Saturday, June 6, 2009

kd and Sheryl


Saw these two at the Greek last night. Terrific as always. Especially Lang.

Here are some old videos that you might like. Or not.

Last night, Garrison Keillor suggested that we check out the video of Lang's "Crying," so here it is. She's pretty terrific all right. Used to pal around with Roy Orbison, who of course did the original version of "Crying."


The "Canadian" connection, you know. Neil was recovering from brain surgery, as I recall, so kd stepped in for this gig. He's all better now. But he still sings like he does. Gotta love 'im.


Her official video of this song was filmed in a beautiful part of Nevada. Check it out. (I was just there last week! Very cool.)

Do you remember the original Cat Stevens version? Great pop song. Stevens wrote some great ones. I do hope that Natalie Merchant has chilled out. (Remember when she pulled "Peace Train" off of her album?)


Check out David Sanborn going nuts on his sax. Over the top, I think. —Still.

Here, our girl is strictly second banana to her former boyfriend and his pals. They're all giving tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Crow used to do backup, before she hit it big.

Remember the version of "Little Wing" on Clapton's "Derek and the Dominoes" album? I thought it was great—but it doesn't quite top the original.

While we're on the subject of "girl singers" (OK, I know) and great songs, if you don't know about the Be Good Tanyas and their tiny bird song, well man, prepare to be dazzled:



Ah, more Canadians. They're from Vancouver, BC--I lived there for a time as a young boy. You'll notice that I occasionally call my couch a "Chesterfield" and that I can be colorless and boring.

Cheats, freaks, leaders and laggards (more bad news)


Horse Sense (New York Times)

This morning, I came across this fun comment about the delusion that we can predict the future--or at least the future of horse races. According to former jockey Sean Clancy,
Horses are just like people; there are smart ones, dumb ones, miserable ones, honest ones, simple ones, cheats, freaks, leaders and laggards. They have good days, bad days and plenty of average days. They can be brilliant one minute, horrible the next. They can remember something that happened a year ago and forget what they learned yesterday. They’ll walk placidly into a metal starting gate that clangs and rings when the doors open, and then be scared of a bucket that wasn’t there yesterday.

And we think we know what’s going to happen this afternoon [at the horse race].


Black Friday: OC Register loses second star reporter in one day

The OC Weekly’s R. Scott Moxley notes that ace reporter Norberto Santana Jr. is leaving the OC Register. Earlier in the day, the Weekly’s Nick Schou had reported that John Gittelsohn is also leaving the Reg—for a job with Bloomberg News.

Santana's departure … means that Orange County's largest daily newspaper has lost two of its best talents. Translation to the public: the ability of our local journalism community to deliver key news stories about corruption just suffered a serious blow.

Moxley offers the two his “best wishes.”

UCI’s endowment fund plunges by $45 million (OC Reg)

Busy bee Gary Robbins informs us that the recession has caused a steep drop in UCI’s endowment fund:

Newly-released figures show that UCI’s endowment declined by about $45 million during the one year period ending on March 31. The drop comes as UCI is struggling to figure out how it is going to cut an estimated $55 million to help the state erase a projected $24.3 billion deficit. The campus has frozen faculty hiring and some university staff are expected to be furloughed or laid off.

How does this drop compare with that of other UC campuses? According to Thomas Mitchell, VC of university advancement, other universities are “‘reporting losses of 20 or 30 percent….’” Apparently, UCI is nothing special in this regard.


As community colleges trim, PE's on the line

Noting that Gov. Schwarzenegger is proposing $825 million in cuts from the community college budget, Laurel Rosenhall of the Sacramento Bee reports that the Governor “suggested cuts from support programs for disabled and disadvantaged students, and a reduction in funding for physical education classes.”

Critics say that this approach means laying off 6,000 part-time teachers and turning away a quarter million students. Ouch!

Well, something’s gotta give. Naturally, some object to targeting PE, and this brings up the local vs. state control issue, among others:

Educators say it's a case of legislators micromanaging their curriculum, while legislative analysts say limiting PE is the most practical way to trim during historic budget stress.

Jack Scott, chancellor of the state's community colleges, says course cutbacks should be determined locally. ¶ "Each local community college has a better feel for what its priorities are and what are the things they could more easily do without," he said.

But the legislative analysts who suggested the PE cut say state law makes clear that when times are tight, California must prioritize what the colleges teach. Vocational and academic courses are most important, the law says, and recreational courses are at the bottom of the heap.

[According to the Schwarzenegger/Legislative Analyst's Office proposal, state] funding would be cut from a rate that would total $4,600 if students were taking a full courseload to $2,700 per full-time student. The $2,700 is the amount the state now pays the colleges for non-credit courses, such as fitness for older adults. Students would still get credit for PE courses, even if they're funded at the non-credit rate.


[Paul Steenhausen of the Legislative Analyst's Office] says many community college PE classes are more about fun than credit. ¶ "It's like a community center," Steenhausen said. "Yoga, Pilates, pingpong, badminton, skiing."

Scott said he's already urging the colleges to start that process. He wants them to put top priority on classes that teach remedial academic skills, prepare students for the job market or get them ready to transfer to four-year schools….

IRONY FOR A SATURDAY:
The great Richard Thompson doing the not-so-great Britney Spears’ “Oops...I did it again!”

