Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to make a Tea Party magnet

First, post something on your blog with "Tea Party" in the title. Anything.

Then add some stupid graphics that have something or anything--or maybe nothing--to do with Tea and Tea Parties--even something as stupid as this Disney duckling-in-a-cup thingy. You can grab these stupid photos from Google pics or whatnot. I bet some people collect mouse turds, too. An' duck turds, who knows.
Try for some "balance": something for the boys, like that duck, and something for the girls, like this pink cup with Mickey and Minnie grinnin' at one another, I guess. It doesn't really matter. We've got cross-species girl action below:
Don't fret if some of the graphics are really grainy or shitty. It won't matter. The shittier the better, I say.
Hell, even use something really idiotic and marginal like this  photo of a Disney cloth cup with an ugly striped beaver (squirrel? marmot?) floatin' in it. Why not? Maybe it's got some kinda Tea Party significance. Could be.
     Then stand back and wait for the Tea Partiers to wander in. Maybe ask for donations or something.
     —Well, not that. That would be dishonest.
     Don't tell 'em anything. Just see if they wander in.
     And why would they do that? Because you posted something with freakin' "Tea Party" in the title,  that's why.
     These people, man.

Today's Prendergast/Muldoon tally: P over M by 1.74%

Click on graphic to enlarge
(the trend is mighty clear)
Nov. 13:

114,384 - 50.87%

110,463 - 49.13%

   —As of 5:00 p.m.
   3,465 ballots counted since yesterday
   Prendergast now ahead by 3,921 votes.
   See Unofficial Cumulative Results

   • Climate change: science's fresh fight to win over the skeptics (Guardian)

"Unrestrained growth is coming to an end"

U.S. Court Ducks Academic-Freedom Debate in Ruling Against California Professor (Chronicle of Higher Education)

A federal appeals court has ruled against an emeritus professor who had accused the University of California at Irvine of trampling his free-speech rights, but the court did not take up the tough First Amendment questions that attracted national attention to his case. ¶ In a terse, four-page decision issued on Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the various university leaders named as defendants in the lawsuit were shielded from its legal claims under the 11th Amendment, which has been interpreted as granting sovereign immunity to state officials….

As For-Profit Colleges' Enrollment Growth Slows, Analysts See Signs of an Industry Reset (Chronicle of Higher Education)

After several years of record enrollment growth, the increases have slowed at many for-profit institutions, according to earnings reports of the last few weeks. Many companies say they're expecting that trend to continue as they change course on their marketing and recruiting strategies to comply with new federal regulations. ¶ "The unrestrained growth is coming to an end," says Kevin Kinser, senior researcher at the Institute for Global Education Policy Studies at the University at Albany who studies the for-profit education industry….

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carnival NASA!

     Fans o’ reason (FORs), do check out physicist Bob Park’s What’s New for Nov. 12.
     That dang Bob is bein’ funny again, ‘splainin’ that there are two NASAs:
The NASA that’s the envy of the world we might call "Exploration NASA." It’s a science agency that discovers exoplanets and puts rovers on Mars. Then there’s "Carnival NASA." It arranges trips to space for people with too much disposable income and looks for water on the Moon to make rocket fuel.
     Love that Bob!

Guess who's coming to dinner?

      I had posted about this yesterday, but, today, it seems to me to deserve its own post:

     Above, we see Trustee Tom Fuentes dining with Prince Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the monstrous Shah of Iran.
     You remember the Shah: Secret police. Thousands of political prisoners. Yeah.
* * * * *
     Some of us remember the Shah...
“[B]y 1975, [the Shah] abolished the multi-party system of government so that he could rule through a one-party state under the Rastakhiz (Resurrection) Party in autocratic fashion. All Iranians were pressured to join in. The Shah’s own words on its justification…: “We must straighten out Iranians’ ranks. To do so, we divide them into two categories: those who believe in Monarchy, the constitution and the Six Bahman Revolution and those who don’t.... A person who does not enter the new political party and does not believe in the three cardinal principles will have only two choices. He is either an individual who belongs to an illegal organization, or is related to the outlawed Tudeh Party, or in other words a traitor. Such an individual belongs to an Iranian prison, or if he desires he can leave the country tomorrow, without even paying exit fees; he can go anywhere he likes, because he is not Iranian, he has no nation, and his activities are illegal and punishable according to the law”. (Swell Guy)
We recall the Shah’s feared intelligence and security agency, “Savak”:
A turning point in SAVAK's reputation for ruthless brutality was reportedly an attack on a gendarmerie post in the Caspian village of Siahkal by a small band of armed Marxists in February 1971, although it is also reported to have tortured to death a Shia cleric, Ayatollah Muhammad Reza Sa'idi, in 1970. According to Iranian political historian Ervand Abrahamian, after this attack SAVAK interrogators were sent abroad for "scientific training to prevent unwanted deaths from 'brute force.' Brute force was supplemented with the bastinado; sleep deprivation; extensive solitary confinement; glaring searchlights; standing in one place for hours on end; nail extractions; snakes (favored for use with women); electrical shocks with cattle prods, often into the rectum; cigarette burns; sitting on hot grills; acid dripped into nostrils; near-drownings; mock executions; and an electric chair with a large metal mask to muffle screams while amplifying them for the victim. This latter contraption was dubbed the Apollo—an allusion to the American space capsules. Prisoners were also humiliated by being raped, urinated on, and forced to stand naked. Despite the new 'scientific' methods, the torture of choice remained the traditional bastinado used to beat soles of the feet. The "primary goal" of those using the bastinados "was to locate arms caches, safe houses and accomplices ..."

