Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mediation, meditation. Whatever

Gotta love the OC Register. I opened the Reg website this morning and read the headline:

UCI wants $8 million for place to meditate

To meditate? Well, OK. So I clicked on the link, and that took me to an article entitled,

UCI wants $8 million for place to mediate

To mediate? Well, that’s very different, isn’t it? And mediation does seem to be a need over there. Meditation? Not so much.

Then I read the story. It was back to “meditate,” I guess. (Or is it “mediate”?):
UC Irvine is proposing an “unmatched” plan to help students of different religious, racial, cultural and political backgrounds to interact more peacefully — construction of an $8 million Center for Awareness, Reflection and Meditation.

The privately and publicly funded center, says a university document, is “among the highest priorities” of (UCI) Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D.

“The mission of the center will be to foster contemplation, self-reflection, and quiet thought and, in the process, promote awareness of and conscientious action by discovering common ground and communicating in an open and respectful manner while practicing good citizenship on campus.”
. . .
The planning document says the proposed center would “build on the strong foundation laid and the lessons learned through such programs as the Olive Tree Initiative. Founded in 2007, the Olive Tree Initiative was established by UC Irvine students working closely with Chancellor Drake and Vice Chancellor (Manuel) Gomez to discuss constructively and respectfully conditions and issues in Israel and Palestine.”….
The comments are all that we’ve come to expect from Reg readers. For instance, “chris zierer” says:
You just can’t make stuff like this up! Only with a liberal uh I mean progressive world view could you find a more asinine way to waste private and more importantly public resources!!!!!
“Cheryl” says:
Unbelievable. These people need a job in the “real” world. They have obviously been lost in academia.
Some readers referred to the planned “meditation” center. Others referred to the planned “mediation” center.

I don’t think they know the difference.

And I’m wondering about this Drake fella too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Free advertising!

OK, we admit it. This one’s our fault.

Yesterday, when she learned that Gustavo “Ask a Mexican” Arellano was among the three names forwarded to Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore for selection as the 2010 commencement speaker—Rebel Girl nominates the fellow every year, and this is the first year in which he made the finals—she quickly emailed him to tell ‘im the good news.

Seconds earlier, the Reb had been mocking—in a lighthearted way—the curious fact that the recently-distributed flier for IVC’s celebration of Black History Month sported images of various Africans and African-Americans, like — Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi?

The Mockery of Gaffery (—of gaffery that seems to reveal racial insensitivity or cluelessness) is one of the Reb’s favorite things. Sometimes, she choreographs mock-a-thons as though they were necessary, like praying to Mecca, or, in Orange County, invoking the memory of St. Ronald.

In truth, however, this goof was pretty dang funny. Gandhi a black man? Gandhi?! So I joined in the fun. Others did too. T’wern’t just me. (And we weren't mocking any people—we had no idea who created this thing; we focused on the flier.)

I suppose that the flier was sent out by Diane Oaks (Director of Public Info & Marketing). She and her crew, I know, are good, professional and hard-working people, and so I don’t want to point fingers and cause ‘em any grief. It would take a lot to bring us to do that—a truly egregious flub—and this isn’t that at all.

A few minutes later, while the Reb was composing an email to Gustavo for a second time, we received a spam email from Roquemore that announced that one of the other two nominees had been selected. The State Chancellor, I think. Dang!

“I bet he’s a Republican,” I said.

Earlier, the Reb had hatched a plan: first, to expect the big shot State Chancellor* to be selected right out of the gate. That's a lead pipe cinch. But surely he’d turn down this little speaking gig. Then Roquemore would move down to choice #2, an acquaintance of the Reb's. (We knew that Roquemore would never willingly choose Gustavo, who is so manifestly unRepublican, what with his fixation on suppressed and forgotten unfluffy facts.)

The Reb’s plan: to get #2 on the horn before Roquemore did and tell 'em, “Hey, could you wait until next year? When the Prez calls, say you can't do it!”

“Sure, girlfriend!”

That would leave Gustavo as the unavoidable choice. Bingo!

Nice, eh?

“We can ask ‘im to be especially obnoxious!” I said.

Just then, Francisco walked by. “You won’t have to!” he joked. Yup, Gustavo is a pretty edgy guy, by Republican standards. I mean, he knows local history and he's in the habit of tellin' it like it was.

That's seriously unRepublican, dude.

“Maybe he could talk about the Orange Diocese and their pedophile priests!” offered the Reb, laughing.

“Tom Fuentes wouldn't even show up, would he?”

“No f*cking way!”

Har har har!

—It was all in good fun. Really it was. Just having a few yucks.

So the Reb was in the middle of her second email to Gustavo, and we were still joking around. I said: “Gosh, didn’t you just write him about being a finalist? And ten minutes later, you’re gonna lower the boom on ‘im?”

Well, if anybody can take a joke, it’s Gustavo. Rebel Girl said something. I got distracted by a bug or a carpet stain or mold or something.

At some point, not really thinking, I said, “Tell ‘im about that goofy flier!”

We both laughed. Har har har.

Now, who’d o’ thunk that the darned guy would follow up on this dinky “Afro-Gandhi” anecdote?

—Well, um, he's done just that.


Irvine Valley College Celebrates Black History Month with Gandhi, Graffiti Wall, Double Obamas!
Oh, the racialist merriment of the South Orange County Community College District never end[s]! We've previously written about Saddleback College's gaucho-masquerading-as-bandito, and now Irvine Valley College has gotten into the simplistic-approach-to-race game so endemic in Orange County. IVC spokesperson Diane Oaks sent out a campus-wide email yesterday advertising the juco's Feb. 24 Black History Month celebration. Attached was a flyer (above) that is...interesting.

For starters: exactly how is Mahatma Gandhi black?

