Friday, November 3, 2017

This Week in Dreams

Rosa Rodriguez holds over 40 letters written by IVC students, faculty and staff
and community members while she waits outside Mimi Walters office. 
So, among the dreams realized this week:

Yes, on Monday night, the Board of Trustees did unanimously adopt Resolution 17-33 in Support of Codifying DACA into Federal Law.

Yes, on Tuesday morning, the SOCCCD sent a student delegation with a copy of that resolution to meet with the staff of Rep. Mimi Walters.  A report from inside the room suggests that the testimony of IVC DACA student Rosa Rodriguez brought at least one staffer to tears. She gave Walters' staff over 40 letters written by IVC students, faculty, staff and community members. The delegation also gave the staff over 1,000 letters collected by Rio Hondo College students which the staff refused to accept days earlier. 

Yes, Rebel Girl did receive a peevish email from former trustee now Irvine Mayor Don Wagner which delighted her as it suggested that Don does sit in an office somewhere and read Dissent.  We hope he enjoyed the photos of Don and Sheriff Joe Arpaio that Chunk dug up along with all the choice soundbites. 

Then, Thursday night Red received an email from Tracy La, former ASUCI president, inviting him to join another Dream Act action at Walters' office. So Friday morning Rebel Girl and Red Emma returned to the corporate park to attend an action sponsored by the Korean Resource Center (KRC). It was a lively group of 60-70, including representatives from Orange County Congregation Community Organization, SEIU United Service Workers West, ACLU and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles - along with others and Red Emma and Rebel Girl, of course.  And drummers! With Korean drums! Red was pleased to discover that one of the lead organizers was a former student of his, Jonathan Paik, the KRC's Orange County director. Go figure.

Red Emma on the  march. 

Rebel Girl has been to countless marches and rallies, vigils and protests but there was something quite special about this assembly in an Irvine corporate canyon off Michelson and Jamboree.  Something about the range of ages, the spirit, and open pride - and yes, the Korean drums. You have not lived folks until you have walked in the shadow of the old Fluor Corporation to the beat of Korean drums, making your demands known in chants. You should try it.

Security didn't know what to do with us, except to say we could not could come in, not with the 2,000 postcards written to Mimi and certainly not with the drums. So we marched and rallied. At some point, a former student of Rebel Girl's showed up, inspired by a Facebook post.  And then Rosa arrived to a very different scene than Tuesday's. And when the time came for people to take the microphone and say their piece, Rosa did, speaking her heart out to those who gathered to listen.  Rebel Girl was proud of her, proud of all those brave DACA students. As a dear friend puts it: "Her voice is so important for all immigrants, for all who need to understand who an immigrant is."  Would that our elected leaders be as brave.

Rosa speaks.
Comprehensive coverage of the rally below.  Rosa's remarks begin at 1:05. (Rebel Girl thinks she may have cued it right, but maybe not.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Irvine Mayor Don Wagner ♡ Joe "the racist scofflaw" Arpaio

Yeah, they go way back. Palsy-walsy.
Trump Pardons Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Who Illegally Targeted Latinos, Huffington Post, 8-26-17
     ...Arpaio, who served as sheriff from 1993 through 2016, had long been accused of discriminatory practices against Latinos. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division concluded there was reasonable cause to believe that Arpaio and his office engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful policing and racial profiling. Arpaio’s officers called Latinos “wetbacks,” “Mexican bitches,” “fucking Mexicans” and “stupid Mexicans,” the Justice Department found, and Latino drivers were four to nine times as likely to be stopped by his officers as non-Latino drivers were. A lawsuit filed by the Justice Department was settled in 2015....
Mexican hater Joe Arpaio endorses Don Wagner for the 70th Assembly District, Orange Juice Blog, 5-28-10
     “I’m proud to support Don Wagner, a strong advocate for law and order and a common-sense conservative leader,” said Arpaio in giving his support to Wagner.
     Arpaio has developed a national reputation for his tough stance on law and order and illegal immigration, earning some notoriety by reinstituting chain gangs and forcing inmates to wear pink underwear. He has been a vocal proponent for the enforcement of state and federal laws on immigration and had been considering a run for Arizona governor.
     “Sheriff Joe is known around the country for his toughness and we need that kind of toughness in Sacramento if we are going to change things,” said Wagner.
Excerpt from Trustee SPANKY on your right to “pack a gun,” Dissent the Blog, May 30, 2006