Friday, June 5, 2009

"The Vets are coming!" he shot back combatively

In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:
Campuses as Vet-Friendly Zones
…Student veterans have become more visible on many campuses…, and colleges, preparing for an expected increase in veteran enrollment once the new Post-9/11 GI Bill takes effect this August, have taken notice. Many colleges have been stepping up their support for and outreach to veterans, by creating veterans' offices, streamlining their admission and registration processes, expanding their counseling center capacity, establishing mentoring programs, and training faculty and staff.

"I am very pleased. It seems like people have really started to understand that the veteran population is going to be increasing soon, and veterans are a little different than the average college student, the average 18-year-old, coming to school," says John Powers, executive director of Student Veterans of America. The number of SVA chapters has grown by about 15 chapters a month since January, and there are now 177 chapters in 40 different states, Powers says. “Everyone’s very, very motivated. Some of them are social clubs, but some of them are really changing policies,” says Powers.

“There are some universities out there that are fully prepared, they’re on board. Every college is different. You can have great admissions policies, but you may not have a veterans’ resource center on campus. The counseling center may be lacking,” says Powers….

Student Veterans of America

TOM SWIFTIES?

Speaking of coming up short, this morning, the New York Times’ Schott’s Vocab presents and initiates a competition of “Tom Swifties.”

What are those? you ask (me too). Well, “‘Tom Swifties’ are curious puns that monkey with the description of reported speech for comic effect.”

Schott offers these examples (among others):
“Who discovered radium?” asked Marie curiously.

“Show no mercy killing the vampire,” said Tom painstakingly.

I listed these ‘cause I either didn’t like or didn’t get the others.

Readers have already begun submitting their TSs. Here are some of my fave’s:
“I hear the president asked King Abdullah about the Saudi penalty for pickpockets,” Tom said offhandedly.

“I adore hamburgers,” he said with relish.

Oh I dropped my toothpaste behind the sink, he said, crestfallen.

“Is it time to burn the abortion clinics?” asked Tom inquisitively.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Anthropomorphizing cats

RECENTLY, I added two cat images (see) that I thought were funny. I especially liked the commando-cat image. I thought the other image was iffy, humorwise.

One of our readers (MAH) objected to the commando-cat image. In a note to another reader (BS), she opined (in passing): “the cat with [the] gun is horrible!”

BS responded, noting (in passing) that he liked the “cat with a gun,” judging it to be a “creative” use of a yawning cat.

Later, MAH shared her usual thoughtful reflections about things, but she added:
All right: just to show my grumpiness at the June gloom, I don't even like the cat with mouse and laptop. I never did care for that kind of anthropomorphized imagery of animals. Remember those godawful commercials in the old days that made cats appear (not very well) to speak words? Hated 'em more than I can say. The magnificent creatures are interesting enough in their own right not to need "enhancement" with faked human activities. [I added the dictionary link.]

I briefly responded, arguing (good-naturedly, I hope) that the “commando” image either did not anthropomorphize or that it did, but in an acceptable way. I said that, at least for me, the humor of the image depends in part on the manifest absurdity of placing a cat in these settings—not on the idea that cats are like Rambo (or are like computer geeks). (No doubt MAH will explain to me that she doesn't need me pointing this out.)

I’m not sure, but I think that the commando-cat image is “fun” for me in part because it vaguely ridicules the embarrassing and unsophisticated “Rambo/Hollywood-commando” fantasy or mindset. It does not ridicule cats or suggest that cats are anything like one of these stupid cartoon-commandos. (I’m passing no judgment on real commandos.)

OK, so one point is this: I do not object to portraying cats as people per se, just as I do not object to portraying, say, babies as adults per se. (No doubt, MAH will agree.) I noted that the current E-trade commercials (portraying a baby/toddler as a kind of hip young male stock speculator) are funny and unobjectionable (at least re our attitudes toward babies). (See below.) Their creator is clever and understands the creepiness and absurdity of viewing babies as hip young traders. These commercials are generally striking and entertaining, to me. (On the other hand, they utterly fail to cause me to buy what E-Trade sells. In fact, I had to look up whose commercials these were!)

Along with MAH, I did not like those old Meow Mix talking-cat commercials and the like. (See below for the "meow" commercial, although MAH perhaps had some other commercials in mind.) These kinds of commercials don’t strike me as objectionable. To me, most of them are simply unclever and stupid. Do they imply anything about the nature or quality of cats? I don’t see how. I think they pander to a common capacity to be dazzled and entertained by stupid things. (OK, I am now flashing my “elitist” card.)

MAH is of course correct: some commercials anthropomorphize animals in the sense that they in some sense impute human thoughts and attitudes to nonhuman animals. And some of these commercials are stupid precisely on that score.

My candidate: the “Morris the cat” (9 Lives) commercials. (See below.) There’s something too easy, and somehow just stupid, about the "haughty cat" stereotype. Cats can be finicky, of course, but I don’t think they are ever haughty, and that's what these commercials suggest. Are they sometimes indifferent to our desires and actions? Well, no, for indifference implies awareness, but it seems to me that on those occasions that inspire talk of feline “haughtiness,” cats are not aware of our efforts or wishes. Are they disdainful of us? Well, again, no, for they seem to proceed as though we are not present. There’s nothing really present for them to be contemptuous or disdainful of. It seems obvious (to me) that cats are never contemptuous or disdainful, though they share some of the behavior associated with those attitudes among humans.

