Saturday, February 6, 2010

Don Wagner celebrates his own money-grubbin’ self

About an hour ago, over at the always-mediocre OC Red County blog (AD 70 Watch: Wagner Leads The Field In Fundraising), Allan Bartlett notes a new press release from the Wagner campaign:

Wagner Leads Republican Field in Fundraising

Conservative leader posts top number of all candidates
Irvine, California – Don Wagner, founder of the Orange County chapter of the Federalist Society and president of the South Orange County Community College Board of Trustees, has announced his fundraising totals for his campaign to succeed Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who is running for the U.S. Senate against liberal Barbara Boxer.

Wagner bested all other candidates in the race with $145,700 raised to date and $109,300 in the bank.

“I am running for the State Assembly because we need a conservative voice to succeed Chuck DeVore and a proven leader on budgetary issues,” said Wagner. “I will have the resources necessary to communicate our message of fiscal discipline and traditional values and I will work hard as a candidate and as a member of the Assembly. I will not be going to Sacramento to make friends or add a title to my resume, I am going to make change.” [?]

Don Wagner and his wife, Megan, and their three children live in Irvine. He is a graduate of UCLA and the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Don has been elected to three consecutive terms on the Board of Trustees of the South Orange County Community College District, and currently serves as the Board's president.
Bartlett then (mediocrely) opines:
These are decent numbers for Don, but I still can't believe any GOP candidates haven't "shock and awed" the field with better numbers. This is the 70th AD, one of the most Republican/richest ADs in CA. This race is still wide open. I see the three way field so far as pretty evenly balanced. Jerry [Amante] started out strong, but has fizzled out of late. Don has the most grassroots activists ready to help him, along with leading in the money chase, and Steven Choi has arguably the best name ID in the district.

I have a strong vested interest in this campaign because it is where I live. I want the strongest possible conservative/limited gov/reformer to get the GOP nomination. I'm pretty sure I've made up my mind who I am going to support. I will make a big announcement here at Red County before the local CRA endorsing convention on Feb 20th.
Gosh, we're on tenterhooks, almost.

It's semi-official: 77% of Republicans are flat stupid

Just in case you missed it: not long ago, the Daily Kos revealed the results of a poll of self-identified Republicans. As the blog explains:
The Daily Kos Republican Poll was conducted by Research 2000 from January 20 through January 31, 2010. A total of 2003 self identified Republicans were interviewed nationally by telephone. Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers, nationally.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 2% percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire self identified Republican population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any demographic subgroup, such as for gender or region.
Here’s one striking result (one of the 25 questions):

QUESTION: Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world?
.............YES...... NO..... NOT SURE
All ...........77 .....15 .........8
Men .........79 .....14......... 7
Women..... 75 .....16.........9
White .......79 .....13......... 8
Other/... ...58 .....31......... 11
18-29 .......74 .....19......... 7
30-44 .......75 .....17......... 8
45-59 .......78 .....15......... 7
60+..........78 .....13......... 9
NE............70 .....23..........7
South........82 ......9.......... 9
MW ..........77 .....14......... 9
West........ 72 .....21......... 7
Def ..........78 .....14......... 8
Vote ........77 .....15......... 8
Not L .......76 .....18......... 6
Def Not.... 75..... 19......... 6
Not Sur ....75 .....19......... 6
So: 77% (give or take 2%) of Republicans think public school students should be taught, well, Creationism.

Wow.

Genesis: “And the LORD smelled a sweet savor”
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
. . .
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
. . .
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
. . .
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
. . .
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet [sic?] for him.
. . .
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
. . .
And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth
. . .
Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
. . .
And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
. . .
And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savor….
From Genesis, The Holy Bible: King James Version

Other results of the poll (of self-described Republicans):

• 58% either thought Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. or aren’t sure.
• 57% either think Obama “wants the terrorists to win” or aren’t sure.
• 76% either think ACORN “stole the 2008 election” or aren’t sure.
• 86% either think Sarah Palin is “more qualified to be President than Barack Obama” or aren’t sure.
• 64% either think Barack Obama “hates White people” or aren’t sure.
• 42% either think their “state should secede from the U.S.” or aren’t sure.

