Saturday, July 11, 2009

A curious OC Reg editorial

Oddly, the OC Reg now seems to be taking John Williams’ side with regard to two scathing reports about his efforts as OC Public Administrator/Guardian that were recently issued by the OC Grand Jury. In yesterday's editorial, ignoring the GJ’s central complaint about Williams—that he promised huge savings but delivered vastly increased spending instead—the Reg pounced upon factual errors concerning minor issues and even suggested that the reports are the result of a “vendetta.”

Editorial: The watchdog vs. the guardian
…Because of the scathing tone of the reports…, we expected the investigation to be filled with allegations of abuse. Instead, the reports focus on detailed complaints about the agency's management structure. In the one case where the grand jury accuses the office of mismanaging a person's $7,100 estate, the jury got the basic facts wrong. The public administrator didn't handle the case at issue….

[The argument from "fishiness"?]

We're not usually given to accepting the "political vendetta" argument, but we do find some things fishy about the double-barreled reports, which complain about excessive management growth, pension spiking and excessively large caseloads by conservators responsible for handling the assets of the clients. For starters, we can't figure out why the grand jury took the unusual step of releasing a second report before the legal deadline had expired for Mr. Williams to respond to the first one. The rationale, according to the grand jury foreman, was that the office continued to engage in the same practices it had criticized: "They basically went on to do the same thing in spite of our report," grand jury foreman James Perez told the Register.

But how could anything have changed even before the [two month] deadline had expired to even respond to the allegations? The second report, which supposedly contained new information, read to us like a rehashing of the first report. Our guess is the grand jury received a leaked copy of Mr. Williams' initial rebuttal to the Board of Supervisors, and lashed out again because they didn't like that he disputed each of their recommendations. Some of those recommendations sound reasonable, especially regarding budget growth. But some of the points had such simple explanations that it makes us wonder about the thoroughness of the report.

For instance, the grand jury raises the issue of "questionable pension practices" because Mr. Williams promoted an employee to a top management position within a year of retirement. But as Mr. Williams told us, he didn't know when that person would retire, and it would be discriminatory to not promote someone because of her age. We agree that the county's pension system is ridiculously generous, but we can't see how this amounts to any deliberate form of pension spiking barring some additional evidence.

On a broader point, we agree with Mr. Williams that a closer look at the grand jury system is warranted. He complains that the grand jurors came into his office with subpoena power, an ax to grind and little to no understanding about how the office operates. "These people struggled to understand all the basic stuff.”….

We have appreciated the grand jury's civil oversight function, mainly because of the desperate need for oversight of government agencies. But grand juries can be abused by those with personal and political agendas, and we have seen the O.C. grand jury insert itself into political disputes that seem far afield from its legitimate purview….


Is it really so hard to understand why the GJ issued a second report before Williams responded to the first? According to the Times,
Jurors intended to issue only one report on the agency. But within two weeks of its release in May, they got a "significant" number of calls and letters informing them that not only had management not changed, but that the situation had worsened. (See OC Grand Jury.)

—That is, contrary to the Reg editorial, there were indications that Williams was actively engaging in further practices of the sort they objected to--or, at any rate, he was acting to make matters worse. “Failure to change things” and “open defiance” are two different things, Reggie. Get it right.

A PROMISE UNFULFILLED:

Again, a focus of the original Grand Jury report was financial accountability:
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.

Indeed, the OC Reg’s first article about Williams’ GJ woes began with this:
Public Administrator John Williams and then-Treasurer/Tax Collector John Moorlach promised county supervisors in 2005 they could save $300,000 over three years by combining the offices of public administrator and public guardian. ¶ Yet Orange County's grand jury says they didn't even come close. ¶ A scathing county grand jury report … takes aim at Williams for doubling salary costs at the agency and engaging in questionable personnel practices. ¶ "The annual base salary of management has increased over 96 percent since 2005," read the grand jury report. ¶ "They have failed to deliver on their promise to save Orange County taxpayers' money."

The GJ offered specifics:
According to the report, in 2005 there were seven employees who had combined yearly salaries of $529,796. By 2008, the number of employees had risen to 10, a spike of 40 percent. And their wages totaled $1, 042,828 annually.

Somehow, the fiscal center of the GJ’s criticism now seems unimportant to the Reg. Why? Cuz conspiracies are afoot: the jury foreman, Jim Perez, was out to get Williams owing to the latter’s trusteeship at the SOCCCD (?!), and he somehow managed to get all jurors to go along with him.

Wow.


Williams and the Reg focus on alleged factual errors in the report. But, on Tuesday (see update of Public guardian fires back), we learned that
James Perez, foreman of the grand jury that published the two reports, said … that Williams was allowed to review both reports before they were published and that he did not raise concerns about their accuracy. ¶ "He made no factual corrections," Perez said. "What he said was, the facts are correct, but I dispute your interpretation of the facts." [My emphases.]

Something doesn’t add up here. Having observed Mr. Williams for many years (especially with regard to the board's "persistent and defiant" violations of the Brown Act), I know him to be an inveterate schemer and liar. He's Karl Rove, but without the brain.

I’m betting on Perez, not Williams.

One more thing. If these reports are merely the product of a “vendetta,” then why aren’t Mr. Williams’ supporters defending him? On the contrary, on Monday, Supervisor John Moorlach’s chief of staff was quoted as saying, “We are very troubled….”

It’ll be fun to see where this thing goes next. Stay tuned.


HE'S A SCUMBAG, DON'T YOU KNOW?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Passings: Charles Eastman


When Rebel Girl first started showing up in Jim Krusoe's writing workshop at Santa Monica College in the mid-1980s, she met Charles Eastman, a rather august figure who also showed up week after week to sit in a circle and read aloud his stories and listen to those of others. The writing workshop is a deceptively simple ritual.

It was in Krusoe's workshop that she learned and learned again that there was more than one teacher in that circle - nearly everyone had something to teach.

Charles Eastman was one of those, with his measured advice and his own quietly powerful work and wide-ranging reading.

Truth to be told, Charles frightened her for the first few years, using words that she'd never heard before, citing unknown writers and working week after week at patiently growing a short story, scene after scene. In that workshop where you read your work aloud, Rebel Girl would read hers at home and wonder what Charles would say.

During breaks, while people bought paper cups of vending machine coffee, other students told her things about Charles - facts that were confirmed in today's Los Angeles Times obituary: he was a playwright; he was a screenwriter: his films had big stars in them; his sister was famous too, had written Five Easy Pieces; he, himself, was famously select about what kind of work he did and for whom.

From today Times, Robert Towne, screenwriter of Chinatown:

Screenwriter Robert Towne, who met Eastman in the '60s, recalled how impressed he was by an early Eastman screenplay that never made it to the big screen: "Honeybear,I Think I Love You," the story of a disturbed young man's obsession with a girl.

"For me, it was quite a revelation because it was the first contemporary screenplay I had read that just opened up the possibilities of everything that you could put into a screenplay in terms of language and the observations of contemporary life," Towne said this week.

"It was a stunning piece of work, and I think it influenced a lot of us, even though it wasn't made," Towne said. "Everybody tried to get it made, but Charlie was very particular about how it was going to be made, and in some ways I think he kept it from being made.

"Charlie was an original, that's all. He used language in a way that I hadn't seen used before."

Towne said Eastman was "very particular, very quirky, very much like his sister," who wrote "Five Easy Pieces," starring Jack Nicholson, under the pen name Adrien Joyce.

"I think she was writing about Charlie in some ways," said Towne. "Charlie was just one of those shadowy figures that I think cast a longer shadow over most of us than was generally recognized."

Rebel Girl wasn't Charles Eastman's friend but they did sit in a room together with others, for years and years, and listen to the stories people told and shared some of their own.

To read the rest of Dennis McLellan's obituary, click here.

To see the closing scene of Eastman's film, Little Fauss and Big Halsy, (yes, that's a young Robert Redford) and to listen to Johnny Cash sings its title song, click below.

"Adverse publicity probably didn't help"


I just noticed this report about Laguna Woods Village from two days ago:

Four Emeritus morning fitness classes at Clubhouse 1 will be discontinued after end of year (OC Reg)
During his Community Activities Committee report at Tuesday's Golden Rain Foundation Board of Directors meeting, Director Bob Hatch announced that the four Saddleback College emeritus fitness classes held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at Clubhouse One's equipment room will be discontinued after the end of this year.

Other emeritus fitness classes will not be affected.