No doubt some of you will now reveal your claws.

As any cat person knows, it is possible to “connect” with a cat. With some effort, one can make a cat aware of one’s presence and needs or desires (to some extent). When prompted, cats have no trouble looking into a person's eyes and paying attention to them. Such occasions seem to interrupt the general flow of feline obliviousness to others. I think cats are more oblivious of others than humans are. It's just their way.

I guess I “object” to Morris commercials more or less in the way that I object to silly and crude stereotypes generally. Most of the time, crude stereotypical thinking strikes me as stupid more than wrong. But, obviously, it can be wrong, too.

BTW: it turns out that Morris the Cat is a fairly decent guy. According to Wikipedia,
Morris has appeared in [various] media over the years. He starred in the movie Shamus with Burt Reynolds and Dyan Cannon in 1973. He also appears as a "spokescat" promoting responsible pet ownership, pet health and pet adoptions through animal shelters. To this end, he has "authored" three books: The Morris Approach, The Morris Method and The Morris Prescription.

In 2006, Morris was depicted as adopting a kitten from a Los Angeles animal shelter, L'il Mo, who represents the first in a campaign known as Morris' Million Cat Rescue.

Yes, I know. It would be naive to conclude that the "9 Lives" people are focused on the welfare of pets.

Morris the cat “9 Lives” commercial:


E-Trade “talking baby” commercial:


“Meow Mix” singing cat commercial:

The importance of thinking through the things we say

Gary Robbins at the OC Reg has been busy again:

• CSUF enrollment could drop 5,000 this fall
Cal State Fullerton says the recent decision by voters not to approve ballot initiatives that could have raised money for higher education, and other financial problems the campus faces, will likely force Orange County’s largest university to reduce fall 2009 enrollment by 5,000 full and part-time students.

The cuts would involve freshmen and transfer students.

We reported earlier this week that CSUF could be forced to cut about $29 million out of its 2009-10 budget under a funding scenario put forth by the state. But it’s also possible that the campus might have to cut an additional $12 million or so in the current fiscal year, which is about to end.

That would bring real and proposed cuts for Fullerton to about $41.3 million, and will could mean furloughs and pay-cuts for staff, in addition to a larger reduction in enrollment.

• How budget crisis might affect O.C. college students
Q: Will local colleges and universities be forced to cut enrollment further?

[T]his much is clear: About one-third of all CSU students are the first member of their family to attend college. This fall, some students won’t be able to enroll at a CSU campus, and they will likely find it harder to turn to local community colleges to take the lower division classes they need to complete as part of their education.

Q: Could the community college system help achieve the budget savings it needs to make simply by raising course fees, which are comparatively low?
A: Yes. But CCC officials say that there’s been a big enrollment drop every time fees rise. And many of the people currently looking to community colleges for help are laid off workers who are trying to gain new job skills.

In this morning's Inside Higher Ed:
• Defender of the Humanities
Get ready for a change in tone. James A. Leach was officially nominated by President Obama Wednesday to serve as NEH chairman. In an interview with Inside Higher Ed Wednesday, Leach had this to say when asked about the culture warriors of past humanities endowments: "I believe in standing up for culture, rather than warring on culture."

In the interview, Leach said that the humanities are as important as ever and that he hoped to bolster public understanding and support for such work….

While Leach didn't get too detailed about his plans for the NEH, he did touch on some issues that have come up at the endowment:

Peer review. Critics have suggested over the years that the humanities endowment was sometimes "flagging" grant proposals seen as controversial so that higher-ups at the agency might reverse the decisions of peer review panels. Leach said that he couldn't promise he would never ask questions about any grant, but that his inclinations are to let peer review panels decide on grants….

Digital work. The NEH under Bruce Cole, President George W. Bush's chairman, stressed programs that support the digitization of collections. Leach called those efforts "important and impressive."

…[A]s a politician for many years, Leach said he has a strong interest in (and some concerns about) political rhetoric and the lost meaning of political words.

"One of my concerns relates to the vocabulary of American politics," he said. "It's important for Americans to think through some of the terms thrown about willy-nilly in American society – terms like 'fascism' and 'communism' and 'socialism,' as applied to political leaders." He said that he has been "shocked by the nonchalance" with which some politicians have used the term "succession" of late.

"I think we have a unique president and a unique time and he clearly wants to reach out to all elements of American society. I have a very great respect for the traditions of American conservatism, and a very deep respect for the traditions of American liberalism, and I think the challenges are to bring a sense of togetherness in which society can better understand the differences as well as the similarities in these great traditions"....

Were Muslim Student Union free speechrights infringed upon? (Matt Coker, OC Weekly)
UC Irvine administrators drew widespread criticism for allowing—or not damning vehemently enough—the Muslim Student Union's May 5-21 wrath-a-thon "Israel: The Politics of Genocide." But fourth year psychology major Alaa Alomar accuses the same university officials of denying the same free speech rights to MSU as it does to other campus groups….

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jim Leach to Head NEH

Jim Leach? This takes me back 20 or so years to the days of the (seemingly forgotten) S&L scandal. I remember Leach as a really good guy, an honest politician. Leach, a highly-independent Republican, has an impressive record, although he is implicated in the deregulation that led to the current financial crisis.

