Saturday, August 28, 2010

Good grief! Spitzer is fired and John “Orlando” Williams seems to have something to do with it!

     This is amazing, a scene from some hard-boiled corruption flick from the 30s. It appears that DA hopeful Todd Spitzer got seriously rope-a-doped by Rackauckas and his fellow Mafiosi of the Schroeder-Fuentes Axis of OC Evil.
     Our own John "Orlando" Williams shows up as a bit player in this yarn; he's as crucial as a paper clip. Check it out:

Todd Spitzer abruptly leaves D.A.'s office (OC Register)

     Todd Spitzer, who aspires to be Orange County's next top prosecutor and was viewed as the likely successor of Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, has abruptly left the law-enforcement agency.
     Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff for Rackauckas, confirmed Saturday that Spitzer is no longer an assistant district attorney.
. . .
     Spitzer confirmed Saturday that he was fired by the district attorney because of the way he handled an information request with the Public Administrator's office.
     Public Administrator John Williams issued a statement Saturday, which did not name Spitzer, but said that an assistant district attorney contacted his office and tried to obtain information to which he was not entitled.
     "He tried to get the information by claiming there was a legitimate law enforcement purpose, using his current title as prosecutor, stating he was a former assemblyman and a county supervisor and saying he knew me personally," Williams said. "This conduct is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated."
     Williams said he forwarded information regarding the prosecutor's conduct to the District Attorney's Office with the hope that the D.A. would handle it "in an appropriate manner."
     Spitzer said he called Williams' office after he received a call from a woman about a domestic-violence and elder-abuse situation. He called Williams' office to make sure the matter was being investigated.
     "It was a legitimate law-enforcement issue," Spitzer said. "I had the right to ask another law-enforcement agency if a potential crime had been committed and whether an investigation was ongoing. I had a duty in my position to do my due diligence and make sure this woman was safe."
     Spitzer said he did not throw his weight around with Williams' staff.
     "I had no reason to throw titles around," he said. "I asked for the information I needed, I got it, I said 'thank you' and that was it. The next thing I know, I get let go and I was told it was because of the way I handled this situation."
     In his opinion, Spitzer said, his firing had nothing to do with his seeking information from Williams' office. He declined to comment further about why he might have been let go or the political implications of his exit.
. . .
     "He is young, smart and has a lot of campaign funds," [former Supe Chris] Norby said. "I'll leave it at that."
. . .
     "When Tony Rackauckas retires, whenever that is, I'm confident that Todd Spitzer will be our next district attorney," [consultant Adam Probolsky] said.....

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC sheds a bit more light on the possible reason for the firing:

     …[I]t's a far cry from June when Rackauckas all but anointed Spitzer as his successor after winning what he said is his last term as district attorney.
     "I brought Todd Spitzer into the office with the hope and the expectation that he would develop the skills and the experience necessary to be an excellent district attorney," Rackauckas said an email statement to the Orange County Register following the primary win.
     "I look forward to supporting him when that should occur."
     …Many observers wondered aloud whether the DA would actually support a Spitzer candidacy. Many local Republican insiders are terrified of the prospects of Spitzer having subpoena power.
     Rackauckas has a reputation among Republicans and Democrats for not prosecuting politicians. He and others in the DA's office bristle at such commentary, saying they don't have lots of high-profile political prosecutions because the courts have ruled that district attorneys have limited power to investigate other elected officials.
     In 2006, when he was a state assemblyman preparing to run for DA, Spitzer seemed to offer a potential break with that tradition, arguing that he would provide a more active presence on the political scene.
. . .
     He aborted his 2006 bid to unseat Rackauckas after county Republican leaders pressured him to back off….
. . .
     …[T]here were signs months [before Rack's reelection] that the sands had shifted. A key indicator came on April 2, after the filing deadline for candidates in the June primary, and Spitzer's last chance to really challenge Rackauckas, had passed.
     That day Rackauckas appointed his spokeswoman, Kang Schroeder, as his chief of staff without changing her job duties. Kang Schroeder is married to Republican heavyweight campaign activist Mike Schroeder, who was instrumental in the elections of both Rackauckas and former Sheriff Mike Carona.
     Many insiders actually warned Spitzer after the Schroeder appointment that the writing was on the wall – that the peace accord he had brokered was coming to an end.
     Apparently, it officially died on Friday.

