Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fuentes to receive spiffy golden orange


     Today, I came across a Nov. 29 press release from the The World Affairs Council of Orange County in the WSJ’s Marketwatch that notes yet another honor to be bestowed on our own trustee Tom Fuentes:
A Salute to the U.S. Armed Forces at the World Affairs Council Holiday Gala Celebration With The Honorable Mark Kimmitt
Special Recognition to Tom Fuentes With the Golden Orange Award

"Leadership lapses"
     ANAHEIM, CA … The World Affairs Council of Orange County will be hosting its Annual Holiday Gala Celebration on December 15, 2011 at the Disneyland Hotel in the Grand Ballroom where we will be honoring our U.S. Military. This year's theme is "A Salute to the U.S. Armed Forces" and a Marine color guard along with guests will be present. The audience will enjoy an informative speech from soldier/statesman The Honorable Mark Kimmitt, who will deliver the keynote address. … Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt was the Chief Military Spokesman for Coalition Forces in Iraq and former Assistant Secretary of State for Political - Military Affairs in the Middle East during the Bush Administration….
Golden Orange
     World Affairs Council Chairman Serge Tomassian and the Gala Committee expect over 250 guests to attend. Special guests include the Orange County Congressional Delegation who will be giving an "update from Washington" presentation, with Sir Eldon Griffiths serving as moderator. Attendees will include many of OC's political, community and business leaders.
     This year the Council is honored to specially recognize OC's Tom Fuentes, a long-time trustee and respected leader of the Council and an icon of the OC Community. He will be the recipient of the prestigious Golden Orange Award for his life long commitment to the Council, world affairs and making Orange County a truly Global Community.
     Griffiths is an old pal of Fuentes’. As I recall, the two participated in some curious business investments together.
     Kimmitt's record is less than perfect. According to the Wikipedia article about Kimmitt, back during the Bush Administration, when Kimmitt was nominated for Assistant Secretary of State, his approval was delayed owing to complaints about the fellow, which led to an IG investigation. The IG concluded that Kimmitt’s “leadership style” was sub-standard and morale-busting; it “discouraged subordinates from free and open communication with him.” On the other hand, it said that he had improved his overall performance. The congressional committee also received a letter from the IG that revealed "a substantiated allegation that Mr. Kimmitt...failed to properly safeguard information, in violation of Army regulations…." It did not elaborate.
SEE ALSO: But His Dad Was a Good Guy (Washington Post, 4/30/08)

Friday, December 2, 2011

A "filmmakers' village," but not at ATEP

A kind of "Filmmakers' Village" was once envisioned for the SOCCCD's ATEP campus; after over a dozen years and many millions of dollars spent, SOCCCD still doesn't know what ATEP will be
     As you know, in our district, the usual suspects are once again hard at work “envisioning” what ATEP—sixty-eight acres of the former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station—will be. We've certainly heard that before. Lots of times.

     Did you see the OC Reg article yesterday about the film complex that will be built at Chapman U (for the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts)? Looks impressive.

     $100 million Filmmakers' Village announced

     The Chapman "village" sounds a bit like the complex once envisioned for ATEP. Perhaps you'll recall that, for a while (c. 2006), district leaders were working on a plan to bring a film/TV/soundstage/studio complex to the Tustin property. That came to grief by mid-2008 but seemed to be revived soon thereafter (with different Money Men). But the economy soon tanked; then the revived Media Complex plan came to grief also. Sheesh.

     I've pieced together some of our (and others') coverage of ATEP and the old "film complex" (Camelot) proposal since 2000. It's pretty revealing, I think. Not in a good way.

• The Fall “Opening Session”
Dissent 50, August 21, 2000

     Ced [Chancellor Cedric Sampson] closed by promising, as he had done a year ago, that we will soon “convert” the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. The political machinations of the Feds and other school districts have delayed conversion, he noted peevishly....

• "Cox channel 3 to air trustee forum"
The Lariat, October 5, 2000

     Power, money and education came under discussion Tuesday night as candidates for the South Orange County Community College District, (SOCCCD) board of trustees gave views of their intentions for Saddleback and Irvine Valley College.
. . .
     [Incumbent Tom Fuentes] said he opposed the El Toro airport and that, since the acquisition of the Tustin Air Base had to do with the “peace dividend” under president Ronald Reagan and that we have benefited under conservative leadership, a conservative leader should be involved in the process of developing the base.
     “We could call it the Ronald Reagan Campus,” Fuentes said.

