Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming

Santa arrived this morning, visiting the good boys and girls who live in Modjeska Canyon. He greeted all who gathered at Fire Station #16. Cookies and hot chocolate were served and gifts were given. Residents also contributed to a food and toy drive for the needy. Snow could still be seen on the mountains.

By request, Limber Lou and Mr. Claus.

Bad bully boards on the march

Roughly speaking, the SOCCCD saga is the sad story of a great district thwarted and diminished by an incompetent and dishonest right-wing board.

Lately, that's the Capistrano Unifed School District (CUSD) story too.

Our own initial trouble-making “board majority” emerged in 1996 and was supported by the faculty union, then ruthlessly controlled by a small group of dishonorable schemers.

The Capo district’s “board majority” emerged ten years later. It too had been supported by the faculty union. In that case, the support reflected ignorance more than base realpolitik.

I think.

The initial SOCCCD majority flouted the Brown Act (the Open Meetings law) and got into hot water. Ten years later, so did CUSD’s majority: floutage, then boilage.

The SOCCCD board was clueless and seemingly answerable to no one. They heedlessly invited Holocaust deniers to a forum. They glared through windows at visiting state auditors who were trying to make sense of the district's shaky finances. (See OC Register, 6/13/98.)

A decade later, CUSD trustees were caught rifling through the Superintendent’s desk. Nowadays, they endlessly micromanage and second guess administrators’ decisions. (See below.)

Both boards have made their districts a laughingstock.

And both have the support of Education Alliance (EA), Tustin’s right-wing, union-hating, kid-spanking “back to basics” organization. (For SOCCCD, that started in 1998.)

SOCCCD board President Don Wagner is on EA’s board.


When the CUSD faculty union got wise to the EA connection, they ceased supporting the new “reform” trustees.

At SOCCCD, faculty actually had to fight for two years to wrest control of their union from its corrupt leadership. (As Interim President of IVC, Raghu Mathur secretly addressed the CTA investigative team to defend union leadership, of which, months earlier, he had been an integral part. Remember?)

* * * * *
Well, here’s the latest. It concerns the CUSD crew. The OC Register (Was Capo superintendent supposed to be fired?) reports that

A contentious, 4-1/2-hour Capistrano Unified school board meeting that focused solely on whether Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter was to be fired Thursday has cast an even darker cloud of uncertainty over the beleaguered school district and starkly illuminated the tension among trustees increasingly at odds with their schools chief.

But the emotionally charged meeting also provided a candid snapshot of just how badly interpersonal relations have deteriorated among teachers, administrators, trustees and parents in the 52,000-student district – and offers a compelling explanation for why nearly all 250 people at the meeting, including Carter himself, truly seemed convinced the board intended to fire him.

"With a sense of regret and bewilderment, I stand before this audience awaiting my fate in closed session, which almost assuredly spells my removal from this district," Carter said at the start of a 10-minute speech, setting the tone for the rest of the protracted meeting.

"No matter what the vote is today, you have created a hostile work environment that no single administrator in this district can endure," he said. "The unbearable stress that you create in the daily course of our duties is unlawful, and I have repeatedly reminded Trustee Addonizio that these actions deteriorate working conditions and ruin morale of this entire 4,500-person [sic] district, but to no avail."

One of Capistrano's senior district administrators, in an unusual and candid speech defending Carter to the school board, echoed those sentiments.

"Morale is terribly low," said Sherine Smith, deputy superintendent for education. "Now is not the time to add more instability to our district. … He is competent, capable and a proven leader."

Friday, December 19, 2008

What to do? Grade exams or photograph cool objects?

I'm grading final exams, and it's hell. If you've ever been a teacher, then you know what I'm talking about. When I grade, I start cursin' and yelpin' and generally getting seriously misanthropic. "Good God!" I shout. "Idjits!"

And I'll use any excuse to take a break. Really, anything will do. Bathroom breaks. Snack breaks. "Gotta catch the news" breaks. "Gotta say hello to the cat" breaks. "Gotta check out the lint in my pocket" breaks.

I called Red Emma and bugged him for a few minutes. He gave me an idea. (I'm flat stealing it from him.) —I know! I'll take pictures of objects!

I was wearing shoes, and so I started there. Very symbolic, a shoe. Especially a right shoe. But left shoes are good too.

What could be cooler than a ceramic knife? It's way sharp and it looks like it means business. Don't drop it though!

Or an FW-190? Ack-ack-ack-ack-ack!

Or my sister's new leopard ear hat? Yes!

Or El Yucateeo hot sauce? The label's nearly as good as the sauce! Check it out.

Here's my favorite of this bunch: my new super-extendo feather duster. It's so cool that I sometimes dust twice!

Back to grading, I guess.

Those fools!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shoelaces, loafers, and tomatoes

1. SHOELACED?
Over on the College Life blog, Marla Jo Fisher has the latest on Marlon Martinez, who stands accused of murdering former UCI professor Lindon Barrett (Man accused of strangling professor will stand trial).

Evidently, Barrett was strangled with a shoelace. Martinez' case will soon go to trial.

2. MORE LOAFERS.

The Oakland Tribune reports on anti-war activists who have taken to brandishing shoes in support of the Iraqi who recently pelted the President with his loafers (Anti-war activists hold shoe-in at Marine recruiting station to show solidarity with Iraqi journalist):

CodePINK anti-war activists marched in front of the U.S. Marine recruiting station in Berkeley on Wednesday to support an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush on Sunday.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who hurled two size-10 loafers at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad.

Melanie Morgan, the head of Move America Forward, a pro-troop organization, said CodePINK's protest Wednesday was "on par for their insulting and demeaning activism."

"They are always siding with the forces that are against America," she said….


3. UNIVERSITY PREZ BOB KERRY CHASED AND PELTED.

The New York Times (Protest at the New School Turns Unruly) reports that

Protests at The New School, where a student uprising over the leadership of the university’s president, Bob Kerrey, led to clashes with the police and at least one arrest on Thursday morning, took another wild turn later in the day.

A little after 11:30 p.m., Mr. Kerrey emerged from a university building … to a sea of a few hundred protesters chanting for his resignation. As Mr. Kerrey walked down Fifth Avenue toward 12th Street, about 30 protesters began following him, some of them shouting insults.

As the crowd’s pace quickened, so did Mr. Kerrey’s. Then, Mr. Kerrey, who lost a part of his leg in Vietnam and wears a prosthesis, broke into a run. The protesters gave chase. Mr. Kerrey turned left on a cross street and ducked into a brownstone.

At some point in the confrontation, a protester threw a tomato at Mr. Kerrey….


This morning in Silverado Canyon

I live in Live Oak Canyon, near Trabuco Canyon. Today, I decided to head on over to Silverado Canyon, hoping to see some snow. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)
Sure enough, at the end of the canyon, there's a turnaround, and a Channel 7 Eyewitness News truck was there. The "crew" was a solitary driver/camera operator. He was on snow patrol, filming kids and moms romping in the stuff. He looked pretty jaded.

There was a dog, too.

My sister is on the market for a home in one of these canyons, but she hates these little side roads. They're too narrow, too steep, she says. I love 'em. Even in my big ol' Chrysler 300, I love 'em to pieces.

I love to take my sister up the steepest and narrowest roads. She covers her eyes.

Yesterday, I had to back up on one of these roads. I did it fast.

My sister said, "You drive backwards as fast as you drive forwards!"

"No, faster," I said. She freaked.

Did I mention that I got my last speeding ticket while driving home from traffic school?

The canyons are pretty sleepy, mostly. —And muddy, right now.

I forgot how cold snow is. It's great to look at, but that's about it. You don't actually want to touch it, unless you're a kid. 

Ah, but prudence is but experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men. Or so said Hobbes. 

I have my doubts. I saw that asshole George W. Bush frolicking in the snow once. He was grabbing handfuls of the stuff, and he was smiling. 

Dolt.

I took lots of pics, but these are the ones Annie picked out. She's an artist, and so I value her judgment.