From the archives: 1912

     Here is a photo, taken in about 1912, of my mother’s family on her dad’s side: the Schultzes of Bärwalde, Pommern (in what was then the far eastern part of Germany—Prussian territory; see old map).
     Karl and Emilie, who are seated, had twelve children (!), but only six are shown here. My mother’s father is the boy at the right.
     Martha, the woman at the left, and Else, who is wearing the same outfit over at the right, both worked at the time for the Berlin Opera. Perhaps they were home for a visit.


     Aunt Martha (b. 1891) took in my mother, Edith, when Edith’s own mother died in the mid-30s. Edith’s father, shown below, died in a logging accident in 1939. That occurred in Stettin, a big city to the northwest.


     Else hanged herself in 1950. My mother, age sixteen, discovered the body. (She left Germany a year later.)
     I'm intrigued by the little dog.
     My mother knows absolutely nothing about him. She doesn't even know the names of two of the girls in the above family picture.
     Efforts to get this kind of information have thus far failed.
     When the Russians advanced, they destroyed a great deal (they raped all of the women, including young girls).
     I have not yet found any records from the town of Bärwalde, which is now in Poland.

Mom and Aunt Martha at father's grave, c. 1941

Friday, August 27, 2010

Something wicked this way comes

     If you’ve been paying attention to the curious saga of the South Orange County Community College District, you’ll know that one of its more interesting recent episodes was the BOT (board of trustees) discussion this summer of the proposed creation of a new deanship at Irvine Valley College.
     The board, of course, is split with a capital “S.” There are two camps: Team Wagner (Board Prez Don Wagner, Nancy Padberg, Marcia Milchiker, and Bill Jay) and Team Fuentes (Tom Fuentes, John Williams, and Dave Lang).
     The schism arguably concerns recently ousted Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur, a conniving and officious pooh-bah who nevertheless displayed an unseemly obeisance to “his bosses,” the board of trustees, and, more specifically, to precisely those trustees who supported him. (I’ve actually heard him insult some of the others.)
     But, over the years (Mathur advanced to Chancellor in 2003, thanks to an obviously hinky hiring process), IVC President Glenn Roquemore, a former Mathur hanger-on, found Mathur’s, um, style—especially his endless micromanagement—increasingly irksome and even repugnant. The latter state was probably achieved already by mid-decade.
     Districts are complex. Alliances form for all sorts of reasons, not all of them bad. Starting after mid-decade, an alliance of some kind gradually formed between Roquemore, trustee Don Wagner, and long-time Academic Senate President Wendy Gabriella. Roquemore and Gabriella had already developed a close working relationship, but when they and Wagner served together on a key accreditation committee starting in 2008, Wagner’s Mathur-created caricature of faculty—namely, scheming, power-hungry, feather-bedding rat bastards—quickly disintegrated. In fact, Wagner found faculty on the committee to be bright, hard-working, dedicated, and earnest. Mathur was horrified that the truth about faculty (well, some faculty) was being revealed.
     Meanwhile, Tom Fuentes, a fellow who believes in loyalty and team-building (think Cosa Nostra), remained steadfast in his support of the spectacularly unpopular Mathur. Probably, by mid-decade, none of the trustees liked or trusted Raghu. Some plainly hated him (e.g., Padberg). Wagner likely tolerated him owing to his (Wagner’s) complex relationship with former GOP kingpin and rolodex spinner Fuentes, Mathur’s one die-hard supporter (possibly John Williams is another).
     Then something happened.
     One hears many stories of alleged Mathurian outrages, but a persistent one concerns a classic Mathurian gambit. Fearing that more truth would continue to bleed into trustee consciousnesses owing to the continued practice of including trustees on the accreditation committees, Mathur secretly communicated with Babs Beno of the Accreds. He hoped to elicit from her the opinion that including trustees on these committees was bad practice.
     Who knows. Maybe that never happened. Or maybe it did happen and something else got Wagner irrevocably steamed. But, at one point, Mathur had committed some atrocity, and Wagner, a fellow given to apoplectic fury, stormed around the colleges (or at least IVC), unapologetically spewing colorful depictions of the Mathurian demise. (That was a year or two ago.)
