require employees to take up arms in violation of their religious beliefs.
....."It's the best possible outcome," said Marianne Kearney-Brown, 50, a graduate student in mathematics who was teaching a remedial class for undergraduates. "My concerns have been addressed."
.....As a Quaker, Kearney-Brown is committed to nonviolence and was unwilling to sign the state oath of allegiance that required her to "swear (or affirm)" that she would "support and defend" the U.S. and California constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." She tried inserting the word "nonviolently" in front of the word "support," but was told by university officials that altering the oath was unacceptable.
.....…In a grievance hearing Thursday conducted in a telephone conference call, an attorney for the California State University chancellor's office presented Kearney-Brown with a statement saying in part, "Signing the oath does not carry with it any obligation or requirement that public employees bear arms or otherwise engage in violence."
.....With that statement stapled to the loyalty oath, and a promise by the university to present the clarifying language to other new employees, Kearney-Brown said Friday that she felt comfortable signing the form and returning to work.
....."We're very happy with the results," said Clara Potes-Fellow, a spokeswoman for the CSU chancellor's office. "The university would very much like her to be an employee. ... We were acting in good faith, and we wanted to resolve the situation in a positive way."….

College Republicans: making the world safe for louts & racists?

• From yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. State GOP group wins free-speech case:
.....To the relief of a campus Republican group, the 417,000 students at California State University's 23 institutions no longer face the possibility of discipline for failing to be civil to one another.
.....The change was part of a settlement approved by a federal magistrate in Oakland this week in a lawsuit by the San Francisco State College Republicans, whose members were subjected to a disciplinary hearing after some of them stomped on two flags bearing the name of Allah during an anti-terrorism rally in October 2006.
.....The flags represented the militant organizations Hamas and Hezbollah and had "Allah" written on them in Arabic. A student later complained that the College Republicans had engaged in "actions of incivility" and had tried to incite violence and create a hostile environment.
.....A panel of students, faculty and staff held a hearing in March 2007 and found no violations of university policy. But the College Republicans and two of their leaders filed suit four months later, challenging the speech and conduct codes that led to the disciplinary proceedings.
.....One line in the policy manual that applies to all 23 campuses says students are expected to be civil to one another. University officials said the manual didn't set disciplinary standards or authorize punishment for incivility, but U.S. Magistrate Wayne Brazil said the Republican group at San Francisco State had been investigated for precisely that reason.
.....…This week's settlement includes a systemwide ban on punishment for incivility, along with revisions in the standards for student conduct at San Francisco State.
.....…[T]he university agreed to pay $100 each to the College Republicans and two of its leaders, and $41,500 in fees to their lawyers.
.....The settlement is one of a series of victories won by conservative legal groups against college speech codes.
.....…The San Francisco case is "a great victory for free speech," said David Hacker of the Alliance Defense Fund, a lawyer for the College Republicans.
.....State university students, Hacker said, "are now more free to speak on issues that matter to them."
.....Although the civility standard may seem innocuous, he said, "speech codes like this are consistently enforced against Christian and conservative students across the country merely for expressing their beliefs."….
Photo from Golden Gate XPress
(2nd photo from Neandernews.)

"All that makes existence valuable to anyone depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people. Some rules of conduct, therefore, must be imposed—by law in the first place, and by opinion on many things which are not fit subjects for the operation of law." —Mill

Watch what happens when a Republican Presidential Candidate dares to suggest that we are being attacked, not because of what we believe (our freedoms, our values), but because of the nasty things we do (e.g., installing dictators, building military bases, etc.):

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