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Arianna Huffington: MIDDLE-CLASS WOE pg 10

Arthur Brooks: AMERICA’S CHOICE pg 17

Reza Aslan: MUSLIM CULTURE pg 20

Dr. Gloria Duffy on WIKILEAKING pg 62

Commonwealth The

THE MAGAZINE OF THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB OF CALIFORNIA

February/March 2011

Timothy Geithner

Repairing the Economy $2.50; free for members commonwealthclub.org


The Commonwealth Club of California’s

108th Anniversary and 23rd Annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner

March 15, 2011 – Palace Hotel, San Francisco Distinguished Honorees Include: Mary B. Cranston Firm Senior Partner and Immediate Past Chair, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Janet W. Lamkin President, Bank of America California The Honorable Tad Taube President, Koret Foundation; Chairman, Taube Philanthropies and Chairman and Founder, Woodmont Companies

Dinner Chairs: Maryles Casto & Brian D. Riley

For more information call (415) 869-5909 or visit commonwealthclub.org/annualdinner

“A Room with Views”

featuring Table conversations with the Bay Area’s most interesting people! Bishop Marc Andrus, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of California • Alison Barakat, Bakesale Betty • Willie L. Brown, Jr., Former Mayor, City and County of San Francisco • Belva Davis, Journalist • Lloyd H. Dean, President and CEO, Catholic Healthcare West • Alex Filippenko, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley • George Gascón, District Attorney, City and County of San Francisco • Violet Grgich, Co-proprietor, Grgich Hills Estate • Kirk O. Hanson, Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University • Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Fire Department • Sandra R. Hernández, M.D., CEO, The San Francisco Foundation • Michael Krasny, Ph.D., Host, Forum, KQED • Lois Lehrman, Publisher, The Nob Hill Gazette • Cindy McCullagh, Director, Public Affairs, Shorenstein Company • Sally Osberg, President and CEO, Skoll Foundation • Ronn Owens, San Francisco Bay Area Talk Show Host, KGO Radio • Dr. Joel Parrott, Executive Director, Oakland Zoo • Sally C. Pipes, President and CEO, Pacific Research Institute • Jean Quan, Oakland Mayor • Paul Saffo, Managing Director of Foresight, Discern Analytics • The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, Dean, Grace Cathedral • Patricia Splinter, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, VantagePoint Venture Partners • Kevin Starr, Ph.D., State Librarian Emeritus; University Professor and Professor of History, University of Southern California • Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Golf Course Designer


The

Inside Commonwealth Vo lu m e 1 0 5 , N O . 0 2

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Middle-Class Dilemma “Right now you have 100 million Americans who are worse off than their parents were at this similar age. You have two-thirds of Americans who said in a recent survey that they expect their children to be worse off than they are.” –Arianna Huffington

Photo by Amanda Leung

Features

Departments

Events

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31 Program Information 32 Eight Weeks Calendar

14 L.A. Story Author James Ellroy describes his work

17 Earned Success and Happiness

Arthur Brooks on the pursuit of happiness

20 Cultural Exchange Reza Aslan leads a panel on cultural lessons from Islam

29 The Economic Imperative of Preventive Measures

Thomas Frieden on prevention

52 Tales of the Sea

Editor’s Note Dinner Party

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Events from February 1 to April 15, 2011

The Commons Kiva.org’s Premal Shah, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and more

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58 Annual Report Highlights from your Club in 2009-2010

62 InSight

Programs by Region Program Listings Late-breaking Events Language Classes

About Our Cover: U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explained the administration’s strategy for expanding the recovery. Photo by William F. Adams.

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy Wikileaker Is No Hero

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Simon Winchester unlocks the Atlantic Ocean’s secrets

55 High-Tech Health Care Aneesh Chopra on technology and the nation’s health services F eb r ua ry/Ma r ch 2011

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Photo by Sonya Abrams

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explains

Photo by Ed Ritger

The Recovery: Part II


Commonwealth The

Business & EDITORIAL offices

Editor’s Note Dinner Party

The Commonwealth 595 Market St., 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94131 feedback@commonwealthclub.org

John Zipperer

VP, MEDIA & EDITORIAL

Vice President, Media & Editorial Photo by d-line / Flickr

John Zipperer

SENIOR Editor Sonya Abrams

ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR Steven Fromtling

Editorial Intern Sally Schilling

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS William F. Adams Ed Ritger

Beth Byrne

follow us online commonwealthclub.org/facebook

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twitter.com/cwclub commonwealthclub.blogspot.com commonwealthclub.org

The Commonwealth (ISSN 0010-3349) is published bimonthly (6 times a year) by The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2805. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID at San Francisco, CA. Subscription rate $34 per year included in annual membership dues. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Commonwealth, The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2805. Printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Copyright © 2011 The Commonwealth Club of California. Tel: (415) 597-6700 Fax: (415) 597-6729 E-mail: feedback@commonwealthclub.org EDITORIAL POLICY FOR PROGRAM TRANSCRIPTS: The Commonwealth magazine seeks to cover a range of programs in each issue. Program transcripts and question and answer sessions are routinely condensed due to space limitations. Hear full-length recordings of events online at commonwealthclub.org/archive or contact Club offices to order a compact disc.

ADVERtising information Mary Beth Cerjan Development Manager (415) 869-5919 mbcerjan@commonwealthclub.org

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f you could sit down for dinner with eight interesting people, who would they be? No doubt, you’ve played that mental game in the past, drawing up your list of people you thought would be the most fascinating people to talk with during a good meal. You could do a lot worse than choosing the eight people featured in this issue: Timothy Geithner, Arianna Huffington, Reza Aslan, James Ellroy, Arthur Brooks, Simon Winchester, Aneesh Chopra and Thomas Frieden. Politics, economics, literature, history, crime, health care. There would be lots to discuss with these people. It is always a great dinner party when there are several interesting discussions occurring at any given time. It’s also what I like to think of as the basis for a good issue of The Commonwealth. Open up any article, and you should be able to find someone talking intelligently about important and/or provocative things. By the way, having a great dinner with fascinating people is also the theme of the Club’s 23rd Annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner, our biggest fundraiser of the year. Called “A Room with Views,” the March 15 event at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel will feature some of the Bay Area’s most interesting people leading conversations at the dinner tables. See the inside front cover of this magazine for details, or get the latest information online at commonwealthclub.org/annualdinner. if you can pull yourself away from the dinner table long enough, might I suggest you visit the Club in some other media formats? Those of you who live in the neighborhoods of San Francisco where Northside magazine is distributed can read the Club’s column each month. It’s called Common Knowledge, and it ties together recent or upcoming Club speakers with topics in the news. If you don’t get Northside delivered to your home, you can read it online (at northsidesf.com). I am also pleased to let you know that we have been hard at work redesigning and rebuilding our entire web site. We partnered with Pyramid Communications to make a web site that is easier to use, more pleasant to look at, and allows us to put front-andcenter more of the great information and resources we have available, such as our popular video and social media efforts. I’ve seen the new look, and I think you’ll be pleased with the features and functionality of the new site. Look for it to launch in the near future. The site’s address will be the same – commonwealthclub.org – but the experience will be very different and, we think, much better.

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Commons

Talk of the Club

Photo courtesy of Kristina Nemeth

The Club’s Latest Hall-of-Famer Ray Taliaferro recognized for long track record of talk radio

On the Road Day trips become popular

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he Club’s travel program has led people around the world for years, but shorter one- or two-day trips to nearby locales have grown in popularity. One such trip, a visit to Pasadena in 2010, included what is probably the first Club session being held in a living room, when Bay Gourmet forum chair Cathy Curtis convened a meeting in the home of some famed Los Angeles-area caterers. But whether it’s a boat trip to the Farallon Islands (see photo, above) or a visit to an organic farm, the trips have become popular ways to meet other members and see interesting places inexpensively.

Holiday Partiers Ending 2010 on a high note

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n December, we tested the limits of how many hundreds of people could fit into The Club’s library and main auditorium during our holiday New Members Reception. Everyone who showed up was treated to delicious food and drink from featured sponsor Aroma Restaurant and Catering, as well as GPS Connections, Quady Winery, Organo Gold Coffee, Maui Wowi Smoothies, Sonoma-Artisan Foie Gras, Hansen’s Soda, Honest Tea and Numi Tea. After the food was gone and the dust had cleared, the ranks of Club members had grown by 80. Not a bad end to the year.

Giving Us a Piece of Their Minds Inforum speaks up on “7Live”

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he Club’s Inforum members are never shy about sharing their views, as anyone knows who has heard the lively question-and-answer sessions during Inforum events. I n O c t o b e r, a group of Inforum members took to a new stage to air their opinions. They served as the in-studio “Voice Box” audience for “7Live,” a new current affairs program on San Francisco’s Channel 7 (ABC affiliate KGO TV). The show’s motto is “TV with attitude,” and

it features a punchy tour of the day’s news, with comments from host Brian Copeland. Then Copeland asks pointed questions of audience members about the news events, adding their opinions to the mix. The topics discussed during Inforum’s visit included Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor, a hate crime on the East Coast, and investing in Facebook. “Our Inforum members are witty and charming – it was a blast to watch them voice their opinions on live TV,“ said Inforum Director Caroline Moriarty Sacks, who was part of the Voice Box audience. “7Live” airs at 3:00 p.m. weekdays.

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Photo by Beth Byrne

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our decades on the air, including a quarter century as an early morning political talk star, has earned Bay Area broadcaster Ray Taliaferro a place in the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in late January. One of the first black broadcasters to host a talk show in a major U.S. media market, Taliaferro is now heard weekdays on his morning program “The Early Show” on KGO News Talk 810. In addition to his radio program, Taliaferro has moderated numerous Commonwealth Club programs over the years, and in fact he will be moderating the February 10 program featuring another pioneering black journalist, Belva Davis. A former member of The Club’s Board of Governors, he currently serves on its Advisory Board. Taliaferro’s fellow inductees at the ceremony include Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and MSNBC, Chicago news veteran Merri Dee, Washington, D.C.’s, JC Hayward, and a posthumous recognition for the late “60 Minutes” journalist Ed Bradley.


Photo by Beth Byrne

Fast Forward Premal Shah President, Kiva Former PayPal executive Shah, who spoke at The Club December 8, believes technology can expand the reach of microfinance at home and abroad. THE COMMONWEALTH: How would you describe Kiva? PREMAL SHAH: Kiva is a web site run by a nonprofit in San Francisco. You can sift through profiles of low-income entrepreneurs around the planet. Say a woman in Uganda wants to buy a cow to start a dairy business; you can make a loan in $25 COMMONWEALTH: Do the lenders ever Over the next year, they [tend to] add two increments to help support that business. feel any sense of ownership or kinship with to three loans from around the planet. Once she gets that loan, buys the cow the borrowers beyond just the transaction? COMMONWEALTH: Today I learned and then actually starts that dairy business, Do you ever have any problems with want- that the girlfriend of a former colleague over a period of usually one year she’ll start ing to rein them in and say, “No, look at here at The Commonwealth Club is now in paying back that loan. When you get your some other borrowers, too?” Africa, working for Kiva. How much does money back, you can choose to re-lend that SHAH: One of the most interesting things Kiva rely on that young spirit of going out money to somebody else – so that there and, I assume, not really making “The average person might dip a lot of money? $25 now can help someone maybe in Cambodia – or you can pull that their toe in with $25 or $50. Then SHAH: No, these are all volunteers. money out of the system. Kiva’s model, similar to Wikipedia’s when people realize how easy it model, is largely volunteer-run. For Kiva’s this interesting new model is, it becomes rather addictive.” every one staff member, we have about of combining the Internet and microfinance. It’s not a donation, but 10 volunteers. We don’t have a big it’s not exactly a commercial investment. It’s that’s happened in Kiva’s history is that we budget; we’re a nonprofit. something in between. It’s a way for you to launched [a lending program] in the United That’s the difference between PayPal and connect with someone across the planet to States. It gave lenders the opportunity to Kiva. PayPal had a lot of investors. [With] help alleviate poverty. help somebody locally, not just abroad. Kiva, no one’s going to make a profit [as COMMONWEALTH: You said “$25 COMMONWEALTH: Is there a diversion an investor]. But because no one’s going to increments,” so obviously it’s a low-level of [investment] to local things rather than make a profit, you see people who are inentry for someone to get involved. What’s international, or does that even matter? spired to help out in whatever way they can. a typical amount of money at which people SHAH: The great thing about Kiva is We see people who volunteer to translate get involved? Do they first dip their toes in that it’s a marketplace, almost like eBay, profiles that are uploaded from Honduras and later add more, not just recycle what if you will. You have the choice. If we put from Spanish to English; we see people who they already have in there? up people [on the web site] in the United have quit their job for three months and go SHAH: That’s what we’re seeing. The aver- States, will it cannibalize money that goes out to West Africa and work with a local age person might dip their toe in with $25 to the developing world? What we’ve seen organization [on] accounting systems and or $50, and then put in as much as seven is actually the opposite. management information systems. Perhaps figures into the system. Like anything, you [In American philanthropy,] 98 percent more than just the financial capital in Kiva, want to inch your way into it and figure of American giving is domestic; only 2 there’s this whole human capital element out, “Is this real? Does this really work?” percent is abroad. There are a lot of people that we’re beginning to see that’s really cool. Then, when people realize how easy it is, it who really won’t engage with Kiva and make Interview by John Zipperer. becomes rather addictive. a loan until there’s a domestic opportunity.

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Club Leadership

First Word Rosalynn Carter

OFFICERS of The Commonwealth Club of California Board Chair Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman Vice Chair Maryles Casto Secretary William F. Adams Treasurer Anna W. M. Mok President and CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy

Former First Lady of the United States; Author, Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis Excerpt from “Ending the Mental Health Crisis” on August 13

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BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Photo by Sonya Abrams

n the White House, I had a president’s commission, which [Jimmy] announced within a month after he was inaugurated. We worked really hard for four years. We held public hearings across the country, we analyzed the problems in depth. We made important recommendations about how to improve our mental health system and developed legislation. In October of 1980, we got the Mental Health Systems Act passed and financed. It was one of the most exciting days of my life, when it went through Congress, and we celebrated. Unfortunately, the celebration didn’t last very long – that was October, and in November, Jimmy was, as he says, involuntarily retired from the White House – and the next president abandoned my mental health legislation. It was one of the biggest disappointments of my life. [My legislation] was not perfect, but it could have made a considerable difference. When President [George W.] Bush had a president’s commission, that commission concluded in 2002 that the mental health system in the United States is in a shamble and there is no way to fix it, we have to start over and transform the system. When we look at the recommendations, they were almost the same thing that we recommended in 1978 – it is so sad – like filling gaps for children and for elderly citizens, correcting the shortage of trained mental-health professionals, providing adequate support services for those suffering from serious mental illnesses. See what we could have done if that legislation had taken effect? During the past two decades, we’ve learned so much about the brain and the power of individuals to recover, even from major mental illnesses. We have excellent knowledge of effective treatments and good models for delivering them. We have early intervention strategies to prevent more serious problems later in life. We are even beginning to understand how to promote resiliency in children at risk and those struggling with the most serious disorders, teaching them to be able to meet adversity and to live good lives and not let it affect them all of their life. Ω

Massey J. Bambara Ralph Baxter Hon. Shirley Temple Black* John L. Boland J. Dennis Bonney* Helen A. Burt John Busterud* Michael Carr Hon. Ming Chin* Jack Cortis Mary B. Cranston** Dr. Kerry P. Curtis Dr. Jaleh Daie Evelyn S. Dilsaver Timothy C. Draper Lee J. Dutra Joseph I. Epstein* Rolando Esteverena Jeffrey A. Farber Dr. Joseph R. Fink* Dr. Carol A. Fleming, Ph.D. Karen C. Francis Lisa Frazier William German* Dr. Charles Geschke Rose Guilbault** Jacquelyn Hadley Edie G. Heilman Eugene Herson* Hon. James C. Hormel Mary Huss Claude B. Hutchison Jr.* Dr. Julius Krevans*

Lata Krishnan Hon. L. W. Lane, Jr. Don J. McGrath Jill Nash Richard Otter* Joseph Perrelli* Hon. Barbara Pivnicka Hon. Richard Pivnicka Fr. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. Dan C. Quigley Toni Rembe* Victor A. Revenko* Skip Rhodes* Dr. Condoleezza Rice Fred A. Rodriguez Renée Rubin* Robert Saldich** Joseph W. Saunders Connie Shapiro* Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Valari D. Staab James Strother Hon. Tad Taube L. Jay Tenenbaum Charles Travers Thomas Vertin Robert Walker Nelson Weller* Judith Wilbur* Dr. Colleen B. Wilcox Dennis Wu* Russell M. Yarrow * Past President ** Past Chair

ADVISORY BOARD Karin Helene Bauer Hon. William Bradley Dennise M. Carter Steven Falk Amy Gershoni Richard N. Goldman

Heather M. Kitchen Amy McCombs Hon. William J. Perry Ray Taliaferro Nancy Thompson

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Illustration by Steven Fromtling

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With the recovery lagging, the Obama administration’s taking political fire from Left and Right. Taking the hotseat, the Treasury secretary defends the government’s economic plans and talks about its many priorities. Excerpt from “Timothy Geithner,” October 18, 2010. Timothy Geithner U.S. Treasury Secretary

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hanks to all of you for coming. Let me just start by complimenting The Commonwealth Club. I greatly admire you, all of you in organizations like this across the country that are working to improve the quality of public debate in America about the basic policy choices we face. We need more of that. My compliments to you for doing that. I’m going to start by saying a few things about the economy and the priorities ahead and then we’ll have a conversation. I want to look past this political moment a little bit and just start by giving you my sense of where the economy is now and what are the main challenges ahead, and what should we be doing about those basic challenges. The economy is definitely healing. We’re making some progress in repairing the damage caused by the crisis, but it’s still a very tough economy. You can see in housing, if you’re in the construction industry. If you’re a small bank in some parts of the country, [or] you’re a small business trying to get credit, it’s still very hard. And the scars of this crisis were very damaging in terms of people’s basic confidence. You see across the country today people still uncertain about how strong will the economy be going forward, and is Washington up to the challenges facing the country? But we are growing. We’ve now been growing for more than a year and a half, or a little more than a year. Private-sector job growth started in this recovery earlier than it did in the past two recoveries. So people are gradually putting people back to work. Private investment, which is in some ways one of the most fundamental measures of strength we have for an economy coming out of crisis, has been really quite strong. It grew at a rate greater than 20 percent at an annual rate, at the first half of the year [in 2010]. It’s slowed a little bit since then, but still we think growing roughly 10 percent. Exports have been quite strong. Manufacturing, industrial production came back really quite strong.

And you’re seeing the U.S. economy go through the difficult but very necessary changes to heal the damage caused by a crisis like this. Households had a negative savings rate. They were spending more than they were earning before the crisis, but private savings now are significantly higher, something in the range of 4 to 6 percent of income, which is a very important, encouraging development. People are bringing down their debt burden, this is a share of income, and that has this character of making the economy feel weaker than it actually is, but that weakness masks things that are encouraging about growth in the future. Because financial crises are caused fundamentally by people living beyond their means, by an excess buildup of debt, and to come out of a crisis like that you have to go through this process of reducing leverage in the financial system and people going back to the point where they’re living within their own means, and we’re through that process now. And I believe most of the adjustment we face as a country – in real estate, in the financial sector – is largely behind us now, and I think that’s reassuring and comforting.

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he question though, is what can we do to make growth stronger, bring down the unemployment rate more rapidly, and improve the odds that we are coming out of this crisis stronger, not weaker, in the future? I want to just list what we believe are the most important things the government should be doing next. By far, in a way, the most important challenge is to find ways to make sure that we are strengthening economic growth in the near-term. That’s the best way to make sure we get jobs back more quickly, the unemployment rate comes down, people become more confident in their economic future. And the most important thing the government can do for that is to strengthen the incentives

for businesses to invest here at home. The president outlined in September two very important initiatives that will go in that direction. One is to give businesses for one year the chance to write off against their taxes investments they make in new capital equipment. So this very generous, expensive program is one way to get businesses to put more money to work more quickly for a temporary period of time. And he combined that proposal with a proposal to make more simple, and substantially more generous and permanent, a tax credit for companies that invest in research and development in this country. So again he proposed to simplify, expand and make permanent one of the most important things government can do to encourage investment here in the U.S. Alongside those incentives for private investment, he proposed that we start a very substantial multi-year program of investments in public infrastructure, in our transportation infrastructure. That is important not just because if you look at the quality of infrastructure across the country, you can see that we are suffering from decades of underinvestment and relative neglect. You can see that just in the fact that we look like we are falling behind the basic quality of infrastructure many countries face. But investing in public infrastructure we think is one of the highest returns on the use of a dollar of taxpayers’ resources. It’s good for long-term growth too, and it’s very good at helping people get back to work who have been hurt most by the crisis, construction and manufacturing. These are relatively good jobs that pay relatively well. And again, we are not a country with unlimited resources; we have to make choices about how we use those resources, and we want to make sure we’re investing those resources in things that will help raise our long-term growth prospects. Alongside those measures, we want to work to make sure we are expanding exports, doing more to open foreign markets, and we (Continued on page 24)

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S S A L C E L D MID DILEmMA The founder of the popular liberal blog empire voices her concerns about the state of the American middle class. Excerpt from the Inforum program “Arianna Huffington: Beyond the Post,” November 18, 2010. Arianna Huffington Co-founder and

Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post; Author, Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream

IN CONVERSATION WITH RAJ PATEL J ournalist; Activist; Author, Stuffed and Starved – PATEL: Why did you call your book Third World America? HUFFINGTON: Third World America is obviously a very jarring title; America is clearly not a Third World country yet. The reason I chose a very jarring title is because I wanted to sound the alarm. As I was growing up in Athens, Greece, my favorite heroine was Cassandra, because she had the gift of prophecy. But she also had this curse from Apollo: not to be believed. When she told the Trojans that the Trojan horse was full of Greeks, they ignored her, they didn’t believe her, and they let the Trojan horse in. The Trojans turned out to be very dead and very wrong. I feel that while we have time to coursecorrect, this is the

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Moderator


time to sound the alarm; there’s no point in sounding the alarm after the iceberg has hit the Titanic. It’s good to sound the alarm beforehand. If you look at what is happening in this country, you do see the disappearance of the middle class. Right now you have 100 million Americans who are worse off than their parents were at this similar age. You have two-thirds of Americans who said in a recent survey that they expect their children to be worse off than they are. That is fundamentally un-American. I was an immigrant to this country. We came here because we believed in the American dream. Upward mobility is in the American DNA. So when you now have America being number 10 on the list of countries with upward mobility – behind France and the Scandinavian countries and Spain – there’s something wrong. It would be as if we were ahead of France in croissants and fine wines and afternoon sex. The fate of the middle class is the primary reason I feel like we are down the wrong path. The state of our infrastructure is another. I have an entire section in the book that I call “America the Beautiful Dilapidated,” because it’s really amazing to see what is happening to our roads, our bridges, our electric pipes. We saw what happened recently here when pipes that had not been properly maintained burst and people died and homes were destroyed. That could be happening all around the country. And yet, even at the time of such unemployment, we don’t have the political will to have massive infrastructure projects of the kind that we should be engaging in, even if we were at full employment. PATEL: Cassandra’s curse was to be perpetually ignored, but you’ve got the Huffington Post. The problem is not that you can’t get people to hear you, but that we lack the vision for social change and this political will. How can we get to this political will, having identified what the problems are? HUFFINGTON: No matter how dysfunctional Washington is, if we can focus on the amazing things happening around the country, community by community, there’s an incredible source of optimism. As I was traveling around researching the book, I was amazed by the amount of creativity, compassion, generosity and ingenuity that you see all around the country. If you add

to that the power of social media, it’s really amazing how we can much more easily scale up the good things happening. If you go to www.etsy.com, you see many people who have given up trying to get a job and are now creating their own jobs [see sidebar, page 13]. They are taking their passions and their hobbies, and they are turning them into livelihood. If you go to www.swap.com, you have people literally swapping things. You want a refrigerator, I want a laptop; we can find each other online. It’s just amazing also to see people who are out of work who are recognizing that the one thing they have is an abundance of time and often skills and how can they activate them. One of my favorite stories in the book is the story of Seth Reams, who lost his job as a concierge in Portland, Oregon. After filing 300 job applications and not getting another job, he started a site called, www.wevegottimetohelp.org. And he brought together people who were unemployed or underemployed with people in need. What was amazing was that it changed the way that he looked at himself. He no longer looked at himself as a victim, as somebody who was an unproductive member of society. He began to feel very empowered. Then I wrote about him and started talking about him wherever I went; on John Stewart, on Bill Maher, I would talk about Seth. I got friends of mine to put him on television, so now he has 100 cities that want to start www.wevegottimetohelp.org in their cities. He met me the other day and he said, “Arianna, I’m so busy. I still don’t have a job, but I’ve never been busier.” This is just one example. There are people without a job who are lawyers and doctors and have a lot of skills, and they can use them. There’s this incredible movement that started in Philadelphia of unemployed and underemployed lawyers who are using their skills to help people avoid foreclosure. We always need to create jobs; we can’t continue down this path of having almost 27 million people out of work, or underemployed. But in the meantime, what we do is going to be critical to how quickly we truly revive the country. The first step is what we do ourselves, like tapping into our own personal strength and resilience. Because you see that hard times have a very different impact on people. Some people are crushed by them, and some people discover parts of

themselves they didn’t even know they had, and thrive through them. PATEL: There is only so much resilience that one can have, particularly if one doesn’t have the resources. There is a difference in the amount of resilience that families have depending on the amount of wealth that they have. For families that wouldn’t classify themselves as middle class, these are very dark times. What about them? HUFFINGTON: Absolutely these are incredibly hard times. As we are sitting here focusing what individuals and communities can do, let me just say that at no point can we let government off the hook. There’s no question that the fact that unemployment benefits were not reauthorized for the 99ers [people who have used up 99 weeks of unemployment benefits] and beyond is really tragic. It’s such an incredible statement about our country at the moment, that while we are spending $2.8 billion a week in Afghanistan pursuing a war that is not in our national security interest, while we are propping up a corrupt regime and allowing our young men and women to die, and spending money we do not have in pursuit of this war, we are not reauthorizing unemployment benefits. There is a fundamental disconnect here that we obviously need to be exposing every day. And of course at the Huffington Post that was a huge splash-headline today. We are continuing to do everything we can to put flesh and blood precisely on the dark times that you are describing. In fact, we have two reporters whose only job is to do nothing other than putting flesh and blood on the data, because while you may not really feel particularly bad about the number 27 million people out of work or underemployed, you will feel bad if you hear the specific stories. There’s something about the human story that can touch our hearts and our minds, and we need to do more of that to capture the public imagination, to demand fundamental change in Washington. PATEL: Is that the role that you see the Huffington Post playing? On the one hand, there are fantastic articles that deal for example with the economic injustices that women face and whether women can define beauty on their own terms, and then there are articles about Katy Perry wowing everyone at Victoria’s Secret, with photos. HUFFINGTON: The Huffington Post, as

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Photo by Ed Ritger

we say in our tagline, is the first Internet newspaper, so we cover everything. We have now 26 sections. We cover exhaustively everything that’s happening in politics, everything that’s happening around the world. And we are also covering Britney Spears, and we also just launched our latest section on divorce. Nora Ephron is the founding editor. That’s a very, very deliberate editorial decision. Our goal is not just to talk to people who agree with us; our goal is to talk to the world. Because I don’t believe change happens by just talking to people who agree with you. If people want to come to the Huffington Post to watch the Victoria’s Secret model, and then they happen to also see the fact that the unemployment benefits were not

“There’s an enormous amount of redefining that has to be done and that is not easily divided into

Left-vs-Right.” extended, I think that’s a good thing. Because we don’t want to create sort of little niches; where you have the Fox niche, and the MSNBC niche, and the Victoria’s Secret niche and the Donald Trump niche. Then we will fail to communicate even more than we are failing to communicate now. So we are very deliberately and unapologetically a mixture of high-brow and low-brow. If you don’t want to go low-brow, you don’t

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have to, nobody forces you to click on the pictures of the Victoria’s Secret models. PATEL: Sometimes people need to organzies, and one of the things that happened recently was the Rally to Restore Sanity. You’re a fan. HUFFINGTON: I was on Jon Stewart’s show, and in the green room he said, “I don’t know how all these people are going to get to Washington.” Then when I was on the air with him, in a moment of irrational exuberance – I swear, I had not thought about it beforehand – I said to him and the audience, “If you want to go to Washington from New York, just come to our office in SoHo” – I gave our address – “and we will have buses to take you to Washington.” Two of our editors created a sort of signup sheet online. By the next day we were at a few thousand sign-ups. We clearly realized that we could not have them come to SoHo. We ended up having 200 buses, over 10,000 people. We all met at five in the morning at City Field and went to Washington. I was amazed. People had come from all around the country and they had chosen to come to New York to get to Washington. The funniest thing was one man who said to me, “I just came from Washington to take the bus to go to the rally.” I said to him, “This is an act of insanity in the name of restoring sanity.” What I realized was that this was a pilgrimage. That people wanted to be together for the journey. They didn’t want to just be together for the rally. These were people who were not even talking to each other about who they were going to vote for or what political party they were from; they had the sense that we all needed to be in

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this together if we are going to get out of the dark times we are in, and that there was something about our humanity and the fact that we are all in this together in some very fundamental and profound way that we needed to discover. I know that you [Patel] were saying that Jon Stewart didn’t call on anybody to go vote. That was not what the rally was about. The rally was really about what he said in his speech, which was that while the media is focusing on what is not working in the country, every day there are millions of acts of us coming together and making things work. Can we take a magnifying glass, those of us who are in the media, and put it on what is working in the country? Because that gives us the sense of possibility about how we can turn lives and communities around. PATEL: I also felt that amazing sense of community. What was missing for me was the sense of, “All right, what next?” There’s the kind of political cooperation, that clearly is lacking in Washington, that people were pining for, and there wasn’t really a way from the rally to get to that. To at least let the specter of politics be raised, I think, wouldn’t have been a bad thing. I wonder, did everyone come there really just to critique the media or did people want more? HUFFINGTON: I think primarily [the rally] was about some kind of recognition that in times of deep economic hardship for millions of people, there is an incredible tendency to demonize and scapegoat. It is much easier to do that and appeal to the worst in us when we are afraid. And millions of people are afraid. I was speaking recently to Coca-Cola employees. Coca-Cola is doing very well, and yet after my speech I had a woman say to me, I have a stable job, I have a good salary, my sister who is a single mom and has two children has lost her job and my paycheck has to stretch to take care of them. Basically everybody has been affected. That creates huge economic anxiety in the country. During those times, it’s imperative that we do everything that we can to tap into the better angels of our nature, while everything else is tapping into our basic instincts. It’s almost a race against time. We can start by looking at what’s online. We can start by looking at what’s in our own communities. There’s so much happening. That’s why at the Huffington


Post we’ve started a new feature that we are calling the Greatest Person of the Day. We are spotlighting people who are doing things in their communities. We put them on the front page and we put the spotlight on them. Then we started an interactive map where we put all the good things that we find and we put a star on the map of America wherever good things are happening. That is not to minimize the bad things that are happening; we are not a good-news site. But our point is to try to do whatever we can do while we are putting the spotlight on the dysfunctionalities and the need for government to take the right actions, to encourage people to be doing what we can, without just waiting by the sidelines. Democracy is not a spectator sport. I think it’s very important that we elevate volunteerism and service to something major. That it’s not just noblesse oblige and a thousand points of light and all those things that people do around Thanksgiving when we go serve meals in homeless shelters. It’s something that can be filled with creativity and can really turn the country around, not just by putting together these individual acts and scaling them up, but by also tapping into our own compassion – which we make much harder with what happened today

when unemployment benefits were not reauthorized. Now we are basically rewarding a fundamental kind of meanness. So if we can turn that around at the individual and community level, I think it’s going to have a huge impact at the political level as well. PATEL: What I worry about is that, in the state [excusing] itself of responsibility, [it] is generating this meanness you’re talking about. One of the problems is that it destroys the idea of a collective self and makes it all about communities and individuals. HUFFINGTON: I don’t think its either-or; this could be the real convergence. When we talk about bipartisanship, for me the true bipartisanship is not about splitting the difference; it’s about finding where we can converge. Liberals need to recognize that their responsibility does not stop when they ask for government to do something. The delegating of compassion is not enough either. It’s not enough to say, “Let’s spend more on this and more on that and I’m just going to watch you do it.” In the same way, conservatives cannot say, “We’re just going to cut everything and let the private sector take care of it – maybe it will or it won’t, but we’ll just see what happens.” Neither of these positions make sense.

But the opposite, which is for liberals and conservatives to agree that – whether out of compassion or out of the sense that the private sector is responsible for taking care of those in need, whatever your starting point is – you can converge around the fact that we all need to do more. That, for me, is the true synergy that we can achieve. PATEL: You talk about one of the major impediments to actually getting the government to listen to ordinary American citizens on the Left or the Right, and that’s the influence of big money in Washington. How can we reverse that trend? HUFFINGTON: The media reflexively look at every issue as Left-vs.-Right. But in fact if you look at the issues of our time, you can’t divide them as Left vs. Right. Like Afghanistan: You have major conservatives basically opposing what’s happening in Afghanistan, yet the media keeps calling it: The Left wants to leave Afghanistan. You could have 3,000 conservative intellectuals wanting to leave Afghanistan and the media would call it the Left. The problem with that is that immediately it marginalizes the position as just these extremists, instead of looking at it on its own terms. In the same way, look at Wall Street. I (Continued on page 50)

Shopping Anew: The Online Revolution Continues While high unemployment has left traditional commercial markets in a slump, new realms of ecommerce are blossoming. Web sites are capitalizing on consumers’ growing desires for more meaningful types of exchange. On ecommerce site Etsy.com, individual craft makers can open up an online shop to sell their jewelry, woodwork, fashion, glassware and other products. Buyers looking for unique and personal gifts can browse through the one-of-a-kind items and read the bios of craft makers from more than 150 countries. Etsy provides not only a market, but also a network for craft makers. Sellers on Etsy can attend virtual labs, where they can come together to exchange ideas and advice. For many sellers, Etsy has become their livelihood. So why in these tough economic times are people shopping on Etsy instead of heading to the blowout sales at the mall? “In the economic downturn, when money is scarcer, this idea of what value is is a lot more than the dollar cost of something; value [becomes] something where items have stories in them, or the meaning behind who gave them to you or who made it,” said Etsy founder Robert Kalin in a YouTube video. Innovative ecommerce is not limited to goods exchange. San Francisco-based Skyara.com is a site for people who want to share their unique talents with others.

“We built Skyara with the concept that everyone has something interesting to share, whether it’s a fun hobby, job or a skill that other people would be interested to learn,” founder Jonathan Wu told the Los Angeles Times. “Most people offering experiences are not doing it for the money. They are doing it to share their hobbies and have some fun and meet new people.” People in the Bay Area are selling experiences from mountain biking tours to a 30-minute lunch discussing time travel to marksmanship training to web site design lessons. Another San Francisco-based site, Airbnb.com, is “a community marketplace for unique spaces.” Spaces range from small guest rooms to elaborate beachfront properties for rent in more than 8,000 cities. Wary travelers can look at reviews of both guests and hosts to assess whether they are a good fit. Staying with a host who has local knowledge often provides travelers with an insider look at their destination. Often, a visit grows into a friendship between the host and the guests, something you can’t get from the Holiday Inn. Buyer Beware: Worried someone won’t hold up their end of the wire? Check reviews and ratings: These sites have reviews posted for individual buyers and sellers, so you won’t feel like you’re going into a deal blind. Ω. Written by Sally Schilling.

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STORY . A . L hés iché. But even clic cl a is ” d re ar b s ld ho utspoken” and “no “o y o lr El es m 10. Ja g Callin ” September 21, 20 y, lro El es am “J m o fr ahlia be true. Excerpt tial and The Black D . Confiden e Hilliker Curse, L.A

erator

Cityscapes by stevelyon / Flickr, Ellroy by Ed Ritger

e – Mod uthor, Th The Last Good Chanc r, James Ellroy A ho ut A  h s a b r n with tom Ba in conversatio

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’m thrilled that you came out to see me. I realize that you had options tonight. You could have stayed home and attended to your sex lives, your drug habits, your fatuous worship of President Barack Obama, and you didn’t. You came here to see me, and I’m nothing but grateful. BARBASH: When other people might have been in graduate school, you were actually caddying, and you were caddying at golf clubs as you were writing your first five novels. What did that experience give you, versus a traditional path toward a writing career? ELLROY: No one told me that I could not write a novel. No one told me that I could not not write a novel. I had never read short stories. I don’t enjoy short fiction. I have read crime novels almost exclusively. I dislike magical realism. I have not read mainstream American literature, with a very few exceptions. I have read novels written by Americans almost exclusively. I thought for many years that I wanted to be a writer so that I would have a girlfriend, a swanky pad on Rossmore Avenue in LA, some swinging Ivy League threads and a groovy sports car. I was gravely mistaken. It was finally when I got the idea to write a story that became my first novel, Brown’s Requiem, about a tall, think, dark-haired, bespectacled man who repossessed cars, who hung out with country club gold caddies, who got involved with a bunch of low-life golf caddies, who’s obsessed with the Black Dahlia murder case, and had an overweening love of classical music that I finally realized you can tell your own story and couch it in genre fiction full of shootouts, fistfights, intrigue, social observation across a wide level, and though you will probably not find a girlfriend while writing this story, the private-eye hero will definitely meet a woman who plays the cello. So I wrote the f--king book and I sold it. BARBASH: In your second book, Clandestine, you are in some ways writing about your mother’s murder. But in that case, the crime gets solved. ELLROY: Yes, and my father kills my mother. There is a nine-year-old boy who looks like me when I was 10 years of age, and the woman lawyer resembled a transient girlfriend that I had at the time. It doesn’t take a genius to put all of this together. BARBASH: In terms of directly writing yourself, or your impetus to write My Dark

Places, can you tell about the origins of that, moving from fiction into memoir, what the challenges were like, that first experience? ELLROY: I had no idea that I’d write my memoir, My Dark Places, about my mother’s 1958 murder. A series of events interceded. My second ex-wife, Helen Knode, bought me a picture of myself from the LA Times archive. It’s been over-reproduced many times since. I have been told that my mother was just killed. I’m 10 years old. I’m lost in opportunism, calculation, ambiguous bereavement, and my reporter friend told me that he would be seeing my mother’s file as part of a piece he was doing on unsolved San Gabriel Valley homicides. I realized that I had to see the file and write about it for GQ magazine. I decided to turn it into a full-length book. I would attempt to solve my mother’s investigation, with a retired LA County sheriff homicide detective named Bill Stoner. We failed to find the killer. The book describes my arc of reconciliation with my mother. There is no conclusion. BARBASH: You spoke just now, the bereavement is sort of ambiguous. I saw in another interview that you described “glibly” using your mother’s murder to promote The Black Dahlia. Did it feel glib at the time, or did it only feel glib in retrospect? ELLROY: It felt glib at the time because I had six published novels, no hits. I knew this was a hit book. I knew that the doppelganger aspect of my mother’s death and Elizabeth Short’s death, becoming obsessed with Elizabeth Short’s death in the wake of my mother’s death, was an exploitable media story. A character in my novel Blood’s a Rover says, “Your options are do everything or do nothing.” I would rather exploit than do nothing and I don’t find exploit too harsh a verb. The book honors my mother, the book addresses her as a human being. I was handsomely compensated for writing the book. I tried to find the killer. I failed. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that my mother and I comprised not a murder story but a love story, and it was then [that] I conceived my current book, The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women, which has a staggering non-sequitur conclusion. BARBASH: Can you explain what the title refers to? ELLROY: On the occasion of my tenth birthday, in March of 1958, my mother, Jean Hilliker, a 43-year-old alcoholic registered

nurse, divorced from my father for two and a half years, sat me down half-gassed and said, “Sonny, you’re now 10. You can live with your dad or with me. It’s your call.” I said, “My dad!” She gave me a big whack, I fell off the couch, gouged my head on a glass table, I called my mother a drunken whore, she hit me again, she pulled back from it. [In] Christmas ’57, I’d read a kid’s book about spells, curses and witchcraft. I recalled the book, issued the curse, wished my mother dead; she was murdered coincidentally three months later. Thus, The Hilliker Curse is a predator’s confession, a cri de coeur, an apologia, a redress of the women who have shared my life with me, and it has quite a surprising happy ending that many critics are skeptical of. But, if you’re skeptical of the ending of The Hilliker Curse, there are a couple of reasons for this. You do not believe in deep physical and romantic love. And since I’m a high-class guy and attempting to be higher class, the express “f--k you all” to critics who dislike the conclusion of this book might backfire in the end. BARBASH: One critic who liked your book referred to it as your most humane and touching book. Are those difficult words for readers to associate with James Ellroy? ELLROY: No. The books are tender, full of passion, full of bad men in love with strong women. I come out of romanticism. The single greatest male figure in my life has been Beethoven. I have conversations with him all the time. They’re difficult. He’s deaf, I don’t speak German and he doesn’t speak English. I make it work anyway. Beethoven is the greatest artist ever created by civilization. He is a man of almost indescribable courage, because the worse it got, the greater he got. As the cone of silence fell over him with greater and greater totality, he was forced to move inward, seek God, to recall what he could hear and what he could think, and in the course, wrote the greatest music of all time. So, if you’re megalomaniacal, and I tend to run that way, what does it cost you to identify with the greatest artist who ever lived? Why not? BARBASH: I want to talk about obsessiveness. There’s a way in which you talked about yourself as being effectively obsessive. Are all good novelists necessarily obsessive, or people who perform in the arts at the highest level? Can you talk about the channeling of the variety of obsessions that come across in your memoir and your fiction? ELLROY: I can’t honestly comment on

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authors or musicians today, because I don’t watch television or go to movies. I don’t have a cell phone or a computer. I live in a cultural vacuum. There’s a reason for this. The reason is the greater the solitude that I achieve, the better I can think, the better I can immerse myself in the historical periods that I write about. And aside from spending time with the woman who forms the conclusion of The Hilliker Curse, and driving from my pad to her pad, I am largely alone, laying in the dark, thinking, having conversations with either the woman herself – who does speak English and is perfectly capable of hearing everything that I say and who often talks back to me and, quite frankly, contradicts me a great deal – or conversations with Beethoven, who just tends to sit there and glower. I love to think. I love to plot. I love to plan. I believe that art is consciousness. I believe that if an artist of decent intelligence, native talent, thinks, thinks, thinks, thinks, thinks, plots diligently, meticulously, and with great exactitude, he or she can get better, better, better and better. BARBASH: One thing you said in The Hilliker Curse: “I was tracing the arc of the Hilliker curse. I wanted all woman, or one woman, to be her.” I was wondering if you could talk about how the image of your mother manifested itself in other women you’ve either written about or loved. ELLROY: Jean Hilliker was a powerful woman of her era. Promiscuous by the fatuous standards of 1958. A registered nurse, a single mother, a hard-charging, good-looking, redhaired alcoholic, stern, a religious woman. She gave me the gift of faith, for which I am forever thankful. I often, as a child, studied her face, and I have often studied the faces of women for signs of probity, moral character, humor and strength. There she is. We are separated by 52 years. I will not see her again on this earth. I will be reunited with her in the next earth. I look forward to that. I have not the slightest doubt that it will occur. I

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think we will have a lot to talk about. That the woman I ultimately ended up with is in many ways complementary to Jean Hilliker and entirely unfathomable and inexplicable as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the late string quartets, especially when compared to Jean Hilliker, is nothing but a godsend, and of course it had to happen this way, because the male self-will is very often self-serving and quite often self-destructive. BARBASH: You still live in Los Angeles. Could you talk a little bit about Los Angeles, what it was like to grow up there, what it’s like to live there now? It’s featured so heavily and intensely in so much of your work. ELLROY: I’m from LA. I grew up there. I don’t know about LA history as you might think I do. I make most of this shit up. It’s historically valid as far as it’s historically valid. I think that each and every one of you who grew up somewhere might be similarly inchoately obsessed with your own hometown. I just got lucky that my parents hatched me in a cool locale. I live in LA because it’s where I always go when women divorce me, and I got very lucky that my romantic fate awaited me there. I have no sense of LA today. It’s overcrowded, it’s smoggy. There are far too many people with far too many automobiles. I can’t wait to get out. Sooner or later, we will. BARBASH: Are you pleased with the way your work has been translated from the page to the movie screen? ELLROY: Money is the gift that no one ever returns. The size large always fits, and the color green is always flattering. I have been handsomely compensated for the motion picture copyrights to numerous of my books. There are some movies you want to see, like L.A. Confidential, some movies you want to flee, like The Black Dahlia. They all sell books. It would be ungrateful of me to criticize these films if they were bad, for attribution, because nobody forced me to take the dough. I’m nothing but happy.

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BARBASH: [Your style of writing] is praised for being very brief, short, staccato. What’s the reason for your prose style? ELLROY: I like a story wherein every word furthers plot, characterization, milieu. It’s also a very male language and the language of police officers, who go from one task to the next, trying to solve crimes because their internal lives are disordered. The best police detectives that I know are men and increasingly women who have disordered personal lives, thus they need to impose moral order on external events to make them feel happy, feel involved, feel like they’ve accomplished something. BARBASH: You’re a self-described rightwinger, which makes you an anomaly in the world of writers. It’s hard to find very many Republicans at all amongst writers. Why do you think that is? ELLROY: People are afraid of appearing inhumane. People are afraid to say, “I believe in God. I am theocratic. I believe that God’s law rules the world and that it is more important than secular freedom.” People are afraid to say, “I believe in capitalism.” People are afraid to say, “I firmly believe that America must rule the world.” I think many people share it; few, outside of right-wing pundits, voice it. But it comes down to this: I don’t care what people think of me. I have a wonderful readership. People either agree with me or they don’t. It’s ok. I like folks just fine, and as far as critics go, I like them to the extent that they like me, hate them to the extent that they hate me – though I tend not to indulge hatred; it’s a negative emotion – dismiss them to the extent that they dismiss me. I do not review books. I do not engage in literary feuds, because people work hard to write books. I’m a very exacting critic, and I don’t want to shit on anyone. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of The Bernard Osher Foundation.


earned suc c e s s & happiness

How should public policy assist in “the pursuit of happiness”? Brooks says the data are clear: Policy should focus on earned success, not wealth redistribution. Excerpt from “Arthur Brooks: Free Enterprise Versus Big Government: The Battle for America’s Future,” October 25, 2010. arthur brooks President, American Enterprise Institute; Author, The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future

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an you really measure happiness? The answer, surprisingly, is, Yes, you can. There’s 30 years of data in the social psychology literature [from] anonymous surveys among broad groups of Americans; you get a pretty good, honest idea of how happy those people are. This is wonderful news to an economist like me, because now I can go to the source of what’s making people tick and I can get some big databases. I can crunch numbers on what makes people happy and what the empirical differences are between happy and unhappy people in the United States. But I still had one more question before I could start doing research on this topic. With public policy, can we really affect people’s happiness? Can your happiness ever really be permanently affected? You might doubt that that is the case. You might have noticed, as I have, that your moods always tend to go back to where they have been in the past. So if you’re a grumpy person, people all probably say to you, “No matter what good thing happens to you, you always seem really grumpy.” Or you’re cheerful; people say to you, “You’re always cheerful, even when bad things happen.” People tend toward the ruts in their mood. That observation has not been

lost on psychologists. Psychologists, noting that mood tends with different people to stay in a particular place even throughout their lives, have asked how much of our happiness is inherited, and how much of it comes from the changes throughout our lives and behaviors and even things like public policies? How do you figure out how much of happiness is nature and how much is nurture? There are studies of identical twins and other siblings who are put in different households at birth through adoption. Then using statistical techniques, we can see when we interview them as they grow up how much of their personalities are inherited and how much of their personalities come from their different environments. The shocking answer is that much more of our personalities than we ever understood can be shown to be inherited. Americans like to think that you can change anything about anybody with some sort of perfect intervention. It turns out the data are really not very sympathetic to [that] notion. For example, about 40 percent of how you vote is genetic; 40 percent of how religious you are is genetic; virtually every important part of your personality, from extroversion to criminality to neuroticism to

alcoholism, has a huge genetic component to it. So it is also with happiness. Studies using identical twins show that between 50 and 80 percent of your baseline happiness is actually inherited. When I first came across these studies – and they’re unimpeachable studies – I discussed it with my wife and she said, See, I told you your mother made you unhappy. Turns out, quite literally true for many of you. What’s the use of looking at what tax policy does to people’s happiness? The answer is that even if 20 percent – especially if only 20 percent – of your happiness can be changed by your behaviors and your circumstances and by your country and your opportunity, you really should get everything right. I figured that out indirectly. I was working with a guy almost exactly my age. He was an economist, like me. His doctor told him that he had about 15 years left to live. He was in his early 40s and he had 15 years left to live, because of a congenital heart issue. Unless medical science changed a lot, he was very likely to have a catastrophic event before about 15 years were up. Now, what do you hear if you go to the doctor and hear you’ve got 15 years left to live? You don’t come home and mope around and watch a lot of daytime

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Photo by Sonya Abrams

TV. You’ve got 15 years. On the other hand, you didn’t just find out you’ve got 40 years left; you’ve got a fraction of that. So what would you do? He came home, he thought about it, and said, You know, I’m going to take 40 years of happiness and I’m going to stuff it into 15 years. I’m going to be a better father, and a better husband, and a better citizen, and a better employee, and a better everything. I’m going to have a happier life than I had before. The truth is, he’s doing it. He comes home from work, and he says to his wife, Sweetheart, get the kids, we’ve never been to Turkey – let’s go to Istanbul. It was a lifeinflecting event for my friend. Now, what was the principle of this? If you have less of the resource than you thought, you use it wisely. So if you thought you could change 100 percent of your happiness, and you could only change 20 percent, or 30 percent, or 40 percent, you better get that 20, 30 or 40 percent right. Don’t make any dumb decisions. Don’t make any systematic errors. And if you’re in my business and you try to be ethical about it, don’t promote any policies that are going to make that 20 percent worse for people. What’s the best system to make the most people most happy? So what would make you happier? When you ask people about this, a lot of people talk about money. For example, if I ask you, What would you do it you hit the lottery? None of you say, Well, I’d start by having somebody close to me take advantage of me and then I think I’d fall into an alcoholic spiral. Nobody says that, right?

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You think about good things that would happen to you in your life. Most people, when they think of things that could make them happier, their minds go toward things that could change their economic circumstances. Economists have said, Let’s just settle this thing: Does money buy happiness or does money not buy happiness? Let’s look at the data. There are three ways to answer this question. The first way is we ask, Are rich countries happier than poor countries? The second way is to ask, What would happen if a country got richer – on average, would people get happier? And the third way is to ask, What happens to individuals when they get richer? The data turn out to be pretty clear. Are rich countries happier than poorer countries? The answer is: usually not. Once countries get above the basic level of subsistence, it’s almost impossible to make populations happier simply with money. If you go to the most miserable countries in the world, you find they are in sub-Saharan Africa, because people are dying of preventable diseases and people are dying of starvation. That doesn’t make anybody happy; everybody hates that. But you find that once people get above the level of subsistence – and the level of subsistence is actually quite low – people don’t get happier very much just because of money. For example, the French have about three times the average purchasing power than the average Mexicans, but the Mexicans are almost twice as likely to say that they are very happy people. Why is that? It has all to do with noneconomic things. It has to do with family; it

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has to do with faith; it has to do with community; it has to do with a sense of vocation and attachment to one’s job. All of which the French tend to be very weak on, and the Mexicans tend to be very strong on. That’s the life in life. The second way is what would happen if our country got a lot richer? Would our country get happier? Now, we can look at this directly. If you go back to the early 1970s and compare it to now, you find that the average citizen has about 50 percent more in purchasing power. How much happier are we? The answer is, We’re not. In 1972, 31 percent of Americans said that they were very happy. Today, 31 percent of Americans say that they are very happy. Now, if you’re like me, you’re thinking, Fine, all of these aggregates – whole countries over time – that’s all great, but if I got a lot more money, I’d be happier because I know how to use it, I could really spend the money wisely and use it to do all these great things that would make me happier. OK. True? No. No, you probably couldn’t. I have data on major Powerball lottery winners, people who go from zero to $30 million overnight. How much happier do you think they get? The answer is that they don’t get happier. When people win the lottery, they tend to be happier for about six months. That’s when the euphoria of having all the stuff and having all the economic security and being able to buy anything you want is still there; but after six months, it wears off. They don’t just go down to where they were; they go below and stay there. Why?


The answer is that they never enjoy the little things in life ever again. You find that after people hit the lottery and they come down from the high, they don’t enjoy spending the money any more, and furthermore they don’t enjoy family, they don’t enjoy friends, they don’t enjoy pastimes, they don’t enjoy hobbies, they don’t enjoy watching television, they don’t enjoy going shopping. All of that life gets blunted in its enjoyment. Truly, if you buy a lottery ticket, the best thing that can happen to you is that you don’t win. It’s a curse, and all forms of unearned income are a curse as well. I have data on inheritance. Will that make you happy? The answer is, No. We have data that focus on income, that follows people over the course of their lives, [in which] we know where the income came from and we know how happy they are. And statistically we can’t find any connection between inherited income and changes in happiness. Furthermore, when you do larger studies looking at people who have inherited a lot of money, you find that the insecurity that they are most likely prone to is the belief that they have not actually created value of their own merit. Now that truly is a tyranny. Imagine going through your life wondering if you did it on your own, if you really earned your own success. You might be thinking, Sure, you can’t get happy by having more, but you can get happy having more than somebody else. This is something that psychologists have found, that actually relative income looks pretty good. You find that people who earn $75,000 or more are twice as likely to say they’re very happy as people earning $25,000 or less in the same community. So you find that richer people in a small community tend to be happier than poorer people in a small community. As a matter of fact, people always want to have more than their neighbor. There’s a study from the Harvard School of Public Health in the 1990s that asked people to choose between two alternative communities. Community number one, you earn $50,000 a year and all your neighbors earn $25,000 a year; in community number two, you earn $100,000 a year and your neighbors earn $200,000 a year. Which one did people choose? Fifty-six percent chose community one, in which they were actually poorer, but richer than the schlub next door. So what does this mean for public policy?

A lot of people have looked at these data on their face and said, It’s all just relative, and relative doesn’t matter, and furthermore, when people are just trying to acquire to have more than their neighbors, they do bad things to the environment, they acquire too much stuff, and they are in a rat race, they’re in something economists call a hedonic treadmill. So we’re going to equal it out. We’re going to look at all of you and say, “You have more than average, so I’m going to take some of your stuff away and I’m going to give it to people who have less than average. I might be complicated about it, I might have a redistributionist program that doesn’t look just like taking from Peter and giving to Paul, but ultimately, it’s going to be redistributive, because that’s better for society.” That’s an ideology that’s gone through academia for a really long time. The trouble is, it’s wrong. The reason it’s wrong is not just philosophically or religiously; reasonable people disagree on that. It’s because the data don’t support it. The variable we have to keep in mind is called earned success. When we ask people how much success they feel they have earned, the differences in money go away, statistically. Now, what is earned success? It’s the belief that you have created value in your life or the life of other people by virtue of your own merit. If you believe you have earned your success – it doesn’t matter if it is denominated in money or otherwise – you will be happier, according to the data. In a free-market economy, typically people who earn a lot of success draw money to themselves. That’s just how capitalism tends to work. But it is the earned success and not the money that explains differences in happiness. In fact, I have data on social entrepreneurs, who count their success not in dollars, but in souls saved or kids eating or communities cleaned up, or people listening to chamber music or the success of a nonprofit organization like this. Social entrepreneurs have every bit as much earned success and happiness as commercial entrepreneurs, and together, they are the happiest people in the United States today. How do we get more earned success? One of the things we know is that income inequality on its face will not bring unhappiness. Furthermore, income redistribution for the sake of addressing income inequality won’t bring happiness. But there’s one more fact, which is when

we have policies that try to redistribute income, since they can’t spread around what really matters, which is earned success, what they do is attenuate the willingness and ability of people to be entrepreneurs and they earn less success and they become less happy. This is the irony and the paradox of income redistribution. It always promises happiness, but it always delivers misery. Why? Because it’s trying to spread around money, and it’s doing nothing to earn success. This leads me to what I believe is one of the great moral imperatives of our time, which is. How can we lead more people to earn their success? Now, I have an answer to it that you may not agree with, which is that the system that matches people’s skills most with their passions and which most Americans believe leads them to earn their success, and that’s the free enterprise system. That’s the reason I believe the free enterprise system is not an economic alternative; it truly is a moral imperative. That’s the reason I believe a lot in the free enterprise system, not because of the tyranny of materialism. I don’t care about the money at all, because money in an already-rich country is not about the money. It’s nothing more than a marker of earned success.

“When we ask people how much success they

feel they have earned, all of the differences in

money go away.”

I’m not saying that for everybody, because there still are poor people. In my own personal view, in a civilized society we have an obligation to provide a minimum basic standard of living for everybody. I’m talking about above that, most people for whom income redistribution is a curse, whether you’re on the getting or taking side of it. The only way you’ll improve your life materially through the economic system is by earning your success. Ω This program was made possible by The Koret Foundation.

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A creative panel discusses Islamic culture and the West, and the power of literature and relationships to improve the world. Excerpt from Inforum’s “Reza Aslan: Bridging the Middle East and America Through Culture,” November 29, 2010. Reza Aslan Author, No God But God, How to Win a Cosmic War, and Tablet and Pen; Contributing Editor,

The Daily Beast wajahat ali Playwright, “The Domestic Crusaders;” Journalist; Creator, Goatmilk: An Intellectual Playground Blog zoe ferraris Author, Finding Nouf and City of Veils NAJVA SOL Photographer; Poet; Co-founder, The Lowbrow Society for the Arts in conversation with laura sydell Correspondent, Arts Information Unit, NPR – Moderator SYDELL: Reza, your new book is a compendium of 100 years of writing out of the Middle East. Why did you put this book out right now? Why did you bring all these writers together? ASLAN: The easy answer is to say that these are titans of global literature that are internationally famous but of whom most English speakers are completely unaware. But there is another purpose here too, which has to do with the way in which most people in North America and Europe view the Middle East, really solely through the lens of either religion or politics. The only voices that we ever hear from this region are the voices of the powerful and elite. Anyone who spent even a moment in the Middle East knows the chasm of opinions and ideas and mores and values and ambitions and aspirations

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that separate the people of this diverse region from the leaders of this diverse region. It occurred to me that the only way that we can get past the noise and actually hear from the people in the Arab world or Iran or Turkey or South Asia is through literature. The truth of the matter is that this is a region of the world where for the most part freedoms of speech and the press are severely curtailed if not just sometimes downright forbidden. In such societies, the poet, the writer becomes the journalist, becomes the revolutionary, becomes the historian, becomes the social critic. Literature becomes a tool to criticize society, becomes a mirror that you can point to society and expose its weaknesses and failures. There’s really no one else in these societies who has that ability. SYDELL: There are certain themes in this,

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dealing with imperialism and that run all the way through, and a very complicated relationship with the West that you see kind of developing right from the beginning. ASLAN: One of the most fascinating things that you learn when you read this book is the way in which literature has been used throughout the region as a means of forming identity. I mean that quite literally. The book [covers] from 1910 to 2010, and it’s put together in a narrative arc. Literature became a way of constructing a firm national identity. It became a way of saying what it meant to be an Arab or Persian or a Turk or Pakistani. These writers provided the intellectual foundation for the modern states of the Middle East. It was their words that helped fashion an identity to push back against European colonialism and Western


Illustration by Steven Fromtling

imperialism. The irony is that for the most part, many of these same writers whose works gave birth to the modern Middle East very quickly became the enemies of the states that they helped find. SYDELL: You begin the book talking about the picture of Napoleon and the Sphinx. ASLAN: When I was in high school my world history book had this picture that I will never forget. It was a picture of Napoleon sitting astride a horse, face-to-face with the Sphinx in Egypt. This was after the French invasion of Egypt. What was remarkable about that whole experience is that Napoleon showed up not just with an army, but with an army of so-called savants; anthropologists, sociologists, writers, artists, whose job was to get to know the natives. As a result, they produced this marvelous work called The Description of Egypt. That became foundational in Europe for understanding the Middle East. I use that as a metaphor to explain how pretty much everything we know about this region we know through the lens of Europe or the West. We read history books written by scholars, we watch television and we hear the voices of the leaders of the region. There’s no avenue that we have that allows us direct contact with these people except for literature, the arts. That’s the only way that we can break down these boundaries that separate us. I just came back from Israel a while ago,

and I was having a conversation with an Israeli friend of mine. Like a stupid American I was saying, “Well, if the Israelis and the Palestinians can just sort of get to know each other…” His response was, “You don’t understand, we know each other very, very well; that’s why we hate each other.” While that may be true, the important thing to understand is that they know each other as symbols, not as human beings. They know each other as different religions, different ethnicities, different nationalities. What literature does is provide a way to break through those boundaries. Even in Israel-Palestine, they watch each other’s movies, they read each other’s books, they listen to each other’s music. The arts becomes the only path that these two people who claim to know each other so well can truly understand each other. SYDELL: The panel is all American-born, so we are segueing into diaspora literature. There are all these ideas building up about who immigrants are, a lot of fear. Ali has given us insight into a Pakistani family. ALI: Growing up with a multi-hyphenated, multi-syllabic personality, one always asks, How can you be Muslim and Pakistani and American? Is there a mutual exclusivity? Do you turn off the Muslim and turn on the Pakistani and the American? Do you turn off the Pakistani and turn on the American? For those of us who are part of that generation, I think it is first and foremost a very

American identity to be a mosaic identity. All of us will tell you the only way to be it is to be fluid. I am simultaneously a Muslim, American, Pakistani. I don’t know how to be anything else. I will be wearing my shirt, as a 10-yearold, with a turmeric stain of my mom’s daal, and I will be trying to google Winona Ryder because I had a crush on her, and then I will be eating a peanut and butter jelly sandwich and trying to learn Spanish to impress a girl who will never talk to me. That again is a very American experience. When researching for [my] play, people ask, Then how did you pick out these characters? I merely sat down and I listened and I remembered. I remembered the voices around me growing up. I remembered my friends who were Jewish-American. I went to an all-boys Catholic school. Imagine that: being a Muslim-American in an all-boys Catholic school. It was a great experience. When I read the Bible, I read these stories for the first time, I said, Wow, Christians and Muslims have a lot in common. This experience, being a multi-hyphenated, multi-syllabic, multi-cultural person living in the Bay Area, informed the characters in the play. They are not caricatures or cardboard stereotypes; they are very complex, very hypocritical, very unique; they have a unique ideological viewpoint. Some of them can be conservative and religious, some of them can be very progressive and religious.

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Photos by Ed Ritger

Laura Sydell (far left) moderates the panel discussion with Reza Aslan, Zoe Ferraris, Wajahat Ali, and Najva Sol.

There’s no one monolithic identity, and that’s what I wanted to represent. SYDELL: You were dealing with these basic ideas of what it’s like to be an immigrant family, but in this case, more than typical, you are dealing with a culture around you that has pretty bad stereotypes right now about Pakistanis, about Muslims. ALI: When I wake up, I don’t say, I am a Muslim-Pakistani-American. I simply say, I have to pay my bills. But, by virtue of having a multisyllabic last name, of Wajahat Ali, my name already is politicized. It’s charged because of the environment that I live in. I cannot escape it. The environment in which I live informs and electrifies my personality,

“Society and the

culture is so charged that you have to confront [bias] on a daily basis.” –Wajahat Ali my identity. Even if I want to be just a writer who happens to be an American, the second I step out onto a Commonwealth panel and they say “Wajahat Ali,” someone listening will say, “Wajahat Ali. Ali is a Muslim name, hmmm.” And all of a sudden the images that they have in their mind, the characters that

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they have in their mind, all that baggage I have to confront and deal with. The characters in the play, much like Muslim-Americans living now, have to engage a world in which many times they want to be like regular people. They want to pay their bills, have good relationships, not talk to their mother-in-law too much, but at the same time they realize that their neighbor might look at them as a suspect and not as a neighbor. That their last name will raise security alerts and alarms at airports. That Somali immigrant family has to deal with the fact that maybe all these Somali teenagers in their community will now be racially profiled. How does that inform your narrative, your identity and your story? Can you escape it? Even if you want to escape it you cannot, because society and the culture that you live in is so charged that you have to confront it on a daily basis. SYDELL: Nafja, your work doesn’t directly take on these things. Yet still, every place you go, you are dealing with the fact that this is where you come from. You’re also an out lesbian, which probably really breaks molds and stereotypes about what people are going to think of an Iranian-American. SOL: I identify as queer, which is even more confusing. A lot of my poems deal with sexuality, difficulties in childhood, parental divorce, typical American stories that any child would have; being alienated, doing things your parents didn’t approve of, trying to be an artist in this economy.

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I don’t mind talking and answering the questions that people have. But I’m not here to tell you about everything Iran. What I can do is familiarize you with stories you might not know and also make them palpable to you. I’m telling you so many other stories that you already understand so you maybe trust my story as coming at it from your point of view. [For example], we’re both gay; here you can hear this from me but you wouldn’t necessarily hear this from someone else. I don’t mind answering questions, but I can imagine that some people definitely feel stuck in these situations where you constantly have to explain yourself. SYDELL: Ferraris, who married into a Muslim family, spent time living in Saudi Arabia. Now you have two mystery novels out which definitely take on cross-cultural issues and take on the issue of gender – which in Saudi Arabia people are very segregated and yet they are together. Do you think of yourself as an outsider looking in? Do you think of yourself as somebody who’s in two places because you have a child and you go back there all of the time? FERRARIS: I think I feel like an outsider partly because I am a white American who grew up in the military. It is reinforced all the time by people asking, “Why did you write a book about a man from Saudi Arabia?” There’s always that pressure that keeps me humble. I wrote the book purely out of going there as a young woman ingnorant of the culture despite having been married to an Arab man for a couple years. I still didn’t


know what to expect when I got there. I just always had this notion of those poor Saudi women being so oppressed by evil male tyrants. And I got there and saw a much more complicated situation involving gender dynamics and what gender segregation does to both genders. I often felt actually more sympathy for the men. So much so that when I got back and decided to write a book about it I wanted to write from a man’s perspective. That’s the perspective that I really empathize with, both genders actually. There is an identity that’s constructed in Saudi Arabia by Saudis and then there’s millions of identities, but there’s also the identity that we construct here about them that’s maybe completely different. Coming back, I lived here for a number of years and got all kinds questions that revealed to me that people didn’t understand the basics in terms of very simple things about what it means to be a Muslim. What is a Muslim? There was even confusion about Hinduism versus Islam. The very basics that today we know [about] a lot more as a culture, but 10 years ago people didn’t know as much. I wrote my novel specifically for an American audience that doesn’t know anything about Saudi Arabia. I want to provide a portal. If you are going to read a book, I want to take you to a place that you would probably otherwise never go and present you with a story that will give you a little bit of understanding of complexity rather than not knowing anything at all, in particular about gender dynamics. SYDELL: It did strike me as I was reading City of Veils that there was a sense that the men were restrained in ways. They wanted to be able to open up and talk to a woman, and the conventions really restrain that. You can really feel that in the book. It made me think of Jane Austen, actually. You have this relationship that’s really thwarted by social convention, and they can’t really talk to each other. FERRARIS: Yeah, it’s funny. I have experiences with my in-laws where I watch my ex-husband. He loves his sisters very much, and then oftentimes doesn’t know very basic things about them. Their household is very segregated. It’s sort of a mechanical problem. He has to make a bit of an extra effort to go in and talk to them and spend time with

them. I’ll be sitting there in that world, thinking, Look, he doesn’t even talk to his sisters any more. Then I’ll come home and have Thanksgiving dinner with my family, and I’ll look around and the men are all sitting in the other room watching a ballgame and the women are all in the kitchen, yakking away about pie recipes. I think that is part of why my book has worked for an American audience. These themes are universal. The differences between the genders, the struggles that go on, are universal. SYDELL: Reza, you’re living down in Hollywood right now. ASLAN: Yes, I’m a Bay Area transplant. SYDELL: A lot of the images that we get are from Hollywood movies. We get a pretty narrow vision of the Middle East and Muslim cultures. I don’t know if you’re doing anything like trying to get Hollywood to look at something different. ASLAN: That’s precisely what I’m doing down there. We’ve been enormously successsful in doing so. The thing you have to understand about Hollywood is that they don’t care about anything but money. They don’t have any kind of moral qualms about showing anything. If they think that they can make money from a movie where a guy just juggles dead cats for two hours, that’s exactly what they will do. So what my company does is show up with a very simple statistic about how incredibly ridiculously absurdly rich Muslims in this country are. The median income for a Muslim household is larger than for a non-Muslim household in this country. All they want to know is, “How do we get that money?” We tell them

how to get it, by developing films in which Muslims aren’t caricatures, in which they’re three-dimensional. People are actually desperate for this information [in this book]. They’re recognizing these intimate connections they have with these people on the other side of the

“People are recognizing intimate connections

with people on the other

side of the world.” –Reza Aslan

world. That’s the power of the arts. ... We’d like to think that education changes minds and education reforms perceptions, but unfortunately, it’s not always true. Data, information, don’t change the way people think. Relationships change the way people think. Particularly in this day and age, when anti-Muslim sentiment is at such high levels, short of going door to door and introducing themselves – which I do not recommend – the way that we’re going to recognize Islam and Muslims as very much a part of this country’s religious fabric is through relationships. And relationships come through stories. That’s the key. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of Chevron.

Aslan has enlisted readers and filmmakers in his quest to change understandings of Muslims. feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011

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Photo by William F. Adams

Timothy Geithner (Continued from page 9)

want to be tougher and smarter in terms of how we do that. Most of the growth in the world is going to come outside the United States. We are uniquely good as a country still at making quite efficiently things that the world needs, and we want to make sure that we are a substantial part of that growing demand for rising standards of living you’re seeing in China, India, Brazil, emerging markets in Asia, Latin America – around the world. But to do that we have to not just do a better job of being tough against things that are unfair to U.S. companies; we have to make sure we’re prepared to engage with other countries in opening up their markets, opening up new trade agreements that expand opportunities for American workers. What Congress has to do when they come back from the election is to extend the tax cuts that are now in place that go to 98 percent of working Americans and to 98 percent of small businesses. It’s very important we do that, and we’d like to do that as quickly as possible so people don’t live with any uncertainty of what’s going to happen to their tax rates going forward. And our hope is that we can use that imperative – meaning the imperative the Congress has to legislate an extension of those tax cuts – to

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see if we can add to that important policy act some additional incentives like the ones I’ve described to strengthen public investment, private investment in this country.

I

t is very important that people understand that we’re going to have to start to make more progress bringing down our long-term deficits. We started with, before the crisis, an unsustainable long-term fiscal position. Part of what I think eats away at confidence in America today is a concern about whether Washington is going to be able to find the political will to restore gravity, restore a sense of discipline, restore a sense of responsibility to those long-term fiscal deficits. Even though, overwhelmingly now, our challenge is about growth and job creation, it’s important that as we do things that are helpful to near-term growth, we do so in a way that’s going to be responsible fiscally and again, give people more sense of what we’re going to do to bring down those deficits over time. The president has started that process, by proposing a very tough freeze on nonsecurity discretionary spending to make sure the government is not growing over time in

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areas where it shouldn’t. He’s joined with [Defense] Secretary Robert Gates to propose some very substantial reforms to how the Pentagon spends money, so we can save more as a country on one of the most expensive things the government does. He has proposed some carefully designed, modest tax changes to again demonstrate to people in the United States and around the world that we’re prepared to start to take steps to go back to where we’re living within our means, but he’s just started that process. He formed a bipartisan fiscal commission that is supposed to recommend additional reforms on December 1; our hope is that those recommendations will help us start to build some political consensus in the United States and Washington for a set of longer term reforms as we recover – as the economy recovers – to bring down those long-term deficits. I think that I want to just end on an optimistic note, because if you look at the country today and if you look at how damaging the crisis is, how deep the scars of the crisis went, I think it’s important to note and to recognize that we are a remarkably strong and resilient country. If you look across the American business community today, you see world-class companies operating at the frontier of innovation, incredibly strong and


productive, with very substantial financial resources they can put to work. And we have more work to do and we want to keep at it, repairing the damage caused by the crisis, but our challenges are much more modest than those that face any of the other major economies, and I’m very confident, if we keep finding ways to get people to come together in Washington and act on these long-term challenges we face, that we’re going to come through this crisis stronger than when we started. Question & answer session with moderator Michael Moritz, member of Sequoia Capital MORITZ: There’s a general perception that the current administration is anti-business. Where do you think that emanates from? GEITHNER: I’m aware of that perception. You hear it from businesses across the country and I spend a lot of time, of course, talking to people that run businesses across the country. I think it’s a very damaging perception. Where does it come from? It’s very complicated. A lot of it comes from what they view as unfair, generally indiscriminately vilifying rhetoric from people in Washington. Part of it comes from concern about whether Washington is going to be capable of making hard choices. Part of it comes from concern that we’re not making enough progress quickly enough on things that matter to business. Part of it is uncertainty about how the new reforms in health care, the finances, are going to actually play out, impact business as a whole. It’s got a lot of sources, but it’s very important that we try to fix it. We’re like you; you judge people by their actions, not just what they say and what they’re for. And what you need to see from us and I think from Washington is Washington being able to make progress on things and do a better job of improving the basic incentives for how businesses operate in the country, and that’s why I referred at the beginning to the proposals the president put out in September for trying to create a better environment for businesses to spend and to hire. MORITZ: Do you think it was helpful for the president at the end of last year to demonize the large bankers, many of the people working at the large banks on Wall

Street, when he labeled them “a bunch of fat cats on Wall Street?” GEITHNER: Why don’t I answer it this way: As a friend of my daughter says, no human could look at our financial system and say it did an adequate job of meeting the basic needs of the country – businesses for stable access to reasonably priced credit, or families who want to put a kid through college, or governments that need to borrow temporarily to fund a capital investment program. The mistakes made by our people running some of our major financial institutions, by small and large banks across the country, and the mistakes made by people in government, responsibly, for overseeing that system, were castastrophic. And it was absolutely essential as we put out the financial fire – which we have done at much lower cost, much more quickly, much more effectively than anybody thought was possible – that we change the basic rules of the game in which institutions operate. I’m going to take the optimistic side of this debate – that the reforms Congress passed this summer are the most powerful, the most effective – a model for the world in how to make sure you bring a more modern structure of oversight to a market-oriented financial system, and we’ve already moved very quickly to raise capital requirements of banks, to reduce leverage, to make sure they’re operating with much stronger financial cushions against whatever the uncertain sorts of risk we face in the future. We’re moving very quickly to make sure consumers have much better access to much better disclosure about the basic terms of a mortgage or a credit card and we now have the tools we did not have before the crisis to make sure that we can dismember a large institution that manages itself at the edge of the cliff, to make sure we can dismember them safely at less cost to the taxpayer, less damage to the economy as a whole. So that imperative of financial reform quickly was very important. I’m much more confident now, because of those reforms, that we’re going to have a financial system that can go back to being the envy of the world and do what it exists to do, which is to take the savings of Americans and channel those to businesses that have some idea, that need to grow. We were once the envy of the world at doing that; we lost our way, and we’re going to make sure we go back to a country with a

system that serves that basic function better. MORITZ: Another member of the audience wonders whether you are concerned, with all of the money that’s being printed over the last couple of years, that we’re on our way to debasing the value of the dollar? GEITHNER: Not going to happen in this country. It is very important for people to understand that the United States of America, and no country around the world, can devalue its way to prosperity, to competitiveness. It is not a viable, feasible strategy, and we will not engage in it. It is very important to us that people have confidence in our capacity to meet our long-term fiscal obligations, to make sure the Federal Reserve does its job of keeping inflation low and stable over time. And we recognize that the U.S. plays a particularly important special role in the international financial system because the dollar serves as the principal reserve asset of the global financial system. So we’re going to work very hard to make sure that we preserve confidence in the strong dollar and that we’re working very hard to strengthen confidence in Washington’s capacity, as I said, to repair the damage caused by this crisis and restore, as we recover, a sense of discipline, gravity, balance to our long-term fiscal position. MORITZ: Mr. Secretary, unlike lots of your 74 predecessors, you’ve spent a lot of time in your life living overseas in different countries, and I know you’re a student of what happened in Japan. Based on your special

“The reforms Congress

passed are ... a model for the world in how to bring a more modern structure of

oversight.” knowledge of Japan, another member of the audience wonders what kind of lessons you took away from the brutal Japanese experience in the last 20 years in helping you think through how the dilemmas that we face today in the United States should be addressed. GEITHNER: Excellent question. [The]

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Japanese, as you know, got themselves in a situation where they had a huge, unsustainable financial real estate bubble. That was a product of a lot of policy decisions in the decade preceding. And when the world turned and that bubble collapsed, it suffered a very, very deep recession, but what’s been remarkable is how long that lost decade, more than a decade of growth, has been, how long it’s persisted. That would have been a very difficult problem for any country to manage. So what I’m about to say is, I don’t mean this to be critical of them, but I would say the basic lesson from these kind of things – and this is the judgment of strategy that informed the president in this crisis – is that when you face a crisis like that, you have to move very, very quickly to put overwhelming financial force to break the back of the financial panic, to make sure you’re trying to fix the stuff as quickly as you can, to make sure you take the leverage out of the system as quickly as possible, that you restructure the system and take out the weakest parts. If you adopt the alternative strategy, which is to wait, to be more gradual in how you escalate, to hope it’s going to heal itself, to hope you can grow your way out of the large losses banks take on in that context – if you’re not aggressive with the full arsenal of tools governments have, then you will be consigned to a long period of underperformance and growth. Just to go back to what I said at the beginning, you can see in how the economy has recovered in the United States the

“Washington’s work is not done. There’s still

more work we have to do to reinforce the recovery underway.” benefits of an alternative strategy. We had growth come back much more quickly in the United States. You saw the cost of credit fall much, much more quickly than happened in the Japanese experience or elsewhere. You saw businesses start to invest again and hire much earlier than even

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we saw in the much [more] moderate last two recessions. That’s because policy in the United States was much more aggressive, much more nimble, much more carefully designed. Because we as a country let those tough restructuring, that tough adjustment, that reallocation of capital, happen with much more force. It makes it much harder in the short term, but it’s much better for the prospects of actually coming out of this durably with growth at a more sustainable level going forward. We are not consigned to repeat that future. Washington’s work is not done. There’s still more work we have to do to reinforce the recovery underway, but we’re not going to make that mistake. MORITZ: Could you share where you think we went wrong and what we’re going to need to do now for the next generation, as those two enormous government-sponsored combines, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, get re-architected? GEITHNER: To oversimplify a bit, the government allowed them to make two very costly mistakes. One is to build up a huge portfolio of investments – that they used to try to give higher returns to their shareholders – that had a lot of risk in them. The second was as the private banking community lowered underwriting standards to try to capture a bigger share of the business that was being competed away from them by the unregulated industry, Fannie and Freddie followed the market down. So they took on much more risk in [lending] to housing than they had capital. In Washington, as you know, Washington did not require them to hold more capital against those losses. So they came into the crisis the most exposed to the risk of a sustained collapse in housing and a long period of high unemployment with very thin, almost no capital to back those up. And that is a mistake we can easily avoid in the future. To do that, it’s not rocket science. We have much harder things to figure out as a country. That’s something we can change. We have to make sure we take [that] decision making away from politics in Washington so that politicians don’t have the ability to use those institutions for objectives that they weren’t designed to meet, and we’ve got to make sure that they can be forced to run with less risk, just to repeat a consistent theme. It’s not rocket science. MORITZ: Would you care to share your

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thoughts about what many people around the country would see as a crisis that looms right in front of the windshield and one that can potentially perhaps be even more disruptive than the subprime crisis, and that’s the mounting burden of obligations that encumber many cities and states around the country? GEITHNER: I think anybody who is a mayor in a city or a governor today or sits on the local school board sees the full scope of that pressure still. It’s getting a little better as revenues start to recover, but it is still very hard and it’s going to take quite a bit of time for states to get back to the point where they feel that they know how they can finance the basic needs that only governments can meet. In the Recovery Act and then this summer Washington provided a very substantial sum of direct assistance to states and local governments to reduce the risk that they had to meet their balanced budget objectives by letting more people go, by firing more teachers, by cutting back on critical social services. That contribution from Washington was very large, without precedent, but it didn’t fill the hole completely. We’ve found it actually quite hard. The president proposed several times that we provide more assistance, but he has found it very hard to get more support in Washington for greater, near-term temporary contribution from Washington to bridge those differences. So it’s still hard, still. It’s getting a little bit better, again, as we come out of this deep hole. As I said, I think that there’s a very good case for trying to make sure that as we repair the damage from this that we’re making sure we’re sustaining critical public services and not cutting deeply into things that are very important to future growth like how we educate our children. MORITZ: In this part of California, we have a city across the bay here, Vallejo, that declared bankruptcy because it couldn’t meet the benefit and pension obligations that encumbered it. The governor of the state has said that no matter how hard he tries, he can’t solve the problem. The former mayor of Los Angeles has come out and warned that Los Angeles is about to go off a cliff. There’s a very heated proposition fight in San Francisco over precisely the same issue. How is this part of our future going to be solved unless there’s a sort of


basic fundamental restructuring of all the obligations that states and cities owe to their employees? GEITHNER: What you see here, you see in New York, in Illinois, in a small (but significant) number of other states and again you see at the local level even the states that have a stronger fiscal position. You just have to work through it. There’s no great grand solution that’s going to be offered by Washington; it’s just not going to happen. And it just requires finding a better political consensus at the state level and local level, for what kind of government services people feel they need and to make sure they have the resources to support that. It’s not a financial challenge; it’s a political choice. We’re at a time now where Americans are having to re-think. We’re having a great national debate about what is it we really need governments to do, what should governments not do. As you see and as our large deficits at the federal level demonstrate, Americans haven’t figured out yet how they want to pay for the services they think are essential. At the federal level and across the country still, people are going to have to figure out how to bring our commitments – commitments we made in the past, commitments we want to make in the future – to things governments do more consistent with the resources we’re prepared to provide them. MORITZ: Can we turn to China for a moment? It’s a big topic on everybody’s mind right now. How much do you feel that the Chinese currency is undervalued today? GEITHNER: Really important question, and the interesting question is not that because by really almost any measure – and we use the independent arbiter the [International Monetary Fund] to tell us how to think about that judgment – it’s significantly undervalued, more so than is true of any major significant emerging market currency. And it’s not good for China long term, not tenable for China long term, and it’s unfair to all those Chinese trading partners, Americans and others, because it just creates a playing field that’s unbalanced. It provides, near-term, just short-term economic advantages to Chinese companies, and it’s very damaging to what is very important for everybody, which is to the sense that we operate in a world where people play by a set of consistent rules of the game.

I said it’s not in Chinese interest either, and that’s because China’s a very large independent economy; if you tie your currency to the dollar, or to another country’s currency, then in effect you’re letting that country run your monetary policy, run your macroeconomic policy. And that makes no sense for China because it’s growing at roughly four times the rate of the American economy. So if China wants to have the independence to make sure it reduces the risk of inflation or huge credit bubbles, it needs to be able to run a more flexible exchange rate and to soften that link to the dollar, which is what China is doing. There’s a period between 2005 and 2008 where China allowed its currency to rise about 20 percent against the dollar at that period of time. They stopped that process in the crisis because of the broader instability across the system. They thought a period of stability would be better for them and I understood that judgment at the time, and now they’ve started to let the currency move up again gradually. It’s moved about 3 percent in the last couple of months, and we want to see that process continue. MORITZ: How far would you like to see it go? GEITHNER: Higher. [audience laughter] You can’t know with certainty how far it should go. What you know now is it’s significantly undervalued, which I think they acknowledge, and it’s better for them and very important for us that it move. It’s going to continue to move. MORITZ: Let me ask you another Chinarelated question, which one of the doyens of Silicon Valley, Andy Grove, who for many years was the CEO and chairman of Intel, has raised recently in an article in Bloomberg Businessweek: the notion of job creation and job creation in particular in China that’s spawned by the innovations of many companies right here in Silicon Valley. Andy points to the fact that Foxconn, the giant manufacturer, employs 920,000 people in its factories in China today and plans to add another 400,000 workers in the next year or so. And then you compare that obviously to the way in which job creation is happening here in the United States. How do you think we should go about turning that around, so that perhaps those 400,000 jobs where people go to build products for Hewlett

Pa c k ard or for Apple or for Intel, those jobs get created in America and not outside America? GEITHNER: Better education, more engineers, more investment by the government in universities, in basic science, in research and development, better incentives to investors to invest here, as I said at the beginning. Our tax system today – I’ll give you and example: If you’re a company in the U.S. and you make stuff and you build things, and you’re thinking about whether you should build your next plant in Ohio or in some developing economy, our tax system today makes it slightly more attractive for you to build that next plant outside the United States. It makes no sense for us as a country. The tax system should at least be neutral. As I said in reminding you [about] the president’s proposal to expand and simplify the R&D tax credit, there is a very good case for targeted tax benefits that strengthen the economic incentives for companies to invest here at home. It’s also important, as I’ve said, that we are a large part of the growth that’s going to come in China in the future, and it’s good for us as a country for U.S. companies to be a big part of that. The economics of this will require that that people build close to those markets. There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing threatening to our economic future in that basic economic dynamic. I think a lot of that will happen going forward. But there’s a lot of things we can do in the United States to make it more likely that we go back to doing something we’ve been very good at doing, which is to make it attractive for people to come here, get an education,

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start a business, raise capital, finance a new idea and build a huge company. Even if a large part of that company’s sales are going to be outside the United States, there’s no reason why a very substantial fraction of the highest earning, most education-intensive jobs, [can’t] still [be] left in the United States. I think this big concern, which is three decades old now, that we’re going to lose the ability to make things in this country, is overstated. You can look across the country today where you have companies that are world leaders in things that we thought we’d long lost the capacity to do like producing steel, even things like that. So I’m much more optimistic about the basic underlying resilience of innovation in the United States, but of course we’re going to lose that edge over time if we’re not doing a better job of things that only governments can do, and not to come back to education, but education would be good; good to get better results from your government in that incredibly vital function of governments. MORITZ: Andy Grove goes one step further, and this may not be an approach that you favor, but he suggests that there should be a tax on products brought in from overseas. His point is that there are some virtues in the way in which some of the planned economies of Asia in particular have developed over the last 25 years. He calls for what he terms the scaling bank, the manufacturing scaling bank of the U.S., and suggests that the taxes levied on those sorts of products should then be made available to U.S. companies who sign up to build factories here and create jobs here. What do you think about that idea of Andy Grove’s?

GEITHNER: Of course I have enormous respect for him as a business leader, but I’m not an enthusiast of those ideas. If you look at the record of governments doing those sorts of things, even our government, it overwhelmingly turns out to be a crutch for weaker, unproductive companies and a big tax on people who buy those goods or need to import those goods to produce things competitively, efficiently, and I don’t think the record is good. I know this is not exactly fair as an example but, if you think back more than 20 years ago when Americans were deeply worried coming out of that recession in the ’80s that we were going to lose our capacity to compete as a country – Japan was the biggest economic threat to our country at that point – we faced a similar debate, a similar lack of confidence in our basic economic future. I think nobody will look at Japan today and say that we would have been better off as a country if we had adapted basic features of their model in 1982. If you look at the countries that thought they were following in Japan’s way, if you look at Taiwan, Korea, much of Southeast Asia, they had a long period of very rapid investment growth in the years before their crisis of the ’90s, but a lot of that capital was used very unproductively and of course didn’t save them from a huge crisis. So I’m not a big enthusiast of those things. I think governments do a very bad job of trying to pick industries that are worthy of protection and to make those choices well. Now, there are some exceptions to that; again, investing in basic science, in research and development, in university research, in

education and targeted generally available incentives for innovation is very good policy, and we can do much better at that. MORITZ: There’s a touching question here from the audience, and it is, What do you say, what hope do you give the 35-year-old unemployed automobile worker in Detroit? GEITHNER: This crisis has been incredibly devastating. It’s touched the basic fabric of our country like nothing we’ve seen since the Great Depression. And it’s not just that unemployment is at 10 percent, because, as you know, in communities across the country it’s substantially higher – 15 percent, double that – and it’s very concentrated in particular industries and sectors. So that unemployed auto worker is in a situation like many people in construction, lots of other parts of manufacturing, and it is just one example of how powerful and damaging this crisis has been. I think the only answer you can say is that it is important that we all recognize that the government has more work to do to solve these problems, to repair the damage to get those people back to work as quickly as possible. This is going to take a long time. There’s no easy quick fix, but Washington’s job is not over and we’re not going to be able to [give] those people a quicker path to employment if people decide that our challenges now are – well, how should I say, well, I don’t want to make a political observation, so I won’t do that – that the government’s role right now is to figure out how to preserve tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans. It’s not a responsible, defensible strategy for a country that’s living with such huge damage caused by this crisis. Ω

For more than a century, Commonwealth Club members have shared their love for the Club by giving memberships to loved ones. Keep the tradition going. Give the gift of ideas.

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feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011


The

[

c i m e o n v i o t ec pera of im

[ PREVEnTIVE

MEASURES

The CDC director argues that it’s in the national interest in terms of money and lives to focus on prevention. Excerpt from “Thomas Frieden,” July 23, 2010. Thomas Frieden M.D., M.Ph., Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

T

here are enormous economic as well as health benefits from prevention. While ultimately it’s the health benefits that are our strongest case, we also – given the economic context that we are in – have to think hard about the economic case for prevention. There are a series of factors that affect health. The most basic are socio-economic determinants of health: poverty, education, housing, equality; the things that are the substrate in which health occurs. At the level above that are initiatives that can be thought of as traditional publichealth initiatives. Changing the context, so that the default decision is the healthy decision. Clean water, clean air, food that is iodized and water that’s fluoridated. One level above that are long-lasting, protective interventions: immunization, brief intervention for alcohol, cessation of tobacco smoking, colonoscopy. One level above that are clinical interventions that require long-term, consistent care,

such as treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol and diabetes. And one level above that are counseling and education interventions to encourage people to eat healthier or be physically active. In general, the lower you are on that pyramid, the more effective your intervention. But every level of that pyramid will be potentially essential and important to address different health problems. There are some problems for which we only have counseling and interventions, and therefore we have to emphasize them. By making communities healthier, prevention can be a best-buy. It can increase the health value we get for our health dollars. It can reduce the per-capita annual health-care costs. And the Affordable Care Act expands the coverage for preventive care, increases funding for prevention, and supports the public health infrastructure. The most important means to improve health within the clinical context are what I call the ABCS – aspirin, blood pressure,

cholesterol, and smoking. A-B-C-S. And on the ABCS, the USA gets an F, currently. Of everyone for increased risk for heart disease, the proportion on an aspirin a day is 33 percent. Of everyone with high blood pressure, the proportion who have it under control is 45 percent; of everyone with high cholesterol, it’s 29 percent; of all the smokers who try to quit, only 20 percent get help – in fact, only 2 percent get medications, which would double or triple their likelihood of succeeding in becoming tobacco-free. That’s despite spending one out of every six dollars of our entire economy on health care. It would be difficult to spend this much money and do worse at the most important things we need to do. There are, I believe, in both the community sphere and the clinical sphere key winnable battles, things we can make a big difference in, but they’re not going to be easy. I want to discuss very briefly six of them: tobacco, obesity, health-careassociated infections, motor vehicle injury

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prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, and HIV prevention. Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Today, more than 1,000 Americans will be killed by cigarettes; 440,000 this year. These are some simple statistics: States get about $25 billion a year from tobacco taxation and the [Tobacco] Master Settlement Agreement. Tobacco companies spend about half that – about $12 billion a year – on marketing and promotion. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that states spend nearly $4 billion a year, which would be about a sixth of what they take in from tobacco taxes and the settlement agreement. But they actually spend only about $700 million a year, and that number is falling fast, with budget cuts around the country. We’re not spending where we can save the most lives. In California, the California Tobacco Control Program has not only saved lives dramatically but has saved money. Current estimate: $10 billion by 2004 in expenditures that didn’t happen because patients didn’t get diseases that required expensive care. Often we spend a lot of effort thinking about how we can shave dollars out of health care encounters. But wouldn’t it be better if that encounter didn’t have to happen in the first place? There are enormous medical and societal costs to obesity. It costs our society about $150 billion a year. Obesity accounts for about a quarter of all medical inflation over the past 10 to 15 years, and someone who is obese will cost on average about $1,400 more per year to care for. But there are enormous health consequences that may not be widely understood. There are associations with asthma, sleep apnea, liver disease, infertility, arthritis, gout, cancer, pancreatitis, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cataracts and many other health problems. Just as policy has been the driving way to change the [prevalence of ] tobacco use in society, policies are going to be the most effective way to reverse the obesity epidemic. Price is likely going to be the most important intervention, but whether it is feasible to change it remains to be seen. Decreasing the costs of fruits, vegetables and water; increasing the costs of unhealthy foods. Image: restricting advertising to children of unhealthy foods, and on the other side, showing the human impact of nutrition-

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ally harmful beverages and foods. Access: increasing exposure to healthy foods and water, and decreasing exposure by making at least schools, health-care facilities and government institutions free of junk food, including sugar drinks. Health-care-associated infections affect as many as one in 20 people who go into a hospital. They cost $30 billion a year just for hospital infections, and we don’t even have a handle on how common infections are in dialysis or nursing homes or ambulatory care centers, but we know there are significant problems there. They kill 100,000 people a year. Yet we can do much more by systematically tracking, by standardizing, by implementing evidence-based reporting guidelines and prevention guidelines, and by changing our reimbursement [policies]. In fact, earlier this year, CDC released the first report of standardized infection ratios showing an 18-percent reduction in one particular type of health-care-associated infection. Motor vehicle injuries: 40,000 deaths, 4 million emergency department visits, economic impacts of more than $200 billion a year. It is the leading cause of death in young people and the second leading cause of preventable years of life lost in our society. One hundred percent seat belt use would save nationally 4,000 lives and more than $100 billion in costs. Reductions in impaired driving – at least a third of fatal motor vehicle injuries in crashes in California are in impaired drivers. Graduated driver’s licenses will save many lives and reduce injuries substantially. And there can be great transportation sector engagement between transport and other sectors to promote safety policies. The teen birth rate has been rising or stabilizing after declining for many years. Two-thirds of pregnancies in teens are unintended. Teen pregnancy perpetuates a cycle of poverty; [it] is often the intergenerational transmission of poverty. It also costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year. There’s a lot that we can do by increasing access to long-acting reversible contraceptives, improving reimbursement policies, and working to change the social norm. California has made important progress here; 15 years ago, California’s teen pregnancy rate was above the national average [and] today it is below the national average.

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HIV prevention: More than a million Americans are living with HIV, and as many as one out of five [of them] don’t know they are living with HIV. In San Francisco and in many other urban areas, we are seeing a resurgence in risky sexual behavior, which is manifesting first as an increase in syphilis cases and then as an increase in HIV in young men. Men who have sex with men are about 50 times more likely to be infected with HIV as other men. There’s a lot we can do, by increasing awareness of HIV status, improving linkage to care so that everyone who’s positive knows they’re positive, and everyone who’s positive is in care. Prevention with positives is very important, so that people can protect themselves and protect their partners and their communities. And expand prevention programs that reduce risky behaviors. Condoms cost about a nickel when you buy them in bulk, and you can distribute them through government programs. The lifetime cost of treating one HIV-infected person is about $400,000, and in fact the entire societal cost is about $1 million, when you count productivity and other indirect costs. You can buy a lot of condoms for $400,000, and there’s no reason that any venue in this country where high-risk populations congregate, whether it’s a gay bar or another place, shouldn’t [have] an unlimited supply of condoms in all of those locations. It’s not going to ensure they’re used, but if they’re not there, they’re much less likely to be used. Recent exciting evidence shows that when there’s a discordant couple use of anti-retroviral treatment reduces the risk of spread by about 90 percent. That’s very important, because it means that not only can treating someone help them live longer, but it can help their partner and blunt the spread of HIV. Safer, healthier, longer lives are in all of our interests. We’re all connected by the air we breath, the food and water we consume, and the space we occupy. But an outbreak anywhere is a risk anywhere. Detecting and containing disease threats closer to where they emerge will save lives, both here and abroad. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of the California HealthCare Foundation.


Programs

For up-to-date information on programs, and to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, go to commonwealthclub.org

OVERVIEW

TICKETs

The Commonwealth Club organizes more than 450 events every year – on politics, the arts, media, literature, business and sports. Programs are held throughout the Bay Area.

Prepayment is required. Unless otherwise indicated, all Club programs – including “Members Free” events – require tickets. Programs often sell out, so we strongly encourage you to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets are available at will call. Due to heavy call volume, we urge you to purchase tickets online at commonwealthclub.org; or call (415) 597-6705. Please note: All ticket sales are final. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to any program. If a program is sold out and your tickets are not claimed at our box office by the program start time, they will be released to our stand-by list. Select events include premium seating; premium refers to the first several rows of seating.

STANDARD PROGRAMS Typically one hour long, these speeches cover a variety of topics and are followed by a question and answer session. Most evening programs include a wine reception.

PROGRAM SERIES FOOD LIT showcases pre-eminent chefs and cookbook authors and often includes a mouth-watering meal or tasting. GOOD LIT features both established literary luminaries and upand-coming writers in conversation.

RADIO, Video and podcasts

INFORUM is for and by people in their 20s and 30s, although events are open to people of all ages.

Hear Club programs on about 200 public and commercial radio stations throughout the United States. For the latest schedule, visit commonwealthclub.org/broadcast. In the San Francisco Bay Area, tune in to:

MEMBER–LED FORUMS (MLF) Volunteer-driven programs focus on particular fields. Most evening programs include a wine reception.

KQED (88.5 FM) Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 a.m.

Member-Led Forums Chair

KALW (91.7 FM) Inforum programs on select Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Dr. Carol Fleming carol.fleming@speechtraining com

KLIV (1590 AM) Thursdays at 7 p.m.

FORUM CHAIRS 2009 ARTS Anne W. Smith asmith@ggu.edu Lynn Curtis lynnwcurtis@comcast.net ASIA–PACIFIC AFFAIRS Cynthia Miyashita cmiyashita@hotmail.com BAY GOURMET Cathy Curtis cathy_curtis2@pacbell.net SF BOOK DISCUSSION Howard Crane cranehow@aol.com BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP Kevin O’Malley kevin@techtalkstudio.com ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Kerry Curtis kcurtis@ggu.edu Marcia Sitcoske msitcosk@yahoo.com GROWNUPS John Milford JMilford@jtm-esc.org

KOIT (96.5 FM and 1260 AM) Sundays at 6 a.m. KSAN (107.7 FM) Sundays at 5 a.m. Health & Medicine William B. Grant wbgrant@infionline.net HUMANITIES George C. Hammond george@pythpress.com INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Norma Walden norwalden@aol.com LGBT Stephen Seewer stephenseewer@gmail.com Julian Chang julianclchang@gmail.com MIDDLE EAST Celia Menczel celiamenczel@sbcglobal.net PERSONAL GROWTH Dr. David K Olkkola freedomclinic@aol.com PSYCHOLOGY Patrick O’Reilly oreillyphd@hotmail.com science & technology Chisako Ress chisakoress@gmail.com

KNBR (680 and 1050 AM) Sundays at 5 a.m. KFOG (104.5 and 97.7 FM) Sundays at 5 a.m.

Watch Club programs on KGO-DT Plus channel 7.2 or Comcast 194 from 4 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit abclocal.go.com/kgo for the latest schedule. View streaming video of Club programs at fora.tv and youtube.com/commonwealthclub

Subscribe to our free podcasting service to automatically download a new program recording to your personal computer each week: commonwealthclub.org/podcast.

HARD OF HEARING? To request an assistive listening device, please e-mail Ricardo Esway at resway@commonwealthclub.org or call (415) 869-5911 seven working days before the event. feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011

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Eight Weeks Calendar January 31 – March 27 M on

Tue

January 31

Wed

February 01

02

Postponed Omega-3 Breakthrough

6:00 p.m. Toledo Through the Centuries 6:30 p.m. Smart Venture Capital in 2011 7:00 p.m. John Robbins

07

08

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5:30 p.m. FE Trostsky 6:00 p.m. FM Mind-Body Connection

6:00 p.m. Products That Win

6:00 p.m. Matt Bannick 6:00 p.m. Food Justice

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15

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6:00 p.m. FM Charles Ferguson 6:00 p.m. FM Gen Y Decoded

6:00 p.m. Traveling Blind 6:00 p.m. Phil Angelides

6:00 p.m. The Fatigue Prescription

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Presidents Day

22

23

6:00 p.m. The Heart of Work-Family Debate

6:00 p.m. Michael Scheuer 6:00 p.m. Jed Emerson 6:00 p.m. China, the U.S., Supercomputing 7:00 p.m. Mergers and Acquisitions 2011

Club offices closed

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March 01

02

5:15 p.m. FM Senior Fraud 6:00 p.m. FE Magic Theatre Play Reading

6:00 p.m. Land Grab in Africa

5:30 p.m. FE The Arts of Intimacy 6:00 p.m. Future Leadership Skills

07

08

09

5:30 p.m. FE The March 6:00 p.m. FM Patterns in Our Personalities 6:00 p.m. FM American Wasteland

6:00 p.m. East Eats West 6:00 p.m. Louise Burnham Packard

6:00 p.m. Generation Hot 7:00 p.m. Video Stars Tell All

14

15

10:45 a.m. Day Trip to the Buck Institute 6:00 p.m. FM Last Jews of Yemen 6:00 p.m. FM Corporate Social Responsibility

16 6:00 p.m. Andrew Dubus 6:00 p.m. Knee Replacements

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6:00 p.m. FM Bart Ehrman 6:00 p.m. FM Digging in the Archives 7:00 p.m. Guy Kawasaki

Noon Ted Danson 6:00 p.m. Adults with Memory Loss 7:00 p.m. David Brooks

6:00 p.m. China-U.S. Relations 6:00 p.m. Dayna and Robert Baer 6:00 p.m. Blueprint for a Creative Culture

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Legend Thu

San Francisco

FM

Free program for members

East Bay

FE

Free program for everyone

Silicon Valley

MO

Members–only program

Fri

S at

Sun

04

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5:30 p.m. FE Toledo Salon 6:00 p.m. Belva Davis 6:00 p.m. U.S.-China Relations

Noon

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03 Noon

Marc Hershon and Jonathan Littman

FM The Turkish House

6:00 p.m. Dambisa Moyo 6:00 p.m. Diversity of Australian Wines

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5:00 p.m. FE Diane Ravitch

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6:00 p.m. A Soldier’s Journey in Afghanistan

Noon FM Cloud Power

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FM The Legacy of Agent Orange

6:00 p.m. Stress

6:00 p.m. Injustice Anywhere 6:30 p.m. Guy Kawasaki

feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011

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Index By Region

FM FE MO

February 1 – April 15 San Francisco

March

February Tue 01 Postponed Omega-3 Breakthrough wed 02 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. MON 07 5:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Toledo Through the Centuries Smart Venture Capital in 2011 FE Trostsky FM Mind-Body Connection

tue 01 6:00 p.m.

Land Grab in Africa

wed 02 5:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

FE The Arts of Intimacy Future Leadership Skills

Thu 03 6:00 p.m.

Stress FE The March FM Patterns in Our Personalities FM American Wasteland

tue 08 6:00 p.m.

Products That Win

MON 07 5:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

wed 09 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Matt Bannick Food Justice

tue 08 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

East Eats West Louise Burnham Packard

wed 09 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Generation Hot Video Stars Tell All

THU 10 6:00 p.m.

THU 10 5:30 p.m. FE Toledo Salon 6:00 p.m. Belva Davis 6:00 p.m. U.S.-China Relations Fri 11 Noon

FM The Turkish House

MON 14 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

FM Charles Ferguson FM Gen Y Decoded

Tue 15 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Traveling Blind Phil Angelides

wed 16 6:00 p.m.

The Fatigue Prescription

Thu 17 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Dambisa Moyo Diversity of Australian Wines

mon 28 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

FM Timothy Sandefur FM Man-made Climate Change

Tue 29 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Kriss Deiglmeier The Empire Strikes Out

Thu 31 6:00 p.m.

The Art of the Food Memoir

April mon 04 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

FM Social Capital Howard Schultz

Tue 05 6:00 p.m.

Presenting to Executives

wed 06 6:00 p.m.

FE The Bull of Minos

THU 07 6:00 p.m.

Cosmic Wisdom

A Soldier’s Journey in Afghanistan

Fri 11 Noon

mon 11 6:00 p.m.

FM Capitalism

FM Cloud Power

mon 14 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

FM Last Jews of Yemen FM Corporate Social Responsibility

wed 13 1:45 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

SF Architecture Walking Tour The New Leadership Mindset

wed 16 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

THU 14 6:00 p.m.

Biopunk

Andrew Dubus Knee Replacements

mon 21 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

FM Bart Ehrman FM Digging in the Archives

Silicon Valley February wed 02 7:00 p.m.

John Robbins

Ted Danson Adults with Memory Loss

thu 03 Noon

Marc Hershon and Jonathan Littman

wed 23 7:00 p.m.

Mergers and Acquisitions 2011

thu 24 5:00 p.m.

FE Diane Ravitch

Tue 22 6:00 p.m.

The Heart of Work-Family Debate

tue 22 Noon 6:00 p.m.

wed 23 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Michael Scheuer Jed Emerson China, the U.S., Supercomputing

wed 23 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

China-U.S. Relations Dayna and Robert Baer Blueprint for a Creative Culture

fri 25 Noon

FM The Legacy of Agent Orange

mon 28 5:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

THU 24 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Injustice Anywhere Guy Kawasaki

FM Senior Fraud FE Magic Theatre Play Reading

Foreign Language Groups Free for members. Location: San Francisco Club Office FRENCH, Intermediate Class Thursdays, noon Pierrette Spetz, Graziella Danieli, danieli@sfsu.edu FRENCH, Advanced Conversation Tuesdays, noon Gary Lawrence, (925) 932-2458 GERMAN, Int./Adv. Conversation Wednesdays, noon Annaliese Munetic, (415) 531-8428 ITALIAN, Intermediate Class Mondays, noon Ebe Fiori Sapone, (415) 564-6789

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Free program for members Free program for everyone Members–only program

March mon 21 7:00 p.m.

Guy Kawasaki

tue 22 7:00 p.m.

David Brooks

mon 28 7:00 p.m.

Michio Kaku

mon 28 7:00 p.m.

Dayna & Robert Baer

North Bay

SPANISH, Intermediate Conversation Tuesdays, noon Isabel Heredia, isabelth@comcast.net

March

SPANISH, Advanced (fluent only) Thursdays, noon Luis Salvago-Toledo (925) 376-7830

mon 14 10:45 a.m. Day Trip to the Buck Institute

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February 01–07 T u e 01 | San Francisco

Wed 0 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 0 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Omega-3 Breakthrough

Toledo Through the Centuries

Smart Venture Capital in 2011

Adiel Tel-Oren, M.D., C.C.N., D.A.C.B.N

Peter O’Malley Pierson, Professor of History Emeritus, Santa Clara University

This event is postponed. MLF: health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Bill Grant

Toledo’s history goes back at least to the Bronze Age. Celtic tribes fortified it. The Romans captured it in 193 B.C. The Visigoths made it their capital. Toledo survived the fragmentation of Moorish Spain as the center of a minor Muslim kingdom. The Kings of Castile took it back. Charles V made it the Imperial City of his Holy Roman Empire, but his son Philip II moved to Madrid. Professor O’Malley Pierson will illuminate this fascinating history and the art of El Greco it eventually inspired.

Max Levchin, Founder, Slide; Co-founder, PayPal Peter Thiel, President, Clarium Capital; Co-founder, PayPal

Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have turned Silicon Valley into the heart of high-tech innovation. Recent times have borne witness to the dot-com bubble, the private equity crash, the greentech capital wave, and today’s monetary flow into social networking, e-commerce and online games. What’s next? PayPal founders and VCs Levchin and Thiel give their forecast.

MLF: Humanities/International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: George Hammond

Location: SF Club Office Time: 6:30 check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. reception and party with the speakers Cost: Regular $12 members, $20 non-members; Premium (priority seating) $30 members, $45 non-members

Wed 0 2 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

th u 0 3 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

M on 0 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

John Robbins

Marc Hershon & Jonathan Littman

Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary

Authors, I Hate People: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job

Join us for a lively discussion of Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolution, by Bertrand Patenaude. This new biography of Trotsky, the so-called “third man” of Soviet communism, focuses on the last three-and-a-half years of his life, in exile in Mexico, pursued relentlessly and finally murdered by Stalin’s assassins. As a reminder, this is a book discussion group; the author will not be present.

Author, The Food Revolution Alison van Diggelen, Founder and Host, Fresh Dialogues – Moderator

Meet the man who said “no” to ice cream. Heir to Baskin-Robbins, Robbins chose to walk away from the multi-million dollar ice cream business to pursue a healthier and ecologically balanced lifestyle. He outlines why eating is not just a culinary act, but one with political, economic and environmental consequences. Hear his views on why we need to re-evaluate our food choices.

Hershon and Littman identify the 10 most troublesome types of people to work with. Learn the attributes of workers like the “stop sign” (someone who always has a reason why an idea won’t work) or the “bulldozer” (someone who uses bullying tactics on others). They offer strategies on how to deal (and cope) with such difficult co-workers.

Location: Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 1400 Parkmoor Ave., San Jose Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: $10 members, $15 non-members

Location: Silicon Valley Bank, 3005 Tasman Drive, Santa Clara Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members

MLF: SF Book Discussion Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Howard Crane

feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011

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February 07–15 M on 0 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T u e 08 | San Francisco

Wed 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

The Mind-Body Connection

Successful Strategies for Products that Win

Matt Bannick

Eric Nelson, Media Spokesperson and Legislative Advocate for Christian Science in Northern California

Monday Night Philosophy delves into whether the mind and the body are one and the same, or separate. Plato’s analogy was that the mind is like a charioteer and the body like two unruly horses pulling a chariot, in need of a reasonable charioteer’s control. Nelson will discuss his religion’s perspective on this ancient debate, as well as Christian Science’s approach to healing through mental means alone. His talk will be followed by open discussion.

Managing Partner, Omidyar Network Steve Blank, Serial Entrepreneur; Founder, E.piphany; Professor, UC Berkeley and Stanford Engineering; Author, Four Steps to the Epiphany

From a leading serial entrepreneur, learn a step-by-step strategy for entrepreneurs and investors to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development for a new product or company. Packed with concrete examples, Blank offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture.

The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm that helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social and political change. It funds nonprofit and profitable ventures, as well as several hybrids. Omidyar Network says it “aims to create opportunity for entrepreneurs to succeed. When they do, so do their families and communities. People living in poverty are often ignored by mainstream businesses. We will prioritize our support for entrepreneurs providing services and products that can improve quality of life for those most in need.” Hear how Omidyar is changing the world.

MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

Wed 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T h u 10 | San Francisco

T h u 10 | San Francisco

Food Justice

Toledo Salon: Imperial Power and Financial Excess During the Reign of Charles V

Belva Davis: A Bay Area Legend Tells All

Robert Gottlieb, Professor, Occidental College

Dryden G. Liddle, Ph.D., Discussion Leader

In today’s food system, farm workers can face hazardous conditions, many low-income neighborhoods lack supermarkets but abound in fast food franchises, and food products sometimes resemble more of a high-calorie chemical mash than a wholesome and healthy product. Opposing these conditions, a movement for “food justice” has emerged, which seeks to transform our food system from field to table. In his new book, Food Justice, Gottlieb tells the story of this emerging movement.

Liddle leads a discussion of the themes and ideas inspired by the “Toledo: Multicultural Challenges of Medieval Spain” program at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco on February 4th and 5th. Share your thoughts on whether Toledo’s relatively tolerant culture was an illusion or an unusually idealistic medieval multicultural achievement, and enjoy deep background on Liddle’s specialty: the connection between the dynastic policies of Charles V and his ruinous approach to financing his ambitions

MLF: Environment & Natural Resources Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Kerry Curtis

MLF: Humanities/International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. discussion Cost: FREE Program Organizer: George Hammond

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Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Broadcast Journalist; Host, “This Week In Northern California,” KQED Television; Author, My Wildest Dreams

Raised in a dysfunctional family in Louisiana and the Bay Area, Davis rose through the black radio industry, became the first black female reporter west of the Mississippi with her hiring at KPIX, and eventually anchored KQED’s “Evening Edition,” the station’s nightly news show. Davis will discuss her extraordinary journey, personal and professional. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)


T h u 10 | San Francisco

F ri 1 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 1 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

U.S.-China Relations: What Role for Human Rights?

Imagining the Turkish House

Inside Job

Carel Bertram, M.A., Near East Studies; Ph.D., Art and Architecture of the Middle East

Charles Ferguson, Filmmaker, Inside Job and No End in Sight

John Kamm, Founder and Executive Director, Dui Hua Foundation

For more than 20 years, Kamm has engaged the Chinese government in a dialogue on human rights. In addition to working with prisoners, he and his Dui Hua Foundation have had exchanges on juvenile justice, capital punishment, oversight of police forces and other topics. Kamm will reflect on what he has learned and how the United States can more productively engage rising China on the sensitive subject of human rights.

Bertram will discuss how Ottoman and Turkish houses became objects of memory, carrying personal and political meanings through periods of radical change. She has a particular interest in the poetics of space – how spaces are felt as well as built, and the richness and diversity of Islamic cultures. Bertram has worked extensively with Christians, Jews and Muslims in Bosnia.

Academy-award nominated filmmaker Ferguson’s latest documentary, Inside Job, makes the powerful case that an out-ofcontrol finance industry took advantage of a deregulated atmosphere and purposely sought to get rich at the expense of others. Ferguson crossed the globe to find proof that the financial industry intentionally engaged in unethical behavior. Ferguson’s previous film, No End in Sight, was nominated for an Oscar. Inside Job is already being touted as an early favorite to win this year’s award for Best Documentary.

MLF: Asia-Pacific Affairs Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Lillian Nakagawa and Cynthia Miyashita

MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel Also know: In association with the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in SF

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

M on 1 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T u e 15 | San Francisco

T u e 15 | San Francisco

Gen Y Decoded: Insights and Tactics for Leaders, Teachers and Managers

Traveling Blind

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: Findings and Ramifications

Kit Yarrow, Professor/Chair of Psychology, Golden Gate University; Author, Gen BuY

Today’s teens and twenty-somethings are a different animal. Socio-cultural factors have contributed to a generation that in some ways thinks and relates to others differently than other generations. Managers and mentors are grappling with how to bring out the best in our future leaders (and keep their sanity). Discover the unique psychology of Gen Y and new techniques for leading, teaching and managing. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

Susan Krieger, Author, Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side

Phil Angelides, Chair, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission; Former Treasurer, CA

Stanford University sociologist Krieger presents a romance, a travel adventure, an emotional quest, and a deeply reflective discussion of coming to terms with lack of sight. She will offer pointed observations on vision, blindness and learning to walk with a service animal, Teela, her “lively golden guide.” MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

In the wake of the most significant financial crisis since the Great Depression, the president signed into law on May 20, 2009, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, creating the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The commission was established to “examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.” Chairman Angelides will explain the commission’s findings. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

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February 16–24 Wed 1 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T h u 17 | San Francisco

T h u 17 | San Francisco

The Fatigue Prescription

Dambisa Moyo

Environment & Natural Resources Planning Meeting

Linda Hawes Clever, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF; Founder, RENEW

International Economist; Author, How the West Was Lost and Dead Aid

How in the world did you get so busy? Clever will outline consequences of overload and signs of trouble before she gives tips, self-assessment guides and a doctor’s best advice on how to deal with competing demands. The goal, she says, is to maintain or regain your sense of meaning, your creativity, and even joy. She will show how taking care of yourself – body, soul, attitudes, relationships – is not selfish; it is self-preservation. Clever will provide ways to refresh, regroup and renew your energy, health and life. MLF: Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant

In a world where Western economies hover on the brink of recession while emerging economies post double-digit growth rates, Moyo calls out the West’s economic myopia and the radical solutions that it needs to adopt to salvage its global economic power. Moyo was named by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

Are you passionate about environmental issues? Would you like to help educate the public about those issues? If so, please join us for our quarterly planning meeting. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend. MLF: Environment & Natural Resources Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Marcia Sitcoske

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, 20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Underwritten by the Koret Foundation, part of the Principles of a Free Society Series

T h u 17 | San Francisco

T u e 22 | San Francisco

Discovering the Diversity of Australian Wines

Putting Men at the Heart of the Work-Family Debate

Mark Davidson, Educator, Wine Australia USA Nicole Kosta, Sommelier and Director of Food and Beverage, Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco

Join Australian Consul General Nigel Warren as he welcomes us to an interactive grazing tasting evening. The evening will start with a crisp aperitif of Tasmanian sparkling wine. Davidson and Kosta will then lead guests through an eye-opening discussion and tasting of eight regionally specific classics that highlight the diversity of Australian wine. Along the way, enjoy small bites of Executive Chef Rick Bartram’s California cuisine. MLF: Asia-Pacific Affairs Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in and Tasmanian sparkling wine reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $18 members, $30 non-members Program Organizers: Carol High and Sylvie Rivera Also know: Limited to 40 attendees. Food and beverage generously sponsored by Wine Australia and Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. In association with the Australian Consulate-General, Wine Australia and the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. Supported by the Asia Society Northern California.

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Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, Founder/Director, Center for Work Life Law, UC Hastings; Author, Reshaping the Work-Family Debate In conversation with Mary Cranston

Discussions about work and family have focused largely on women. Williams shifts to men and the pressure to be a “good provider.” Some argue that U.S. parents of both sexes face the most family-hostile public policy in the developed world. Williams articulates a strategy for reversing this trend by bridging the “class culture gap” between progressives and the working class. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley


Wed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Michael Scheuer: Discovering Bin Laden

Jed Emerson

Has China Surpassed the U.S. in Supercomputing?

Former Chief, CIA’s Bin Laden Unit; Author, Osama bin Laden

Emerson is a social entrepreneur, a funder and investor and a critical observer of the field. His area of exploration is the Blended Value Proposition, focusing on advancing frameworks for assessing and tracking the value generated by social and cultural capital. According to Emerson, “We are really witnessing, I think, the coming together of different schools. You’ve got folks who are historically in the nonprofit sector who are increasingly taking business acumen, skills and frameworks and applying them toward community ends.”

CIA veteran Scheuer provides a rare look at Osama Bin Laden, showing him still to be a formidable and implacable enemy of the West. Scheuer draws from a wealth of information about bin Laden and his evolution from peaceful Saudi dissident to America’s Most Wanted. Scheuer makes use of all of the speeches and interviews bin Laden has given as well as lengthy interviews, testimony and previously untranslated documents. Location: World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., Suite 200 Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $15 non-members, $5 students (with valid ID)

Author, Blended Value

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID).

Dona Crawford, Associate Director of Computation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Supercomputers can perform long, complex calculations and simulations for things like weather forecasting or creating massive models of the universe. With China’s new faster-than-ever installation, it may have surpassed America in supercomputers. Crawford has more than 30 years of experience leading high-performance computing projects and will discuss the state of supercomputing in both China and the U.S. MLF: Science & Technology Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Chisako Ress

Wed 2 3 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

T h u 2 4 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Mergers and Acquisitions 2011: Meet the Players

The Paradox of Education Reform Today

Monty Gray, Director, M&A Corporate Development, SAP AG Drew Guevara, Managing Director, Head of West Coast Technology Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley Louis Lehot, Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP Kevin Rooney, Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP Martine Paris, Head of Video Monetization Platform, PlaySpan Inc. – Moderator

Hear from leading players about recent deals you’ve read about in the press. Some of Silicon Valley’s largest technology buyers will tell you more about macro trends for 2011, including what buyers are focusing on and what sellers should expect – and how this will impact your investment activities and strategic planning process. Join leading Silicon Valley decision-makers for an in-depth discussion, focusing on real-life examples. Location: Silicon Valley Bank, 3005 Tasman Dr., Santa Clara Time: 6 p.m. networking reception, 7-8:15 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Also know: In association with Sheppard Mullin Digital Media Law Forum

Diane Ravitch, Former U.S. Asst. Secretary of Education; Author, The Death and Life of the Great American School System

What can be done to save our schools? Are charter schools the answer? And what role do teacher unions play? An original supporter of the No Child Left Behind Act, Ravitch now believes the act’s emphasis on “measuring and punishing” has been counter-productive. She will discuss the challenges and limitations of our current education system. Location: St. Clare Room, Santa Clara University Library, 500 El Camino Real Time: 5 p.m. program Cost: FREE Also know: In association with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011

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February 25 – March 07 F ri 2 5 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Addressing the Legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam

Protect Yourself, Family and Friends from Senior Fraud

Middle East Discussion Group

Bob Edgar, President/CEO, Common Cause Charles R. Bailey, Director, Ford Foundation Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin

Nancy Meyer, Realtor; Seniors Real Estate Specialist Robin Myers, Senior Care Manager, Care for Seniors

Thirty-five years after the Vietnam War, the legacy of Agent Orange – dioxin contaminated soils and a heavy burden of disability on people in Vietnam as well as on American veterans – continues to be a challenge. Our speakers will show how this is a humanitarian concern we can do something about.

Learn to protect yourself and your senior family and friends from crimes such as reverse mortgages, title or home improvement frauds, move-in scams, false credit or sweepstakes solicitors, family impostors, and fraudulent requests for money. Join Meyer and Myers as they discuss simple strategies to avoid these increasingly prevalent crimes against seniors.

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session. MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

MLF: Environment & Natural Resources/ Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant

MLF: Grownups Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: John Milford

M on 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T u e 01 | San Francisco

Wed 0 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Magic Theatre Virgin Play Reading: “Peace”

Land Grab in Africa: The Case of Ethiopia

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Arts of Intimacy, by Jerrilynn Dodds

Magic Theatre brings its artistic staff and one of the candidates for next season’s main stage to The Club. Hear the very first reading of a new play and meet the director and playwright, who will hold a conversation after the reading. “Peace,” inspired by the playwright’s correspondence with a peace group in a college town, comes from Lydia Stryk, who returns to Magic after last season’s extraordinary play, “An Accident.” Stryk has a laser-like focus on the human heart. She always writes the unexpected; her style is inimitable. Come be among the first to hear this extraordinary work.

Fikre Tolossa, Ph.D.; Playwright; Author

Location: SF Club Office Time: 6-8:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE, suggested $12 donation

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Though Africa is no longer threatened by armed colonizers, foreign exploiters are threatening Ethiopian farmers by obtaining fertile land from African leaders. The governments of many African countries are benefiting from these land transactions, but the people are left impoverished and hungry. Tolossa will suggest ways to improve the desperate situation for Ethiopian farmers. MLF: International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students with valid ID Program Organizer: Jim Doyle

feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011

Join us to discuss The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture, by Jerrilynn Dodds, which explores the literature, language, art and architecture of the relatively tolerant Castilian culture. The discussion will be moderated by Lynn Harris. MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: George Hammond


Wed 0 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T h u 03 | San Francisco

Future Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World

Stress: The New Biological Clock – How We Can Turn It Back

Bob Johansen, ITIF Distinguished Fellow; Past President/CEO, Institute for the Future; Author, Leaders Make the Future

Today’s businesses and organizations are operating in a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Leaders need an emerging set of skills uniquely suited to dealing with the challenges of the threshold decade we’re entering. Combining research-based forecasts, real-world examples and more than 35 years of experience, Johansen helps you thrive in this difficult world.

Elissa Epel, Ph.D., Health Psychologist, UCSF Calvin Harley, Ph.D., Pioneer in Telomere Biology Jue Lin, Ph.D., Telomere/Telomerase Assay Specialist in Elizabeth Blackburn’s Lab, UCSF Thea Singer, Author, Stress Less

Groundbreaking science by Nobel Prize Winner Elizabeth Blackburn and health psychologist Elissa Epel links psychological stress not only with disease but directly with aging, all the way down to our cells – in particular, our “telomeres,” the caps on the ends of our chromosomes that protect our DNA and a marker of biological aging. Indeed, the subjects in those studies who perceived themselves as being under the most stress had telomeres that were the equivalent of 10 years older than the telomeres of those who perceived themselves as being under the least stress. Stress Less, science/health writer Singer’s new book, springs from Blackburn and Epel’s remarkable discovery; it enlists a veritable Who’s Who of stress and telomere researchers to explore this new science as well as the cutting-edge research that shows how we can slow, or even turn back, that ticking clock. Join a discussion of the implications of this ongoing revolutionary research with the scientists at the center of the research.

MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

MLF: Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Patty James

Mar 04 – May 13

M O N 07 | San Francisco

M on 0 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Ground Level: A Soldier’s 15-Month Journey in Afghanistan

The Patterns in Our Personalities

American Wasteland

George Hammond, Author, Rational Idealism and Conversations with Socrates

Jonathan Bloom, Author, American Wasteland A.G. Kawamura, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Monday Night Philosophy explores our emotions, desires and attitudes, which are littered with illusions but have a substantial base in reality as well. Hammond cuts through the complications to the core principles that drive our personalities in their (more successful than usually noticed) pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain.

Americans generate enough food waste to fill the Rose Bowl each day. How sustainable can that be? What is the economic and environmental cost of such a system? How will climate change affect our year-round cornucopia of food? Join us as we discuss the life cycle of our food – from farm to table – and the opportunity for more efficient production and distribution.

Photographs by Jeremiah Ridgeway

While serving in the Afghan war, 21-year-old Jeremiah (Jeb) Ridgeway documented the daily lives of his combat unit with a camera brought from home. Ridgeway will be speaking at The Club on March 10. MLF: Arts Location: SF Club Office Time: Regular Club business hours Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

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March 07–14 M on 0 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T u e 08 | San Francisco

t u e 08 | San Francisco

The March

East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres

Louise Burnham Packard

Join in a lively discussion of E.L. Doctorow’s riveting historical novel of Sherman’s bloody sweep through Georgia and the Carolinas in the final months of the Civil War. As a reminder, this is a book discussion group; the author will not be present. MLF: SF Book Discussion Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Howard Crane

Andrew Lam, Author, East Eats West; Writer; Co-founder, New America Media

Lam, who emigrated from Vietnam as a child, looks at how the East and West are changing each other. From cuisine and martial arts to sex and self-esteem, from Buddhism to anime, Lam will discuss and explore the marvelous world where two hemispheres meld into one. Praised for his wit and style, he will share his insights into the cultural consequences of immigration from Asia to the West. MLF: Asia-Pacific Affairs Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizers: Cynthia Miyashita and Lillian Nakagawa

Exec. Director, Trinity Boston Foundation

The Trinity Boston Foundation is a part of the Trinity Episcopal Church and is the first foundation of its kind within the Episcopal community. Initially formed as outreach ministries of Trinity Church, it has become the Trinity Boston Foundation, which works with other faith-based organizations in the Boston area to reach out to at-risk youth and struggling populations in low-income areas. Packard’s work showcases how innovation can take place within faith-based organizations with extraordinary results. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Wed 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Generation Hot

Video Stars Tell All: Pathways to Fame and Fortune

Mark Hertsgaard, Author, Generation Hot Scott Harmon, Sustainability Advisor to Boy Scouts of America Alec Loorz, Founder, www.Kids-vsGlobal-Warming.com

Jim Louderback, CEO, Revision3 Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn, Pomplamoose Frank Chindamo, CEO, Fun Little Movies Martine Paris, Head of Content, PlaySpan Marketplace – Moderator

What are kids doing about their future in a world with a swelling population, receding glaciers and weird weather? There’s a move afoot to activate 100 million boy and girl scouts to develop skills for more sustainable living. Activists such as 16-year-old Loorz are calling on adults to use bolder action on greenhouse gases. Will baby boomers heed the call? We discuss the generational climate challenge.

The revolution in web video distribution has opened the doors for those seeking fame and fortune. Big Hollywood talent is going directly to fans, and the rising stars of digital have production values and audience numbers that rival big media. Join us for this fascinating look at the economics of web celebrity, and see how video stars are making money in what promises to be a golden era of opportunity. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6:30 check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. networking reception Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Co-presented by PlaySpan Monetization Forum

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

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T h u 10 | San Francisco

F ri 1 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

MON 14 | North Bay

Ground Level: A Soldier’s 15-Month Journey in Afghanistan

Cloud Power: Microsoft + Google

Day Trip to the Buck Institute for Age Research

Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft William Weihl, Green Energy Czar, Google

The Buck Institute is the nation’s first and only independent research facility focused solely on understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease. Take a guided tour of the facility, designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. After, enjoy a healthy lunch in the atrium, followed by a lecture by Buck Institute President and CEO Brian K. Kennedy, who will discuss aging, treating diseases and extending the healthy years of life.

Jeremiah “Jeb” Ridgeway, Former Soldier; Photographer

Ridgeway recounts his experiences as a combat arms soldier and speaks about his published work of photographs, currently on exhibit in the Club office. Along with his personal story, he will be discussing the complex situations facing American men and women serving in Afghanistan and will address his transformation from soldier to student. MLF: Arts Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

Hear a rare conversation with Google and Microsoft executives on how technology and cloud computing can help address challenges of energy use and environmental sustainability. Will the move from desktop to cloud computing result in energy savings? How can those savings be measured? What can the IT sector do to reduce its estimated 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions? What are tech titans doing to help consumers measure and trim their home energy usage? Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Location: Buck Institute,
8001 Redwood Blvd., Novato Time: 10:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
 Cost: $30 members, $42 non-members (includes tour, lunch and lecture)
 Also know: Advance registration required. For directions or carpool help, call (415) 597-6720. In association with the Grownups MLF.

M on 1 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M O N 14 | San Francisco

Last Jews of Yemen

Truth Telling About Corporate Social Responsibility: What Doesn’t Work and Why

Josh Berer, Linguist; Journalist

Compelled by the chance to document the Jews of Yemen, the last indigenous Jewish community in the Middle East, Berer, who has acted as a translator for Bedouins in Israel and was a newspaper editor in Yemen, and Rachel Strecher, a noted photojournalist, went to Yemen for several months. Their intriguing photos and words depict a community on the brink of exodus due to civil war, religious prejudice and cultural isolation. MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: CLUB/JIMENA MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel Also know: In assn. with JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa)

Pamela Hawley, Founder and CEO, UniversalGiving Bob Saldich, Former CEO, Raychem

Hawley was first drawn to philanthropy at age 12, when she witnessed extreme poverty in Mexico. The founder of nonprofit UniversalGiving, which connects volunteers to quality projects, Hawley is a successful social entrepreneur. Saldich retired in 1995 as president of Raychem Corporation, an electronics manufacturer that sold for $2.87 billion in 1999. These business leaders will discuss the innovations and practical lessons learned from launching CSR programs all over the world. From “philanthropy doing good” to strategic philanthropy that benefits a company’s bottom line, join us to explore the business and human potential that CSR brings to companies locally, nationally and internationally. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Ann Clark

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March 16–24 W E D 16 | San Francisco

Wed 1 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 2 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Andre Dubus in Conversation with Tobias Wolff

Knee Replacements

Bart Ehrman

Kevin Stone, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon

Ph.D., Author, Forged and Jesus, Interrupted

Andre Dubus, Author, House of Sand and Fog and Townie

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and crime. The acclaimed novelist reflects on his violent past and a lifestyle that threatened to destroy him, until he was saved by writing.

More than 800,000 total knee replacements are performed yearly, and that number continues to rise. Stone is pioneering biologic joint repair – a surgical technique that uses a patient’s own stem cells and donor meniscus cartilage to forestall or avoid invasive surgeries such as total knee replacement. He has been performing biologic repair for a number of years now, presented his ideas and findings at a TED talk this past year, and has released a study from his nonprofit Stone Research Foundation that shows a stunning 12-year success rate for his methods.

Ehrman takes you on a journey to the ancient world and the forgery battles that have raged through the centuries. Ehrman contends that the New Testament is riddled with contradictions about the life of Jesus and his significance. He has provided compelling evidence that early Christianity was a collection of competing schools of thought and that the central doctrines we know today were the inventions of theologians living several centuries after Christ.

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

MLF: Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

M on 2 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 2 1 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

T U E 22 | San Francisco

Digging in the Archives: Why It Matters that the U.S. Government Apologized for Medical Research in Guatemala

Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Marketing

Now Is the Time to Plan: Planning 101 for Older Adults with Memory Loss

Susan Reverby, Ph.D., Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Wellesley

In October, President Obama apologized to the Guatemalan government for syphilis inoculation studies done by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1946 to 1948. Reverby uncovered the unpublished studies while doing research for her book on the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis study. She will discuss her findings on the Guatemala research. MLF: Health & Medicine/International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Norma Walden

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Venture Capitalist; Author, Enchantment; Blogger, How to Change the World

Jane L. Mahakian, Ph.D., MFT John O’Grady, Esq.

Marketing these days is strategic and holistic and involves a whole lot of genuine social media engagement. Renowned venture capitalist Kawasaki is famous for helping to create Apple product evangelism and for his legendary marketing methods. He explains how to develop the highest level of relations with customers, employees and colleagues by affecting their hearts, minds and actions.

What are the best living options for a person with memory loss? Is a living trust the best way to plan for incapacity? How does one select the best option for loved ones, and how do we inform them about this change? O’Grady, who has a full-service estate planning practice, and Mahakian, who is director of elder care programs, answer questions.

Location: Silicon Valley Bank, 3005 Tasman Dr., Santa Clara Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Also know: Kawasaki will speak in SF on 3/24

MLF: Grownups Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: John Milford

feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011


t u e 2 2 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

T U E 22 | San Francisco

w ed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

David Brooks

Ted Danson: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them

Finding Common Ground in China-U.S. Relations

Actor; Environmentalist; Author, Oceana

The past three decades have witnessed China’s dramatic transformation from a largely agrarian economy to an urban society with a highly skilled labor force in manufacturing, and increasingly in the high-tech industry. Cheng has played a key role in his country’s economic transformations. Can China and the U.S. find ways to cooperate? Cheng considers means that can serve both countries’ interests.

Columnist, NY Times; Commentator, “NewsHour”; Author, The Social Animal

What if everything we know about what makes us human (how we make choices, create relationships and achieve success) is wrong? Brooks discusses the revolutionary discoveries made in neuroscience and cognition to show how life is dictated by our inner mind – imagination, emotion and intuition. Brooks stresses relationships over individualism and moral connections over monetary need. Location: Schultz Cultural Hall, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Also know: In assn. w/ the Oshman Family JCC

Cheng Siwei, President, China International Finance Forum

Few people realize that celebrated actor Danson has devoted himself to heading off a global catastrophe: the destruction of our oceanic bio-systems and the collapse of the world’s major fisheries. Danson discusses his journey from joining a local protest to founding the world’s largest organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:15 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID). Premium (preferred seating) $35 members, $45 non-members.

MLF: Asia-Pacific Affairs Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Sy Yuan Also know: In assn. with the Asia Foundation

Wed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T h u 24 | San Francisco

Dayna & Robert Baer: A Husband and Wife True-Life Spy Story

Blueprint for a Creative Culture: Building Engagement in Your Organization

Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Marketing

Former CIA Operatives; Authors, The Company We Keep

Kate Rutter, Senior Practitioner, Adaptive Path

Venture Capitalist; Author, Enchantment; Blogger, How to Change the World

Come hear from the amazing real-life Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Former CIA operative Robert Baer and his CIA “shooter” wife, Dayna, recount their days living as a CIA couple. The Baers describe what happens when you try to leave “The Company” and learn that it’s hard to break free of the rogues, mobsters and clandestine warriors who’ve become your best friends and worst enemies. Robert’s book See No Evil was made into Syriana.

As leaders, managers and workers, we’re responsible for the innovative thinking needed to explore ideas and envision solutions. It takes a team approach to create a culture that embraces creativity. How can workplace culture support creative thinking? What activities foster curiosity and collective engagement? A design diva shares her success with Fortune 500 clients and introduces elements needed to get there.

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: The Baers speak in SV on 3/29

MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

Marketing these days is strategic and holistic and involves a whole lot of genuine social media engagement. Renowned venture capitalist Kawasaki is famous for helping to create Apple product evangelism and for his legendary marketing methods. He explains how to develop the highest level of relations with customers, employees and colleagues by affecting their hearts, minds and actions. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. reception and party with Kawasaki 
Cost: $15 members, $25 non-members Also know: Kawasaki will speak in SV on 3/21

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March 24–31 T h u 24 | San Francisco

M on 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Martin Luther King

Middle East Discussion Group

Rev. Eric Lee, President and CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles; Chairman and President, the California Christian Leadership Conference Rev. Deborah Johnson, Founding Minister and President, Inner Light Ministries

Reverend Lee was among the first voices to speak out against the passage of Prop. 8, and he continues to support LGBT equality. As a longtime civil rights activist, he advocates supporting all disenfranchised communities unequivocally and tells us that the LGBT community’s struggle is part of a larger struggle for justice that includes immigration reform and economic and racial justice. An LGBT leader, Reverend Johnson is known for bringing clarity to complex and emotionally charged issues and for her hard work in building solidarity in the intersections of social justice. Reverends Lee and Johnson will discuss their work in the multiple communities they serve. MLF: LGBT Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Laurie Wagner

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session. MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M on 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Timothy Sandefur: Your Economic Liberty

Man-made Climate Change in the Skies

CATO Institute Adjunct Scholar; Author, The Right to Earn a Living

Sandefur asks, How will the 2010 backlash against big government affect the right to earn a living? He addresses the ways that he asserts governments – at all levels – intrude on the essential constitutional right of economic freedom. Today, says Sandefur, courts and legislatures impose a wide array of restrictions and limits on economic liberty. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Part of the Taube Family American Values Series

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Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University Eric Karlstrom, Professor of Geography, California State University; Filmmaker Allan Buckmann, Former Scientist, California Fish and Game; Presenter, UN Conference on Global Warming Rosalind Peterson, President and Co-founder, Agriculture Defense Coalition; Former U.S.D.A., Farm Service Agency Christie Dames, CEO, TechTalk / Studio – Moderator

What is happening in our skies may have more to do with global climate change than we know. From commercial airlines’ contrails to solar radiation management and weather modification, new and challenging perspectives are emerging. Across the board, diverse interest groups have started to investigate these phenomena and their effects on weather patterns, plants and wildlife, and the health of people. What’s going on, how do we understand it, and what can we do about it? MLF: Business & Leadership/Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

feb r ua ry/mar ch 2011


M on 2 8 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

T u e 29 | San Francisco

T u e 29 | San Francisco

Michio Kaku

Kriss Deiglmeier

The Empire Strikes Out: Baseball’s Historic Role in U.S. Foreign Policy

Host, “Science Fantastic”; Professor of Physics, City College of New York; Author, Physics of the Future

No one has used the revelations of science fiction to explain the realities of science more than Kaku, who takes us on a fast-forward look at tomorrow. Based on interviews with the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs, Kaku reveals the lives we’ll be leading tomorrow. Meet the scientist and television star who makes science understandable and the future visible. Location: Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members

Executive Director, Center for Social Innovation, Stanford University

Are social innovation and entrepreneurship truly new fields and worthy of academic research and understanding? Stanford University believes so and has appointed Deiglmeier to create the Center for Social Innovation and its associated programs. A social innovator herself, Deiglmeier understands the field as a practitioner as well as academic. Her views place the field in the larger context of philanthropy and nonprofit management. She will share her experience in this new area. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

t u e 2 9 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

T h u 31 | San Francisco

Dayna & Robert Baer: A Husband and Wife True-Life Spy Story

The Art of the Food Memoir

Former CIA Operatives; Authors, The Company We Keep

Hear from the real-life Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Former CIA operative Robert and his CIA “shooter” wife, Dayna, recount their life as a CIA couple. They describe what happens when you try to leave “The Company” and learn that it’s hard to break free of the rogues, mobsters and clandestine warriors who’ve become your best friends and worst enemies. Robert’s book See No Evil was made into Syriana.

Robert Elias, Ph.D., Author; Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco

Though baseball has been widely recognized as a barometer of U.S. society, less examined has been its long-standing role in U.S. military, diplomatic and globalization policies, and in promoting the American way abroad. Elias reveals a colorful and often startling cast of characters, illustrated by dramatic slides, both from baseball and foreign policy. He tells how baseball has been compelling on and off the field. MLF: International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Norma Walden

Dayna Macy, Author, A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom Kate Moses, Author, Cakewalk: A Memoir Romney Steele, Author, My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family and Big Sur Davina Baum, Managing Editor, Chow – Moderator

M.F.K. Fisher set the standard for food memoir with her collection of essays, The Art of Eating, and Ruth Reichl continues to entertain us with her culinary escapades. Food memoirs delight and inspire us. These three Bay Area authors will share their journeys in writing and eating with us. MLF: Bay Gourmet Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Cathy Curtis

Location: Cubberley Community Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Also know: The Baers speak in SF on 3/23

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April 04–14 M on 0 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 0 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Howard Schultz

Social Capital: The Intersection of Money and Meaning

Founder and CEO, Starbucks; Author, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul In conversation with Chris Anderson

Hope Neighbor, Founder and CEO, Hope Consulting David Hodgson, Co-founder, the Idea Hive; Fellow, the International Futures Forum Kevin Jones, Founder Good Capital; Convener, SOCAP Sean Stannard-Stockton, CEO, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors; Columnist, Chronicle of Philanthropy; Author, Tactical Philanthropy blog Kevin O’Malley, President, TechTalk / Studio – Moderator

One of the world’s most influential corporate leaders shares how a small Seattle coffee shop spawned a global empire. Schultz discusses what he’s learned on his journey from small business owner to head of a company with more than 17,000 locations. Location: TBA Time: 5:45 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing Cost: Regular $15 members, $30 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID). Premium (includes copy of book and seating in front rows) $60 members, $80 non-members. Also know: Attendees subject to search

SOCAP is a multi-platform organization dedicated to the flow of capital toward social good. Three sold-out conferences have connected innovators worldwide – investors, foundations, institutions and social entrepreneurs – to build a market where everyone wins. This year SOCAP returns to San Francisco and launches new events in Europe and Washington, D.C., in partnership with the U.S. State Department. Get a preview of these amazing events and learn how you can be a part of this global movement. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

T u e 05 | San Francisco

Wed 0 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T h u 07 | San Francisco

Speaking Up: Presenting to Executives

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Bull of Minos by Leonard Cottrell

Cosmic Wisdom: An Astronomer Looks at Human History...and Our Future Prospects

Join us to discuss The Bull of Minos: The Great Discoveries of Ancient Greece, by Leonard Cottrell. He presents the story of two of the most heroic yet controversial figures in archaeology: Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the remains of Troy, and Arthur Evans, who unearthed the great city of King Minos. These discoveries proved that what had been assumed to be myths were historically real. The Cretans did indeed worship the cult of the bull. Achilles and Agamemnon really did live. The discussion will be moderated by Lynn Harris.

Sandra Faber, Ph.D., University Professor, UC Santa Cruz; Staff Member, UCO/ Lick Observatory

MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. discussion Cost: FREE Program Organizer: George Hammond

MLF: Science & Technology Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Brandon Allgood

Rick Gilbert, Founder and Chairman, PowerSpeaking, Inc.; Author, PowerSpeaking: How Ordinary People Can Make Extraordinary Presentations

Top decision makers in business, the nonprofit world or government can be tough audiences. Yet the outcome of presentations can mean career and project success, or a new job search. Based on CEO interviews and in-depth client experience, and recommended by Fortune, Gilbert will look at three ways presenters often fail, as well as five strategies for top-level meetings. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

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We now know more about the distant universe in many ways than we do about our own planet. Using breathtaking images and computer simulations, cosmologist Faber will tell the story of how human beings got here and where we are headed, cosmically speaking. This “cosmic wisdom” is essential knowledge, she says, for persons grappling with challenges facing humanity.


M on 1 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 1 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 1 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Is Capitalism a Condition of an Immature Social Psychology?

The New Leadership Mindset: Ten Misconceptions About Compromise at Work

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Matt Cantor, Columnist, Berkeley Daily Planet

Monday Night Philosophy will attempt to remove the obfuscating (and dismal) economic language from our discussion of capitalism versus socialism, communism and anarchy. What remains is how we share and get along in modern societies. Capitalism has been associated with freedom and well-being in the U.S. for generations. Is this a valid assumption? Does capitalism create freedom? Is fairness important, and what does that look like? Who benefits from capitalism? Do you?

Elizabeth Doty, Co-founder, WorkLore; Author, The Compromise Trap

As we recover from the economic crisis, many professionals are asking themselves: Can we avoid the widespread compromise and excess that marked the first decade of the 21st century? Based on conversations with more than 400 professionals in dozens of industries, Doty outlines 10 misconceptions that got us into trouble and the new leadership mindset necessary for organizations of true integrity.

Explore San Francisco’s Financial District with historian Rick Evans and discover the stories behind some of the city’s remarkable structures, streets and squares. Hear about the famous architects that influenced the city’s rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake. Discover hard-to-find rooftop gardens, Art Deco lobbies, unique open spaces and historic landmarks. This is a tour for locals, with hidden gems you can only find on foot! For those interested in socializing afterward, we will conclude the tour at a local watering hole. Location: Meet at SF Club Office
 Time: 1:45-4 p.m. tour, no-host socializing to follow
 Cost: $30 members, $40 non-members 
 Also know: Limited to 20. Advance registration required. Tour covers less than one mile of walking. Call (415) 597-6720 with questions.

MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

T h u 14 | San Francisco

LATE-BREAKING EVENTS: See commonwealthclub.org for complete event details T h u , F eb 0 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life

The San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean

Marcus Wohlsen, Science Writer, The AP

Bruce Bochy, Manager, SF Giants; Two-time National League Manager of the Year Brian Sabean, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, SF Giants

The most revolutionary discoveries often emerge from out-of-the-way places, forged by brilliant outsiders with few resources besides boundless energy and great ideas. That language could apply to the “biohacking” movement. In the next few years, companies will start selling libraries of genetic LEGOs that amateur scientists will use to build new life from scratch. Wohlsen follows the biopunk underground toward a future that might leave us feeling blessed, doomed or both.

Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:15 a.m. check-in, noon program

F R I , F eb 1 1 | E a s t B a y

Annual Travers Conference on Ethics and Accountability in Government Financing California: Strategies for Fiscal Housekeeping Location: Alumni House, UC Berkeley Time: 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. program

T h u , F eb 2 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o MLF: Science & Technology Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Chisako Ress

Never Say Die Susan Jacoby, Author, Never Say Die Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program

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have many friends who are card-carrying capitalists who are incredibly upset with what’s happening. They think that bailing out banks that are too big to fail with taxpayer money is not capitalism. They think the capitalist system is not based on using taxpayer money to bail out those who take excessive risk. According to the capitalist system, you let them fail. There’s an enormous amount of redefining that has to be done and that is not easily divided into Left vs. Right. If we divide it into Left vs. Right, we are not going to find any solutions. PATEL: Particular positions that are progressive one way or another tend to be ascribed as minority positions even though we see a lot of evidence – for example, in the debate around health care, the majority of Americans were in favor of single-payer. Why is it that this Left-Right split persists, do you think? The position of many Americans tends to be very firmly conservative and in other ways very firmly to the Left, but there doesn’t seem to be a way of articulating the nuance. HUFFINGTON: You are absolutely right. A lot of people oppose “Obamacare” because it does not include a public option. They oppose it because it is not going to reduce costs in the way it should reduce costs, because we gave up so much already to the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. People know that. They may not know the details, but they know this is not the best deal we could have gotten. It is being opposed by many people from across the political spectrum. But when you look at the polling numbers, the way they are represented is just as opposing because it is a big government takeover. The main reason for the big anti-government feeling right now is that government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars, and it has done a lousy job. This is not a good time to be pro-government. The government has been incompetent. It has bailed out people who should not have been bailed out, without strings attached. It has bailed out Wall Street, and then Wall Street turned around and failed to return the favor when it came to Main Street. And it has prosecuted two wars that were not in our national security interest and put them on

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our credit card. So if you want to make a case against government, you have a lot of evidence right now. PATEL: There’s the counter-argument that without this government intervention, things would have been much worse. HUFFINGTON: I’m not saying that the case against government is legitimate; I’m just saying

“I’m not saying that the case

against government is legitimate; I’m just saying there’s a lot

of

evidence to justify it.” there’s a lot of evidence to justify it. Government could have done an infinitely better job bailing out Wall Street; I’m not saying they shouldn’t have bailed them out. They should have bailed them out with major strings attached, with major conditions: claw-backs, clear ground rules that there would be no bonuses, clear ground rules about how much they had to lend to small businesses to create jobs, instead of which they cut lending by $100 billion. PATEL: President Obama came to power with the idea of hope. He was sold as the second incarnation of the Great Communicator. But he seems to have rather manifestly failed to communicate. I’m wondering if that’s why you call one of the ideas at the end of your book “hope 2.0.” Are you taking

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a jab at Obama’s failed hope? HUFFINGTON: I’m not taking a jab the way Sarah Palin did about “How’s that hopey, changey thing working out?” I’m acnowledging the fact that hope did not exactly turn out to be what we thought it would be. It wasn’t what we hoped. So it’s time for Hope 2.0: basically about looking in the mirror and finding the leader in the mirror. It’s almost as though we need to grow up. All of us, especially women, have this hope as we’re growing up that a day will come when a knight in shining armor is going to ride into our lives and save us. Now we’re growing up and realizing that day will never come and that it’s time for us to look in the mirror and discover our own leadership potential and save ourselves, and save a few other people in the process. That’s really where we are, and we might as well acknowledge it. This is almost a time for the nation to grow up. It’s a time to also re-evaluate what our lives are about. That’s happening a lot; a lot of people who thought life was about endless consumption are re-evaluating that. Do you know that during the “good times,” renting private storage was one of the high-growth industries, because people were buying so much stuff, they didn’t have room to put it in their apartments? So there’s a lot of re-evaluation going on. In that process, if you look at what’s happening in the zeitgeist, there’s a shift from what Jonas Salk called Epoch A to Epoch B. Epoch A was about competition and survival. Epoch B is about collaboration and meaning. PATEL: What is your 60-second idea to change the world? HUFFINGTON: Getting enough sleep. [laughter] We are suffering from the fact that many of our leaders are sleep deprived and as a result making lousy decisions. I’m also convinced that if Lehman Brothers were getting more sleep, they would still be around. We are suffering from not a lack of IQ but a lack of wisdom. If we are more connected with our own wisdom and less sleep-deprived and more able to operate from deeper and wiser parts of ourselves, then we’ll be making the kinds of decisions we need to make as individuals and as a culture. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of Wells Fargo.

Photo by Ed Ritger

Arianna Huffington (Continued from page 13)


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Tales sea OF the

Photos by OneEighteen & Tom Bradnock / Flickr

A body of water with a beginning, middle and an end? Master historian and storyteller Winchester dives into the Atlantic Ocean’s past and present. Excerpt from “Simon Winchester: Atlantic – The Biography of an Ocean,” November 14, 2010. Simon winchester Author, Krakatoa and Atlantic

I

was flying across the Atlantic one day from New York to London, like most people just sort of drumming my fingers, thinking, When is this going to be over? The flights have now reduced the Atlantic to a tedious incommoding expanse of distance. You look at that little map in the seatback in front of you and you think, Oh my god, we’re just between Greenland and Newfoundland; why can’t we get there? And you forget the extraordinary romance and all the stories that went on in the ocean that’s five miles below us. I put forth the idea to my publishers that I would write a book about the Atlantic. But how on earth do you do it? It became clear to me after a little while of thinking that the Atlantic is an entity that can reasonably be said to have a life – certainly a life span – and that it was born at a definable time in world history, about

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200 million years ago. And if you believe the geological futurologists who mainly inhabit the University of Texas, they have looked at how continents have moved in the past and they’ve drawn up algorithms which show how they’ll move in the future; they’ve proved, at least to their contentment, that the Atlantic will cease to be in another 170 million years’ time. Of course, we’ll be all extinct by that time. Actually, that allows me to ruminate very briefly on the concept of geologic time, which some people just don’t get. There was the classic example three or four years ago. I was talking to a group of ladies who lunch in Kansas City about the Yellowstone volcano complex, which sometime in the future is going to re-erupt, and when it does so, it will be several hundred years of eruptions, which will have extraordinary effects on the cities, certainly San Francisco,

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but also Portland and Seattle and Vancouver. They will be buried under 100 or 200 feet of volcanic ash, and the Northwest of the United States will be toast. There’s no doubt about it. But everyone [at the lunch] was sort of nervous about this, and I said, “Don’t worry. We’re talking geological time here, and that’s 250,000 years at least, by which time everyone will be extinct.” And everyone seemed sort of relieved to hear this, except one extremely angry woman in the front row, who stood up brandishing her program and said, “What?! Even Americans will be extinct?” So the Atlantic has a total life span of nearly 400 million years. Then, sandwiched almost in the middle, is a very geologically slender period of about 200,000 years when humankind is involved in the ocean. That’s really the core of the book. The big question was how on earth to write that.


Question and answer session with Brian Hackney, Science Editor and Host of “Eye on the Bay,” CBS5 Hackney: One of the chapters in the book is dedicated to warfare on the open sea. You had your own personal experience with it. Let’s go back to early May 1982. Tell us what’s happening and what happened to you. Winchester: I had been in India in March of 1982 when I got a telegram from my foreign editor in London [at The Sunday Times] saying to return to London immediately. I thought, Oh my gosh, this is a problem with my expenses. So I took a British Airways flight from Delhi to London, turned up in front of Cal McCrystal, and I said, “What’s the problem?” He said, “There’s no problem. We just thought, there’s going to be a war in the South Atlantic between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands, and we think you should be the chap to go.” So I flew to Buenos Aires. I knew one friend from school who was a spy at the British embassy in Buenos Aires. I went to have lunch with him and asked, “Are the Argentines going to invade the Falklands?” He said, “I can’t possibly tell you, but I can tell you this: You can probably get a flight to the Falklands, but you may not get one back.” So I flew down to southern Patagonia, a place called Comodoro Rivadavia, took a flight to the Falklands, and they were invaded two days later. So I was there, hiding under the governor’s bed, when the Argentines were machine gunning. It was all very exciting. Then the governor was deported. I was deported three days later and then arrested for spying, because they found the telephone number of the spy in my notebook. Suddenly, here we are [Winchester and two other journalists], under arrest, tried, sentenced to life imprisonment for spying, and put in the slammer in this town, Ushuaia. But the day that you’re referring to, the 10th of May, is when there was a sudden commotion and the governor of the prison, a man called Juan Carlos Grieco, came running up to the cell and said, “Great victory today. We, Argentina, have sunk one of your warships.” It’s one of the events that all Britains remember: where they were when the first warship of the Royal Navy was sunk since World War

II. It was a destroyer called HMS Sheffield. He was exultant. It was a terrible tragedy. But the coda to that story is about 15 years later, I got a letter from Juan Carlos saying he wanted to see me. Hackney: Suffice it to say you didn’t spend life in prison. Winchester: We were released once the British won the war, and we were part of the tidying up. In fact, to keep Argentina’s face, we weren’t actually exonerated, we were released on bail – and, I might say, an insultingly small sum. So Juan Carlos wrote to me and told me what had happened to him. He had been arrested, dismissed from the navy, put in my cell for a year. He then went selling soap door to door in Buenos Aires for six years, but managed to keep his family and dignity together, then went back to university, took a degree in history, and

“The Phoenicians ... set up a [Mediterranean] trading post. Market

forces are what dragged us into the Atlantic.” now was a lecturer in history in the Tierra del Fuego campus of the University of Patagonia. He wanted to see me very much because he wanted to say something to me. So I flew down that day, back to Ushuaia, and there was Juan Carlos, and it was amazing. He was very tearful about it. We went to a restaurant. He said, “I want to say something about that night I came into your cell exultant about the sinking of HMS Sheffield. I am a sailor, and I would never wish on anybody to die alone at sea in the middle of the ocean, with your ship sinking beside you. And I want to apologize formally for what I said. Because there is a brotherhood of the sea, and all sailors stick together.” I thought that was amazingly touching, and so we’ve remained friends ever since. HACKNEY: I want to cover some of the basics of the Atlantic Ocean, so let’s do it in rapid-fire fashion. How long has it been around? WINCHESTER: Two hundred million

years. HACKNEY: When was the first time that humans said, I could go float on that thing? WINCHESTER: One hundred sixty-four thousand years ago is when we first saw it, in southern Africa, and had our first seafood. Hackney: Who were the first people who regularly set sail upon the Atlantic? Winchester: The Phoenicians, and that was in about the seventh century B.C., and they did so in an extraordinary act of bravery, going through the Pillars of Hercules, from the safety of the Mediterranean, sailing between Gibraltar and Jebel Musa out into this ocean that Homer had called the “sea of perpetual gloom,” that was full of monsters and storms, and possibly the edge of the world, if you believed that the world was not spherical. But they turned left, they found that they didn’t sink, and they discovered two islands off of what is now the Moroccan port of Essaouira where there were a huge number of these shells from which they already knew in the Mediterranean they could extract beautiful, indelible, purple dye, which the Roman and Greek aristocracy liked to dye their clothes with. So they set up a trading post, and that was the beginning of Atlantic trade. Market forces are what dragged us into the Atlantic. I’m never going to get a reservation in an Italian restaurant again, because I try in this book to knock Christopher Columbus from his perch. In America, every child is taught that in 1492, he sailed the ocean blue and all that. Well, he may have done that, but he wasn’t the first. The first was 491 years before, this very nice chap called Leif Ericson, who imprisoned no one, enslaved nobody, he behaved in a civilized fashion, built a settlement, which still exists now, in a place called L’Anse aux Meadows in the north of Newfoundland, and had cattle and performed agriculture, and conceived – there was a child born. The first European child ever born in North America was born in Newfoundland in 1002 A.D. He has this wonderful name, Snorri Thorfinnsson. The only big difference between Ericson up north and Columbus down south is that the weather up north was dreadful, and the Norwegians thought, Why are we staying here? And they legged it back to Norway after about eight years. That’s a pure difference of geography and latitude. Hackney: I would have to think that

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American president saying that the Old World and the New World are now one, we are now united. Hackney: Of all the natural phenomena in the ocean, do you have a favorite? Winchester: I think the dominant thing is the Gulf Stream, which Ben Franklin drew the first map of. He was intrigued

“Once people realized it was not full of monsters, we started to have a much more lyrical appreciation of the

sea.”

by the mail boats, because he was the first U.S. postmaster general and was a colonial postmaster. He wanted to know why the mail packets going from Falmouth to Halifax were battling against the sea in a way that the ships coming back were not, and how it was that a ship coming eastbound would go much more quickly if it were taken north. So he plotted a map of this great big 60-mile-wide current that came from Florida, warm water coming all the way to Scotland. I used to live in Scotland, and you’re way up at 58 degrees north latitude, when at 58 degrees in this part of the world it’s bitterly cold, but we’re growing palm trees at the bottom of our garden, because the water that washes at the bottom of the house I used to have comes from Florida,

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courtesy of the Gulf Stream. In fact, 30 or so years ago, when I was a small boy, someone experimented by dumping many tons of perfume into the Gulf Stream off Orlando, and sure enough, two weeks later people in Scotland were saying, “What’s that dreadful smell?” It was the perfume. [The discovery changed navigation] by enabling sailors to choose prudent routes to go most quickly across the ocean. This brought on board the mapmakers. So learning about the currents was crucially important to navigation. Hackney: What’s the state of the Atlantic Ocean today? Winchester: It’s not in good shape. At the same time that we’re flying across the ocean and being bored with it, it’s the Pond. We disrespect it. The British government has tons of radioactive material that it just dumped off Cornwall and Scotland because they think it’s big enough, it’ll absorb it. Not at all. There’s tons of radioactivity in the eastern Atlantic. There’s mercury, of course, in tuna. You should never, never eat bluefin tuna. It’s an endangered fish. It’s also very dangerous to eat. My wife, who’s Japanese, gets very cross with me, because, like most Japanese, she likes sushi. But not bluefin tuna sushi, please. But I thought one of the most sad examples of human greed and politics is what happened to the codfish off Newfoundland, off the Grand Banks. People used to say – Rudyard Kipling in Captains Courageous – that you could almost walk to Newfoundland on the backs of these magnificent, silvery fish; there were so many of them. But now, thanks to some appallingly bad decisions made largely by the Canadian government in the 1990s, pandering to the voters in Newfoundland, there are no cod left. They are a completely cod-free part of the world. Whereas down in the other end of the ocean, there’s a fish called the Patagonian toothfish, which we know on our restaurant menus as the Chilean sea bass, because no one is going to eat something called Patagonian toothfish. That is in good shape, because the governments down there have administered that fishery very well. But codfish is a great maritime tragedy. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of The Bernard Osher Foundation.

Illustration by Steven Fromtling

the news of the Atlantic Ocean must have reached Europe somehow. Did people suddenly, or gradually, become aware that there was this ocean lying out there [in the] west, and were they gripped by the idea of this vast body of water? Winchester: Well, at first they were terrified, because they didn’t know if it had an end, they didn’t know there was another side. If you look at their poetry and art, it all reflects the idea that [the ocean] was full of monsters. There was one extraordinary monster called Naglfar, which was a ship made of the toe and fingernail clippings of dead seamen. People had really strange imaginations of the kind of thing that went on in the Atlantic Ocean. The poetry reflected that. But then slowly, once people began to get a handle on the ocean and realized it was full of dangers, it needed to be respected, but was not full of monsters, then we started to have a much more lyrical appreciation of the sea, and this appears in, for instance, paintings. Like Winslow Homer, one of the greatest marine artists of all time. [Or] J.M.W. Turner, of course. So it’s an interesting evolution, to see how our love affair with the sea has grown in concert with our commercial use of it. Hackney: It was literally a conduit for conveying information. If you and I were around in 1820 and wanted to get word that I had bought a pair of shoes in New York, how long would it have taken word of that to get to London? Winchester: Well, I can certainly tell you that in 1865, when Lincoln was assassinated, it took 12 days. The news was conveyed essentially up to Nova Scotia and was put on a boat, taken across the ocean to Ireland, and then eventually horses and so forth took the news to London. So it was a long time. But then suddenly, this man Cyrus Field, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, came up with the idea that the telegraph, which had been recently invented, could be, if made with properly constructed cables, allowed to run under the ocean. They tried and failed many, many times until someone had the bright idea of putting about 2,000 miles of cable on one ship and 2,000 miles of cable on another, the two ships meeting in the middle of the Atlantic and splicing the two ends of cable together. The queen sent a message to the


The U.S. CTO says that the federal government is tapping private innovation to meet the needs of better health-care service for Americans. Excerpt from “Will Health-Care IT and Telemedicine Lead to Better Treatment, a Healthier Population and Reduced Medical Costs?,” August 18, 2010. aneesh chopra United States Chief Technology Officer

T

he Affordable Care Act passed in the spring. We had in the bill a requirement to [set] up a web site by July 1, and that web site was meant to simplify what the health reform bill would mean to the American people. It particularly called out a usable catalogue of all the available health insurance options that might be available in your zip code, in your community. I hope by now the two words that matter most in the health-care sector, in the relationship between technology and health care, are “meaningful use.” This is the term of art that has been introduced into the nomenclature. But you might be wondering, What does that mean? In July of this past year, I’m pleased to report we published a final set of rules of what it is to be a meaningful user of health-care IT; broadly speaking, it means that providers do the following five things: focus on quality, safety and efficiency in health care; engage patients and families; coordinate with other stakeholders in the ecosystem; focus on

improvements to public and population health; and do so in a manner that respects privacy and security. I want to deep-dive on one of those categories, to give you a flavor for what this entails. On patient engagement, there are four specific provisions in meaningful use: One: Patients are entitled to timely access to an electronic copy of their data. Two: A clinical summary should be made available after every visit. Three: Alerts and reminders for preventive and follow-up care should be made available. Four: Electronic access to patient-specific education resources should be a part of the equation. To be fair and to be honest, the framework allows some flexibility, so providers may mix and match which of the 25 components of meaningful use they wish to apply for. So a subset, perhaps 20 of those 25 conditions have to be met. Not all providers will focus on these four provisions in patient engagement. But with your participation and your agitation and inspiration and empowerment, perhaps that will be the way

our ecosystem will adopt moving forward. I now [want to mention] the connectivity realm, and that is to focus on data interoperability. Our core flagship program in this regard is the Nationwide Health Information Network. I will focus on the CONNECT program, which is the technological underpinnings – the open-source collaboration – that is encouraging public and private stakeholders to come together to promote the safe secure exchange of health data. What is exciting about this program is not just the technical advances they’ve made, but the process they’ve chosen to adopt to move the ball forward. This is an open collaboration by design. Every quarter we are hosting a code-athon, where [software] developers from the the private, public and academic sectors come together to gather and understand the latest challenges that are confronting the need for the CONNECT [open source software] program and that they can come together and develop applications that are all freely available for reuse again by the private and public sectors.

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Photo by Sonya Abrams

“Not government as rule

maker, not government as grant writer: government as convener.”

Does this nationwide health information network deliver results? Our first adopter in this program was the Social Security Administration, and they had an administrative-use case. It is unfortunate that those who suffer from a disability have to wait a significant amount of time to process their disability applications with the Social Security Administration to get the services they need to live a healthier life. Thanks to the Nationwide Health Information Network CONNECT program, I am pleased to report in our pilot program a 42 percent reduction in processing time compared to the statewide average for those in the analog environment – where the case worker in the Social Security administration calls for the medical record, asks for the copy to be sent or faxed in, it’s then not complete, they call back for more data, and so forth. Those providers that are in the CONNECT program – where they can electronically communicate the data that’s necessary – have their judgments rendered instantly. It also means we establish more nimble collaborations to execute for how data should flow in the near term. For those of you who follow those 25 meaningful use requirements I referenced a minute ago, it turns out that the core technical requirement to achieve meaningful use is

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essentially safe secure e-mail. The ability for the provider to send data to the patient, send data to the referring doctor, send data to the public health department, and so forth. A doctor in public testimony said very vividly, “I have a patient in Virginia moving to Arizona. That patient has luckily chosen a doctor who has the same software that I have, and that patient asked if an electronic copy of her record could be transmitted to that doctor in Arizona. We all said this is the right thing to do. I went to the software,” this doctor said, “and there was no button that said ‘Send data to colleague.’” They had to export the patient’s file, attach it to regular e-mail, send it over the public Internet, open the file, import it into the system, and guess what? It actually worked! But the privacy and security heart attack that was heard in the room when testimony was rendered – that that’s not secure – lead the doctor to say something very simple: “Will you give me a technical spec to allow me to safely and securely e-mail that patient’s record so that I can achieve this patient’s very simple request?” We said we will focus on this problem, we will execute. We launched the Nationwide Health Information Network Direct Collaborative using an open platform, a wiki – anybody could contribute, public

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sector, private sector, I don’t care. Anybody who wants to play, you’re welcome to come. However, you have 90 days to turn around a technical spec through a voluntary consensus manner that will give a safe secure e-mail. Over 80 vendors and stakeholders participated. In 90 days the collaboration, with very little government involvement – we simply did convening and hosted the web site – the private sector achieved consensus around a spec that will achieve this objective. This program will be, I believe, widely deployed in the spring, so [health-care] providers can communicate safely and securely to achieve the meaningful use requirements by 2011. This is a spirit of entreprenuership and innovation that we’re bringing to the pubic sector, and it’s born out of a very simple policy lever: not government as rule maker, not government as grant writer; government as convener. Bringing people together and encouraging them to find solutions that are in the spirit of the common good. Every one of you can visit nhindirect.org, learn about the specs, participate with the specs, offer to operationalize the spec. You want secure and simple? I’m going to go even one more on the simple framework. I had the honor and privilege of listening to the president’s remarks in August when the president announced to the disabled veterans of America: By this fall veterans will be able to go to the VA web site, click a simple blue button and download or print your personal health records so you have them when you need them and can share them with your doctors outside of the VA. The [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] program and the [Department of Defense] have joined this movement. While we look to have a framework for secure health exchange, lets start with basic rights to your data. We start with government as model actor; we will provide our recipients the authority to have and control of their own health data. A flat file that they can download and I hope that others will make it available so they can import that file wherever they want The taxpayers have paid for data that sits in the proverbial file cabinets in Washington, that if released could actually deliver value in ways we can’t even imagine. Secretary [of Health and Human Services Kathleen] Sebelius convened a forum at the Institute


of Medicine where we formalize the launch of the Community Health Data Initiative. We asked a half a dozen entrepreneurs, Could you improve or add new applications born out of the data at HHS that could spur health improvement at the community levels? Our first customers, Microsoft, Google and entrepreneurs all demonstrated their wares. The example is Microsoft said, You have a quality database called Hospital Compare, this has a wealth of information; for example, we track your patient satisfaction on how well you slept at night in the hospital room. I gave my remarks this [topic] on New York City and we did the analysis. Not a single hospital in New York exceeds 50 percent satisfaction rates on how well you slept at night? I had no idea. Microsoft said, In our Bing search engine, if someone searches for a hospital, in the search results we will bake in the data from hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, so you have it right at your fingertips. We don’t really care or measure success on how often you visit a government web site. We measure success by how much impact the data has in your lives. By opening up the data, Google, Microsoft and others have said, We can find new and creative ways to bring the data to you. I don’t care if you get it from Bing or Google or whatever. I care that you are empowered with that information. Typically government spends money in two traditional ways; we issue grants or we issue procurements, solicitations. Our challenge is, How do we establish frictionless participation? We established a policy framework encouraging our agencies to use prizes and competition policy. The First Lady was the first one to sign up and she said that she wanted to incorporate a prize in her Let’s Move campaign to address the issues of childhood obesity, and one of the key pillars of her program is to close the information gap. I don’t know what I’m eating from a nutritional standpoint. So we said something very simple, the Department of Agriculture has a database of 30,000 food items. How might we find a more creative way to bring that information to life? We issued a simple challenge; 95 applications responded to our call, where we only had maybe $60,000 in prize money available. Those applications have been screened. I had my wife and my three-and-a-half-year-old play these games

to tell me which ones are better, because I’m a judge in the contest. One example of these applications was Smash Your Food, where you basically create a meal, you smash the food and it provides you the sugar, the salt, the oil intake data that might help you understand what this means for your own nutritional choices. It’s so cool. It’s actually not that cool, because my wife yelled at me about the meal I had the other night; she actually saw the game and said, wait a minute, that’s not healthy. We also acknowledge the importance of advanced information technology infrastructure, and there’s no IT infrastructure more relevant to health care than our commitment to a mobile broadband revolution. It’s happening in ways we couldn’t even imagine. In February [2009], I had the pleasure of celebrating an open collaboration called Text for Baby. Again, at zero cost to the American taxpayer, we launched a service that basically had a very basic proposition. If you’re pregnant and you want relevant information to keep yourself healthy through pregnancy and over the first year of the child’s birth, text 511411, your due date, and you will receive three relevant messages a week free of charge. This collaboration got the cell phone companies to wave their fees, got the content companies to offer their data, got the Centers for Disease Control to say let’s take a look to make these messages adhere to best practice, and already in less than six months, over 60,000 people have signed up for this service. Not a nickel of taxpayer dollars. Simple, easy ideas. We’ve got a policy framework, we’ve got grassroots activities, we hope we’ve gotten this right, and if we haven’t, we’ll course correct with your feedback. Question and answer session with Tom Nesbit, associate vice chancellor of strategic technologies and alliances, UC Davis Medical Center NESBIT: Expand on what you feel the role of early-stage entrepreneurs is in this, as well as small companies in helping us realize this vision of a technology enabled health-care system. CHOPRA: I believe innovations will largely come out of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, and that the health-care sector more than any other is in desperate need of

innovations. I am hopeful that our policy framework will tap into those small businesses and entrepreneurs so that they are encouraged and incentivized to participate in the system. There’s core infrastructure – the role of government here, to support through infrastructure, getting the policy framework right in terms of the reimbursement roles in some of those challenges, setting constraints so that we’re not harming patients, that is why we get the regulatory framework right, we’ve got the privacy and security provisions. All of that is designed to catalyze breakthroughs. NESBIT: Are there lessons to be learned from other countries and how they’ve implemented technology into their healthcare systems? CHOPRA: Absolutely. In fact, our national coordinator for health IT, Dr. David Blumenthal, who is a rock star, is not only leading this effort with a gusto, he is also engaging internationallly. I had the pleasure of visiting Spain during its tenure as the head of the [European Union] and had the chance to address their digital summit, where they talked about a European digital agenda. I’m pleased to note that health IT interoperability ranks among their top priorioties and that we are actively looking for collaborations on how we might exchange best practices. NESBIT: There’s been made a considerable financial and political investment into the idea that technology’s going to transform our health-care system. What are the greatest barriers to realizing this vision? CHOPRA: I would cite three barriers. The biggest barrier is ensuring that we have the right ecosystem that would enable or encourage these applications to thrive. The second barrier is the need for innovation. The bottom line, more fundamental barrier, is if patients don’t trust that the system will allow for the security and privacy of their data – game over. We are absolutely laserfocused on ensuring that the best thinking on privacy and security are coming to the table for this topic. For additional health-care programs, visit commonwealthclub.org/healthcare. This program was made possible by the generous support of the California HealthCare Foundation.

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THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB

ANNUAL REPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009 - 2010

Dear Friends, Last year we looked to our past and asked our long time members – those who have been part of the Club for 30 years or more – to share their favorite Club memories. We’ve been delighted by the response. Our “Golden Gavel” group, some of whom have been with us for as long as 73 years (!), remain steadfast in their belief that the Club serves a vital function for our community, after many decades of membership. One of these members grew up on a farm, where he and his parents listened to the Club’s radio broadcasts. He wrote us, “For me, the Club has always given a voice to some of the most intelligent and ethical people from here and around the world . . .” We took the responses to this survey as a good sign – that the Club remains relevant and important, now well into our second century. This Annual Report indicates some of the ways we’ve served our members and the community during the last fiscal year. We remain committed to our mission of uncovering the truth and we welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to better serve our community. Thank you for your support for The Commonwealth Club. When you visit our web site at commonwealthclub.org, you will learn about all of our events and activities; additionally, you will find links to audio and video broadcasts of programs. You can participate in our online discussion at commonwealthclub.blogspot.com; we welcome your thoughts about today’s issues. Together, we will continue to offer important and timely discussions – for another hundred years! Warm regards,

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy President and CEO

Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman Chair, Board of Governors

OUR ANNUAL ACHIEVEMENTS • Organized and broadcast a panel discussion via the Internet from the Copenhagen Climate Summit, the first worldwide live event for the Club • Continued to offer outstanding programming for live audiences throughout the Bay Area • Launched a CEO breakfast series • Tackled current economic issues like jobs and pension reform • Hosted a Social Entrepreneurship series exploring the application of private sector innovation principles to social issues; the series is the basis of a 58

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book to be published by Stanford University Press • Began looking for a permanent home for the Club • Celebrated outstanding honorees and the Club at our Annual Dinner, our biggest fundraising event of the year – breaking all previous revenue records! • Hosted then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi just days after health-care reform was passed, allowing Club members the opportunity to ask questions about this important topic in a very timely manner


THE QUOTABLE COMMONWEALTH “

The whole purpose here is to make sure we are not surprised. It’s the CIA’s charge to help policymakers foresee and understand and meet all of these challenges.

If we find it acceptable – if we even remotely entertain the idea that if you lose your job, there is one way to express your misery and that is by killing other people [in terrorist acts] – we are really going down.

–Leon Panetta

– Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Director, Central Intelligence Agency; October 23, 2009

Human Rights Activist, Author; May 25, 2010

Then there’s the clock that’s ticking toward nuclear weaponry [in Iran]. Unless everyone here is very, very much unlike me or very much younger, they’ll have had the fear in their life that, one day, a madman or a mad regime will get hold of a nuclear weapon. You’re about to find out what that feels like.

Nothing is more of a danger and a threat to the security of the world than the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A generation ago, we were in a bipolar situation. In some ways, that had more security in deterrence than the rogue states getting weapons of mass destruction.

–Christopher Hitchens

–Nancy Pelosi

Columnist at Vanity Fair, Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution; July 9, 2009

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; April 6, 2010

We didn’t feel like celebrating that night. We were spent. We were used up. We’d been through a traumatic exercise. But had even one person not survived [the plane’s forced landing], we couldn’t have celebrated any of this. I couldn’t have.

The problem is not today’s [federal] deficits, though they’re bad: $1.42 trillion. It’s not today’s debt, though it’s high: $12.3 trillion. It’s the offbalance-sheet obligations –$40-50 trillion – that are growing rapidly by doing nothing under our status quo, do-nothing path.

–Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

–David Walker

Pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, Author; November 30, 2009

President/CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Former U.S. Comptroller General; January 25, 2010

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THE TOP 10 PROGRAMS* OF 09/10 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. Andre Agassi 7. Jamie Hyneman & Adam Savage 8. Ayaan Hirsi Ali 9. Ruth Reichl *by attendance 10. Michael Moore

Arnold Schwarzenegger Nancy Pelosi Meg Whitman Lisa Jackson Deepak Chopra

THE CLUB BY THE NUMBERS Revenue

FY 10

Contributions

FY 09

1,429,756

34%

1,381,401

35%

Membership Dues

900,800

21%

1,190,251

30%

Program Revenue

489,100

12%

597,483

15%

Special Event Revenue (Net)

657,625

16%

556,788

14%

Misc. Income

243,458

6%

160,063

4%

Donated Materials and Services

291,113

7%

587,855

15%

Gain/Loss on Investments

206,014

5%

529,469

-13%

4,217,866

100%

3,944,372

100%

2010 Revenue

Total

Expenses

FY 10

Program Services

FY 09

3,350,015

85%

3,891,601

85%

Fundraising

338,038

9%

320,485

7%

Management and General

253,194

6%

366,268

8%

3,941,247

100%

4,578,354

100%

Total

2010 Expenses

LEADERSHIP OF THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB COMMONWEALTH CLUB OFFICERS Board Chair Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman Vice Chair Maryles Casto Secretary William F. Adams Treasurer Anna W. M. Mok President and CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy

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BOARD OF GOVERNORS Massey J. Bambara Ralph Baxter Hon. Shirley Temple Black* John L. Boland J. Dennis Bonney* Helen A. Burt John Busterud* Michael Carr Hon. Ming Chin* Jack Cortis Mary B. Cranston** Dr. Kerry P. Curtis

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Dr. Jaleh Daie Evelyn S. Dilsaver Timothy C. Draper Lee J. Dutra Joseph I. Epstein* Rolando Esteverena Jeffrey A. Farber Dr. Joseph R. Fink* Dr. Carol A. Fleming Karen C. Francis Lisa Frazier William German* Dr. Charles Geschke Rose Guilbault**

Jacquelyn Hadley Edie G. Heilman Eugene Herson* Hon. James C. Hormel Mary Huss Claude B. Hutchison Jr.* Dr. Julius Krevans* Lata Krishnan Hon. L. W. Lane, Jr. Don J. McGrath Jill Nash Richard Otter* Joseph Perrelli* Hon. Barbara Pivnicka

F ebr ua ry/mar ch 2011

Hon. Richard Pivnicka Fr. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. Dan C. Quigley Toni Rembe* Victor A. Revenko* Skip Rhodes* Dr. Condoleezza Rice Fred A. Rodriguez RenĂŠe Rubin* Robert Saldich** Joseph W. Saunders Connie Shapiro* Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Valari D. Staab

ADVISORY BOARD Karin Helene Bauer Hon. William Bradley Dennise M. Carter Steven Falk Amy Gershoni Richard N. Goldman Heather M. Kitchen Amy McCombs Hon. William J. Perry Ray Taliaferro * Past President ** Past Chair Nancy Thompson

James Strother Hon. Tad Taube L. Jay Tenenbaum Charles Travers Thomas Vertin Robert Walker Nelson Weller* Judith Wilbur* Dr. Colleen B. Wilcox Dennis Wu* Russell M. Yarrow


09/10 DONOR HONOR ROLL Thank you to our generous supporters who made donations to The Club during our fiscal year, July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010 Leslie Saul Garvin & Charles Garvin Jacquelyn Hadley Peter Hill Laddie* & Donald Hughes Sean A. Johnston Marissa Mayer & Zachary Bogue Nion T. McEvoy Deedee & Burt McMurtry Professor Eva M. NashIsaac, Ph.D. Berniece Patterson* Claude Perasso The Honorable Barbara & The Honorable Richard Pivnicka Dan C. Quigley Judy & David Redo Maggee & Victor Revenko Brian D. Riley Kate Rowe Deborah G. Seymour Dr. Ruth Shapiro & Michael Gallagher Dr. James & Mrs. Connie* Shapiro Mrs. John Robert Shuman Lucretia & John Sias Scott Stanley James Strother & Denise Mollen Nancy Thompson & Andy Kerr Susie Tompkins Buell & Mark Buell Diane Van Nostrand Daniel & Marie Welch Jane & Nelson* Weller, in memory of Bruce T. Mitchell Wendy & Mason* Willrich Ruth & Weldon Wood Kit & Russ Yarrow Richard Zolezzi

Susan Halliday John Hansen Mary Liz & Anonymous Richard Harris William K. Bowes, Jr. R. E. Hopper* Nan & Chuck Geschke Clay Ide & David Shaw John A. Gunn David Jochim & Cynthia Fry Gunn Katharine H. Johnson Susan & Michael Jordan $20,000 to $49,000 Larry Kenyon The Honorable and Mrs. Heather M. Kitchen William H. Draper III Robert Knourek The Honorable Judy McCarthy Langley James C. Hormel & Donald Langley Frankie & Skip* Rhodes Cynthia Lee Billy Manning $10,000 to $19,999 Anita Mardikian The Honorable Judith Oona L. Marti and Joseph* Epstein & Sarah E. Diegnan Mona Geller* Pamela Martinson Arthur & Toni Rembe* Rock Shirley & Duncan* Matteson Condoleezza Rice Amy McCombs The Honorable George P. Richard Smith & Shultz* and Charlotte Barbara McMillin Mailliard Shultz Carole & Fred* Middleton Donald Mitchell* $5,000 to $9,999 Christine Parlour Anonymous Janet & George* Pasha III William F. Adams Paul F. Pelosi & Julie A. Lundgren Joseph* & Ann Marie Mary G. F. Bitterman McBirney Perrelli Michael & Christine Carr Harriet Meyer Quarré* Steve & Roberta Denning Bruce J. Raabe Evelyn & John Dilsaver The Honorable Rolando Esteverena & Mrs. William K. Reilly Randi & Bob Fisher Marc Reiterman Lisa Frazier Jean & R. Henry Richards Richard N. Goldman* Elizabeth Sutherland Riney Edie G. Heilman & Karen & Fred Rodriguez Richard Weiss Lois & John Rogers Lata Krishnan & Ajay Shah Allison & Robert Ruggles Judith Koch Paul Sack The Honorable Sharon & Joseph Saunders & Mrs. L. W. Lane, Jr. Sande Schlumberger George Marcus* Susan & Dennis Shapiro Nadine C. North Catherine J. Silva Kevin M. Pursglove Katherine A. Strehl Gretchen & L. Jay Tenenbaum $500 to $999 & Bill Dempsey Jeni & Nelson Abramson Annemarie $2,500 to $4,999 & Jim Tanner Clarellen Adams Helen A. Burt Phyllis & Max* Thelen, Jr. Anonymous Dr. Kerry & Ms. Lynn Curtis Massey J. Bambara Charles N. Travers* Karen C. Francis Mona & Thomas Vertin Bob Barksdale Marcia & John Goldman Dr. Norman Bedford Mr. Peter Voll Don J. McGrath Dr. & Mrs. Elwyn Berlekamp Gail & Robert Walker Daniel Olmstead Deborah E. Weisinger Brad & Elizabeth Bird Frank H. Roberts* Robert T. Weston Larel & Thomas Bondi Virginia & Robert Saldich Michele Brown Marcia & Paul* Wythes Valari Dobson Staab Frank Yoke III Barbara James Strother Mr. David Zebker & Charles* Bureker & Denise Mollen Alec Y. C. Chang Gail & Jeff Clarke $125 to $499 $1,000 to $2,499 Diane & J. Robert* Dr. In-Suk Kim-Andersen Anonymous Coleman, Jr. & Mr. Albert A. Andersen Katharine Beckwith Jane A. Cook Dr. Kenneth C. Archibald Athena Dona Crawford Barbara Arnold & Timothy Blackburn John Cullison Lydia Avak John Boland & Diana Kissil Ryan Axelson & James Carroll Dr. Jaleh Daie Barbara & Gerson* Bakar J. Dennis Bonney* Joan L. Danforth David & Sara Baldwin John M. Bryan* Howard Dickstein Robert N. Bee Anne & John* Busterud & Jeannine English Andy Black Julia Carpenter & Paul Marti Penny Eardley & Pamela Ferriera Maryles Casto & Ward Buelow Darlene & David Bossen Jean & William Coblentz Kathleen & Stan Emerson Michael R. Cabak Susan & Jack Cortis Carol A. Fleming, Ph.D. William Callan Lois DeDomenico Muni Fry Margaret Clarson Melissa & Timothy Draper Milo Gates* Terry Connelly & Tawna & John Farmer & Robin Quist-Gates Jennifer McFailane Dr. & Mrs. Joseph R. Fink Carol & Arthur* Graham Catherine Coste

INDIVIDUALS $50,000 & above

Katherine Crocker, in memory of Betty Lou Crocker Dr. Lawrence E. Crooks Mr. & Mrs. Thomas* C. Danhakl Emilia De Luz & Adam Francis Kelly Deal Ken DeJarnette Jennifer & Richard Emerson Tricia Emerson & Craig Coombs Thomas Feldenheimer Mr. & Mrs. Frank M. Fischer Donald T. Fong Dr. Lois V. Freeman James Garrett Rosemary A. Gilbert Lillian Gilmore Meredith J. Goldsmith Joanne & Richard Goodrich James K. Goodwine, Jr. Sallie & Dick* Griffith William L. Habeeb Dick Hague Todd Hansen William Harmon David A. Heagerty Mr. & Mrs. Brian Herman G. R. & Imogene M. Hilbers Quentin Hills James Holman Mr. & Mrs. Howard T. Hoover Ershad Hussein Robert & Ellen Jasper Thomas M. Jenkins III* Barbara Jones Seymour Kaufman Margaret & Edmond Kavounas Lisa & Derek Kirkland Marion & William Kleinecke Kurt Kober and Abigail Kiefer Douglas R. Krotz* George S. Krusi* Joe Laluz John J. Lavorgna, M.D. Lyn & Bryan Lawton Paul & Constance Lazarus Young Lee Allan N. Littman* Robert C. Livsey Alice & Don Loughry Joan R. Manini Mary Brooke McPherson Lorna Meyer & Dennis Calas Carol L. Meyer, in honor of James D. Rosenthal James D. Milliken Col. Sidney F. Mobell Barbara & George Moore George Morris Joseph C. Najpaver Ruediger NaumannEtienne Dr. Ko Nishimura Sara O’Connell C. Leanne Palmer Laurie & Mark Parish George W. Parkerson Jeanette Perlman Betty Lou Pommon Myrtle Potter Sandra Price

Pamela Rafton Mary Rago Mary & Walter Ramseur Dr. Pamela & Dr. Richard Rigg Muriel M. & Wayne A. Robins Dan Y. Rosenberg* Dr. Bernard Ross* J. D. Rowell Joshua Rymer David A. Sandretto Theodore Savetnick Mary K. Saxon Glen H. Schimelpfenig Jean F. Schulz Stephen Seewer Leslie & Roger Sievers Marianne & Reginald* Steer Susanne Stevens Richard & Barbara Stewart Patricia Strong John Tuttle Lorene Van Sickle Stella & George Von Klan Evelyn Wang Merna & Dr. Howard Wechsler Alice Whitson Shelley & Barbara Williams Richard Wolfe Caroline Wood Stephen E. Wright Josephine T. Wunderlich Walter G. Zimmerman, Jr. Emil Zollinger

McKinsey & Company, Inc. National Semiconductor Corporation Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Robert W. Baird and Co. Incorporated Silicon Valley Bank Synergenics, LLC The California Wellness Foundation The Skoll Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation

$5,000 to $9,999

AAA of Northern California, Nevada & Utah Anonymous Blue Shield of California BNY Mellon Wealth Management Casto, The Travel Company Conde Nast Publications The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Dominican University of California Fleishman-Hillard General Motors KGO-TV KQED Inc. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company McKesson Corporation Omidyar Network Services LLP CORPORATIONS O’Neill Wetsuits LLC Sand Hill Group, LLC & FOUNDATIONS $100,000 to $249,999 Seven Design Group, Inc. The Shorenstein Company Chevron Corporation Sierra Steel Trading, LLC Koret Foundation USF School of Business Taube Foundation for and Management Jewish Life and Culture Warburg Pincus LLC The Bernard Osher Foundation $2,500 to $4,999 The Travers Family Bingham McCutchen LLP Foundation Chapman and Cutler LLP $50,000 to $99,999 Charles Schwab Foundation Dodge & Cox Bank of America Orrick, Herrington & California HealthCare Sutcliffe LLP Foundation ClimateWorks Foundation Sunset Development Company Pacific Gas and Electric Wetherby Asset Management Company & Dave Redo Stephen Bechtel Fund Visa Inc. Wells Fargo & Company $1,000 to $2,499 Business for Social Responsibility $25,000 to $49,999 Cathay Pacific Bank of the West The Energy Foundation Kieve Foundation Mineta Transportation $500 to $999 Institute Luxembourg Consulate Oracle Corporation General The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation W. K. Kellogg Foundation $125 to $499 The Endurance Fund University Scholarship $10,000 to $24,999 Foundation Applied Materials Asset Management In Kind Company 111 Minna Bechtel Group, Inc. Deloitte & Touche LLP Absinthe Alemany Farm Hellman Family Americano Foundation

Azalea Springs Winery Back to Earth Catering Bacon Potato Chips Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon Bella Viva Orchards Bike Basket Pies Ronald Charyn, Charyn Auctions Chef’s Palate Cigar Bar & Grill Citizen Cake City of Menlo Park Comcast Local Edition Creme Brulee Cart Kitty Dare Enzo Wines Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Frog’s Leap Gobba Gobba Hey Hibiki J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines JDV Hospitality Magic Curry Cart Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Menlo School JoAnn Michael Michael Mina Microsoft Corporation Mission Pie Mission Street Food Mr. Espresso Pernod Katy L. Nestor, Petite Designs Press Club Quady Wines Quince RealRead, Inc. Rhapsody San Francisco Business Times Segue Cellars Shepard Mullin Silicon Valley Community Foundation Skyy Spirits Slanted Door Sloane Smitten Ice Cream Soul Cocina Pat & Mike Splinter Sweet Constructions Temple Tenuta Vineyards The Enchanted Garden Florist Vasco Morelli and Sequence Wall Street Journal WMS media, Inc.

Matching Gift Companies

Bank of America Foundation BitMover, Inc. Chevron Corporation Genentech Employee Giving Program The Clorox Company *Members of the Golden Gavel Group – Club members for 30 years and more.

Every effort has been made to list donors accurately. If your name or your organization’s name has been listed improperly in any way, or if you believe that a gift is missing from this list, please contact Oona Marti, Vice President, Development and Membership, at (415) 597-6714 or omarti@commonwealthclub.org. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to The Commonwealth Club of California at 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, or you can make a secure donation online at commonwealthclub.org/donate. Thank you to all our supporters.

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InSight Wikileaker Is No Hero Dr. Gloria C. Duffy

Photo courtesy of Gloria Duffy

President and C.E.O.

A

fter the leak of 251,000 classified government documents last November, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange cloaked himself in a mantle of righteousness. He claimed to be exposing government duplicity and cover-ups of human rights violations, to be increasing transparency and strengthening democracy. Here is why his assertion about the good he is doing is false. The system for keeping classified material secret is mostly self-policing. Yes, there are scanners when you enter or exit government buildings. There are random checks of offices using classified material to see whether the material is being handled properly. Classified material must be kept in locked safes when not in the hands of those using it. But no physical security measures for information can be 100 percent effective. The ultimate responsibility for keeping classified material secret lies with the individuals who handle it. Each person with a security clearance is responsible for knowing what is secret and for not disclosing information that should be kept confidential. To obtain a security clearance, their backgrounds are checked and they swear to uphold the security of the information with which they are trusted. A person’s security clearance must be in good standing for them to work for the government or its contractors. One serious security breach and they will lose their clearance and no longer have access to classified material – or to a responsible job with a government agency or contractor. This system of personal responsibility also means that when a cleared military or civilian employee becomes aware of government activities that genuinely violate the constitution or human rights, and does everything possible to correct this situation within the organization in which he or she works, to no avail, then as a last resort, that person can choose to make the information public. Take for example Daniel Ellsberg’s 1971 release of the secret reports on the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers. Going public with this classified material violated Ellsberg’s security clearance. He had a specific concern: that the U.S. government was misrepresenting the number of casualties in the Vietnam War. He believed this was depriving the public and Congress of the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about our strategy in Vietnam. So he decided to make the classified material on this specific topic public by giving it to The New York Times.

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Though one can debate the ethics of what Ellsberg did, his actions and those of other leakers of conscience are fundamentally different from the blanket Wikileaks release of classified documents on every conceivable subject. There was no specific act of conscience here, no concern about a particular area of policy that was unconstitutional or violated human rights. The negative impact of a blanket leak like this could be extraordinary. Diplomacy is extremely important to U.S. ability to function in the world, and especially to our ability to resolve problems by peaceful means. The ability to conduct diplomacy is based on diplomats’ access to uncensored information about what is going on in other parts of the world. U.S. government employees, diplomats and others must be free to send candid reports on what they are hearing and seeing, even if they are rumors, speculation or information that is potentially defamatory to U.S. allies or adversaries, or later proved to be downright wrong. Choking off the ability of these analysts to be frank can hobble our diplomacy. If officials and sources providing information to the U.S. government think their words could shortly appear on the Internet, this flow of information and opinions to our policy leaders could turn into cautious and empty communications, constricting the ability of decision makers to make good choices. As a result of Wikileaks, several changes are needed in how the U.S. government handles classified information. First, screening procedures for security clearances need to be improved. The prime suspect for leaking the cables is 22-year-old Army Specialist Bradley Manning. A security clearance is based on a background check as a way of predicting whether a person might be prone to leak classified material. But with little background to check at age 22, the unreliability Manning demonstrated may not yet have been visible in his short life. Other kinds of tests and interviews need to be added to the typical background check, especially when evaluating those as young as Manning. Second, no one individual, especially at Manning’s level, should have access to the wide range of material he downloaded and provided to Wikileaks. We have technology and procedures that can prevent this, and they should be effectively utilized. Finally, after one visit, I intentionally did not return to the Wikileaks site. I personally will not give Mr. Assange what he wants, the clicks and page views – and book readers – that reward him for posting this material. Ω Column archive: commonwealthclub.org/gloriaduffy/archive.php


Burgundy’s Food & Wine: A Bay Gourmet Adventure in France

October 17-23, 2011 Join Bay Gourmet chair Cathy Curtis for an exploration of the cultural, historical and gastronomic treasures of Burgundy. Famous for its wines – Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Pommard and Vosne-Romanée – the wealth created by these winemakers funded the building of magnificent châteaux, glorious cathedrals, and strong free-spirited towns. The beautiful 4-star Hôtel Le Cep in Beaune (the ancient capital of Burgundy) is our home base for this exclusive program. • Wander the wine-filled underground passageways of the Maison Drouhin winery and see Clos de Vougeot’s famous château, dating back to the 12th century.

• Experience Beaune’s market day, where stalls sprawl over the entire town with food, clothing, antiques, baskets, music, books and rugs.

• Visit the stunning 15th-century Hospices de Beaune with its multicolored tiled roof and priceless painting by Rogier van der Weyden, then enjoy a wine tasting in the ancient cellars.

• Discover the scenic Jura region, one of the gastronomic centers of France. Marvel at the cheese-making facility of Jean Perrin – immense wheels of Comté, exquisite Morbier, Tome and Raclette.

• Explore the treasures in the Fine Arts Museum of Dijon, including the Tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy. Learn the secrets of Dijon mustard; taste chocolate at a Master Chocolatier’s atelier; and savor local cheeses such as Epoisse.

• Savor excellent wines and mouthwatering gourmet dishes. Meet with wine makers, chefs, cheese makers and local experts to give us the insider’s view of Burgundy!

CST: 2096889-40 Photos by MaxWestby / Flickr & Megan Mallen / Flickr

$4,995 per person, based on double occupancy. For a more detailed itinerary or to book your trip, call (415) 597-6720, e-mail travel@commonwealthclub.org or go to www.commonwealthclub.org/travel


To request full travel itineraries, pricing, and terms and conditions,

The Commonwealth Club of California 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105

PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

call (415) 597-6720 or e-mail travel@commonwealthclub.org Purchase event tickets at commonwealthclub.org or call (415) 597-6705 or (800) 847-7730

r e v i R e n m u Tuol e r u t n e v d A Rafting sues - May 7 & 8, 2011 ater Is

California’s W

Designated in its entirety as “Wild & Scenic” in 1984, the Tuolumne is California’s premier whitewater river. Join Inforum for a weekend outdoor adventure, lively debates about California’s water issues, and socializing by campfire. Experience heart-pounding Class IV rapids. Run Rock Garden and Nemesis before reaching Clavey Falls, the biggest rapid on our 18-mile trip. Journey though remote canyon wilderness, steep hills forested with oak and pine, and witness May’s magnificent

to Limitedple! 18 peo

wildflower display. Spot eagles, ring-tailed cats, river otters and other wildlife. Enjoy sumptuous wilderness picnics, relaxing by the river and star gazing at night. Our study leader is a specialist in river ecology and water use, and will lead discussions about California’s critical water issues. Learn the history of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir (which currently provides water to 2.4 million people in Bay Area counties) and The Commonwealth Club’s role in this contentious debate.

Cost: $479 members, $499 non-members – Includes excellent river guides, all rafting equipment, wetsuit, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, Club study leader and rep, and pre-trip materials. Bring your own sleeping kits and tents, or rent them from our operator. CST# 2096889-40

This is an adventurous 18-mile trip with Class IV rapids; some rafting experience is recommended. Minimum age is 16. Participants must be in active good health. Health and liability waivers must be signed in order to participate. Meet Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at our meeting point, 8 miles east of Groveland, approximately 3-3 ½ hours from San Francisco. Parking is free and you will be returned here on Sunday evening around 6 p.m. Most people opt to drive to Groveland on Friday night (May 6). Hotel and camping suggestions provided. Optional gathering in Groveland at the Iron Door Saloon on Friday night.

For details or to make a reservation call (415) 597-6720 or email travel@commonwealthclub.org


The Commonwealth February-March 2011