     So that set the stage for the Clash of the SOCCCD Titans. Fuentes is not the kind to abandon one of his capos, even if the capo is a duplicitous and incompetent rat bastard. And Wagner is not the kind who can reverse his death glare, once it is deployed upon its victim. He suffers from irreversible peevitudinal threshold syndrome.
     "Uh-oh," said Raghu. That’s when he turned to Plan-B (or maybe Plan-C; dunno). He ran to Boss Tom and appealed to a favorite conspiracy theory: that a small crew of (IVC) Lasers and their friends was scheming against him and seeking total control of district power. The story included a newly emphasized element: an unseemly romance between differing species and a plot to advance a girlfriend to IVC administration.
     Eventually, the yarn even included the element of “blackmail.” At one point, an anonymous person sent documentation of the blackmail charge to the press.
     Gosh. I wonder who that was. (But the press, to their credit, paid no mind.)
     Things get complicated. Many of us (or some of us anyway) have long been convinced that the creation of the new IVC deanship is genuinely needed. And it is by no means clear that a certain ally wouldn’t be very good at that job.
     Yeah, but nothing says corruption quite like fixing a hire. And fixing is, of course, a matter of degree. Should one get bent out of shape over fix light (i.e., writing the description to fit the beneficiary to a T)?
     Mathur’s now gone (though, in some circles, the dark rumor that he will be “brought back” persists). But the bitterness, and the daffy theory, remains. And so, when the request for the new deanship came up, at least one Axis trustees went apeshit.
     It got ugly, man.
     Well, anyway, the request was approved (in a predictable 4 to 3 vote) during a “special” board meeting.
     And so the hire is going forward.
     The “opening” of the search started on August 20 and closes September 10. Gosh, that’s brief.
     Read all about the job here.
     There’s a pdf file that presents the job description (it’s incredibly detailed!) and so on. There’s also a brochure. The latter describes the job as follows:


     I was amused by the last element of the job description in the pdf file, which presents the “physical demands” of this dean job:
The incumbent regularly sits for long periods, walks short distances on a regular basis, travels to various locations to visit instructional sites, attend meetings and conduct work; uses hands and fingers to operate an electronic keyboard or other office machines; reaches with hands and arms, speaks clearly and distinctly to answer telephones and to provide information; sees to read fine print and operate computer; hears and understands voices over telephone and in person; and lifts, carries, and/or moves objects weighing up to 10 pounds.

Californians’ deal with the future

Check out Professor Michael O’Hare’s “Letter” to his students, in the Berkeley Blog:

A letter to my students

…The bad news is that you have been the victims of a terrible swindle, denied an inheritance you deserve by contract and by your merits. And you aren’t the only ones; victims of this ripoff include the students who were on your left and on your right in high school but didn’t get into Cal, a whole generation stiffed by mine. This letter is an apology, and more usefully, perhaps a signal to start demanding what’s been taken from you so you can pass it on with interest….

Pictured: Huntington Beach last night

Colbert U

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Colbert University - Andrew Hacker
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Accreditor of California Colleges Lacks Conflict-of-Interest Protections, Federal Review Says (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NOW HEAR THIS: John Williams is a double-dipping rat bastard

     Earlier today, our old friend Pen Pal wrote me. He said:
     There is a great article in yesterday's "Voice of OC" (Santa Ana Mayor Double-Dips on Health Insurance).
     It refers to the mayor of Santa Ana double dipping, getting another $17K worth of health care benefits from the OCTA.
     It appears that the VOC piece owes a great deal to Pen Pal’s comment on an Aug. 18 OC Reg piece: Pay records online: Transit chief makes $376,000. (Look for the comment by “CACITYGUY.”)

     Seems like PP oughta at least get a mention!
* * *
     Pen Pal reminds me that he has written “many blog posts about [OC Administrator/Guardian John] Williams' double dipping with the SOCCCD, getting another $14-17K in health care while getting full benefits from the County of Orange.”
     Pen Pal wants to get the word out. He hates double-dipping and he hates double-dippers.
     We’re happy to oblige.

From John Williams

Muldoon is forced to correct his candidate's statement

     As you know, Don Wagner’s tenure as SOCCCD trustee is coming to a close. His last meeting will be in November, only three months away!
     Two men have declared their candidacy for the Area 2 office: former assistant DA and bankruptcy attorney Kevin Muldoon and educator “TJ” Prendergast.
     A while back, we posted both men’s candidate’s statements. Oddly, Muldoon, who has already been endorsed by the OC GOP, described himself as a “Business Owner/Educator” in his statement.
     We get the "business owner" part. But educator? There is nothing about his various biographies that explains that assertion. In what sense is he an educator?
     Earlier today, a reliable source called me and told me the following:
     He had called Muldoon and asked him about his “educator” claim.
     “Yes, I am an educator,” said Muldoon.
     “Yeah? Who do you teach for?”
     To make a long story short, Mr. Muldoon eventually stated that he teaches for the Lord. He is, it turns out, a Sunday School teacher. That's why he gets to call himself an "educator."
     My friend then suggested to Muldoon that his claim wouldn’t pass muster with the Registrar. Muldoon assured him that he had consulted an attorney, and it would.
     Well, according to my friend, Mr. Muldoon’s competitor, Mr. Prendergast, then contacted the OC Registrar of Voters and inquired into the koshertude of Muldoon’s "educator" claim. Evidently, the Registrar judged that Mr. Muldoon’s claim is south of kosher, and so now, I’m told, his “educator” self-description is to be deleted from his candidate’s statement.
     I just checked (here). It has indeed been deleted.
     Oh my.
     I wonder if Muldoon's Sunday School lessons ever cover the topic of lying?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On "t*ts" and "teats"

     No doubt you’ve heard all about the Alan Simpson “tit” story:

Alan Simpson: Social Security Is 'A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits' (HuffPost)

     Among others, NOW has called for Simpson to step down from that Commission. Then AARP piled on, calling his remark “offensive.”
     Now, don’t get me wrong. Ever since the Clarence Thomas hearings, I’ve considered Alan Simpson an asshole.
     But the reaction to his “milkcow” remark baffles me.
     I’m not referring to the proposition that his remark was used to convey. He’s against Social Security; I get it. So he’s a Republican. That’s objectionable, I guess, but nothing to squawk about.
     The big reaction seems more about his way of expressing the proposition—i.e., his use of the word “tits.”
     Simpson's from Wyoming and likes to express ideas in a folksy manner. I don’t especially care for folksy blather, but it isn’t intrinsically objectionable.
     So he went off the rails a little bit. Shoulda said “teats” but said “tits.”
     Teats, tits. –They’re practically the same word!
     My dictionary defines “teat” as follows:
a nipple of the mammary gland of a female mammal, from which the milk is sucked by the young.
     And “tit”:
a woman's breast or nipple (vulgar)
     But then my dictionary lists phrases with “tit” in it, including this one:
suck the hind tit  informal: receive less of something than others who are competing for it.
     OK, now correct me if I’m wrong, but the “tit” of “suck the hind tit” is in fact a teat. You don’t really have “hind tits” on a woman—not in my experience. This “hind tit” business is about cows, man. Not women.
     So sometimes “tits” means “teats."
     Thus, even though Simpson is an asshole, I’m gonna defend the guy with regard to this whole “tit” brouhaha.
     The correct response to Simpson’s remark is not: "You said 'tits'! My God!" No, it is this: “So, Al baby, what’s wrong with a cow havin’ all those tits—er, teats?”
     Nothin’.

Goofy "Kaplan" deal nixed

California Community Colleges End Controversial Deal With Kaplan U. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

     California's community-college system has canceled a controversial agreement that would have allowed students at some colleges to earn credit for discounted online courses at Kaplan University.
     The 112-campus community-college system is severely overcrowded, and officials saw the November agreement as a way to make it easier for students to get classes they need. For Kaplan, the agreement promised a boost of credibility and a ready pool of new students, who would be able to take certain online courses at a 42-percent discount.
     But at a time of intense scrutiny of for-profit colleges, the arrangement between the nation's largest public-college system and a prominent for-profit college drew complaints from faculty groups and others. Critics argued the system was endorsing Kaplan, and they said it could be difficult for students who transferred to the state's public universities to receive credit for Kaplan courses.
     The agreement was more an idea than reality: In nine months, few colleges, if any, had cleared Kaplan courses for students to take for credit under the deal. In a letter last week canceling the agreement, a community-college official said the community colleges had failed to secure agreements with California State University and the University of California to automatically accept the Kaplan courses.
. . .
     Some who had criticized the agreement cheered the decision to cancel it, saying that even at a discount, the Kaplan courses were a bad deal for students. Community-college courses in California cost $26 per credit hour, the lowest in the country, while Kaplan's discounted courses would have cost about $216 per credit hour.
     "It certainly is odd that a system that is so proud of its affordability and low fees would encourage students to pay $216 a credit," said Deborah Frankle Cochrane, program director at the Institute for College Access and Success.
     The agreement was a smart business move by Kaplan, said Scott Lay, president of the Community College League of California, a lobbying group for the community-college system. The company intended to use its discounted price for online courses as a loss leader to make students familiar with Kaplan, he said….

Special interests

Community Colleges Want Changes in Proposed 'Gainful Employment' Rule (Chronicle of Higher Education)

The American Association of Community Colleges is urging its members to weigh in on the Education Department's "gainful employment" proposal, warning that the draft rule could "negatively affect some certificate programs." In a letter sent to community-college leaders today, George R. Boggs, the association's president, acknowledged that the proposed rule—which would cut off federal aid to institutions whose students carry high debt-to-income ratios and have low loan-repayment rates—would have a "limited" impact on community colleges, but added: "Our goal in shaping these regulations is not just to ensure that community colleges remain eligible for federal aid, but also that clearing the bar will be simple and straightforward as possible." The letter suggests that colleges ask the department to clarify that the rule would not apply to one-year certificate programs that lead to associate degrees and to exempt from the rule programs in which fewer than 35 percent of students borrow federal loans, among other changes.

300 Million Downloads From iTunes U (Inside Higher Ed)

Apple released data on Tuesday demonstrating the dramatic growth of iTunes U. In three years of operations, downloads have topped 300 million. More than 800 colleges and universities have active sites, with more than 350,000 audio and video files posted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From the archives

My little brother Ray, who died in 2001, was born in '61. Smart, funny, extremely creative. But wild.
I'll leave it at that.
These old pictures seem to present a perfect little guy, and that's what he was.



Ray was by far the best singer in the family. Kind of a crazy player, though, like me.
Loved kids. We've always suspected that a certain kid of a certain former girlfriend was his, but dunno. But he sure did love playing with that kid. Had lots of serious girlfriends, but he never seemed to drop out of their lives. When he died, lots of 'em came out of the woodwork.
Loved animals. Rescued lots of 'em. Two of 'em--Paco and Max--ended up with my folks. They became beloved family pets, along with all those cats that Ray left.
In the early 80s, he decided to become a Marine. At first, he flourished there. Spent time in the Philippines and "the Rock." Don't know where else.
I think he was always proud of his time with the Corps.




I came across these pins kept in a Manila folder.
I found poetry too.
And crazed essays.

Ray was an avid hang-glider pilot. He once flew above Mount Whitney, which is crazy, of course.
He invented an elegant device that helped fliers determine wind direction for landings, but he could never get his act together to market the idea. Plenty of interest, though.
Once, I went with him to Mt. Laguna down in San Diego County to watch 'em fly. Took this pic.


Here are some odd documents that I came across. First: my grandmother's green card, I guess.
Well, anyway, it is green. And it's a card.


Evidently, I purchased this fishing license in 1970. I would have been 15 years old.


Here's a curious shot of my mother and my grandmother sitting on the hood of my parents' Ford in Niagara Falls, Canada, 1953.


This is my dad, circa 1950.


One of my sister Annie's paintings from the 80s, I think.
That's her sense of humor all right.

"It's a political decision"

     Remember Republican challenger to Rep. Loretta Sanchez Tan Nguyen? Back in 2006, during the campaign, his senior political advisor was our own Tom Fuentes, SOCCCD trustee.
     But then the Nguyen campaign sent that infamous letter. It was kind of a "Fuentes" thing to do.
     After that, Tom got real scarce.
     Well, the case against Nguyen is still in the courts:

Prosecutor calls congressional candidate a liar (OC Register)
     Former congressional candidate Tan Nguyen was behind a controversial campaign letter to Latino voters from start to finish, federal prosecutor Gregory Staples told jurors Tuesday in opening statements during Nguyen's trial for obstruction of justice.
     Nguyen faces charges of lying to investigators about the letter and asking an uninvolved campaign worker to take responsibility for the mailing sent out to support his failed 2006 challenge of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana.. . .
     The Spanish-language letter, sent on a letterhead that mimicked the name of a prominent immigration reform group, was mailed to 14,000 voters with Spanish last names who'd been born abroad....
     That mailing had warned that "emigrados" could go to prison if they voted. "Emigrado" is ambiguous in Spanish. It can generally mean an emigrant – who may or may not be a U.S. citizen eligible to vote – or specifically a non-citizen in the country with a green card.
     The letter also warned that "a new computerized system" would track new voters and could be accessed by "organizations that oppose immigration.". . .
     During the investigation, Nguyen said he had read an initial draft of the letter in English but had no further involvement with it. He told investigators it was paid for and sent out by a long-time friend and campaign helper, Mark Nguyen, without his knowledge.
     Steward told jurors that the idea for the letter initiated with campaign advisor Roger Rudman.
     But Staples promised jurors he would produce a series of emails showing Tan Nguyen making decisions about the letter and the letterhead, and ordering the database of voters the letter was sent to.
     Staples described a meeting with Rudman, Mark Nguyen and Tan Nguyen, in which Rudman instructed Mark Nguyen on sending out the letter.
     "'Tan doesn't need to know about it,'" Rudman said, according to Staples. "Then both the defendant and Roger Rudman laughed."
     According to prosecutors, Tan Nguyen initially blamed the mailer on 23-year-old office manager Chi Dinh and asked her to take responsibility.
     Dinh was engaged to Mark Nguyen at the time, and they subsequently married. Both are scheduled to testify for the prosecution.
     "Why are you throwing my fiancé under the bus," Mark Nguyen asked Tan Nguyen, according to Staples. "What (Tan Nguyen) said was, 'It's a political decision.'"….

Big, pious apple at the rotten orchard

     Looks like the king of for-profits is claiming that it will be good from now on:

A New Leaf at Phoenix? (Inside Higher Ed)