Yes, Gandhi inspired the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, but there are hundreds of other African-Americans that most folks would put on a poster of notables before the martyr for a Black History Month poster. Whoever made this flyer didn't even have to look far for another face.
. . .
What's worst about these efforts, though, is the urging of students to leave their thoughts about Black History Month on a "graffiti wall." You can make the argument such a move stereotypes blacks as criminals, but my bigger concern is that dumbass coeds will leave nasty remarks about African-American students on it—such harassment has happened at Saddleback College in the not-so-distant past, with less of an invitation.

But the one part of the flyer that's not foolish? Soul food for the IVC celebration. Drudge and his pals might've tried to make a big scandal of NBC serving such grub for their Black History Month celebration, but come on: you're not going to eat pizza for St. Patrick's Day, or kielbasa on Cinco de Mayo. Now, let's see if IVC can sneak in Jackie Robinson into the flyer...
OK, Diane, et al. Gustavo isn’t really being mean here. He gets lots meaner. Really. This is practically nothing. It's practically less than nothing, almost.

And did you notice he praised the "soul food" idea? And you guys used such great fonts! The whole thing really pops!

(I don't think any of us found the "graffiti wall" idea troubling at all. And why not use two images of Obama? These darned kids won't recognize anybody else anyway. Maybe next time add Will Smith and Kobe Bryant. Yeah.)

OK?

And, yes, it’s all my fault. I’ll take the hit. Loose lips sink ships.

But look on the bright side!

Free advertising!

*I looked him up. State Chancellor Jack Scott is actually a Democrat!

We haven’t got a prayer

From the latest issue of Bob Park’s “What’s New”:

Prayer: California Supreme Court rejects superstition:

Bruce Flamm, obstratician and skeptic, fought a millionaire fertility/prayer clinic operator through the California court system and won. The case involved the notorious "Columbia prayer study," in which it
was claimed that prayer increased the success rate of fertility treatments.

Flamm demanded the study be withdrawn. Qwang Cha, the millionaire clinic operator, lost at every level but kept appealing the judgment in the belief that Flamm must inevitably fold.

Bruce Flamm doesn’t fold.

Last week the California Supreme Court refused to consider the Appeals Court decision against Cha.

The boat is sinking faster than we are bailing:

A Special Section of Science magazine this week is devoted to the problem of feeding "an expected population of 9 billion in 2050."

Expected by whom? In the last 40 years, the population [of the planet] has doubled. If it doubles again in then ext 40 the population would be closer to 14 billion. In the entire issue of Science, I did not see a single mention of population control.

In 1798, the Rev. Robert Thomas Malthus, British scholar and clergyman, observed that animals typically produce far more offspring than are required for replacement. This helps to ensure survival of the species, as Darwin noted 50 years later citing Malthus. To avoid excessive population, Malthus
urged "restraint," but the reproductive instinct is far more powerful than Malthusian logic.

I cannot do better than to once again quote Norman Borlaug’s acceptance speech on the occasion of winning the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for the Green Revolution. It bears repeating:
"We are dealing with two opposing forces, the scientific power of food production and the biologic power of human reproduction. Man has made amazing progress recently in his potential mastery of these two contending powers...there can be no permanent progress in the battle against hunger until the agencies that fight for increased food production and those that fight for population control unite in a common effort."
This, it is clear from the Special Section, has not yet happened.

It's good to smile


• Dear Orly Taitz: what the f*ck? (YouTube) ... “You claim a mystifying combination of professions: lawyer, dentist, real estate agent…”....
• A miscellany of new words and phrases (New York Times) ... “i am a vegetarian with a most discriminating palate, i am a finnickytarian"....
• Community College Offers Students a Guarantee: a Job or Your Money Back (Chronicle of HE) ... The offer applies to only four programs: pharmacy technician, customer-service call-center workers, certified quality inspectors, and home-technology-integration technicians....
• Bolivia to launch satellite into space (Guardian) ... The impoverished South American country, famed more for llamas and Andean peaks than technology, has created a space agency to build and launch a satellite with Chinese help....
• Stunning arial 9-11 photos (Daily News) ... Good Lord, they're for sale!







Another great band, early 80s:


Another band from roughly the same era--perhaps 4 years earlier: Gang of Four. My favorite song of theirs is “I found that essence rare.”

I couldn’t find a decent YouTube video of that song, but you can listen to it here:
Aim for the body rare, you'll see it on TV
The worst thing in 1954 was the Bikini
See the girl on the TV dressed in a Bikini
She doesn't think so but she's dressed for the H-Bomb
For the H-Bomb!

I found that essence rare, it's what I looked for
I knew I'd get what I asked for....
• The Smiths (1982-1987)
• The Violent Femmes (1982-1986)
• The Gang of Four (1977-1982)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Howard Zinn? No, not an Astronaut


Professor No-It-All Gets Attitudinous! Answering Questions That You Never Actually Asked, Yet Ever So Helpfully!

Today’s lecture: I See Dead People. I See Dumb People (And Hear Them, Too)

            Gotta love those otherwise intuitively skeptical, pro-liberation listeners to KPFK (90.7 FM), the non-corporate alternative Pacifica network community radio station which features the BiblioFella on his modest weekly books show. The station is just now fundraising to stay on the air as the singular independent, reality-based community arts and public affairs media outlet in Southern California. Most KPFK supporters seem to at least try, heroically, to stay on that reality-based track, even as status quotidians, mystics, hucksters, New Agers and conspiracy theory types hoe their own row on the rest of the dial and NPR struggles to become a “mainstream” news source, abandoning its original premise of 1970s citizen-owned corrective to the media monopoly. 

              KPFK plays hours and hours of lectures and talks by — and interviews of — Noam Chomsky, Martin King, Harold Myerson, Arundhati Roy, David Corn, Naomi Klein, Barbara Ehrenreich, all practitioners of critical thinking — as against so much of the nonsense offered by the commercial news machine. 

