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HOW GOOGLE SEES THE FUTURE $2.00; free for members |

INSIDE The Commonwealth VO LU M E 1 0 8 , N O . 0 5 | AU G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2013

10 Photo by Bryan and Vita Hewitt Photography

12 Photo by Ed Ritger





Photo by John Zipperer

DEPARTMENTS 5 EDITOR’S DESK The Noisy Business of a Republic – Barney Frank and Google chime in

6 THE COMMONS Vali Nasr on U.S.-Muslim relations; Susan Weiss witnesses the weight of troop deployments on military families; and Willie Brown rates Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2016

Visit North Korea and Pakistan to see the future of tech and politics



Food for thought from a food thinker



Biking on Polk or driving over the Bay Bridge – both raise questions


Equal pay for equal work; plus, equal protection under the law



An expert at exploring how people think offers insight into drawing out the best results from each kind of thinker Photo by Sonya Abrams


54 INSIGHT Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President and CEO: Meet Al and Dorothea



26 EIGHT WEEKS CALENDAR Events from July 29 to September 22

32 PROGRAM LISTINGS 38 LANGUAGE CLASSES About Our Cover: Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, returned to the Club along with Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen to discuss the disruptive potential of high-tech. Photo by Bryan and Vita Hewitt Photography.

“The fundamental problem has been that the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission is given this enormous increase in authority over derivatives – and no new staff. Other than that, they are moving ahead; they have been slow to make decisions, N E/J Uone LY 2013 COMMOFrank N WE AL TH 3 but they haven’t made aJ Ubad yet.” –THE Barney




A Voyage from Alexandria to Charleston Exploring Landmark Cities, Stately Homes & Civil War Sites October 28 – November 7, 2013

Experience the charms and enduring character of the South during this autumn voyage aboard the 138-passenger Yorktown. • Visit George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate. • Sail the Potomac River to Colonial Beach and explore Fredericksburg, site of one of the largest battles of the Civil War. • Wander the side streets of Colonial Williamsburg, the nation’s premier living museum, with its taverns, bakeries and restored houses. • Cruise the James River to Richmond and visit Petersburg National Battlefield, site of a 10-month-long siege. • Discover towns along the North Carolina coast: New Bern, Morehead City and Wilmington, which played crucial roles in Union victories. • Enjoy the beauty of antebellum homes and gardens – the 67 acres of formal woodlands at Airlie Gardens and the elegance of Tyron Palace. • Visit Fort Sumter and Charleston, where the war began in 1861, and a prosperous and lovely seaport to this day. • Learn from Civil War experts Garry Adelman and Fred Kiger – educators and accomplished authors who enlighten us along the way. Cost: From $5,395 per person, based on double occupancy and depending on cabin category.

Free airfare from San Francisco!

Full brochure with itinerary and pricing details: Contact: (415) 597-6720 • CST: 2096889-40

Photos: (clockwise) Kay Gaensler/flickr; HBarrison; Chuck Taylor; Brian F. Swartz/istock


J O H N Z I P PE R E R V P, M E D I A & E D I TO R I A L

Painting: Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull, 1819

The Noisy Business of a Republic


ou wouldn’t guess it from the image at the top of this page, but democracy is noisy. If you’re like me, you look at artist John Trumbull’s classic painting showing a roomful of grim-faced men preparing the Declaration of Independence, and you think, They sure must have been hot under all those jackets and vests. After all, they look like they’re having about as much fun as someone signing documents to refinance their home, rather than effectively declaring war on the world’s superpower, England. But, seriously, the solemnity of the image fits the importance of the action. On its basis, this revolutionary and still far-from-perfect country was born. That the work of making “a more perfect union” (to use the words of a later document, the U.S. Constitution) is an eternal task is made obvious every time we look at the news. We find people from across the spectrum arguing for changes and improvements. Again, it’s proof that democracy is not quiet; it’s noisy. Of course, technically, the United States is a republic, not a democracy. In a democracy, people make the laws themselves; in a republic, the people vote for leaders who make laws. Other than our blizzard of California referanda and the town halls in some New England FOLLOW US ONLINE

towns, we don’t vote directly for our laws; we vote for people who go to Washington or Sacramento or City Hall to vote on legislation. Nonetheless, the point is the same. Whether the debates are about slavery or territorial expansion or empire or taxation or health care or civil rights or women’s suffrage or any number of other issues, the reality is that there will always be people with differing views and the need to express those views, hoping to change public policy. No one gets everything they want, and no one gets what they want forever. You can read former U.S. Representative Barney Frank’s characteristically blunt words for people complaining about how elected politicians compromise within the legislative system (see page 8). It has always been that way. As Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and the director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, discuss (see page 10), citizens even of authoritarian regimes are finding tools for expressing themselves and challenging the corrupt governments that control their lives. Technology – including the type provided by their company – is making government surveillance easier and it is also making it easier for citizens to get around government controls. It’s, well, revolutionary, and it isn’t making everyone happy. But nothing does.

BUSINESS OFFICES The Commonwealth, 595 Market St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105 | VP, MEDIA & EDITORIAL John Zipperer | SENIOR EDITOR Sonya Abrams | DESIGNER Tyler R. Swofford EDITORIAL INTERNS Amelia Cass, Ellen Cohan, Jordan Plaut | CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ed Ritger, Rikki Ward ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Oona Marti, Vice President of Development, (415) 597-6714, 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 © 2013 The Commonwealth Club of California. Tel: (415) 597-6700 Fax: (415) 597-6729 E-mail: | EDITORIAL TRANSCRIPT POLICY: The Commonwealth magazine covers 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 online at or contact Club offices to order a compact disc.

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Commons THE

Talk of the Club

Cuban Cousins Reunited


Cuba’s former ambassador to the EU finds family connection at Club event


Photo by Kristina Nemeth

The Club Tour


n early June, Ambassador Carlos Alzugaray spoke at the Club about U.S.-Cuba relations. It wasn’t his first time addressing a Club audience; he had met with five different groups of Club travellers in Cuba. During his San Francisco event, a surprising audience question card had a query about when Cuba was finally going to get multiple political parties, “and are you free for lunch?” The audience question writer was Jorge Alzugaray (at left in the photo), a San Jose resident and a cousin of the ambassador. The cousins hadn’t seen each other since the 1960s, when one family left the island nation. To help the binational reunion go well, Jorge brought along the two countries’ flags seen in the photo.

Meet the old and new Bohemians

hen political commentator and Washington insider David Gergen addressed a sold-out Commonwealth Club event in July, he could have referred to it as his club tour. That’s because he was in town (and thus available to speak at our Club) so he could attend annual gatherings at the Bohemian Grove, a private club that has included some of the most notable men in the world. Besides Gergen, that club has attracted longtime Commonwealth Club members such as President Herbert Hoover, frequent Club speaker Ronald Reagan and others. But it’s not all politicos and business heavyweights at Bohemian Grove. As you can see in this 1907 photo, writers Porter Garnett, George Sterling and Jack London made themselves at home in the Grove.

New Neighbors, Part IV


Rincon Center

f you check the National Registry of Historic Places for historic place #79000537, you will find San Francisco’s own Rincon Center complex, which is located across Steuart Street from The Commonwealth Club’s new home fronting on The Embarcadero. Rincon Center is actually two buildings. The first one, built in 1939, is the U.S. Post Office building and is a classic example of the 1930s Works Projects Administration large-scale design. Its main entrance, located on Mission Street, boasts dolphin-themed decorations, and the building exhibits modernist (well, 1930s modern) design features. Tours of the Social Realist-style murals are held twice a month, explaining the political controversies that enveloped the artist, Anton Refregier. The second building is more modern than the modernist original, because it was built in the 1980s. The U.S.



Post Office, which still has a public outlet in the complex, developed the property into a 23-story mixed-use building featuring apartments, offices and a food court. Rincon was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979. In 1980, it also was included on the list of San Francisco Designated Landmarks.


Photo by Tyler R. Swofford

Updates and check-ins


yber Club: Now Club members have a private online place to go where they can connect with other members, get members-only info from the Club, discuss issues arising out of Club programs, and more. We’ve set up a special Facebook group restricted to Commonwealth Club members. To join it, go to Facebook and search for “commonwealth club members.” Click the link to join the group; as soon as our Membership Department verifies your membership, you’ll be added to the group. Then get busy posting to your fellow Club members! Thinking about thought leaders: In June, The Commonwealth Club launched its newest media partnership, teaming up with The Huffington Post on a weekly series of reports called Commonwealth Club Thought Leaders. The new series, posted every Tuesday, features video and text from a notable recent Bay Area speaker (or a speaker from elsewhere addressing key Bay Area concerns) at the Club.

Shared Ideas Nothing to Offer Vali Nasr, Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Author, The Dispensable Nation; May 1, 2013: After President Obama came in, there was a period of gradual repair [in U.S.-Muslim relations], but things don’t turn overnight. I saw this firsthand in Pakistan. After two decades of chilly relations, things are not going to change overnight. It requires you spend time and gradually develop relations. But the biggest problem now is that our primary mode of engagement with the Middle East in particular is drones. This is still the “war on terror”; it’s not a “war on Islam.” The language is better, but ultimately there is no economic support, there is no real political engagement. There is no real effort by the United States to address issues that affect daily lives of people there. We’re not engaged except where it comes to counterterrorism. It is very clear that our policy in the Middle East is driven more by the CIA than it is by traditional wings of our foreign policy. I saw this firsthand in Pakistan. They say, “You say you give us aid; you don’t – you give us $2 billion a year, two thirds of which is military aid and two thirds of that is really subsidy to your own arms manufacturers. Of every dollar you give for civilian aid, 90 cents is spent in Washington on a variety of NGOs and consulting firms, etc.” People are angry because they look at drone attacks as basically daily aerial bombardments. Either the government is in on this, which is one problem, or the government doesn’t know and can’t defend its borders, which is another problem. But there is no other countervailing effect, [nothing] you are doing there that [improves] the daily lives of people. Photo by Sonya Abrams

Service Unquestioned Political Futures

Photo by Susan Weiss

Susan Weiss, Photographer; May 6, 2013: You don’t really understand what’s going on [if ] you’re not around an Army base or the military; you don’t see soldiers in the supermarket or in a shopping center or in a parking lot. We would see soldiers everywhere. I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to try to document as much as I could what was going on. I got the idea that I could photograph the soldiers packing up. The families are part of the whole process of the deployment, supporting the soldiers. Often, they don’t question, they just do. [When] it comes time to leave, 3,000 soldiers are deploying. It goes over a period of days of deployment. Approximately 300 soldiers leave at one time. I went to several of the departures. It starts at Fort Stewart, outside of Richmond Hill [Georgia] and Hinesville, and then they are transported by bus to Hunter Army Base, where the planes take off for Iraq. Everyone told me it would be very difficult experiencing the families saying goodbye, and it really is. It starts out in the afternoon, and they all start to gather. The soldiers come with their duffle bags and actually bring their guns. They bring their families. They try to make it as joyous as possible, but obviously it becomes progressively more difficult as the day goes through and they get ready to board the buses. Some soldiers did not have families there; they were just there by themselves. As the day wears on, the emotion starts coming to the surface as people get more tense. You can see it on their faces. The final thing that they do is have a prayer service before they board the buses. At this point, the families have already left and the soldiers are about to [depart].

Willie Brown, former mayor of San Francisco, former speaker of the California State Assembly; May 22, 2013: Looking ahead to 2016, everybody fears Hillary Clinton. They believe that all she has to do is continue to breathe, and in 2016 she will be elected to the presidency of the United States. So they’re trying to figure out how to stop her from breathing between now and then, and they’re trying to charge her with everything under the sun. The public doesn’t care very much about some of the things they are saying about her and what happened in that incident [in Benghazi, Libya] involving the consulate office and losing Ambassador Stevens – they’re trying to lay that off on her. But they’re being disrupted by their own antics on the press and by the antics of the IRS . I can assure you [Hillary Clinton] will be a candidate in 2016, and I’m certain that she will win. I don’t see any Republican on the scene capable of defeating her. The only question is who’s going to run with her – no Democrat is going to be foolish enough to run against her. Will it be a Latino? An African American? Somebody from the South? From the Middle West? Where will that person come from that will be her running mate that will ensure us of four more years of Democratic control? ... At this stage of the game, I don’t think that any of the other Democrats will evidence any interest in the presidency. There will be some interest shown in the vice presidency. For example, the governor of Massachusetts, ... the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, ... and several newly minted and elected U.S. senators that you take a look at closely as possible future candidates for national office. But I don’t think any of them will allow themselves to be pitted against Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013

Photo by Ed Ritger



The Political Man: Insights into Washington from an

BARNEY The newly retired Frank gives his typically blunt assessment of the current political scene, financial regulation, and his coming out. Excerpted from Barney Frank, May 13, 2013. BARNEY FRANK Former Member of Congress (D-MA) In conversation with


Host, “The California Report,” KQED 8


SCOTT SHAFER: Does Washington look different now that you’re out of there? BARNEY FRANK: It doesn’t look different this year from last year. It has been radically different for the past couple of years, [but] not for as long as people say. People say, “Well, it broke down; it doesn’t work.” From 2007 to 2010, I was chairman of the Committee on Financial Services. I had to deal with the financial crisis. I went into that committee in 1981 because I care a lot about affordable housing, rental housing. I’ve always felt that we make a mistake by insisting that the only good form of housing for low-income people is ownership; decent rental housing is the most appropriate form for many people, if we do it right. I also cared


a lot about the international financial institutions – the World Bank and the International Monetary [Fund]. My crusade has been to show that you can have, both domestically and internationally, good economic growth and fairness; that you don’t have to beat down poor people and lower-middle income people to have a greater gross domestic product. Then I became, by virtue of the seniority system, in 2003, the senior Democrat on the committee. When you’re anything but the chairman or the minority leader, you can pick and choose what you want to work on. But when you become the leader, then it’s all on your plate. I spent much of the years, beginning with 2007, learning about things in which I had previously not had an

ultimate insider

Y FRANK Photo by Sonya Abrams Photo by Rikki Ward

interest, and which I am looking forward to ignoring. [Laughter.] SHAFER: Things like derivatives. FRANK: You’re exactly right. From 2003 to 2007, I was the senior Democrat, the minority on the committee. The Republican chairmen were Jim Leach of Iowa and Mike Oxley of Ohio, and we differed and we worked well together. We would negotiate. They had more votes than I did, but we tried to work things out. Then I became the chairman in 2007. In 2007 and 2008 I was the chairman under the administration of George W. Bush. Let me tell you something about your own great congresswoman, one of America’s great leaders, Nancy Pelosi. In 2008, George

W. Bush approached Nancy Pelosi and said, “The economy is hurting; we need a stimulus.” They [Republicans] called it a stimulus, but eventually it became a “recovery” bill. Now in my experience, most people would rather be stimulated than recovering. [Laughter.] Anyhow, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid worked with George Bush to provide a stimulus. Now, this is the beginning of 2008; it’s the beginning of a presidential election year. It would have been better for the Democrats if the economy was not doing well. But that’s not the way she thinks or the way most of us think. You have the people you most care about suffer economic damage, so she said, “Look, we would prefer to spend more on highways, to give more money to

local governments to hire people, but Bush won’t accept that; he only wants tax cuts. But I will make sure in my negotiation with him that they are the most progressive tax cuts possible; that they will be of the greatest benefit to [low-income] people.” The less money you have the more you’ll benefit from these tax cuts, including what’s called the refundable provision, whereby people on the low end would get money back for the Social Security they pay. She and Harry Reid delivered a stimulus at Bush’s request. Then, later that year, George Bush sent Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to us in September 2008, and said, “The economy is Continued on page 21

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101 011 011 101 010 001 1 011 011 101 0 0 001001 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 010 000 1 111 000 010 0 1 001000 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 101 000 HOW GOOGLE SEES THE FUTURE 1 111 010 000 0 0 001001 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 100 100 The tug of war between information technology and 0 000 001 010 110 0 0 0111 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 100 government oppression is only getting started. Excerpted 0 101 101 101 000 1 1 1110 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 011 from Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, June 4, 2013. 0 110 100 011 0 1 000101 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 011 001 ERIC SCHMIDT Exec. Chairman, Google; Co-author, The New Digital Age 0 101 001 101 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 JARED COHEN Director, Google Ideas; Co-author, The New Digital Age 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 010 110 0 000 111 011 1 0 101 100 1 In conversation with 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 GREG DALTON Host, Director, Climate One 1 110 100 000 1 1 001110 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 110 101 GREG DALTON: The focus of this book change to people who have no information, 1 010 101 111 0 1 100101 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 010 100 is that new information technology and no political freedom, no health care, no access 1 000 111 101 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 history have often challenged the establish- to entertainment – when that mobile phone 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 111 010 ment, the state, the government, the elite. comes up, it’s going to be extraordinary. It’s 0 100 000 110 010 1 1 1 1 0 0 So how is that happening now with new going to be such a greater change. Then we began to explore the question, 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 111 mobile phone technologies? ERIC SCHMIDT: Let me start by thank- Greg, that you mentioned, which is: What 1 100 011 111 0 1 010 000 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 110 ing you for hosting this event. When I was will people do, and how will societies change? 1 001 011 001 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 a graduate student at Berkeley driving to Now, the Internet comes with some ques1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 010 000 Xerox Park where a lot of the computer tions. It comes with some issues – whether 1 111 101 111 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 technology we use today was invented, I privacy or the impact on terrorism, or in 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 001 111 listened to a radio show every time I went particular, how governments will behave 0 110 111 000 1 0 110111 and forth; it was this show. And I with this new shift of power to individuals. 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 111 011 back dreamed one day of being in the audience. JARED COHEN: One of the reasons we 1 000 011 100 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 understood the reach of what The Com- decided to write this book is we were sick 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 100 011 Imonwealth Club meant. So now, 30-plus and tired of this debate that dominated the 0 111 110 001 0 1 010 010 1 years later, we’re all here, and it’s still that present around “Is technology good or is 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 important as a dissemination which technology bad?” While this debate is intel1 010 111 001 0 1 110 100 0 is why we chose this for our vehicle, San Francisco lectually interesting, it completely ignores 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 book tour. [Applause.] inevitability of it; Eric spoke of that. 0 101 001 111 0 1 111 001 1 Jared and I started talking about [mo- theWhen you think about five billion new 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 bile technology] a couple of years ago. We people coming online, you also have to think 1 000 100 101 1 1 111111 quite figure out where we were going about where they’re coming online. These are 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 011 101 couldn’t 0 111 000 000 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 to come out. But we made some observa- parts of the world where there’s conflict, insta1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 001 011 tions, and one of them is that the Internet bility; where the governments are repressive. 0 010 000 101 011 1 1 1 0 1 0 is going to wire up the entire world. There Fifty-seven percent of the world’s population 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 100 are roughly 3.4 billion phones in use today; lives under some kind of autocracy. So we 0 111 000 011 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 there are more than a billion smartphones, travel to 30-plus countries around the world, 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 001 100 of which [the majority] are Android phones, largely places that are unstable and autocratic, 0 100 110 011 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 thank you very much. And as those numbers to try to meet some of these future users who 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 001 010 increase and as the next five billion join the are coming online and understand how their 1 001 011 111 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 Internet, they are going to do it with mobile challenges are different from the two billion 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 000 111 devices. who are already connected. 1 010 010 100 0 1 010 111 0 So for us in the developed world, the fuSo we went to North Korea, we went to 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 110 ture is fantastic. All of a sudden, new services Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a number 0 101 011 100 1 1 000000 emerge. Think of them as a perfectly of other places. We found a number of 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 110 110 will intelligent digital assistant who can assist similarities in how they use the tools and 0 000 010 010 000 0 1 0100 in planning your life and help you out similarities in some of the challenges that 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 111 you in every conceivable way. And you’re going they face. But we also found a whole dif1 001 001 001 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 love the products that Google and many ferent set of issues that the vast majority of 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 101 010 toother here in California are go- our future users are going to encounter. It’s 1 110 110 010 0 0 110 001 1 ing tocompanies produce, as well as globally. But the Continued on page 24 0 010110011011 0 110 000 000 1 1 110000 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 010 111 AU G U ST/SE P T E M B E R 2013 THE COMMO N WE AL TH 11 11000001111111 101000001110


The Carnivorous Vegan Photo by Ed Ritger

The food critic suggests merging moderation with satisfaction. Excerpt from Mark Bittman, May 7, 2013 MARK BITTMAN  New York Times Food Columnist; Author, VB6 : Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good In conversation with


Chef 12


JOEY ALTMAN: Your TED talk was so depressing, but it was so important. Both ends of the spectrum are blowing up; we’re getting much better food – everything’s artisan this and artisan that – and at the same time we’re getting a lot more obesity and diabetes from food policy that’s making our food less healthy. What was the feedback from your talk, and how do you feel about the way things have been going since then? MARK BITTMAN: That talk was about five years ago, and that was a year or two after the beginning for me of starting to talk about this stuff publicly, which was something I’d been thinking about for maybe 10 years prior to that. But in the last five years I think things have gotten both better and worse.