About pics.

Naturally, this isn't Silverado Canyon. I took these pics driving into the college this morning on the toll road. See the orange balloon of Irvine's "Great Park" at the bottom? It didn't seem to be going anywhere.

Driving down Alton. Love that snow. To look at. Not to touch.

As I composed this post, Tiger Ann got in my way, insisting on sitting between me and my Mac's keyboard. So I decided to take a picture of the brat. You can kinda see her brattiness.

That Tiger Ann reminds me of those Hollywood glamor babes of the 30s, 40s, and 50s—you know: Marlene Dietrich, Merle Oberon, et al. She knows how to pose for a picture, boy. Rebel Girl's the same way.

This Morning in Modjeska Canyon







Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Man of the Year: Iraqi shoe guy



Collateral damage

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "I insist on the infant hope"


Yes, more days have been eaten in the advent calendar than remain. (Figure out that syntax, Rebel Girl dares you to.) She's been grading too many papers and thus her own syntax is beginning to splinter. 

To the left hangs the gingerbread ornament that Rebel Girl and her son created yesterday, a creature that seems to sum up this stage of the holiday season.

They've been having fun baking, decorating, planning the first Christmas spent this side of the border in about 20 years as well as the 25th anniversary of Red Emma and Rebel Girl's union.

There is still much to celebrate despite what can and does go wrong.


And now, a poem for the season:

“Your Luck Is About To Change”
by Susan Elizabeth Howe

(A fortune cookie)

Ominous inscrutable Chinese news
to get just before Christmas,
considering my reasonable health,
marriage spicy as moo-goo-gai-pan,
career running like a not-too-old Chevrolet.
Not bad, considering what can go wrong:
the bony finger of Uncle Sam
might point out my husband,
my own national guard,
and set him in Afghanistan;
my boss could take a personal interest;
the pain in my left knee could spread to my right.
Still, as the old year tips into the new,
I insist on the infant hope, gooing and kicking
his legs in the air. I won't give in
to the dark, the sub-zero weather, the fog,
or even the neighbors' Nativity.
Their four-year-old has arranged
his whole legion of dinosaurs
so they, too, worship the child,
joining the cow and sheep. Or else,
ultimate mortals, they've come to eat
ox and camel, Mary and Joseph,
then savor the newborn babe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Informatics, superkalafragilistics, and a dark end for family friends

1. PORK BARREL U?
Over on the OC Weekly website, Matt Coker (WORLD OF WARCRAFT, GOVERNMENT PORK AND UC IRVINE) reports about alleged “pork” at UCI.

Evidently, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn is making noise about a UCI study, which received an NSF grant for $100K. He says it's a prime example of government waste:

Studying American and Chinese Video Game Habits -- California ($100,000) American and Chinese video game playing habits have been too long overlooked by mainstream science, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). To remedy this, NSF gave [UCI] a $100,000 grant to study the differences in how gamers from the U.S. and China play World of Warcraft, a popular online video game that allows opponents to do battle on the planet Azeroth. The key difference scientists discerned to date: "the Chinese tend to play a 'more challenging' version of the game."

The study is about these differences. Matt quotes from a Gary Robbins (OC Reg) article months ago: "We are examining the many reasons for this disparity, including cultural and institutional factors," said Bonnie Nardi, the UCI informatics professor behind the study.

Informatics? What on earth is informatics? Did I miss something?


2. DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I’m a bit weirded out right now. It’s got to do with old family friends.

My parents immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1951 (mom was 17, pop was 18). They met on the boat—a converted WWII “Liberty” ship, a real deathtrap—later got married, yada yada. My sister Annie was born in ’54. I followed in ’55. (Read about my family's history here.)

The Canada years—we made the move to the U.S.A. in 1960—were pretty wild, in part because of all the new immigrants scratching for jobs, trying to make a go of it, dealing with each other and with the Canadians. My folks made lots of friends, many of them Germans like themselves: young, ambitious, full of dreams.