Comments:

Anonymous‬ said...
It's stupid to believe in the Bible?
9:34 PM, February 06, 2010

‪Anonymous‬ said...
It's stupid to imagine that the Bible - oh, well, nevermind.
10:04 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
Not to pick nits, but, exactly what does the book of Genesis explain, if not how God created the world? That's not to say it correctly explains, or scientifically explains, just that it explains. So, if there is to be any teaching of the Bible in school (say in a literature class, a comparative religion class, whatever), I think the majority of the 2,003 self-identifed Republicans are clearly right to say school kid should be taught that this is what the book of Genesis says. They should also be taught that War and Peace explains Napoleon's Russian adventure. Again, maybe not correctly, but that is what the book does. 

For a self proclaimed logician, Roy, your conclusion from the question polled, that Republicans believe "Creationism" should be taught, just doesn't follow. Focus. And lighten up.
10:49 PM

B. von Traven said...
10:49, Well, yes, it is possible that some of the self-described Republicans read the question as you suggest. 
You seem to ignore the manifest ambiguity of “explains” in the question, for surely the question can also be read as asking whether students should be taught that the Bible correctly explains how God created the world. I suspect that that is how it was read by most participants.

 After all, according to the poll,

 58% either thought Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. or aren’t sure. [!!!!]
 57% either think Obama “wants the terrorists to win” or aren’t sure. [!!!!]
 76% either think ACORN “stole the 2008 election” or aren’t sure. [!!!!]
 86% either think Sarah Palin is “more qualified to be President than Barack Obama” or aren’t sure. [!!!!]
 64% either think Barack Obama “hates White people” or aren’t sure. [!!!!]
 42% either think their “state should secede from the U.S.” or aren’t sure. [!!!!]

 Again, I say: stupid people.

 Also, I think you're a little tone deaf. The post was light-hearted, not heavy. I don't really think these people are "flat stupid." They're just stunningly, appallingly ignorant.

 I.e., "stupid people."
11:22 PM

‪Anonymous‬ said...
Don't you just love it when people say, "Not to pick nits," and then they proceed to--pick nits? 

Yeah, right. These Republicans were thinking, "Well, we don't care if you say Genesis is the truth or not--just that there's this book, Genesis, and it gives this explanation! You know, like Gilgamesh and Br'er Rabbit!"

 Yeah.
11:36 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
Roy, that's probably not how it was read by most participants. You only think so -- or pretend to think so -- because you start from the proposition that Republicans are stupid. Why else would they be Republicans, right?

 Tone deaf you say? The post was light hearted? Goodness. How jolly to be called "flat stupid." I thought "name-calling is not argumentation, unless we're having a really slow day. But if you must call people names, please be clever about it." 

What a clever jokester you are. You called the results "striking." As in jarring, appalling, unsettling, disturbing, somehow revealing a fundamental truth that Republicans are flat stupid and support Creationism. Thanks for the yucks. 

Face it, logic guy, you drew an unwarranted and unfair conclusion and are now seeking cover behind the lame response that you were "just kidding."
11:40 PM

‪Anonymous‬ said...
By the way, Roy, I'm not the one ignoring any ambiguity. I pointed out the ambiguity by explaining the alternative reading. YOU are the one who posted the bad poll with the bad question in it and then drew a conclusion that does not follow because of that ambiguity. YOU ignored it to malign Republicans. But it was all in good fun, huh?
11:49 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
Oh, and not to pick nits, 11:36, but if Roy can use his subtle and lighthearted humor, as he so successfully did here, I can use understatement. Sorry that you missed it. I hope you at least got Roy's clever joke.

 Yeah.
11:55 PM

B. von Traven said...
Uh-oh, the Incorrigible One is back. 
Like a dog with a bone.
12:10 AM, February 07, 2010

Anonymous‬ said...
Good answer, Roy. You tell 'em. Kill 'em with humor.
12:13 AM

Anonymous‬ said...
If this poll is even roughly accurate, it is disturbing. The methodology seems sound. I am amazed. 
64% either think Barack Obama “hates White people” or aren’t sure! A majority thinks that Obama might want the "terrorists to win"?! Where is this crap coming from?
12:17 AM

Anonymous‬ said...
The poll is very disheartening.
8:43 AM

Anonymous‬ said...
Gosh, if they're so sure that Obama was lying about his origins, faith, etc - where was the outcry when he was elected to the Senate?
11:12 AM

Anonymous‬ said...
"Revealing a fundamental truth that Republicans are flat stupid and support Creationism."

Well, this is pretty much correct, isn't it? When there's an attack on [a] dictionary in a school library, or a diatribe against the "homosexual agenda," or a demand that creationism be taught as if it's actually scientific, which party is being represented?
11:51 AM

Anonymous said...
Yuck, 11:40. "Tone-deaf" is putting it mildly. As usual, Roy takes the high road when your venom comes flying, while you unfailingly take the low road. Please get lost. There're plenty of blogs that would never dream of criticizing Republicans.

Do go there, please.
1:57 PM

alannah said...
Dare I hope that this poll somehow had an unsuspected selection bias toward ignorant people and/or fundamentalist Christians and/or conspiracy theory lovers? How was the survey done?
I'm really hoping this is not a true cross-section of Republicans (and before anybody can say anything, no, I do not intend that as a pun).
3:44 PM

Tea Party Girl: "They came into our colleges..."

From today's Los Angeles Times, as reported by Kathleen Hennessey from Nashville, site of the National Tea Party Convention

     Some conference attendees said they were worried about religious freedom and immigration. They said they sensed a withering pride in American ideals and the country's place in the world.
     Often those concerns were tied to the post-1960s culture wars.
     "You took the radicals out of the '60s.  They came into our colleges, they became teachers and they began to teach our children," said Alice Moore, 69, who got her start in political activism fighting against what she deemed inappropriate textbooks in her West Virginia town.
     "The indoctrination of kids for 35 years or longer, this is what led us to the election of this president.  It is why we're here," Moore said.


"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be very careful about what we pretend to be."

COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
Wow - a wee bit scary. Look at that logic.
(Where's the quote from?)
3:02 PM, February 06, 2010

Anonymous said...
ah, teachers again - root of all evil.
3:40 PM, February 06, 2010

Anonymous said...
So is that the only way they can explain the election of a black president?
9:10 AM, February 07, 2010

Anonymous‬ said...
Looks like Tancredo has come out as a racist. Or perhaps he's unaware that he is repeating the notorious arguments of historical racists? He can't be that ignorant. 
But it's OK to come out as a racist with this crowd. Listen to 'em!
12:32 PM

B. v Traven's addition: Tancredo welcomes the Tea Partiers:


Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh, who eschews tea, entertains his flock with the word "retard," which he finds to be apt and, I guess, way underused:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wagner’s campaign: recent contributions

I perused records on Contributions Received by Don Wagner’s Assembly campaign—referred to this morning by Rebel Girl. (See also here.) Here are some “highlights.”

Evidently, DON WAGNER loaned himself $100,000.

The COMMITTEE TO ELECT TOM FUENTES contributed $3,900.00. Presumably, this is money left over from Fuentes’ recent reelection campaign.

The FAMILY ACTION PAC—a local right-wing group—made contributions amounting to $3,000.

Some familiar OC right-wing regulars have contributed to Wagner’s campaign, including JIM RIGHEIMER, JAMES LACY, HUGH HEWITT, LEE LOWREY, SHAWN BLACK, HOWARD KLEIN, and JOHN EASTMAN.

I noticed that one MICHAEL CORFIELD contributed. He’s an attorney for the Young Men's Christian Association Of Orange County. I seem to recall that he was Raghu Mathur’s hapless attorney when Mathur sued me for reporting his violations of a students privacy rights.

Other familiar names among contributors:

GLEN ROQUEMORE, $1,000.00
WILLIAM HEWITT, $1,000.00
JOHN WILLIAMS, $500.00
RAGHU MATHUR, $500.00
JOHN WILLIAMS, $300.00
MARCIA MILCHIKER, $300.00
TOD BURNETT, $250.00
WILLIAM JAY, $250.00
ROBERT COSGROVE, $250.00
RONALD ELLISON, $100.00

Don Wagner's Dough plus Don under Attack by "Atheist Professors"

As we all know, trustee and board president Don Wagner is running in the Republican primary for the state assembly for the seat vacated by Chuck DeVore.

Two days ago in his blog Total Buzz, OC Register reporter Martin Wisckol reported that the "money is flowing in the race for the 70th Assembly."

excerpt:
"A lot of dough is being laid on the table by the three Republicans vying for the Assembly seat being vacated by Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine. And most of it is from the candidates (sic) own pockets. Bottom line? It looks like it’s anybody’s race at this point, and a lot of campaign money could be spent before it’s over.

Irvine attorney Don Wagner, who sits on the South Orange County Community College Board, raised the most through the end of 2009, according to campaign finance reports due Monday. He raised $142,000 - including $100,000 he loaned his campaign - and had $113,000 remaining in his account."
The other two candidates, Steven Choi and Jerry Amante, raised $105,000 and $115,000, respectively.

In the comments section, Wisckol directs his readers to the links for the campaign disclosure statements for each candidate.

Now Rebel Girl is a curious gal, so she clicked over and ran through the names of the people who are bankrolling Wagner's bid for office. She wanted to see who had ponied up, who supported Wagner's ultra-right platform and was willing to put money down to see it promoted in Sacramento.

Needless to say, she recognized quite a few donors. Some were the usual suspects and others were surprises. Wagner scores some bucks from his fellow trustees, from the two college presidents and even Raghu. (College presidents write bigger checks than chancellors.) Lots of lawyers. And a few college professors. It all adds up. Ka-ching.

Emilee Tello, by the way, (yes, that Tello) is identified as "treasurer" on page 4. You might remember her last stint as a campaign treasurer for disgraced congressional candidate Tan Nguyen, he of the infamous "emigrado" letter and the unforgettable song sensation, Stand by Our Tan. The case against Nguyen (he faces obstruction of justice charges) is still moving through the courts. Good times.

To see the list of contributors for yourself, click here.

You'll need to scroll down to page four.

To remind yourself what Wagner stands for, just visit his campaign website by clicking here.


You'll find a link to Don's "issues" - the typical dirty laundry list: jobs (he's for them), crime (he's against it), taxes (no, no, no), families ("the bedrock of our civilization," "defend marriage"), etc. No surprises.

BUT check out the issue front and center on his home page: "We need more faith in public places," declares Don. Readers are encouraged to: "Help defend Don from the attacks."

Who is attacking Don?

"Atheist college professors" and "anonymous students."

excerpt:
"Don Wagner is no stranger to the fight for religious freedom – but today, Don is the target of the misguided efforts of the left-wing Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and needs your help.

Westphal v. Wagner, filed in 2009 by Americans United on behalf of a group of atheist college professors and anonymous students, targets Wagner, as president of the South Orange County Community College Board of Trustees, for opening district commencement ceremonies, awards ceremonies, and other events with invocations. These well-educated adult plaintiffs argue that they are “offended” and “uncomfortable” listening to a simple invocation before a college ceremony.

It has long been the aim of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State to drive any mention of God from public life, failing to recognize that the U.S. Constitution does not require open hostility to religion. Americans United suffered a major setback to its efforts when Wagner filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that it was legally untenable and should be thrown out in its entirety – and the atheists’ attorneys actually agreed! But then, unwilling to accept the reality of the law, nor the role that God plays in American society, Americans United has rewritten the complaint and filed it again."
Now, Rebel Girl has read parts of the lawsuit. It's worth noting that not all the plaintiffs identify as atheists.

Professor Karla Westpahl declares herself an atheist but Professor Allanah Rosenberg identifies herself a a "devout Jew." Professor Margot Lovett testifies that she "was raised Jewish." Professors Claire Cesareo-Silva and Roy Bauer identify as agnostic. By Rebel Girl's reckoning, that's one atheist, two Jews and two agnostics - plus a self-identified "deist" student. But who's counting? Not Don. (Read the lawsuit here.)

Of course, for candidate Don Wagner's purposes, the "college professors" are all "atheist," - perhaps because their gods, their beliefs are not his...and his? Well, his are the only ones that count.

Or maybe he just wants the money, you know, the bucks he'll get to hold himself up as the defender of the one true faith.

For the rest of Wisckol's post, click here.
*

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Watch the skies!* (And warn Arnold!)

A friend turned me on to the fact that the state’s Secretary of Education, Glen Thomas, is resigning:

Education Secretary Glen Thomas resigning to care of mother (The Sacramento Bee, Feb. 3)
News broke yesterday that state Education Secretary Glen Thomas is stepping down from the post to care for his ailing mother.

"My 96-year-old mother is not well. Twenty-four years ago I cared for my father and I told my mother that when the time came I would do the same for her. It's been the highest honor to serve in the administration but family is always first priority," the 63-year-old longtime educator told California's Capitol's Greg Lucas.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement yesterday thanking Thomas, who was appointed to the post last year, for his service….
They’re already looking for Thomas’ replacement.

If I know Tom Fuentes, the rat in his brain is jogging like a son-of-a-bitch on that little wheel right about now. If he can find a way to get You-Know-Who considered as Thomas’ replacement, he’ll surely do it.

Yeah, but everybody knows that Arnold Schwarzenneger hates Tom Fuentes. Who wouldn't?

BUT WAIT. As you know, the hire of Tod Burnett as President of Saddleback College a couple of years ago was seriously hinky, owing to the fellow’s lack of experience. Ah, but Burnett had connections with Sacramento—and with the Schwarzenneger administration in particular. (Burnett was Arnold's personal secretary or something. Then he was appointed to high office at the State Chancellor's Office.)

At the time he was hired, we speculated that those connections were what made Burnett attractive to at least some trustees (though not to Marcia Milchiker and Bill Jay; see below).

Hmmmmm.

Anybody got Arnold’s phone number? We've gotta warn him!

*Final line of The Thing From Another World (1951)

From Dissent, June 26, 2008:
Clerk Tom Fuentes reads out actions taken during closed session. He reports that Tod Burnett was approved as Saddleback College President on a 5/2 vote, with Bill Jay and Marcia Milchiker voting against. 

Wow. Perhaps J&M were displeased that Mathur disregarded the recommendations of the search committee (he interviewed the committee’s three recommendations and then went back into the pool, pulling out Burnett). Boards typically seek to approve top administrators unanimously. Further, Burnett, though impressive, seems to lack college administrative experience.

Lariat opinery: “We had a political opportunist as a Chancellor for eight years”

LARIAT COVER STORY:

The Bobster dropped by today with a copy of the Lariat, which sported a big cover story about Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur’s “resignation.” It is entitled, “Mathur resigns, will leave after June 30.”

The subtitle is better: “Board pushes chancellor out in 5-2 motion.”

I just read it. According to the article, Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett “declined to publicly answer questions surrounding Mathur’s resignation, instead issuing a statement online.” The statement is the usual bland “wish ‘em luck” blather.

“Trustees and school officials,” says the article, “were hesitant to comment publicly on the abrupt turn of events.”

Confusing apples and oranges, the article notes that “This motion to remove Mathur…is the latest in a series of attempts,” including the 2004 faculty of vote of “no confidence.”

The Lariat quotes from Tom Fuentes’ statement, which attributes the district’s successes to Mathur and which describes Mathur as “uniquely courageous.”

I’m quoted, though a typo renders much of my comment incomprehensible. They did quite me correctly about hoping for an honest search for a new chancellor.

Board President Don Wagner, who spearheaded the action against Mathur, is quoted as saying,
Dr. Mathur’s resignation … means most immediately that the district will soon start its search for a new chancellor…. Dr. Mathur’s departure will not leave us with a leadership void. I look forward to a thorough and professional search for an outstanding Chancellor.
LARIAT EDITORIAL:

The Lariat editorial concerns Mathur’s “abrupt resigning/firing,” which, it says, has “caused a tussle.”

Evidently, in the mind of the editorial writer, this “tussle” is but one instance of “blatant” “power plays” that have long gone on in “closed meetings of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees.”

It sure sounds like the writer is condemning the recent Mathur-eliminating board action. But maybe not. It goes on to describe the controversy that has “surrounded” Mathur, including the violation of the Brown Act in his appointment in 2002 (they’re confusing that appointment with the two Presidential appointments of 1997).