             Still, as if fated with flying monkeys stuck on their backs, even some KPFK listeners cannot shake the ideological weight of the “spiritual” and the religious, especially in language and metaphor. The credulous — religious believers, “truthers,” miracle health cure disciples, positive thinkers — have little room in their brains or conversation for more than one metaphor, more than one book, their Book or construction or theory.  This figurative language-based ideology — often expressed in the assumption of a supernatural — shapes their vernacular and so, their thinking. Unthinking. All can be explained, if only we ignore, well, everything else and embrace some phrase, some rhetorical paradigm, usually exactly the opposite of what we mean. 

            Time, then, for some intellectual self-defense.  (Don't say I never gave you anything!) The tyranny of monotheism and other exclusivist thinking is the easiest controlling metaphor to hear, if only we will listen for it and talk back, interrupt — politely of course. But nobody talks back. Here’s your chance. Next time a religionist or spiritualist tells you he or she admires representative democracy, embracing it while they live here on Earth (about 78 years, average), ask them how we can believe them. Ask them, politely, how we can trust their commitment to representative democracy since they aspire to dwell after death in a place called Eternity (a lot longer!) not as voters or activists in a democracy but as subjects in a monarchy, with a lord and king telling them what to do. Hard to reconcile, no? 


            Yes, actually. Very hard. Meanwhile, back at KPFK, on Monday afternoon a caller to “Reality Check with Harrison,” a funny news and commentary show, reported that she’d learned Professor Howard Zinn (1922-2010) had died. But, no, she didn’t actually say that. Instead, she offered that he’d “left the planet.” Left the planet? In fact, he’d had a heart attack. It happens, to all of us, and I mourn his death.  


            Professor No-it-allovich’s favorite anecdotal aside: At a memorial service for his friend the poet Allen Ginsberg, the late Kurt Vonnegut began his remarks with this wonderfully droll and humane caution to his audience: “Please, please, please. Nobody else die!” Funny. (And, no Vonnegut is not so much late himself now as he is dead.  See actual photo, above!)
             So: Howard Zinn did not leave the planet. He is not visiting faraway galaxies, did not go to heaven, and will not come back as an animal or a spirit or a king. He lived, he struggled, and he was a really smart, empathetic and brave person. And then his body stopped living. I miss him.  



            Yuri, Alan, Valentina, John, Neil and Buzz “left the planet,” via the Vostok and Mercury and Apollo programs, but they came back. They were cosmonauts and astronauts. Howard Zinn? He was a radical historian. He was not an astronaut, and neither are you, friend. Next week:  Herbal Tea Partiers       



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

James B. Utt remembered

Earlier today, a reader offered these observations and memories of Congressman James B. Utt, the man for whom the Saddleback College LIBRARY was named:
I am not aware that Congressman Utt was a bigot.* Most who knew him personally thought he was a soft-spoken, mild-mannered country gentleman. He was not the typical politician who talked out of both sides of his mouth. One always knew where she/he stood with Utt – what you saw is what you got. He was respected by all who came in contact with him, agree with him or not.

True, he, like many other conservatives, felt that membership in the U.N. did not serve the best interests of the U.S.

In February 1970, just a couple of weeks before his death on March 1, Utt attended the three-year anniversary celebration of the founding of the Saddleback [Community College District]. On a long walk around the campus, he and Vogel discussed the future of the district. It was at that time Vogel told Utt that the trustees had decided to name the first permanent structure – the library – in his honor. Upon hearing this he was quite humble and expressed his gratitude. He was, obviously, very pleased.

Upon hearing of his death, the trustees were happy that he had become aware of the honor that they were going to bestow upon him.
Be kind, please. Leave it be. He died 40 years ago, ten days short of his 71st birthday.

*According to the OC Almanac, in 1963, “U.S. Congressman James B. Utt [made] national news by suggesting that ‘a large contingent of barefooted Africans’ might be training in Georgia as part of a United Nations military exercise to take over the U.S.” See also here.

Wagner: red, red meat

Today, Matt Cunningham of Red County/OC Blog (Conservative Leader Bucher Endorses Don Wagner) passed along the latest press release from Don Wagner’s Assembly campaign (below).

The press release doesn't offer news, really, since Bucher has long supported Wagner. But faculty and classified will find some of Don’s rhetoric pretty interesting:

Mark Bucher Endorses Conservative Wagner
Mark Bucher, one of California’s leading conservative activists, has announced his support of Don Wagner, Republican candidate for the 70th Assembly District and president of the South Orange County Community College Board of Trustees.

"On the Community College Board, Conservative Don Wagner has been a consistent vote for fiscal accountability and educational excellence. He's never been afraid to go toe-to-toe with the public employee unions if those unions weren't putting students and education first."

Bucher has been a vocal critic of the power and influence of labor unions in California, which led him to found the Education Alliance, a group dedicated to assisting school board candidates who are independent of education unions. He has been instrumental in landmark ballot initiatives like Proposition 226, which would have required unions to receive permission to use their members’ dues for political purposes; Propositions 174 and 38 promoting school choice; and Proposition 22, the Defense of Marriage Initiative.

“No one has done more for education reform than Mark Bucher and I am grateful to him for dedicating himself to fighting the unions’ corrosive impact on education in California,” said Wagner.We have worked together at the South Orange County Community Colleges to minimize the influence of the unions and I plan to continue that fight as a member of the State Assembly. The public employee unions are destroying our state and we need to rein them in.”….

Fine Young Cannibals (1984-1988)
UB40 (1978- )

$25,000 for another creep? Enough!

Dear fellow denizens of the SOCCCD:

Boy, this is quite a place to spend your professional life.

For instance, over here, we’ve got an elephant-footed, hardball-playing trustee who, when he isn’t taking the lowest of roads (stationing guards at polling places, nixing study-abroad programs to punish critics, etc.), he’s praying to the Lord or calling insufficiently pure Republicans “whores.”