Helmut and Brigitte Schmidt (not their real names) were among these friends. Eventually, they, too, moved to the States, and, by the mid-60s, the Bauers and the Schmidts would get together like families do.

I liked Helmut and Brigitte, but I didn’t much like the Schmidt boys. They were coarse, noisy. I always figured that you shouldn't have to be with people that you don't like. I was glad when my family lost contact with this crowd in the early 70s.

Twenty-five or so years later, pop and Helmut ran into each other down near Leisure World, and, well, yada yada.

My folks and the Schmidts seemed to grow close again, and all was well, I suppose. (I wasn’t around for much of this. I saw Helmut and Brigitte maybe a couple of times.) Then, maybe six months ago, Brigitte suffered a stroke, and she was pretty bad off. Helmut, who is very healthy (he's into the Senior Olympics), wouldn’t leave her side. He seemed utterly devoted to her.

It was touching. So said my folks.

Recently, Brigitte was allowed to return to their place in Leisure World. But she wasn’t getting better. She was a little crazy and difficult. Helmut was determined to take care of her, but it was getting harder. He evidently felt that he was not up to the task.

He showed signs of depression, we heard. My dad made some efforts to contact Helmut last week, but Helmut wasn’t answering his phone.

Strange.

Last week, in his apartment, he shot his wife dead and then he shot himself. The bodies were discovered on Friday.


Helmut and Brigitte were nice, ordinary people. People liked them; they had lots of friends. This thing caught everybody by surprise.

Especially my parents.

What does it all mean? My parents sit and think. They run around, trying to do things. But they don’t know what to do.

Nobody does.

The Morning Reading: Behind the Hills

Recent IVC alum, Bradley Beylik has excelled at UCI in their exclusive literary journalism program and is now applying for grad school (Rebel Girl is writing his recommendation letters and so she knows.) Beylik was set on law school but is now purusing that white whale, the MFA in writing. Call him Ishmael.

"Behind the Hills," an essay by Beylik, appears in the current issue of KIOSK, the UCI Literary Journalism magazine. In it, he explores the canyon communities of Orange County. Rebel Girl and Red Emma make cameo appearances. Rebel Girl finds that she is depicted as chirpier than she imagines she really is but it could happen. She could chirp. She probably did.

excerpt:
Old Saddleback—visible from locations throughout the Los Angeles basin, the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Mountains, Catalina Island, and the groomed suburbs of Orange County—is made up of the two tallest peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains, part of the Cleveland National Forest. Its shape looms behind all the bustle of overcrowded streets and rampant suburban sprawl like a tired old sentinel. The twin peaks have tortured, weathered sides criss-crossed with firebreaks and truck trails, mostly devoid of trees. The top of Santiago, the taller of the two, is stuck full of antennas and transmitters of all shapes and sizes, a haunting replacement for the foliage that must have covered the mountains in green long ago. On Southern California’s foggy days, the dark mass is shrouded in marine layer, seeming strong and ominous in its scarred hide. It conjures Moby Dick—immense and ancient, possessing an existence that is at once brutally simple and mysterious, and decorated with the marks of many encounters with men who have sought it out. The mountains seem to keep watch from their heights above the suburbs, keeping record with their scars of all the doings of humankind that unfold around their feet.

Less visible than the peaks, even to most Orange County residents, is the quiet canyon-and-mountain community that has been at the base of Old Saddleback for over a century. Made up of several canyons—including Silverado, perhaps the most famous—scattered with sleepy little cottages, the community seems to have resisted the tide of overdevelopment and kitsch that has ravaged the rest of once-rural Orange County. In that way, the area represents the last of its kind—a rural stronghold in a sea of apocalyptic change.

The issues are many: environmental degradation, disappearing wildlife populations, encroaching development, and damaged ecosystems and watersheds. And these aren’t the only concerns for residents of the canyons. Other difficulties abound: landslides, flash floods, and a special brand of political entanglements. Without input from canyon dwellers, big companies and nearby city governments draw maps for future exploitation of the land. A traffic- and water-bearing tunnel connecting Riverside and Orange Counties has even been proposed to run right through historic Silverado Canyon.