I guess they don't like Mr. Goo.

The next remark is a bit confused:
The saddest part of this sorry affair [the board action? Mathur’s chancellorship?] is not that we had a political opportunist as a Chancellor for eight years, but that we continue to have a board of trustees whose membership roster has seemingly been in stasis for the past two decades, and whose every action is undertaken with an eye on the political scene.
Stasis? Don’t think so. (Most trustees since 1990 have been Republicans. Is that what he/she means?)

The slam on keeping an eye on politics isn’t bad.

After badly mangling the facts, the editorial lands on its feet, more or less:
Stop with the politics and start making positive strides towards transparency and a district famous not for its political ruthlessness, but for the quality of education.
Good idea.

CAMPUS COMMENT:

This edition’s “campus comment” asks, WHO IS RAGHU MATHUR? You know, it shows pictures of students and their answers to the question.

The student answers?

Get ready.
A rockstar.
The founder of Raghu tomato sauce?
Is it a secret agent?
Is it a German foreign exchange student?
Some foreign person.
Student body president.
Some weird foreign dude.
A political activist.
Good grief.

Annie and my folks just got back from LV. They stopped by the Bagdad Cafe. They're all nuts about that movie. Annie borrowed my camera. Took some good ones.

OC Register: "Shifting Alliances"

On the OC Register's editorial page, this ditty, titled "Shifting Alliances."

It features the Reg's tired and inadvertently hilarious jabs at "union bosses" (Please, Register reporters, come gaze in wonder at our union bosses.)


excerpted highlights:
...Mr. Mathur's removal is particularly odd now because in recent years he had received praise from the majority of the trustees, and he was near the end of his contract. The board's more fiscally conservative majority, Tom Fuentes, David Lang, John Williams, and Mr. Wagner, have been publicly supportive of Mr. Mathur's job as chancellor, while union-backed board members Bill Jay and Marcia Milchiker, as well as Nancy Padberg, have been at odds with him on a variety of issues.

So what changed?

What seems to have been the catalyst for the abrupt move is a shift in political alliances by Mr. Wagner. During the December board meeting, Mr. Wagner voted, against his former allies, to install Ms. Padberg as board vice president and Ms. Milchiker as the board's clerk, removing Mr. Fuentes and Mr. Lang, respectively, from those positions. Ms. Padberg, Mr. Jay, and Ms. Milchiker voted with Mr. Wagner to re-elect him as board president.

Mr. Wagner declined to discuss the reasons for his vote, citing confidentiality related to the Mathur buyout agreement.

Our discussions with several officials revealed that the gossip meter is on high: Is Mr. Mathur's exit in response to an effort to create a new dean position for a faculty member at Irvine Valley College? Will IVC President Glenn Roquemore now have the inside track for the chancellor position? Or is it all just part of the ongoing infighting?

The decision to remove Mr. Mathur now doesn't make much sense. The district will continue to pay his salary of $237,231, plus benefits, for the last year of his contract while at the same time paying a new chancellor. Why not just allow the contract to expire naturally for this longtime employee?

Most disconcerting is the uncharacteristic move by Mr. Wagner, especially now when he is running to replace termed-out Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who is running for U.S. Senate. Mr. Wagner's newfound alliances may serve him in the upcoming election. Mr. Wagner has been mostly a fiscally prudent, liberty advocate on the South Orange County Community College board and seems to have a powerful grasp of free-market principles – which is why his recent decisions are terribly puzzling.

To read the piece in its entirety and to jump in on the soon-to-be burgeoning comments section, click here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SOCCCD litigation watch

This morning, we received word that there would be a hearing Monday morning, in Los Angeles.

The judge (Hon. R. Gary Klausner) in the SOCCCD prayer case would be hearing arguments on our motion to allow two students to continue to use pseudonyms (Doe 1 and Doe 2).

Naturally, district lawyers want ‘em to out themselves.

There will be another hearing—this one dealing with the substance of the case—on March 8.

But then, later today, we got word that the judge cancelled the Monday hearing. This means that he will make his decision about anonymity without in-court arguments, i.e., just based on the briefs.

We’ll let you know how it goes.

To see the notorious invocation (near the beginning) and “Jesus” slide show (at the end) of the Fall ’09 Chancellor’s Opening Session, click here.

Governance, morale and learning

From this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:

Accreditor Slams Southwestern College
Southwestern College, a community college in California, has been placed on probation by its accreditor, which issued a harshly critical report on the institution. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the report said that the accreditor cited serious problems with governance, morale and learning. The college was in the news last year for, among other things, suspending four instructors without pay, following a campus rally criticizing the administration's handling of budget cuts. Faculty leaders said that the accreditor's report backed up the criticisms they and student leaders have been making. College leaders said that they were working to remedy the problems and were confident the college would get off probation.
Southwestern College on probation San Diego Union-Tribune
Among other things, Southwestern was told that its governing board must adhere to its role of setting policy “and not interfere with the authority and responsibility of the superintendent/president,” and that the school foster an environment of “trust and respect for all employees and students that allows the college community to promote administrative stability and work together for the good of the college.”

Andrew MacNeill, vice president of the faculty union, said the commission is saying “what we have been saying for years: That we’re not treated with respect.”
Check out the Action Letter. Among the recommendations:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

SOCCCD litigation watch

• Just after 5:00 p.m. today, Irvine Valley College faculty received an “information item” from the President of the Academic Senate:

Senators

:
The Senate has received a “Public Records Act” request from the SOCCC District lawyers, asking the IVC Faculty Senate to provide any and all public documents and/or records reflecting Senate discussion and actions pertaining to IVC Faculty Senate’s support of the Saddleback Faculty Senate’s resolution regarding prayer. 
Based on our legal obligations, the Senate has complied.
• Meanwhile, our pals at Save Our Southwestern College seem to think that things are heating up in their bordertown version of the “life among Neanderthals” saga:

Accreditation News: Town Hall Meeting Tonight
Late yesterday, Superintendent/President Raj K. Chopra issued a memo announcing that the college has received the much-anticipated report from the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The college has not yet publicly posted the accreditation report, but a "Town Hall" meeting has been scheduled to discuss the results. The meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m. today on the main campus in Room L238 N&S (across from the library).

In other news, the Governing Board took no action at its recent special meeting to evaluate Chopra. Meanwhile, an online survey (see previous post) has gone out to all faculty.

Stay tuned!
UPDATE:

Looks like the ACCJC spanked 'em good:

Southwestern College on Probation

Check out the Action Letter. Reminds me of some letters our colleges have received.

Pretty serious.

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "Contained in this classroom/ is a microcosm of human existence

Rebel Girl understands that is is a tad bit early in the semester for this poem but dang. They're already going missing. Various ailments. Flat tires. Distant relatives at the airport.

So - the very popular "Did I Miss Anything" by Tom Wayman, from his book, The Astonishing Weight of the Dead. Buck up. Persevere.



Did I Miss Anything

Question frequently asked by
students after missing a class

Nothing. When we realized you weren't here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 per cent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I'm about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 per cent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring this good news to all people
on earth

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human existence
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been
gathered

but it was one place

And you weren't here

*

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Will the fix be in—again?

fix, n . . .2. Any arrangement by which laws, rules, or regulations are circumvented...‘his mob got a license (police permission) to hustle (steal) on the cannon (picking pockets) here. The fix is in solid.’ 1953 Big Heat He had come up through the ranks of a society that was founded on the fix. (The OED)

Late in June, Raghu P. Mathur will cease his remarkable tenure as chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District.

That’s exactly five months away.

That would seem to be enough time to search for his replacement.

Naturally, a search and hire should be honest, fair, and competent, maximizing the chances of finding the best possible leader for our district.

Not a Yes man. Someone who can guide the board when he/she needs to.

Further, an honest search could mark a new beginning for the district, now that the odious Mathur, who, along with Trustee John Williams* (himself the subject of embarrassing and disturbing stories of incompetence, cronyism, and other varieties of poor conduct in recent months), is the common thread running through the district’s decline in repute and morale, which started in December of 1996 and which arguably continues to this day.

