Friday, January 08, 2016

COD's 'Boycott Three' becomes 'Bizarro Three' boycotting own meeting

The glimmer of hope that the three boycotting College of DuPage Board members, Erin Birt, Dianne McGuire and Joe Wozniak (the Boycott Three), would show up for work to help the College of DuPage grapple with its unprecedented two year probation, and simply function operationally, were dashed Thursday when we concerned DuPage residents were greeted by their three empty chairs. What is astonishing about their collectively orchestrated work strike was their boycotting their own special meeting they called for after boycotting the December 17 meeting, the first called since the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) put College of DuPage on academic probation. By denying the Board a quorum, no college bills were approved, including one to hire a consulting firm to provide ethics training to correct ethics violations cited in COD's probationary status. Three new academic programs languished in limbo and no action was taken to select a new member to fill the seventh Board member vacancy.
What we did see at the meeting was a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the issues and urgency surrounding efforts to address COD's probationary status. A February, 2017, deadline was set to address every facet of the HLC list of problems that must be addressed, so HLC will have sufficient time to assess them prior to the November, 2017, deadline for COD to keep its accreditation.Trustee McGuire, spokesman for the newly named 'Bizarro Three' called the continuing boycott as necessary due to their meeting being "hijacked" by Vice Chair and duly authorized (by COD counsel and now the Illinois Community College Board) Acting Chair Deanne Mazzochi. This is their true priority, pretending that Mazzochi has no standing to lead a divided Board.
When they were part of a six member majority, the Bizarro Three enabled or ignored every anti faculty, anti student and innumerable financial and ethical deficiencies that placed COD on probation. They even castigated and censored the sole member who called out the mis-governance and led the reform movement which has swept away every visage of poor COD governance. Correct that: all but one vestige, the three remaining holdovers, Birt, McGuire an Wozniak, who not only opposed every reform measure when they attended as a minority, but now boycott like infants when given the power to deny the college and the community a quorum.
The patience of the COD community is wearing thin as evidenced by all but one public comment speakers yesterday. The Bizarro Three's supporters are few and dwindling. Many community folks are calling for their resignation, or even the more drastic removal from pubic office. There is a better way forward for them: show up for work and do your job leading COD out of the probationary pit for which you bear much responsibility. They would be wise to consider Woody Allen's adage on success that "85% of life is showing up." When your show up rate is 0%, chances of success are about the same.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

More than art endures

An unidentified US soldier was killed and two wounded yesterday in Afghanistan. It was the first US death this year and the 26th since combat operations were officially ended on December 31, 2014. With recent US statements that our 'trainers and advisers' may get involved in firefights as the Afghan military continues to stumble against a rejuvenated Taliban, expect more US military deaths in 2016. To paraphrase the great adage about art, 'All things pass, only war endures.'

Wheaton College will win battle, lose spiritual war

"I will not send my kids to Wheaton College because I do not want my kids insulated in a Christian bubble that discourages open discourse and squashes controversial ideas out of fear. I do not want my kids shielded from voices that represent the diversity of the Christian community."
Those words are from the mother of a teen considering attending Wheaton College after a campus tour by Professor Larycia Hawkins, who now faces termination from her tenured political science position for expressing solidarity with the Muslim community. College officials claim statements such as these violate the Statement of Faith all Wheaton College faculty must not only sign, but must adhere to under intense scrutiny of ideological purists governing Wheaton College.
In proceeding with their termination inquiry, eerily reminiscent of the Marxist ideologues questioning the faith of communist party members adherence to communist dogma, Wheaton College flunks the true Christian mission: promoting love and understanding among all peoples. Hawkins' expression of Christian love is the very balm needed from authority figures to address the widening gulf between peoples and religions fueling escalating hate and violence worldwide. Wheaton College ignores interfaith understanding to remain true to its sole mission: keeping its pretend God immune from any ideological cracks from within the college community.
The college will surely surely win its show trial of Professor Hawkins. In so doing, they ensure defeat in the spiritual war for human progress.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Tools on the shop floor inspired Ford's $5 a day minimum

A hundred two years ago today Henry Ford raised his employees minimum wage to $5 a day for 8 hours work. The day before those employees got $2.34 for nine hours. Local manufacturers went berserk, crying Ford would drive them all to bankruptcy including Ford. The opposite happened and the rest should have been history...except today's vulture capitalists are resisting efforts to treat minimum wage workers with the dignity Ford treated his in 1914.
Ford explained his move in simple words that bear repeating:
“We increased the buying power of our own people, and they increased the buying power of other people, and so on and on. It is this thought of enlarging buying power by paying high wages and selling at low prices that is behind the prosperity of this country. If the floor sweeper’s heart is in his job he can save us five dollars a day by picking up small tools instead of sweeping them out.”

Monday, January 04, 2016

Ally's 47 executions provokes big yawn from Uncle Sam

The Shi'ite half of the civil war in the Middle East is rightly stirred up by the mass 47 person execution in Sunni ruled Saudi Arabia, including top Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. What cost al-Nimr his noggin in the world's head-chopping captial? Nimr was detained in 2012 for organizing a protest demanding an end to discrimination against the Shi’ite minority in Saudi Arabia. He was tried for “disobeying the ruler” and “inciting sectarian strife,” based on sermons he gave. His killing provoked the Shi'ite majority in Iran to trash the Saudi embassy, leading to severed relations between the two regional giants. Shi'ite dominated Iraq may soon close the newly opened Saudi embassy in Baghdad as well. And Uncle Sam's response? Not willing to upset their best foreign customer for weapons of human destruction - over $80 billion since 2001 - someone at State opened the door at 3:00 AM to whisper that the US has "deep concerns" about so many heads flopping around on Saudi soil. We shouldn't be surprised by the American response. We're just following the time honored capitalist adage: "The customer is always right."

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Gitmo's gourmet grub served...up your nose

Surely one of the worst jobs in the US military is serving dinner to Tariq Ba Odah at our Guantanamo prison for suspected terrorists. Instead of white tablecloth dining, it's white feeding tube cuisine, excruciatingly inserted into Ba Odah's schnozzola twice a day, in contravention of the United Nations Human Rights Commission's banning it as torture. Ba Odah gets it Uncle Sam's Way because he's been on a hunger strike for the last nine years of his inhumane 14 year incarceration; and a starvation death doesn't serve Uncle's interests. But at 75 lbs, Ba Odah may not make it out of America's Devil Island no matter how many liquid calories are pumped in. Ba Odah is one of 107 unfortunates still languishing in America's Gulag at Guantanamo, most of whom having been swept up for being in an American criminal war zone, practicing the wrong religion and sold to Uncle Sam by their captors. Like 47 of the other 106 detainees, Ba Odah has been cleared for release, six years ago in his case, but a combination of congressional and Pentagon Islamophobes refuse to go along with President Obama's seven year quest to end this nightmare cursing the American Experiment. Ba Odah is not one of 17 detainees scheduled to be released this month and Obama shouldn't bet the Nobel Peace Prize on even that happening. Guantanamo deadlines are often ignored by folks still seeking revenge for conduct the 107 detainees had nothing to do with. If Ba Odah does get out, however, he won't have to turn his nose up at another meal ever again.