• From Dissent 54, October 23, 2000

The District Mailer
. . .
     Have you seen the $50,000 district mailer, that proud monument to puffery, sophistry, incompetence, and illiteracy?
. . .
     Page 4. Here, next to a silly photograph of El Ced [Chancellor Cedric Sampson] and a Marine, we find a description of the “Advanced Technology and Education Park of South Orange County.”….
     Alas, the writing is less than lucid:
  • “ATEP will provide multiple career study opportunities. Special certification through graduate study will be offered to launch new ventures through a business incubator.”
  • The ATEP will provide in residence and distance education train-the-trainer component for the foreign, non-physician health providers affiliated with this project.” [Huh?]
• A pitcher, no catchers March 9, 2007

     ... Chancellor [Mathur] explained the “Camelot” proposal. The Camelot Group proposes a film/TV/soundstage/studio complex with a radio and, possibly, a TV station. CSU Fullerton has a film (production?) program, and they, too, are very interested in using any studio/soundstage facilities we might have.

• It’s Camelot! February 2, 2007

THE BIG ATEP MEETING
     Eventually, I made my way to Saddleback College for the special SOCCCD board of trustees meeting concerning the “Advanced Technology and Education Park” (ATEP) in beauteous Tustin, along lovely Ant Hill Boulevard. Tonight was the night for presentations of the “partnership” proposals submitted for use of our 68 acres, which are located just three or four blimp-lengths from one of those big Marine helicopter hangers.
. . .
     After some folderol, Chancellor RAGHU P. MATHUR introduced the ATEP business. He explained about the 13 proposals that had been submitted. For tonight, he said, only three of the groups who had submitted proposals would be making presentations. CSU Fullerton would present two of them, some outfit called the SEIS Group would present a third, and then Camelot Entertainment Group would present the fourth.
. . .
     The idea seemed to be that these four are the top of the heap.
     According to whom? Mathur made a point of explaining the process whereby the use of ATEP was being determined. According to Mathur, the “governance groups”—faculty, et al.—are a part of the decision-making process! (Don't think so.) The 13 proposals, he said, were duly assessed by the Chancellor’s Executive Committee—a group that included no reps from the governance groups. The Committee, he insisted, “not only invited input” from the governance groups, but “their input is expected!”
     Well, that’s bullshit. We stared at him.
. . .
     Then came CAMELOT Entertainment, the 800 pound gorilla of the evening. Camelot hopes to spend $800 million on a studio complex with sound stages and back lots.
. . .
     ...Camelot...man, they were slick. Plus they were determined to WIN THIS THING.
. . .
     The last proposal was called “Young Americans.” They’re patriotic and cheerful or something, and they used to be on Ed Sullivan….

• Do hemorrhoids dream of pineapple sheep? February 3, 2007

CAMELOT, DO A LOT?
     As you know, the star of Thursday’s ATEP board meeting were the Camelot Group, a crew of business suits that showed up with a whiz-bang presentation complete with Star Wars music and slick visuals.
     A friend writes
     Thanks for the info on the ATEP proposals the other night. Camelot's website…sure doesn't have much—and you'd think that a film group…should have their website completed. Still can't find a single title of anything they've ever produced—though their proposal and their website is really eager to tell you all about "investments" and "portfolios" and "incentives.”
     The friend quotes from Camelot’s webpage:
     By combining the production efficiencies of the early studios with the creative advantages leveraged by today's independents, Camelot Films seeks to consistently combine financial success with artistic success.
     My friend is unimpressed:
     Efficiencies of the early 1900s?????...So...where's the education?
     Yeah, what about that? No word yet on what the board made of Camelot and their presentation. Trustees did ask some good questions though. For instance, What happens if you guys miss a payment? And: will Camelot be producing pornography?....

• Board meeting February 27, 2007

     Mathur seems determined to go with the "Camelot" project ….

• A skosh, a dollop, and a plague! April 22, 2007

     Item 4.1 is “Approval of Exclusive Rights to Negotiate Agreement (ERNA) with Camelot Entertainment.” Maybe you know what this means. I don’t. Does it mean that the district is zeroing in on the Camelot deal?
     Camelot, of course, is the investor group who proposed a super-duper studio complex to take up much of our ATEP acreage in Tustin. Some people worry that we’ll get fleeced by these guys. Could be.
     Mathur seems to have taken over the ATEP project. He imagines, I think, that he can envision a success at ATEP so spectacular that his mug will eventually get blasted onto Mount Rushmore.

• Last week's board meeting: sandwiches described and machinations exposed April 30, 2007

     5.1 The board approved the “Exclusive Right to Negotiate Agreement…with Camelot Entertainment.” It was unanimous, and there was no discussion….

• "Real cop donuts": the Saddleback College Trustees Forum May 14, 2007

     There was another horrible lull, and so I stood up and asked about ATEP. Park Ranger Bob explained that construction is moving forward at the Tustin facility and they’ll be offering about 35 classes in the fall. There’s a big marketing campaign, too, and the “partnerships” are moving along. The Camelot people are working with the district on agreements and such. That Bob sure can be pithy….

• Monday’s board meeting: machination SNAFU August 28, 2007

     After a brief break, Park Ranger Bob Kopecky and his crew made a presentation regarding the recent opening of ATEP in Tustin. Bob showed lovely pictures of the new facilities. He showed charts and graphs. He explained about the ongoing conversations with potential partners Camelot and the “Young Americans,” who, he said, are “spreading the American spirit around the world through song and dance.”….

• Did I miss an email? November 6, 2007

     Plus I keep hearing that the city of Tustin is none too keen on Mathur’s BIG PLANS for ATEP—you know, Camelot and Young Republican Hoofers for Christ (or whatever they're called). The word is that the Tustin folks have been giving us the slow stink eye and, if they’re sufficiently unhappy with us, they’ll pull the plug….

• Get with the goddam program December 2, 2007

     Everybody’s been pretty tight-lipped about the ATEP meeting, but there are numerous indications that it was way stormy and/or unhappy (if facial expressions & grumpitude are any indication). Could it be that things are not going well re Mathur’s grand plan to place his mug on Mt. Goomore via the "Camelot" deal? I keep hearing that there exist big tensions among the three concerned parties: (1) the City of Tustin, (2) the Camelot people, and (3) the District.
     If the city is unhappy enough, they'll pull the plug on any BIG ATEP DEAL.
     (NOTE: In my report for the September board meeting (see), I wrote
David Hunt (of gkkworks) presented the “short-range plan” for ATEP.... Our continued use of those 68 acres depends on the city’s confidence that we are making progress in its development. The “long-range plan” is the as-yet-undefined partnership now being negotiated with such entities as Camelot. The “short-range plan” is what we’ll be doing with the property in the interim, which, I gather, will be a period of years. ¶ The short plan’s chief element appears to be demolition of buildings, the projected cost of which is about $7 million. The projected cost of the entire plan, not including some as-yet-to-be-determined elements (e.g., maintenance), is $9,231,610. ¶ Hunt opined that this plan should be enough to satisfy the City of Tustin.
     At the time, I wondered: where's all this money gonna come from?)
     We’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything definite.

• The further adventures of a world-class f*ck-up: board meeting December 8, 2007

     The discussion of the 50% Law fiasco is scheduled for the end of the meeting. That could be interesting. It is no secret that Mathur’s failure to understand that law whilst spending BIG on ATEP has put us between a rock and a hard place. Meanwhile, there are indications that negotiations between SOCCCD, Camelot, and the City of Tustin are going badly. It is conceivable that the plug will be pulled on the Deluxe Edition of ATEP. (If that happens, it will be because Mathur is incompetent, not because ATEP was a bad idea.) But who knows….

• The board meeting: faculty address the board re the contract & Nancy carps about a seal March 24, 2008

     Decisions were made about ATEP, but no effort was made to explain them to the public. Curiously, trustees Milchiker and Fuentes voted "no" on item 6.5: "reimbursement agreement: Camelot Development Tustin" ($786,100).

• Will ATEP be home to the "Young Americans"? May 18, 2008

I have a secret plan
     One of these days—within a few months, I think—faculty will suddenly be “informed” that they must start developing an impressive range of programs and courses, as per the SECRET PLAN that will at long last be revealed. Naturally, everything will happen in a big rush, like the recent attempt to hire 38 new faculty (caused by the Chancellor's failure to attend to the 50% Law). Judging by the latter effort, the ATEP whatchamacallit curricular/programatic initiative will be a rush-job, a fiasco.
     No doubt, someone will be inspired to intone, "This is no way to develop programs and curricula."
     —True, faculty are not entirely sans clue. We do know that “Camelot Entertainment” is in the entertainment industry: lights, cameras, action....

• Tiny newsberries June 17, 2008

     Speaking of ATEP (i.e., the Advanced Technology and Education Park, in Tustin), I keep hearing that things are FUBAR with the ATEP confabs. Is Camelot a buttnugget? If so, plan B will look nothing like plan A, and SOCCCD will look like SHIT once again P.D.Q. (The Young Americans want to put up their tents and park their clown cars at ATEP. Is that part of plan B?)
     As you know, some of our trustees (and trustee Tom Fuentes in particular, who has philosophical misgivings) are unhappy with Big ATEP. When, a few months ago, things got rocky Big-ATEPwise, the board was barely able to scrape up a green light for continued efforts.