Looks like Prez Obama has tapped Leach as his nominee to head the NEH:

President Obama Nominates Jim Leach to Head NEH (Washington Post)

President Obama today said he would nominate former Republican congressman Jim Leach, who represented Iowa for 30 years, as the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

During his terms in the House of Representatives Leach founded and served as the co-chair of the Congressional Humanities Caucus and he was also the chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. After he left Congress in 2007 Leach taught at Princeton University and was the interim director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The endowment, created in 1965, supports the country's endeavors in scholarship and teaching, principally in the areas of history, literature and philosophy. In the fiscal 2010 budget the president sent to Congress last month, he requested $171. 3 million for the agency, an increase of $16 million over the last appropriation.

Perhaps you’ll recall that Leach founded “Republicans for Obama” during the last presidential race.

OC RESTAURANT CHAINS:

On a lighter note: The Reg reports on the OC restaurants making Consumer Reports’ “best” and “worst” lists. The review focuses on chains.

According to CR (according to the Reg), Mimi’s Café was #1 under the heading “Great meals for less than $20.”

Other top picks: Abuelo’s, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, Elephant Bar Restaurant and Texas Roadhouse.

Best takeout food went to Famous Dave’s, Carraba’s Italian Grill, Olive Garden and P.F. Chang’s.

Restaurants that suffer “above average” complaints: BJ’s Restaurants, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Johnny Rockets.

Long wait times: “The Cheesecake Factory, Rainforest Cafe, Texas Roadhouse, Houston’s, PF Chang’s, China Bistro and Outback Steakhouse.”

Gosh, I thought CR only reviewed cars and appliances! Just shows what I know.

You don't care, do you? Me neither.

30% rise in anti-Semitic incidents (here)

Orange County/Long Beach remain hotbed for hate
(OC Weekly)
Kevin O'Grady, [the Anti-Defamation League]'s regional director based in OC, says that there's "cause for great concern" because while anti-Semitic incidents declined nationwide, the number of documented attacks on Jews here rose 30 percent.

The ADL report … included these incidents:

• A student at Newport Beach high school was subjected to "virulent" anti-Semitic bullying;
• A South County high school athlete was taunted so much for being Jewish he quit the team;
• The director of a Long Beach temple received hate mail;
• The service manager at Orange County Country Club advised her staff not to provide decent service for a wedding because the family was Jewish;
• A client of a dating service was asked if she was Jewish when she asked for a discount.

UCI asks Obama for $150 million in stimulus money
(OC Register; “science dude”)
UC Irvine has asked the Obama Administration for about $150 million in money, most which is being sought for scientific research, health care and scholarship. Irvine, like schools across the country, is jockeying to get money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion in economic stimulus money approved by Congress and President Obama in February….

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

At least 3 out of 4 OC community college districts to cut enrollments

"It's just like the Depression or something!"

31,500 might lose spots at O.C. community colleges
(OC Reg’s “College Life” blog)

Wow, at this rate, we oughta just keep an open link to “College Life.” Science Dude Garry Robbins has posted yet another scintillating educational story there today, explaining that “Orange County’s nine community colleges could collectively be forced to reduce full and part-time enrollment by 31,500 as most of the schools would have to cut almost $30 million to help balance the state budget….”

Robbins notes that, of the four OC community college districts, SOCCCD is the exception:
South Orange is a “basic aid” district, which the state says means that “high property tax value covers the cost of supporting all of the students.” That means that the district doesn’t get lots of money from the general fund. But the other three districts do.

Robbins includes “a preliminary analysis from the state”:
• The Rancho Santiago district must cut its budget by $8.8 million and reduce enrollment by about 10,749.
• The North Orange County district must cut about $10.1 million and reduce enrollment by 8,493.
• And the Coast district must cut $10.9 million and trim enrollment by 7,062.
• Although the South Orange district isn’t project to lose lots of state money, [spokeswoman Paige Marlatt] Door said the system could lose 5,247 students.

You realize these pics are bullshit, right?
Actually, this is a pic of the recent Saddleback/IVC softball game.

(I don't really understand that last point. Why would SOCCCD lose any students at all? As a "basic aid" district, the SOCCCD stands to lose when local property is devalued [as is gradually occurring] and thus less property tax money is collected. But the devaluation won't hit right away, and, besides, SOCCCD has quite a bit squirreled away for a rainy day.)

I dunno about the May meeting, but at the April meeting of the SOCCCD board, much discussion concerned how to deal with the increased demand for classes caused by the economic downturn (and, I suppose, the turning away of students at the three other districts). Unlike the other three OC districts, the SOCCCD is in a position to accommodate growth, but at a cost: money would be diverted from improvement of facilities.

What do you suppose our trustees will do? Is there a high road here? If there were one, would they take it? I think they'd better consult the Lord, cuz this ain't easy.

OK, this is how I get when nobody writes comments.

They call it "Liberty" U


UCI undercounted its workforce by 6,000 people (OC Reg’s “College Life” blog)

It turns out UCI is the county’s largest employer. The beancounters at the university were forced to remove their shoes and socks to get the numbers right.

CSUF faces $29 million cut in budget showdown (OC Reg’s “College Life” blog)
UC Irvine isn’t the only local campus expected to suffer a big hit in helping the state balance its budget. Cal State Fullerton will have to cut $29 million — we think.