Abrahamian estimates that SAVAK (and other police and military) killed 368 guerillas between 1971-1977 and executed something less than 100 political prisoners between 1971 and 1979 - the most violent era of the SAVAK's existence.

One well known writer was arrested, tortured for months, and finally placed before television cameras to 'confess' that his works paid too much attention to social problems and not enough to the great achievements of the White Revolution. By the end of 1975, twenty-two prominent poets, novelist, professors, theater directors, and film makers were in jail for criticizing the regime. And many others had been physically attacked for refusing to cooperate with the authorities. (Savak)
      Naturally, the sins of the father do not attach to the son. On the other hand, if the Prince hangs with Fuentes, he must be some kind of wicked.
     OK, maybe not.

A quotation:
"History has repeatedly proven to us that a clear separation between religion and state is imperative in order to have the right circumstances for democratic governance."
      Can't be all bad, I guess. Good Lord, maybe he's even decent.
Reb's Father's Navy peacoat

Today's tally: Prendergast 1.66% ahead of Muldoon

Nov. 12:
112,526 - 50.83%

108,856 - 49.17%

     —As of 5:00 p.m. (See Reg. of Voters)
     2033 ballots counted since yesterday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day ceremony at Irvine Valley College

Click photo to enlarge
     Nov. 11: Owing to the wind, the ceremony was held inside the Student Services Center, but the change in venue didn't seem to be a problem. It started at 12:30, but I teach then, so I took a few quick pics and then high-tailed it to my classroom.

     The event seemed to be well-attended. I'm told that it went quite well. If you attended, let us know.
Click on graphic
Earlier tonight; weird Irvine, land of the lurid monolith.
Last night: weird night biker, Live Oak Cyn. Rd. Aincha got no sense?

Today's tally: Prendergast 1.5% ahead

111,361 - 50.77%

107,988 - 49.23%

     —As of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.
     Fewer than 2000 votes counted since yesterday.

     The Bobster sent me this as a "commencement speaker" suggestion:

We're a very open district

What's closed, open on Veterans Day (OC Reg)

Eveything is closed except Saddleback and Irvine Valley Colleges. Not sure about ATEP. Have a nice day.

Dean sings "Ain’t That A Kick in the Head" (Yes. It is.)

One Dean.
Nov. 11:

From: Red Emma, Acting Dean

TO: All faculty and staff at Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College, also students and people in the library, those smoking twenty feet from any building, not to mention the nice old guys selling their used cars on the weekend.

This is to remind everyone (including faculty, lab staff, office staff, employees, family members, old guys, casual sexual partners, and even the Employee of the Month) in the schools and in the fields and, lo, even those among the beasts and birds and, yes, those who dwell in faraway lands not to mention the golfers across the street that any and all contact with former mediocre chemistry instructor Raghu Mathur, college president Raghu Mathur, Chancellor Raghu Mathur (yes, all three of them!) must be routed through District Human Resources or Western Union or, if it is a legal holiday as Veteran’s Day, via district carrier pigeon.

Yet another Dean
All deans, including Dean Martin and Dean Jones, have been informed to do the same. If you receive telephone calls, emails, letters, telegrams, Harry and David’s Gift Packs, flowers, a dirty joke or pleasing limerick, or other contact from anyone claiming to be a dean or even a Dean, please inform my office at once, or District HR. If you receive an email, please forward it to me, or to HR. Let’s all go forward, by all means. And if you see the pigeon, please do let me know. We like that pigeon. Dean Roger Owens is currently the responsible administrator of record, at least that’s what people say. But can you ever really be sure what with people making insulting remarks about baked goods? As this responsibility is assumed by other deans, everyone will be notified at that time. “Everybody will be notified at the time.” I don’t know about you but I find real reassurance in writing that sentence, and sharing it with you today. It reminds me that there will also be balm in Gilead and that we shall all someday be bringing in the sheaves, whatever they are.