• Tonight’s board meeting July 28, 2008

     During group reports, IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore thanked the various participants of the IVC Accred Focus Group. Of the report they have drafted, he said, “I think it hits the mark.” Glenn also reported that ATEP enrollments have been very high (about 600 this summer). He indicated that Chapman U, CSU Fullerton, and even UCI are “excited” about working with us at ATEP. (I got confirmation tonight that “Camelot” is out of the picture. One source told me that other groups [with big money, I assume], though, “have been standing in line” to get involved.)

• Williams' last term? Hope so December 12, 2008

     ATEP FUBAR. Yesterday, at IVC's Academic Senate meeting, President Glenn Roquemore updated faculty on developments at the district's ATEP facility in Tustin. The Camelot group is long gone, we were told, but two new groups seek to take their place, and a decision about that will be made soon.
     Glenn was very upbeat, but I've been reading documents and letters regarding negotiations between the district and the City of Tustin, and it seems clear that, come April, the city will declare that SOCCCD's progress and planning regarding ATEP is unacceptable to them.
     Expect litigation. Lots of it....

• What if they gave a democracy and nobody came? Board meeting notes, part 2 March 27, 2009

     ATEP 2.0 was once supposed to be a center for “Homeland Security” training. Then, I think, it was supposed to be a center for the study of gizmology (well no) and Young Republican Hoofers 'n' Crooners (yes, sorta). Anyway, in recent years, efforts have been made to work with Money Men (and Money Women I guess, though I never seem to spot any of those) to create a film and TV pre- and post-production complex and underwater basket-weaving appreciation module.
     For a while, the “Camelot” people seemed likely to put this thing together, but they turned out to be Money Men sans Money. Nowadays, there are two bigtime developers in the running (they seem to be avec money), and they’re still talking about that Film and TV studio, which, I'm told, is desperately needed in OC. One wonders why these Money People need us, cuz leasing property has got to be cheap in OC by now—I mean, what with the country hitting the skids and all.
     In the meantime, the City of Tustin is essentially a crew of hayseeds who keep falling off of a turnip wagon—and those people are pissed because, way back in the 60s or 70s, they were slated to get their very own community college right there where the Tustin Marketplace now stands, but then that wily old Irvine Company arranged one of its slick deals to avoid paying taxes by giving away that orange grove upon which IVC now sits.

• ATEP bushwackery? A tiff over turf April 14, 2011

It's a money pit
     …Contemporaneous with Dixie’s Accredular adventures, the SOCCCD board of trustees had about reached their limit with regard to ATEP, a project that, despite many years of district effort and expense, never seemed to really get off the ground. After all of these years of struggle, the trustees just felt worn down.
     They were about to pull the plug.
     Meanwhile, trustee Fuentes, who has never liked the idea of ATEP (his libertarian ideals produce occasional spasms of bilious spewage; he projectile vomited last summer), had reached the conclusion that ATEP was a “black hole,” a money pit. He said so publicly, noisily. He demanded action…. [END]

Finally....

     Fuentes did not prevail. Somehow, the pro-ATEP (i.e., pro-BigATEP) contingent on the board won the day.
     As I recall, the decision to embrace ATEP occurred some time during the summer of 2010. That was about when Raghu Mathur was run out of Dodge--during Dixie B's brief tenure as temp Chancellor. Wagner and Williams were still on the board, but they were short-timers.
     Recently, Fuentes--seemingly with his last breath--alluded to a fateful wrong direction taken by the district that places us on a precipice, etc. Perhaps he was referring to the Big-ATEP decision. Not sure.
     --Ironically, a fair number of faculty critics of the board and of Fuentes in particular--including me--have come to agree that ATEP is a money pit, that we should cut our losses to the extent possible. But it looks like the board has made its decision, and that's that.
     I do hope that we don't lose sight of the central faculty issue concerning the ATEP saga: that, despite faculty's authority over program development (etc.), from the beginning, the board and Chancellor have developed ATEP unilaterally. The big decision I mean, not the details.
     I certainly understand that faculty could not pilot that ship. But the pilot should have allowed faculty to sit nearby, advising. That never happened.


The notorious ten minute tour of ATEP

Sign of the Times


Seen in the window of A-209 at IVC.
*

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bring your NoDoz: board meeting Monday night


     As Chancellor Gary Poertner so helpfully reminded us today, there's a "Board Meeting and Audience Sleep Study" Monday night (the 5th; 6:00 p.m.) and the agenda is available here (click on "current agenda").
     That means that some of you need to bring your CPAPs. The rest of you need to get some NoDoz.

