"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards." - Robert A. Heinlein

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Southwestern College Earns Prestigious Award from the Thomas Jefferson Center - the "Muzzle" Award!

Yes, folks, it is official. Our own little campus corner of the world has received one of the most perfectly representational awards that could be given us. The prestigious Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has awarded one of its ten annual "Muzzle" awards to "The Administration of Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California."

Please, oh please, use this link to check it out.

It takes a brain-dead administration to try to hide from this "honor" bestowed by a non-partisan organization affiliated with the University of Virginia. Having heard no rumbles of response from any member of the administration or board, we can assume they either haven't been informed yet, or they simply don't care.

I feel certain that we can assume that they know, which means that they don't care. Remember, this is an administration that, when confronted with the actual financial status of the school* basically used that first-grade response, "nuh-uh."

After watching President Raj K. Chopra, Vice-President Nick Alioto, and the board spend a couple semester stomping on the students' and professors' civil rights, it feels good to see them called out by the folks who actually keep tabs on situations like these. I feel delighted in knowing that we've drawn enough attention here that attention will remain focused on the college.

I have to admit it does give me a bit of a thrill to see myself name-checked in the award presentation; I'd be lying to say it didn't**. But that doesn't mean I agree with the way it was written. If anyone should have been mentioned, it should have been the four professors who were originally and illegally suspended - Andrew Rempt, Dinorah Guadiana-Costa, Janet Mazzarella, and Phil Lopez. These are the ones who were initially attacked by the administration, and they are the ones who should have been named.

As a final thought, let me suggest that every time you see one of our fair-and-balanced board members in public, or have an opportunity to say "hi" to a member of the administration, you take a moment to congratulate them on this huge honor. After all, it takes someone special to stand with previous winners like FEMA, the FCC, the Bush Administration, the MPAA, CBS, and the Texas Democratic Party.

Who knows? You might get even more out of them than "nuh-uh."


*Remember their statement, "The Worst Fiscal Crisis Evar!" being smacked aside by Phil Lopez's, "Thirteen million in the bank and we're making money!" argument? Yeah, we do, too.

**And does that photo over there look familiar? Does to me, too. But I like it over there just fine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wildflowers and the Anza-Borrego Desert

--Indigo Bush

[Click on any photo to link to this Picasa album - many more photos!]

Last weekend, my girl and I went out into the desert, looking for the blooming wildflowers and doing a big circuit through the Anza-Borrego Desert. We headed out Interstate 8 from San Diego to the bustling metropolis of Ocotillo. From there we headed north to Borrego Springs, and after dinner at Carlee's Place, we headed home.

--Engelmann's hedgehog flower

It wasn't enough. We went Sunday, too, taking the same route to Borrego Springs, and eating at Pablito's that night. We also headed home a slightly different direction, too. Instead of going out over the Yaqui Pass and through Julian, we took the S22 up the side of the mountain and through Ranchita and Santa Ysabel instead.

--Location north of Butterfield Ranch on S2 (San Diego County Route 2).

Need I add that it was a highly pleasant weekend? I thought not.

--Desert lily

[All photo credits? Me. Click on a photo to link to this Picasa album.]