Lovely.

He’s got a team of sorts, including a lawyer. A big fat card on his Rolodex is dedicated to one Phil Greer, attorney to the right-wing OC stars, such as the ethically challenged OC Treasurer, Chriss Street, the junket-loving and incompetent OC Guardian/Administrator, John Williams, all but one of the brainless OC Supes, and—well, Raghu P. Mathur.

Greer is the OC Republican mafia's consigliere. He's a total creep.

I’ve been assured by a reliable source that the SOCCCD recently paid the fellow $25,000. What for? Well, for participating in that heart-warming endeavor called the “Mathur settlement,” aka the Twilight Zonean saga of Mathur playing every desperate card up his sleeve (and one or two cards that he only imagines) while determined former admirers hustle him forcefully out the door, and for good.

But wait! This Phil Greer fella must be a pretty good lawyer, right?

Dunno about that. I’m more interested in his ethics. Now, what manner of ethics do you suppose the fellow has? HINT: he’s Fuentes’ go-to lawyer. He represents Street, Williams, Mathur, and their pals.

That’s right. NONE.

Here’s what the LA Times had to say about him a couple of years ago:

Rebuked O.C. lawyer keeps busy (H.G. Reza)
Janet Nguyen was barely losing the February election for county supervisor. When she decided to ask for the recount that would eventually put her ahead, she did what many Orange County Republicans do when they need election law advice. She hired Phillip Greer.
. . .
Despite his status as an advisor to Orange County Republicans, the State Bar of California has disciplined Greer twice in the last 11 years and ordered him each time to take ethics courses. His advice to Nguyen that she set up a secret defense fund, which was later ruled illegal, led state election officials to rebuke the supervisor. When Greer returned the donations, which had been sent to one of his accounts, at least one of the checks bounced.
. . .
This month, Nguyen agreed to pay $5,000 in fines to settle investigations into the fundraising scheme. The county supervisor has said she acted on Greer's advice. Nguyen did not return phone calls seeking comment for this article.

. . . [The Times goes into the details; check 'em out.]

According to state bar records, Greer represented a Georgia firm in one lawsuit at the same time he was suing the firm in another case in 2002. The state bar investigation found that Greer's representation of both parties was a "willful violation of Rules of Professional Conduct."

In the earlier disciplinary action, Greer settled a client's personal injury lawsuit for $5,000 in 1990, withholding $1,634 to pay her medical bills. The money should have been kept in Greer's client trust account.

In 1991, the client asked Greer for the remainder of the money because her insurance had paid the bills, records show. Greer did not pay her for three years, and when he did he used a cashier's check instead of one from his client trust account. According to the state bar's findings, his trust account daily balances "consistently fell below $1,634," the amount that should have always been in the account.

Greer blamed his office manager, saying the employee had removed client files, which he discovered after closing his Long Beach office. The state bar said Greer's failure to supervise the office manager prevented him from properly representing the client.
Greer was required to take ethics courses in both cases.

There were also apparent problems in repayment of at least one $5,000 contribution made to Greer's client trust account for Nguyen's defense fund. The refund check was written from Greer's office account to Townsend Public Affairs, a lobbying firm based in Irvine, and marked "Nguyen refund." The check was dated April 15, 2007, but the firm did not receive it until June 7, according to sources familiar with the transaction. It bounced June 12. Eight days later a firm official wrote Greer, asking him to mail another check. It did not arrive until Oct. 18, sources said. This appears to conflict with the finding that Nguyen returned the donations within a month of receiving them.

In an e-mail to The Times, Greer wrote, "I have no idea as to why the April check was not tendered till June, and it is my understanding that they were made good as soon as we were informed there was a problem."….
What a freakin' creep. C’mon. Aren’t you sick and tired of the district being saddled with the likes of Tom Fuentes and his creep brigade—Chriss Street, Mike Carona, Raghu Mathur, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Adam Probolsky, Jack the Ripper, Phil Greer, Arlene Greer, Rosy Greer, and Pam Grier?*

I don’t care how many times the guy prays to the Lord and rolls his eyes to Heaven. He’s a creep. And our district is up to its eye balls in his rotting, sulphurous creepitude, mixed with various exotic other varieties of appalling, epic creepulescence: Mathur-creep, Gensler-creep, Fennel-creep, Sherry-creep, “sorry, Roy, but I’ve got to play the game to protect my program”-creep, “It’s a new era of trust!”-creep, “how-come-you-didn’t-hire-our-favorite-adjunct?”-creep, and all the other f*cking creeps.

Our district will now move forward with a chancellor search. (And, after that, there will be other hires.) Given our district's record with such hires. I'm worried.

I have no doubt that Board President Wagner is a better man than Mr. Fuentes. I’m not even gonna call him a creep. But better-than-Fuentes creepitude is not good enough.

I want some freakin’ decency. At long last!

This aging Eagle Scout is dedicating himself to one thing. I want honest hiring processes. I don’t care who we hire. I’m beyond caring about that. For me, it’s simple. I wanna work at a place where, fundamentally, decency and honesty prevails. That means that there’s no FIX. Not to any degree—and, yes, this admits of degrees, and you know it. They can hire Nixon’s corpse for all I care. They can hire Dr. Laura or Michelle Maulkin. I DON’T CARE, as long as she’s the best hire, straight up.

Yes!

There was a time when more of us than now stood together and said “NO WAY” to hinky hires, including the kind where “good” people get to know each other and depend on each other and, hey, even do good work together—and, so, naturally, they make damned sure that the “right” person ends up with the right job.

Nope.

I don’t give a shit anymore. I don’t care how good the person is. I don’t care how freakin’ wonderful it would be if they got the job. Unless the process is clean, it’s flat wrong and there’s no way we’ll ever get healthy around here with that stuff in the background, like the miasma of rotting pools of bubbling moral rot.

Enough!

*OK, I don't really have anything against these last two "greers."

COMMENTS:

Anonymous‬ said...: Since Chriss Street spells his first name with two S's, it seems natural to me to pronounce Chriss with an emphasis on the "iss," so that it rhymes with "hiss." He is a snake, after all. ~ 8:56 PM, February 10, 2010
‪Anonymous‬ said...: It's true that their creepy attitude has spread throughout the district -- little matters to folks anymore, even the ones who make the nicey-nice speeches. Sigh. Everyone is just out for their own. ~ 9:35 PM
‪Anonymous‬ said...: No fix! I'm with you Roy but I think we're outnumbered. ~ 9:36 PM
Anonymous‬ said...: Pam Grier is great.

(Do you know something we don't know, Roy?) ~ 9:47 PM
B. von Traven said...: See the asterisk? Yeah, she's great. I just wanted to write "Pam Grier." ~ 9:48 PM
Anonymous‬ said...: When you're kids, everyone wants you to be good little boy or girl scouts -- then when you grow up they want you to forget all about it and do the expedient thing, to sell out, yourself and others. ~ 9:51 PM
Anonymous‬ said...: I think it will come down to two choices for replacing Raghu. Glenn or Tod. With the current Board hiring policy it seems they could find a drunk bum passed out in front of the "Ronald Reagan Board of Trustees Room" and pick him/her (assuming they have the proper conservative credentials). That's one hiring committee I wouldn't want to be on. It would be a total waste of time. ~ 11:14 PM
‪Anonymous‬ said...: I like it when Roy gets all idealistic. ~ 6:40 AM, February 11, 2010
Anonymous‬ said...: I'm with you. $25000! ~ 8:56 AM

I flag, therefore I am

Two stories from this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:

Philosophers Push Campaign Against Limits on Hiring Gay Professors
Calvin College has become the first institution covered by a new rule of the American Philosophical Association of requiring any college that violates any part of the association's anti-bias policy to have job listings with the association flagged. The rule was adopted late last year in response to the concerns of many philosophers about having their association list jobs from institutions that do not hire gay professors. One aim of the policy, proponents said, was to then be able to lobby colleges to change their policies. Some philosophers are now trying to do just that with a petition urging the college to accept gay professors. "One might puzzle over a form of Christianity that is committed to the inequality of people, and in particular of job applicants for positions in philosophy. More disturbing, however, is the stigma Calvin College feels entitled to place upon those who are doubly exposed: as lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgendered in a society that has yet to accept them, and as people seeking jobs during difficult economic times," the petition says….
Campus Disruptions of Israelis' Speeches Criticized
The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday issued a statement denouncing Monday night's disruptions at the University of California at Irvine of a speech by Israel's ambassador and suggested that a pattern was emerging of "undemocratic, bullying, confrontational tactics" to block Israeli views from being heard. At Irvine, students were arrested for repeatedly interrupting the ambassador's talk. Michael Drake, Irvine's chancellor, on Tuesday issued a statement on the disruptions, which he called "intolerable." Drake said: "Freedom of speech is among the most fundamental, and among the most cherished of the bedrock values our nation is built upon. A great university depends on the free exchange of ideas. This is non-negotiable. Those who attempt to suppress the rights of others violate core principles that are the foundation of any learning community. We cannot and do not allow such behavior."….
Meanwhile, in Fresno... Professor's Alleged Religious and Anti-Gay Remarks Draw Letter From ACLU (Chronicle of HE)
In response to student complaints that a health-science professor at Fresno City College makes overtly religious and anti-gay statements in his lectures, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the college today demanding that it ensure that all its health-science classes teach unbiased and medically accurate information. The letter also advises the college that it is legally required to prevent the professor from engaging in religious indoctrination in his classes. The college's president, Cynthia E. Azari, told The Fresno Bee that an internal investigagion was under way.

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "The city is everyone."

Rebel Girl is still on the lookout for the ideal Valentine's Day poem but until then here is another about teaching, learning, writing, being.

A poem by D. Nurske, from his book The Rules of Paradise.

This first appeared in the August 1990 issue of Poetry.

First Grade Homework

The child’s assignment:
“What is a city?”
All dusk she sucks her pencil
while cars swish by
like ghosts, neighbors’ radios
forecast rain, high clouds,
diminishing winds: at last
she writes: “The city is everyone.”
Now it’s time
for math, borrowing and exchanging,
the long discipleship
to zero, the stranger,
the force that makes us
what we study: father and child,
writing in separate books,
infinite and alone.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homework? Not so much

From this morning’s Inside Higher Ed: Anything But Studying

The latest snapshot of how University of California students spend their time suggests sleep and socializing were far more important than classes and studying to the average undergraduate there. But that was two years ago, before institutions and families plunged into economic turmoil, and things may have changed.

In a survey conducted on all nine of the university’s undergraduate campuses in the spring of 2008 and completed by 63,600 students, students on average reported getting six-and-a-half hours of sleep each night and spending 41 hours a week on social and leisure activities. Meanwhile, students said they spent a little more than 28 hours each week combined on class and homework….

Picture: San Juan Capistrano, long ago.

Tom and Don's pal Jim Lacy creates an impeachment site

One of OC’s right-wing regulars—a pal of Tom Fuentes’—has helped create an “Impeach Obama” website: Local activist behind impeach Obama site.

Jim Lacy appears to be friendly with SOCCCD Board of Trustees President Don Wagner as well (Fuentes and Wagner were involved in Lacy’s recent right-wing Western CPAC extravaganza — Pious turds in a punchbowl; Lacy has contributed to Wagner's Assembly campaign).

Naturally, he’s into dirty tricks.
Longtime Republican political activist Jim Lacy of Dana Point has teamed up again with Floyd Brown, author of the 1988 Willie Horton ad that helped bring down Michael Dukakis. This time they want to try to bring down President Barack Obama. And they’ve got an Impeach Obama Web site to prove it.

“Enough is enough. We’re calling for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama. And if you agree you can join us right now,’’ begins the message on the site.

Lacy was one of six people candidate Obama listed on his “Behind the Smears” page, during the presidential campaign. These were people who the Obama campaign said played fast and loose with the facts in an attempt to bring down his candidacy. I’ve asked the White House is [sic] they have any reaction to Lacy’s latest effort. But the administration tends not to comment on such sites.
. . .
Barack Hussein and his allies have powerful and influential friends with very deep pockets,” they say after one clicks the “donate” button. “If we’re going to do this right we will need the resources to counter his efforts.”….

Monday, February 8, 2010

Be civil, not British!

UPDATE: 12 arrested. See video above: it's pretty wild.
NOTE: I had to replace the video. The first video tended to start by itself. Not good.

Uh-oh. Things are getting unpleasant at UCI. Gary Robbins of the OC Reg’s College Life blog just posted:

Protestors disrupt speech by Israeli ambassador
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren has been interrupted nine times this evening while trying to talk about U.S.-Israel relations at UC Irvine….

Mark Petracca, a political science professor, took the stage at 6:21 p.m. and said that the protestors would be arrested.

Oren began speaking just before 5:50 p.m. Over the next 10 minutes, he was interrupted by four different men who yelled various things at him. The first said, “Propagating murder is not free speech.”

The second person yelled about “Zionism.”

The third yelled, “Israel.” The fourth could not be clearly heard.
. . .
Petracca lost his temper and yelled, “This is embarrassing … Shame on all of you.”

UCI Chancellor Michael Drake also told the 500 people in attendance that he was embarrassed by the outburst.
. . .
Hours earlier, UCI’s Muslim Student Union said in an email today that its members “condemn and oppose the presence of Michael Oren, the ambassador of Israel to the United States, on our campus today. We resent that the Law School and the Political Science Department on our campus have agreed to cosponsor a public figure who represents a state that continues to break international and humanitarian law and is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than all other countries in the world combined.”
. . .
UCI political science professor Mark Petracca asked the crowd to be civil, saying, “(This) is not the British Parliament. It is a university.”

COMMENTS:

Anonymous‬ said... Yikes. 9:16 AM
Anonymous‬ said... I see trustee Lang there! 10:08 AM
‪Anonymous‬ said... Dave lives near campus. His wife works at UCI. So I wouldn't be surprised if he were there. 10:23 AM
Anonymous‬ said... Yes, Lang is in the audience sitting just in front of the first person who interupts the speaker -- you can see Lang turning around at about second 38. 

Yes, Lang's wife works at UCI and is represented by the union there. Red Emma is president of her union. She is a librarian. The UCI library is affiliated with the ALA -- unlike the current status of SOCCCD's libraries. 

I'm just sayin'. 10:30 AM
‪‪Anonymous‬ said... terrible that no reporter picked up on the inter-crowd heckling of the students by the older "community members". i saw a few girls in headscarves being repeatedly harassed by two older, jewish, men. 


also, they packed the room with the "community sponsors" and shoved students to the sides. there was a packed overflow room as well. 12:51 PM
‪Anonymous‬ said... Wow, this video really brings back memories--of Nazis and JDL thugs harrassing each other at SOCCCD board meetings. One would suddenly feel that one had been transported out of the country to some lawless place of unyielding louts. 1:58 PM
Anonymous‬ said... Yeah, nowadays, one feels transported to a Tea Party rally or, really, any place where people are attempting to discuss issues and the new right-wing is present. Soon, a punch in the face will be known as their most powerful argument. 2:02 PM
Anonymous‬ said... The "new right-wing is present"? These protesters are Tea Party people or otherwise from the right? You've got to be kidding. 2:21 PM
Anonymous‬ said... 2:21:
1:15, remembering the Nazi/JDL clashes of ten years ago, said, witnessing that, "One would suddenly feel that one had been transported out of the country to some lawless place of unyielding louts." 
Then I said, that "one feels transported to a Tea Party rally." The point is that one now has a new standard of "foreign" loutishness, namely, Tea Party events, such as the recent one in which racist sentiments were expressed and applauded. Then I went on to suggest yet another model, namely, the sort of ugly, racist, conspiracy-nut stuff that attached to Republican rallies during the last Presidential election. That is, one no longer must imagine foreigner anarchy or ancient hatreds to imagine loutish thuggery and the like; one need look no further than the noisy element of today's Republican Party. 3:56 PM
Anonymous‬ said... Oh, I get it, 3:56. Thanks for clarifying. Ugly uncivil left-wing shouting down of an invited speaker at UCI reminds someone of ugly uncivil loutish shouting between Nazis and the JDL from more than a decade ago, so, of course, the Republicans/Tea Partiers -- who are neither left wingers nor Nazis nor the JDL -- get slandered. It all makes sense. 4:21 PM
‪Anonymous‬ said... I think the commentators were talking about the decline of public discourse in general -- the rhetoric of the Tea Partiers being a recent, pungent example of this decline. 5:11 PM
Anonymous‬ said... What he said. 5:20 PM
‪She‬ said... She! She said. 5:22 PM
Anonymous‬ said... Yeah, I thought of that, but "what he said" is more familiar. I'm often torn between maximal rhetoric and correctness. I flip flop on that all the time. 5:26 PM
Anonymous‬ said... Extremely disturbing, and scary. What gets to me as much as the thugs who stood up and yelled were the idiots cheering them on: cheerleaders without brains. 

Mob mentality is just too stupid for words, and always a serious danger.

 --MAH 10:57 AM, February 10, 2010
‪‪Anonymous‬ said... " ... a punch in the face will be known as their most serious argument." Now THAT is a good one, 2:02! --

MAH 1:19 PM
‪Anonymous‬ said... The latest: Chemerinski weighs in: Dean: UCI protesters violated free speech 2:33 PM
Anonymous‬ said... 5:11, How can you say the Tea Partiers are an example of a “decline of public discourse in general?” Seems to me this new peaceful grass-roots effort has been civil; no property damage, no violence, etc… As compared to the left’s usual show of “public discourse” in the recent past, Tea Partiers shine! 

And 2:02, “Soon, a punch in the face will be known as their most powerful argument.” Amusing but so far I see the Tea Partiers presenting some very compelling prima facie arguments that stand on their own merits. Again, it’s the left who has been violent, while the conservatives have not. 2:34 PM
Anonymous‬ said... The Tea Party crowd regularly laps up demagoguery. Tancrito borrows classic and familiar racist arguments, and the crowd is entranced--and clueless. Palin suggests that the Prez could invade Iran to gain "toughness" cred, and the audience doesn't flinch. They are Neanderthals, without memory or knowledge, just a club and a torch. I would be more impressed if there were hecklers, Tea Baggers (or whatever) with some notion of who we are and where we've come from. Again, I say, view all of the video of crowds at Republican events during the last Presidential election: suddenly, racist sentiments and daft conspiracy theories were acceptable. It was horrifying. You keep referring to unruly leftists. Just who are these leftists? We have Republicans breaking into offices, spreading false rumors, hinting at the desirability of "revolution." I'm talking about Republicans, all around us, especially here in OC. Now do point out to me the Democrats among us who reveal any similar intellectual or democratic crudity. (And, BTW, those guys at the UCI event don't count. For one thing, they are likely foreign students. For another, [they're] not leftists.) 2:49 PM
Anonymous said...“The Tea Party crowd regularly laps up demagoguery.”

--What about the leftists with their anti-Bush-Cheney rhetoric, and the war has been lost, etc… I saw someone wearing a “Kill Cheney” t-shirt the other day. [They're] the ones advocating violence, not the conservatives. If any side is more consumed with race, it’s the left with their political correctness along with their demagogues like those 3 Reverends (you know who they are) who are in the race business. It’s all about race-baiting with them.

“suddenly, racist sentiments and daft conspiracy theories were acceptable. It was horrifying. Now do point out to me the Democrats among us who reveal any similar intellectual or democratic crudity.” How about our Prez’s own Reverend for 20 years? You didn’t find him horrifying?

I think you’re clueless. Most horrifying is the typical leftist Australopithecus Afarensis, incapable of doing their own thinking, who buy into all that crap about how big daddy govt. is going to take care of them by stealing property away from the rest of us… and for what in exchange? Their FREEDOM! How any American could go along with this “plot” is beyond me.

Now sit down and shut up cuz it’s time for another sleep-inducing lecture from the almighty PREZ! Yay! 8:14 PM
B. von Traven said...8:14, you have made your case beautifully. Indeed, you are thoroughly self-defecating. 
Now, go away, and don't come back. Please. This is a college blog. If you hurry, you can just catch Glenn Beck over on Fox. Perfect for you. 8:48 PM
Anonymous said...Why, thank you B. von Traven!

I guess it means I've won the argument when the moderator replies with ad hominem and asks that I go away. ~ 10:09 PM
Anonymous said...…A few weeks ago [Beck] did a special, “Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free or Die” which was a real eye-opener for me. Did any of you happen to catch it? If not, I strongly suggest you see it.
It’s basically about how for the last 100 years, the progressives have been teaching us revisionist history. They’ve managed to associate all the “bad stuff” in the world, i.e. totalitarian regimes, genocide, man’s inhumanity to man, etc… with far-right ideologies and conveniently omitted overwhelming human atrocities by the far-left. In brief the facts are, Hitler (alleged far-right) = 7M dead, while Stalin (far-left) = 12M Ukrainians dead + Mao (far-left) = 70M Chinese dead, etc… The tally is: alleged far-right = 7M dead compared to far-left = 82M dead. And that’s not even all the far-left atrocities, just the two most prominent.
Further, Hitler’s Fascism, usually associated with far-right ideology, is in fact more in line with Stalin’s far-left Socialism. In fact when compared side by side, every element is identical except for the Nazi’s “nationalist” element hence, the actual definition of fascism is “National Socialism.” So we can easily conclude that fascism is actually a far-left phenomenon. This expose really changed everything for me, because now left-right political spectrum theory, or the conventional school of thought, is no longer relevant. What is evident, there are still two sides; good and evil. Good stands for traditional liberal philosophy: freedom, justice and humanity, while evil stands for socialism, totalitarianism and death. Today’s conservatives represent the former and unfortunately hard-left liberals, the latter.
Some folks think Glenn Beck is a joke, I certainly don’t. He was recently voted America’s second most influential conservative of 2009, by AP, survey by CBS. Why do you suppose that is? He used to work for CNN, you know. What happened to make him join the FOX news team? Was it perhaps the disintegration of good journalism at CNN?
And finally, “And, BTW, those guys at the UCI event don't count. For one thing, they are likely foreign students. For another, their not leftists.”
Did you down a half gallon of Prestone? Of course they’re leftists! What do you think the Muslim Brotherhood is? It’s a socialist movement/party born out of Nassir’s Egypt in the 1950s. ~ 9:05 PM, February 11, 2010
Anonymous said...Bummer you should not have changed out the video! The original was much better. It showed the professor at the end telling his unruly students to drop the class and that they've failed their exams. That was the best part! No worry, the OC Register has the original one. ~ 9:39 PM
Anonymous said...Reading that stuff from 9:05 gives me pause to think how many Germans must have felt in 1936; that they woke up one morning and saw a plurality of their countrymen supporting Goebbels and company, and were just stunned as to what had happened. And we know where that led. ~ 12:08 PM, February 12, 2010

Some scandal

Like Mathur, Mathur’s supporters are special. Presently, they are consumed with hatred for Don Wagner, and so they’ve assembled their spitballs and itching powder, and they’re crawling through the bushes and throwing stink bombs.

Take Mathur supporter Scamallert.  In a comment re the recent Register editorial,  he or she tries the old say it enough times and everyone will believe it gambit: “This Wagner Scandal really stinks to high heaven” she declares.

Scandal?

Scamallert suggests that we take a look at Wagner’s campaign donors. Among them, she writes, is “Union Boss” (?) William Hewitt, who gave Don’s campaign $1,000. Imagine!

Ms. Allert draws a conclusion: Wagner is neither fiscally conservative nor anti-union.

But, of course, Don is both, which is why the union, including Treasurer Bill, has opposed him during every election. Don’s on the board of Education Alliance, for Chrissake! Nobody hates teachers unions more than that crowd.

It is, I think, some sort of old-fashioned—and kinda hinky—take on politics that inclines the likes of Bill “the Schmoozer” Hewitt to contribute to Don's Assembly campaign. The rest of us dissenters contribute instead to Jane Fonda, the ALA, Satanism, Spain, and whoever makes those swell little mustachioed voodoo dolls.

Scamallert, in case you haven’t noticed, is an aficionado of daft conspiracy theories, which explains her disapproving mention of Hewitt’s long-ago involvement in the Frogue recall. (Gosh, I didn’t know Steve had fans! Maybe Scam is Steve?!)

Modjeska Grade, 1939

Her next shocker concerns the “prayer” lawsuit. The list of defendants, she notes, is practically an SOCCCD Who’s Who! That's true. So how come IVC Prez (and Wagnerian) Glenn Roquemore isn’t named in the suit?

“Very fishy indeed,” she snides.

Well, if Ms. Scama had bothered to read our complaint, she would discover that it names the trustees—they are the district—and then includes persons who participated in the actions and events that are the subject of the suit (showing "Jesus" videos, removing obstacles to trustee prayer at events, etc.). Tod Burnett and Raghu Mathur definitely participated. Roquemore did not, in part because he’s fifteen miles from the action. (Yes, the Chancellor’s opening session occurred at IVC, but it was strictly a district event, choreographed by All That Goo.)

Scamallert seems to think that Hewitt is involved in the suit. In fact, HE HAS NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. Hell, I don't think we'd have 'im!

Scamallert next goes off the rails completely, asserting, absurdly, that the lawsuit derives from plaintiffs’ “hurt feelings.” Even if that were true (I'm against the "establishment" of religion, and my feelings are fine), it would do nothing to serve her fish theory.

Evidently frothing at the mouth, she next notes that two of the suit’s plaintiffs (the two students) are anonymous. “Hmmm…. What are they trying to hide?” she oozes.

Actually, I argued against anonymity, but the other faculty plaintiffs, concerned about the students’ vulnerability, were adamant. (I think it's a nesting thing.) These two young people believe in the separation of church and state. That's why they've signed on.

OK, having established that (1) Bill Hewitt gave Don a check for one thousand bucks and (2) two of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs are anonymous, Scamallert declares: “The big puzzle is beginning to come together”!

Her grand vision finally spills forth in a tour de force of cascading disconnected imaginary factoids:
Some people wanted Mathur gone so badly, they figured all they had to do was flip one trustee…So they cut a backroom deal with the trustee to make Mathur an offer he couldn’t refuse – hire as a high paid admin, the woman … who hates Mathur, or Mathur is OUT! …The incentive for the trustee was financial support for his bid for CA Assembly [namely, that cool grand from Bill] …If the trustee wins that seat in Sac, it eliminates him from our board – one less conservative! … Now [?] while emboldened and on a roll, hit the district with a big lawsuit and hopefully take-out some more conservative trustees (all paid for by the taxpayer!) … The stench is rapidly becoming too overwhelming!
Wow. What an idiot.

There’s no scandal here—just the usual semi-hinky machinations of a peevish and arrogant right-winger. In the end, this was about Wagner and one seriously lousy employee: Don could no longer abide the fellow's connivery, and so he pulled the strings and arranged the ducks to remove him, even if it meant permanently pissing off the pious and sulfurous Tom “Big Foot” Fuentes.

Some scandal.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

El Toro 1951

Two boys receiving medals, El Toro Marine Base, El Toro, CA, 1951

I found this photo at the USC digital library site. It is a part of the “Los Angeles Examiner Negatives Collection, 1950-1961,” and it is entitled, “Medals given boys at El Toro Marine base, 1951.”

There's no further information.

Obviously, the ceremony concerns war deaths: the little boys are receiving medals in honor of their fathers’ sacrifices—no doubt in Korea.

I noticed some names barely legibly written on the photo (backwards). One of them: Mary Nell Scott (and Bobby Scott). I did some quick looking and found that one Californian named Scott died in Korea at that time:
“Corporal [Gerald L.] Scott [of San Francisco] was a member of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division [Army]. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on March 12, 1951.” [Born in 1931] (Korean War Project)
Another name: Molly Rohwer.

One Californian named Rohwer died in Korea at the time:
“Corporal [Gaylen Floyd] Rohwer [born: June 11, 1924; from Venice, CA] was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He was Killed in Action [in Seoul] while fighting the enemy in Korea on September 24, 1950.” (Korean War Project)
Also handwritten on the photo: "General William Wallace"* and the number "9186." Don't know anything about either.

A date is written on the photo: "6-11(?)-51." No doubt it is the date of this occasion.

That was Rohwer's birthday. He would have been 27.

*I can find no General (of that era) with this name.

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