It’s worth remembering the district’s spotty and sometimes dismal record of Presidential and Chancellor search/hires in the last dozen or so years. Here's part of the story:

“Trustee calls for outside intervention,” Irvine World News, September 11, 1997
College district 'incapable of responsible self-government'
Decrying the process, "or lack thereof" by which Raghu Mathur was selected as the new president of Irvine Valley College Monday, community college Trustee David Lang of Irvine said Tuesday he is seeking the intervention of statewide community college Chancellor Thomas Nussbaum in the affairs of the South Orange County Community College District….
. . .
Lang said he is asking for outside intervention because the south county college board and the district seem "incapable of responsible self-government."
. . .
Irvine Valley faculty members said Tuesday they fear retaliation–harassment or even dismissal—by the board and Mathur for their lack of support during the selection of a replacement for Dan Larios, who left Irvine Valley College last spring to head Fresno City College in his hometown. ¶ Lang said he can understand their fears. ¶ But in an interview following Monday night's meeting of the college board, Trustee John Williams of Mission Viejo said he fully supports the process that was used by the board and the appointment of Mathur to the position. ¶ He said Mathur was "the top candidate for the job all the way through the hiring process."
. . .
"He was just the best person for the job," Williams said of Mathur.
. . .
Trustee Joan Hueter of Tustin said Wednesday that she is saddened by recent actions of the board. ¶ "I have worked with boards before that could disagree and still get along and move forward. This (board) is just unbelievable," Hueter said….
“Bizarre beat goes on at college district,” editorial, Irvine World News, September 11, 1997
Four members of the South Orange County Community College Board of Trustees have made a mockery of shared governance and continue on their campaign of political revenge. ¶ …[Raghu] Mathur is now Irvine Valley's president. ¶ What's next? Look for reprisals against a select list of faculty members and administrators at Irvine Valley who have spoken out against the board majority. ¶ Such an exercise in raw political power, of course, would be repressive and wrong. That doesn't seem to bother the board majority, however….
O.C. Chancellor Selection Called Best Choice, Sham, LA Times, February 2, 2002
Education: New Orange County college chief had earlier received two 'no-confidence' votes from faculty and was the fourth or fifth choice of a selection committee
…The appointment of Raghu P. Mathur, president of Irvine Valley College, by the conservative-controlled board of trustees had been widely expected. Many faculty members on Friday called the selection process a sham. ¶ Mathur, 53, was ranked fourth or fifth among the five candidates the selection committee forwarded to trustees, said Lee Haggerty, who, as president of the teachers union, sat on the panel…. ¶ "He was going to be their man from the beginning," Haggerty said.
. . .
The vote was 5-2, with David Lang and Marcia Milchiker voting against Mathur's appointment.
. . .
Mathur will be paid $170,000 to $180,000 a year, with details of his contract still to be negotiated, Wagner said. ¶ Mathur is expected to take over Monday.
. . .
Controversy has followed Mathur since the board voted 4-3 to appoint him interim president of Irvine Valley in April 1997, promoting him from chairman of the school of physical sciences. ¶ Five months later, a judge ruled that the board had violated the state open-meetings law in making the appointment. ¶ Faculty members said he lacked administrative experience and was too closely aligned with trustees. ¶ In 1998, 75% of faculty at Irvine Valley voted "no confidence" in him, and a year later, the faculty senate called for his removal. ¶ In 1999, 90% of the faculty said they had no confidence in Mathur.
In May of 2004, 93.5% of district faculty (77% participated) voted “no confidence” in Chancellor Mathur:

No-Confidence Vote Will Be 3rd for College Chief, LA Times, May 17, 2004
Huge Vote Against College Chief, LA Times, May 18
…Trustees appointed Mathur chancellor even though a hiring committee did not rank him among the top three candidates, according to Lee Haggerty, then union president, who sat on the panel. ¶ Teachers say Mathur and the elected board have taken away many of their powers to govern college life and added rules to control faculty.
--A year later, the board reconsidered renewing Mathur’s contract:




In the end, Mathur’s contract was renewed, with strong support from Raghu’s new friend, Dave Lang.

A colleague who is close to Lang later explained to me that Lang sought to run for OC Treasurer.

*Marcia Milchiker has been trustee during this period (she first joined the board in 1986), but she has generally opposed Mathur and his controversial actions and policies.

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