     It's December, and so it's time for the board's yearly "organizational meeting":


     Nancy Padberg has served as board President during the past year. Maybe she wants another year? Dunno. Who would want such a job?
     These days, the board seems in no mood to pursue crazy, "red meat," right-wing initiatives, and that's great. On the other hand, last meeting, Tom "red meat" Fuentes showed up to suggest, with his penultimate breaths—to "those wonderful people out there in the dark"—that he's still on the job—but (he added) things have taken a turn for the worse in recent months, district-wise and precipice-wise, and so the SOCCCD is headed for a fall to the bottom of Shit Canyon. 
     Maybe Fuentes sees himself as Puff the Right-Wing Dragon, slippin' sadly into his cave, oh. (Not sure who "Little Jackie Paper" is supposed to be. Sanity, maybe.)
     I think Tom was sending evil vibes Gary's way when he said all that. When the noisy Mr. Wagner left (a year ago!) and Fuentes became a mere board pen pal (since March), a shift occurred, but I'm not sure exactly how to characterize it, not in any particular way. Maybe it's just the board decision to pursue ATEP, that infinite black hole? Not sure. Or maybe it's the board's failure to cancel the Humanities and to turn the colleges into trade schools and leased pumpkin paper patches.
     So, on the board, things are lots better than they used to be, owing to the absence of coherent right-wing leadership. But I'm not saying this board is particularly "with clue." For instance, I don't suppose any of 'em have heard our endless fricking caterwauling about IVC VPI Craig Justice
     "Who's that?" they'll say. 
     Good Lord. They show up once a month, in a daze, recognizing the flags and velvet of the Ronnie Reagan room but oblivious to all else. Then they make those $half-billion-per-year decisions.
     Hello?

     Moving on: the board's "discussion item" concerns ATEP:

     Here's a peculiar general action item that also concerns ATEP:


     I suppose there'll be presentations regarding items 7.1 and 7.2: the SLO fiasco. Good Lord.


Floridian Neanderthal Jones raises a ruckus at UCI

Part of UCI closed for pastor who burned Koran (OC Reg)

IRVINE – Authorities have closed down a portion of UC Irvine due to safety concerns about a now-canceled appearance of Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who made news last year for burning the Koran.
. . .
     Aldrich Hall was evacuated and will remain closed for the rest of the day, [UC Irvine spokesman Tom] Vasich said.
. . .
     Jones was scheduled to speak at the campus at 11:30 a.m.
. . .
     UCI issued this safety update on its website:
"Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who made news by burning the Quran last March, announced he would be speaking in the area of the flag poles at 11:30 on Thursday, Dec. 1. Intelligence received by UCIPD indicated suspicious activity that raised concern about the safety of the event. As a precaution the area has been closed and no events will take place in this area. Other campus activity is continuing as normal."
     Jones, a 2012 Independent presidential candidate, had been scheduled to appear for a Stand Up America! Rally.
     The Gainesville, Florida-pastor caused international controversy in March when he burned a Koran, which critics say contributed to a deadly attack on a U.N. compound in Afghanistan. The rally was intended to "stand up" to what supporters say is a security threat posed by radical Islam.
     A counterprotest organized on Facebook listed more than 100 people as "attending."
     Jones' presidential platform includes the deportation of people in this country illegally, the withdrawal of all foreign-based American troops, the reduction of corporate taxes and the reduction of government and business bureaucracy.
     Last year, Jones published a book titled, "Islam is the Devil" [sic]….

SEE ALSO 'Free Speech' Area Shut Down (OC Weekly)

Ask the IRS to provide necessary guidance so local leaders can create more Clean Energy Jobs

   Hi, there! I'm writing with a quick favor to ask. I am working on a Clean Energy project with several allies and friends. This morning I posted a petition on the White House website that, if successful, will unlock $2.7 billion dollars in unspent federal money. $2.7 billion!
   This money is available right now to finance clean energy and create jobs, but it isn't being used because a key phrase in the original legislation needs clarification.
   As a HUGE personal favor, please take 3 minutes right now and sign the petition. We need to get to 150 signatures before the petition goes "public." Please be one of the 150!
Link here: http://wh.gov/ju0
Thank you so much for your help!
Best,
Colin B

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our nebulous past: these guys are all dying

Louis J. Cella, Jr.
     About a week ago (see), I provided a link to an OC Reg story about the death of a “Notorious OC political kingmaker,” namely, Louis J. Cella Jr.

     In that article (Notorious O.C. political kingmaker dies), Martin Wisckol reported that
     Louis J. Cella Jr., Orange County’s biggest political donor before being convicted of embezzlement in 1976, died Nov. 7 after a lengthy neurological illness. He was 87 years old.
     Cella was born in Providence, R.I., on Aug. 21, 1924, and received his medical doctorate from Marquette University in 1948. [According to the Times, he was expelled for cheating from his first med school.] In the early 1950s, he moved to Orange County and joined the Santa Ana Clinic in downtown Santa Ana.
     By the late 1960s, Cella was contributing heavily to state and local campaigns. In 1974, he made $550,000 in political donations, the most of any individual in California. He was particularly interested in the Board of Supervisors and their potential to control health-care facility licensing, according to a 1987 Register profile. He was key to getting four supervisors elected: Robert Battin, Ronald Caspers, Ralph Clark and Ralph Diedrich. All but Caspers were – like Cella – Democrats.
     Hmmm. According to an article in today’s LA Times (Dr. Louis J. Cella Jr. dies at 87), Cella was a registered Republican, though he “mainly supported Democratic candidates….”
     Wisckol goes on:
     Even by Orange County’s lively political standards, it was a wild time, with 42 Orange County politicians and political aides indicted between 1974 and 1977.
     Battin was convicted of illegally using county staff for campaigning. Diedrich was convicted of taking bribes from a developer in exchange for a rezoning vote. Caspers died at sea in a boating accident.
     OK then. The corrupt Cella supported OC Supes (1) Battin, (2) Caspers, (3) Clark, and (4) Diedrich. Battin and Diedrich were eventually convicted of crimes. Clark managed to ride out the scandal, though he gave up his Supe seat in 1986 partly owing to persistent accusations that he had had unsavory dealings with notorious “corrupter” W. Patrick Moriarty. (I think the DA persuaded him to step down.)
     I remember Clark. He was an old-fashioned, glad-handing politician. Some people loved 'im.
     Yes, Caspers, the Republican, died in 1974. As far as I know, his boat and his body were never found (one hears rumors, from older reporters, that foul play was likely afoot).
     Caspers’ right-hand man was, of course, a young Tom Fuentes, whom Nathan Rosenberg once described as “Caspers' bagman.” (See LA Times, Badham vs. Rosenberg at TV Taping, May 20, 1986).
     Rosenberg is a Boy Scout, so I believe 'im.
     Fuentes’ reaction to Caspers’ death was extreme: he entered a seminary. But that didn’t take. Six months later, he left the seminary and became a "consultant." As near as I can tell, he was the kind of consultant who wined and dined certain key persons on behalf of certain companies. He was very good at that. By '84, he was OC GOP chair, where he became legendary for his wining and dining accomplishments.
     It’s all very strange.
     Wisckol snooped around some old Register stories, where he learned that
     In 1976, Cella was convicted of 22 federal counts related to embezzling at least $600,000 in Medi-Cal funds through two Orange County hospitals in which he had an ownership stake. He served 32 months of a five-year sentence.
     Before his indictment, Cella also oversaw a political literature print shop in one of his hospitals, provided candidates with hospital-paid phone banks, and paid candidates for phantom jobs while they were out campaigning, according to the 1987 Register story.
     The story also notes that before his indictment, “Little was known about the source of his apparent immense wealth.”
     The source? He stole it. Well, it’s all very delicious, isn’t it? We’ll probably never know all the details.
     These guys are all dying.

See also Louis J. Cella, Former Orange County Political Power Broker, Dies at 87 (Voice of OC)

These days


I've been out walking
I don't do too much talking
These days, these days.
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to.

I've stopped my rambling,
I don't do too much gambling
These days, these days.
These days I seem to think about
How all the changes came about my ways
And I wonder if I'll see another highway.

I had a lover,
I don't think I'll risk another
These days, these days.
And if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
It's just that I've been losing so long.
La la la la la, la la.

I've stopped my dreaming,
I won't do too much scheming
These days, these days.
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten.
Please don't confront me with my failures,
I had not forgotten them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In Cal, broad support for the Occupy movement

From this morning’s Oakland Tribune:
Poll: Californians evenly split on Occupy movement

     California voters are almost evenly split, largely along ideological lines, over whether they identify with the Occupy movement, according to a new Field Poll. ¶ The poll found 46 percent of California's voting public identifies a lot or some with the Occupy movement, while 49 percent declare not much identification with it. But while voters are closely divided in their identification with the movement, a 58 percent to 32 percent majority say they agree with the protests' underlying reason….
. . .
     Conservatives are very unlikely to identify with the movement, liberals are very likely to do so and independents are about evenly split, [Field Poll Director Mark] DiCamillo said.
. . .
     DiCamillo said that for context's sake, he went back and checked a similar poll asking about the Tea Party movement in January 2010; at that time, 28 percent of Californians identified strongly or somewhat with that movement. ¶ By comparison, he said, Occupy is "a bigger, broader phenomenon" than the Tea Party, which was mainly just within the bounds of the Republican Party….

See also: STATE: Most people share Occupy views, poll finds (The [Riverside] Press-Enterprise)

Ask an Editor! Gustavo Arellano takes the helm at the OC Weekly


Over at the OC Weekly, Matt Coker has the news:

Ted B. Kissell informed his news staff via today's copy meeting and everyone else at Orange County's favorite alternative weekly newspaper via email that he has resigned as editor of OC Weekly.

Kissell, who joined the staff weeks after founding editor Will Swaim ended his 12-year run at the helm in 2007, also announced that Gustavo Arellano will assume the editor's post "effective 5:01 p.m." this Friday, Dec. 2....

..."I want to thank all the skinheads, pedophile priests, Know Nothings, and battleship tacos that made this day possible," Arellano said of taking over the editor's office. "I look forward to continuing the Weekly's mission of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable with the best damn group of writers this side of the Fortean Times. And I promise to offer our disgraced, felonious ex-sheriff Mike Carona a complimentary subscription to our rag so he can get his jollies off to our backpage ads!"

Arellano, who grew up and went to high school in Anaheim, began freelancing at the Weekly in 2001 and became a staffer upon graduating from UCLA with a master's degree in Latin American studies in 2003.

Having served as managing editor the past year and a half, Arellano will continue as editor to author his popular syndicated column, ¡Ask a Mexican!, which won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies (AAN) Award for Best Column. He'll also keep contributing to the Weekly's tasty food coverage. Indeed, he's rolled some of that knowledge into his forthcoming third book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

A press release about Arellano assuming the editorship that VVM submitted to AAN today notes that OC Weekly's new editorial chief "is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one of whom was illegal."
*
Felicidades a Gustavo!
*
Re Gustavo, see also:

Monday, November 28, 2011

That's some survey, that Don Wagner "immigration" survey


     Today, I visited Assemblyman (and former SOCCCD trustee) Don Wagner’s government website: here. I noticed a button: “click here to take our latest survey.”
     So I did. At present, Don has three surveys: Healthcare, Immigration, and Jobs.
     I chose the one on immigration. It asks just four questions:


     Observe that the third and fourth questions of this survey are about how respondents “feel” about things:


      (California's "situation"? That's mighty vague. On the other hand, under the circumstances, I think we can safely assume that Don means the state's fiscal situation, which, of course, is dire.) 

     Whether "illegal immigration is a large contributing factor to" the state's fiscal "situation" and how much (if at all) it contributes to it—these are empirical questions. When confronted with empirical questions, one should make the appropriate observations; one should seek the relevant data. 
     One does not ask for people's opinions.
     Odd.
     Also, Don is asking questions about matters imbedded in a cluster of empirical and non-empirical issues that comprise the illegal immigration issue. (Can the existing pattern and amount of immigration be stopped or thwarted? How can it be? At what cost in other values such as privacy? Is multiculturalism a legitimate value? Is it decent to seek to prevent such phenomena as the gradual dilution of one's "culture"? Etc.) 
     Don distorts the immigration issue by implying that it's essentially about whether illegal immigration is costly.
     And isn't Don asking for people's opinions (about these curiously selective matters) already knowing full well what those opinions are? ("It's a big contributor! It's immense!")
     That's some survey, that Don Wagner "immigration" survey.

That's some catch, that Catch-22

Rant On: "futile, if not cynical wastes of time"


Monday is here and, as promised, Rebel Girl has some reading for you.

Clio Bluestocking, Reb's most recent infatuation, weighs in on her community college experience in "The Nebulous Creature."

Blue writes:
In my years at the community college, I found three insidious concepts that pointed toward the endemic problem of the college. All three were the sort of things that, on the face of it, seem like they could maybe be good ideas; but, when you looked a little beyond the surface, you could see that the ideas were concocted outside of the reality of the institution, of the needs of the institution, and of the needs of everyone associated with the institution, including the students. These three things were outcomes assessment, online instruction, and "completion."
Reb likes it when teachers write about teaching. She finds it refreshing.

As you may remember, late last week, Rebel cited Bluestocking's assessment of SLOs.

