Saturday, November 28, 2009

The First Amendment and Time Machines

RE THE "PRAYER" LAWSUIT: Nope, on my last post, I didn’t include the “debate” going on at the OC Register, preferring to concentrate on the remarks and views of academics. That was no guarantee of quality, it seems.

But the Reg’s readers are very interested in the lawsuit. The Reg article, which appeared on the 23rd, has thus far attracted 90 comments!

I perused them and found most of them to be pretty predictable.

There are exceptions, but, mostly, here’s what passes for debate among the OC Reg’s readers:
At 11:45, alleykat1 wrote:
Keep religion out of public schools, okay? Thanks.

At 11:54, kakalaki wrote:
Keep homosexuality, and liberal indoctrination out of our public schools, okay? Thanks.
Gotta love the old Reg and its Neanderthal “base.”

The Reg has run a poll, asking, “Should prayer be part of community college events?”

The results so far:
Yes. It's a longstanding tradition that should be upheld. 58%
No. It's a violation of the separation of church and state. 42%
That’s better than I expected.

Evidently, some readers—including some who wrote to Inside Higher Ed!—are unfamiliar with the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. No, it isn’t only about free speech. It includes the famous “establishment clause,” followed by the “Free Exercise Clause,” etc.:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As many (though, evidently, not all) know, the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution/Bill of Rights. The phrase seems to trace back to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. (He was a Deist.)

There is a decent discussion of the 1st Amendment and differing interpretations of the Establishment Clause in Wikipedia.

I’m struck by the popularity of the odd notion that we can entirely settle questions regarding the meaning of the rights enumerated in the Constitution/Bill of Rights by identifying what their authors intended—as though the notion of “intention” were simple.

Naturally, I am very interested in the question of what the “founding fathers” were thinking. But I am equally interested in the conversations and convictions inspired by their words in the subsequent two centuries. The Constitution—and our ideals as Americans—are a tradition that necessarily adjusts and seeks relevance and meaning as time passes.

And so a reliable jaunt in a Time Machine is not the sine qua non of answering the crucial questions.


Santa Ana Canyon, 1887

THE YORBAS, PART TWO:



I had lunch with my folks today. I mentioned the Yorba Cemetery to them and, to my amazement, they knew something about it.

Turns out back in the old days—when our family first moved to the States—my folks loved to take the family to historical sites. In about 1962, they somehow heard about the Yorbas and about their cemetery and Adobe. So, one Saturday, we drove up the Santa Ana Canyon to find ‘em.



Back then, evidently, there was no freeway—I vaguely remember the old two-lane highway winding up the canyon, mostly hugging the south side—and the road to the spot where Bernardo Yorba established his ranch was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. (Now, it's wall-to-wall suburbia.)

My folks found the monument commemorating the enormous adobe structure—it was demolished in the twenties—and then they drove to the cemetery that was close by.

It wasn’t locked up. We strode inside and took a look around.

“Did you take any pictures?”

“No.”

In 1970, my dad (and I) started a Boy Scout Troop (#536) at Trinity Lutheran Church, which sat atop Nohl Ranch Road in Anaheim Hills, about where the road crests. (We had been with Troop 850 in Villa Park.) As it turns out, an “important” part of the Yorba family lived in that neighborhood, just up from the canyon floor, and so we got to know “the Yorbas.” --Some of ‘em, anyway.

My dad launched into stories about meeting Mr. Yorba’s mother at the “Yorba compound.” Evidently, she was very nice, very old world. She always insisted on giving him a bag of oranges when he visited.

I kinda remember ‘em. Sheesh.

Picture: Bernardo Yorba II, 1880.

P.S.: I looked up my old Church—Trinity Lutheran—and learned that, in 1985, "the church voted unaminously to withdraw its membership in the ALC [American Lutheran Church] because of theological liberalism and the synod's abandonment of the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy." Trinity is now a member of "The Conservative Lutheran Association." Gosh.

Discussion about the prayer lawsuit


The IVC cafeteria, Wednesday afternoon

I'VE BEEN monitoring comments to recent articles in the academic press on the SOCCCD “prayer” lawsuit (Westphal v. Wagner). They’ve been pretty much what you’d expect, I suppose.

We’ll start with the Chronicle article, which attracted only seven comments. (I've selected only two of these.)

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER ED

● The first commenter was pithy. “Geoz32” said “good.”

● Another commenter who goes by the handle “22218459” scolded both sides of the suit:

It is a reproach to ALL sides in this argument that it continues to go on. If the plaintiffs and defendants in this suit would consistently follow the ideals they cite, they would communicate sufficientl [sic] to accomodate, rather than litigate.

INSIDE HIGHER ED

For some reason, there were many more comments on the article that appeared in “Inside Higher Ed.”

● “Ind2002” of Pace University opined:

I have always been baffled by the obsession with public prayer, whether within the context of school ceremonies, football games, etc. I fail to comprehend why people who wish to pray cannot do so in their church, or the privacy of their home, or within themselves. Why the need for this type collectivism?....

● But Thomas M. Ratliff, an administrator at Indiana Wesleyan, offered a very different perspective:

Every human should be allowed to say whatever they want. Americans are supposed to be free to do so, even if someone else doesn't like it or agree. It is not suppression of other's rights to say something they do not want to hear, it is fundamental to the growth experience we are to have as living beings. 
I commend the college officials for consistently making their stand and speaking what they believe is appropriate in their hearts. May others be so bold as to continue to believe that we are actually free in this country and not enslaved to censorship.

● Meanwhile, Mike Landry of Northern State U wrote:

Wow! Not only does Saddleback College have the best jazz station I've ever heard (I listen online), but they have an administration with courage and common sense. There was ... a Western/County music dinner theater kind of thing in Colorado Springs. Each evening before the dinner, one of the cowboys would begin the meal by saying something like: "Before we eat, around here we pray. If you don't pray, that's fine. It won't hurt you." Glad to see Saddleback standing for a tradition deep within Western civilization.

● RSP expressed a different view:

… I too fail to understand why so many people insist on imposing their views on others in public settings. Those individuals with differing views are forced to listen, they cannot walk away. They are also, in a very real sense, forced to respond in the way that the speaker is wishing them to respond--forced to participate. If they don't, they risk being viewed as an outsider and subject to discrimination (even if that discrimination is subconscious). It's my understanding that the constitution, in part, was designed to protect the minority viewpoint....

● “pg” wrote:

I find it interesting that many individuals in the US who criticize theocracies elsewhere have no problem advocating public prayer and occasionally other acts of religious fanaticism. … In this so-called melting pot where all different races, ethnicities, and faiths reside, why can't religion be kept a personal matter?....

● Dale pounced on the appeal to tradition:

Tradition...tradition....tradition.... I keep hearing this plea for tradtion. Please. We're an educated people. Once upon a time, it was tradition to own slaves and burn witches at the stake. Can't we do better than that?
....

● Diogenes opined:

Courage? Seems more like bullying. "Hi. I'm your fundamentalist Christian administrator and we are now going to pray to my exclusive god. Sorry about yours…."

● Don Heller at Penn State weighed in with:

[Ratliff wrote:] "Every human should be allowed to say whatever they want. Americans are supposed to be free to do so, even if someone else doesn't like it or agree."

…[T]he courts have consistently ruled that public agencies - such as Saddleback Community College - have to tread lightly in their use and promotion of religion. The actions reported here tread very closely to the line the courts have delineated in ruling that public agencies not promote religious views. Ultimately, it will be up to a court to decide, but in the meantime it appears that SCC will spend a lot of money defending its actions, money it obviously cannot spare given the budget situation in which California finds itself.

● G. Tod Slone opined:

Bravo to the five brave professors for engaging this lawsuit and to Karla Westphal, in particular! They bring hope to the heart! Students, however, shouldn’t be encouraged to speak anonymously. Instead, they need to be encouraged to “go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways” (Emerson). ... 
It is mind-boggling to think that, at a public California college, such religious séances occur during mandatory faculty attendance events. Rather than be “baffled by the obsession with public prayer,” as one anonymous entity stated, we need to stand up and decry it openly! Without separation of church and state, we’ll end up like one of those islamist nations, where butchering women who leave their husbands is the order of the day….

● Sue Donna Moss wrote:

Perhaps the solution for all these people who think that it's fair to the rest of us to open events at public institutions with prayer would be to follow them up with an obnoxious, sarcastic three minute lecture from a secular humanist. Maybe the religious wouldn't be so quick to cram their ancient superstitions down our throats react when they discover that turnabout is fair game?

● Marcus Timbaugh, a prof. of Economics, said he liked prayer:

I like prayer. Whether or not you let me do it in public will not stop me from praying for you. 
Do me one favor though. Stop being hypocrites and playing the victim everytime someone prays in public, when your institutions systematically cram your atheistic views down students throats every day. There is an undeniable truth that thoughout [sic] most non-religious campuses, it's OK to be of ANY group, so long as it's not Christian. It's time to drop this double standard....

ADDED AT 6:30 p.m.:

● Bradley Bleck, who teaches English at Spokane Falls CC, asked

… [T]here might be religious freedom in theory, but there is certainly no freedom from being bullied by those who can't follow the dictates of Christ: 
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Mathew 6 5-6).


● A fellow oddly named “Charles Darwin” offered this unpleasant comment:

Well, Saddleback college, it's nice to hear from you. Things have been a bit boring in the old grave lately, the Bears suck this year, and the Cubs, well, don't get me started.
 So imagine my delight in reading that you adminstrators at a publicy-funded institution of higher education get to decide what color God your good people get to pray to. Good for you!
 When I get Power, I think i will make everyone pray to science.
 You slobbermouthed, brainless, Faux-Noose watching idots [sic] are going to join me in hell for this. I can't wait.

● MathProf noted that

Many members of this opposition [to trustee prayer, etc.] are not opposed to religion, or the public expression of religion. We are opposed to the privileged position given to one religion -- Christianity -- at the expense of other religions: Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism etc….

● Diogenes came back, looking for Marcus:

Actually Marcus I don't know what's more amusing: your straw man stereotypes or the weakness of the rest of your "argument."
 I tend to follow the teaching of an inspired man who said, "Do not pray in public as the hypocrites do..." You ought to read his book someday instead of slapping people with it.

● TT saw thing very differently:

… Just how far are we going to allow PC to dictate our lives[?] In this issue some speak of tradition, there is nothing wrong with tradition, and by the way I don't think the concept of tradition applies to slavery.
 Bottom line is Saddleback has an average enrollment of 39,000+ students and staff/faculty 2,000+ and 8 people are objecting to the this practice. Stop the world, I want to get off!

● Meanwhile, according to Hannha,

…[H]ow reasonable is it to expect the non-christians to just tune out or put up with it? What if it were a hebrew or muslim or wiccan or buddhist prayer; would christians be OK to just "go along"? 
I say, keep it simple--no prayers at all at public school functions. The cultural demographics and dynamics that made it easy for such prayers to go unchallenged in decades past have radically changed--for the better….

● CL expressed an unpopular view concerning democracy:

…We live in a democracy where the majority rules. If the majority want prayer at an event, then prayer occurs. For those opposed to prayer, don't pray. If you find it offensive, plug your ears….

● Predictably, others, including CC Prof, rebutted CL

…The Bill of Rights ... specifically limits or constrains majority rule. A majority of Americans could decide that everyone must be Catholic (or agnostic, etc.), but any legislation to that effect would be unconstitutional because of the 1st Amendment….

● And Jason said:

Actually, wer're not a democracy where "the majority" rules. We are a REPUBLIC, where the rights of the minority get protected in the consititution.…

● Don Rucker of Azusa Pacific U said:

… First, Thomas Jefferson made it clear to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists that the "wall of separation" between the government and religion was for the protection of religion. In fact, that wall was to prevent the establishment of a national religion. It was not intended to prevent prayer anywhere. Also, it was intended by our founders that Christianity was fundamental in the founding of our nation….

● Annoyed PhD was amused by Sue Donna Moss’s crack about religion and superstition:

…God have mercy on all of us and the BS we have to put up with that flows out of "educated" people's mouths on college campuses. I hope your research is comforting to you in times of need and sadness.

● Jeremiah thought that believers should heed the Bible:

Consider the words of.…Jesus…: "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray on street corners and in public so that others may se them…..” Enough, already! Forget the ACLU, the Constitution, and all earthly law! Heed Matthew 6: 5-8 and get over it!!!

● Robert at Multnomah suggested:

… I'm not advocating for defense of public prayer like this or not, I just think that common sense and pragmatism demands that we step back and honestly ask ourselves if it's really hurting anyone. … Also, bare in mind that people with religious "rituals" have to mind far more rules in society to avoid offending others than most of us are willing to acknowledge… Remember folks, everybody is being repressed and oppressed by somebody in some circumstance somewhere if you look hard enough...you're not the only one….

● Dr. Anonymous said

The First Amendment says only that there shall be no Established Church and no law relating thereto. That is all. I grew up saying the Lord's Prayer every day in school. It hurt no-one, and no-one complained. Christianity is the religion of the American nation; it also has been at the heart of the American experience since 1620.  So: Jews, Muslims, and the various brands of atheism feel "on the outside" when prayers are said at public functions. Well: They ARE on the outside. And in their hearts they know it.

Well, for today anyway, Dr. A gets the last word.

COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
The poor oppressed Christians, all so worried about others' viewpoints being "crammed down their throats." 

The rest of us have to put with their mythology on a regular basis, and it often creeps into legislation. They long for the next auto-da-fe while they whine about how put upon they are.
12:54 PM, November 28, 2009

Anonymous said...
I send my kid to community college to be educated, not prayed to. I have the option of sending my kid to a private faith-based college, but chose to send him to a public institution. I suggest your Board of Trustees stick to the issue of educating kids and stop wasting hard earned taxpayer money defending their "right" to force their christian beliefs down the public's throats.
6:03 PM, November 28, 2009

Anonymous said...
Good lord; who knew that the Chronicle had such neanderthal readers?----but also some thoughtful and educated ones, thankfully. 

¶ What an impasse we seem to have reached in this bizarre country. It's hard for me not to think that a certain LACK OF INTELLIGENCE keeps the Christian-types from seeing who is really being bullied in this country, from legislation and proposed health care "reforms" (let's take away any real legal right to abortions for women who can't afford them) to public prayer everywhere we turn. 

¶ Reminds me of noisy jerks at the movies: when you ask them to be quiet, they'll say, "hey, live and let live." Uh--yeah; that was MY point.

I mean: some of it is just plain stupidity. Very depressing.

Thanks so much for pressing the lawsuit!

  --MAH
6:32 PM, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yorba Cemetery



Has anyone been to the Yorba Cemetery in Yorba Linda—inside tiny and obscure Woodgate Park?

In the late 80s, I actually lived about 1,500 feet from it—in an apartment complex at Orangethorpe/Imperial—but I was barely aware of the cemetery then. Kept meaning to check it out. Never did.

It was established by Bernardo Yorba in 1858, about a quarter mile from his family adobe to the east. He had deeded the land to the church.

He then died at age 57.

The cemetery served the communities of the Santa Ana Canyon (along the Santa Ana River) until 1939, when vandals defaced and stole many markers and headstones. It was closed. And that was that, I guess. They put a fence around it, let it deteriorate.

SAVED! (NOT QUITE)

In 1967, the OC Board of Supervisors accepted the cemetery from the church as part of a larger effort to preserve OC’s history. But they dithered, I guess, and so it wasn’t until fairly recently (!) that the county made efforts to restore the cemetery, which, of course, has deteriorated further.

In 2002, just as the cemetery was finally undergoing a restoration, vandals struck again, breaking and knocking over 25 headstones “for no apparent reason.”

The “Yorba” connection to Orange County began with José Antonio Yorba, who was born in San Sadurni de Noya, Spain, in 1746. Twenty-three years later, Yorba was a member of Portola’s famous expedition, which came through Orange County in 1769.

Thirty-two years after that—when he was 55—Yorba was living in San Diego, when he had a son, Bernardo.

"BERNARDO LIKED YOUNG WOMEN"

Thirty-four years later, Bernardo Yorba received over 13,000 acres of land as a grant from the Mexican government . (It was in present-day Yorba Linda.) Soon thereafter (in 1835) he began building his adobe home, named “Rancho San Antonio.”

According to Find-a-grave(!), the adobe
had over 100 rooms with the rancho having hundreds of employees to tend the vineyards, crops and cattle fed by water from the Santa Ana River marking the first large irrigation system in California.


Sounds good. But then we’re told that “Bernardo liked young women.” His first wife (Maria) was 16, and, during the five years of their marriage (it ended with her death), they had four children.

Then came 15-year-old Felipa, who died when giving birth to child number twelve.

Wife #3, Andrea, was also young, and she bore Bernardo four sons.

The dude had twenty kids when he died.

For some reason, the Yorbas were all planted in LA (Calvary Cemetery), but they were reinterred in Yorba Cemetery in 1923. (Evidently, “His last wife, Andrea Avila, remarried and she is buried along with her second husband in an unmarked grave at the Yorba cemetery.”)

For what it’s worth, I found the following article, by Maria Leano, in the June 2008 edition of the OC Catholic:

Annual Mass at Yorba Cemetery Celebrates County’s Beginnings
A cemetery might not be the first place that comes to mind for a celebration. Yet for the past 12 years, one group of people has gathered the Saturday before Mother’s Day at a small burial site tucked in the hills of Yorba Linda to joyfully commemorate a shared heritage of discovery, perseverance, and achievement. Their surnames include Peralta, Dominguez, Yorba, and Grijalva, and they are the descendants of some of the earliest settlers of what is today Orange County.
On May 10, 2008, generations of descendants from the 20 Spanish families who first settled this northeast corner of the county gathered at the historic Yorba Cemetery (the oldest private cemetery in the state) for the annual memorial organized by the Santa Ana Canyon Historical Council….
Spanish pobladores began arriving in Orange County in 1769, after news of English and Russian settlements in Northern California spurred the Spanish government to solidify its claim to the land by populating it.
The first Yorbas, Grijalvas, and Peraltas arrived in the Southland with the military and missionary expeditions that followed….
Living in what were essentially remote outposts, the early settlers weathered disease, drought, and frequent territorial and political conflicts. (In a span of less than 100 years, the land on which the cemetery sits successively changed hands from the Gabrielino Indians to the Spanish Crown, the Republic of Mexico, and then to the United States.)
While the challenging conditions decimated many ranchos, Bernardo Yorba—the city of Yorba Linda’s namesake—rose to prominence. He was the first to introduce irrigation farming to the area, and his 50-room hacienda, complete with barbershop, general store, and private chapel, became a focal point of life in the canyon. The visits of missionary priests traveling through the area allowed canyon residents to celebrate Mass and receive the sacraments.
Before his death, Don Bernardo saw to the spiritual welfare of future canyon residents, donating the land for San Antonio de Padua Church and the cemetery plot…..

 Yorba Cemetery, 2007


There's absolutely nothing left of the Yorba adobe--except this monument, by the side of a busy road.
Supposedly, the monument was made from pieces of the original structure.

A brief history of the Yorba family
The Yorba Family Cemetery

SOME O' "THE GIRL'S" (ERIN'S) PHOTOS








Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pleasant, gaudy, uncanny IVC


The A-quad. We used to have a clock tower here. Rot.
We saved the clock's hands. Metal.


The new commencement zone, between Biz-Tick and PAC.
Nice, but, here, the sun is all wrong in the late afternoon, when the ceremony occurs.
Photographers grumble and fume.


Biz-Tick at left; PAC at right.
Once were orange groves. Strawberry fields.


Late afternoon, long shadows.
Two people converse, saying nothing.


"Physical education." Odd phrase, that.
Is the physical educable?


More "physical education."
You hold the racket like this.
"Don't forget to breath."


We call this building Biz-Tick. It's cold and new inside. They teach here, in rooms. So do we. We know not what they do. They know not what we do. Whiteboards always erased, leaving no clues.

Jason's hanger shots


"In the Hangar"

Our pal Jason (aka 13 Stoploss) somehow got access to the old blimp/helicopter hangers in Tustin (on Tuesday). He took some seriously cool pictures. Check out the massive doors, the cavernous interior!


"Door"

An enormous dog, sitting.


"Massive Sliding Door"

Who could dream of such a thing? Did he start with a blank slate? "Here," he said. "Make this."


"Beware Rotor Blades"

How many Marines and sailors were Vic Morrowed?
Not many, I bet. They heeded the sign.


"Sliding Door"

This one provides some sense of the hanger's size.
The building in back: so damned small! The man at bottom is an ant.
(Is that palm tree dead or alive?)

Llewellyn: combating the Left’s dreams of “one-world domination”!


They seem like us, and yet they are not.

Hey, just who is this David Llewellyn, the lawyer Raghu Mathur hired to defend the district in the SOCCCD “prayer” lawsuit?

Well, among other things, Mr. L is on the staff of a Sacramento radio show and webpage called In the Public Square.



IPS's website offers a handy and informative “statement of purpose”:

IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE … is a talk radio program hosted by John Snyder that is broadcast on KTKZ 1380 AM in Sacramento … It is also a webpage organization aimed at engaging secular audiences in conversation about contemporary issues, culture and politics.... In the Public Square exists to provide an intelligent and genial forum for the discussion of important issues in contemporary life from a Christian perspective….

CIVILITY 'R' US. Sounds good. IPS also embraces “civility,” “eschewing ad hominems and invectives and slander.”

IPS host John Snyder is described as having a “country-fried attitude imported from the red states.”

Beyond Snyder, IPS has a staff of a dozen or so, including someone named “Mr. Curmudgeon,” who is described as “abrasive and irascible.”

And Mr. L? David Llewellyn is called “Mr. Constitution,” and he is IPS’s “declared ‘generalist’ and commentator on all things legal and cultural.”

THE LAW AND EVOLUTION. On the IPS website, I found one “paper” and two commentaries written by Llewellyn. The paper, entitled “Evolution, Public Education and the Law” (9/12/08), lays out the history of what L calls the “Lincoln-Darwin Debate” as it has played out in the U.S. courts.

Lincoln, says L, embraced noble “self-evident” truths and rights provided by God. Darwin, on the other hand, spurted forth a very different ideology, one that has also had immense social impact.

What is that ideology? Well,

[Darwin discovered] the scientific principle of natural selection, thereby establishing the theory of evolution, which has become the prevailing scientific explanation of the origins of the universe, life and human life, without need for the intervention of a Creator God.

In today’s America, says L, the debate continues to rage between the Lincolnian “conceived in liberty”-“created equal” philosophy and “the social influence of the central tenet of evolution, ‘survival of the fittest.’”

LLEWELLYN DOESN'T GET IT. Uh-oh. Already it is evident that L doesn’t understand Darwin’s science. “Natural selection” (or evolution, the phenomenon that natural selection helps to explain) is not an attempt to explain “the origins of the universe, life and human life.” It is, rather, a mechanism to account for the apparent fact of evolution (i.e., the apparent fact that species change over time).

How can L not know that?

Darwinian biology does not exclude God, for it has a limited scope. It does not offer a view regarding that which it does not seek to explain, e.g., the origin of life or the universe.

And in what sense is “survival of the fittest” the “central tenet” of evolution? (By the way, the phrase is not Darwin’s.) It seems to me that “survival of the fittest” is a rough approximation of the result of natural selection, a mindless process of change driven by random variations in the context of competition for survival.

Well, whatever.

At one point, L declares that “People can and do believe in biological evolution who reject the philosophy and cultural influence of social Darwinism.”

“Social Darwinism”? My Mac's dictionary defines the phrase as follows:

the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Now largely discredited, social Darwinism was advocated by Herbert Spencer and others in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.

No surprise there. Those familiar with the historical philosophy of Social Darwinism are aware that it is not to be confused with Darwin’s science, which, as Darwin himself understood, was incapable of justifying some action or practice (such as racism or exploitation).

But L seems to use the phrase to refer to the alleged Darwinian philosophy in the above debate or to modern evolution-based biology.

Could it be that L is unaware of the meaning of the term “social Darwinism”?

Maybe he thinks that there's some other influential philosophy, which he mistakenly labels "social Darwinism," that is erroneously associated with Darwin's science. Maybe so. But then what's his beef with Darwin? (It seems to me that the one group who can be counted on to misinterpret Darwin is L's own anti-evolution bunch.)

I have not read the rest of this lengthy paper, though, in perusing it, I gather that L is sympathetic to the idea that “evolution” isn’t science but is in fact an ideology or religion.

Good grief. It's science. (And insisting that it's "just a theory" is just confused.)


They know nothing, and yet they are confident.

SARCASTIC CIVILITY? One of L’s commentaries on the IPS website is pleasantly entitled “Thank God for the Disdainful Mouthiness of the Left” (9/12/08). Despite IPS’s professed fidelity to civility and eschewery of ad hominems, their man L here discusses the “MSM” (aka “main stream media”) and its “snarling” contempt for Sarah Palin. The “Left,” says L, responded to Palin’s prayers about the war in Iraq as follows:

"There is no God, to have a will, to favor a war, to free the oppressed — and all of the biblical prophets to the contrary be damned," they [the Left or the MSM] have pontificated. (Author’s free translation.)

L snidely suggests that the Left/MSM sees itself as God:

they believe that they are god…, that their Creation myth pronouncements of "Let there be President Barack Obama, and it was so" and "they saw President Obama, and it was very good," are the words of god, that all people must bow down before them and worship the one-eyed glowing idol in their living rooms upon which they appear….

I think he's pissed.

The ever-civil Mr. L ends with: “Well, at least the Left still have their irreligion and anti-gun moral superiority to cling to.”

In another commentary (Thirteen Reasons to Hate Governor Sarah Palin [9/5/08]), L directs still more sarcasm at the “left” and the “media”—again for their criticism of then-VP candidate Sarah Palin, whom L clearly admires. (He thinks she’s smart.)

Some leftists, alleges L, have criticized Palin’s decision to carry on with the campaign despite her responsibilities to her newborn and to her pregnant daughter.

L fumes:

Imagine that Chelsea Clinton got pregnant and someone suggested that Senator Hillary Clinton was disqualified to run for President because she had an unmarried, pregnant daughter. Preposterous, right? But the blind rage of the Left makes that argument unabashedly, and idiotically, against Governor Palin. ... Should all women quit their jobs if their daughters get pregnant? That’s what the Left and its media commentators are saying, apparently unconcerned for their runaway hypocrisy. It’s insulting to all women, liberal as well as conservative, and dangerously lunatic. Who can trust these people to think rationally on any controversial social or political issue?

The left, says L, is blind, idiotic, hypocritical, lunatic, and irrational.

And that’s just one paragraph! How’s that for civility?


Mr. Pyne seemed mean and rotten. He did not reach the age of 50.
Who can explain him?

Mr. L's logic ain't so hot either. In making his charge of hypocrisy against the left, remarkably, Mr. Llewellyn ignores two facts: (1) Palin herself has a new child and (2) though Chelsea Clinton is nearly 30 years old, Palin’s daughter is a teenager.

Same difference, I guess.

L also notes that Palin has a 19-year-old son in the military who is ipso facto “better qualified than Barack Obama to be commander-in-chief.”

Wow. That's some logic.

Mr Llewellyn believes in strong finishes. He ends his commentary with a real doozy:

“The Left ignored Alaska , and now the wicked Queen of the West has arisen to trouble their dreams of one-world domination.”

Yeah, that's my dream. I wanna dominate. Just one world though. Don't need two.

Choi is right but Wagner is way righter

If Allan Bartlett of Red County/OC is to be believed (here), soon, Don Wagner will be facing some new and significant competition in his bid to become Assemblyman (70th). Says Bartlett, the buzz is that Republican Irvine Councilman Steven Choi will be joining the race any day now.

Bartlett notes that Choi will be a strong candidate with good name recognition (in the 70th). On the other hand,
He won't be able to lay claim to being the consensus conservative/constitutional choice in this race. That honor is going to Don Wagner and it's not really even close. That point will be important as we get down to brass tacks in this race. All you have to do is look what happened back in 2004 when the liberal Republican Christy Christich ran against Chuck DeVore. Chuck was the consensus conservative choice back then and he ended up beating Christich by 20 points.
Does Bartlett know what he’s talking about? I have no idea.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Praying man v. "atheist professor" and "leftist secular group"

MORE DASTARDLY "LIBERAL" MEDIA COVERAGE. This morning, the Chronicle of Higher Education finally covered the SOCCCD “prayer” lawsuit. Their report appears to be a truncated version of the OC Register story. It mentions the notorious “Christ” video.

WAGNERIAN RED-MEAT SPINNAGE. Well, it was bound to happen. Don Wagner, Republican candidate for the 70th Assembly, is spinning the “prayer” lawsuit for all it’s worth. According to Allan Bartlett of OC/Red County (Wagner Defends Religious Freedom), Wagner’s campaign has issued a press release:
Wagner Defends Religious Freedom
Leftist secular group American United for Separation of Church and State sues Don Wagner


Irvine, California - The leftist secular group American United for Separation of Church and State, announced … that it is suing Don Wagner … in an effort to ban invocations and any mention of religion at certain college district functions….

The lawsuit alleges that Wagner and the college district's board of trustees ignored repeated demands from atheist professor Karla Westphal and others to stop invocations at district functions. However, Wagner is accurately quoted in the lawsuit as having recognized that, "[h]istorically, at events such as [graduations, award ceremonies, and board meetings,] we . . . take the opportunity to offer a moment of thanksgiving to God." Wagner also noted "that America's founders invoked the name of God, and encouraged and participated in religious ceremonies in government facilities."

American United has filed numerous lawsuits around the country trying to ban mentions of God or religion from the public square. "If you don't believe in God," Wagner said in a speech quoted in the lawsuit, "that's fine. The government has no business trying to convince you otherwise. . . . But if you do believe, I would ask you, personally and not on behalf of the government, to take a moment to thank Him for the many gifts you believe you have received from Him, including the opportunity to pursue an education in a country explicitly founded on the belief that we are endowed by our Creator with the gift of liberty."

Wagner said he is looking forward to defending the principles of religious freedom under assault from the plaintiffs and the so-called "Americans United" group in this case. Constitutional law scholar and Dean of the Chapman University School of Law, John Eastman, is representing Wagner….

John Eastman, eh? That's interesting.

I visited Wagner’s campaign website and, oddly, I could not find the above press release (here) in the “press release” section. Whatever.

Is, as Don suggests, “Americans United” a “leftist secular group”? I would argue that the principle of separation of church and state is neither left nor right, and I suspect AUSCS would agree.

Is it secular? Well, this is more spin. Unsurprisingly, many of AUSCS’s members, including its Executive Director, are theists. The same can be said for some of the plaintiff’s of “Westphal v. Wagner.” I believe that only two of the eight plaintiffs identify themselves as atheists. (I checked: two atheists, two agnostics, one Deist, a devout Jew, a person “raised Jewish,” and someone who is “not religious.” See lawsuit.)

Wagner’s press release (as Bartlett quotes it) fails to mention that, among the incidents cited in the lawsuit are those in which an undeniably Christian—and not just theistic—message was communicated (in a video) and in which student scholarship recipients were compelled to attend a prayerful scholarship event.

Evidently, Wagner also neglects to mention the obvious defiance of trustees in response to polite requests to cease the prayers out of sensitivity to the diversity of faculty, students, and the community. (Don encouraged John to “give ‘em hell” in his prayer. See lawsuit.)

MAYBE THE “MISTAKE” WAS A FAKE? Recently, David Llewellyn, the district’s new “prayer” lawyer, asserted that the showing of the “Jesus Christ” video during the Fall “Chancellor’s Opening Session” was an inadvertent “mistake.” Supposedly, nobody actually watched the video to see what was in it before they showed it.

I’m not buyin’ it.

As it happens, less than two weeks after the Opening Session, there was a board meeting. You can view the meeting yourself by going to the streaming video archives section of the district website. (Click on the link for the video for the August 31, 2009 meeting.)

During the “public comments” portion of that meeting, three faculty raised the “prayer” issue, referring disapprovingly to the August 18 “Christ video” incident. Their comments can be found from 07:30 to 12:54 in the video.

Almost immediately after these comments (at 15:30), Chancellor Mathur responds, explaining that he was not offended by the video and its sectarian message. If, as Llewellyn now claims, the Christian message was an inadvertent mistake, surely Mathur would have made that point then.

He did not. See for yourself.

A few minutes later, trustees gave their reports. Trustee Wagner, who had MC’d the “opening session,” mentions the session in his report (at 18:48), but he makes no mention of any mistake or problem. On the contrary, looking at the Chancellor, he declares the event a “job well done.”