The potential impact of state budget cuts on higher education was the subject of a legislative committee meeting on Monday. The Associated Press reports that, “The California State University’s chancellor, Charles Reed, said the cuts proposed for his 23-campus system were the equivalent of cutting its enrollment by 60,000.”

Not So Politically Incorrect (From this morning’s Inside Higher Ed)
Liberty [University], a fundamentalist Baptist institution in Lynchburg, Va., founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, set off a political firestorm last month when it revoked official recognition of a campus chapter of the College Democrats. Though administrators said they would not stop the group from meeting on campus, they dropped university sponsorship of the club because it supported candidates who favor abortion rights and other views which they said conflict with Liberty’s values.

As many politicians and outside commentators weigh in, the situation at the evangelical institution has remained at a standstill for weeks. Jerry Falwell, Jr., Liberty chancellor and son of the university’s now-deceased founder, has offered the College Democrats a compromise to which the student group has yet to respond: The university stated that it would renew official recognition of the club if it becomes a chapter of the Virginia Democrats for Life, a political group that opposes abortion….

Summer's here!

This post was inspired by Chunk's classic pic of the two young 'uns armed for bear and chifferobes. Here's Rebel Girl's little guy and his best friend a few years back as they went out hunting for dragons. Life is good. Summer's here. Carry on. Watch out for dragons.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Trustee to spend four days in June at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa—on the public dime

I'VE BEEN TRYING to catch up with the May meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees, which occurred on the 26th. I was unable to attend, for I was in Utah, becoming a Mormon.

I'll start with something relatively trivial but fun.

During her report, Marcia Milchiker explained that she had attended something that is “always a tear-jerking event.”

Well, that's not the fun thing. I noticed something on the agenda (5.10): a request by a trustee (or trustees) to attend the June “Learning Summit” in Phoenix, Arizona. It will be held at the Biltmore Resort and Spa (evidently, a part of the Waldorf-Astoria "collection").

Cost per person: $1,900.


Trustee Nancy Padberg pulled the item from the consent calendar, usually a sign that she suspects that “Orlando Boy”—aka John Williams—plans to attend a questionable “junket” somewhere, a phenomenon that, invariably, the transparency of which she seeks to optimize (i.e., she wants the public to know when John is sucking once again on the public teat).

When the item finally came up, Padberg asked for specifics: How many are requesting money for this trip? Just what is this “summit” anyway? Information please!

Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur, who has long enjoyed Williams' support, immediately shut the discussion down, declaring that he had sent an informative email earlier that day at Trustee Lang’s request. (For some reason, Mathur adopted the voice of a frog.)

Oh. Call for the question.


The upshot: the public was prevented from learning just who sought to travel to a fancy schmancy resort in Arizona on the district’s dime. The item passed unanimously.

Here's another "fun" BOT factoid: the new student trustee spells her name "Bi’anca." I am impressed. No, I am inspired. I hereby change the spelling of my name to "Kech'shmoo B'chch." Pronunciation like always.


LATE NEWS:

UCI freezes faculty hiring as deficit grows to $55 million (OC Reg)

A week after saying it had to slash spending by $40 million to help balance the state budget, UC Irvine today announced that the figure is actually about $55 million and that the huge research university had frozen all faculty hiring.

Showing up on our door

Tangerine, brat

• CALL THE PSYCHOBABBLERS!
THE VETERANS ARE COMING!
In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:

…A new report, “Health and Health-Related Behaviors: Minnesota Postsecondary Student Veterans,” provides a glimpse of the health issues an influx of veterans are likely to bring to college when the Post-9/11 GI Bill takes effect in August. While the sample was limited to one state, it serves as an early portrait of a population that is expected to grow rapidly on college campuses in the coming years.


Edward Ehlinger, director and chief health officer of Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota…, who authored the study of more than 8,000 veterans, said he was somewhat surprised to see that veterans’ health issues largely mirrored those of other college students. There were notable exceptions, however….

Of those surveyed, 43.5 percent of female veterans reported being sexually assaulted in their lifetime, nearly 14 percentage points higher than female students overall….

As for PTSD, 14.1 percent of females said they’d been diagnosed with the condition, compared with 5.4 percent of women overall. Male veterans had a lower rate of PTSD – 9.1 percent— but still outpaced the general male student population by 6.3 percentage points.

College-going female veterans also reported higher incidences of domestic violence than their female classmates. Nearly half of those surveyed – 46.4 percent – reported such abuse, compared with 37.8 percent of women overall.

“It’s a population that is going to be showing up on our door,” [Ehlinger] said. “They have every right to an education. The GI Bill is a great thing for society … We have an opportunity to take a whole new set of folks and provide them post-secondary education, which is only going to be a benefit to society.”

• REGULARIZING K-12 EDUCATION
—AT LONG LAST?
In this morning’s Washington Post:

In Texas, 2 + 2 = 5

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia today will announce an effort to craft a single vision for what children should learn each year from kindergarten through high school graduation, an unprecedented step toward a uniform definition of success in American schools.

The push for common reading and math standards marks a turning point in a movement to judge U.S. children using one yardstick that reflects expectations set for students in countries around the world at a time of global competition….

Led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the states, including Maryland and Virginia, are aiming to define a framework of content and skills that meet an overarching goal. When students get their high school diplomas, the coalition says, they should be ready to tackle college or a job. The benchmarks would be "internationally competitive."

The nearly complete support of governors for the effort–leaders in Texas, Alaska, Missouri and South Carolina are the only ones that have not signed on–is key. Many Republicans oppose nationally mandated standards, saying schools should not be controlled by Washington….

In Alabama, sixth graders must demonstrate the ability to "bust up a chifferobe."

"This is the beginning of a new day for education in our country," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "A lot of hard work is ahead of us. But this is a huge step in a direction that would have been unimaginable just a year or two ago."

Duncan has said that today's patchwork system amounts to "lying to children and their parents, because states have dumbed down their standards."….

• IN CALIFORNIA, STUDENTS WILL HAVE A NEW WAY NOT TO READ!
In this morning’s San Bernardino Sun:

As society continues to move toward a digital era, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking to expand California's education system by being the first state in the nation to offer free digital textbooks for high school students….


• LIKE WE BEEN SAYIN' ALL ALONG
From Paul Krugman’s column, yesterday:

…[T]he more one looks into the origins of the current disaster, the clearer it becomes that the key wrong turn — the turn that made crisis inevitable — took place in the early 1980s, during the Reagan years.

"I think we hit the jackpot," he said

The immediate effect of Garn-St. Germain [the S&L derelgulation bill] … was to turn the thrifts from a problem into a catastrophe. The S.& L. crisis has been written out of the Reagan hagiography, but the fact is that deregulation in effect gave the industry — whose deposits were federally insured — a license to gamble with taxpayers’ money, at best, or simply to loot it, at worst. By the time the government closed the books on the affair, taxpayers had lost $130 billion, back when that was a lot of money.

But there was also a longer-term effect. Reagan-era legislative changes essentially ended New Deal restrictions on mortgage lending — restrictions that, in particular, limited the ability of families to buy homes without putting a significant amount of money down....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Heeeeeere's Johnny: policies in "shambles," "out-of-control" practices, ineffective and inefficient functioning—and more!

Better call the "guardian," eh?

Recently (May 6, 2009), an OC grand jury issued a scathing report regarding the operation of the county “public administrator/public guardian” (PA/PG) office. (See OC grand jury to John Williams: you stink.)

Owing, it seems, to political connections that materialized after trustee Tom "Mr. GOP" Fuentes’ back-door arrival to the SOCCCD board in 2000, long-time trustee John Williams, a staunch Republican and former cop, managed to secure (and to create) that combo county position.

Like so many of Mr. Fuentes' political cronies, without benefit of talent or experience or integrity, the newly-connected Mr. Williams quickly went from obscurity to...well, these days, he's sittin’ in high cotton.

Whatever might be said about John qua trustee, qua PA/PG, he’s an unmitigated disaster. That’s the only conclusion possible if one accepts the grand jury report as the product of an honest and competent investigation—and I can see no grounds for supposing otherwise.

You can judge for yourself. The report is available here (as a 12-page pdf file).

The report—entitled “The Guardian of Last Resort”—has been available since May 6. I’ve finally found some time to read it. (I added the highlighting in red.)

WHAT THE PA/PG DOES; WHY THE PA/PG WAS INVESTIGATED; WHAT THE REPORT CONCLUDED:

The report begins with a summary:
…The … [PA/PG] is charged with the task of administering the estates, totaling over $38 million and the lives, or deaths, of over a thousand people each year. These people have the misfortune of being … alone to the degree that they do not have anyone willing or able to care for them when they can no longer care for themselves.

Review of the Public Administrator/Public Guardian resulted in many concerns by the Orange County Grand Jury. Those most evident are in the areas of financial accountability, policies and procedures, personnel administration, information technology and case-load management. The investigation revealed a general need to improve organization and adhere to County policies. While these issues alone are damaging enough, the additional workload being placed on the employees has created a morale problem prompting letters to the Grand Jury.

This report explains how the agency has failed to keep its promise to the taxpayers of Orange County to cut costs and improve services. The annual base salary of management has increased over 96% since 2005. The policies and procedures are disorganized and outdated, illustrating that this business, which is mandated by law to attend to the details of people’s lives, is not following its own policies. The agency has interpreted the Orange County Human Resources (OCHR) rules and regulations to promote individuals into management positions that were, according to the OCHR, beyond what is accepted policy. Compounding every aspect of the inability of the PA/PG to function fully and efficiently is its aging, inadequate case management software system. It is with these issues in mind that the Grand Jury provides this report. [Boldface in the original.]

REASON FOR THE INVESTIGATION:

The next section of the report provides the “Reason for Investigation,” namely, (1) “information from numerous and varied sources that there were activities within the PA/PG that appeared to be inappropriate—and (2) the expected rapid increase in the aged population in coming years.

Cats are always watching.
And some have superpowers.

BLOATED AND PROFLIGATE BUREAUCRACY:

Foes of bloated and profligate government will be plenty steamed by Mr. Williams' operation as described by the report. The latter explains

The office of the Public Guardian was a department of the Orange County Health Care Agency. The PA was a department of the Coroner’s Office until 1965. A proposal by the PG on May 3, 2005, in an Agenda Staff Report, requested that the office be combined and the PG separated from the Health Care Agency. According to the report, this action would save the taxpayers of Orange County $300,000 over the next three years. This separation was approved by the Board of Supervisors.