If there’s a bell curve of food in the United States, we might be just on the upswing, just past the worst possible place. That’s a guess. But there is some evidence that people are cooking at home more, which is very important for a variety of reasons; there is some evidence that people are getting fat less quickly than they were; there is more local and regional food; there are more small and medium-sized farmers. There is evidence that things are getting better, but only incrementally. The real struggle is that we’re fighting against an entrenched bureaucracy that’s basically beholden to an entity that might as well be called “Big Food,” which is spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year on getting us to eat what amounts to

junk. So no wonder a lot of people are sick. ALTMAN: Was part of the mission for writing the book just trying to get people to eat healthier because you experienced that in your life and wanted to share it with people? BITTMAN: There’s kind of an interesting happenstance, which is that what’s good for us is good for the planet; if we eat better the planet does better. When I first started writing and thinking about this stuff, a lot of it was based on the fact that in addition to everything else that’s wrong with industrial animal production, I found out in 2006 that something like 20 percent of greenhouse gasses come from the industrial production of animals. I thought that this was an interesting thing, because we know that eating [a] less than ideal [diet] is not good for us, but as it turns out it’s not good for anything. As far as the diet goes, there’s a science here and the science is at this point pretty much indisputable. What’s indisputable is that what’s good for us is to eat more plants. Those of you who’ve been following nutrition for the last 30 or 40 years know that we’ve seen a ridiculous rollercoaster of misinformation and bad estimations of what’s going on and an entrenched bureaucracy that’s been beholden to the money of Big Food. We’ve heard all kinds of things, but what’s really, really clear right now is that eating more plants than we Americans eat on average is good for us. So VB6 is just the strategy for applying the science. The science is eat more plants; VB6 is my personal way of figuring out how, for a variety of reasons, I was going to eat more plants. As a strategy for me it’s worked, and it’s worked for others also. But it’s not the only strategy; it’s a strategy, and I think it’s important to remember the bottom line: what’s most important now is to eat more plants. One mistake the United States Department of Agriculture made 25 or 30 years ago was to tell more people to eat more foods that were low in saturated fats; the USDA was afraid to say “eat less meat” so they said “eat more foods that are low in saturated fats.” Instead of telling people to eat less of what they thought was bad for them – which may or may not be the case – they just said eat more and as a result we’ve seen the biggest explosion of weight gain ever in the history of the human race, right here in the United States [during the years] since the 1970s.

What’s clear is that we have to eat more plants; now we have to eat less of something else also, and what we have to eat less of is processed junk, which is mostly highlyprocessed carbohydrates and sugar. This is nearly indisputable [and] it’s safe enough for me to say with full belief that we should be eating more plants and less highly processed foods, and that for a variety of reasons we should also be eating fewer animal products. So it’s a tradeoff, and it’s pretty clear what

“I wanted to do

something pragmatic. I wanted to do something that was going to work, and I needed rules.” the science says we need to do, and VB6 is my strategy for how to get there. ALTMAN: So you came up with this “flexitarian” diet that allows you to be mindful of what you are eating – which I think is really critical to the success of any diet. And you know that you can do this for a certain amount of time because you know that at the end of the day you are then free to have what you really want to eat. You created this opportunity for people to have that wiggle room. BITTMAN: I wanted to do something pragmatic. I wanted to do a diet for myself – [I started it] six years ago – that was a “diet” in the old-fashioned sense: the way we eat is called a “diet.” That’s different than “going on a diet.” Losing 21 pounds in 21 days is “going on a diet.” I wanted to do something that was going to work, and I needed rules. Everybody in the world eats on a spectrum. On [one] side of the spectrum is Morgan Spurlock eating his Supersize Me diet, and on [the other] side is the purest most wonderful diet imaginable, which we actually have not yet defined, but it has something to do with eating a lot of plants. Everybody in this room and pretty much everybody in the world is on this spectrum, and the idea for me was to find a way that would work to move toward [the latter] part of the spectrum, to move toward a more plant-based diet. And I didn’t want to do

it in a way that was so dramatic that three months later I would think, to hell with this; it’s great, but I’ve got to have a life. So I thought, I’m going to do this diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, [with] no processed food. I’m going to do that all day long, and then at night I’m going to do whatever the hell I want to do. That’s what I did, and that’s what this diet is. ALTMAN: If you eat really healthfully throughout the day, and then at 6:00 you indulge, don’t you just throw away all the good things that you’ve done? BITTMAN: The idea is that we all know that Americans in general need to moderate our diets and we all need to move toward the healthier end of the spectrum. By eating a strict diet during the day and letting yourself go at night you’re still not letting yourself go as much as you do if you’re completely undisciplined in the first place. ALTMAN: So it’s really a personal set of rules that you created that you knew would be attainable and sustainable? BITTMAN: I didn’t know; I sort of hoped. I was doing it with a friend – “VB6” is her term – and we both got kind of bad news from our doctors at the same time and we said, “Let’s do this thing where we try to eat really strictly during the day, but we want to have a good dinner.” We have to write cookbooks about cooking everything, so we have to continue to eat everything and I wanted to eat everything. So we tried it, and after a week or two my friend called me up and said, “So were you VB6 today?” I said, “What?” She said, “You know this thing. This vegan before six thing.” I said, “Yeah. I’m still doing it.” I wasn’t thinking about it too much. It was kind of fun. It was kind of a challenge. Then six weeks went by and I weighed myself and I had lost 15 pounds. [In my case] that was the exact definition of positive reinforcement. I did it another six weeks and lost another 15 pounds. Then I went and had my blood work done and all of the stuff that was in the bad doctor’s report in the first place got better, basically. Then I thought, This is OK; I’m living my life like this from now on. I was going out at night; I was having wine; I was having steak – not every night, as I said. I was indulging at night, but in the daytime [for example] I’d have a breakfast of oatmeal or fruit salad; I’d have a lunch of salad or rice and beans; I’d have snacks

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of nuts and fruit. Then in the evening I’d have whatever I wanted to for dinner and I thought, This isn’t bad at all, and five years later I thought I believe in this enough to write a book about it. Some people are going to think, Oh, this is a great idea and I’m going to do this, and you’ll probably have success with it. Other people are going to think, That’s crazy! I don’t want to do that, but he’s kind of right. I need to be eating more plants. And you’ll figure out some other strategy that might work better for you or might work better for the world. But this is what works for me, and it seems worth talking about. You can be vegan five days a week and eat other stuff two days a week; you can have your biggest meal in the morning; you can have your biggest meal at lunch. I don’t care what strategy you use, but I can say that, from a discipline point of view, I think that [the VB6 strategy] is the easiest thing, because you’re delaying gratification. You aren’t miserable during the course of the day because you know you’re going to get to eat whatever you want a few hours down the road. And you’re eating real food throughout the course of the day, and you’ll feel better. [Of course] the question of cheating is going to arise instantly. One of those questions is, can you put milk in your coffee. The answer is, yeah. The point is not to be dogmatic about this; the point is you’re eating unprocessed plants before six. Is it going to kill you to put a teaspoon of cream in your

coffee? No. There’s a big difference between having a teaspoon of cream in your coffee every day and having two double cheeseburgers four times a weak. So there’s cheating and there’s not doing this. [Laughter.] ALTMAN: [Why did you call one of your earlier cookbooks] How to Cook Everything? Did people say, “Really? Everything?” BITTMAN: I’m not that arrogant, and I didn’t like that title. [The book] was four

“I don’t care what strategy you use, but I think the VB6 strategy is the easiest, because you’re

delaying gratification.” years in the making, and we were calling it How to Cook or The Big Book or The Basic Book, and then the marketing department came up with How to Cook Everything and I said, “There’s no way I’m letting you call this book How to Cook Everything.” They said, “Yeah, you are, because we’re printing 85,000 copies and we intend to sell them and you’re not going to get in our way.” ALTMAN: While we may be able to [follow the VB6 diet] quite easily and readily here in San Francisco, [in] inner cities or rural areas it may be a lot more difficult.

BITTMAN: There’s certainly access to food issues in the United States and they have to be dealt with. But this is a diet that could be followed by anybody who could make it to a supermarket. I also think it’s important to think about people who can’t make it to supermarkets and can’t afford to shop in supermarkets, but that’s not what this is about. I think it’s clear from my work that I’m not making an excuse here; I think there’s a political solution to our dietary problems – which also are environmental problems and public health problems – and there’s a personal solution [to our dietary problems] and this [VB6 diet] is a way to address the personal solution. The way to address the political solution is a whole other discussion. I think the way for us to work on these things now is locally. We can all have impacts on our local school systems. We can all have an impact on what happens in our cities and our counties and our states. I think that working on local and state levels is the way to go right now. It’s unfortunate, but to look at things on a national level is depressing and makes you feel ineffectual, makes you feel powerless. There are many instances in history of things happening locally, including our seatbelt and cigarette laws which have saved tens of thousands of lives every year, and both started on state and local levels and are now essentially national. But it was not the federal government that did that stuff for us. Photo by Ed Ritger





Getting Around

The Bay

Our Week to Week political roundtable sounds off on how the Bay Area is managing its complex and growing transportation systems. Excerpted from Week to Week May 17, 2013. MELISSA GRIFFIN

Contributor, San Francisco Magazine and KPIX TV; Attorney


Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle


Assistant Editor, The Huffington Post


Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club – Moderator JOHN ZIPPERER: I want to talk about a topic that sounds very local because it’s the matter of bicyclists versus cars, and how cities plan for these things. However, the whole issue of redesigning streetscapes – of incentivizing different transportation uses – is a national thing, and we’re seeing this in more cities than just San Francisco and the Bay Area. The Bay Area, of course, as the Bay Area does, takes this very much to heart. Currently in San Francisco, on Polk Street, a strongly commercial street surrounded by lots of residential, the SFMTA [San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency] is talking about potentially removing up to 200 parking spaces along one stretch of road. This made a bunch of the retailers apoplectic, because they basically said, “X number of my people come here by car and there are going to be very few places

to park.” There are bicycle advocates in the city who are saying this is one of the most dangerous streets for bicyclists; it’s near the top in terms of the number of bicyclists who are hit – injured or worse. What’s driving the SFMTA’s position is the environmental aspect of encouraging people to use transportation other than a private vehicle, therefore encouraging bicycles; that’s what they want to do on Polk Street, but you’re seeing this on other streets as well. You’re finding these coalitions of local folks on both sides of this issue who now are building coalitions with other neighborhood groups across the city who are facing similar plans. Let’s start with you, Chuck. Is the city doing this, and how should they be handling this prioritization? C.W. NEVIUS: Well, first of all, it’s a great

topic, because every time I write about it I get hundreds of emails; so I know it’s a hot topic. ZIPPERER: Very polite ones, I’m sure. NEVIUS: Very polite. [Laughter.] Who hasn’t been yelled at by a bicyclist? It just happened to me the other day. Two nights ago, I was on the ride of silence, so I rode a two-mile route around to the 10 different places where bicyclists had been killed at intersections. The SFMTA says that since 2006, the number of bicycle riders has gone up 71 percent; injuries have gone up 84 percent. Bicyclists are everywhere. There’s a new bike shop that’s about two years old on Market Street – Huckleberry Bikes. They began doing a census; in the mornings, during rush hour, they went out and counted the bikes going by on Market Street – which has definitely become an eastwest corridor. They’re counting up to 1,000 bikes an hour on Market Street. Market Street has a dedicated bike lane, and I can’t tell you how much more relaxed I was to be in a dedicated bike lane than to be on the street trying to share it with cars. Polk Street, however, is too narrow. There’s not enough room for two bike lanes, two lines of cars and any parking whatsoever, and something’s gonna have to give. And that’s the issue right there; it’s just going to be very difficult and get more difficult in San Francisco. MELISSA GRIFFIN: I actually haven’t heard any data [on Polk Street]. I understand why the merchants are upset; I live right near Polk Street, and the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association is a great organization I’m familiar with, and I know that they’re upset. Whenever we have this come up, the local merchants say, “What are you doing? You’re going to kill our business.” But it seems like, so far, that’s based on speculation. I haven’t seen any studies – any real studies. One really useful thing SFMTA could contribute to this debate is to actually provide some data about what taking away these parking spaces actually means for the local community. I think people understandably freak out and say, “Fewer people are gonna come here,” and then the bicyclists say, “We’ve got our data and we think that this will increase patronage of your locations.” So everyone’s sort of fighting, and there doesn’t seem to be a set of information or numbers

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that everyone can agree is from an objective organization and that’s accurate. Without that, everyone’s sort of punching the air; it’s difficult to get the two sides to negotiate on any of it, because no one really understands what the impacts are. NEVIUS: There is a study that says that 80 percent of the businesses are frequented by people who walk or ride a bike; the merchants even agree with that. They’re complaining about the 20 percent they’re going to lose – to which someone replied, “I’ve never driven up Polk Street and found a parking place in my life, so why would this be any different?” [Laughter.] AARON SANKIN: First – small caveat here – I’ll make the admission that I’m a biker. NEVIUS: Oh, no! SANKIN: I biked here. My bike is still hopefully parked out front. [Laughter.] I think the issue of Polk Street is one that’s a little tricky. If memory serves, if you look at the actual data for the most dangerous intersections for bike accidents, you don’t see a lot on Polk Street on there; you have a lot on Market and you especially see a lot of the ones on Valencia Street. Both of those have dedicated bike lanes, but I think that’s mainly a factor of there being a lot more traffic. The issue when it comes to Polk Street is that if you’re going from the Marina or Cow Hollow to the southern part of the city, Polk Street is really your best, most direct way of getting there on a bike; they call it Polk Gulch for a reason, since it’s the lowest, easiest point. If you wanted to get there from another direction, you’d have to essentially go all the way around Fort Mason, all the way around Fisherman’s Wharf, and it takes a lot more time. In my experience with bicyclists, as long as there is not a giant hill, that’s probably the way you’re going to go. Polk Street – even though it may not be the most explicitly dangerous – if you ride down it, it’s really scary and hectic. Last year my wife and I were riding bikes down Polk Street and she was hit by a car there – not anything more than a few cuts and scrapes, but … What I think Polk Street does, in its current form, is it really cuts off a lot of people, especially people who live in the Marina and Cow Hollow who would consider biking for their daily commute. It kind of cuts them off from the rest of the city on just a sheer



comfort level; like, “I don’t want to bike down Polk Street, because I did it once and I thought I was gonna die for the entirety of my ride.” So I think Polk Street in its current form is one of those bottlenecks that’s really cutting off a lot of people from feeling comfortable on bikes and feeling comfortable biking around the city. NEVIUS: One of the things I think also, and maybe SFMTA could encourage this, is that Polk is not your best option as a driver to go [north to south]. You’re much better off going across Van Ness and using Franklin

“Polk Street in its current form

cuts off a lot of people who would consider biking for their daily commute.” –Aaron Sankin [to go back to the Bay] or going on Gough to come back this way. One suggestion, and it’s a good one, is to encourage drivers to get off Polk and get over to a one-way street; it’s a good option for cars who don’t care as much about incline. So there’s probably a way to do it, but it’s going to be tough to put two dedicated bike lanes onto Polk Street, just because it’s so narrow. ZIPPERER: Let’s go to some questions from the audience. This is a different transportation question, but one we’ve been hearing a lot about: “Do you think we’ll ever be able to drive on the Bay Bridge? Where should the buck stop?” GRIFFIN: Such a good question. What a fiasco! [Laughter.] I was talking to someone at Caltrans the other day about this issue and what they said was, “Look, the [existing bridge] right now is terrible; it’s not seismically safe. The reason we’re building a second one is because this one is such a mess.” I was like, “Wait, is this your sales [pitch]? We’re less likely to collapse into the water than the old one?” That’s what we’re paying for. [Laughter.] You know, it’s really frightening. The state senate Housing and Transportation Committee just had its very first hearing about this issue, and they brought in Caltrans people. I don’t know if you


guys recall this, but when they were first building the bridge, they were taking too long. The bridge has been six times more expensive than it was originally budgeted for, so Governor Schwarzenegger took it away from Caltrans and gave it to the MTC [Metropolitan Transportation Commission] and said, “You guys deal with it, because Caltrans are a mess.” So [the committee] brought the Caltrans people in, they brought the MTC people in to talk about the [bridge’s troublesome] bolts. [There’s the saying that] “when you’re explaining, you’re losing” – holy cow, no one could understand what these people were saying. And it doesn’t appear that we’re going to get very far in terms of figuring out who should be fired and where this happened and who should be responsible for this. I used to be an attorney for Bechtel Corporation; I worked there for a couple of years. While I was there we had to deal with the Big Dig situation. I can tell you, if you go forward in this case, no matter what it is – it doesn’t matter if it’s a big butterfly that hits your windshield and you drive off the side and somebody dies – this issue is going be in court again. Regardless of how far afield it is, any plaintiff is going to take any injury from the bridge and try to tie it back to this. This is going to be an extremely expensive thing moving forward. Now they’re proposing to put saddles over the bolts and – what? [Laughter.] It’s supposed to make us all feel better; ultimately, as sad as it is, [the bridge] is going to have to be used, because the one that we have now is crappier. It is probably going to open [soon]. The fundraising has been done – you know, it’s like a wedding where the invitations have been ordered; you’re not backing out now. Your aunt’s flying in; there’s nothing more you can do. So I think that they’re going to move forward with it, but they’re going to have to be very careful about the amount of traffic they allow onto it until they can feel very comfortable about driving across. I know at least one person who’s going to move out of the city, and he’s specifically moving to the North Bay because he’s like, “I’m not [driving on] that every single day of my life; I’m too scared.” I don’t know what the impact is going to be on Oakland for the exodus over there, but there might be one.

“By January 20th, 2009,

widespread amnesia takes over the Republican Party – they forgot where the crisis came from.” FRANK continued from page 9 about to collapse; will you Democrats pass for this Republican administration, one month before the presidential election, a massive spending bill called the TARP which gives us all this discretion?” We said, “Well, we can’t give you quite as much discretion as you want, but yes, we have to save the country.” So the Democrats in 2008, under George Bush, gave him what he wanted. By the time we get to January 20, 2009, widespread amnesia takes over the Republican Party – they forgot where the crisis came from; they forgot who asked for all the bailouts; and from then on it became Obama’s fault, and Mitch McConnell says, “My number one goal is to defeat him.” That’s when things break down. SHAFER: You got elected in 1980, along with Ronald Reagan, and you were not out. What was it like being in the closet? FRANK: It was hell, and that’s why I [came out.] I got elected to the state legislature in 1972 and I filed the first gay rights bill in Massachusetts history. I had started coming out in the late ’70s and it was awful. You cannot live sort of half in and half out, particularly if you’re prominent. You don’t have the option of just being out and going about your business. I found it difficult. I started coming out because, when I looked at the political situation in Massachusetts, I didn’t think that the congressman in whose district I lived was going anywhere because he had just become speaker of the House [of Representatives]. I figured, I’m going to come out; I’ll be a prominent gay activist who was a former state legislator. Then the Pope intervened, because the congressman in the district next to mine was a Jesuit priest named Robert Drinan and the new pope, John Paul II, decided that he didn’t want to have a priest in Congress. So he ordered Drinan to leave Congress. Drinan was a lifelong priest, so he did.

Photo by Sonya Abrams

I then went back in the closet. I started coming out to friends and family. Then in 1980 when I got to Congress I said, OK, I got a new start here, so I’ll be fully out to the gay community in Washington but I won’t say anything publicly. But it didn’t work; it’s a crazy way to live, so I just decided I had to come out. SHAFER: When you came out, did most of your colleagues in Congress not know? FRANK: A lot didn’t know, but some did. Let me tell you, the rule for the media was that you did not identify someone as gay or lesbian unless he or she gave permission or that individual was involved in an unpleasant and unfortunate situation in which his or her sexuality was central. That meant that for a long time the only elected officials whom people knew to be gay or lesbian were people who did things that they shouldn’t have done. I have to say, on behalf of the lesbians, there were more gay guys doing what they shouldn’t have done more than the lesbians. Gerry Studds, who was brought out by an incident, was the first one to say, “OK, I’m gay.” For the others, there was a series of gay members of Congress who’d been involved in things, all of whom implausibly announced that this had happened when they were too drunk to remember what had happened – which would imply a remarkable degree of physical stamina when they otherwise could not stand up [Laughter]. For me, in the ’80s the media began to ask me whether they could write about me being gay [including some gay reporters]. I

said “No, not yet.” But finally, when I was ready to come out, I didn’t want to announce it because I was afraid at the time [’87]. I wanted to be able to say that my being gay was no big deal – which, when you think about it, is not a great thing since sexuality is an important part of you. Who wants their sexuality to be no big deal? You want it to be an enriching and warming part of your life as it is for me now with Jim. So I said to The Boston Globe, which was the key paper there, “If you ask me if I’m gay, I’ll tell you yes.” They said, “We can’t ask you because our rule is don’t ask [and don’t tell].” So a stalemate went on for a couple months where they wouldn’t ask me because it would violate their rule. Finally they got worried that somebody else was going to scoop them, so they sent a reporter down to ask me “Are you gay?” and I gave this very considered answer. I still wanted to say it was no big deal to minimize it because I was afraid of the political consequences. How could I announce something and subsequently announce that it wasn’t important? They’d say, “Why’d the hell you tell us for if it’s no big deal?” They asked this very capable lesbian reporter named Kay Longcope to ask me “Are you gay?” and I gave my carefully considered answer: “Yeah, so what?” And that was it. But the subsequent reaction was wonderful. [Former Republican Senator] Alan Simpson of Simpson-Bowles called me up the next day – it was very moving – and said, “You know, I joke around a lot but I hope to hell I never made any anti-gay joke to you

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because you’re my friend, my pal.” Former [Republican] Senator Warren Rudman – I was in a convenience store on Capitol Hill in Washington and I was in the back, he was in the front, and he saw me as he was leaving and said in a very loud voice so everybody could hear, “Good for you!” So there was really no problem. SHAFER: Were there any disappointments – Democrats, for example? FRANK: No, they were fine. [Former Speaker of the House] Tip O’Neill was a wonderful man, ahead of his time, and he did tell his then-press secretary [Chris Matthews of “Hardball”] when the rumors were going around, “All right, Chris, we better get ready to talk to the press. They tell me Barney Frank’s going to come out of the room.” [Laughter.] People were very supportive. SHAFER: You were a big Hillary Clinton person, and you supported her in the primary in Massachusetts. Her husband, of course, signed DOMA and “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Bill Clinton has since reversed on those things, but at the time was that an example of a politician doing something expedient? FRANK: Bill Clinton is an unsung hero of gay rights – including appointing Jim Hormel at a time when that was very controversial. SHAFER: But how do you explain DOMA and “Don’t ask, don’t tell?” FRANK: First of all, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” very simply – Clinton promised, when he was running for president, that he would abolish the ban on gays in the military by executive

order. He became president and immediately Colin Powell announced that he was against doing this – he was then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While he theoretically was subject to Bill Clinton’s control, he was retiring in June so Clinton couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to do. SHAFER: He could have let him resign. FRANK: Yeah, and it would have made an even bigger splash against him politically. But what happened specifically was this – and I’m glad I have the chance to explain this, because it’s unfair to blame President Clinton at all. There was a very important bill for the labor movement and the women’s movement – The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 – a bill that mandated that employers of people above 50 give people family leave or medical leave if they need it [unpaid], but you wouldn’t have to quit your job to take care of a parent or family member. That bill was coming up in the Senate, and it was the number one priority for organized labor and the women’s movement; and it had been defeated under [President] George H.W. Bush. A very homophobic, bigoted Democrat named Sam Nunn (D-GA) hooked up with [Senator] Bob Dole (R-KS), the Republican leader, and they announced that when that bill came up they were gonna add an amendment to it that took “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and made it statutorily binding. Bill Clinton would then have had this dilemma, because they had the votes for it, unfortunately, and they would have had the votes in the House.

If that bill had passed with that on there, Clinton could have vetoed it only by denying the labor movement, the women’s movement their number one choice, or signing it with this being statutory. They then tried to negotiate a deal that was less onerous, and I was in on those negotiations. At one point Colin Powell said he would sign on to something that was not so bad if at least one of the other chiefs of staff would join him. None of them would. So in the end, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was marginally better than the existing policy, which was the best Clinton could do, over their objections. The next year, Clinton did something that was frankly even more important for the lives of many gay and lesbian people. In 1954, [President] Dwight Eisenhower issued an executive order that said if you were a homosexual, under any circumstances, you couldn’t get clearance. It affected people working for the government, people working for law firms, architectural firms, engineering firms with contracts with certain government agencies. Bill Clinton abolished that. In 1994, he put out a new executive order saying sexual orientation won’t count. He also, for the first time, had [then Attorney General] Janet Reno announce that if you were gay, lesbian or transgender and you lived in a foreign country and you were being persecuted, you were eligible for asylum in America. Finally, he said that we won’t discriminate based on your personal characteristics. He strongly supported the Photo by Sonya Abrams




Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Then, in 1996, the Hawaiian Supreme Court looked like it might [legalize samesex] marriage; they backed off. Bob Dole once again, now a candidate for president, comes up with the Defense of Marriage Act. It passes the Senate with 12 votes against him. It would have passed, sadly, over Clinton’s objection. It passed both houses by three-toone majorities – I fought against it. On the other hand, he did repeal the executive order on security clearance, strongly supported non-discrimination and did a number of things that moved it forward. President Obama has also been very good, but repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was not on the agenda very early on and Obama got it done because Nancy Pelosi made it a high priority. I was Nancy’s deputy on that. This was Nancy Pelosi’s initiative. We told the Senate, “You have got to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ or you won’t get a military bill.” That’s what happened. SHAFER: We have some questions that have to do with Dodd-Frank [the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act], the financial reform bill that you co-authored. “What do you think of the way Congress is removing the teeth of the financial legislation you sponsored? Will it still be effective?” FRANK: First of all, Congress is not removing the teeth; the Republicans in the House have tried. They haven’t removed them yet; they’re still teething. The biggest single problem is this: Derivatives was the major area where there was not any significant regulation. The structure by which derivatives are regulated is a terrible one; you have the Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial regulator, Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, the farmers. I would have liked to put them together; it was politically impossible, farmers versus the financial interests in terms of Congress. They are trying to work together. But what the Republicans did when they took the House was to refuse to fund adequately those two agencies. So the fundamental problem has been that the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission is given this enormous increase in authority over derivatives and no new staff. That’s been part of the problem. Other than that, they are moving ahead; they have been slow to make decisions, but they haven’t made a bad one yet. Part of it is there are new regulators

in town now; the Obama regulators are very good people. SHAFER: There was an article in The Nation last week describing the armies of lobbyists – FRANK: And they haven’t won one yet! SHAFER: They haven’t won one yet? They spent something like $600 million lobbying the regulators.

“Bill Clinton is an

unsung hero of gay rights, including appointing Jim Hormel at a time when that was very controversial.” FRANK: They spent that money on us, and they didn’t win big. I wrote back and said, “Yes, that fight’s still going on. I understand that, but no one can point to a specific regulation that’s been adopted in a weakened form.” There’s one other problem we’ve had; this is where the filibuster comes in. The Federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia gets a lot of the federal regulatory things sent to it, and it used to be a bastion of liberalism, but the conservatives have taken over that court and have on several occasions now, in a bout of judicial activism, thrown out rules adopted by the regulators. For instance, the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission under the law, which we passed, put a limit on the amount of a commodity you could own if you had no conceivable use for the commodity. Now why would you buy up a lot of something that you didn’t want to use, except to drive the price up? It’s speculation, and they call it position limits. They adopted a rule imposing position limits on oil, for example, and the court threw it out. They said, “That’s not good economics.” So it’s been a combination of things. I wrote to that guy in The Nation, and he hasn’t shown me one case in which those lobbyists have succeeded. SHAFER: Another audience question. I’m sure you saw the article yesterday in The New York Times about Maxine Waters, the new ranking Democrat on the committee you once chaired, the Financial Services Committee. The question is: “Maxine Wa-

ters seems to be open to weakening DoddFrank. Can you offer an opinion or perspective on a potential weakening of these much-needed reforms?” FRANK: I think you can take for granted that any article in The New York Times in which any politician is pictured is one he will have read; yes, I’ve read it. What it was doing was actually a pretty good thing, which was saying, Look, she is a very serious, thoughtful, responsible person who is not going to do radical and crazy things. She’s doing something I did. The right wing controls the House and she’s gotta hold the Democrats together under great pressure. It’s easier to hold them together when you’re the majority. When I was chairman of the committee, I had the ability to get the Democratic members to do things by working together with them, by helping them sponsor amendments, etc. When you’re in the minority, you don’t have that same power. The minority leader only has some of the tools that the majority has. You then have to pick your battles. Maxine was doing is what I was doing, which is when they come up with some plausible, popular, small cutbacks I didn’t fight them, either. You go back to higher ground. On the major efforts, she’s standing there, and that’s an important thing to do. When you are responsible for making the policy and trying to get other people to vote for you, you have to compromise with them and yourself. There’s a great, fun role to play in a legislative body being the purist, the one who speaks out. You can play that out outside of the legislative process. I had an argument with Ralph Nader during the financial reform bill, which I’m very proud of. Nader was attacking us as if we had a magic wand that we could use, and I said, “Ralph, you are luxuriating in the purity of your irrelevance.” [Laughter.] There is a great freedom to say whatever you want. That’s OK to do that; that’s helpful, but don’t attack other people who have a different role. If your job is simply to articulate what you think is best, go ahead and do it and do it well, and maybe you’ll influence people over a longer term. But if your job is to get the votes, to get this bill passed in the foreseeable future, then you have to compromise, give and take, pick out some things that are important to you and not important to you and work with them.

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1 00 101 01 0 01 1110001101010000110000110 11 0 0 01 010000111111101001100 10 0 10 1110 Original Photo by Bryan and Vita Hewitt Photography

SCHMIDT & COHEN cont’d from page 11 startling to think that these are the environments where the majority of people using technology are going to live. So we started asking questions: What does this mean for the future of dictatorships and autocracy? How will these transform the terrorist threat that so many of us are worried about and keeps us up at night? DALTON: You write about Egypt, for example. During the Arab Spring, there was an uprising. Social media had been a factor, and Egypt tried to cut if off. How did that work out for them? COHEN: I was in Egypt the day the revolution happened. By the way, one sort of side of note: I went to go see the pyramids before the revolution – sort of the day the revolution began – and everybody knew it was going to start at 1 o’clock. Literally, people, when I got back from the pyramids, were slowly making their way out of bed to get ready for the revolution. What was interesting is going into the street and talking to young people; the assumption is they’re all there because they hate Mubarak and have some sort of long-standing grievance against him. In fact, some of the people you talk to have that belief. But then a lot of the younger people that you talk to would say, “I didn’t like Mubarak. Life wasn’t great here. It was hard for me to be political. But I wouldn’t have gone to the streets and risk having stones thrown at me or risk getting shot. But then he shut down the Internet and he shut down



mobile devices, and he really pissed me off.” SCHMIDT: The Internet was the great timewaster, and they took it off. DALTON: So what was the lesson for other dictators out there watching this? [Laughter.] COHEN: You’re talking about a dilemma. SCHMIDT: We like to give dictators dilemmas. First of all, it’s clear that if you’re an evil dictator, you don’t shut down the Internet; you censor it. You filter it. You try to make sure that information that would get the people riled up is not available to them. It’s remarkable how happy people can be when they’re ignorant of things that they really should be caring about. When we were in North Korea, I figured that the people [would] be fighting in the streets [with] knives and so forth, but in fact people got up and went around their business. The lack of information is the ultimate tool of dictators. DALTON: These technologies can also be used by dictators to monitor and suppress. Talk about the shadow side of these technologies. COHEN: Let me [ask] all of you a question: How many of you have multiple email accounts? How many of you have multiple social networking profiles – SCHMIDT: That was essentially everybody. DALTON: Everybody in the house. COHEN: Multiple chatting passes – etc. You guys get the idea. Basically, in the physical world you’re one person, but online you’ve got a whole virtual entourage of yourselves. Maybe, you know, one member


of that entourage misbehaves and does shady things and other one is sort of useful for professional reasons. In autocratic environments, it’s the same thing. Iran is going to have a presidential election in just a few weeks. The country is 72 million physical members of the population. In the future when every one of them is online and they would all raise their hands just like you all did, online that population is going to look more like 500 million people. So the dictator’s dilemma in the future is distinguishing between what’s noise and what’s actually real. How do you know that when there’s a disturbance online that it’s not just 10 people acting like thousands? Where they overreach and overreact, they run the risk of taking something that is digitally robust and pushing it into the streets. SCHMIDT: The old issue in the Internet is how do you know it’s a dog versus a person. But how do you know that these are real revolutionaries that are threatening your dictatorship versus people who are just having a good time yelling about you? One of the things we talk about in the book is one strategy for the dictator would be to allow for expression in the virtual space, but shut off any expression in the physical space. So you have choices as a dictator on how you do this. What we ultimately concluded is that it’s better not to be dictator, because these tools are so empowering for individuals, and it’s easy for people to go around these kinds of surveillance systems using heuristic means

including cryptography. If you really want to be a dictator, you really don’t want to have the Internet around: it’s too empowering for the citizens that you’re not serving well. DALTON: This week, there’s a presidential summit between the president of China and the president of the United States; cyber espionage – cyberwarfare – is on the agenda. What do you think is going to happen? SCHMIDT: We spend a fair amount of time talking about the possibility of cyberwar, and the conclusion you’d come to is that there’s going to be low-grade fighting between countries for a very long time in cyberspace. China is a classic example. By all accounts, America has a good relationship with China. Among other things, they buy our debt, we buy their products. There’s a tremendous amount of trade back and forth; it’s mutually beneficial in most people’s eyes. On the Internet, it’s a completely different story. Not only are they filtering and censoring the Internet, but they, among other things, attack Google. [An] un-scientific survey of the level of attacks indicates that the majority of the sources, 80-ish percent, are originating in China for whatever reason. So you can imagine the following scenario: Think about Dr. Strangelove. A Chinese military guy decides to have a little fun, so he releases a virus into America. That virus, by the way, mutates in some way that it actually causes some physical damage. Some bad stuff. This could happen. Now we have the summit. The Chinese premier says, “Mr. President, Barack, sorry; we didn’t authorize this – and this time I’m telling you the truth.” What’s the president going to do? I mentioned it to President Obama and he sort of looked at me, “Oh my God.” You actually have to think about these things? You want to think about them before they happen. Now imagine the same scenario, but because of the lack of attribution on the Internet, it’s really from another country and they’ve set it up to blame China. These poor Chinese people really are not guilty of this. The Internet has some properties. It’s hard to attribute where the things come from. It’s possible to do a lot of damage, at least digitally, and our systems are not fully protected from it. There’s a lot of reasons. For example, how many of you know that the Chinese and others are not inside your corporate or university networks? Raise your hand if you’re sure.

COHEN: One of the things we’re very concerned about is [how] we often talk about cyber-terrorism and cyberwar in one silo and physical-world terrorism and physical war in another silo. So people talk about and speculate about what a cyber-Pearl Harbor might look like or what a future 9/11 might look like, but we have to sort of resist the urge to silo these things, because at the end of the day, what we should really fear is coordinated attacks across both domains, or a situation when a cyber-attack is so severe it warrants a

“If you really want to be a dictator, you

don’t want to have the Internet around.” –Eric Schmidt physical world response. After Hurricane Sandy sort of turned downtown Manhattan into “little North Korea,” to quote Jon Stewart, I called Eric and said, “This is really terrifying, not because of what national disasters and hurricanes can do – but this is sort of forecasting of what a really terrifying terrorist attack could accomplish.” So you could imagine the situation where a cyberterrorist attack takes out the electricity of a major city, paving the way for a couple of terrorists to physically go in there and do something terrible undetected. It is a very real scenario. SCHMIDT: We obviously think this is a terrible thing; we’re not endorsing it in any way. So you sit there and you go, “How could this happen?” After all, these terrorists are operating out of caves. You could imagine sort of a bad alliance between the criminal hacking games that exist, you get to see these periodically online; they have technical skills and they’re after money and they’re sort of evil terrorist groups. They could actually form sort of a supergroup. It could actually be quite serious. DALTON: [An] aspect of the news business is leaks. The trial of Bradley Manning started this week; WikiLeaks has been a big thing. So how does that fit into your construct, this idea that secret government information can now be disclosed en masse?

SCHMIDT: There are a couple comments to make about the Internet in general. The Internet lacks a delete button. Information that was secret that is released such as WikiLeaks and others, once it’s out there, it’s not going to get redacted. You can’t do it. In that case, for example, the harder you try to prevent the release of that information, the more you stamp out copies, the more likely that somebody or some other country is going to make a copy of it. We saw this recently with a gentleman who thought he was being brilliant by releasing 3D printing prints for a plastic gun that can evade x-ray machines. The U.S. government ordered that information taken down, but by then the information has been stored all over the world. So the secret is out. We went to visit Julian Assange when he was in his earlier form of confinement, and he made an argument which I found pretty convincing, that if you’re going to do systemic evil, the best way to prevent that is to leak it. Because systematic evil by governments, you have to write it down. We ultimately went to Rwanda, where 750,000 people were killed by machetes, and we – Jared’s in fact an expert on that; he wrote a very important book on the Rwanda conflict. You think about it for a while, and you think if they’ve known about it, they must have planned it at that level. If those plans have been leaked or people have mobile phones, perhaps they would have prevented much of the genocide. The problem that we had with that argument is: Who gets to make this decision? Does the leaker make the decision? Does the government make the decision? It’s not obvious to me how you make that decision, but information, once released, is very hard to put back. So if you have something that’s that important, you have to really think about who’s going to have access to it and what their motivations will be. And finally, you have think about if you’re going to have systematic evil, how will you use leaking to police it and who is the appropriate person to police that? DALTON: Any thoughts on Bradley Manning? SCHMIDT: Don’t know enough. He’s on trial now. It’s probably better to let the process fall. DALTON: Jared Cohen? COHEN: If I can just jump in though

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on this question of data permanence. We frequently talk about data permanence in the context of once things are leaked, there is privacy and security, but it’s interesting to think about data permanence in the context of criminality and terrorism – two things that really plague our world today. One of the arguments we make in the book is whether you’re a criminal or a terrorist, in the future it’s going to be very difficult to imagine any of them operating in a cave in Tora Bora. So if we assume that every terrorist and criminal will have to opt in to technology to be relevant, ultimately, that’s good for fighting crime and combatting violence, because by opting in, they’re susceptible to leaving a digital trail. SCHMIDT: Look at an example. In Boston, we got the two guys who killed the three people in a terrorist attack, car-jack a Mercedes with a Chinese guy in it, who doesn’t [speak] very good English; they terrorized him for 90 minutes, driving around. He eventually escapes from the car. He leaves

his cellphone in the car. So as a result of his cellphone being in the car, they were able to track the car, and they ultimately stopped the car – one of the assailants was killed and another one was injured, leading him to the boat, and everybody knows the history there. So in the sort of evil terrorist manual, step number 27 is: Make sure there’s no cellphone in the car after you’ve car-jacked the car. The problem is that the people who are doing these things are young, male and in a hurry – they’re going to make mistakes. The police are going to be able to get them. It’s just not possible to avoid those kinds of mistakes, especially in a high-stress situation. COHEN: Our favorite example of the last couple of weeks: I’m sure some of you read about a $45 million ATM heist where literally in a matter of hours, criminals essentially took $45 million out of thousands of ATMs in dozens of countries around the world. So if you’re going to have a partnership between hackers who are very good at being invisible and transnational organized crimi-

nals who are pretty good at staying off the grid, ultimately they still needed somebody to physically go to the ATM machines to get the money out. So who did they contract? They contracted street criminals in various places and of various cultures. And what happened in this case? Well, some of the street criminals, who maybe weren’t necessarily the smartest people in the world, took the money out of the ATM and celebrated by posting pictures of themselves with their faces and their cash on Instagram. So thank you anybody who works for Instagram – SCHMIDT: But we can do even better. We have John McAfee, right? Our fellow [Silicon Valley] resident who managed to move himself to Belize under questioning and suspicion for the death of a neighbor, manages to go on the lam and publicizes that he’s on the lam and he’s on vacation, he’s moving to Latin America. He goes to a hotel in Guatemala. Someone takes his picture and he posts this showing [McAfee] in his bathing suit and having a nice time. He was obviously not

The Computer Disappears: Internet Everywhere by Jordan Plaut


ed by oft-scrutinized Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Silicon Valley giant Google appears to be leading the technology push into the future – and the future is close at hand. With the limited and closely monitored release of Google Glass, the company that was founded around the relatively simple concept of a global information search engine has unleashed unrelenting speculation about a world of wearable tech. Mouth-watering anticipation aside, will the tech future that Schmidt and Jared Cohen (director of Google Ideas) call “the new digital age” really revolve around persistent and unavoidable digital connectivity, including potentially revolutionary products such as Glass? The immediate answer may rest with Google’s former collaborator and current top competitor – Apple. From Steve Jobs’ tenure as Apple premier to the Tim Cook era, the Worldwide Developers Conference [WWDC] in San Francisco has served as the platform for keynote addresses heard round the world, a function Cook utilized again on June 10. Experts and amateur enthusiasts alike anticipated hopefully a strong response to Google’s new wearable tech – an iWatch or Google Glass equivalent, for example – but one can never quite guess what the big reveal will be at these keynote speeches. Unfortunately for the eager public, Cook and his allies merely introduced a new wave of operating system updates, some improved hardware and a music streaming service. If Apple does have a hand to play in wearable tech, Cook and Co. did not show the cards. Web rumors have hinted that big names Microsoft and Samsung may have interest in the newest tech niche




as well, but lack of details means the issue remains unresolved. Schmidt and Cohen have given relatively vague statements about the role that some of Google’s developing technology will play in a world of globally integrated, tech-savvy nations. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made his opinion of Schmidt and Cohen’s book perfectly clear in a June 2 New York Times op-ed piece titled, “The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’” [referring to Google’s frequently-quoted corporate motto]. For Assange, The New Digital Age is “…an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary – the one company that can answer the question ‘Where should America go?’” Assange explains that this position applies just as strongly to foreign policy as it does domestic. His claim does fit with Schmidt and Cohen’s persistently global narrative, though perhaps they are not the “witch doctors” Assange makes them out to be. Still, what is Google’s new overall mission? The company has a multitude of separate, moving parts without any real centrality to tie them together; facets range from educational initiatives to philanthropy to clean energy to hardware. Does the company want to simply improve the world through technology and refrain from being evil in the process? Are ties between such a powerful company and extreme government involvement inevitable? With so much secrecy and uncertainty, unlocking the answers to these questions will be difficult moving forward. For now, however, after reading The New Digital Age many will assume that the influential Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen hold the master key.

aware that when you post a photo, it includes your GPS coordinates. Within about one second, someone had taken the metadata of the photo, had figured out where they were, the Guatemalan police showed up and arrested him, right – the good or bad version of the story, depending on your point of view. I think the good part of the story is there was no reason to hold him, but he was not supposed to be in the country at all. So again, if you’re on the lam, remember this: Turn off the geo-location feature in the metadata as you post pictures of you sunning yourself at the beach. DALTON: So all the collection availability, this information has given some people concerns about sort of big data or privacy considerations. I’d like to ask about the Utah Data Center, which is being built by the National Security Agency in the United States, reportedly collecting 60 billion iPhones worth of data. That’s five zeta bytes? You know what those are; I don’t. It’s a lot of data. It’s going to be online later this year. How should the U.S. approach that? Reportedly, Thomas Drake is an NSA whistleblower who says they will collect information on Americans. Should we be concerned about that much data in the hands of the government, given the power of the tools you’ve been talking about? SCHMIDT: In the industry, we’ve gone through a series of these proposals, and they’re often somewhat over-hyped, what they can actually do. Let me suggest what can be done; I don’t know if this proposal could be done. Then we can debate whether this is a good idea. As I understand it, the NSA’s job is essentially foreign communications; they’re not allowed to operate in the United States, but I could be wrong there. AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA YOUTUBE: I live in Germany. Currently, I’m an MA student at Hult International Business School in San Francisco. Over the past years, corporate social responsibility has become increasingly important to companies and communities around the world. I was wondering how Google and other companies in its industry can use their innovations to increase the quality of life for people in emerging markets. SCHMIDT: I like the question – because it was submitted on YouTube, obviously. Corporate social responsibility is good for your bottom line, because it allows you to get smarter, better employees who feel

more empowered and work harder in your company. It’s a good business principle as well as a good social principle. In this particular case, the best thing that I think we’ve sort of come to is wiring up the world, which is what’s happening now, and accelerating that is probably the best protection for women. It’s the best protection against real conflict. It’s the best way to avoid some of the problems that have bedeviled the world. Technically this means the wiring, the connectivity, the applications, getting the price points down. It also, by the way, means getting reliable electric power. It means having telecommunications networks that actually work. Many people in this room are working on this stuff; this is good work. COHEN: And let me get to the illustrative examples of what Eric is talking about. The first is in Libya. In the early days of the NATO bombing, Libyan schoolgirls were using Google Maps to plot out where the bombs were falling so they could find safe passageways to school. So effective were these maps that the NGOs then started using the information [provided] by the Libyan schoolgirls to deliver aid. So you think the Internet matters? It matters a lot for these women in Libya. Probably the most moving experience that Eric and I had during our research for this book and perhaps in our entire lives – it was a trip to Pakistan about a year ago. We met a group of women who had been attacked by the Taliban with acid. We went to visit them and all of their faces were horribly disfigured. Through no fault of their own, the physical scars that they bear carry a terrible stigma in the physical world that essentially makes it impossible for them to live without being discriminated against or demonized, etc. So when we went to visit these women, they were all living in a house together. They all had smart phones; they were learning technical skills; some of them were starting businesses. What we realized in talking to them and learning from them is that the Internet had essentially given them a second chance at life, because their scars were invisible online. One of them had even met a man online who she developed a relationship with and actually led to them getting married. So do you think the Internet matters? Try talking to a group of women attacked by the Taliban who were

given a second chance at life – it matters a lot. DALTON: Question from the audience: Could you respond to Julian Assange’s op-ed in The New York Times? SCHMIDT: He called us the witch doctors of Google. I’ve never been called a witch doctor. DALTON: But the point underlying was that these technologies actually helped totalitarian regimes. COHEN: I would start by saying we’re not witch doctors. I would also say that in my personal belief, there are some people for whom, in my view, critique is praise and praise would be critique. That’s sort of at a high level how we look at it. But the reality is there are cat and mouse games that have existed between citizens and their governments since the beginning of time. So you’re seeing the same citizen and state dynamic play out in the future as these societies come online. Then you ask, “What’s changed?” Go back to what I asked all of you in the audience earlier in this session, which is [how] citizens in the future will be able to punch way above their weight and will have a comparative advantage relative to their regimes. The other thing that I would add is they’re going to be joined by a whole bunch of transnational meddlers who are altruistic and want to help them. So in addition to the sort of power of what citizens will be able to do online and by virtue of that offline in their respective societies, a whole new generation of revolutionary helpers will join them. SCHMIDT: I think our simplest response is we just disagree. While it’s true that the government can organize a surveillance state, the odds of any government, including the best-run ones, managing to pull that off with the kind of tools and technologies against them [used by an] informed and empowered populace with mobile phones are highly unlikely to be successful. There’s just too many ways in which citizens can get around that. You could imagine a contest between citizens and government in a surveillance state. I know it’s romantic to think, Oh, it’s 1984, and all sort of terrible things are going to happen. But I don’t think the data supports that. The data supports that the empowerment of the Internet and mobile phones in particular empower the citizens at the expense of the state. States should be more worried about their citizens.

AU G U ST/SE P T E M B E R 2013



Laws & Order

L aurel Bellows The head of the lawyers’ association talks about equal pay and defends the system of due process. Excerpted from Laurel Bellows, May 10, 2013. LAUREL BELLOWS  President, American Bar Association In conversation with


Dean, USF Law School LAUREL BELLOWS: When I talk to you about gender inequality of pay, I come from a place of anger and discouragement and questioning what our laws are for. We are not celebrating but recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. Twenty years and white women are making 77 cents on the dollar, 60 cents on the dollar if you’re an African-American woman, 55 cents on the dollar if you’re a Latina. Equal Pay Day, which happened to be on my birthday this year, April 9, the day up to which a woman needs to work in 2013 to earn the same as a guy earned in 2012. That’s the white woman, because a Latina would have to work through June. I want to dispel a couple of myths right now. Every time I talk about equal pay somebody says, “Equal pay for equal work? What does that mean? Are you talking about the women’s basketball team versus the men’s basketball team? A woman can’t really do the work a man does.” No. I’m talking about comparable pay for comparable work; same job, same responsibilities, unequal pay. Make no mistake, those are what the statistics are. When it is a dinner or breakfast table conversation with you and your friends and they say, “Pay is unequal because women choose a different path. They choose a different kind



of job. They are maybe not all that uncommitted to their jobs, but they have other responsibilities that are more important to them.” I’m saying, “Not true. That’s a myth.” Yes, women might choose something different. Yes, six foot tall and muscular, I’m never going to be on a football team. If I were, and I were good, I should get paid the same. That’s what we’re talking about. I would like to be the quarterback and have them see if they could push me down. There are some opportunities that we haven’t had. With the Kentucky Derby I would want to know that if I were riding that horse I was getting paid equally. That’s what we’re talking about. The myth that women are made differently, that we have some kind of a brain that goes in different directions, that used to be the myth we were dealing with; you’re still hearing it. In the law profession, lawyers are not immune to unequal pay. The statistics [from] the National Association of Women Lawyers just came out: women equity partners in the top 200 largest firms in our country are making 89 cents on the dollar for the same production of revenue, same level of client. Now you know why I’m angry. It’s totally outrageous, because we have the laws in place. Equal pay is good for business. If you treat a woman unfairly, she’s walking. That’s what is happening in our law firms today, and that’s what is going to happen in our corporations. You pay a woman incomparably, you pay her unfairly, you lose talent, you lose perspective and you end up with that bland, all white-guy community. We’ve all recognized that’s not where we want to be. Finally, in this country we have come to the conclusion that different perspectives and diversity are really important and wonderful. Yet, unless we start to recognize that equal pay is good for business, that equal pay actually pays, we are never going to be a country that can be proud to hold our heads [up] in the international community.


JEFFREY BRAND: What is the relationship of due process to society’s desire to stem the trafficking that we all abhor? BELLOWS: I’m going to move past the statute of limitations question, because I can’t speak about what the ABA would or would not support. The issue is, our country believes that all people are innocent until proven guilty. That means that we have a country that puts the individual, and that individual’s liberty, above the majority. The power of the minority in this country, given to us by the Constitution of the United States, is something that we can never underestimate. Even though we find human beings whom we might not even consider to be human, we give them the right to be represented by the very best of consult. That’s because it could happen to us. We want to protect every individual. Then we have to have confidence in our process of justice. It has taken us a little time to recognize that this slavery [human trafficking] has drilled down so far into our society that we haven’t seen it. Now we’re beginning to see. In answer to your question, we are training law enforcement to bring in our working women. If they are victims, treat them accordingly and go after, in a very serious way, the captors. The right to a trial by jury? The right to an attorney? It doesn’t disappear just because you are the world’s worst human being. This is the tough stuff that makes our country great. This is the stuff that separates us. We have a criminal jury trial. You live in the country that has the only civil jury trial on our planet. What an amazing place this is. Yes, we pay a penalty for it because we see people who are apparently despicable to us go on trial so that we can actually determine, through our law process, whether they are in fact despicable or innocent. We give them a trial before their peers; us. We give them justice. Justice and fairness; that’s our country. It’s a beautiful country.

Programs For up-to-date information on programs, and to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, go to



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; 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 networking reception with wine.

PROGRAM SERIES CLIMATE ONE programs are a conversation about America’s energy, economy and environment. To understand any of them, it helps to understand them all. GOOD LIT features both established literary luminaries and upand-coming writers in conversation. Includes Food Lit. INFORUM is for and by people in their 20s to mid-30s, though events are open to people of all ages.

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


HEALTH & MEDICINE William B. Grant Patty James HUMANITIES George C. Hammond INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Norma Walden LGBT Stephen Seewer Julian Chang MIDDLE EAST Celia Menczel PSYCHOLOGY Patrick O’Reilly SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Chisako Ress

Hear Club programs on about 200 public and commercial radio stations throughout the United States. For the latest schedule, visit In the San Francisco Bay Area, tune in to: KQED (88.5 FM) Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 a.m. KRCB Radio (91 FM in Rohnert Park) Thursdays at 7 p.m. KALW (91.7 FM) Inforum programs on select Tuesdays at 7 p.m. KOIT (96.5 FM and 1260 AM) Sundays at 6 a.m. KLIV (1590 AM) Thursdays at 7 p.m. KSAN (107.7 FM) Sundays at 5 a.m. 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 KRCB TV 22 on Comcast & DirecTV the last Sunday of each month at 11 a.m. Select Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley programs air on CreaTV in San Jose (Channel 30). View hundreds of streaming videos of Club programs at and

Subscribe to our free podcasting service to automatically download a new program recording to your personal computer each week:

HARD OF HEARING? To request an assistive listening device, please e-mail Andre Heard at seven working days before the event. AU G U ST/SE P T E M B E R 2013





July 29 – September 22

Eight Weeks Calendar M on



July 29






12:00 p.m. Soundscape FM 5:30 p.m Notes from the Underground FM

5:15 p.m. The Integration of Modern Psychology and Eastern Philosophy 7:00 p.m. Mark Tercek 6:00 p.m. The Snake, the Seeker and the Smartphone: Can Tech Save Biodiversity?

5:15 p.m. Mother Daughter Me




12:00 p.m. Water and Conflict: Is Water More Important Than Oil? FM 6:00 p.m. Joshua Kendall: America’s Obsessives FM 6:00 p.m. Food and Longevity

6:00 p.m. How I Came to the Ends of the Earth and What I Found There 7:00 p.m. Reading Faces: The Key to Understanding People




6:00 p.m. Tipping Point for Planet Earth FM 6:30 p.m. Week to Week

6:00 p.m. Our Soil, Ourselves 7:00 p.m. Physics vs. Time Travel with Ken Wharton 6:00 p.m. Rita Moreno

2:00 p.m. San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour 6:00 p.m. Nature 2.0 – Open Space and Training the Next Environmental Stewards




5:30 p.m. Middle East Discussion Group FE 6:00 p.m. Backyards, Beaches, Birds and Bees: Citizen Science FM

6:00 p.m. What is Nature-Deficit Disorder? 6:00 p.m. Adapting to Sea-Level Rise: Protecting our Communities, Infrastructure and the Bay

6:00 p.m. The Primary Care Crunch: Anticipating the Doctor Shortage After Obamacare FE 6:00 p.m. Oceans: Open for Business




Labor Day

6:00 p.m. Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US–Mexico Divide

Club offices closed




6:00 p.m. The Middle East Turmoil and Israel FM 6:00 p.m. Kindred Beings FM

7:00 p.m. Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 6:00 p.m. The U.S. Pivot to Asia: Where We Are and How Asians Have Responded

5:15 p.m. Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers over 50 6:00 p.m. The Tunisian Model of Revolution and the Challenges of Democracy




6:00 p.m. Does the Environment Matter?

12:00 p.m. Mandela’s Grandchildren 5:15 p.m. Mental Health Meets Social Justice 6:30 p.m. The Dark Side of Achievement Culture with Vicki Abeles 6:00 p.m. A. Scott Berg

6:00 p.m. Man Bites Dog: What Hot Dogs Tell Us About America





Commonwealth Club Travel

World-Class Destinations Renowned Speakers Important Issues Exceptional Insight Superb Staff Outstanding Company (415) 597-6720 CST# 2096889-40

Photos: Fred Ackerman (Bryce Canyon), Andy Biggs (Lions), Lindsay Fincher (Dubrovnik), Joanna Millick (Balkans/Albania), Kristina Nemeth (Cuba, Bryce Canyon), Ken Wiedemann (Buoys)

Explore the world with us in 2014...

Patagonia Frontiers Argentina and Chile by Land & Sea January 3–19, 2014 Discover the majestic fjords and glaciers of Southern Patagonia and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine. Enjoy cosmopolitan Buenos Aires; sail on a three-night expedition cruise through the Strait of Magellan; visit Magdalena Island, home to over 120,000 Magellanic penguins; explore Torres del Paine National Park, a 700-square-mile World Biosphere Reserve of jagged mountain peaks, ice-blue glaciers, turquoise lakes, rushing rivers and waterfalls; finally, experience Chile’s Lake District and vibrant Santiago. Iguazu Falls option available. Cost: $7,949 to $8,744 per person, double occupancy (including land, cruise, and air from SFO)

Discovering Cuba Havana, Viñales Valley, Trinidad & Cienfuegos February 8–18, 2014 Our popular small groups to Cuba are a club favorite! Explore Old Havana’s history and architecture. Meet tobacco farmers and take in views of the dramatic limestone mogotes in Viñales. Visit a coffee plantation and the site of the famous “Bay of Pigs.” Meet students at an art school; enjoy a private flamenco performance; discuss U.S. foreign policy at the U.S. Interests Section and with Cuba’s former ambassador to the E.U. Learn about music, dance and the vibrant Cuban art world. Additional trips to Cuba are scheduled for March, November and December. Please visit our website. Cost: $4,995 per person, double occupancy

Journey through Vietnam With an Optional Extension to the Temples of Angkor February 27–March 14, 2014 Discover Vietnam’s captivating beauty and enduring traditions on this 16-day journey. Experience the French-accented capital, Hanoi; cruise through scenic Ha Long Bay; visit Da Nang’s acclaimed Cham Museum; explore the colorful village of Hoi An; wander through the imperial capital of Hue; and cruise the Perfume River to peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda. Explore the tributaries and floating markets of the Mekong River Delta and enjoy bustling Saigon. Optional 3-day/2-night post-tour to the temples of Angkor available. Cost: $4,547 per person, double occupancy (including land and air from SFO)

Tanzania Wildlife and Culture Safari March 5–16, 2014 Immerse yourself in the unspoiled landscapes of East Africa. Search for wildlife – lion, elephant, cheetah, giraffe and rhino – as we explore Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater (where 30,000 animals live) and finally the mighty Serengeti. After visually spectacular days, retreat to eco-friendly tented camps offering comfort, superior service and gourmet meals in the heart of the wilderness. Meetings have been specially arranged with community members and guest speakers so that you learn about both Tanzania’s wildlife and culture. Cost: $6,250 per person, double occupancy

Exploring Tunisia Ancient Sites, Rich History & a Modern Democracy Movement April 24–May 4, 2014 Experience Tunisia’s Roman sites, rich culture and history. Meet political leaders, media and young citizens who participated in the Revolution. Explore Tunis’ medina; Carthage’s Roman ruins; Andalusian architecture in Sidi Bou Said; and world-class mosaics at the Bardo Museum. Tour ancient Dougga and El Jem, with an amphitheater similar to Rome’s Coliseum. See Kairouan’s Great Mosque and Matmata’s crater-like topography. Relax in the seaside resort of Jerba. Journalist Hatem Bouriel, a well-known figure in Tunisia’s media, leads the trip. Malta post-trip available. Cost: $4,195 per person, double occupancy

Spain and Portugal Paradores and Pousadas May 5–19, 2014 Stay in distinctive lodgings during this Iberian sojourn. Explore Lisbon and the National Palace of Queluz. Traverse the Alentejo region of olive groves and vineyards. Discover Evora, a treasure-trove of Portuguese history and architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Seville, Andalucia’s capital, and Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest and most charming towns. Experience Granada’s famous Alhambra; medieval Toledo; and Madrid’s Royal Palace and Prado Museum. Extension to Barcelona available. Cost: Approximately $5,760 per person, double occupancy (including land and air from SFO)

Southern Culture & the Civil War From Memphis to New Orleans Aboard the American Queen May 15–24, 2014 Cruise along the shores of the Mississippi River aboard the luxury steamboat American Queen, stopping in Mississippi and Louisiana. Discover grand antebellum mansions, memorials from the momentous War Between the States, and a wealth of living history. Visit both Shiloh and Vicksburg National Military Parks. Tour Natchez, a glorious city with restored mansions and historic 19th-century homes. Experience Houmas House Plantation, the “Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road,” before ending your steamboat adventure in New Orleans. Cost: From $2,749 per person, double occupancy

In the Wake of the Vikings Denmark, Norway & Scotland aboard the M.S LE BORÉAL May 21–29, 2014 Journey to Norway’s majestic fjords and Scotland’s rarely visited Shetland, Orkney and Inner Hebridean Islands, remote destinations linked by their Viking heritage. Cruise from Copenhagen to Glasgow visiting three UNESCO World heritage sites. Experience Norway’s spectacular fjords; the wooden Hanseatic architecture of Bergen; the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae; the ancient Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis; and iconic Eilean Donan Castle on Skye. Copenhagen pre-cruise and Edinburgh post-cruise options available. Cost: From approximately $3,995 per person, double occupancy

Changing Tides of History: Cruising the Baltic Sea Aboard M.S. LE BORÉAL With President Lech Walesa and Former Correspondent John Cochran June 20–29, 2014 Cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Stockholm, Sweden experiencing the renaissance of Gdañsk, Poland; the medieval charms of Tallinn, Estonia & Visby, Sweden; stunning architecture in cosmopolitan Helsinki, Finland; and the grandeur of St. Petersburg. Hear from former President of Poland Lech Walesa and travel with John Cochran, former ABC Chief White House and NBC Chief European correspondent, who covered Walesa and the struggle of the Solidarity union. Copenhagen pre-cruise and Stockholm post-cruise options available. Cost: From approximately $5,995 per person, double occupancy

Journey Through Europe: The Netherlands, Germany, France & Switzerland Amadeus River Cruising & the Glacier Express June 24–July 4, 2014 Cruise five nights on the scenic Rhine River visiting five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Enjoy Amsterdam’s storybook canals; Cologne’s magnificent Gothic cathedral; the Alsatian city of Strasbourg; Berne’s Old Town; and Germany’s Rüdesheim and Heidelberg Castles. Spend two nights each in Zermatt and Lucerne, and ride three legendary railways – the Gornergrat Bahn, for views of the Matterhorn; the Glacier Express; and the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Amsterdam pre-tour and Interlaken post-tour options available. Cost: From $3,995 per person, double occupancy

Shores of Croatia and Montenegro Venice to Dubrovnik Aboard 100-guest Corinthinan II August 28–September 5, 2014 Join the Honorable Harry Cahill, distinguished diplomat and expert on this region, as we explore its striking beauty, contrasting cultures, and architectural and artistic excellence. From Venice we sail to Split, built within the Palace of Diocletian. Stroll through the lavender-scented lanes of Hvar, and enjoy multi-cultural Mostar. Visit Korcula Island and Montenegro’s Kotor, reached through southern Europe’s only fjord. Finally, explore the medieval splendors of Dubrovnik. Cost: From $4,890 per person, double occupancy

New England to Montreal Discovering Historic Towns & Scenic Waterways September 10–22, 2014 Cruise from Massachusetts aboard the 130-guest Yorktown to discover Maine’s picturesque Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and Boothbay Harbor in the colors of autumn. Explore the well-preserved towns and scenic countryside of Nova Scotia, including Lunenburg and Halifax. Experience Charlottetown’s old seaport; Prince House, birthplace of the Canadian Confederation; and Prince Edward Island National Park. Sail the St. Lawrence River to idyllic Quebec, and end in cosmopolitan Montreal. Cost: From $5,995 per person, double occupancy

Utah’s National Parks Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Cedar Breaks & Grand Staircase Escalante September 14–20, 2014 Explore history, ecology and scenery in five national parks and monuments on the Colorado Plateau. Experience the dramatic cliffs of Zion and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Hike amid multi-hued cliffs, spires, and arches of Cedar Breaks; the Waterpocket Fold of Capitol Reef; and slot-canyons in Grand Staircase-Escalante, the “newest” park, designated in 1996. Learn about federal policies that have led to notably different development of these parks. Former Park Ranger Frank Ackerman leads our way. Cost: $3,195 per person, double occupancy

Rivieras & Islands of France, Spain & Italy Rome to Barcelona, Aboard the M.V. TERE MOANA September 19–27, 2014 Cruise aboard 45-stateroom M.V. Tere Moana to sun-drenched French and Italian rivieras and islands. Discover Carcassone’s medieval fortifications; Corsica’s fortified town of Bonifacio; Sardinia’s dazzling Costa Smeralda; Florence’s Renaissance treasures; and the cliffside villages of Italy’s Cinque Terre. Along the enchanting Côte d’Azur, visit alluring and chic Monaco; Monte Carlo’s world-famous Casino Square; colorful Cannes; and the renowned Musée Marc-Chagall in Nice. Rome pre-cruise and Barcelona post-cruise options available. Cost: From $5,320 per person, double occupancy

Machu Picchu to the Galápagos Incan Treasures & Darwin’s Islands September 30–October 14, 2014 From Lima, journey to the Sacred Valley, exploring Inca sites and indigenous villages. Travel by train to Machu Picchu, and stay overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Enjoy charming Cuzco and have lunch in the home of a local family. Fly to Ecuador and board a privately chartered yacht for a 5-day expedition of the Galápagos Islands. Witness astonishing wildlife during guided nature walks and while swimming and snorkeling. Amazon Rainforest pre-tour option is available. Cost: Approximately $8,393 to $8,888 per person, double occupancy (including land and air from SFO)

The Balkans Unveiled with 19th Secretary of Defense William Perry Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina & Croatia October 4–18, 2014 Explore six wildly divergent Balkan countries. Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox, politically contradictory and ethnically varied, this kaleidoscopic region offers an apprenticeship in diversity. Experience Albania’s modern sense of enterprise and beautiful Macedonia, inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Visit Kosovo, Europe’s youngest country, and Serbia’s elegant Belgrade. Discover reconstructed Sarajevo, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps; charming Mostar; and stunning Dubrovnik. Post-tour options in Dubrovnik and to Slovenia are available. Cost: $8,295 per person, double occupancy

Perspectives on Iran Minarets & Mosaics October 9–23, 2014 Explore Tehran, including the Bank Milli Iran to view the spectacular Crown Jewels. In Tabriz discover the Blue Mosque, Shah Goli Gardens and the town’s vibrant bazaar. Visit Shiraz and the magnificent ruins of Persepolis. Visit Yazd, the country’s center of Zoroastrianism, where the most traditional Persian architecture is found. Conclude in Isfahan, a town of unsurpassed beauty, where brilliant blue-tiled buildings and majestic bridges are often recognized as the perfection of Islamic architecture. Enjoy the country’s culinary traditions and the warmth of the people. Cost: $5,995 per person, double occupancy

China Romance Dream Idyll of Southern Waters and Mountains October 19–30, 2014 Explore Bejing’s Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City. Take in the sweeping views of the Great Wall at Mutianyu before flying to Guilin to experience southern China’s karst mountains. Visit local villages; cruise down the Li River; and discover Longsheng, a mountainous region of rice paddies. Explore the West Lake, which exudes age-old charm and cultural sophistication. Conclude in cosmopolitanism Shanghai. Optional extensions to Chengde, the Huang Mountains, or Xian & the Yangtze River. Cost: $4,295 per person, double occupancy

San Francisco


Free program for members

East Bay


Free program for everyone

Silicon Valley


Members–only program



S at


August 01





6:00 p.m. Power in Numbers: Kickoff Platforum at the Cal Academy




2:00 p.m. Chinatown Walking Tour 6:30 p.m. James Beard Award Winners

7:30 a.m. Farallon Islands Excursion

10:00 a.m. Making Art with Living Systems: The Exploratorium







July 29 – September 22


6:00 p.m. Investing in Natural Capital 6:30 p.m. A Tour of Scotland, One Glass at a Time

23 12:00 p.m.Exploratorium Global Studios in the Middle East FM




September 01











6:30 p.m. Metro Revolution 2:00 p.m. Nob Hill Walking Tour 7:00 p.m. Sal Khan

12:00 p.m. Your Fatwah Does Not Apply Here FM 12:00 p.m. Randall Kennedy: Race, Affirmative Action and the Law FM

6:00 p.m. The Spine of the Continent

05 2:00 p.m. North Beach Walking Tour 5:15 p.m. How to Navigate Epic Estate Battles Before They Start 5:30 p.m. Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club FE

12 6:00 p.m. Inside the California Food Revolution

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



22 6:00 p.m. Dan Ariely: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty 6:00 p.m. California’s Offshore Revolution

AUG 01 – SEP 30

M O N 05 | San Francisco

Power in Numbers: Kickoff Platforum with NightLife at the Cal Academy

Melting Away: Images of Our Polar Regions As We Breach the Tipping Point, by Camille Seaman


With her series Melting Away, Seaman, a 2013 Senior TED Fellow, chronicles over a decade of the changing polar landscapes that are visually beautiful yet mysterious. Her poignant photographs of icebergs often in the final stages of existence, in their isolation remind us of the ecological changes that are happening in the world today. Her photographs will be on display at the Club office in August and September.

Listen through the ears of Dr. Krause to an unforgettable soundscape presentation of the voice of the natural world. Krause has traveled the world to record, archive, research and express these increasingly rare sound environments of nature. His personal narrative is also recently described in The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places.

Let’s launch the Club’s Platforum Protecting Biodiversity series in true science style with the California Academy of Science’s NightLife. Check out the best in live science, crazy creatures, booze and local DJs, while learning how every San Francisco local can be a part of scientific discovery and innovation. Stay tuned for more information on featured projects, presenters and interactive opportunities.

Bernie Krause, Ph.D., Musician; Naturalist; Director, Wild Sanctuary

Location: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco Time: 6-10 p.m. Cost: $12 general admission, $10 Commonwealth Club and Cal Academy members. Only ages 21+

MLF: THE ARTS Location: SF Club Office Time: Regular Club business hours Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

MLF: THE ARTS Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Anne W. Smith

M O N 05 | San Francisco

T U E 06 | San Francisco

T U E 0 6 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Notes from the Underground

The Integration of Modern Psychology and Eastern Philosophy: Initiation into a New Age of Environmental Consciousness

Mark Tercek

Notes from the Underground presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man), a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. Like many of Dostoyevsky’s novels, it was unpopular with Soviet literary critics due to its explicit rejection of utopian socialism and its portrait of humans as irrational, uncontrollable and uncooperative. Many existentialist critics, notably Jean-Paul Sartre, considered the novel to be a forerunner of existentialist thought and an inspiration to their own philosophies. Come discuss this seminal work with fellow lit lovers and philosophy buffs. MLF: SF BOOK DISCUSSION Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: $5 non-members, MEMBERS FREE Program Organizer: Barbara Massey



Thomas Knoblauch, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist; Co-author, Elders on Love

Knoblauch explores barriers to developing and maintaining an intellectual and moral perspective on engaging and protecting the world around us. He will discuss how language shapes thinking about ecological problems. He will also offer advice for promoting new approaches to increasing our environmental consciousness. MLF: PSYCHOLOGY Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Patrick O’Reilly


CEO, The Nature Conservancy; Co-author, Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature Alison van Diggelen, Host, “FreshDialogues,” KQED Radio - Moderator

Can protecting nature really be a good investment? Tercek argues that conservation is the new way to do business. He offers an essential guide of sustainable opportunities and green infrastructure developments from across the country. Learn why nature protection is the smartest business and investment decision we can make. 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: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

August 01 – 06

August 01 – 06

T H U 01 | San Francisco

W E D 07 | San Francisco

The Snake, the Seeker and the Smartphone: Can Tech Save Biodiversity?

Mother Daughter Me

Scott Loarie, Co-director,, California Academy of Sciences Ken-ichi Ueda, Co-founder and Co-director,, California Academy of Sciences Tanya Birch, Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach Mary Ellen Hannibal, Journalist - Moderator

How are bold new technologies helping in the fight to retain global biodiversity? Google’s Birch will talk about the life-and-death consequences of empowering indigenous peoples in Brazil and Africa to monitor their biodiversity. Loarie and Ueda will share the goals of iNaturalist, an online social network for naturalists, and discuss ways social media and mobile technology can bring the power of crowds to the problems of biodiversity. MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Norma Walden Also know: In association with

Katie Hafner, Journalist; Contributor, The New York Times; Author, Mother Daughter Me

Hafner asks: What is our obligation to our parents as they age, particularly if they were far from perfect parents when we were children? Hafner tells how her mother made it clear she wanted to live with her daughter and granddaughter. Thinking that she and her mother were “as close to the mother-daughter ideal as could be,” Hafner agreed. It was only when they all came together that she realized she had misjudged the situation. MLF: GROWNUPS Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: John Milford Also know: Underwriter: The Bernard Osher Foundation. In assn. with San Francisco Village

T H U 08 | San Francisco

Chinatown Walking Tour

2013 James Beard Award : The Bay Area’s Big Winners

Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory. There is a short break for a tea sample during the tour.

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Chefs and Co-owners, State Bird Provisions; 2013 James Beard Award Winner, Best New Restaurant Christopher Kostow, Chef, The Restaurant at Meadowood; 2013 James Beard Award Winner, Best Chef West Michael Mina, Founder, Mina Group; Executive Chef, Restaurant Michael Mina; 2013 James Beard Award Winner, Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in America - Moderator

May 6 was a big night for hometown food heroes as several local chefs, restaurants and wine pros took home the gold at the 2013 James Beard Awards. The James Beard Awards are the nation’s most coveted culinary honor, and Bay Area nominees hardly went home empty handed. From the California dim-sum-style State Bird Provisions to the French-influenced master Christopher Kostow to the trailblazing legend Michael Mina, this year’s winners represent diverse points on the American culinary landscape. Join us for an exclusive discussion with the Bay’s awardees. General admission tickets include a reception with the winners before the panel, with cocktails and James Beard-inspired hors d’oeuvres. Then, after the panel, 25 guests will join us for a celebratory three-course meal (with wine pairings) at the iconic Restaurant Michael Mina, for the chance to break bread with the best chefs in the country. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 5:30-6:30 p.m. premium reception, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: General admission (includes panel and pre-panel cocktail reception with speakers): $25 nonmembers, $15 members. Dinner (includes panel, reception and all-inclusive 3-course meal with speakers at Michael Minia) $175 non-members, $125 members. Also know: This is the first of INFORUM’s three-part event series hosted by Chef Michael Mina

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



T H U 08 | San Francisco

Location: Meet at corner of Grant and Bush, in front of Starbucks, near Chinatown Gate Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–5 p.m. tour Cost: $45 standard, $35 members Also know: Temple visit requires walking up three flights of stairs. Limited to 12 people. Participants must pre-register. Tour operates rain or shine.

August 06 – 08

August 06 – 13

T U E 06 | San Francisco

S AT 1 0 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M O N 12 | San Francisco

Farallon Islands Excursion

Making Art with Living Systems: The Exploratorium, Behind the Scenes

Water and Conflict: Is Water More Important Than Oil?

Michael Ellis, Footloose Forays

We will cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Pt. Bonita, looking for marine mammals that inhabit the area. If time permits we may also venture out over the continental shelf to look for unusual species that are found on this edge. Then we’ll move to the main Farallon Island. Afterwards, we will cruise over and look at the south side of the island, where most of the manmade structures are located. Ellis began going to the Farallon Islands as a researcher in 1977 and has been leading trips there ever since. Location: Meet at the Salty Lady, Sausalito Sport Fishing Pier, foot of Harbor Dr., Sausalito Time: 7:30 a.m. meet for introductory lecture on boat safety and the natural and human history of the Farallons., 8 a.m. sharp boat departs. Likely return by 4 p.m. Cost: $155 non-members, $155 members

M O N 12 | San Francisco

Joshua Kendall: America’s Obsessives

Journalist; Associate Fellow, Trumbull College, Yale University; Author, America’s Obsessives: The Compulsive Energy That Built a Nation

Do we care if a professionally successful person is a psychological mess? From acclaimed author and award-winning journalist Kendall comes a mesmerizing look at the private obsessions and compulsions that drove seven American icons, including Steve Jobs, Thomas Jefferson and Ted Williams. What can we learn from these individuals? Kendall provides an anecdote-rich examination of the link between greatness and quirky behavior. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)



Denise King, Artist and Exhibit Development Manager, the Exploratorium

Take a peek behind the scenes of San Francisco’s hottest new exhibit space. The Exploratorium recently revealed its new digs along San Francisco’s waterfront. King will lead a tour of the shops and lab where she does her development work for the Exploratorium’s special exhibits. She will focus on how she builds life support systems into her exhibits, incorporating live plants and organisms, as well as the difference between exhibits and artwork. Limited to 20 people. MLF: THE ARTS Location: The Exploratorium, Pier 15/17, San Francisco Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. tour Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members Program Organizer: Mark Sabatino

Peter Gleick, Co-founder, Pacific Institute; Ph.D., Energy and Resources, UC Berkeley Booker Holton, Ph.D., Ecology, Environmental Scientist and Planner - Moderator

Gleick, renowned expert, innovator and communicator on water and climate issues, will discuss the Pacific Institute’s dedication to protecting the natural world, encouraging sustainability and improving global security. He will also discuss how conflicts can be influenced by smart water policies, especially in regard to the Middle East. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M O N 12 | San Francisco

T U E 13 | San Francisco

Food and Longevity

How I Came to the Ends of the Earth and What I Found There

Rebecca Katz, Chef; Educator; Author, The Longevity Kitchen Eric Gower, Chef; Writer, The Breakaway Cook

In a collection of more than 100 recipes that utilize smart nutrition without sacrificing flavor, culinary nutrition expert Katz highlights foods proven to fight common chronic conditions. She explains how foods such as asparagus, basil, coffee, dark chocolate, kale and wild salmon can build immunity, lower cholesterol, enhance memory, strengthen the heart and lower your disease risk. MLF: BAY GOURMET Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Cathy Curtis


Camille Seaman, 2013 Senior TED Fellow

Photographer Seaman has traveled between both the north and south polar regions for the last 10 years documenting the fragile environment and its beauty. Her work captures the awe and beauty of indigenous cultures and environments in a sophisticated documentary/fine art tradition. People often wonder what one person can do to help save this planet we call home; Seaman will discuss this question from the perspective of being part of both an indigenous culture and a modern world. MLF: THE ARTS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

August 06 – 13

August 09 – 013

F R I 09 | San Francisco

T H U 15 | San Francisco

Reading Faces: The Key to Understanding People

Investing in Natural Capital

Naomi Tickle, Founder, Face Language International; Author, What Makes People Tick and Why

They say the eyes are the window of the soul. But what does the rest of the face tell you? Face-reading expert Tickle demonstrates how to identify key characteristics that could help you better communicate, develop relationships, create successful teams and avoid miscommunication in your business and at home.

Mary Ruckelshaus, Ph.D., Managing Director, The Natural Capital Project Heather Tallis, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy Rich Sharp, Ph.D., Lead Software Developer, The Natural Capital Project

The appeal of seeing nature as a vital asset – as natural capital – has spread like fire over the last decade. This concept appears in thinking about agriculture, water, energy, health, fisheries, forestry, protection from hazards, mining, cities and the infrastructure supporting these and other vast sectors – and it increasingly appears in the ways communities, corporations, governments and other institutions frame decisions. Despite this awareness and energy, however, our state and planet remain besieged by degradation and growing threats of catastrophic change. Leaders of The Natural Capital Project and The Nature Conservancy will talk about how they are using the power of open-source software tools to transform how communities and institutional leaders around the world include the value of natural capital in decisions, improving outcomes for biodiversity and human well-being. MLF: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY/HUMANITIES/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Chisako Ress Also know: In association with Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund

T H U 1 5 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

M O N 19 | San Francisco

M O N 19 | San Francisco

A Tour of Scotland, One Glass at a Time

Tipping Point for Planet Earth

Week to Week Political Roundtable

Steve Beal, Whiskey Expert

One of the world’s 15 masters of whiskey, brand ambassador for Diageo and respected judge of international distilled spirits competitions, Beal is a whiskey virtuoso. While guiding you through a multimedia, multi-sensory single malt whiskey tasting and educational experience, he will blend history, technology and the senses while taking you on a guided tour of Scotland, one glass at a time. Location: Schultz Cultural Hall, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto Time: 6:15 p.m. check-In, 6:30 – 8 p.m. program and whiskey tasting Price: $32 non-members, $25 members Also know: Advance reservations are required as space is limited. All attendees must be 21 years or older.

Anthony D. Barnosky, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley; Cox Visiting Professor, Department of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University

Monday Night Philosophy highlights Professor Barnosky’s research into how global change influences extinction dynamics and biodiversity maintenance. The most recent generation has witnessed humanity changing the planet in both positive and negative ways. Barnosky explains that the key challenge is to ensure that the negative changes do not limit our capacity to make our children’s world at least as good as our own. MLF: HUMANITIES/SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: George Hammond

Melissa Griffin, Contributor, KPIX-TV and San Francisco Magazine; Attorney Additional Panelists TBA

Summer’s almost over, and it’s time to get a last gasp of politics and commentary! Who said political discussion couldn’t be fun? Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our news quiz! Come early to meet other smart and engaged individuals, and discuss the news over wine and snacks at the member social. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. social with wine and snacks, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $15 non-members, $5 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



Location: Silicon Valley Bank, 3005 Tasman Drive, Santa Clara Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program Cost: $15 non-members, $10 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

August 13 – 19

August 13 – 21

T U E 1 3 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

T U E 20 | San Francisco

T U E 2 0 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Our Soil, Ourselves: What Ecological Farming Can Tell Us About Health and Healing

Rita Moreno

Physics vs. Time Travel

Actress; Singer; Winner, Academy Award, Grammy, Emmy, Tony; Author, Rita Moreno: A Memoir In conversation with Michael Krasny, Host, “Forum,” KQED

Ken Wharton, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State University

Daphne Miller, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, UCSF; Author, Farmacology

Did you know that our biological makeup is similar to that of soil? This fascinating fact led practicing family physician Miller to ask: What can a family farmer teach a family doctor? So she spent time on seven ecological family farms, meeting inspiring farmers and renowned biomedical scientists. She will present their insights and research along with stories from her own medical practice. MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students Program Organizer: Bill Grant

W E D 21 | San Francisco

Puerto Rican-born Moreno is one of the few artists to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony as well as the National Medal of Honor. Now, Moreno shares her story. From her Oscar-winning turn as Anita in West Side Story to her challenging role as a prostitute in Carnal Knowledge, she will share tales of being a Hollywood survivor.

Everyone loves a good time travel story, but given what we know, and don’t know, about physics, is time travel in any way plausible? Using popular movies as a framework, Professor Wharton will outline several distinct categories of consistent time travel stories and discuss possible connections with actual physics. Location: TBA Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program Cost: TBA Also know: In association with Wonderfest

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: General: $25 non-members, $15 members, $10 students. Premium (seating in first few rows) $40 non-members, $30 members. Also know: Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

W E D 21 | San Francisco

San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour

Nature 2.0 – Access to Open Space and Training the Next Generation of Environmental Stewards

Explore San Francisco’s Financial District with historian Rick Evans. Hear about the famous architects who influenced the rebuilding of San Francisco 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.

Phillip A. Ginsburg, General Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Parks In conversation with C.W. Nevius, Writer, San Francisco Chronicle

Location: Lobby of Galleria Park Hotel, 191 Sutter St. Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–4:30 p.m. tour Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members Also know: Tour operates rain or shine. Limited to 20 people. Participants must pre-register. The tour covers less than one mile of walking in the Financial District. Involves stairs.



San Francisco is home to one of the densest urban environments in the country, and yet it remains known for its close ties to the surrounding natural environment. Still, due to the limited amount of land and living space, access to nature and parks is a growing challenge. Join us as Ginsburg, general manager of SF Recreation and Parks, discusses how the city is using innovations and partnerships to ensure access to open space, as well as how groundbreaking youth education programs are training the next generation of environmental stewards. MLF: LGBT Location: The Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco Time: 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Julian Chang


August 13 – 21

August 20 – 21

T U E 20 | San Francisco

T H U 22 | San Francisco

F R I 23 | San Francisco

Dan Ariely: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty

California’s Offshore Revolution

Exploratorium Global Studios in the Middle East

James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University; Author, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty

Does the chance of getting caught affect how likely we are to cheat? How do companies pave the way for dishonesty? Ariely returns to challenge our preconceptions about dishonesty and urge us to take an honest look at ourselves. Ariely contends that we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students Also know: Part of The Commonwealth Club’s Series on Ethics and Accountability. Underwritten by the Charles Travers Family

James Workman, Journalist; Environmental Author; Former speechwriter for Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt

Eighty percent of global fisheries are at risk of collapse due to decades of over-fishing under the broken open-access, free-for-all, “race to the bottom” system. But Pacific Coast fishermen are leading a bold new rights-based approach to replenish both the sea and their bank accounts. This careful graduation to a “catch share” regulatory program, involving 74 species of fish, is resulting in higher revenues, reduction in wasteful discards, fresher product and greater transparency. Workman will reveal the roots, essence, challenges and evolution of catch shares. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students Program Organizer: Stephen Seewer

Silva Raker, Creator and Director of Business Development, Exploratorium Global Studios Adam Tobin, Managing Director, Exploratorium Global Studios Gina Baleria, Assistant News Director, KGO – Moderator

Learn about Global Studios’ work to help foreign governments and public/private entities create inquiry-based learning environments, build human capacity and transition to more knowledge-based economies. One area of significant activity for Global Studios is the Middle East, where countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia are making substantial investments in education. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS/STUDENTS FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M O N 26 | San Francisco

Middle East Discussion Group

Backyards, Beaches, Birds and Bees: Citizen Science

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.

Gretchen LeBuhn, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Biology, SFSU Heidi Ballard, Ph.D, Associate Professor, School of Education, UC Davis

Public participation in scientific research, also known as “citizen science,” is a burgeoning practice and more accessible than ever. As the world is confronted with growing challenges, from climate change to political upheavals, the individual’s ability to record observations to help assess the health of people and ecosystems is a valuable asset. Citizen science programs empower communities to understand threats to their landscapes and well-being. Professor Gretchen LeBuhn directs the world’s largest citizen science undertaking on pollinators, The Great Sunflower Project, which enjoins regular people to make observations of bees in their own backyards. As one in every three bites of food each of us takes depends on pollinator services, she asserts that it is imperative to understand what is causing current bee declines. Professor Heidi Ballard of UC Davis is at the forefront of finding out how citizen science works and why it matters, and her work emphasizes citizen science that empowers communities to ask their own questions and thus to more directly serve their own needs. MLF: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY/ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Chisako Ress Also know: In association with SFSU and UC Davis

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



M O N 26 | San Francisco

MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

August 22 – 26

August 22 – 28

T H U 22 | San Francisco

T U E 27 | San Francisco

What Is Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Bay Area: Protecting Our Communities, Infrastructure and the Bay

Richard Louv, Journalist; Author, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

Robin Grossinger, Senior Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute Jeremy Lowe, Coastal Geomorphologist, ESA PWA John Bourgeois, Restoration Ecologist, State Coastal Conservancy, Executive Project Manager of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project

Louv’s best-selling Last Child in the Woods spawned an international movement to reconnect kids to nature. He coined the term “naturedeficit disorder,” influenced national policy and helped inspire campaigns in more than 80 cities, states and provinces. Louv delivers another call to action, this time for adults, offering a new vision in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Bill Grant

The rapid changes in climate and sea level projected over the next 100 years threaten not only the natural wetlands but also the communities and infrastructure around San Francisco Bay. How can we proactively create a new, more sustainable shoreline that integrates natural processes and undervalued resources such as sediment and wastewater? The history of the Bay shows how in the past it evolved in periods of rapid sea level rise and gives clues to how we can incorporate natural features into a future Bay to provide benefits not just to the natural ecology but also water quality and flood risk management. Hear three scientists talk about the natural ecology of the historic Bay, the changes we may see in the Bay with rising sea levels, and the role that the restoration of wetlands can play in allowing the Bay to adapt to these changes. MLF: ASIA PACIFIC AFFAIRS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizers: Cynthia Miyashita and Lillian Nakagawa

W E D 28 | San Francisco

The Primary Care Crunch: Anticipating the Doctor Shortage After Obamacare Lloyd Dean, President and CEO, Dignity Health Kevin Grumbach, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine, UCSF; Co-director, UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care; Co-director, Community Engagement and Health Policy Program, UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Patricia Knight, M.S., J.D., Founder, Pacific Coast Health Advocacy LLC Lisa Aliferis, Health Editor, KQED – Moderator

Now that the Affordable Care Act is taking effect, California and the nation are anticipating a doctor shortage that could impede access to primary care for many patients. According to a new study, by 2025 the U.S. will need at least 52,000 more primary care doctors to keep pace with a rapidly aging population. Yet many medical students are now choosing higher-paying specialties over primary care, especially when faced with mounting tuition and student debt. What is the best way to handle this expected primary care physician shortage, from the perspective of policymakers, physicians, patients and the health-care industry? Our panel of experts and insiders will discuss these issues and more in this important program on the primary-care crunch that may worsen as more people gain coverage in 2014. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: FREE Also know: Underwritten by The California Wellness Foundation




FOREIGN LANGUAGE GROUPS Free for members Location: SF Club Office FRENCH, Intermediate Class Thursdays, noon Pierrette Spetz, Graziella Danieli, FRENCH, Advanced Conversation Tuesdays, noon Gary Lawrence, (925) 932-2458 GERMAN, Int./Adv. Conversation Wednesdays, noon Sara Shahin, (415) 314-6482 ITALIAN, Intermediate Class Mondays, noon Ebe Fiori Sapone, (415) 564-6789 SPANISH, Advanced Conversation (fluent only) Fridays, noon Luis Salvago-Toledo,

August 22 – 28

August 27 – 28

T U E 27 | San Francisco

T H U 29 | San Francisco

Oceans: Open for Business

The Spine of the Continent

Alloysius Attah, Founder and CEO, Farmerline Kevin Jones, Founder, Good Capital; Convener, SOCAP Monica Jain, Founder, Fish 2.0; Executive Director, Manta Consulting Jeff Leifer, CEO, Circadian Media Lab – Moderator

Mary Ellen Hannibal, Author, Evidence of Evolution; 2011 Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow

Science and policy are not the only tools to improve ocean sustainability – entrepreneurs and investors are coming together to fashion solutions that empower coastal communities and preserve biodiversity. Using the SOCAP model of impact investing, these opportunities will be brought to life through a Ghanaian tech entrepreneur working with tilapia farmers, as well as the investor perspective that provides a framework for evaluating these complex market-based approaches to sustainability. MLF: BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

Praised by luminaries such as E.O. Wilson and Paul Ehrlich, in the words of Thomas Lovejoy, The Spine of the Continent “is the biography of a big conservation idea.” Hannibal chronicles the development of the science that tells us what can be done to heal the wounds in our life-support system, nature. Hannibal’s journalism accolades include Stanford’s Knight-Risser Prize for Western Enviromental Journalism and the National Association of Science Writer’s Science and Society Award.

August 28 – September 05

August 28 – September 10

W E D 28 | San Francisco

MLF: SF BOOK DISCUSSION Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Barbara Massey

W E D 04 | San Francisco

T H U 05 | San Francisco

An Evening with Mark Leibovich and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the U.S.-Mexico Divide

North Beach Walking Tour

Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent, The New York Times Magazine; Author, This Town In conversation with California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom

Michael Dear, Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley

Leibovich presents a blistering and jawdropping look at Washington’s incestuous “media industrial complex.” What keeps the permanent government spinning on its carousel, Leibovich asserts, is the freedom of shamelessness, and that mother’s milk of politics: cash. He sits down with Gavin Newsom to take us inside the absurdity of the Beltway. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Dear has logged nearly 10,000 miles traversing the entire length of the U.S.Mexico border on both sides. Come hear his views on the challenges confronting the borderlands, with insights into binational geopolitics, the prospects for immigration reform in the U.S. and the problems confronting Mexico’s emerging democracy. MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Norma Walden

Join another Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Explore vibrant North Beach with Rick Evans during a two-hour walk through this neighborhood with a colorful past, where food, culture, history and unexpected views all intersect in an Italian “urban village.” In addition to learning about Beat generation hangouts, you’ll discover authentic Italian cathedrals and coffee shops. Location: Meeting spot is Washington Square Park at Saints Peter and Paul Church (Filbert & Powell). Transportation to Washington Square Park is either the 30 bus or the 41/45, all of which stop right in front of the park. Our guide will be on the steps of the church. Please meet at 1:45, depart by 2. Time: 2-4 p.m. tour Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members Also know: Limited to 20 people. Must preregister. Operates rain or shine.

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



W E D 04 | San Francisco

T H U 05 | San Francisco

M O N 09 | San Francisco

How to Navigate Epic Estate Battles Before They Start

Explore the World from The Commonwealth Club

The Middle East Turmoil and Israel

All interested Club members are welcome to attend bimonthly one-hour planning meetings of the International Relations Member-Led Forum. We focus on Europe, Latin America, Africa and worldwide topics. Join us to discuss current international issues and plan programs for the rest of 2013.

Andy David, Consul General for Israel for the Pacific Northwest

John E. O’Grady, Esq., Immediate Past Chair, The Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section, The Bar Association of San Francisco

Attorney and mediator O’Grady reveals the latest approaches to the age-old estate planning questions raised in film clips from familiar movies such as A Thousand Acres, Mommy Dearest and Zorba the Greek, which tap into the limitless depths of the human psyche. Join in a lively and enlightening session to fully explore your estate planning questions.

MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. planning meeting Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Norma Walden

MLF: GROWNUPS Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: John Milford Also know: In association with San Francisco Village

Consul General Andy David will discuss the tidal wave that is washing state after state in the Middle East, and Israel’s geostrategic positioning in the midst of it. David’s previous posts include Azerbijan, Hong Kong and Chicago. Born in Romania, he immigrated to Israel when he was two years old, served in the Israeli Air Force and holds degrees in science, medical science and dental medicine. In 2011, David was a policy advisor and deputy spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M O N 09 | San Francisco

T U E 1 0 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Kindred Beings

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

Sheri Speede, Founder, In Defense of Animals–Africa (IDA-Africa); Author, Kindred Beings; Veterinarian

Bill Whalen, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club – Host Additional panelists TBA

Monday Night Philosophy explores the patterns of emotion and thought of our fellow primates, chimpanzees, as seen by one of their human interpreters. Speede helped found a forest sanctuary in Cameroon for captive chimpanzees and, by living for more than a decade with those she rescued, came to understand their emotional complexity, giving her insights into human as well as chimpanzee psychology. Anthropomorphism or reality? That is tonight’s question.

Week to Week is headed back to Silicon Valley! Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our news quiz! Join us early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals, and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees). The Club attracts the Bay Area’s brightest and most connected to its stage and audience. Meet them. Location: Schultz Cultural Hall, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto Time: 6 p.m. social with wine and snacks, 7 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $10 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

MLF: HUMANITIES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: George Hammond




August 28 – September 10

September 05 – 09

T H U 05 | San Francisco

W E D 11 | San Francisco

W E D 11 | San Francisco

The U.S. Pivot to Asia: Where We Are and How Asians Have Responded

Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers over 50

The Tunisian Model of Revolution and the Challenges of Democracy

Michael H. Armacost, Ph. D., Author; Professor; Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the Philippines; Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow, Stanford University

Nearly two years ago, the Obama administration declared its “pivot to Asia” to rebalance its foreign policy. Professor Armacost will give us a progress report. How has this declaratory policy translated into operational arrangements? Critics have complained that too much attention has been devoted to its military dimensions and its anti-Chinese overtones. These and other criticisms will be examined. MLF: ASIA PACIFIC AFFAIRS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Lillian Nakagawa

Mary Eileen Williams, Author

If you’re a midlife job seeker, you’ve probably dealt with your share of disappointments and are fed up with being passed over and watching the jobs go to younger, less experienced candidates. What if you could learn a few simple yet powerful job search techniques that would change all of that and give you an extra edge? Learn how you gain the skills to successfully navigate the market of today and maximize your chances for landing your next position. And learn how to find a job you will actually enjoy. MLF: GROWNUPS Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: John Milford Also know: In assn. with San Francisco Village

Jerry Sorkin, Specialist on North Africa and the Middle East; Director of Tourism Studies, Tunisia Program, George Washington University; President, TunisUSA

The Tunisian revolution of January 2011 inspired youth in numerous Arab countries to begin their own protest movements. Two and a half years later, changes have taken widely different directions. The one country where democracy and progress seems to be taking place, albeit with ups and downs along the way, is Tunisia. Hear Sorkin’s insights on what makes Tunisia’s situation different, and why we should all pay attention to this country.

