Friday, November 9, 2018

In case you missed it: news in review including IVC student in New Yorker article...

The success of Katie Porter’s sharply progressive candidacy in a place with so much Republican history and cultural mythology on its side has meaning even if she does not prevail.
photograph by Mike Blake / Reuters
Rebel Girl doesn't know what you do after election day but she reads. She is old school that way. It has its rewards like this: discovering an IVC student in this New Yorker article about Katie Porter whose efforts to succeed Mimi Walters to represent  CA-45 is still undecided. (Nate Silvers at 538 just moved the race from Toss Up to Lean Dem.)

"Chasing the Blue Wave in Orange County" by Dana Goodyear
Irvine, a little inland from the coast, is part of CA-45, where Katie Porter, a professor of consumer-protection law, had hoped to overtake the Republican incumbent, Mimi Walters, in a race that was supposed to be an indicator of the region’s changing political makeup. Porter’s name, in pink poster paint on a board emblazoned with dressing-room lights, adorned the entrance to a ballroom at the Hilton. Inside, supporters mingled, waited, checked phones, booed Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, when he appeared on a large screen, and drank. When my eyes grew fatigued from watching screens, they sought shoes: flip-flops, Birkenstocks, Converse, hiking shoes, a few pairs of party flats with bows, Vans. Polling, a notoriously inexact science, had called the race for the Forty-fifth a tossup. I had a fleeting thought that there might not be enough party-flat-wearing women in the crowd for a Porter win. In the hotel bar, where everyone was watching CNN, I heard someone at a table of Porter people say, about the nationwide results, “Honestly, it’s not going to be as much of a blowout as I thought. I thought it’d be a frickin’ landslide.”

Back in the ballroom, I asked two Porter volunteers, in Vans, friends since elementary school, what drew them to Porter. “I live below the poverty line with my father,” Shayan Ehssan, who is Persian-American, told me. He is nineteen and goes to a community college. “I like the liberal agenda,” he said.
Ehssan is an IVC student - and his childhood friend, mentioned later in the article, may be as well.  It's good to see our students engaged in the electoral process and to see them featured in such a high profile publication as the New Yorker. What would attract Ehssan and other students to Porter's campaign? Goodyear's answer:
Student debt is not part of the incumbent’s platform; she’s far more interested in the national debt, and how to reduce it by cutting government spending. Mimi Walters was the only Orange County Republican to vote for Trump’s tax plan. Defending it, she said that her constituents—business owners and those with 401(k)s and stock portfolios—were thriving. Her allegiances were clearly with high earners, not with community-college students living with their dads. “Remember,” Walters told CNBC, “Many people who are in the, let’s say $200,000-$500,000 range, they had the alternative minimum tax. We’ve done away with it.”
Another great read this week: "An obituary for old Orange County, dead at age 129" by Gustavo Arellano published in the LA Times.
“Orange County,” the California collection of 34 cities and 3.2 million residents once described by President Reagan as where “all the good Republicans go to die,” died Tuesday. It was 129 years old.

Long famous for its wealth, whiteness and conservative values, Orange County is survived by its offspring, who include a population that is about 60% people of color, some of the most crowded and poor neighborhoods in the United States and a Republican Party that’s on the ropes. Once reliably red, the official cause of O.C.’s passing is a case of the blue flu, which turned its politics more purple than Barney the dinosaur....
Finally, considering all that's happening on campus and in our community, it's worth noting Frank John Tristan's feature article in this week's OC Weekly: RISE ABOVE, UNMASKED: A FORMER WEEKLYINTERN RECALLS HOW HIS SURF CITY ASSAULT BECAME AN FBI CRIMINAL PROBE INTO AN ALT-RIGHT GROUP

The article closes at the recent screening of the PBS/Pro Public documentary: Documenting Hate: Charlottesville at Chapman University, sponsored by OC Human Relations Council and others, featuring journalist A.C. Thompson, Gustavo Arellano and many more. The article concludes:
In response to moderator Dr. Lisa Leitz’s question regarding what to do about the growing threat of violence from white supremacists, Arellano said, “The most important thing is to shed light. “Back when I was at the OC Weekly, we’d always get criticized: ‘Why are you reporting on these fringe groups? They don’t matter; they don’t do anything at all. They’re losers,’” he explained. “And our response was ‘Yeah, they’re losers, but somebody needs to keep an eye on them, and more important, somebody needs to expose them.’ As a reporter, you have to be able to expose these people, and you can’t stop.”
Illustration by Richie Beckman


Thursday, November 8, 2018


Not so long ago
Election 2018: Orange County GOP faces tipping point in longtime stronghold
(OC Reg)
Democrats have closed the gap by holding its voter share while GOP’s older voters die and are replaced on the rolls by young, independent voters — and to a lesser extent, by Republicans re-registering as independents. In 1990, Republicans edge over Democrats was 56 percent to 34 percent. Today, it’s 34.7 percent to 33.5 percent.
As recently as 2002, voters under 34 favored the GOP 42 percent to 29 percent. Today, people of that age favor Democrats 38 percent to 20 percent. Voters ages 35 to 44 also favor Democrats. Voters 44 and older prefer the GOP, with the Republican advantage biggest among those over 70.
In 2002, Latinos were 18 percent of registered voters and favored Democrats over Republicans 53 percent to 28 percent. Today, they are 20 percent of voters and prefer Democrats 52 percent to 17 percent.
In 2002, Asians were 9 percent of registered voters and favored Republicans 40 percent to 31 percent. Now they are 15 percent of voters and prefer Democrats 30 percent to 29 percent. While Republicans still have the edge among Vietnamese, Democrats are more popular among East Indians, Filipinos and Koreans. Chinese and Japanese are almost evenly divided.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Voter suppression: 1988 and 2018