…Wagner’s answers to a campaign questionnaire are sometimes interesting. “What,” he is asked, will he “do to stop illegal immigration and its economic effects in California”?
     “We should deport illegal aliens when and where found,” says Don….
     Don’s a great believer in guns. In fact, in Don World, the good guys oughta have more of ‘em: "I would try to greatly expand the right of law abiding citizens to carry weapons.”
     Greatly expand? I do believe Don wants us to wear holsters, boots, and Stetsons!
     Like many conservatives, Wagner is especially concerned about the specter of homosexuality. He is definitely against sex education and the promotion of the “pro-homosexual agenda” in public schools.
     At one point, Wagner is asked, Do you support same sex marriage? He offers a snappy answer, sure to annoy:
     "Then it isn't ‘marriage,’ now is it?"
     I like Don, but he just doesn't get how annoyed at his audience—and thus annoying—he often seems.
     In the questionnaire, Don again emphasizes the value of local control. And so he supports the “right of communities to require curricula with greater studies of”—are you ready?—here goes:
The U.S. Constitution, the role of religion in American life, traditional values, honest U.S. history, the founding fathers in greater dimension tha[n] mere "slave owners," appreciation for the cultural and political traditions of our country, patriotism, gun safety[.] [He says “yes” to the preceding.]
     Don’s a great one for discipline. "Corporal punishment in the lower grades works,” he asserts.
No bananas!
     Spanky—er, Don—sees himself as a Warrior. Is there a culture war in the U.S. today? “Yes,” says Corporal (and corporeal!) Don. If so, then “What side are you on?”
     His answer is a tour de force:
     "I am on the side that thinks ‘under God’ belongs in the pledge of allegiance and that it's all right to wish people ‘Merry Christmas,’ but that free speech does not include burning the flag or dancing in the nude.
. . .
…"I believe public schools should be permitted to give out aspirin, but not condoms, and that bananas belong in the cafeteria, not in ‘health class.’
…”I am on the side of the culture war that believes Teddy Kennedy should do time for Chappaquidick and that Bill Clinton should do time for Juanita Broderick, perjury, illegal campaign fund raising from China...
     "My side of the culture war thought that the first term of the Clinton Administration was … a disaster. There was nothing to like about his positions on gays in the military, nationalization of the health care industry, opposition to welfare reform that took a Republican Congress to finally achieve, …the incineration of children in Waco, …stonewalling on Vince Foster, missing Rose Law Firm billing records, … sale of the Lincoln Bedroom, ad nauseam.
…"Those on my side of the culture war believe that with rights come responsibilities, and that you have a right to build on your own property even if a snail darter or some such endangered vermin happens to live on it, a right to pack a gun, and the right to live free of an oppressive nanny state. You also have a responsibility to care for yourself and your family, and to exhaust every effort to do so before asking the government for a handout. Personal responsibility and self reliance [sic] are more highly regarded on my side of the culture war than are feelings and groupthink.
     "My side of the culture war laughs at the hypocracy [sic!] of the left when it says we care about children only until they are born, when in fact it is our side that also opposes euthanasia, the left's creeping culture of death, the killing of Terry Schiavo….”
Happy together

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hell Freezes Over at the SOCCCD? Update!

Rebel Girl remembers a time not so long ago when two events happening this week in our fair district would have been impossible.

On Monday evening the SOCCCD board is set to adopt Resolution 17-3: South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees in Support of Codifying DACA into Federal Law which resolves what its title suggests:
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the South Orange County Community College District supports all of our students, including DACA recipients, and calls on Congress and the President to find a permanent legislative solution so that all of our students can continue their educational pursuits and make meaningful contributions to our state and communities.
Then on Tuesday morning, October 31 at 10:30 AM, a delegation will meet with the staff of Congresswoman Mimi Walters to lobby for the passage of a clean DREAM Act and codify DACA into federal law and provide a permanent pathway to citizenship.The delegation will be made up of one DACA student, four representatives from student government and Tere Fluegeman, the district’s Executive Director for Public and Government Affairs, who arranged the visit.

The delegation's DACA student is IVC's own Rosa Rodriguez, a familiar presence on campus as one of the Writing Center's student aides. Rosa is set to graduate from IVC this May and hopes to transfer to UCI.

While it is not uncommon for students to lobby on behalf of funding or against tuition increases, for DACA students to lobby on behalf of immigration reform is highly personal on many levels. It requires special courage, especially in these times.

In an email, Rosa wrote: "I don't mind the community knowing I am undocumented. I think it is a way to let people like me know that if I feel safe speaking up about DACA they too can speak up and see IVC as a safe place.... I have a good feeling about this meeting. I am glad I can do something for students like me and speak up. "

Rosa has asked for letters to share with Congresswoman Walters staff. In her email, she wrote "I hope that we can get a couple letters." Rebel Girl thinks we can do better than that.

So, please consider writing a letter on behalf of Rosa and the DACA students. It can be short and simple and you can email it to Rebel Girl and she will print it out for her to take. Please include your name and address so Walters can respond. If you live in the district, that’s great but you can also write a letter if you don’t.

Your letter might begin like this:
Congresswoman Walters,
I am writing in support of Rosa Rodriguez and the over 800,000 DACA students in the United States and the estimated 72,000 enrolled in California Community Colleges.
Please support the passage of a clean DREAM Act and codify DACA into federal law and provide a permanent pathway to citizenship for these hardworking young people.
As a (constituent, community college student, instructor, concerned resident, etc. Choose or create your descriptor) I feel strongly that…
Close with your full name, title, if any, and address (residence or college)
Your letter does not have to be long.

You can email your letter to Rebel Girl at or you can drop it off at her office (LA 214). Or consider dropping it off in the Writing Center where you may be able to meet Rosa and wish her well. Letters need to be received by Monday evening so they can be delivered Tuesday morning.

Now bear with Rebel Girl and imagine how Tom Fuentes or Steve Frogue or Don Wagner would have voted on this resolution, if they even let it come to the table. What they would have said about a delegation with the district imprimatur visiting a local congressional office to lobby in support of undocumented immigrants and immigration reform. We've come a long way - but still have a long way to go. Let's get there.

UPDATED: Irvine Mayor Don Wagner wrote to Rebel Girl today to say she had misstated his record on immigration issues:  He wrote: "Years ago I spoke in favor and voted for Assembly Bill 1024 (Gonzalez) specifically dealing with Dreamers who had completed their educations and demonstrated good character, precisely the kinds of immigrants who make this country flourish." He went on to cite "a letter I co-authored to Congress years ago arguing for comprehensive immigration reform."

While Rebel Girl is thrilled to know that Don Wagner is in the trenches with immigration reform, she imagines that her trench and his may differ in depth and focus.  But who knows?  Maybe he really does support the passage of a clean DREAM Act and codify DACA into federal law and provide a permanent pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers. Maybe he is about to declare Irvine a Sanctuary City. Maybe he isn't one of those who desire a kind of bracero program that creates a perpetual class of all-but-indentured forever disenfranchised low-wage workers.

How could she have gotten him so wrong? Perhaps it was his attack on the American Library Association or his support of Ted Cruz. His opposition to marriage equality. His desire to make us all bow our heads and pray at public college functions. So many things.

More later on this. Meanwhile, welcome to the fight, Don.

We are proud that the Mayor of Irvine reads our blog! Yee ha!


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