"The fall term will be last term," Hatch later verified.
"The state has reduced the amount of funds the college has, so Saddleback had to determine where their services were most appreciated." Objections raised by some Village residents in having to register for the classes so as to use the equipment room during the 8 a.m. to noon time period may have affected the college's decision, he said, adding that "Adverse publicity probably didn't help." Hatch also emphasized that, as of this time, no plans have been made to discontinue other emeritus classes….

In other news...

Cal State closes 2009-10 spring admissions because of budget crisis (LA Times)
In a move to cut enrollment because of the state budget deficit, the 23-campus Cal State University system announced Thursday that, with few exceptions, it will not allow students to start at the university next spring. Cal State usually admits about 35,000 freshmen, undergraduate transfers and graduate students in the spring, officials said….

Muscle cars are back, evidently

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ignorant and perverse

Today, New York Times science writer Cornelia Dean reports on a survey just completed for the giant American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (Survey Shows Gap Between Scientists and the Public).

Guess what? Scientists and Joe Public are not on the same page.
…[W]hile almost all of the scientists surveyed accept that human beings evolved by natural processes and that human activity… is causing global warming, members of the general public are far less sure. ¶ Almost a third say human beings have existed in their current form since the beginning of time, a view held by only 2 percent of the scientists. Only about half agree that people are behind climate change, and 11 percent do not believe there is any warming at all. ¶ According to the survey, about a third of Americans think there is lively scientific debate on both topics; in fact, there is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution and there is little doubt that human activity is altering the chemistry of the atmosphere in ways that threaten global climate.

OK, nothing new here. The public is pretty clueless.

Predictably, according to the survey, Joe and Jane Public hold scientists in high regard. –Right. They like science and scientists; it’s only what scientists produce that they reject.

Sure, I get it. I like my compass, but I reject the idea that it points to magnetic north.

Joe and Jane aren’t just ignorant; they’re perverse.

OK, I’ll say it. Democracy sucks. –I know, I know. All other government forms suck even more.

That really sucks.



"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

--Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"He made no factual corrections," Perez said

On Monday, the OC Reg (here) described John Williams’ response to a “scathing” Grand Jury report about his agency (Trustee Williams is also OC Public Guardian/Administrator). According to the GJ, Johnny Boy is mighty incompetent. Plus he's blowing off the GJ's recommendations.

Today, a reader alerted us that the Reg article has been updated:
UPDATED 7/7/09: James Perez, foreman of the grand jury that published the two reports, said Tuesday that Williams was allowed to review both reports before they were published and that he did not raise concerns about their accuracy.

"He made no factual corrections," Perez said. "What he said was, the facts are correct, but I dispute your interpretation of the facts."

Williams rejects the claims, as well as most of the grand jury's recommendations, in his official response. For example, the grand jury reported that Williams' office took four years to resolve the estate of a man who had died. The estate was worth $7,100 at the time of death, the report said, but it had dwindled to zero before it ever reached the court to be dispersed.

"The public administrator office didn't even handle this case," Williams wrote in his response. He also defended his staffing levels, saying they're in line with other county agencies and that the grand jury comparisons are misleading. He denied pension spiking and said his office has saved the county money.

Williams still has two months to respond to the grand jury's second report, but he doesn't believe voters will support splitting his office or change it from being an elected job.

"It makes as much sense as dividing up sheriff and coroner," Williams said. "It would be too cost prohibitive."

My money's on Perez.

Big man

As Rebel Girl noted, this morning, Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur spammed the district community, alerting us to two recent newspaper articles about declining property tax collections (County's property tax values tumble $5.2billion [OC Reg] and First property tax dip since 1994 [LA Times]).

Sounds alarming.

"I encourage you,” he wrote, “to read [these] two very important newspaper articles … regarding the decreasing property taxes in Orange County. This will have an adverse impact on our District budget, especially in the area of basic aid dollars.”

Naturally, the Chancellor’s links to the articles didn’t work. The link to the Reg article opened up my mail program. The link to the Times article opened to a page that did not include the article.

Whatever. I, too, noticed these articles. Our district is an unusual “basic aid” district, which means that we get lots of our funding from a portion of locally collected property taxes. So when property values decline, our funding declines. On the other hand, compared to other districts, we’re swimming in dough, a fact that has inspired resentment across the state. We’ve got shitloads of extra money, and so the issue has been: how do we spend it? New facilities? A bust of St. Ronald?

As you know, here in Dissent, we’ve often noted our dependence on local property taxes, and we’ve monitored board discussions of the situation. We've been on top of it, baby.

So why didn’t I provide a link to yesterday’s articles?

It was because of lines like this one: “Orange County's total property tax values for 2009-10 are down 1.23%....” (LA Times).

One percent. Wow.

You know me: I have no clue about fiscal issues. But I do have a question: do we get a portion of the whole county’s property tax collections (which took a 1% hit) or do we get a portion of the property tax collections specifically for the cities that we serve (i.e., South County cities)?

I ask because some cities—e.g., Laguna Beach and Irvine—actually experienced an increase: they “have slightly increased their assessed values, mainly because of development,” reported the Times.

So exactly where do we stand?

Raghu likes to play the big man. We should just buy him a crown and then ask him to hide somewhere, incommunicado.

That would be best for all concerned, I think.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

America the Undignified

I’ve been trying to ignore the endless craziness about Michael Jackson. But it ain’t easy.

Predictably, the reverend Al Sharpton has been milking the situation for all it’s worth. Like many others, he’s giving the people what they want: emotional blatherings about Jackson’s epoch-shattering greatness and his importance to each and every one of us.

Evidently, yesterday, a reporter asked President Obama whether he agrees with such assessments.

I was a little worried.

I shouldn’t have been. Obama did not join in the unseemly emotional gushfest over the death of the self-appointed “King of Pop.” Jackson, he said, like so many other black entertainers and sports figures, has raised Americans’ “comfort level” with African Americans.

That’s pretty understated. Let’s hope this doesn’t inspire calls for his resignation.

Yesterday, the New York Times’ David Brooks managed to put Jackson into some perspective—in a way that likely won’t inspire angry calls that he be fired. (In Search of Dignity.)

His piece concerned the importance of dignity, a trait once exhibited by some of our leaders. He wrote about the death of the “dignity code” and placed Mr. Jackson—and the rest of us—in that unfortunate retrograde saga:
The dignity code commanded its followers to ... put national interests above personal interests. It commanded its followers to be reticent — to never degrade intimate emotions by parading them in public. It also commanded its followers to be dispassionate — to distrust rashness, zealotry, fury and political enthusiasm.

But the dignity code itself has been completely obliterated.

Each week, Brooks writes, one witnesses horrifying new episodes “featuring people who simply do not know how to act.” Some recent examples:
First, there was Mark Sanford’s press conference. Here was a guy utterly lacking in any sense of reticence, who was given to rambling self-exposure even in his moment of disgrace. Then there was the death of Michael Jackson and the discussion of his life. Here was a guy who was apparently untouched by any pressure to live according to the rules and restraints of adulthood. Then there was Sarah Palin’s press conference. Here was a woman who aspires to a high public role but is unfamiliar with the traits of equipoise and constancy, which are the sources of authority and trust. ¶ In each of these events, one sees people who simply have no social norms to guide them as they try to navigate the currents of their own passions.

Brooks ends on a positive note. There is, he says, “the fact of President Obama”:
Whatever policy differences people may have with him, we can all agree that he exemplifies reticence, dispassion and the other traits associated with dignity. The cultural effects of his presidency are not yet clear, but they may surpass his policy impact. He may revitalize the concept of dignity for a new generation and embody a new set of rules for self-mastery.

May he? Brooks is dreaming. For every dignified and intelligent Presidential moment, there are dozens—hundreds—of moments in which a celebrity gushes or weeps or lets it all hang out.

And America is riveted.

Monday, July 6, 2009

John Williams breaks out his smelly brown Crayon

John Williams—SOCCCD trustee and OC Public Administrator/Guardian—is nothing if not stupid. And so, a month after the OC Grand Jury noisily noted that, as Administrator/Guardian, Williams is an incompetent boob and brazen cronyizer (and a week after the GJ offered a second scathing rebuke, when Williams changed nothing), Mr. Dolt has come out swinging with his trusty bag of gas:

Public guardian fires back against mismanagement claims

According to the Reg’s Jennifer Muir, in his response, issued today,
Williams laid out his department's accomplishments and cited details in the report that he says are incorrect. [He spotted a split infinitive.] He said he took pains to explain complicated and technical procedures to grand jurors, but they just didn't understand.

That’s likely because John's IQ is very low, and he doesn’t understand this crap himself, so naturally his 'splainin' goes nowhere. (I once saw him with a box of Cracker Jack; he was eating the prize.)

Williams, who is joined on the SOCCCD board by former OC GOP chief Tom Fuentes, is of course a part of Fuentes’ world-o’-corrupt-an’-cynical-an’-butt-ugly cronies (WOCACABUC for short), and so, naturally, in 2005,
County Supervisor John Moorlach supported reorganizing the public administrator and public guardian roles into their own agency…. He also supported a change in 2007 that made whoever was elected to the public administrator job the ex-officio public guardian.

Yeah, that’s how this crew operates. Williams may be a dolt, but he does know how to suck on the public teat and milk it for all its worth. (Check out his five-hundred dollar a night stays in hotels—he especially likes to travel to Orlando—paid for by the taxpayers.) So, amazingly, he got elected to a minor county office, but it has somehow morphed into a big freakin’ job—with a nifty car allowance too!—and he now makes some serious bucks.

Only problem is that he’s fouled things up so badly that even his powerful right-wing friends can’t fix things for ‘im:
"We are very troubled," [Moorlach chief of staff Mario] Mainero said. "We need to sit down and read through Williams' response, and try to decide where we're going." [Lemme save you the trouble: we’re going to Orlando.] In the first report, grand jurors accused Williams of nearly doubling management costs and promoting an employee within a year of retirement, costing the county more than $1 million more for the employee's pension. The report also alleges the public administrator squandered the estate of a person who had died. Last week, grand jurors issued a second scathing report, accusing Williams of continuing the poor management practices, even after being warned.

So, anyway, Johnny has now responded in writing, which means that he had to break out the crayons and start scribblin’ for an hour or two. Using the smelly brown crayon, he has scrawled that
the grand jury reported that [his] office took four years to resolve the estate of a man who had died. … "The public administrator office didn't even handle this case," Williams wrote in his response. He also defended his staffing levels, saying they're in line with other county agencies and that the grand jury comparisons are misleading. He denied pension spiking and said his office has saved the county money.

Yeah, Williams thinks that a denial is a kind of argument, but a really good kind cuz it involves fewer words: "Did not!"

We all know where this is headed, and it ain't Orlando. Will John "Brown Boy" Williams be vindicated? No freakin' way. If you wait long enough, all the denizens of Fuentes/Schroeder World end up in jail or at least on the public’s brownest shit list. Tommy, I think, is headed for hell. I'm an agnostic, but I've already asked the Lord if I can watch.

Williams has two months to respond to the second grand jury report. I can’t wait.

I should mention that in recent years, Williams has fallen out of favor with Tom Fuentes and his nasty crew. Not long ago, Fuentes got his pal Steve Greenhut at the Reg to slam Williams for bein' a RINO (Williams is so cheap that he plays nice with the faculty union to get it to fund his campaigns).

Yeah, but I still blame Fuentes and his ugly and appalling cronyistic machinations. You'd better hope there's no God, Tommy Boy. Near as I can tell, the Lord is down on your M.O., bigtime.

Day 21 of the wait for "dollar details"

"They're free, Pops!"

Um, this can't be good. Snarling packs of oldsters over at Leisure World (aka Laguna Woods Village) claim that Saddleback College is swiping state money with light-on-instruction (aka "fake") oldster PE classes with big enrollments (lots of repeat customers, comin' and goin' promiscuously). But wait! The college can answer all that (cuz, like, most o' those geezers like these courses!). And, besides, Saddleback will get back to the Reg reporter with "dollar details"!

Oh good.

Well, OK. But it's been three weeks!

UPDATE:

See data buried in story?

Empathize with your enemy

As you know, Robert McNamara has died (Robert S. McNamara, Former Defense Secretary, Dies at 93).

Below are two excerpts from Errol Morris’s stunning 2003 film The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.

In the first segment, McNamara discusses the moral paradoxes of war. In the second, oddly enough, he advises that we empathize with our enemy.




About 60,000 American soldiers died during Mr. McNamara's war.
Perhaps 2 million Vietnamese civilians were killed.

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