In the face of these struggles, Silverado, though in many ways unchanged since its days as a mining boomtown, is today tragically threatened. But more than that, this disputed landscape represents a deeply American experience of survival and change, determination and loss. The rugged mountains with their shadowy canyons tell stories of weary prospectors, defiant Indians, and determined explorers. For people who spend their lives in the anonymous suburban landscape of Orange County, the canyons and mountains are a source of urban myth and local lore, deeply connected to the fading glory of the American West, and to the contradictory national narrative of frontier living and resource exploitation.


To read the rest, click here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A philosophical question

By now, no doubt you've heard about the infamous Bush "shoe" incident. Somebody tried to hit the Commander-in-chief with a shoe! Then another! It's alarming! (See the disturbing video at the end of this post.)

Now, we here at Dissent the Blog in no way condone shoe-pelting, here or abroad. Still, we couldn't help but ask ourselves, "What if someone were to throw a shoe at Raghu P. Mathur?"

What kind of shoe should one throw?

This is what's known as a philosophical question. It has no bearing or relevance to reality whatsoever. I've been teaching the subject (i.e., philosophy) for 25 years, and I know. In reality, no one is going to throw a shoe at Raghu, nor should anyone get the notion to do so. So our question is way whimsical, fey even.

Still, it is important to ask: What kind of shoe should one throw at the fellow, if one were to throw a shoe at him (which, naturally, one would never do)?

What about flip-flops? They have marvelous flight characteristics, and they're cheap, so you don't mind givin' 'em up. Plus they're almost guaranteed not to hurt the stupid fellow.

Ah, yes, but thongs' celebrated lift is more a hindrance than a help, for, once launched, they go all akimbo, like a freakin' Sopwith Camel.

OK, what about the ever-popular "beer stein" shoe? It is reputed to go straight and true when launched, like a Fokker D.VII.

Yeah, but obviously you'd waste beer. My German heritage wouldn't allow it.

Let's get logical. What would be the most appropriate shoes to toss at the Gooster?

Why, of course, it would be a pair of rat slippers!


Yeah, but you've gotta kill rats to make rat slippers, and I'm an animal rights guy, so that's definitely out.

What about blue clown shoes? —Big ones? They're certainly appropriate! Even the trustees think Mathur is a clown, though not necessarily a blue one.

Yeah, but you'd have to wear 'em into the building before pelting him with them, and they kind of stand out like neon pontoons.

Devil-feet shoes then! Nope. He'd just catch 'em and slip 'em on, and nobody'd know the difference, and that would just take the starch out of the whole thing.

As you know, Raghu's nickname is "Goo," and "guh" means "sh*t" in Hindi. (The district's lawyers told me this.) So what about a pair of goo-encrusted sneakers?


Nah. You wouldn't wanna get any goo on you.

Green alligator high-tops then? Nope. They're much too valuable to toss away. It would be like tossing the guy a Gucci bag. Not me, brother.

How about those incredibly stupid wooden shoes? Nah. The Dutch have never done me any harm. Why drag them into this? (I don't hold the marijuana thing against 'em, though maybe I should.)

These philosophical questions are hard!

Let's try this: What kind of shoe would Raghu want tossed at 'im? Well, maybe he'd like some patriotic sneakers hurtling at his ugly mug! He always wears that stupid flag pin, so red-white-'n'-blue tennies seem like a good bet.

Yeah, but I don't want to implicate Old Glory in this thing. I'm an Eagle Scout, you know. I know about flag etiquette.

Well, I'll be thinking on this. Somebody sent me some more suggestions, but I dunno. Check 'em out.

Led diving boots. Hard to throw. Probably lethal, too. No good.

Mud-caked work boots? Too dignified. We're talking about pelting Raghu, remember?

Stone boots? I don't know how anybody ever gets 'em on!

* * * * *
I just heard that the SOCCCD Faculty Association's negotiations have been concluded. Check it out!

George Bush attacked with shoes:


Flying a Sopwith Camel:


Flying a Fokker D.VII:

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