…At the time of separation, there were seven employees with management responsibilities including the agency head and one at-will employee. As of November, 2008, this number had risen to ten, an increase of over 40%. The total hourly base salaries, without fringe benefits or pension payouts, were calculated using information received from Orange County Human Resources (OCHR). In 2005, the combined hourly wages for the seven employees was $254.71. These wages calculated for one full year totaled $529,796. In November, 2008, the combined hourly wages for the ten individuals in the same category was $501.36. The total payroll for these ten individuals now amounts to $1,042,828. This is an increase [payroll] of 96.8% during the three years that the PG projected to save Orange County $300,000. The increase is attributable not only to the additional 40% now in management positions but also to the numerous promotions made by the PA/PG. Several of these promotions were called unwarranted by OCHR due to the limited size and scope of the agency. This calculation does not include two additional individuals in at-will clerical positions that have added at least $100,000 a year to management overhead or employees classified as supervisor. During this period, while the number of managers and their payroll increased, the number of total employees has remained approximately the same. [Boldface in the original.]

The report also describes “questionable” pension practices:

The Grand Jury reviewed the case wherein an employee was promoted to a top management position within a year of retirement. The position was at will and there were no education and experience requirements. That one year of promotion is costing the taxpayers of Orange County an additional $56,674 per year in pension benefits and … the taxpayers of Orange County will pay at least $1,453,100 in additional pension benefits. This figure does not include statutory cost of living increases.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: CONFUSION

The report finds serious problems with the existing PA/PG “policies and procedures.” When asked for the P&Ps, Williams produced two manuals, both labeled P&Ps. The older manual (pre-Williams) is complete and well-organized. The second, Williams-era, manual is profoundly disorganized.

The grand jury found several examples of confusion re these newer P&Ps:

Jurors, attending a decedent’s home during a final property inventory, observed that the agency’s own procedures were not being followed. They were informed that this was a second and final search for documents possibly revealing the names and addresses of heirs. During this search there was a surprise discovery of a wallet containing a driver’s license and cash under a pile of mail on a counter top. The Jurors were informed that the search concluded the PA/PG’s handling of the personal property of this estate and it would now be turned over to a sub-contractor. At the time of their departure, papers remained throughout the house, such as the ones that had been concealing the wallet on the counter top. The PA/PG has a policy instructing the deputies to remove the papers from the home. That policy contains a procedure instructing the reader to refer to yet a second policy. The second policy gives clear directions for the Deputy to sort, label and box important papers and destroy junk mail. It goes on to also describe the process for storing the boxed papers so they can be delivered to an heir or used when settling the estate. However this policy contained a purple “sticky” note stating that it had been deleted and the reader should now refer to yet a third policy. Complicating matters even further, this third policy does not address the sorting, storing or discarding of papers at all; it only addresses warehouse security.

Interviews with management revealed that there was no one authorized to make serious life and death decisions in the absence of the Public Guardian (PG). When questioned what the procedure was during an emergency situation the Grand Jury was told that the PG could always be reached even while out of the country on vacation. After further investigation into the written procedure, it appeared that management was unaware or did not adhere to its own policy and was placing the conservatee at risk of serious complications or death. The procedure designated to deal with this matter gives this responsibility to the deputy presently on duty, the Officer of the Day and the Supervising Deputy. There is no mention of the Public Guardian having that sole responsibility.

Fiendishly inscrutable
Maddeningly reticent

AN EVER-CHANGING (UNDEFINED?) ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE:

The report portrays Mr. Williams as a bit fuzzy about his agency’s organizational structure:

Four organizational charts were provided to the Grand Jury over a period of four months. These charts were different each time they were produced and the titles of the individuals were constantly changing.

The report describes various “flawed personnel administration policies”:

In March, 2008, a senior management position, although occupied at the time, was removed from the organization chart. In August, 2008, the position reappeared and was filled by a different employee who received a temporary promotion into that same position. Some employees interviewed believed that the temporary promotions were numerous and were often not based on competency. “We never knew a position was even open,” an employee stated. This practice is, according to many, demoralizing.

When the time came to fill a permanent non-technical management position, OCHR [Orange County Human Resources] produced a list of over thirty candidates. The individuals were divided into two categories. The PA/PG directed OCHR to refer only applicants from their own organization for potential selection. This action made it impossible for anyone not currently employed by the agency to qualify. The request produced one candidate from the lower classification category. Consequently, other applicants who had scored higher on County placement tests were not referred, because they did not work in the PA/PG office. By doing this, a management position was filled by a PA/PG employee who otherwise may not have been considered.

In addition to the promotion previously mentioned, a surprisingly rapid promotion from an Administrative Manager I position to an Administrative Manager II position in a four-month period was documented. Further, two Administrative Manager III positions were awarded over the objections of OCHR. The Grand Jury learned from OCHR that the promotions to Administrative Manager III in the PA/PG were not warranted due to the level of responsibility within that agency. The PA/PG made one of those positions permanent in spite of the objections of OCHR by finding a budget loophole in the system.

Endless and appalling machinations apaw

I.T. FUBAR:

Re “information technology”:

…At the beginning of the review of the PA/PG, items of interest to the Grand Jury were requested. Very often they responded that they did not have the information readily available. Pertinent information that should have been easily gathered with a few key strokes proved to be beyond their current capabilities.