This protocol is “standard operating procedure” when someone is placed on administrative leave. Don’t be alarmed, please, by this impressive and provocative-sounding phrase. Nobody is having an operation. We are all feeling quite well.

This formalized avenue of contact protects all employees from excessive exposure to litigation, deposition, chicken pox or other legal processes that individuals may unwittingly expose themselves to arising from what may appear to be “normal” or benign contact. Formalized Avenue, those of you with a GPS or access to MapQuest will know, is the cross street with Definite Boulevard. These are, in fact, actual streets in the city of Irvine, California. I know that many of us enjoy driving to this particular intersection and watching the traffic stop and start, ebb and flow, shuck and jive, observing the pleasing and reliable cooperation of drivers who almost never, say, get out of their vehicles right then and there (!) to wonder at how so many anti-government, anti-librarian, anti-public education pro-privatization Reagan Republican activist types still manage to pull in a paycheck every month from a taxpayer-supported public education institution, get themselves fired, and then sue that very institution for even more money, claiming they were discriminated against because of Big Government. But I digress.

It is hoped that HR and all deans will reach a mutually agreeable separation agreement very soon. This is hoped for all of us, really. Mutually agreeable separation is sometimes the very best we can hope for in this life. That, and a nice piece of cake, with plenty of rich, creamy frosting.

Finally, if you point a finger at somebody, anybody, remember that four fingers will be pointing back at you. Unless of course, you are somebody who goes around pointing at people with both hands, which would mean that eight fingers are pointing back at you.

God bless us every one at this holiday season, and God Bless America, too.
But they still have each other.

CSU tuition

Cal State tuition to rise again — and again (OC Reg)

     Students at Cal State Fullerton expressed anger and dismay on Wednesday, after news spread across campus that Cal State University officials had voted to raise fees by 15 percent over the next two semesters. ¶ The CSU Board of Trustees voted 14-2 for the two-part hike, which increases fulltime undergraduate fees by 5 percent this spring and an additional 10 percent in fall 2011, bringing fees to $4,884 for the 2011-12 school year....

Lariat reads tea leaves, declares Prendergast trustee-elect

Proposed "update"
Educator elected to Board of Trustees (Lariat)
     For the first time in seven years, a new Board of Trustees member was elected for the South Orange County Community College District. In a close election, T.J. Prendergast defeated his opponent Kevin Muldoon by less than two percent of the vote.
. . .
     "Why is it that we only elect lawyers to political positions?" said Prendergast. "Why not elect an educator who likes to teach for a position dealing with education?"….
That's what I like about Saddleback College: correctness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Someone left the cake out in the rain

     Nov. 10: The latest in the “Schrader” affair: today, faculty in the former Schrader sector of Irvine Valley College’s mucilaginous zone were sent the following tender email (by the VPI):
TO: All faculty and staff in the School of Mathematics, CS, and Engineering, School of Life Sciences, and School of Physical Sciences

This is to remind everyone (including faculty, lab staff, office staff, and other employees) in the schools and units formerly supervised by Dean Kathy Schrader that any and all contact with Dean Schrader must be routed through District Human Resources. Dean Schrader has been informed to do the same. If you receive telephone calls, emails, letters, or other contact from her, please inform my office at once, or District HR. If you receive an email, please forward it to me, or to HR. Dean Roger Owens is currently the responsible administrator of record. As this responsibility is assumed by other deans, everyone will be notified at that time.

This protocol is “standard operating procedure” when someone is placed on administrative leave. This formalized avenue of contact protects all employees from excessive exposure to litigation, deposition, or other legal processes that individuals may unwittingly expose themselves to arising from what may appear to be “normal” or benign contact.

It is hoped that HR and Dean Schrader will reach a mutually agreeable separation agreement very soon.

Thank you for your cooperation.

[The VPI]

Muldoon still trails: the latest numbers

Note the icky green and brown
110,182 - 50.7%

107,193 - 49.3%

I guess they're down to the fingers and toes of two or three guys.
See the latest numbers

Yesterday's totals:

109,340 - 50.65%

106,531 - 49.35%

The Morning Matinee: I Want to be Promoted

via Roxie's World:

"Satire is very important cultural work."

You said it babe.

See also: I want to be elected

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Those corrupt bastards did it again

Nov. 9: OC Is Still the Wild West for Lobbyists (Voice of OC)

     Orange County supervisors on Tuesday voted to remain the state's only large county without any kind of registration requirements for lobbyists.
     The board rejected a plan, proposed by Supervisor Bill Campbell, to establish basic registration requirements for lobbyists who influence county leaders and issues. The plan would have been much less stringent than those in neighboring San Diego and Los Angeles counties.
Newbie Supervisor Shawn Gasbag
     Under the ordinance proposed by Campbell, lobbyists would have to register on a quarterly basis. It would define a lobbyist as anyone who receives more than $1,000 a month for influencing officials.
     In a June report, an Orange County grand jury identified about two-dozen people who fit this bill, calling them a "shadow government."
     In voting down the ordinance, the 3-2 majority essentially argued that such a registration isn't needed in Orange County….

[Campbell and Nguyen voted in favor of the plan; Nelson, Moorlach, and Bates voted against it.]

Prendergast vs. Muldoon: no significant change, few ballots counted since yesterday

Nov. 9:
109,340 - 50.65%

106,531 - 49.35%

     Gosh, they've only counted 760 or so ballots since yesterday.
     Yesterday's tally:

108,949 - 50.6%

106,160 - 49.4%

Monday, November 8, 2010

Still a spanker*

     Nov. 8: Don Wagner sure did leave a stink in the room (i.e., SOCCCD's "Ronald Reagan board of trustee meeting room") last month, what with his open and ruthless slammery of IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore. It was typical Wagner: he wanted to hit Glenn, and so he did, and the fact that his big paw smacked the entire college (IVC), didn't bother him a bit. (IVC's faculty hiring was set back a whole month.)
     As expected, Don prevailed in his race for 70th Assembly District seat—mostly because he refused to campaign, relying instead on high Republican voter registration in his district. And so some are wondering whether he’ll even show up for the November meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees. I mean, what are they gonna do, give him a prize for his abject brutish Wagnerianism? After he acted like such a jerk?
     I’m thinking he won’t show. Wanna bet?
* * *
     Occasionally, I Google the usual suspects, including Don. Today, in Googling the Wagster, I came across an article (California Assembly election results and gun control prospects) that lists those elected to the California State Assembly—with the grade each received from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
     Natch, Don got an A.
     I did a little looking and found that Don was endorsed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) (see Endorsements).
     More specifically, Don gets an “A” from CRPA. That organization explains that an “A” indicates “a pro-gun candidate who strongly supports CRPA positions on Second Amendment and hunting related issues.”
     Don has always been proud to wave his guns around—or at least his support of gun rights. (See Trustee SPANKY on your right to “pack a gun”.) He used to be pretty flashy, too, about his enthusiasm for spanking in public schools. In recent years, however, he’s cooled his jets on that score.
     Yeah, but that’s just politics. You just know that, in his heart, Don’s still a spanker.

     *Originally entitled, "Still a Spanker, Still a Wanker." But I was overcome with goodness and left off the last part. Taking my cue from Don, I want credit for this. Send valuable cash prizes to rbauer.

The latest: Prendergast maintains 1.2% lead over Muldoon

Nov. 8:
108,949 - 50.6%

106,160 - 49.4%

—As of 5:00 this afternoon. See Registrar of Voters
    See also Votes Left to Count. 77% of ballots have been counted.

The Morning Matinee: One Professor's Fantasy

Nov. 8: via Tenured Radical, Rebel Girl brings you this fantasia:


Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness"

Nov. 8: In yesterday's Sunday New York Times, six poets on "falling back," poems to mark the end of daylight savings times.

Here's one by Mary Oliver:

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

To read them all, click here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Countering the GW skeptics

Nov. 7: Climate Scientists Team Up to Counter Attacks by Global-Warming Skeptics (Chronicle of Higher Education)

     Hundreds of climate scientists are joining a campaign to push back against critics, including politicians skeptical of climate change who have investigated or threatened to investigate researchers, the Chicago Tribune reported. The campaign, which the American Geophysical Union is expected to announce on Monday, represents a shift among climate scientists, many of whom have avoided the news media but now say they are willing to speak out against what they see as misinformation. “This group feels strongly that science and politics can’t be divorced,” said Scott A. Mandia, a professor of physical sciences at the State University of New York’s Suffolk County Community College, “and that we need to take bold measures to not only communicate science but also to aggressively engage the denialists and politicians who attack climate science and its scientists.”

Vote gap narrows slightly

Nov. 7:
105,467 - 50.6%

102,787 - 49.4%

—As of 5:00 p.m. today. See Registrar of Voters for daily updates.
    See also Votes Left to Count

    I've spoken with local politicos in the know, and they seem pretty confident that Prendergast will hang on to his lead, given that he has had one continuously since election night. Plus he still has a 2700 vote lead.

Now remember, Tea Partiers: these things aren't real

Nov. 7:
● Geoffrey Crawley, 83, Dies; Gently Deflated a Fairy Hoax (New York Times; 11/6)
● The original photos

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary