Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Election History: The Poll Guard Incident, Yesterday and Today

A mural in the Logan neighborhood of Santa Ana, Calif., one of the city's oldest Mexican neighborhoods, bears the faces of local men who served in the armed forces. Credit Andrew Cullen for The New York Times.
Tom Fuentes
Last week the New York Times came to town and Rebel Girl couldn't help but notice the lede for their feature article on Santa Ana, "This City Is 78% Latino, and the Face of a New California." It recalled one of SOCCCD Trustees Tom Fuentes most infamous acts (and that's sayin' something). Too bad the NYT didn't identify Fuentes by name.

excerpt:
Vicente Sarmiento remembers when the local Republican Party here posted uniformed guards at polling stations in a closely fought State Assembly race three decades ago and they hoisted signs in English and Spanish warning that noncitizens were prohibited from voting. The guards were removed after state elections officials threatened legal action.
Yes, on election day in November of 1988, at 20 polling stations in Santa Ana, the local GOP posted uniformed guards. According to the LA Times: "Republican Party Chairman Thomas A. Fuentes confirmed that the security guards "were part of our Election Day security effort" in mostly Latino neighborhoods in central and south Santa Ana."

A police officer holds part of a sign seized at a polling place in Santa Ana in 1988, when uniformed guards were stationed at 20 polling sites in the city by the GOP. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)
Lately, that incident has also been recalled by others in the wake of Donald Trump's persistent assertions about "rigged" elections.  This from Kurtis Lee's LAT article, "Donald Trump's call for poll watchers brings back fears of 1988 Santa Ana":
Now, nearly three decades later, as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump calls for his supporters to volunteer as election observers, concerns of voter intimidation have come to the forefront. At a rally in Pennsylvania last week, Trump used strong racial overtones to allege to his mostly white audience that “certain areas” of the state — such as Philadelphia, where almost half the residents are black — will commit voter fraud to support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.


See also:
That notorious episode: Tom's "goons"

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

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

Goals and Values and Twaddle

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

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

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

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

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

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary