Page 1




page 48


Commonwealth The


DEC 2013/JAN 2014



$5.00; free for members |

INSIDE The Commonwealth VO LU M E 108, N O . 01 | D E C E M B E R 2013/ J A N UA RY 2014

8 Photo by Nina Subin



15 Photo by Ed Ritger

The author of Spying on Democracy discusses the evolution of America into a surveillance state


48 Photo by MSNBC1

DEPARTMENTS 5 EDITOR’S DESK Spies like us: We’re all in the spy business now

6 THE COMMONS Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and Hoover Research Fellow Tammy Frisby on the government shutdown


The celebrated and controversial evolutionary biologist talks about his own evolution from a child uninterested in science to one of the best-known public scientists on the planet



The former secretary of homeland security leaves the national-security hotseat and dives right into the politics and priorities of the University of California as its latest president


The former aide to Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill reflects on his boss’ working relationship with Republican President Ronald Reagan, sharing his thoughts on why two old Irish politicians from different ends of the political spectrum were able to work together

The tale of an Indian-American’s trials and tribulations is a tale for our troubled economic times Photo by Ed Ritger


Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President and CEO



20 EIGHT WEEKS CALENDAR Events from December 2 to January 26

22 PROGRAM LISTINGS 25 LANGUAGE CLASSES About Our Cover: From the NSA revelations to the use of drones, Americans are paying greater attention to domestic surveillance issues. Heidi Boghosian gives her views starting on page 8. Original photo by Yago Veith/flickr

“You can say quite savage things about political opponents, about restaurants. ‘This is the most disgusting food I’ve ever eaten in my entire life!’ is the sort of thing that comes [routinely] in restaurant criticism, theater criticism, political criticism, sports criticism. But if you say something quite mildly negative about religion, people are so surprised, because you just don’t do that.” – Richard Dawkins THE COMMO N WE AL TH 3 J U N E/J U LY 2013

In the Wake of the Vikings Denmark, Norway, & Scotland aboard the M.S. LE BORÉAL May 21–29, 2014 Join us for a unique, comprehensive, nine-day journey to Norway’s majestic fjords and Scotland’s rarely visited Shetland, Orkney and Inner Hebridean Islands, remote destinations forever linked by their Viking heritage. Cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Glasgow, Scotland, aboard the exclusively chartered Five-Star Small Ship M.S. Le Boréal, with spacious, 100% OceanView Stateroom and Suite accommodations. • Visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites amid spectacular landscapes, and explore ports accessible only to small ships. • Cruise Norway’s spectacular fjords, taking in views of cobalt blue waters and dramatic cliffs. • Discover the old wooden Hanseatic architecture in Bergen and visit the summer home of composer Edvard Grieg. • Marvel at the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar, dating back to 3000 B.C. and the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae. • Visit Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, home of 12th-century, Viking-built St. Magnus Cathedral. • Discover the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis, and the iconic Eilean Donan Castle in the Isle of Skye’s highlands. • A Copenhagen pre-cruise option and a Glasgow/Edinburgh postcruise option are available. • Throughout our journey learn from expert guides, as one would expect on a Commonwealth Club trip. Cost: From $3,995 to $10,595, per person, double occupancy and depending on category.

Detailed brochure available at: Contact: (415) 597-6720 • CST: 2096889-40

Photos: FromTheNorth/flickr; Andreas Trepte/wikicommons; Robert Scarth/wikicommons


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

Photo by Walteroma10

We’re All in the Business of Secrecy Now


y favorite story of 2013 came from former President Jimmy Carter, who spoke at the Club in February. While discussing the film Argo, which recounted the escape by six Americans from Iran during the hostage crisis, he revealed a previously untold story. Carter acknowledged that the United States had CIA agents going into Iran quite often and that they used fake German passports. He said that one time an agent leaving Iran was stopped by a customs agent, who looked at his passport and said, “I’ve been a customs agent here for 20 years. I’ve never before seen a German passport with an initial on it. They always spell out the full name. Here your name is Ira H. Schuchter. I don’t understand it.’” The quick-thinking CIA agent replied, “My parents gave me the middle name of Hitler. I have special permission to use the initial.” That satisfied the customs agent: “Go on through.” That one story probably brings conflicting thoughts to many Americans. On the one hand, sneaking an agent into Iran under the brutal revolutionary regime can be a point of pride. On the other hand, the CIA helped overthrow Iran’s democratic government in 1953 (which the agency finally acknowledged this year), and it installed and assisted the brutal regime that replaced that one. Ever since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked a trove of information on the U.S. government’s surveillance activities domestically and internationally, Americans have been wresFOLLOW US ONLINE

tling with the dilemma of national security and privacy. Terrorists and other criminals undoubtedly do their planning and communication over the same email systems, servers and file transfer networks that most of us rely on for innocent interaction and sharing cat videos. Few who have paid attention would be surprised that governments find ways to monitor such Internet traffic. But when they learn that basically everything they say, write or do online is tracked and recorded, they are forced to consider how much of their privacy they are willing to give up. Will it be misused against them? Even if it isn’t misused, is it still wrong? When Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at the Club earlier this year, he and colleague Jared Cohen talked about the conflicting role that information technology plays in struggles between governments and private citizens. Google, along with Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and other large IT firms, has to figure out how much to give in to government requests for access to “private” data; Google famously pulled out of mainland China after the government there had hacked into the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. There are many on-the-one-hand and on-the-other-hand conversations occuring with this topic. So it is a good time to feature it on our cover, with Heidi Boghosian discussing aspects of security, privacy and democracy. Boghosian is the author of Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public Resistance. Let us know your thoughts:

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 | CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ed Ritger, Rikki Ward ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Tara Crain, Development Manager, Corporate and Foundation Partnerships, (415) 869-5919, 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.

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014




Talk of the Club

Eyes in the Sky – Inside


Attendees at a program about unmanned drones get to see the real thing


e haven’t checked all the way back to 1903, but we’re pretty certain this was the first time a Commonwealth Club program had drones flying above the audience. In keeping with our cover story theme this issue concerning the hot-button issue of domestic surveillance, we wanted to share some photos from “Eyes in the Sky: Drones in Law Enforcement,” our October 23 program dealing with the legal, regulatory and ethical considerations of the deployment of drones in domestic law enforcement and homeland security. In addition to several panelists who discussed these important issues, we had on-hand two actual unmanned drones that audience members were able to examine up close (see photo, below) and watch hovering over their heads (photo right). The drones were courtesy of 3D Robotics, the company founded by Wired magazine’s former editor, Chris Anderson, and Jordi Munoz. The company’s chief technologist

was on hand to explain the technology and capabilities of the little vehicles, which have been growing in popularity with police forces across the country. The drones, we hasten to add, were not armed.

Updates and check-ins


ave you seen us lately: As we prepare to roll out an exciting new video offering, we took a look at The Commonwealth Club’s YouTube channel and were pleased to note that in the past quarter, there were 54,000 views of Club videos on YouTube; for the past year, there were nearly 200,000 views, with an “estimated minutes watched” of more than 2.5 million. Since we started the channel, there have been 1,079,000 views. Next, we plan to take that to a whole new level. Stay tuned for our video announcement in the near future.

Photos by Ed Ritger

Our New Neighbors, Part VI

Hotel Vitale


n 2004, when Hotel Vitale was set to open for business on the city’s waterfront, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that “a lot of people thought it was a dumb idea to build a hotel in 2002, considering what the tech crash and 9/11 did to San Francisco’s hospitality industry.” But the hotel turned out to be nicely ahead of the curve by the time it opened its 189 rooms to visitors seeking a place to stay across from the Ferry Building. Its location is also just a couple buildings away from The Commonwealth Club’s new home, currently being designed and planned for 110 The Embarcadero. Hotel Vitale is part of the San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre chain of boutique hotels. Founded in 1987, the hospitality



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

company began by purchasing run-down buildings and turning them into small concept hotels, based on themes such as luxury camping or romance novels. Vitale was the first hotel Joie de Vivre built new, rather than acquiring through the purchase of an existing building. What helped make the risky decision a sound proposition to open a hotel during the post-dot com economy? In addition to the new conPhoto by John Zipperer struction and excellent downtown location, the hotel boasts free daily yoga classes, a restaurant, rooftop terrace with views of the bay and free downtown car service for nearby destinations. Joie de Vivre founder Chip Conley will get to meet his future neighbors when he speaks at the Club on February 4.

Shared Ideas Default not an Option Jacob J. Lew, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; August 22, 2013: [I]nstead of creating jobs, some political leaders [in Washington] continue to create one manufactured crisis after another. Several months ago we saw one of these manufactured crises become reality, where there was a series of harsh, indiscriminate spending cuts known as sequestration going into effect. Nearly every part of the federal government is coping with an onslaught of these reckless acrossthe-board reductions.... That is why the president has called on Congress to replace these cuts with sensible, balanced deficit reduction. But even as we work to repair the damage brought by sequestration, Congress must act to prevent yet another manufactured crisis from hurting our economy. In just a few weeks, we will find ourselves once again perilously close to breaching the debt ceiling, if Congress fails to act. As you know, the Constitution reserves certain responsibilities for Congress and Congress alone, including appropriating funds, raising and lowering taxes, and setting the maximum amount of borrowing authority through what is called the debt ceiling. In our history, the United States has never defaulted on a payment; Congress has always upheld its responsibility to protect the full faith and credit of our nation. It is important to know that the debt limit has nothing to do with the new spending; it has to do with spending that Congress has already approved and bills that have already been incurred. Failing to raise the debt limit would not make these debts go away; it would, though, have a disastrous effect on our nation. Even a delay of a necessary increase in the debt limit can bring harmful consequences. Photo by Sonya Abrams

Many of you may remember what happened two years ago when some in Congress used the credit worthiness of the United States as a political weapon. There was a prolonged and protracted debate about raising the debt limit. The world and the nation watched with growing anxiety as Congress withheld action on extending the debt limit until the last minute. And while that standoff was eventually resolved, the cloud of doubt that took hold in a high-stakes drama that took place actually harmed the economy. The drawn-out dispute over the debt ceiling caused business uncertainty to jump, consumer confidence to drop, financial markets to fall and economic growth to falter. We cannot afford to repeat what happened in 2011; we cannot afford for Congress to wait until some unknowable last minute to resolve this matter on the eve of the deadline. We cannot afford another self-inflicted wound. As a widely respected leader from California once put it, and I quote, “This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequences of a default – or even the serious prospect of default – by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate.” Those words came from President Ronald Reagan nearly 30 years ago. And it is for the reasons that he laid out back then that I call on Congress today to raise the debt ceiling as soon as members get back to Washington after their summer recess.

Congress in Disarray Tammy Frisby, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; October 16, 2013: On debt ceiling increases: Members of Congress and senators do not like to vote to increase the debt ceiling. You might have heard that when Obama was a senator, he voted against increasing the debt ceiling. I don’t bring that up to say he’s being hypocritical; I bring that up to say that that is what members of Congress do. And they do that because that’s a popular position to take with most people. So what has developed as a norm within Congress is that the majority party in each chamber takes the hit; they’re respon-

sible for passing the increase to the debt limit; they’re the ones who come up with the votes. What we have now, though, is a novel partisan configuration across the White House and Congress, with a Democratic president and a divided Congress. This was not going to be an easy row to hoe anyway, just given the way we usually pass debt ceiling increases and the complications that our current partisan configuration has. And when you add in the fact that you’ve got the Senate and the House controlled by separate parties, you don’t have the Senate helping the House figure out how to do this effectively. We got to this point where the far-right flank of the Republicans could create this sort of dramatic situation because Congress – both parties – have not been doing their job when it comes to passing a budget for months now. Congress is supposed to pass 12 to 13 regular appropriations bills to fund the government, to prevent a government shutdown, prior to the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1. If you look at the pattern in how those appropriation bills have and haven’t been passed over the last 30 years, what you see is a consistent breakdown in the ability of Congress to move through the budget process in a timely manner. Over the last five or six years, what we have had here is these crisis governance moments, where you’re reaching the beginning of the fiscal year, and you haven’t even partially funded the government. That’s why we came to a government shutdown – and though we refer to it as a partial government shutdown because some essential employees remain on the job, it was really as full as a government shutdown gets – because we didn’t have any of these appropriations bills passed.

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014

Photo by John Sonderman/flickr



SPYINGOND Heidi Boghosian

Must we trade liberty for safety? And where does government and commercial spying end? Excerpt from “Spying on Democrac y,” October 1, 2013. HEIDI BOGHOSIAN Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild; Author, Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance In conversation with GEORGE HAMMOND Chair, Humanities Forum GEORGE HAMMOND: You called your book Spying on Democracy. If we were a monarchy or an oligarchy or a dictatorship, do you think that would be different? Obviously all those [types of ] governments have spied on their citizens and spied on each other for centuries. Do you think that it should be different in a democracy? HEIDI BOGHOSIAN: I think the hallmark of a democracy includes a free press, cherished rights, such as attorney-client privilege, the First Amendment right to free association and free expression. And I think the spying apparatus that we’ve seen


develop commensurate with the development of sophisticated technology, which has really accelerated over the last two to three decades, has called into question and really tested the strength of our democratic institutions. When we start spying on children as they learn to type on a computer keyboard and monitor attorney-client conversations, threaten journalists with subpoenas or charges of espionage for trying to protect confidential sources, then I think we have to examine where we are right now. HAMMOND: [Reading from Boghosian’s book] At Harriton High School, “students had no idea what was hidden in the computer laptops that their school had given them. A ‘one-to-one’ laptop computer initiative, partially funded by state and federal grants for technology, was supposed to implement what the school called an ‘authentic mobile 21st Century learning environment.’ However, in a remarkable display of audacity, school district administrators were remotely activating built-in laptop cameras to watch students’ behavior in the privacy of their own homes.” I’ve never heard of anything like that, although I know a lot of places that get these laptops. “School officials notified Blake Robbins’ parents that he was engaging in improper behavior at home. When Blake’s parents went to school, administrators showed them a photo of Blake taken from the remote camera” on his laptop which they had given him. I think that’s just really outrageous. What’s the background on that? And what’s happened because of

THE COMMO N WE AL TH Photo by Nina DEC Subin EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

it? Did he win his case? BOGHOSIAN: The school stopped the spying, but I believe they refused to admit any liability, as we so often see in some settlements. I think that is an extreme example. I included it to bring attention to the many ways that children are monitored. Another example is bracelets that children wear at amusement parks, specifically Disney

“ T he

spying apparatus

we’ve seen develop [through] sophistic ated technology has tested the strength of our democratic institutions.” World. They’re called “magic bands,” and in them, if the parents and families consent, is an RFID chip that holds personal identification information, such as the child’s date of birth. It’s touted as a way to avoid long lines to gain entrance to the park, but if your child passes by Cinderella on his or her birthday, the child is greeted by name, and Cinderella says happy birthday. The point of this is that data aggregators and corporations from a very early age seek to befriend and cultivate brand loyalty among children before they have the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

DEMOCRACY Original Photo by Architect of the Capitol/

We’re building a sense of consumerism from an early age and, in exchange, extracting a lot of personal data, often without families knowing. Apps on electronic devices, for example, that children often use, that are fun, have tracking devices and other ways of collecting personal information. And one of the problems is that the law has not kept abreast with rapid advances in technology. Thanks to several advocacy groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we have people trying to urge legislators to be more protective of those most vulnerable members of our society. But I think that people need to start being aware of how, at an early age, we’re being brought into the web of surveillance. HAMMOND: [What’s your interpretation of the] story about Lynne Stewart, the lawyer that represented Sheikh AbdelRahman? She is in jail now as a result of her representation of him. BOGHOSIAN: Lynne Stewart is a longtime criminal defense attorney. She’s now been disbarred, but she practiced in New York City. She had been a schoolteacher. She represented a lot of politically active individuals, such as the so-called Central Park Jogger defendants and Sammy “the Bull” Gravano. She was one of the appointed attorneys on the “Blind Sheikh’s” case – he was convicted for trying to destroy landmarks, including the World Trade Center, in 1993. To see her client in a maximum-security facility, she had to sign a special adminis-

trative measure, a SAM. That said that she could not communicate on behalf of her client to the outside world. This was during the Clinton administration. She issued a press release at one point, saying that the Sheikh had changed his mind on a certain policy, a ceasefire agreement. Janet Reno, who was attorney general under Clinton, said, “Don’t do it again. You violated the SAM.” But it

“W e’re building a sense of consumerism from an early age, and, in exchange, extracting a lot of personal data, often without families knowing. ” wasn’t a criminal action. It was a procedural, administrative violation. So she got a slap on the wrist and kept representing the Sheikh. When Bush became president and Attorney General John Ashcroft came in, they decided to indict Lynne on the fact that she violated the SAM. Ashcroft traveled to New York and appeared on David Letterman to announce the indictment. This was the first case of an attorney being prosecuted for aiding terrorism – by releasing a press release. We felt in the National Lawyers Guild and in the progressive legal community that this was sending a strong signal. She was, in

effect, the poster child for an attorney who represented politically active or controversial clients, and it was saying, beware, you can be brought up on terrorism charges. Her trial – this was around 2002 – took place in the federal courtroom, blocks away from Ground Zero; the state brought in photos, mentions of Osama bin Laden, things that really had nothing to do with the case. She was convicted. Many of the jurors cried when they convicted her. But there was such an outpouring of support, hundreds of letters from a wide range of individuals whom she’d represented or whose lives she’d touched in one way or another, and the judge sentenced her to – I think it was – 18 months. The government came back and said this wasn’t harsh enough; [they’d] departed from the guidelines, and the judge sentenced her to 10 years. She’s now in a medical facility in Texas because she has terminal cancer and other illnesses. There’s a campaign underway to grant compassionate release. The warden recommended it. And she doesn’t have long to live. Meanwhile, the guidelines for granting compassionate release have been made more lenient. There’s an increasing awareness that too many elderly people in prison are dying. She just wants to come home to be with her family. But her case is highly political, because it shows that two administrations can quite differently treat an administrative violation. One raises it to the level of a continued on page 41

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



RICHARD DAWKINS How did a Christ ian child uninterested in science become o n e o f t h e w o r l d ’s b e s t known scientists and atheists? Excerpt from “Richard Dawkins,” October 9, 2013. RICHARD DAWKINS Evolutionary Biologist; Author, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist In conversation with KISHORE HARI Director, Bay Area Science Festival

KISHORE HARI: I was somewhat surprised to learn that you grew up in Africa and that your early childhood revolved around that continent. How much do you remember of that experience? RICHARD DAWKINS: I left when I was seven. I remember quite a lot, but have rather disjointed memories. My father was in the British Colonial Service, so I was one of quite a lot of people of my exact contemporaries who were brought up in either Africa or India. It was a fairly normal upbringing for English people. It was very abnormal in the sense that it was a bit of a time warp. It was like being in England in the Edwardian times – a life of luxury in some ways, servants serving tea on the lawn and things like that – and on the other hand, the opposite of luxury: no running water, earth closet instead of water closet, no electric light – that sort of thing. HARI: How do you recall that experience? Was it one that you enjoyed? DAWKINS: Yes, I suppose I did. And when I first came to England, it was winter. England was dark and cold and damp, and I took one look at it and said to my mother, “When are we going back?” It was tropical in Africa and there were butterflies and birds and trees, and it was in many ways a paradise. HARI: Do you ever have a chance to return? DAWKINS: I’ve been back several times. I’ve been to Kenya several times. I’ve been back to Malawi, where I was actually brought up, only once. That was interesting. My wife and I went on a kind of pilgrimage to try to find the three houses that I could remember living in. We found one of them and it was the only one surviving of a lot of similar houses, so it was very lucky that it was surviving. It had become a bit barren. There was a beautiful garden in my childhood, and it had now become surrounded by just bare earth. It had become a policeman’s club, but the policeman’s club also allowed the general public in to have a drink. So we went in there and we sat down and asked for a drink in what had been my bedroom, [laughter] and then the chief of police came over and said we weren’t allowed in that part. But I told him this was my bedroom and then he agreed, and he sat down and had a drink on me. HARI: After seven years [your family] returned to England. Why did you return? DAWKINS: My father was left in the will of a very distant cousin, a third cousin – you

can work out how many generations back that is – who owned a family estate, a farm, which had been in the family since 1723. And he wanted to leave it to a Dawkins. His branch of the family was very distant from our branch, but there weren’t any surviving Dawkins in his branch. He looked at the family tree and lit upon my father as his heir, and so my father got this telegram out of the blue saying he’d been left this farm by somebody he’d never heard of. My parents actually didn’t have any intention of coming back and farming it. They intended to stay in Africa. But then when we went back to England for a leave, the lady who was the tenant of the place happened to die. That put into their minds the idea that they might actually leave Africa and change to the farm,


reproach myself now. I

wasn’t a bully and I wasn’t bullied, but I reproach myself with not intervening, with letting it happen.” and they eventually decided to do that, partly because my mother had had a rather severe strain of malaria, which might have killed her if they had stayed. So my father rapidly took retraining in English farming and apprenticed himself to a number of small farmers in England, learned how to farm and made a go of it. In a sense, the decision of the distant cousin was exactly the right one. He couldn’t have picked a better heir than my father. In Africa he was a colonial civil servant, but he was in the agricultural department so he knew a lot about tropical agriculture. He read botany at Oxford, so he had a degree in botany, and then he had a postgraduate degree in tropical agriculture. Then he went out to Africa. HARI: So take us to the farm. Set the scene for us. DAWKINS: It’s a small farm. There’s a family house and a fair number of other houses on it. It’s nice English rolling, green countryside, plenty of trees. It’s a very nice place. My father farmed Jersey cows. Lots of cream. He started a cream business.

HARI: Is it still in the family? DAWKINS: Yes, it is. It’s now being farmed by my nephew, and most of my family and my daughter live there. Kind of a dynasty setup. HARI: You came back to England [at age] seven. You must have been enrolled in school. DAWKINS: I was sent to a boarding school. I’d already been to a boarding school in Southern Rhodesia in Africa, what’s now Zimbabwe. Then I came to an English boarding school. It was somewhat spartan. We were cold. We were caned. The discipline was fairly harsh. The education was good. I learned most of the calculus I was ever to learn by the age of about 13. I learned a lot of general knowledge at that school. HARI: [In the book] you mention the bullying that was happening there. DAWKINS: Bullying is a serious problem with childhood, and I’m a bit baffled by the cruelty toward victim types and ganging up on victims: leaders – natural leaders – bullies with henchmen who do their bidding and help to bully the victims. I reproach myself now. I wasn’t a bully and I wasn’t bullied, but I reproach myself with not intervening, with letting it happen. I’m not sure that I really had all that much empathy for the victims of bullying either. I think that’s probably a fairly common feeling among children. I suspect quite a lot of adults looking back on their childhood will have the same feeling, that there is a cruelty in childhood which most adults leave behind. But possibly the really cruel adults who end up being guards in Nazi concentration camps and things may just retain the bullying mentality of childhood. HARI: [Your school days are] the time when you describe yourself as being religious. Early on you were confirmed in the Anglican Church. How do you look back upon that child self? DAWKINS: My first school was very religious. The headmaster was very religious, and he wanted all the boys to be confirmed and they all were. The only exception was one boy who came from a Roman Catholic family, so he was kind of separate. He didn’t have to come to church with all the rest of us; he went to a different church with a very pretty undermatron [laughter]. We were all confirmed, and we were all prepared for confirmation by the vicar of the local church, and we swallowed it whole. We were too continued on page 43

D E C E M B E R 2013/ J A N UA RY 2014



Anita Raghavan A Greek tragedy of crime and punishment. Excerpt from “The Billionaire’s Apprentice,” June 24, 2013. ANITA RAGHAVAN Former Reporter, The Wall Street Journal; Winner, Overseas Press Club Award; Contributor and Former London Bureau Chief, Forbes


or some, The Billionaire’s Apprentice is a simple story. It is a familiar tale about crime and punishment. For others, it is a great travesty of justice. To quote a prominent defense lawyer in the case, “It is a Greek tragedy of epic proportions.” For me, however, it is something of a personal story. It is, in part, the story of my parents. In 1958, over the objections of his own father, my dad boarded a ship in a very small fishing village in the southern Indian state of Kerala. None of my father’s siblings would ever leave India, but my father had a great dream to study botany at the foot of one of the foremost experts in the field, a professor at Princeton University. In 1958 he wrote to this professor. Several weeks later, the professor replied and said that he would gladly take my father into the masters program in botany at Princeton, and, what’s more, he would give him money to study. My father jumped at the opportunity. He was one of the earliest pioneers in the great migration of Indians to the United States. Despite the vision and foresight of independent India’s first leaders, by the



late 1950s, when my father was coming of age, the Indian economy was a basket case: Growth was stagnating, food shortages were common, and scarcity was the norm. You had to wait seven years for a phone line or a car. If you wanted a second phone line – and that was only for the very wealthy – you had to get a letter from a member of parliament. For a young man like my father, who was brimming with ambition, India offered little hope. Oddly, America, while it was in the throws of the civil rights struggle, was surprisingly open and closed at the same time. In 1959, my mother came on her own to the United States to work at the Brooklyn Public Library. Her journey to the United States was remarkably similar to my father’s. She was a librarian in India. One day she wrote a letter to the Brooklyn Public Library asking if they had any exchange opportunities. They said they did, but not with India. However, they were willing to offer her a job for one year, and they would pay her $4,500, a fortune at the time. My mother jumped at the chance, and both my parents arrived in an America that was growing. And while its immigration laws were hardly welcoming, there were pockets of openness amid the vast pools of prejudice. [But] my parents did not stay in the United States. In the early 1960s there was no easy path for Indians like them to obtain a green card, the ticket to being a permanent resident in the United States.



here is an immense selectivity in the pattern of Indian immigration to the United States, says Professor Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, an expert on immigration and dean of the UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. The average Indian in the United States is 10,000

DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

times more likely to have a doctorate than the average Indian. In other words, the Indians who come to America are by and large the country’s brightest and best, an observation that’s borne out, even today, by hard facts. Of the 3.2 million Indians in the United States, 70 percent have bachelors degrees, compared to just 28 percent [in the U.S. population overall]. Their median annual household income of $88,000 is almost twice what most Americans earn each year and 33 percent higher than the average income of Asians in the United States. Most of the overachievers are immigrants. In the new millennium, [Rajat] Gupta and other India-born natives are ubiquitous in every sphere of American life. They are among the country’s most promising doctors and engineers and its most successful bankers and lawyers. In 1970, my father returned to the United States. By now the change in immigration laws meant that he would have a clear path to citizenship. Around the same time, a young man named Rajat Gupta arrived at Harvard Business School to study for his MBA. Even though he came to America some 12 years later than my father, Gupta’s journey was remarkably similar; he came on an F-1 student visa, just like my father did, and as many Indian immigrants before him and after him would do. A desire to chronicle the journey of my father and other Indian immigrants led me to write [this book.] As I learned more about Rajat Gupta, I was struck by how he and my father had set out on similar paths, but at some point their paths in life diverged. My father stayed true to his original purpose in life: to be the best botanist he could be. He would go to work every day of the year. When I asked him, “Daddy, are you going to work?” He would answer, “No. I’m going

to study.” He became a full professor at Ohio State and he wrote many books. For most of his career, Rajat Gupta stayed true to his original purpose. He climbed the ranks of McKinsey. His story is a familiar one. He turned around the Scandinavian office and then he was appointed to lead the Chicago [office], which he built. In 1994 he was named the global managing director of McKinsey, the first foreign-born managing director of the white-shoe consulting firm. When the [insider trading] story first broke, I wanted to learn why someone who had accomplished so much in life, who really had nothing more to prove, ended up in bed with someone who was so very different from him, a man like Raj Rajaratnam. And I think, unfortunately, the answer is all too familiar. In 2005, two years after [Gupta] stepped down after a difficult third term at McKinsey, he found a new purpose in life: money. Throughout his trial, Gupta’s lawyers and friends strenuously argued that with $100 million to his name, Gupta had no financial incentive to tip Rajaratnam on corporate secrets, but, as we know, greed has nothing to do with what you have and everything to do with what you don’t have.

Audience question and answer session QUESTION: Can you give us an overview as to what Mr. Gupta did? What was the actual crime that he committed? RAGHAVAN: The government charged Gupta on six counts. Only two stuck, and they were the two that were supported by wiretaps. There were no wiretaps of Gupta giving information to Rajaratnam; what there were wiretaps of was of Rajaratnam telling lieutenants that he had gotten information from a Goldman [Sachs] board member. It was these hearsay wiretaps that

were admitted into trial, and Gupta was convicted of tipping Rajaratnam on September 23rd 2008, at the peak of the financial crisis, about an investment Warren Buffett had made in Goldman Sachs. The government’s allegation was that Gupta hung up from a Goldman board call and a minute later called Rajaratnam; the two spoke for 30 seconds at most − again, there’s no wiretap of this conversation, but what we do know is that after Gupta hung up the phone, Rajaratnam called in one of his lieutenants


t h i n k i t wa s co m m o n

k n o w l e d g e i n N e w Yo r k that Raj Rajaratnam traded on inside information; he made no secret of it. ” and a second or two later the man walked out onto the trading floor and said, “Buy Goldman Sachs! Buy Goldman Sachs!” Rajaratnam bought a lot of Goldman Sachs stocks four minutes before the market was about to close. The government [also] charged that a month later, on October 23rd, Gupta gave Rajaratnam information about Goldman’s fourth-quarter earnings, telling him that Goldman was actually going to lose money after the market was believing that it was going to make money. QUESTION: Do you believe that Gupta received a fair trial based on normal business standards? RAGHAVAN: I do. I think a lot of South Asians are fixated on the fact that there was

nothing more than circumstantial evidence in this case. But you have to remember that before this case, every insider trading case that the United States brought and won was based on circumstantial evidence. The whole novelty about this case was that there were wiretaps. QUESTION: Gupta is appealing his twoyear sentence. What is the status of that? RAGHAVAN: On May 19th a panel of three U.S. Appeals Court judges on the second circuit heard arguments by Gupta’s newest lawyer. Sitting in the courtroom, there was a lot of hope in the Gupta camp that one of the judges, Appeals Court Judge John Newman, might be a wild card, might be sort of a swing vote. Judging by the questions he asked, though, I’m inclined to think that he will uphold the conviction. QUESTION: As a financial reporter, I’m sure you’ve encountered these fine gentlemen on a regular basis. What has been your experience with them? RAGHAVAN: I think it was common knowledge in New York that Raj Rajaratnam traded on inside information; he made no secret of it. He often even approached journalists to see if they’d engage in the game. A number of people, particularly South Asians, have asked the question, “Do you think Rajat Gupta was railroaded?” I’ve thought a lot about Rajat Gupta, because [although] he was an assimilated Indian − he was much like my parents; he became a U.S. citizen, [but] at the end of the day, assimilated as he was, he didn’t get one thing about America. America is very different from India. The rules are kind of black and white in this country and there’s no immunity from prosecution. QUESTION: Based on his life experience, what do you think pushed [Gupta] to the

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



point where he might have committed the crime he is accused of? RAGHAVAN: In a talk that he gave at Columbia University he said that, when his parents died, had his mother not been a little smarter and put some money away, they would have been literally starving on the streets. Everyone saw the Rajat Gupta that we saw in later years, the one who was managing director, who was finely dressed, who had all the trappings of wealth and power, but what we didn’t see was here was someone who came from a very welleducated family, a very cultured family, but a very poor family. To be poor, and to be poor in India, was a great burden that he never forgot. QUESTION: As it relates to large hedge funds, how common is this [kind of scandal]? RAGHAVAN: In 2008, it was very common. Today in 2013, with Raj Rajaratnam [and many others] behind bars or on trial, it’s probably not so common. I think insider trading is sort of like a weed. You can spray DDT and it will disappear for years, and



then it will spring right back up with the same virulence and vigor as it did before. We had a slew of insider trading cases in the late 1980s and that cleaned up Wall Street for a number of years and you had a return of it at the turn of the millennium. QUESTION: This has been a big blow to

“A t the same time that the Feds were investigating Raj Rajaratnam for insider trading, the Brooklyn U.S. attorney was investigating him for terrorism.” the Indian community. Can you talk a little bit about that impact? And how does the Indian community bounce back from this? RAGHAVAN: After I got to the end of the book, I wanted to come away with some sort of message for what this case meant to the

DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Indian community. As I thought about it I remembered when my parents first came to the United States, and all my Indian friends, their parents seemed to do one of three things; they were either doctors, engineers or college professors. So the hopeful message that I came out with at the end of this story is that today we have a case, The United States of America v. Raj Rajaratnam, which is being prosecuted by an Indian-American U.S. attorney; we have a case that was built by an SEC lawyer who was Indian. Around the same time that the Feds were investigating Raj Rajaratnam for insider trading, the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office was actually investigating him for terrorism, and the FBI agent on that case happened to be Indian, too. So I guess the one important and hopeful message that I think readers will take away from this book is that the Indian community today is much more diverse and vibrant than when my parents came to the United States. The Indian community is far broader and more expansive, and in a way, if anything this case speaks to the strength of the community, not its weakness.

The UC’s new leader lays out her vision for the state’s public higher education system. Excerpt from “Janet Napolitano,” October 30, 2013. JANET NAPOLITANO President, University of California; Former Secretary of Homeland Security


ike so many Californians, I came here from someplace else. Most recently Washington, D.C., but before that Arizona, via New Mexico, via Pittsburgh, via New York City, where I was born. As I noted when I was appointed to serve as the 20th president of the University of California, I’m a nontraditional choice. My background is in law and in public service, not in higher education. With that said, I do not enter this new realm as a total stranger. My father had a Ph.D. in anatomy and was dean of the medical school at the University of New Mexico. One of my finest childhood memories was hunting on the campus grounds for blue tail lizards while Dad was in his lab checking on his experiments. These lizards have detachable tails. He would pay me and my siblings a nickel for every lizard’s tail that we brought. I don’t think he really needed the lizards; he just needed a creative way to distract us, so he could work in peace. My mother’s degree was in zoology, my sister’s degrees are in audiology and my older brother has a Ph.D. at Sandia Lab in Livermore. Put simply, I come from a family of scientists. As governor of Arizona, I kept my focus on education, including funding for all-day kindergarten and a new medical school, and fighting to ensure that our universities, even in tough budgetary times, have the resources they needed to pursue their own vision of excellence. I made clear from the start that my learning curve would be a steep one. I have faced steep learning curves before. I have found that the upward trajectory can be accelerated by taking a couple of steps early on. The first is to dive into the budget. Budgets offer the most

Janet Napolitano The New UC President’s Mission to

Teach & Research D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



Photo by Ed Ritger

direct roadmap to what truly matters to an organization. They show where opportunity for new priorities or fresh initiatives might be lurking in the budgetary weeds. Since arriving in California, my bedtime reading has been book after book of numbers. I’ve also instigated a top-to-bottom efficiency review of the Office of the President. My understanding is that my predecessor did a terrific job of trimming and tightening, but there is always room for improvement. Our obligation as public servants is to stay constantly on the prowl for possible savings. The search for efficiency is the administrative equivalent of painting the Golden Gate Bridge. The work never ends. The other essential immediate step in taking the helm of an institution like the UC system is to listen and to learn. The first thing you need to know is what you don’t know. Then, from that honest platform, you can begin to build your base of institutional knowledge. I have been out and about. Much of my first month as president has been spent visiting the constellation of UC campuses. Of course, the end of this initial journey won’t mean I have learned all there is to learn about UC. That would be both silly and even a dangerous notion. I expect and I hope that I will be learning something new every single day I serve as president. I’ve already learned enough to state, without equivocation, that UC is special. We’re here to teach, to transmit knowledge and to research, to create knowledge. We do it better than anyone else. We teach for California and we research for the world. I’d like to share with you a few highlights encountered on my travels to date and also a few impressions. My very first night on the campus was at UC Merced, and I do mean night. I sat in on a biology class. Merced doesn’t have a lot of classroom space, classes start early, they run late and they run six days a week. This one started at 9:15 p.m. I saw two dozens of students squinting into the microscopes hours after the sun went down. That tells me two things. First, these students are hell-bent on getting their educations. Second, we need to build more classrooms, because when I think about those students, all I hear is Ray Liotta whispering, “If you build it, they will come.” At UC San Diego, I met the scientists answering President Obama’s call to map the



activity of the human brain. They’re creating the technology we need to map the brain down to single cells, within the timescale of a millisecond. They are doing it across academic disciplines from neuroscience to chemistry to nanoscience. They showed me that collaboration is a big part of the spirit of a public research university. I spent one night in a living laboratory at UC Davis. It’s called West Village. It’s the largest planned zero-net-energy community in the country. On the ground floor, they are researching batteries and conservation and water. On the next floor up, faculty, students and staff live and work side by side in structures that make use of the green technologies being explored on the floor below. It’s a mini ecosystem with a lot of solar panels. It’s going to show the world that zero net energy is

“I ’m going to set aside $5 million for this year to support [Dreamers] with resources like trained advisors, student service centers and financial aid. ” practical on a large scale. At UC Santa Cruz, I toured the campus’ marine lab. It’s one of the jewels of the university. I was invited to pet a shark. I just got here from Washington; I’ve had my fill of sharks. So I petted a dolphin instead. The Long Marine Laboratory has become a major hub of marine research worldwide. The professor who runs the lab, Gary Griggs, has taught and researched at Santa Cruz for more than 40 years. One of his students was Kathryn Sullivan, who became an astronaut and was the first woman to walk in space. Professors like Gary don’t just do research. They also teach. He told me and he will tell anyone that there is no toggle switch delineating research from teaching; it’s not an either-or proposition. The blend of teaching and research is its own phenomenon. It’s the magic mix that leads both to creating new knowledge and to educating students, not just instructing them. UCLA let me drop in on a women’s basketball practice. Standing beside me was Rafer

DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist and a UCLA alum. He is one of California’s and the country’s greatest track athletes. Rafer had a story to tell about why he chose to attend UCLA in the 1950s. As you might imagine, he had many options, but he wanted to be a student body president. He made a point of visiting the student resource centers on every campus trying to recruit him. UCLA, he said, was the only one with a photo of an African-American student on the wall. The rest is Bruins history. I think Rafer’s story tells us something about how diversity really works because the history of UC shows how great public research universities can be vehicles for social advancement. Thousands upon thousands of UC alumni were first-generation immigrants and the first in their families to attend college. Today, 45 percent of our freshmen are firstgeneration college students. One out of every three is from historically underrepresented minority groups. More than 40 percent of all UC students are low income. There is a subset here, however, that deserves special mention: the subset of undocumented students. These Dreamers, as they are often called, are students who would have benefited from a federal DREAM Act. They are students who deserve the opportunity to succeed and to thrive at UC. I know this issue very well. I testified in Congress in support of the DREAM Act and in support of comprehensive immigration reform. When the DREAM Act failed to get [approval] in the Senate, I instituted a plan called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or as it’s know by its acronym, DACA. To date, almost 600,000 students nationally have qualified for DACA. Let me be clear. UC welcomes all students who qualify academically, whether they are documented or undocumented. To help meet the special needs of Dreamers, I’d like to make an announcement here with you tonight. I’m going to set aside $5 million right now for this year to support these students with resources like trained advisors, student service centers and financial aid. Consider this a down payment, one more piece of evidence of our commitment to all Californians. UC will continue to be a vehicle for social mobility. We teach for California; we research for the world. Now, I’m often asked why I decided to come to UC at this time. It’s a fair question.

