Tuesday, July 31, 2007


More Questions

The San Francisco Bay Guardian article on the New College accreditation crisis quotes some scathing remarks by the higher education oversight agency WASC, including some pointed criticisms of the school's PHLUTE program. Oddly, in checking the New College of California website, the only mention of PHLUTE is on the financial aid application for 2007-2008, where PHLUTE is listed as an undergraduate program.

In fact, the only publicly available information we could locate on this controversial program was in a recent San Francisco Weekly story about PHLUTE students being stampeded by New College's academic vice president, Dr. Linda James Myers, into harassing students from the Activism and Social Change program who were protesting against the board of trustees for bringing the accreditation scandal on the school.

The issue of goon squads mustered by the Dean of Graduate Psychology aside, just what is this PHLUTE program anyway?

Monday, July 30, 2007


Black on Black

One of the more unsavory aspects of New College of California's many programs serving the underprivileged in the Bay Area, is the conscious predation on poor blacks by educated blacks. While most people are accustomed to thinking of black-on-black violence as something that only happens in the street, the reality is that it also happens in the classroom.

At New College of California, the most glaring examples of this type of abuse take place in the East Bay BA Completion program, the Graduate Psychology program, and the School of Law--where false hopes and true colors are now being horribly revealed.

While exploitation of desperate minorities by manipulators of social service funds and self-help programs is nothing new, it is somehow particularly distasteful when practiced by upper class blacks against those still struggling to get ahead. When it involves impoverishing them in order to finance a school built on defrauding the department of education, it is time for the U.S. Attorney to get involved.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Shell Games

Anticipating the lid will blow off the New College scandal any day now, concerned alumni would do well to focus on what they want to achieve and how to go about it. Weathering a major scandal is unsettling for anyone--staying on course requires steady nerves.

Given what we now know, there is every likelihood that events will soon overtake us; maintaining the unity we've built in the last two weeks and continuing to demand a full accounting of the trustees' breach of trust is essential to our success in democratizing our alma mater.

We're not falling for any more shell games.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Usual Suspects

WASC Annual Report
New College of California

Chief Executive Officer
Martin Hamilton
(415) 716-9756
FAX 626-5171

Chief Administrative Officer
Bob Brown

Board Chair
Cathrine Sneed
(650) 266-9513

Chief Academic Officer
Michael McAvoy
(415) 437-3465
FAX 437-3470

Accreditation Liaison Officer
Mitch Hall
(415) 437-3474
FAX 626-5171

Student Grievances
Marjorie Paul
(415) 437-3404

Faculty and Staff Grievances
Carol Small
(415) 716-9218

Friday, July 27, 2007


Fresh Air

One of the more repugnant facets of the New College of California scandal -- and there are many -- is the sociopathic socialist syndrome. Armchair, ivory tower, Che Guevara wannabes. But unlike the South American icon of liberation, the tyrants running New College actually exploit the poor and underprivileged in order to finance their glorious revolution. As they are often overheard to say, "We're part of something bigger than ourselves."

Unfortunately, being part of the student body of the school also means being indoctrinated in political and religious dogma intolerant of other ideas, viewpoints, or genuine scholarly pursuit. There are, of course, exceptions, but the overall tenor of the place fits this mode.

For those who are attempting to get their minds around the incongruous rhetoric and behavior of the vain vanguard at New College, it is perhaps useful to realize they have transformed their fantasies into an alternate reality of their own making--a reality that does real people real harm. Indeed, the revolutionaries have been breathing their own exhaust for so long, they now think it's fresh air.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Siege at New College Continues

Continuing their conscious predation on unsuspecting young people, New College of California Director of Admissions Marjorie Paul was joined last evening by the school's recently hired hit man, Greg Tanaka, and New College president Martin Hamilton at a School of Humanities open house for prospective students. To their chagrin, enrolled students provided information packets to the yet-to-be-fleeced detailing the current crisis brought on by financial and academic fraud perpetrated by the trustees over the last two decades. Concerned alumnae were on hand to witness the ongoing, even escalating deception by the school administrators, as well as the intimidating misbehavior of consultant Tanaka and associate registrar Craig Rasmussen toward two alumnae moms in the school cafe.

The siege continues.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Time to Make Amends

When I arrived for orientation as a New College
student in January 2001, I was given a student manual.
In the manual, it mentioned student representatives
could meet with the full faculty each month to bring
student body concerns to them for discussion. I
inquired with the designated administrator, Marjorie
Paul, about how I might become a representative, and
was told that function was being deleted from the

Later, when programs were being arbitrarily dropped,
classes canceled without notice, or relocated from one
campus to another, I and other students sent a letter
to the trustees requesting a meeting to discuss the
mismanagement of the school. We were ignored.

When student loan and work/study checks started
bouncing, I figured the place was falling apart, but
was told by long-time employees it was always that
way. Later I heard the chair of the Board of Trustees,
Cathrine Sneed, on KPFA saying the school gives away
degrees to felons in San Quentin for life experience,
and I told her and President Hamilton I thought they
were an embarassment.

In 2002, I developed a formal proposal for what became
the Activism and Social Change program, and showed it
to Dean McAvoy, who then ascribed his name to it
without giving me credit.

Since leaving the school in 2002, I became briefly
involved with the alumni association, but realized it
was just another manipulated farce intended to deceive
WASC, and it quickly fizzled. Again, Marjorie Paul was
in charge of it, but she is probably just the point
person for Hamilton to make sure alumni -- like
students -- don't actually become involved in creating
a functional institution that might rid itself of
bureaucrats that have become obstacles rather than
avenues to social change.

As the flagship of the Bay Area moral theatrics
industry, New College's demise will likely be a messy
affair, with scandal following revelation following
resignation following firings and so on. What
interests me, though, is resurrecting something from
the ashes that actually serves the purposes the
trustees have betrayed. Maybe that will be a
reorganized New College after the present leadership
is purged in its entirety. Maybe that will be
something entirely new.

They have let us down, and it is now time for them to
make amends--not more empty promises.

--Jay Taber

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Warning Sign

In this post from last September, we addressed the fundamental lack of respect by progressive organizations in their day-to-day relations with other human beings--especially with those they profess to concern themselves with. As a symptom of a commodified culture, the prognosis for social reform is indeed dire. As a warning sign of social disintegration, this is an alarming example of impending collapse.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Perils of Piety

The deeper we dig into the abuse of power by the current New College of California Board of Trustees, the more it appears that what initially seemed like willful misfeasance was in fact a calculated corruption. By purposely positioning themselves to take advantage of low-income minorities and poorly-performing students -- now saddled with loans they'll never repay -- the trustees are guilty of more than just delusions of grandeur. Premeditated, systematic predation -- consciously planned, marketed, and executed -- is potentially actionable.

The fact the trustees might have internalized the fraud because it was perpetrated for so long is no excuse--even if they actually came to believe the lies they themselves were telling. The day of reckoning is upon us.


A Hostile Act

In this article at Indian Country Today, the predations of privatized education are exposed for what they are -- yet another means of "fleecing the poor." Naming the usual suspects benefitting from this unconscionable project of the free market, the federal No Child Left Behind program is revealed for what it is -- a hostile act of "government-funded assimilation into white, middle-class culture."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Slaves Revolt

As Public Good's Paul de Armond once remarked, anti-democratic behavior is not solely the province of the Far Right. Indeed, as was noted in this post at Friends, it can even infect the domain of the Far Left (or pseudo left), including the Bay Area flagship of the moral theatrics industry--New College of California. Whether or not the dog faces can oust the showboats from this institution of higher learning remains to be seen, but for now, this is what democracy looks like.

Update: Facing the outrage of students and faculty, half of the New College Board of Trustees resign.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


On the Horizon

Social Research, an international quarterly of the social sciences, has some interesting forthcoming issues. We at Skookum are particularly looking forward to next winter when the topic of collective memory and collective identity is examined. As hosts of Continuity, we are also excited about the spring 2008 issue which plans to address the subject of fraud--a phenomenon so pervasive in American culture it almost seems to define it.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Moving Beyond Colonialism

Lummi host historic League of Nations to discuss treaty-making between indigenous nations.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Celebrating Supremacy

Four centuries ago, my ancestor Eoghan Rua Ua Niall (Owen Roe O'Neal) led the native Irish against the Scottish covenanters brought in by the English to settle lands taken from rebellious chieftains like Eoghan's father Art and grandfather Sean in Tir Eoghan (Land of Owen)--now County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Earlier today, descendants of the covenanters conducted their annual marches and bonfires in Northern Ireland in celebration of their English-supported heritage of dominion over the indigenous Irish.

Reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan marches in Mississippi, these fundamentalist religious occasions celebrating another form of supremacy have no purpose other than to bolster an identity built on violent deprivation of civil rights and human dignity. These arrogant displays no longer have a legitimate place in the American South; they should be discontinued in the Irish North as well.

Fortunately, the Irish have showed considerable restraint since the Good Friday Agreement in not allowing themselves to be provoked by the taunts of drum-beating parades by Scottish settlers through Irish neighborhoods in recent years. Still, if the ruling English truly wanted to maintain peace in Ulster, these provocative displays would be banned.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Playing Charade

For Americans who want to exercise their responsibilities as citizens or as human beings, there really are very few opportunities to do so effectively without taking enormous risks way out of proportion to what they are capable of handling. You see them repeatedly attempting to assuage their frustrations with this state of affairs by donating money to philanthropies, but the sad truth is that these are merely another form of chanelling dissent controlled by the individuals and institutions that cause all the problems in the first place.

Giving to MoveOn or becoming a Soros baby is an act of acquiescing to this brutal system; trying to actually change that system makes one an outsider--marginalized to the land of no resources.

Until a sufficient number recognize the charade for what it is, and begin helping and funding resistance rather than reform, nothing substantive will change. There are those willing to take large risks, but they cannot endure without backing from those who lack the courage.

Fortunately it isn't all that difficult to find them once one realizes that mainstream philanthropy is a farce. The real fighters are the ones demonized by the market and the media daily; I could probably pick up any local newspaper and tell you where your money would be well-spent and where it would just go down the drain.

How hard is that?

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Undue Influence

On the recommendation of Harpers columnist Ken Silverstein, we recently read (and enjoyed) David Ignatius' novel Agents of Innocence, a story of the experience of the CIA Beirut station in the 1970s. One of the more interesting aspects of this tale of intrigue, in our opinion, is the description of revolving relationships between agents, operators, managers, planners, and provocateurs. It reminded us in many respects of our own experience in uncovering the layers of cut-outs involved in building the Wise Use Movement in the US, a domestic criminal enterprise invented by industry lobbyists in the 1980s.

While some of the Wise Use operatives in government -- Watt, Norton, Cheney, et al -- are known for such felonies as money-laundering and obstruction of justice, it is rare to read an accurate and coherent overview of their network--especially one that includes an analysis of how they incorporate grassroots fronts, militias, and other vectors of violence into their overall structure of political control.

Lately, with news of fraud, extortion, and conversion of funds exposed in US Department of Interior scandals that lead to the Vice President's office, it seemed like an opportune time to recount how these people obtained such undue influence. We hope some of you'll take the time to review some of our articles and reports on this topic.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Hillary Peabody and the Indians

Following the Wampum exposes where the DLC's heart is.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Dreaming Renewal

Vision of generosity heals both ways.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?