Tsk, tsk.

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, here are the comments to the Chronicle article thus far:

  • Good.
  • And I would counter that prayer at a public event goes AGAINST the founding of the country. You want to pray, go to church, nobody's stopping you, not even us Godless northeastern intellectual liberal Fake Americans.
  • So, in this time of deadly budget cuts, the trustees are going to incur large legal expenses on a crusade they are bound to lose. That will be a fine educational experience for the district's students!
  • Glad to hear about the suit. Makes me wonder if their god can only hear prayers that are spoken aloud in groups so non-believers have to sit through them. I kinda thought that God was omnipotent and could hear the most silent of prayers. And all are able to pray silently anytime they want.
  • unbelievable!
  • It is a reproach to ALL sides in this argument that it continues to go on. If the plaintiffs and defendants in this suit would consistently follow the ideals they cite, they would communicate sufficientl to accomodate, rather than litigate.

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "Our dreams drink coffee with us"

A little poetry, a little thanks.

This one is featured on the website of the Poetry Foundation:

A poem by Joy Harjo
Muskogee Creek heritage
born in 1951

Perhaps the World Ends Here
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on. 
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
***

Thanks also to The Chronicle of Higher Education: click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

“The showing of that video was a mistake,” Llewellyn said.

A new wrinkle!

In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed (Religious Meets Litigious), the SOCCCD’s new lawyer, David Llewellyn, acknowledges that his clients committed an error:
Llewellyn did make one concession about an incident specified in the suit.

At the Chancellor’s Opening Session [8/18/09], an event at the beginning of the academic year that gathers students and faculty, a slide show was displayed with the song “God Bless the USA.” The suit states that “the presentation concluded with two images of uniformed service members carrying a flag-draped coffin, with superimposed text reading: Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American G.I. One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom.”

“The showing of that video was a mistake,” Llewellyn said. “It was purely an accident. The district wasn’t aware that was in the video, and it was not intended to be an expression of anything other than patriotism.”
As we reported after the August Board meeting (8/31/09),
Some faculty came [to the board meeting] to object to that seriously in-your-face Christian message stuck at the end of the Chancellor’s silly patriotic video for his Opening Session (nearly two weeks ago).

Jesus Christ, we were informed, died for our souls.

Some faculty said that that nakedly Christian message failed to respect the diversity of the community....

A few minutes later, Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur made a “brief statement.” “It was,” he said, “a diverse chancellor … who was not offended.”
No apologies or admissions of error were offered. (View video of the 8/31/09 board meeting here. See especially "pubic comments" and Mathur's response to them.)

IHR also quoted Trustee Don Wagner’s remarks at the 2008 Saddleback College Scholarship awards ceremony:
“Historically at events such as these we also take the opportunity to offer a moment of thanksgiving to God — if He exists,” said Wagner, according to a transcript of his remarks included in the suit. “And I’m not here to say that He does. That would be wrong for an elected official, I am told. No matter that America’s founders invoked the name of God, and encouraged and participated in religious ceremonies in government facilities.

"No matter that the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens believe, or they have no objection to religious mention at public gatherings. No, no matter to the special interest group that has contacted this college to pursue its agenda of driving God from the public square. No matter to those too uncertain in the strength of their own views that they cannot abide any mention in public of the divine, and that would prefer instead to censor and silence free speech.”

“If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine,” Wagner continued. “The government has no business trying to convince you otherwise. You’re welcome to sit down. We invited you to stand, but no one made you. But if you do believe, I would ask you, personally and not on behalf of the government, to take a moment to thank Him, for the many gifts you believe you have received from Him, including the opportunity to pursue an education in a country explicitly founded on the belief that we are endowed by our Creator with the gift of liberty. If you would, take that moment now, and then if you’re so inclined, say a simple ‘Amen.’ ”
As the lawsuit explains, student scholarship recipients were required to attend the ceremony. For the ceremony that occurred a year later, college officials sent them the following:
You are expected to attend the award ceremony held on Thursday, May 14th and to arrive at 5:00 pm in the Saddleback College Gymnasium. You may forfeit your scholarship if you are not there. If you absolutely cannot attend the ceremony you must send an adult who will represent you.
COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
A mistake?

They all defended it! - as did some of their supporters on this blog!
7:17 AM, November 24, 2009

Anonymous said...
I attended the subsequent board meeting, and no one said that a "mistake" was made. They did, however, defend the video.
8:15 AM

Anonymous said...
Does Wagner really believe this stuff, or is he just feeding into the local voting demographic?
10:44 AM

Anonymous said...
Check out Matt Coker's latest on the OC Weekly: God's Lawyer
11:11 AM

Anonymous said...
It was a "mistake," yes, like when Fox "news" shows old footage of crowds to imply that the teabaggers have bigger turnouts. An inadvertant "mistake" in the editing of news footage. Right.
12:03 PM

Anonymous said...
I half expected the clock tower here to be replaced by a cross...
12:47 PM

Anonymous said...
Where'd they GET the video? Who produced it? Who obtained it?

Nodbody screened it beforehand?

Come on. I don't believe it. 

I bet one of them saw it at some gathering somewhere and thought "perfect."
4:09 PM

Anonymous said...
Yes, we need to find out about the origins of the video - and who chose it,, etc.

Can you imagine if one of us showed something in the classroom - and then defended it with the lame ass excuse by saying we hadn't screened it before and were unaware of content?

Come on, indeed.