The pious Mr. Fuentes
Without evidence, Trump and Sessions warn of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections (Washington Post)
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday issued strong warnings about the threat of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections, echoing the president’s baseless claims that massive voter fraud marred his 2016 election and prompting accusations that his administration is trying to intimidate voters.
. . .
In remarks to reporters on his way to a campaign rally in Cleveland, Trump also falsely claimed that voter fraud is commonplace.
. . .
Voting rights advocates denounced Trump’s remarks as a blatant attempt to intimidate voters on the eve of Election Day — and part of a pattern among Republicans, they said, to curtail voting access with strict rules that disproportionately affect voters of color who tend to vote Democratic.
     Perhaps some DtB readers will recall that the KING—and modern-day original practitioner—of outrageous voter intimidation tactics was none other than Tom Fuentes, who joined the SOCCCD Board of Trustees in July of 2000:

That notorious episode: Tom's "goons" (DtB, 1/16/10)
     SOCCCD Trustee Tom Fuentes may be pious as hell, but he ain't decent.
     Perhaps the most notorious episode of Fuentean ungentlemanliness (aka abject loutitude) occurred twenty-one [now 30] years ago.

     In an open letter to Tom, in 2005, Gustavo Arellano describes the incident:
...[Y]ou approved the use of poll guards to stand outside polling places in Latino neighborhoods when they cast ballots for the 72nd Assembly District race. The Republican Party candidate, Curt Pringle, won the election. But the subsequent furor led to your resignation as communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Orange, an exodus of Latino voters from the GOP (the first of many, it would turn out) and various settlements of lawsuits regarding the matter totaling more than $480,000. (See An open letter to the former GOP chairman, current college trustee, forever self-destroyer, OC Weekly.)
     It happened during the election of 1988....
Fuentes and Bush, pals

IVC in the News

Anti-semitism in action in Irvine. Clip from security camera at Beth Jacob Synogogue. 

IVC in the news:

from Newsweek:


The Brooklyn synagogue was vandalized a day after a similar incident took place in California.
The Beth Jacob Synagogue in Irvine, California, was defaced with anti-Semitic slurs on Wednesday, ABC News reported.
"This morning's news of anti-Semitic vandalism against one of Irvine’s synagogues, along with reports of a recent incident at Irvine Valley College, are both enraging and unacceptable," Irvine Mayor Don Wagner said of the incident. "They will not go unchallenged by the good people of Irvine. An attack on anyone in Irvine of any faith is an attack on us all."...
The murders and vandalism come amid rising anti-Semitism under President Donald Trump, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In 2017, anti-Semitic incidents increased 57 percent, according to the organization. The 1,986 anti-Semitic events recorded last year represented the second-highest number in the ADL's almost four decades of tracking.
from CNN
A California synagogue was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti four days after Pittsburgh
Mayor Don Wagner said the vandalism and a similar anti-Semitic incident at Irvine Valley College are "enraging and unacceptable."
In early October, police found swastikas scrawled in the restrooms of the college, according to a local councilwoman.

from the LA Times:
Officials offer reward for tips leading to suspect in vandalism of Irvine synagogue
Glenn Roquemore, president of Irvine Valley College, promised to stay vocal against hate and violence across the country, adding that school officials recently discovered swastikas defacing restrooms on campus.

The OC Register also covered this but Rebel Girl can't get behind their paywall and refuses to renew her subscription until they stop giving white supremacists and their ilk a platform in their comments section.

Meanwhile in Florida in case anyone (anyone?) is interested in how misogynistic threats against women are manifested and carried out:

Gunman In Yoga Studio Attack Had A Criminal History, Posted Racist And Sexist Videos
The AP also reported that Beierle was banned from FSU's campus in 2014.... And one woman, Courtnee Connon, who told the Tallahassee Democrat that Beierle grabbed her buttocks in her dining hall at FSU in 2012, said she spoke with police but ultimately decided not to pursue charges against Beierle. Connon, who was 18 at the time of the incident, told the Democrat she was scared by the idea of going to court and unsure criminal charges would deter Beierle from assaulting women in the future.
Scott Paul Beierle
On Saturday, Buzzfeed News reported that Beierle had uploaded a series of racist and misogynist videos to YouTube in 2014, and that he had also posted songs on SoundCloud in the past few months. According to Buzzfeed News, a song posted shortly before Friday's shooting included the lyrics: "To hell with the boss that won't get off my back /To hell with the girl I can't get in the sack." Additionally, one of Beierle's YouTube videos reportedly expressed sympathy with Elliot Rodger, who went on a misogynist killing rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014.
All of Beierle's original videos were removed from YouTube after Buzzfeed News published its story, but a video posted to YouTube on Saturday appears to be a duplicate of one of Beierle's original video rants. In it, a man whose likeness matches the photo of Beierle released by the Tallahassee Police Department uses a racial slur to describe black people and goes on to list the reasons he despises them. It includes a section in which he called black women "ugly and disgusting."
The AP also reported that "a man who looks like Beierle" appeared in a series of videos posted to YouTube in 2014, and that in the videos he called women who date black men "whores," spoke of an "invasion" from Central America and ranted about women....
Miller could not confirm misogyny as a motive in this attack. But Beierle's online emphasis on romantic rejection — and his reference to Elliot Rodger — does call to mind the group of men on the Internet who term themselves "incels," which is short for "involuntarily celibate."
...In April, a man linked to the incel community plowed his van into a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people. In the aftermath of that attack, NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke with Arshy Mann, a Toronto-based reporter who covers incels and defines them as an "online subculture of young men who feel very frustrated with their sexual and romantic lives."
Be safe out there.

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