In the same post, Blue makes the familiar arguments about online education: "The problem is that the dictum seems to not seriously care if it is done well. The dictum is to serve more students and this is an easy and cheap solution. Doing it well will require more staff and therefore more money."

Regarding "completion," Blue points out that institutions, even though they advise instructors "to have compassion and understand the problems facing students with full-time work, full-time family, and full-time course loads; yet, they do not look at that very fact of the students' lives as an obstacle to advancement. You want completion? Address the real reasons that students don't complete."


But here's where she won Reb's heart:
Who is "they" in my rantings here? Who comes up with these ideas, thinks they are grand, and demands their implementation in the face of overall opposition from the people who have to do the implementing? Well, I wish I knew. Anyone can be part of "they" at any point on any issue, I suppose, but the main "they" is the real, endemic problem of the college where I worked. The endemic problem went above and beyond the college itself to the people who the decision makers at the college seemed to want to serve...

This nebulous creature and its handlers, however, had very very little knowledge of how education works or the purpose of education. Very few people connected to this nebulous creature had any experience in education beyond their last college course; and this nebulous creature had obviously failed itself in its own education because it could not conceive of anything as being useful unless there was a point-to-point correlation between something in a classroom and a specific skill that might be demanded by an employer. Anything going on in the classroom must directly translate into a student's ability to profit and the line had to be direct. Any questioning of the nebulous creature's demands was met with "if we don't do what it wants ourselves, then it will come in and do it for us."

Now, I don't think it is a bad idea to explain how the Humanities are useful to society or even to individuals who are just in college to get a better job. That's most of the students in a c.c. anyway. It is the reason that college is connected to upward mobility. Humanities exposes people to a variety of ideas, expands their way of thinking, hones their analytical skills (or exposes them to the concept of analysis), and requires verbal expression and communication most often in written form. Sometimes this may not seem so obvious as one tries to wade through the causes of the American Civil War or the intricacies of Hamlet.

Sadly, the nebulous creature seemed not particularly interested in those explanations. It understands "business writing" or Elizabeth I, CEO. It understands, "student will be able to demonstrate the ability to use a comma" or "student will be able to identify George Washington." It understands "history" as "dates and facts and wars and politicians who have no connection to anything happening now." It understands "literature" as "that boring shit in which everything meant something when really the white whale was just a whale and who gives a damn anyway?" This nebulous creature is simplistic and does not take into consideration that education is a complex endeavor that is bigger than the numbers that they want to production -- sometimes even more subjective and not apparent for years. It can sometimes be as traumatic as it is enlightening, if done right, which is why it should not be a series of hoops to jump through or numbers to generate in order to do it right.

The biggest problem in the face of this nebulous creature was the way that it was able -- despite its nebulous nature -- to force complete capitulation and compliance, to draw so many into its thrall. I kept asking, as everyone complained about the "outcomes assessment," and online "learning," and "completion" -- at every level in some cases -- "at what point do we just say 'NO'?" Seriously, at what point do we, those of us actually IN the college, say "WE are the professionals here, we actually ARE competent, and we actually DO know what we are doing." When do we -- and I mean faculty, staff, librarians, counselors, administrators, everyone at the college who increasingly sees these measures as futile, if not cynical wastes of time -- when does that we seize control of our own business as professionals?

Indeed, what would happen if we did? What if we said, "we will decide our own 'outcomes' and how best to determine if they are being met," rather than going through the farce of the current system in place at the college? What if we said, "these are the terms on which we will offer and implement online courses in our departments according to our department's needs"? What if we said, "your definition of 'completion' has no meaning at our institution, so here is our varied means of determining 'completion' at our college"? Seriously, what would happen? ...
Rebel Girl has not successfully resisted the urge to quote often and long here. Sigh. Forgive her. She hopes that you will visit Blues' original post here and read it in its entirety. She hopes that you will chime in in the comments section and tell us what you really think.

More later~~~~

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Trustee Tom Fuentes' dark warning, November 16


Go ahead: install Microsoft Silverlight. The district says it's OK!

The video starts with the tail end of public comments: the "hat" or "mouse" lady offers her services as Chancellor, then stalks off. No stranger than usual.

Addressing the TV audience
00:24 – Board Reports
00:26 – Trustee Meldau
02:00 – Trustee Milchiker
04:46 – Trustee Prendergast
07:02 – Trustee (President) Padberg
08:46 – Trustee Fuentes He offers his dark and dire warning
11:36 – Trustee Lang
11:55 – Student Trustee Larson
12:50 – Chancellor’s report (Gary Poertner)

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