I think they're lying.
5:03 PM

Anonymous said...
When told by an audience member that the video failed to respect the diversity of the community, the Chancellor responded with “a diverse chancellor … who was not offended.”???? Your chancellor and Board of Trustees are in serious need of diversity/sensitivity training.
5:21 PM

Anonymous said...
Come on, of course they WATCHED the video before they showed it to an auditorium full of college employees. For all they knew it could have showed a naked lady in the last slide -- and you know THAT would have been a major problem for Raghu, so of course they knew the video's contents. They looked at it and ok'd it. Ridiculous.
8:14 PM

Anonymous said...
They're lying - to their lawyer and to us and to everyone.
8:55 PM

Monday, November 23, 2009

The OC Reg reports on the "prayer" lawsuit

The OC Register has at long last noted the SOCCCD “prayer” lawsuit:

Prayers land college district in legal dispute

The article covers mostly familiar ground, but it does explain some of the history leading up to the lawsuit:
[Plaintiff Karla] Westphal, who has been a professor at Saddleback College since 2001, said the frequency of public prayers at school events began in 2004 when a trustee led a prayer at the beginning of a scholarship ceremony.

Westphal wrote to trustees expressing her opposition to the public prayer.

A week later a prayer was said at the opening of commencement. She said she was so angry she can't remember what was said.

It was in that year that Westphal got in touch with Americans United [For Separation of Church and State] and the American Civil Liberties Union.

"When the prayers initially started I hoped to get it settled without a lawsuit and that just didn't happen," Westphal said. "The suit is a culmination of a long process. I've been working with Americans United for a long time. They wrote letters to the board formally asking for the change. For me there wasn't any particular event. I've been ready for several years. It was a question of whether Americans United felt it was a good time to bring the case forward."
Photo: OC Reg


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Questions? Read the lawsuit yourself!

If you visit the Americans United for Separation of Church and State website, you will find a story about the SOCCCD “prayer” suit.

Upon linking to that story, you’ll find a link to the “complaint,” i.e., the lawsuit. Click on it.

Or just click here.

The text of the lawsuit answers many of your questions.

The suit includes numerous fascinating factoids. E.g., section 63 states:
But in an e-mail exchange with the chancellor and other trustees, Trustee Williams offered to deliver the invocation at that next Opening Session. Wagner responded: “As for the invocation, John, give ‘em hell!” Williams’ rejoinder was to explain that he was searching the internet for a prayer that would be yet more provocative and “liven things up a bit.” The chancellor responded: “Great! Thank you.”
Section 81 is also interesting:
At the August 2009 Chancellor’s Opening Session, the Board and the chancellor continued to stir the pot, injecting even more state-sponsored religion into the event. Trustee Wagner invited the assembled faculty and staff to stand for an invocation “[i]n recognition of this country’s rich religious heritage.” Trustee Williams then offered this extended prologue:
Before the invocation, I thought I’d tell a little Biblical story. Today’s story is about Jonah. In grade school one day, a little girl spoke to her teacher about Jonah and how he was swallowed by a whale. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though they’re a large mammal they have very small throats. The little girl said, “But how can that be? Jonah was swallowed by a whale, and the Bible says so.” Again the teacher said it’s physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human. Undaunted, the little girl said, “When I get to heaven, I will ask Jonah.” To this the teacher replied, “What if Jonah has gone to hell?” The little girl replied, “Then you can ask him.” Please join me in the invocation now.
The prayer followed.
Recent media appearances by AUSCS Exec. Director Barry Lynn




COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
I recommend perusing the lawsuit - it makes for an excellent Sunday reading. 

Thanks for doing this. It needs to be done.
12:57 PM

Anonymous said...
Damn, what a bunch of assholes. Give 'em hell!
2:58 PM

Anonymous said...
"It is very dangerous to protect separation of church and state . . . ." HUH?
5:28 PM

Anonymous said...
send all demonic candy to me at . . .
5:37 PM

Anonymous said...
It look like the District is just extending the Bush "No children left behind" doctrine to "No Republican lawyers left behind". Some pigs *are* more equal at the trough of public money.
10:16 PM, November 22, 2009

Anonymous said...
The smug arrogant disdain displayed by the trustees is awful.
8:31 AM, November 23

Anonymous said...
At Saddleback, students who receive scholarships are told that those monies may be forfeited if they don't attend the ceremony (where they will be prayed over by the likes of Fuentes and Wagner).

I am curious whether IVC students receive the same message (threat) - anyone with info about this?
9:11 AM

Anonymous said...
I read the lawsuit - it's worse than I thought. I hope you prevail.
10:25 AM

Anonymous said...
Faculty should think about this next time they drink friendly beers with Don Wagner at Tijuana's - he's not what he appears to be.

Read through the lawsuit. Watch the videos Roy posted. See what we're up against. It's ugly and hateful.
11:33 AM,

Anonymous said...
Who goes out for drinks with DON WAGNER?
12:56 PM

Anonymous said...
Who could go out with Don Wagner and NOT drink?
2:01 PM

Anonymous said...
I'll drink to that.
2:16 PM

Anonymous said...
I just think the people who pal around with him should know about the forces Wagner has aligned himself with - they're a pretty bad bunch. He's not a nice guy, not even close. He's using everyone he can to get what he wants.
2:19 PM

Anonymous said...
Those people who toss back friendly pitchers with Don should sober up and see through his rather transparent motivations - HE IS USING YOU PEOPLE. HE IS MAKING YOU THINK HE IS REASONABLE AND ON YOUR SIDE - AND HE IS NOT. THE ONLY SIDE DON IS ON IS HIS OWN. ARE YOU THAT CHEAP?
7:49 PM

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