September 10 – 12

September 10 – 17

W E D 10 | San Francisco

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Club Travel has a trip to Tunisia planned for the spring of 2014

T H U 12 | San Francisco

Join The Club

Sue Conley, Co-founder and Co-owner, Cowgirl Creamery Mourad Lahlou, Founder and Owner, Aziza Restaurant, San Francisco; Kasbah Restaurant, San Rafael Annie Somerville, Executive Chef, Greens Restaurant, San Francisco Joyce Goldstein, Food Writer; Author, Inside the California Food Revolution Margo True, Food Editor, Sunset Magazine – Moderator

Inside the California Food Revolution: Chefs Who Have Changed Our Culinary Consciousness

Membership is open to all. Support for the Club’s work is derived principally from membership dues. For more information, visit

The way we approach food has changed drastically from the 1970s to the present, with terms such as farm-to-table, foraging and fusion all entering the national vocabulary. Meet some of California’s top food minds and highly rated chefs as they break down the evolution of food over the past 30-plus years, as well as their own contributions to the development of California cuisine. The discussion will center on a new book by Goldstein, the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in California. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Notes: Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



T U E 17 | San Francisco

Does the Environment Matter?

When Mental Health Meets Social Justice

Edwin Dobb, Feature Writer, National Geographic Additional panelists TBA

The New York Times recently disbanded its environmental reporting team and the message is clear: people are weary of gloom and doom stories. Yet, environmental issues such as climate change, fracking, industrial agriculture and more are threats that will not go away so easily. Join us as panelists from a wide range of different media will discuss the state of environmental journalism, addressing questions about the future of investigative reporting, evolving media and why we should care about the environment. Dobb is the Carnegie Lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, which maintains a strong program in science and environmental journalism. MLF: ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Ann Clark Notes: In association with the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Christine Stoner-Mertz, President and CEO, Lincoln Child Center

The link between mental health and social justice issues is increasingly apparent among the impoverished. As president and CEO of the 130-year-old Lincoln Child Center, the first integrated orphanage in Oakland, Stoner-Mertz believes that it is the responsibility of the greater community to understand, address and combat these issues. She reveals steps to transform a traditional, institution-based child-serving organization into an innovative, community-responsive venture. MLF: PSYCHOLOGY Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking reception, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Patrick O’Reilly

T U E 17 | San Francisco

TUE 17 | East Bay

T U E 17 | San Francisco

Mandela’s Grandchildren

Race to Nowhere with Vicki Abeles: The Dark Side of Achievement Culture

A. Scott Berg

Douglas Foster, Author, Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University

In recent months, much has been written about Nelson Mandela’s remarkable life, from rural villager to leader of a guerrilla movement to prisoner to president. But what of the next generation of South Africans – half the population is under 25 – in whose name the liberation struggle was fought? In the lived experience of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren and other young South Africans, we explore the “living legacy.” MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Linda Calhoun



Vicki Abeles, Filmmaker Advocate for Children and Families

How are the stresses of “achievement culture” impacting today’s kids? In Abeles’ documentary film Race to Nowhere, the Bay Area education reformer and mother of three explores how excessive homework, academic stress, high-stakes testing, the college admissions process and the prevailing competitive climate across the nation are redefining childhood. Join Abeles for a discussion on her film, heralded as a “must-see movie” by The New York Times. Location: Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $22 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)


Biographer; Journalist; Author, Lindbergh and Wilson

Woodrow Wilson remains one of the most influential and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Berg unearths Wilson’s personal side through diary entries, speeches and letters. The result is the depiction of a proud man who dealt with both war and a debilitating stroke with the same focus and resolve to fulfill his duty, all the while shielding the emotions of his humanity from the public and those around him. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

September 10 – 17

September 16 – 17

M O N 16 | San Francisco

T H U 19 | San Francisco

Man Bites Dog: What Hot Dogs Tell Us About America

Metro Revolution

Bruce Kraig, Professor Emeritus, Roosevelt University Patty Carroll, Adjunct Professor of Photography, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Hot dogs are as American as apple pie, but how did these links become icons of U.S. culture? Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America explores the transformation of hot dogs from street fare to paradigms of regional expression, social mobility and democracy. Hot dog scholar Kraig and photographic artist Carroll explore the history, people, decor and venues that make up hot dog culture in America.

Ed Lee, Mayor, San Francisco Kofi Bonner, President, Bay Area Urban Division, Lennar Bruce Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution; Author, The Metropolitan Revolution: Restoring America from the Ground Up Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One - Moderator

The San Francisco Bay Area’s Hunter’s Point and Treasure Island have become potential models for developing cities that create healthy, innovative and resilient communities – specifically in a modern age of severe weather that will put unprecedented stress on urban populations. Will these test areas live up to that potential? San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and urban development expert Kofi Bonner will discuss future prospects and the implications of a metro revolution.

September 18 – 20

September 18 – 28

W E D 18 | San Francisco

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:45 p.m. check in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

MLF: BAY GOURMET Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members $7 students Program Organizer: Bridget Flanagan

T H U 1 9 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

F R I 20 | San Francisco

Nob Hill Walking Tour

Sal Kahn

Your Fatwah Does not Apply Here

Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of rich and famous West Coasters, who built large mansions in the neighborhood. Residents included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford and other members of the Big Four. Tour highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court and the Huntington. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about railroad barons and silver kings. Enjoy a true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.

Founder, Kahn Academy; Author, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

Location: In front of the Fairmont Hotel’s Caffe Centro. 801 Powell St. (at California St.) Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–4:30 p.m. tour Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members Also know: Limited to 20. Must preregister. Tour operates rain or shine.

Khan’s fresh and dynamic approach to learning is offering a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” With over 4,000 video lessons ranging from chemistry to history to economics, The Khan Academy is transforming the educational divide by reaching millions of students around the world. Location: Grand Mediterranean Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Cabana, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Time: 6:30 check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: General: $20 non-members, $15 members, $8 students. Premium (book and priority seating): $47 non-members, $40 members. Also know: Part of the Innovating California Series presented by Chevron

Karima Bennoune, Human Rights Activist; Author; Professor of Law, UC Davis

Bennoune was raised in Algeria and the U.S. and has more than 20 years of human rights research and activism under her belt. Over a period of three years, Bennoune interviewed everyone from the deeply religious to the secular from Lebanon to Minneapolis. Join us as she discusses the results of her research and her new book, Your Fatwah Does Not Belong Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism, which contains impassioned accounts of heroic resistance and grassroots opposition. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



T H U 19 | San Francisco

M O N 23 | San Francisco

Randall Kennedy: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law

Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa

Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Author, For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law

Kennedy reckons with one of the most explosively contentious and sharply divisive issues in American society, sharing the little-known history of affirmative action and exploring the policy’s pros and cons. Kennedy was awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law. Now a professor at Harvard Law School, he formerly served as a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)

Julie R. Dargis, Independent Writer and Publisher

Dargis takes you on a trip around the world through selected excerpts of stories and verse from Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa. She will reflect on her humanitarian aid work with African and Eastern European populations affected by war and disasters, and share how she dealt with adversity in some of the most difficult and dangerous countries in the world. Hear how she came to publish her experiences, including ideas on how others can recount stories of their own.

Speeches on CDs Did you miss a speech you really wanted to hear? Visit or call (415) 597-6700 to order an audio CD for only $15!

MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students Program Organizer: Karen Keefer Also know: In association with the NorCal Peace Corps Association

T U E 24 | San Francisco

S AT 2 8 | S a n F r a n a n d E a s t B a y

Changing Shores: What the Bay’s Past Can Tell Us About Its Future

Art Murmur Gallery Walk in Uptown Oakland

John Gillis, Ph.D., Professor of History, Emeritus, Rutgers University; Presenter, “What Happens When Shores Become Coasts” Susan Schwartzenberg, Senior Artist, San Francisco Exploratorium; Presenter, “The Bay Observatory: Musings on the Water’s Edge” Robin Grossinger, Ph.D., Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute; Presenter, “Second Chance: Shaping the Future Bay” Gray Brechin, Ph.D., Geographer – Moderator

Danielle Fox, Ph.D., Art Consultant and Gallery Director, SLATE Contemporary; Former Executive Director, Oakland Art Murmur

The Save the Bay movement of the 1970s was a premier regional effort at environmental protection. It remains an unfinished project, however, for the San Francisco estuary. Today, we are working with perspectives of the Bay that are informed by a deeper, more fluid understanding of both geography and history. Research by Robin Grossinger and his colleagues informs us of what it was like before the arrival of Europeans. This is supplemented by John Gillis’ historical study of coasts and coastal peoples. Susan Schwartzenberg offers us the artist’s capacity to explore the future through the powers of the imagination. These panelists will open up the future of the Bay as perceived by science and the arts. MLF: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY / ARTS / ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Chisako Ress Also know: In association with the San Francisco Estuary Institute




Explore Uptown Oakland with a guided tour highlighting galleries surrounding the heart of Oakland’s Art Murmur. Visit selected exhibits during this two-hour stroll that includes presentations by featured artists. At the end, participants 21 and over can compare notes while tasting awardwinning Two Mile Wines (included). MLF: THE ARTS Location: Meet at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery 480 23rd St., Oakland Time: 2:45 p.m. check-in, 3–5 p.m. tour, followed by wine tasting Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members. Register by 9/23. Limited to first 30 people. Program Organizer: Moss Kardener

September 18 – 28

September 20 – 28

F R I 20 | San Francisco

M O N 30 | San Francisco

M O N 30 | San Francisco

Robot Morality: Can a Machine Have a Conscience?

How to Turn Your Memories into History

Middle East Discussion Group

George R. Lucas Jr., Professor of Ethics and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School

Francine Brevetti, Author; Biographer; Journalist

Can we out-source morality to a robot? This isn’t just a question from a sci-fi movie. Instead, it’s a question that comes from rapid advances in the field of robotics. Engineers, for example, have tried to program robots to make moral decisions – and to make such decisions when confronted with a rapidly changing and morally fraught situation. Lucas will address this issue, especially as it pertains to the military’s increasing reliance on such devices. Location: Arts and Sciences Building, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara Time: Noon program Cost: FREE Also know: In association with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Brevetti transforms audiences into authors with her interactive, informative and entertaining presentations. Start writing your own life stories and begin the journey of turning memories into history. Brevetti will explore why you want to write this story, what you want to achieve, and who will read it. Brevettiwill also provide guidance through visualization and exercises to revive memories, overcome writer’s block and realize that you can write a valuable life story. MLF: GROWNUPS Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: John Milford Also know: In association with San Francisco Village

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.

September 30

September 30 –October 07

M O N 3 0 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M O N 30 | San Francisco

Achieving Political Stability in the Middle East: A Palestinian View

How do entrepreneurship, innovation and a sustainable private sector thrive in a stateless nation largely defined by conflict? Can they provide a stable solution to a perpetually unstable region? As Palestine continues to strive for full statehood, there are strong signs of growth in economic development throughout the region; change-makers in the private sector, entrepreneurs, innovators and philanthropists are all playing major roles in this unprecedented evolution. Join us as prominent development leaders share their experiences, perspectives and visions for the promising yet uncertain future of their troubled region.

. . . one more reason to join The Commonwealth Club

Enjoy exclusive opportunities to hear from and meet some of the world’s most interesting people. Members-only events have included Willie Brown, Gary Hart, Robert Reich and Tony La Russa.

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: In association with the Middle East Member-Led Forum

AU G U S T/SE P T E M B E R 2013



Sabri Saidam, Ph.D., Advisor to the Palestinian President on Telecommunications, Information Technology and Technical Education; Deputy Secretary, Fateh Council Nafez Husseini, Vice President, ICT & Digital Business, Consolidated Contractors Company Zahi W. Khouri, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Palestinian National Beverage Company Ammar Aker, CEO, Palestine Telecom Group

Members-Only Events

M O N 07 | San Francisco

Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West

Designing with a Small “D”: Kitchens, Bathrooms and a Lot of Insects

James Redford, Board Member, Redford Center; Producer, Watershed Jill Tidman, Executive Director, Redford Center; Producer, Watershed Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst, National Resources Defense Council

Water – everyone needs it. So what do we do when it’s threatened by overuse? The Colorado River provides much of the southwestern U.S. with water for drinking, sanitation, energy generation and agricultural production. Running through seven states and into Mexico, the river is a vital water source for 40 million people – and the strain of supporting the surrounding population is causing an unnatural and potentially problematic retreat. Watershed is a new documentary created to raise awareness about the river and the issues facing the communities throughout the river basin. Analyst Nelson will join producers Redford and Tidman in discussing how the Colorado River can be saved and the documentary’s role in achieving that goal. Watershed is a production of the Redford Center, an organization founded by Redford along with his siblings and father, actor Robert Redford, to effect social and environmental change. MLF: ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Ann Clark

JUST ADDED! See Club website for details

JULY 31: A Manifesto for Global Democracy

Fernando Iglesias, Professor of International Governance, University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires; Former Member, Argentine Parliament; Chair, World Federalist Movement Council Location: SF Club Office • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • Cost: $20 nonmembers, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

AUGUST 7: Producer Rebecca Eaton : Inside “Downton Abbey” and “Masterpiece” Location: SF Club Office • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • Cost: $20 nonmembers, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

SEPTEMBER 3: SF Book Discussion: The Psychopath Test Location: SF Club Office • Time: 5:30 p.m. program • Cost: $5 non-members, MEMBERS FREE

OCTOBER 7: Behind the Scenes at National Public Radio Location: SF Club Office • Time: 5:15 p.m. reception with light appetizers/check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7:15-8 p.m. VIP reception • Cost: General admission $25 non-members, $15 members, $7 students (with valid ID). Premium (seating in first rows) with VIP Reception: $35 non-members, $20 members

OCTOBER 9: Richard Dawkins Evolutionary Biologist; Author, The Selfish Gene and An Appetite for Wonder Location: Santa Clara Convention Center Theatre, 5001 Great America Parkway , Santa Clara • Time: 6:15 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing • Cost: $25 non-members, $15 members.




Peter Williams, Founder and Executive Director, ARCHIVE Global

Projections about urban health and urban growth have spawned an innovative strategy that invests in building green, building healthy and building both affordably. Design could be the ultimate catalyst here! Architect Williams designs healthy homes to help prevent illnesses like cholera and malaria in poor and underserved communities through his nonprofit organization ARCHIVE Global. Williams will discuss why he founded the organization and how it has helped in many devastating situations, such as in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-member, MEMBER FREE, $7 student Program Organizer: Karen Keefer

CLUB LEADERSHIP CLUB OFFICERS Board Chair Anna W.M. Mok Secretary William F. Adams Treasurer Lee J. Dutra President & CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy BOARD OF GOVERNORS Dan Ashley Massey J. Bambara Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman** Hon. Shirley Temple Black* John L. Boland J. Dennis Bonney* Michael R. Bracco Helen A. Burt John Busterud* Michael Carr Maryles Casto** Hon. Ming Chin* Dennis A. Collins Mary B. Cranston** Dr. Kerry P. Curtis Dr. Jaleh Daie Ms. Alecia DeCoudreaux Evelyn S. Dilsaver Joseph I. Epstein* Jeffrey A. Farber John R. Farmer

Dr. Joseph R. Fink* Carol A. Fleming, Ph.D. Leslie Saul Garvin William German* Dr. Charles Geschke Rose Guilbault** Jacquelyn Hadley Edie G. Heilman Hon. James C. Hormel Mary Huss Claude B. Hutchison Jr.* Dr. Julius Krevans* John Leckrone Dr. Mary Marcy Don J. McGrath Frank C. Meerkamp Richard Otter* Joseph Perrelli* Hon. Barbara Pivnicka Hon. Richard Pivnicka Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. Dr. Mohammad H. Qayoumi Toni Rembe* Victor A. Revenko* Skip Rhodes* Dr. Condoleezza Rice Brian D. Riley Richard A. Rubin

Renée Rubin* Robert Saldich** George M. Scalise Lata Krishnan Shah Connie Shapiro* Charlotte Mailliard Shultz George D. Smith, Jr. James Strother Hon. Tad Taube Charles Travers Daniel J. Warmenhoven Nelson Weller* Judith Wilbur* Dr. Colleen B. Wilcox Dennis Wu* Russell M. Yarrow Jed York * Past President ** Past Chair ADVISORY BOARD Karin Helene Bauer Hon. William Bradley Dennise M. Carter Rolando Esteverena Steven Falk Amy Gershoni Heather M. Kitchen Amy McCombs Hon. William J. Perry Ray Taliaferro Nancy Thompson

September 30 –October 07

October 01 – 07

T U E 01 | San Francisco





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Think Different

How not to lose another generation of autistic children Photo by jurvetson/flickr




Expanded knowledge about the workings of the autistic brain has opened up new ways of helping autistic people. Finding ways to reach the as-yet-undiagnosed could bring huge benefits to them and to society as a whole. Excerpt from Temple Grandin, June 4, 2013. TEMPLE GRANDIN 

Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University; Co-author, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum


hen I was a little kid, I had all the full-blown autistic symptoms; no speech until age four. I was really lucky to get very good early educational intervention. I cannot emphasize enough, if you have a three-year-old that’s not talking, you have got to do many hours of one-toone teaching. One of the things I really want to talk about is: When does normal variation become an abnormality? You see, when you look at a diagnostic category like autism, there’s no black and white dividing line between socially awkward – somebody who works at Silicon Valley, heads of major tech companies here – and mild autism or Aspergers. I find that the people who think in language have a hard time getting their heads around that. It is a true continuous trait. It’s not like having tuberculosis, where you either have it or you don’t. You see, a little bit of some of these traits can give an advantage. When a person is bipolar, you have more siblings in creative careers. In autism, there’s more people in tech careers. Now the thing I want to ask here is what would happen to little Steve Jobs and what would happen to little Einstein Jr. today? What would happen to poor little Albert? No speech until age three. Now, I wonder how many medications they’d have him loaded up on. There are way too many medications

given out to little kids. There is a place for careful, conservative use of medication. I take anti-depressant medication. It controls my panic attacks. I’ve been on it for years and years and years. I wouldn’t be here without it. What would happen to poor little Steve Jobs? A weird loner who brought snakes to his elementary school? Who got bullied and teased and who had to switch high schools? What saved him was the neighborhood computer club. You take these kids who are kind of different. You have got to get them involved with shared-interest things. This is what worries me. Right now there is a shortage of software engineers in the tech industry. I can tell you where a lot of potential software engineers are: They’re playing video games in the basement, because nobody worked on developing their skills in programming. We need to be introducing interesting things like this to kids really young. The thing is, autism is a very big spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, you’ve got some really brilliant people that are really socially awkward. Then at the other end of the spectrum you’ve got non-verbal, may have epilepsy, may have all kinds of medical problems, and it’s all labeled autism. Teachers have a hard time shifting gears, dealing with the severe kids to the more mild kids. It is a behavioral profile. It is not a precise diagnosis. Now, I want to go through the history of the diagnosis. In 1943 Leo Kanner published his famous paper, “Disturbances of Affective Contact.” Back then they thought it was all caused by psychological reasons. In 1950 to 1970 you had the psychoanalytic approach, where they blamed mothers. That was a horrible, horrible era. In 1952, back when the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual was produced by the American Psychiatric Association, autism was listed along with schizophrenia; they thought they were the same thing. They used to call it childhood schizophrenia. Then when the [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] DSM II came out in 1968 it was just mentioned along with schizophrenia. Then in 1980 they come out with another version, and to be autistic you had to have speech delay with an onset under 30 months of age. In 1987 they kind of broadened the profile a little bit more and they added PDDNOS; Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I don’t know what that means.

You see, the problem you’ve got with the DSM – it’s half science, it’s half doctors fighting around a conference room table in a hotel somewhere in the U.S., and it’s insurance codes. Today you have to get these labels to get services. In 1994 the DMS IV added Aspergers Syndrome. Now you could have autism without speech delay. That broadened a lot of the people who went into autism. I get asked all the time, “Has autism increased?” I can think of the quirky, nerdy kind of kids that I went to school with that would definitely be labeled Aspergers today. Then in 2013 they’ve taken out the Aspergers; they’re going to replace it with social communication disorder. It’s the same thing. Now some of this has to do with trying to cut back on all the services stuff. The one good thing that they’ve put in is mentioning sensory process problems. In autism, you’ve got a lot of problems with sound sensitivity, visual sensitivity problems; some people can’t stand florescent lights. These sensory problems are extremely variable.

The genetics of autism


t is a complicated quagmire. You’ve all seen a little double helix with all the little nucleotide pairs. They call those snips, and you have little tiny code changes all over the genome. Let’s talk about some genetics things. Did you know that only 2 percent of the DNA actually codes for a protein? What does the rest of the DNA do? Back in the 1980s they used to call it junk DNA. They don’t call it that anymore. Now they talk about coding DNA. When they originally sequenced the genome years ago, that was only the coding DNA. In 2012 with the ENCODE Project, they have now sequenced the non-coding DNA. What does it do? It’s the operating system. It is what tells the coding DNA what to do. If you didn’t have an operating system, you would just grow blobs of cancer and things like that. If you take a double-helix and stretch it out, you kind of know what that looks like, but you’d never fit that inside the sperm. They’ve got to take the DNA and they’ve got to wind it all up in a big, squishy ball. When you wind it up in a big, squishy ball, now coding DNA goes against non-coding DNA probably in some kind of a mathematical pattern.

AU G U ST/SE P T E M B E R 2013



Let’s visualize personality traits like a music mixing board. You’ve all seen a music mixing board, where you slide the little sliders along the slots, like to adjust volume and whatnot. Imagine each one of those slots is a different personality trait – the tendency to be anxious, the tendency to want to explore;,the tendency to be fearful – and you can adjust these things. Now, if you take these sliders and shove them to one end of the board all the way, maybe that’s abnormality. It’s a continuous trait. I think a music mixing board is one of the best ways to visualize these kinds of traits. I design livestock-handling facilities. When I design things, being a visual thinker is a great asset, because I can test-run equipment in my mind. I thought everybody could test-run equipment in their minds. I didn’t know that it was a special ability. It’s been an interesting journey for me to start learning how other minds think. I used to joke around that I had a huge Internet line deep in my visual cortex. I’ve had various brain scans taken in different labs along the way, and I look at some brain scans and I found they had a very, very large visual circuit. If you want to see the really cool brainscan you can type Temple Grandin USA Today into Google and you can see my gigantic visual association search engine. You see, normally the language circuit for “speak what you see” goes from the visual cortex up to [a certain level] and then stops. Mine goes all over everywhere. I kind of work like a search engine; put in keywords, and it’s like Google for pictures. Being a visual thinker is an asset as a designer. I always liked to show off my drawings. When you’re a weird geek, the way you sell yourself is showing off your work. You have to sell your work and not yourself. Now, another brain scan was done that showed basically the left parietal area is full of water. I kind of trashed out the math depart-



ment. Kids who get a label – and I don’t care if it’s an autism label, a social communication label, a dyslexic label, an ADHD label – they tend to have uneven skills; good at one thing, bad at something else. We have got to build up on the area of strength. We have also got to get a lot more thinking about what kinds of jobs these guys can

“We have to get a lot more thinking about what kinds

of jobs these guys can do when they grow up; teaching them job skills.” do when they grow up; teaching them job skills. One of the good things right here in the heart of Silicon Valley is, I can’t start 10-yearolds working on oil rigs – that’s the thing we got in Colorado – or cattle feed yards. But with computers you can introduce that really young. At eight years old, a lot of kids start to learn programming. You got a kid that’s got a mathematics ability; let’s start having them do coding. I’d rather have them addicted to coding than to video games. I’m seeing too many young boys that ought to be working here. As I travel around the country, I’m seeing moms come up to me and say, “I have a son. He’s 15 years old and he’s a video game recluse.” “I got a son who is 22 years old and I can’t get him out of the house.” When I was in high school, one of the places where a line was drawn in the sand [was that] I was not allowed to become a recluse in my bedroom, sitting in there all day reading. They didn’t have video games then, otherwise I would have been totally into that. Instead I was out working in the horse barn, and when I was 13 my mother got


me a sewing job. I didn’t do much studying when I first went to high school, but boy I sure learned a lot of work skills. That’s really an important thing. Malcolm Gladwell says if you have enough practice and enough access to resources, anybody can get really good at something. I agree with Malcolm Gladwell about the practice. I didn’t learn my drawing stuff overnight. I had to work on that. I spent three years working on that and having access to the resources. In 1968 both Bill Gates and I had access to the IBM Teletype computer; free, state-of-the-art, no punch-cards here. It actually was a terminal, and you could talk to the computer. I tried to take a computer course to learn programming. It was hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. Bill Gates? He did really well at that. You see, when you get into the extreme thing, this is where innate abilities do matter. My left parietal area is full of water, but I’m really good at the visualization stuff. I can do the industrial design side of things. You need two kinds of minds; the visual thinker like me and the more mathematical thinker. Let’s take a product like the iPad and the iPhone, for example. Well, Steve Jobs is an artist. He designed the user interface; he wasn’t an engineer. Then the engineers have to make the insides work, and when the original Apple computer was developed, he worked with Steve Wozniak. That was the engineering side of it. The two worked together. Let’s develop the talents in a person’s specialist brain. I am a photo-realistic visual thinker. Another name for this is object visualizer; can’t do algebra. These kids who can’t do algebra, let’s jump them to geometry. Some of them can do programming just fine. The other kind of visual-spatial thinker is the pattern thinker or spatial visualizer. This is the music and math mind. They think in patterns. Some of these kids have trouble with reading. A third type is the verbal facts

mind. This is the kid that knows all the facts about his favorite subject; it could be baseball; it could be movie stars; it could be a lot of different things. Often not that good at drawing. Another kind of person is a pure auditory thinker. They learn through their ears. Some of these people would be really great in sales. I actually didn’t do too bad in sales one time. I’m really pleased that Costco has featured me in their magazine. I did book signing at a Costco, and I just walked up to people and I found I was a really good Costco sales associate. You’ve got to learn how to approach the customers. I’d walk up to them and I’d say, “My name is Temple Grandin. I’m a professor of animal science. I’ve got a book about animal behavior. Do you have pets?” If they didn’t want to talk I’d just back off. You can’t be stalking customers. That’s a social interaction that’s quite easily taught. I was very proud of myself. I sold 60 books and the rest of the book table sold five, so I think I was doing pretty good. For the verbal thinker on the spectrum, you know what’s a great field for them to work in? Specialty retail sales. It could be jewelry, it could be men’s shoes, it could be sporting goods. I can tell you if I ever have to do retail sales, I’d probably go work at Home Depot in the hardware store. That would be the kind of thing that would interest me.

Making talent show


always like to show off my drawings because that’s how I sell myself. I have to sell my skill. A lot of people have trouble getting through a job interview. You know what? You better have your iPad there with your portfolio on it. The way I sold things is I showed pictures of my jobs. I showed my drawings. I can remember when I was at the Ag-Engineering meeting, this was back in 1974, nobody wanted to talk to me until I whipped out my drawings. They go,

“Oh, you did that? Maybe you are worth talking to.” People respect ability. There is [an] artist named Grant Manier, the eco-artist. He’s a man with a little bit more severe autism. I’m just so happy; I was talking to his mom and I convinced him to enter his art in a professional art show, because this work is professional grade. Sometimes the most obvious is the least obvious. I have a picture of the remains of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This is an example of why we need to have all kinds of minds. I always like to figure out, “Why did this happen? How could they let a mess like this happen?” I read all these newspapers. After reading a week’s worth of papers, maybe two weeks worth of papers, picking up all these little details, I finally figured out what they did wrong. I’m going, “How could you do that? How could you not see it?” It’s not too good of an idea when you live by the sea to put that super important generator and all that emergency cooling equipment that you need in a non-waterproof basement. What do you think happened? The water came crashing in there, drowned the generators, drowned all the electrical wiring. When I was young I used to think this was due to stupidity. It’s not due to stupidity. The mathematics mind doesn’t see it. This is why you need the different kinds of minds. I can visualize the waves smashing out the louvers of the generator building – they’re going to be baby blue louvers, that’s the color of this plant – and a wall of water coming in there. Then the generators are underwater and now there is a Japanese guy on a baby blue catwalk and he’s looking down and, I don’t know what the swear words are in Japanese, but he’s saying them right now, because he knows we’re in so much trouble right now it’s not funny. I can’t design a nuclear power plant, but I can visualize ways that it could be broken

and then visualize ways to prevent that, especially with anything that’s mechanical. I’m getting concerned about some of the things in automation, hackers getting into the power grid and things like that. We’ve got to have mechanical systems where, if a piece of equipment gets too hot, [has] too much pressure or spins too fast, it shuts down, and it’s some non-electronic thing that’s hacker proof because there are no electronics involved in it. It will just turn the equipment off before it’s busted, because you break a generating plant and they’re not going to fix that very quickly, that’s for sure. In the very first work I did with cattle I got down in the chutes to see what the cattle were seeing. Other people didn’t think to notice that. I’m finding when I work with the veterinary students, I’ve got to teach them how to be observant of visual detail that most people don’t see. If you’ve got a flag waving next to the chute, maybe that’s what is scaring the cattle; so you get rid of the flag. Or you got an animal walking out of the chute and there is a sunbeam on the floor and the animal is looking right at that sunbeam and most people don’t notice it. Or there is a chain hanging down in the chute and that’s scaring the cattle and they don’t notice it. I’m always getting asked about slaughter plants. Do they know they’re going to get slaughtered? I’ve found they behave exactly the same at a slaughter plant as they do in a veterinary chute. If there’s a chain hanging down or they see people walking by or it’s too dark, the cattle won’t go in. I’m trying to train students to see this visual detail. I have a lab and I have a chain hanging down in the cattle handling facility waving back and forth, and only 2 students out of 12 see it. An animal’s world is sensory-based, not word-based. You want to understand animals, you’ve got to get away from words.

AU G U ST/SE P T E M B E R 2013



Photo by redmaxwell/flickr

It’s okay to be weird


et’s get back to some of the diagnosis stuff. People get locked into these labels. I don’t see the labels, because I’m not language based. I see the kid. They bring the kid into the meeting and I’m going, “Yeah, I saw the senior version of him when I visited a Silicon Valley company.” The normal mind overgeneralizes and will ask questions like, “What’s the most important thing to do for autism?” If they’re three and they’re not talking, I can give you a universal answer: early intervention. Once you get past age three, I’ve got to have a lot more information. What is his problem? I can’t answer that in a real general way. There is evidence that language covers up visual thinking, because there is a type of Alzheimer’s disease that as the language part of the brain is wrecked, arts ability will start to come out. When Van Gogh was painting Starry Night, I don’t think he realized he was painting mathematical models of turbulence in the skies of Starry Night. A really important principle for anybody who is working with kids in autism is [that] it’s bottom-up thinking, not top-down. All concepts consist of specific examples placed in categories. Everything is learned by specific examples. So, you want to teach the kid the word “down”? You’ve got to use many different examples; I sat down in the chair; I put the remote down on the table; the airplane goes down and lands; I jumped in the pool and went down in the water. The other thing is, my thinking is associative and not linear. I’ve got a picture here of the United Airlines terminal in Chicago. There are two ways my mind could go. I



could start bringing up pictures of airports, or I could start bringing up pictures of glass structures. There are no generalized pictures. I go through pictures of the biosphere in Arizona. How about the old crystal palace at the World’s Fair? How about the greenhouse at Colorado State University? That’s the glass structure category. There’s pictures of plants inside the greenhouse. Now I’m thinking about this orchid that I’ve got on my kitchen windowsill. Or I could look at airport category: Denver Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Minneapolis Airport. Cattle are very specific in their thinking. They’ll view a man on a horse as something totally different than a man on the ground. So if cattle are trained to be tamed with a man on a horse and they see their first man on the ground in the slaughter plant, they will freak out, not because they’re at the slaughter plant but because they’re seeing a scary new thing: a man on the ground. The other thing I find a lot of people have problems with is, “How do I categorize a problem? Do I have a training issue with a piece of equipment? Or is it something wrong with the design?” Let’s say we have an autistic kid with problems. Do we have a behavior problem? Or do we have a biological problem? The biological problem, if he’s non-verbal, could be a hidden, painful medical problem. I don’t multitask well; I can’t remember long strings of information, I have to write it down. That’s a biological problem. [Look at] a cool picture of the launch team for the Mars Rover. You’ve got the mohawk guy, the Elvis guy, you’ve got an ancient, old hippie there – and those are the happy people on the spectrum. They went


to Asperger heaven. [Laughter.] It’s okay to be weird, it’s okay to wear a mohawk on national television; it’s perfectly okay. You know what? You can’t be a rude, filthy, dirty nerd. There’s a scene in the movie [2010’s Temple Grandin] where my boss slams down the deodorant and says, “You stink, use it.” That actually happened. How did the guys in the jet propulsion center get there? Because when they were young they probably had a few social skills just bashed into them. One advantage to growing up in the 1950s and ’60s is that social skills were taught in a much more systematic manner. I’m seeing too many kids today who don’t know how to shake hands. Let me give you some tips on how to help the kids who are different to really succeed. There’s a tendency to coddle these kids. You can’t just throw them into surprises. That causes panic. When I was 15, I was afraid to go to my aunt’s ranch. They gave me a choice; one week or all summer. Not going was not an option. You’ve got to stretch them. I’m seeing a 19-year-old honors student who has never grocery shopped by herself; that’s ridiculous. I’m seeing kids who haven’t learned enough work skills. I had a great science teacher. You have to show kids interesting things. They have got to learn work skills. Here in computer land, you can start that around age eight. When I go out into other parts of the country, at 12 or 13 they can be walking dogs for the neighbor or they can be working at the farmer’s market, they can be maintaining a neighborhood website. These are the kinds of things they could be doing. They need the discipline of a job.

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D R . G LO R I A C . D U F F Y P R E S I D E N T & C E O

Meet Al and Dorothea


et me tell you about Doro- Church, organizing fundraisers and renovation work at the old thea and Al Schoenstein. log church. Al was elected to, then chaired, the board of the local They are examples of retirees Community Service District, which is responsible for the town who have relocated from big cities management of McCloud. He’s brought financial acumen to the and are bringing their skills to bear administration of fire protection, water, sewer, lighting, snowplowmore than full time in their new, ing and the other services the board provides, and led the district small-town home communities. to build a pavilion where musicians can play in the local park. He As regular readers of this col- joined, then became president of the Mt. Shasta Rotary Club, leadumn know, our family vacation ing Rotary volunteerism and fundraising for local causes such as home for a quarter century has trail maintenance, disabled sporting events and library expansion. been in the tiny hamlet of McDorothea can often be found behind her easel near a waterfall, Cloud, at the foot of 14,000-foot, mountain meadow or other beautiful natural scene around the glacier-clad Mt. Shasta, 300 miles region. But she also founded the nonprofit McCloud Arts Society, Photo courtesy of Gloria Duffy north of the Bay Area. We restored which this year is sponsoring its first season of music and arts events. a 1904 mill manager’s house in the middle of town, a simple but These events draw people to the town, which creates business for roomy wood-sided country home with a big front porch, and enjoy local merchants and work for residents. She dragoons part-timers it as frequently as possible with friends and family. and locals alike to organize and support programs and to volunteer McCloud was once home to the largest lumber mill operation in to publicize the events, staff booths, sell tickets and otherwise pitch the United States, with eight giant sawmills operating and several in. At her request, together with another couple she recruited, Rod thousand workers in its heyday. One by one, through the past few and I worked the ticket booth at a 5th of July blues concert and decades, the mills shut down, until the last one closed a few years pyrotechnics display held at the new park pavilion. ago. The departure of the timber industry left McCloud with a Another event Dorothea has organized for September, “Paint the dwindling population and a threadbare Town,” will assemble artists in McCloud to social infrastructure. Tourists come and go paint the quaint old mill town and dramatic from this beautiful region to enjoy hiking, “They seem to be everywhere Mt. Shasta rising above it, then show their fishing, camping, cycling and water sports, art downtown. in McCloud, putting their but steady jobs are scarce. McCloud High What Dorothea and Al are doing obSchool, with only five students currently, is viously doesn’t fit the classic definition shoulders to the wheel to always on the verge of closing down. Many of retirement. It is full-time community of the families in the area receive public service. They seem to be everywhere in the assistance. McCloud community, putting their shoulA number of people from the Bay Area for visitors and residents.” ders to the wheel to improve the quality of and elsewhere have second homes in and life for visitors and residents alike. around McCloud, but we come and go and not many of us get Longevity today means that the active years in life can extend involved in the community in a meaningful way. But that is not the well beyond traditional retirement age. Many people can contemcase for Al and Dorothea Schoenstein. Al’s now in his early 70s, tall plate an entire second career after exiting the formal work world. and lean with white hair and a white goatee. His family business Imagine how much improved rural – or for that matter, urban – was manufacturing organs for churches and theaters at a factory in communities would be with more full-time volunteers like Al and Benicia. Choosing not to follow the family craft, Al was a financial Dorothea, bringing their lifetimes of experience to the service of manager for Wells Fargo for 36 years. Gracious and pretty Dorothea needful communities. is a plein air artist who paints California landscapes and does art Sometimes Dorothea and Al sigh with tiredness at the end of restoration. A decade ago, they left their home base in Danville and a long day, and comment wryly on the absence of the relaxation built a retirement home in McCloud, with a studio for her art and they had planned for their retirement. But as far as I can tell, they restoration work and a wonderful organ for Al to play. are having the time of their lives. But their thoughts of a leisurely retirement were short-lived. Today they spend much of their time working for the community in McCloud, where folks with their professional experience and Online Insight column archive: skills are rare. Al and Dorothea became active in the local Catholic

improve the quality of life




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Art, culture, music, history and politics in Commonwealth Club style. Meet experts, writers, artists and musicians and witness the vibrant intellectual and artistic talent for which Cuba is known.

November 4–15 Havana, Viñales, Santiago & Baracoa December 7–14 Havana and the Viñales Valley “You completely undersold our recent trip to Cuba. I was completely blown away by all the things we were able to do and see in a short time.” – Nikki Young “Although I have been on other excellent trips, I have never had such access to so many intelligent, articulate speakers in such a short time.” – Elliot Morrison “It was one of two trips in my life that was astounding.” – Jo Wunderlich “Program exceeded my expectations in all aspects! Thank you!” – Barry Herstein

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Mark Leibovich

Actress; Singer; Winner, Academy Award, Grammy, Emmy, Tony; Author, Rita Moreno: A Memoir

Chief National Correspondent, The New York Times Magazine; Author, This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! – in America’s Gilded Capital

An extraordinarily talented star of stage and screen, Moreno is a force of nature. From her Oscar-winning turn as Anita in West Side Story to her challenging role as a prostitute in Carnal Knowledge, from her stint on the children’s television classic “Electric Company” to her late-career triumph in HBO’s controversial series “Oz,” she will share tales of being a Hollywood survivor.

The New York Times’s Mark Leibovich presents a blistering, penetrating and jaw-dropping look at Washington’s incestuous “media industrial complex.” He will sit down with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to take us inside the absurdity of the Beltway.

Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

for event details, see page 36

for event details, see page 39

Inside the California Food Revolution

Sal Kahn

The way we approach food has changed drastically from the 1970s to the present, with terms such as farm-to-table, foraging and fusion all entering the national vocabulary. Meet some of California’s top food minds and highly rated chefs as they break down the evolution of food over the past 30-plus years, as well as their own contributions to the development of California cuisine. The discussion will center on a new book by Joyce Goldstein, the recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in California.

Founder, Kahn Academy; Author, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined Khan’s fresh and dynamic approach to learning is offering a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” With over 4,000 video lessons ranging from chemistry to history to economics, The Khan Academy is transforming the educational divide by reaching millions of students around the world. Part of the Innovating California Series presented by Chevron

Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

for event details, see page 41

for event details, see page 43

The Commonwealth August-September 2013  
The Commonwealth August-September 2013  

Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen explain how Google sees the future, how government surveillance and privacy intersect and clash and un...