Saturday, December 22, 2012

Who are the gun nuts?

Above graphic from yesterday's Political profile of gun owners in the OC Register.
     Thirty years ago—at about the end of the Carter administration—Republican, Democratic, and Independent households owned guns at essentially the same rate: about 50%. Since then (according to an article in yesterday's OC Reg), things have changed dramatically.
     Not among Republicans: a slightly smaller proportion of Republican households now own guns (still about 50%)—but the rate has essentially remained flat. Meanwhile, among Independent and especially Democratic households, gun ownership (per household) has plummeted to under 30%. Among Democrats, it has declined to just over 20%.
     I draw two conclusions. First, that gun ownership is in rapid decline in the U.S.
     Given the large number of guns sold, it appears that gun owners buy more guns than they once did. There's fewer people buying more guns.
     That brings me to my second conclusion: that lots of members of the G.O.P. are fuckin' nuts.

If you haven't seen this, you should. (Pratt is the Ex. Director of Gun Owners of America. Evidently, Morgan is no fan of the organization.)
 
From the Washington Post

Friday, December 21, 2012

The GUARDIAN explains the end of the world (Earth) HERE. Pay attention. It's all very scientific.

Still more—HERE—on the fate of the universe. Nobody really knows.

Kitten meth


     Dropped by my folks' place this morning, but they weren't home. I used my key to enter the house and found Bugsy the kitten standing in the middle of the place—evidently happy to see me, or someone.
     He seemed to want something from me. Play time? I headed over to his turbo toy and tried to get him interested in its rolling white ball. I rolled it, and, soon, he came on over to watch. At first, he lay under a nearby end table, safe from my clutches. (He's still a skittish little fella.) So I slid the turbo thingy closer to him, launched that ball around, and, bit by bit, he got excited about it. The darned guy can't help himself. We played. Together.
      A coupla days ago, my sister Annie came by and used a little laser light to shine a dot of red on the rug. Bugsy immediately scrambled for it. Naturally, he went nuts. Cat people know how nuts cats can get with such toys, but my folks are really dog people, and they've never seen such unbridled enthusiasm. They figured Annie was killing their cat, maybe causing him to have a heart attack or something. They told her to cut it out. She relented, more or less, but not before squawking like she does.

      Well, maybe mom and pop are on to something, 'cause that Bugsy had laser beams on the brain for the next hour of so. I tried to get him interested in his turbo toy, but he was all twitchy and nervous in hopes (if that's the word) of spotting that damned red dot. "Gotta have that red dot; gotta have it now," his body language seemed to say. "That's no way to live, Little Man," I said. I told my sis to leave her stupid laser at home next time. It's like she was selling meth and messing up feline youth.

      That fool Bugsy got himself into trouble three or four days ago when my mom found him "screaming"—mom's word—from inside the goddam Christmas tree. The little guy had climbed up into the tree and then managed to get tangled in all those stupid green wires. My mom didn't know what to do: she kinda freaked, I think, and then my dad showed up and tried to yank the kid out of the tree. (My folks sure can be helpless, now that they're older.) But, like I said, my folks aren't cat people, and they didn't know about the "spinning ball of razor blades" phenomenon, so familiar to cat people (a scarred and gnarled bunch). Bugsy, said my dad later, was doing the ol' "slice 'n' dice" when he tried to grab the little fella. Nevertheless, somehow, dad snapped the right twigs and branches and that knucklehead suddenly came flyin' out of that tree.
     Later, my sister and I rolled our eyes when we were told about this episode. "Next time, just get a towel or something and wrap it around your hand and arm. Cat panic is dangerous but it's manageable."
     We know cats.

     The Bugster seems to have bounced back quickly from that sorry episode. Today, anyway, he was his cute and playful self. He was back to playing with that ball in that turbo thingy, too. He and I batted the ball back and forth. Then Bugsy got all "commando": he'd jump on the white ball to stop it from spinning; then he'd run furiously over to the nearby couch, frenetically finding his way under the blanket that covers it. He'd squirm around under there and then poke his head out from funny places. That stuff makes me laugh every time.

     Took these pics. He sure is one cute kid.


Camera Eye

 3:00 p.m.: from the hills above Orange, looking toward Catalina Island
9:50 p.m.: going up Harris Grade (near Cook's Corner)
9:55 p.m.: the road to my place (inverted)

Have a nice day

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

According to R. Scott Moxley, Tom Fuentes was a freakin' spy

Check it out: 
Tom Fuentes: Secret Agent Man? [Moxley Confidential]

Once-classified FBI files reveal the ex-Orange County GOP boss snitched for the feds and sought foreign lobbying deals

Derek Reeve wants to arm teachers

     Our old “friend” Derek Reeve—a SJC City Councilman, and, until recently, a Saddleback College Poli Sci adjunct—is back in the news!
Let teachers carry guns, San Juan councilman says (OC Reg)
     The Reg tells us that Reeve, “A San Juan Capistrano City Council member[,] is calling on local schools to increase security and suggests arming 'willing staff, teachers and/or parents.'"
     So he wrote in a letter he sent to Capistrano Unified School District officials today.
     The Reg quotes him as writing
"As a father of two school-age sons and as an elected official representing the good people of San Juan Capistrano, I am quite concerned regarding the health and safety of our most vulnerable members of our community, our children … Efforts must be taken to empower teachers, staff and parents to protect our children."
     The district has responded:
Capistrano Unified Superintendent Joseph Farley responded Wednesday[:] … "Like school districts everywhere, we're getting lots of well-intended suggestions and ideas on how to increase students' security and safety in school. While we appreciate the councilman's interest in this topic, we will not entertain any proposals to have staff members carry firearms…."
     Reg reporter Josh Francis notes that
Reeve has advocated for guns in the past. In 2011 he presented a resolution to the council to relax gun restrictions in San Juan and allow the open carry of unloaded weapons in city parks. The resolution failed.
     You’ll recall that, a year or so ago, one of the local “Patch” publications determined that many of Reeve’s submissions, which Patch had published, were heavily plagiarized. Reeve defended his right-wing writings (he's a Tea Partier) and seemed disinclined to acknowledge error.
     At the time, Reeve taught Political Science for both Concordia University (in Irvine) and Saddleback College. Soon after Reeve’s liberal borrowings were revealed, Concordia fired him.
     Meanwhile, Saddleback College seemed to take no action. In fact, however, by Fall (2012), Reeve's name no longer appeared in the Saddleback College schedule of classes. Neither does it appear in the Spring 2013 schedule. (On the other hand, Reeve still appears on Saddleback College's faculty web pages directory. I just checked. See also his still-posted SC faculty profile.)
     At one point, Reeve drew much attention to himself when he bragged, at a City Council meeting, that he had named his dog “Muhammed.” Among Muslims, the dog is considered an "unclean" animal.
     Many took offense to Reeve's remark. He did not apologize, instead claiming that his action of naming his dog after the Islamic prophet was intended as some sort of lesson for his children.

     For more on the curious Derek Reeve saga, see HERE.


     OC corruption continues: More Quiet Transfers of County Staff Trigger Questions (Voice of OC)
Struggling City College of San Francisco Plans Layoffs and Pay Cuts (Chronicle of Higher Education)

The college, which is fighting to retain its accreditation, needs to enroll roughly 3,000 students for the spring semester or risk losing $6.5-million in state support. Beginning in January, the college plans to lay off nearly three dozen clerical workers, and will also cut 20 to 30 part-time instructors and 18 part-time counselors from its payroll.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Seen this?

The money behind the Newtown massacre (Fortune)

By Dan Primack - December 17

One way to reduce mass shootings is for big institutions to stop funding the assault weapon manufacturers.

     FORTUNE – Do you know who owns more than a 6% stake in the maker of .223 Bushmaster rifles, like the one used last Friday to murder 20 first graders and seven adults in Newtown, Connecticut? California public schoolteachers.
     The company in question is Freedom Group, a privately-held firearms conglomerate formed by private equity and hedge fund group Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus created the platform in April 2006 via the acquisition of Bushmaster, after which it added another 10 makers of firearms, ammunition and accessories (including Remington, Marlin Arms and Barnes Bullets).
     The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) committed to invest a whopping $500 million into a $7.5 billion Cerberus fund that has helped bankroll Freedom Group. That means that it effectively could own a 6.67% stake in the gun maker, which filed to go public in late 2009 before pulling the offering in early 2011. In fact, the figure could be even higher since CalSTRS also committed $100 million to a $1.4 billion predecessor fund, which likely made the original investment.
     [Update: CalSTRS said Tuesday afternoon that it owns 2.4% of Freedom Group, and I have requested an explanation of how they arrive at that figure.]….

SEE ALSO California teacher pension system invests in maker of gun used in Newtown, CT shooting (OC Watchdog)

Monday, December 17, 2012

SOCCCD BOT meeting: the return of Don "Boom Boom" Wagner

Don "Cannon-mouth" Wagner was on hand to swear in recently-elected trustees
     [Be sure to check out Tere's Board Meeting Highlights. Oddly, her notes make no mention of Don Wagner's appearance.]
     It's a cold but clear night here in delightful Mission Viejo, CA—at Saddleback College, home of the Gaucho, that seriously misplaced South American cowboy.
     It's 6:32 and, shiver me timbers, I do believe I see DON "MAFIA MOUTH" WAGNER about ten feet to port, yuckin' it up with the usual pre-meeting crowd.
     Aha! The trustees have commenced entering the Bonzo Room, so the meeting will likely start within the next five minutes or so. I see Poertner, Prendergast, --nobody else yet. Poertner peels off to go talk to the Wag Man. Maybe Don's here tonight to see the installment of Tim Jemal as trustee. As I recall, Don, plus quite a few moderate and liberal sorts, supported Jemal's candidacy. Go figure. I'll have more in a minute.
     6:38 - OK, I've spotted Dave Lang, Marcia Milchiker, and Jim Wright. Bill Jay is among the living, it seems. There's Jemal, with a snazzy yellow tie. And Nancy Padberg, who spotted an old friend in the audience. Let's get this show on the road!

Oddly, there is no mention of Don Wagner's swearing in recently-elected trustees in the official Board Meeting Highlights.

     *&%$#!!! My laptop crashed—and so I’ve got to do some fast catch-up.
     The resolution was for Rob Merritt, a TV newscaster with channel 6 (since 1969!). Evidently, this fella has long interviewed trustees after board meetings—for Seizure World TV—and so he’s a familiar face, at least among trustees. Blah, blah, blah.
     Next: the swearing in of recently-elected trustees: Wright, Lang, Jay, and Jemal. Tim Jemal asked Assemblyman Don "Low Blow" Wagner to come down to swear in this crew, and so here he is. Don does a fine job, and he doesn't even piss off any Italians. Supervisor Todd Spitzer is also on hand, waves hello. Jemal introduces his whole family, who soon head for warmer climes.
     At this point, the board is in the midst of its yearly “organizational meeting.” They’ve rolled over the top three offices: President, VP, and Clerk. The board approves this new regime unanimously, so it’s Nancy Padberg as Prez, TJ Prendergast as VP, and Marcia Milchiker as Clerk—for another year.
     Etc.
     Now they’re opening the “facilities corporation meeting.” Nobody cares.


     Public comments: none, of course.

Board reports:
Bill Jay: it's a joy to work with all of you who show up to board meetings. (I felt proud, or foolish.) Special thanks to Rob Merritt, the Laguna Hills TV guy
Tim Jemal: proud to be a member of this body.  Etc.
Marcia Milchiker: as usual, Marcia has too much to say and not enough time to say it, so she chirps rapidly. She’s taking accounting at Saddleback! “As you know," she said, "I have a degree in biology.” Expresses appreciation of the nursing students. Chatters. Staccato noise.
TJ Prendergast: Congrats to Tim Jemal, others. Attended the Feast of Light. IVC Holiday party. “If the Mayans turn out to be wrong, Merry Christmas,” he quipped.
Nancy Padberg: Congrats to newly elected trustees. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas.
Jim Wright: Honored to be able to serve on the board. Attended holiday parties. Very well done. Nursing pinning ceremony. Basketball tourney.
Dave Lang: Blah, blah, blah

Chancellor’s report (Poertner): recognized the “outgoing president of the board,” Nancy Padberg. (Har har.) He hands her a smallish brown plaque. She’s kept us organized, etc., says Gary. Nancy says thanks, it’s nice to get these plaques. Got so many of 'em. "Well, you’ll get another one in a year,” P deadpanned.

I should say that the trustees were in a pretty good mood tonight. Lots of good cheer, lots of silly jokes and comments. Nancy occasionally laughed so heartily she managed a near-cackle. (On the other hand, there were several references to the recent tragedy in Connecticut.)

Board requests for reports: zilch

Discussion items: none

Consent calendar: anything to pull? Nothing much.

Our Don, brawling on the Assembly floor
General action items:

6.1: Foundation audit report. Deb F. She says, had presentations last month, auditor.

Etc.

Once again, I'm playing catch-up 'cause  my computer crashed. I seem to recall that Dave Lang raised questions about the large proportion of Foundation assets coming from the district. In the case of Saddleback, it was something like 54%. In the case of IVC, it was actually more than 93%! What's that all about? Lang wanted more information about those factoids. (We've raised such concerns recently.)

They approve all the Board Policy revisions and such. Same for Academic and Classified Personnel Actions. Nothing much of interest happens. The board is pretty agreeable tonight. Everything passes unanimously.

Reports:

7.1 - college speakers.  Yeah, sure.
7.2 - Basic aid report. Yep, whatever.
7.3 - Facilities plan... Please....

Reports of groups:

Saddleback College Ac. Senate (Cosgrove): makes another pitch for part-timers, who lack offices, are inconvenienced in many ways, etc. Refers to work on Accreditation: going well.
Faculty Association: Congrats to trustee election winners. Echoes Cosgrove's concerns about part-timers.
Etc.
Meeting ends about 7:50.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bugsy's freak oblique

     No new pics of young Bugsy, the Miracle Kitten, but I do have a report, of sorts.
     I showed up at my folks place on Friday just in time to volunteer to take my mom and her “baby” to the vet—he needed to be checked out to see how he’s healed after his gender-attenuating surgery of a week ago. (I don't like my dad driving. He's 80 years old. He'd normally be the one to drive—not just mom—cuz taking the cat to the vet is, for my parents, a massively complex event, evidently requiring both a driver and a towel-wielding cat-handler.)
     Naturally, when I arrived, my mom and pop and sister had managed to whip themselves into the usual neurotic/déjà-vu-ular anxiousness. The upshot: Mom had swaddled the poor Bugster deep within some enormous fluffy towel—an entombment that, alone, was surely enough to launch the heartiest of creatures into a Life of Neurosis.
     I gestalted the situation and immediately announced that we “go now.” Off we went, mom with her charge huddled in the backseat of my Chrysler. At the PetSmart/Banfield, whilst awaiting the predictable verdict on the Bugster, I bought one of those circular plastic tube-things that encase a white ball. My mom had no idea what it was; she looked skeptical.
     “It’s good,” I said. “Don’t worry, he’ll love this thing.”

Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy


     Soon, the young man was brought out to us. “He checks out just fine,” said the vet. Everybody doted on him. "Cute!" they cooed.
     We got back on the road, with my mom reassuring her “Osterhase” (Easter bunny) that, now, at long last, all is well, “you poor thing.”
     “Mom, you know,” I suggested, “if you want a normal cat, you should try to act like everything is normal.”
     “Vat?”
     “Maybe just let him loose. Or just stop holding him so tightly in that towel. –You know, act like things are fine, cuz they are, you know.”
     “I don’t vant him to get avay!” said mom.

     Eventually, back at the house, things got more or less back to normal. So I got out that plastic turbo-thingy and laid it on the floor near Bugsy’s favorite chair—i.e., mom’s TV chair—in the living room. Soon, the boy, guided by his tiny pink nose, zeroed in on it. At first, he seemed interested only in the round patch of rough cardboard in the center of the wheel. He sat on that and then started rolling around on it. He liked it.
     Eventually, his tiny white tail bumped the ball—and it moved.
     He stared at it. After a few seconds, he carefully batted it with his paw. It started rolling around in its tube. Bugsy was mesmerized.



     Cats are unlike humans. Their hard-wiring is such that small objects of mouse- or bird-size are deeply attractive to them—especially if they are viewed from around other objects—trees, chair-legs, chunks of plastic, etc. Go figure.
     I call it the "freak oblique." A cat will grab some little thing and then arrange the world such that the object in question is around a corner or behind some solid object, and almost beyond reach. Then he'll just go nuts grabbing at it, playing with it, then maybe disemboweling it.
     Rinse. Repeat.
     The makers of this plastic ball turbo thingy understand cats.
     After a while, Bugsy lay his head on the carpet, then reached around the plastic tube-wall to touch the barely-visible ball, then, upon making contact with it, jumped away and down the hallway and straight up the window blinds.
     Freak oblique! Freak oblique!
     Naturally, the Bugster came right back. He wanted more. I decided to join him in his play. We sat silently next to the tube and hovered over it. I sought to emulate Bugsy's attitude and concentration. He’d bat at the ball. Then I’d bat it back at him. (My actions were minimal. Minimalism is essential.)
     This went on for a while. He liked our play, though he remained wary. (I'm not mom.) Soon, we were two kittens, buddies in Feline Funland, and it was all very tight and close. I felt special.
     Eventually, I demonstrated my ability to flick the ball with such force that it spun quickly around in its tube--so quickly that it nearly became a blur. But Bugsy was up to the challenge of tracking it. His head followed the damned ball: left-right-left-right-left-right. Naturally, his furious head-shaking slowed as the ball’s orbit slowed. It was really something to see.
     I burst out laughing. That caused him to run away. He didn’t come back. Oh my.
     I caught up with him a few minutes later. He was being cradled by mom. “My tiny Heiny,” she purred. His eyes were shut.
     “Looks like a Chinaman,” said dad.
     “Yeah, I guess.” I said.

WORRY NOT: why the world won't end in five days (NASA)

Click HERE.
(Stupid people: click HERE instead.)

OK, if you buy into the "science" thing, then you are at worst poorly entertained by this particular pseudo-Mayan idiocy. If however, you're a Republican (or just a flake), you're likely living in fear, dreading the possibility of a premature end boldly identified by the mix of pop cultural snafu-ular mediation of ancient scribblings and the possibility of making rube-profit. (Meanwhile, you fear not the rise of the ocean, the depletion of ground water, and other evidence-based prophesies. Lout!) We invite you to join us with our candle in the dark, where we sit and plan well beyond late December, free of unnecessary anxiety, with old Spirit albums playing in the background.

From today's OC Register

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