    When it comes to marketing and recruiting, the University of Phoenix is turning over a new leaf, or so its executives said at a briefing here Monday.
    “We’re doing what we think is right,” said Gregory W. Cappelli, the co-chief executive officer of Apollo Group, which owns Phoenix and other for-profit colleges and schools. The company, he said, is shifting “from a recruiting mentality and culture into one of a long-term relationship” between potential students and recruiters, who’ve been renamed "counselors.”
    The briefing was framed as a discussion about Apollo’s position paper,“Higher Education at a Crossroads,” which touts the for-profit sector as playing an essential role in President Obama’s access and completion goals. But the scrutiny facing the sector, and Apollo’s attempts to push back, dominated the hour or so that Capelli, his co-CEO Chas Edelstein and Joseph L. D’Amico, president and chief operating officer – along with a cache of public relations people – spent with a few reporters.
    In the debate over the role of for-profit higher education, where the good apples/bad apples dichotomy has come to dominate discussion (though some Congressional Democrats have said they see something resembling a rotten orchard), Apollo is actively working to brand itself as an organization chastened and determined to do better, especially after being identified in the Government Accountability Office's "secret shopper" investigation of recruiting practices.
. . .
    In September, Phoenix will stop compensating recruiters based on the number of students they enroll and whether those numbers are on an upward trajectory, criteria that accounted for 32 percent of their evaluations. Instead, performance will be judged entirely on factors such as teamwork and attitude when interacting with students.
    “The purpose of marketing is to inform,” Cappelli said. Edelstein chimed in: “We feel there is an imperative … [in] reaching as many as we can who can benefit” from higher education.
. . .
    Though the executives wouldn’t say quite say that they were trying to frame the company as the good in a sea of bad, that was very much the subtext of what Edelstein and other Apollo executives told a small group of reporters. Going forward, Apollo seemed to be pledging, we’re going to do our best to be honest with you, our students, Congress, everyone. “Transparency is very important,” Edelstein said. “We’re trying to lead the industry.”….

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don Wagner (not) in the news!

     Earlier today, our pal Vern Nelson reported on a recent Prop 19 rally (BOTH candidates for the 70th Assembly District show up to Prop 19 Rally!) in the mysteriously popular Orange Juice Blog.
     The wacky Mr. Nelson emphasizes that “both candidates” for the 70th Assembly District showed up for the rally. According to Vern, those candidates are:
Melissa Fox, a small-business attorney and moderate Democrat
Debbie Tharp …, a “Freedom Republican” in the mold of Ron Paul, with “compassionate libertarian” leanings
     Vern takes care to present each candidate’s views.
     But what about Republican Don Wagner? Isn’t he running, too? He sure is!
     Evidently, in Vern’s mind, Don’s not a major candidate.
     Curiously, Vern’s post ends with cryptic remarks, in paranthases, about “fringe candidate” Don Warner:
I would like to take the opportunity to dispel rumors that a fringe candidate & “social conservative” named “Don Warner” is being secretly funded by the Democrats to take Republican votes away from Debbie Tharp. The DPOC and Melissa deny this and Debbie is satisfied it’s not the case. Mr. Warner has no candidate statement, has less than $500 in his treasury and does not seem to be running a serious campaign or pose a real challenge to either Melissa or Debbie.
     If you’ve been reading DtB, you’ll know that Vern’s description of Warner is curiously similar to the facts about our own Don Wagner.
* * *
     Here’s the scene today at Irvine Valley College, which was buzzing with activity. Man, enrollments are way up and virtually all classes in our School (Humanities and Languages) are closed. Finding parking today was next to impossible.


     Rebel Girl has returned, of course, from her role as Big Cheese at the "Community of Writers" Writer’s Workshop in Squaw Valley. She comes bearing gifts. Some received a fine loaf of Schatt's bread, purchased in Bishop (ever been to that shop?). I, on the other hand, received a fine bumper sticker, which I immediately pasted to my door, where it can be appreciated by all. Below is Dean Feldhus admiring the thing earlier today.


     As we left campus today, the Reb and I came across two brand spankin' new faculty. We said hello and took a pic.


     English instructors, natch. They seemed very pleasant. I tried to tell 'em that the college was a great place to work, but the Reb kept bein' negative. That's us, boy. Heckle and Jeckle, Good Cop/Bad Cop. And, as usual, I was the Good Cop.
     It's a great start to what promises to be a great semester.

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