The current ePAGES computer program used to manage conservatorships and guardianships is no longer supported by the software supplier, and is inadequate for its intended task. As of January, 2009, the PA/PG has failed to correct numerous, serious deficiencies in case management that were identified in a May, 2005, County Internal Audit. These issues were to be corrected by implementation of a replacement computer system.

The same County Internal Audit report recommended that the Public Administrator/Public Guardian replace its aged inadequate ePAGES software program. The PA/PG responded by indicating the deficiencies would be corrected and the old software system would be replaced by June, 2008. The Grand Jury was informed by the PA/PG in July, 2008, that this had not taken place; in fact a software provider had just been identified. At this time the PA/PG indicated that project delays were partially caused by a lack of funding. However, County purchasing records revealed that the project was fully funded during this period. For the next several months the Grand Jury observed that steps were taken to initiate this system. At the time of this report, the implementation of the successor program to ePAGES is at least thirteen months behind schedule. It is probable that this project will not be completed in July, 2009, as forecasted.

DOUBLE THE USUAL CASELOAD:

Re “Caseload Management”:

The size of the individual caseloads of the deputies was a concern expressed in complaint letters received by the Grand Jury. The writers pleaded for help for the deputies doing the hands-on work. In response, the Grand Jury made repeated requests for information regarding the number of cases each deputy was assigned. Due to an inadequate computer records system, there was no list of assigned cases that could be retrieved. Repeated attempts to view statistical data from both the PA/PG and Probate Court produced little usable information for the Grand Jury to review. An authoritative study identified that the usual caseload for a Public Guardian Deputy was 45. The PA/PG, though unable to identify the caseload size for each caseworker, has stated that deputies on average handle between 70 and 80 cases each.

Unapologetically arresting

CONCLUSION:

The report’s conclusion:

This investigation revealed that the PA/PG’s ability to provide services according to its mission has been reduced by management’s inability to function effectively and efficiently. They have failed to deliver on their promise to save Orange County taxpayer’s money. The road map for the job at hand, the Policies and Procedures Manual, is in shambles. Out-of-control personnel practices have created an organization top heavy in management and riddled with unhappy workers, required to do much more work than what is considered typical. Additionally, the aged, inadequate software system cannot produce the basic information needed for timely completion of everyday business. The need for change is evident. The Grand Jury’s findings and recommendations provide the Board of Supervisors with what is considered necessary to enable the PA/PG to fulfill its mission.


FINDINGS:

The report issues a series of “findings”:

F.1: The management of PA/PG has become top heavy which complicates communication with employees, increases costs and lowers morale and department performance.

F.2: Personnel practices at PA/PG have used temporary promotions and selective exclusion criteria to circumvent standard hiring procedures.

F.3: The current ePAGES computer program is no longer supported by the software supplier, and is inadequate for its intended task. Implementation of a replacement system, recommended by County Internal Audit in 2005, is severely delayed and is now scheduled for release in July 2009.

F.4: Evidence of questionable pension practices was found at the PA/PG, which could cost taxpayers nearly one and one half million ($1,500,000) dollars.

F.5: Public Administrator/Public Guardian policies and procedures are outdated, confusing and are not being adhered to as written making it difficult to effectively implement the PA/PG stated mission.

F.6: The lack of business metrics used to measure the effectiveness of PA/PG internal operations and its delivery of those services described in their mission statement makes it difficult to manage and continuously improve agency operations.

F.7: Management practices used since the separation of the Public Guardian from the Health Care Agency have significantly increased administrative management costs.

F.8: The combining of the PA and PG in 2005 has not produced the anticipated administrative cost reductions. The administrative costs have actually increased without any apparent improvement in decedent estate processing or conservatee care. The agency has made ineffective decisions that have cost Orange County taxpayers and conservatees a significant amount of money.

Annoyingly enthralling

WILLIAMS MUST RESPOND:

According to the report, “Responses to Findings F.1 through F.8 are required from the Public Administrator and requested from the Public Guardian…. The responses are to be submitted to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court.”

Page 7 of the report presents 15 “recommendations,” closely tied to "findings."

* * * * *

Incompetence and corruption in government are routine, of course. Typically, however, we never get a clear view of them. Perhaps this time we have that.

In the end, Mr. Williams will have been undone—if he is indeed undone by this stunning report (some are skeptical)—by having angered his employees, no doubt a largely earnest and hard-working crew (unlike Orlando Boy). His employees appear to be the instigators of the GJ investigation.

For many years, I assumed that that would be Chancellor Mathur's undoing also. The best of SOCCCD have long complained about Mathur's ruthlessness and incompetence, which makes life difficult (sometimes hellish) for decent employees who simply want to do their job and to do it well. But Mathur has always been protected in this regard by his "bosses," the dominant trustees, the most powerful of whom prefers that those over whom Mathur has power be as unhappy as possible.

Mr. Fuentes' hatred and contempt for district personnel, especially faculty, is undisguised.

I doubt that any such protection is available to Mr. Williams.

My guess: as the PA/PG, he's toast.

Last week: in Bryce Canyon
(Ever the optimist!)

Laughing at danger and awash in unmitigated felinity in his new "Best Friends" cap

All or most of the cats pictured are available for adoption at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in lovely Kanab, Utah

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