Commentaries Written By Tom Fuentes While a Student at Chapman University Unearthed!

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Next to a picture of Walt Disney and Walter Knott together, one of the most famous OC historical artifacts that may or may not exist is a newspaper clipping detailing something that former OC GOP head Tom Fuentes was involved in during his student years, something that dares not speak its name. That clip, if it does indeed exist, is in the bowels of some Orange County archive or other, or in the safe of current GOP boss Scott Baugh, so in the meanwhile Fuentes observers will have to content themselves with two op-ed pieces Fuentes wrote while a student at Chapman College (now University, and my alma mater) during the late 1960s showing that even then, Fuentes was a raging wacko.

Gracias, source, and cue the microfilm!

The first one appeared in the Nov. 15, 1968 issue of the Chapman Panther and dealt with a campus appearance by then state senator-forever wacko John G. Schmitz. Fuentes was already head-over-heels for Schmitz, who visited Chapman for a Young Republicans meeting to give a lecture on "The Crisis in California Higher Education." Fuentes was the conservative counterpoint to a liberal takedown of Schmitz's speech. In his piece headlined "One Reporter's 'Biased' Opinion About Reactionary State Senator J. Schmitz," Fuentes actually did a good job of just reporting the facts, and the facts alone, save for the part where he described Schmitz as a "solon," an antiquated term even then for a statesman, and one used only when trying to slather praise on someone.

Much more entertaining was something Fuentes wrote nearly a year later, in the Oct. 17, 1969 issue of the Panther. Fuentes took issue with Chaplain Bill Carpenter, who helped to organize an anti-Vietnam War protest at Chapman. "When I opened to the inside pages [of the Panther] and read all about the war Moratorium, I found exactly what you always find wherever you find doves...and I don't mean bird seed, either."

Tee-hee! Fuentes made a funny! He went on to call Carpenter the "number one radical instigator" at Chapman who promoted "every left-wing cause that comes along," among which was the grape strikers at Delano (isn't it nice to know that even then, Fuentes was a self-hating Mexican?) and demanded the college fire Carpenter. He also wasn't cool with protests in general, saying anyone who thought that academic freedom meant the ability to speak out against unpopular topics "precisely demonstrate[s] the total misuse and lack of understanding of the true concept of academic freedom that currently exists in leftist Academia."

Fuentes was biting the hand that was feeding him, though. Carpenter was a chaplain for the Disciples of Christ, the college that founded Chapman and was playing a much-bigger role in campus life then than it does today. In 1969, the church was starting to sour on the Vietnam War, going so far as to endorse granting amnesty to draft-dodgers in 1973. Fuentes, on the other hand, was a Catholic in the era of the reprehensible Cardinal James Francis McIntyre of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (the Diocese of Orange hadn't been formed yet), so asking Chapman to fire Carpenter was like asking the Catholic hierarchy to turn in pedophile priests to the police.

Any of you out there have old Fuentes clippings? Any of you have the Holy Grail? Send 'em along!

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6 comments
Rapscallion
Rapscallion

Your social security comment is completely off the point, but I expected that.  The point was--the whores you like want a cut.  Are you up for giving them their percentage?  Why? And I suppose you also know little about the fabulous wealth enjoyed by the Walton family.  Apparently, they are worth more than the bottom 40% of the country's population.  But hell, why should their employees be paid a fair wage with benefits? Please sleep easily in you Capitalistic Utopia,where every person has the ability to get paid properly for a hard day's labor.  The same people who don'tt get to go to legacy schools, who don't get propped up by the parents and have trust funds, who don't have massive student debt.  It's such a fair and balanced playing field. You are in favor of, and supporting, the very strata of wealth in this country that is fine with you and your family going down.  All they care about is more and more money, and they suckered you into attacking truck drivers and food pickers.  Look out for the gated communities and cities, like the one in Sandy Springs, Georgia.  It is our country's future if your folks have their way.  Maybe they'll let you wash a Bentley and you can brag about it later.

Rapscallion
Rapscallion

I can't resist going a bit off topic, but when you talk about getting greedy claws into a revenue stream, that's where we see the push to privatize Social Security.  The financial greedmeisters look at all that money going to the beneficiaries, and almost nothing paid to keep the system operationg.  It has to drive them mad knowing they can't suck out the massive fees they do from the 401k's and other instruments that you idolize.Your red herring about what union locals make, and what workers  vote for, is of no value to this discussion.  Per your admission, Walmart makes massive profits and can easily pay its workers living wages and provide benefits.  But why do so if it cuts into the owners' massive profits?  After all, there are islands and jets to buy, so screw the community at large.And, yes, the stock market is, by and large, a rich person's game.  The rich individuals and corporations own most of the stocks, and the little guy isn't part of the picture.  You can toss it up there to make the system appear fair, though, but if anyone's paying attention they'll see the game is rigged.Don't knock moving through the ranks--many are happy with a steady job in which they do a good job, make a decent wage and have some benefits and a middling pension.  There's nothing wrong with a nice middle class life, instead of fighting constatntly in the jungle of capitalistic greeed, which you apparrently take as a good thing.  It isn't for everyone, and it still doesn't negate the fact that wages need to be fairer than they are, and without collective bargaining there will be the justification for more and more cost cutting while the top percentile rakes in more and more.  So yes, grape pickers should be getting $20 an hour for the back braking labor it is.  Janitors and maids also deserve raises.  Someone who plays around with the stock amrket via high speed computer--not so much of value there, I think.So there you go--enjoy your hideous philosophy that supports the idea that honest, hard labor is of little to no value.  Sleep well!

Rapscallion
Rapscallion

That is a simplistic way of justifying the Walmartization of labor in this country.  Here's how it works without unions--and look to history as a guide.  (Consider coal miners, e.g.)  The industry exploits employees and hopes to turn them against each other.  All the while, the rank and file get lower and lower pay while profits soar.  But when collective bargaining arrives, then the workers have a united voice that gives them the power to demand a living wage and upon which a family can be supported.  This does not preclude anyone from advancing in the ranks, going into management, or starting their own business, which is more common that folks like you would like to think--because, above all else, let's demonize the unions with half truths and ad hominems while the workers continue to get screwed. When we had strong unions in this country, the middle class thrived.  Now with massive income inequality, and attitudes that support the further decline of the middle class--like, you know destroying the post secondary public education system in favor of for profit crap colleges--here we go, into thrid world status. Thanks!

Rapscallion
Rapscallion

Note how the very masses getting diddled by Repiblicans will vote against their interests.  All because the Republicans are patriotic Bible toters who will protect your guns.  In the meantime, here we go to third world status.

Rapscallion
Rapscallion

So then, if the workers feel they are getting screwed they have the right to organize and demand, collectively, a fair rate of pay, right? ( It's all so easy for you, from your living room behind your computer, to talk about how easy it is to quit a job and get another.)  But collectivization is one of the few methods of assuring fair pay. I bet you hate all of that, right?

Rapscallion
Rapscallion

So then a decent wage for a dard day's work picking grapes is a bad thing, is that what you're saying?

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