“As California goes, so often goes the world. It was clear to me in Washington. It’s also true that as the University of California goes, so goes California. ” Photo by Ed Ritger

The answer rests in how California across its history has so often managed to lead the world to new ways of thinking, to new ways of conducting itself as a society. As California goes, so often goes the world. This was clear to me in Arizona. It was clear to me in Washington. What I came to realize, however, is that it’s also true that as the University of California goes, so goes California. The two grew up together, forming a symbiotic relationship that literally altered their shared future. Put another way, California would not be the society it is today without the University of California. The opposite is also true. In my view, I had taken on a high-stakes proposition. Not to go all Tom Friedman on you, but the world around us is changing, profoundly and undeniably. Irresistible forces of transformation are converging on many fronts at once. Technical, environmental, economic, political, demographic – you name it. The changes are global in their sweep, but are a real and present fact of everyday life in every locale. That includes, of course, California. We live in a crossroads moment. Where we end up is not predestined. Where we find new ways to work and live together, to build a prosperous, hopeful society that embraces diversity, not runs from it; that harnesses technology for the benefit of all, not just the fortunes of a few. To protect the environment even as our growing population places evergreater pressure on its resources. We can shape the answers to these and other fundamental questions. We can shape the future. Once more, California can show the world the way. The one big reason why it can, I’m here to tell you, is the University of California and its time-tested power to provide a fulcrum on which the state contributes toward a brighter day.

At the state’s first constitutional convention, pioneers brushing dust from the goldfields off their trousers were expressing the hope that they may create a university of their own. In time with help from President Lincoln’s Morrill Land-Grant Act, they built the University of California. They built it to their own specifications, California’s specifications. To quote Daniel Coit Gilman, one of the earliest and most influential UC presidents, “It’s not the University of Berlin nor of New Haven which we are to copy, but it is the University of this state. ... It must be adapted to this people, to their public and private schools, to their peculiar geographical position, to the requirements of their new society.” Amen to all of that. In the early 20th century, it would be UC research that would lead California’s transition from a simple farming practice to the monolith known as modern agriculture. Californians, once confined to growing only what the rains would allow, learned to produce more crops with greater yields than the world had ever seen come out of one place. We are doing it still. As food insecurity looms as perhaps the single most daunting global issue of our time, California’s export, not just of crops but also of science and expertise needed to grow them, will become ever more vital. California won’t deliver for the world without UC. Another example: 60 years ago, as the baby boomers were coming of age, UC President Clark Kerr and Governor Pat Brown led the way to the creation of California’s master plan for higher education. As part of this, the university soon opened three new campuses. It enrolled thousands more Californians of all backgrounds. It laid the groundwork for a well-educated and active citizenry that has benefited the state ever since. It led to a revitalized version of the California dream.

I could go on. The growth of the aerospace industry, the intellectual [foundation] of Silicon Valley – these and many other phenomena can be traced back to particular moments when the university and the state worked together for the benefit of all Californians, ultimately for the benefit of people around the world. Again, UC teaches for California; it researches for the world. The significance of this dynamic equation will only grow. That’s why I came here to serve. My intent is to be the best advocate possible for what this university and this state can achieve together. UC, like California, simply cannot afford to stand still. If you are standing still in California, you are falling behind. This is a dynamic institution in a dynamic state living together in a dynamic time. This means that at UC, excellence in research and education must be more than just maintained. It must be more than a catchy phrase, must be real and it must be accelerated. That’s why in two weeks I’m going to be coming to the UC regents with some big ideas for their consideration. In the meantime, however, I’ve heard enough to know that if we are to remain a premier research university, we must increase our support for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Our postdocs are key researchers in our labs and teachers in our classrooms. Tonight, I’m announcing a $5 million increase in the President’s Fellowship program for postdoctoral fellows, and to help fill the postdoc pipeline, I’m announcing tonight an additional $5 million to recruit the world’s best graduate students to our campuses. Graduate students and postdocs are the essential links between teaching for California and researching for the world. They are our future faculty members. They are our future innovators. They are our future Nobel

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



laureates. They merit our additional support right now. Some of our ideas are larger in their reach. You will hear more about them at the regents meeting in November and in the months after that. Moving the university forward in innovative new ways is critical. Not just because of the technological, environmental and economic forces at play today, it’s also because there is a tremendous demographic shift unfolding around us. In California, there is a new generation knocking at the door. This generation might look and speak a bit differently than the students of Clark Kerr’s time. After all, a majority of California’s K-12 students today hail from diverse, historically underrepresented groups. They still qualified for UC at a ratio far below that of their peers. This must change. This is a moral imperative. The California dream and all of that must not be allowed to die off with the baby boomers. Again, the University of California represents the state’s best shot at making this happen. Make no mistake: These students share the same dreams as those who came before them. This morning, I visited Oakland Technical High School. It’s not far from UC’s Central Office. It’s my new home away from home. I met with students in Oakland Tech’s leadership classes and with students in the school’s African-American Male Initiative program. Then I spoke at a rally for 500 students.

They came from a range of backgrounds with distinct family demographics and distinct interests. When I looked out onto the auditorium, all I could see was one vast sea of hope, yearning, their faces lit up, absolutely lit up by the idea of making their way to the University of California.

“When thinking about academic excellence, the question to ask is: Who benefits? Who benefits? The answer is everyone, everywhere.”

When I say “UC teaches for California,” I’m talking about serving the hope and aspiration that was so palpable in that auditorium. I’m talking about transformation, one student at a time. Let’s be clear. All Californians have a stake in this. Affordability, accessibility, diversity, these give California the citizens and workforce that it needs to be a global leader, always pushing forward and upward. Academic excellence of the university must remain paramount. It is crucial as we teach for California. It’s also crucial as we research for the world. I know the connection between teaching and research and its impact beyond campus borders can

Dominican University President (right) interviews new UC President Janet Napolitano.



DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

sometimes be difficult to grasp. Let me put it this way. When thinking about academic excellence, the question to ask is: Who benefits? Who benefits? The answer is everyone, everywhere. Consider Randy Schekman. He is a UC Berkeley professor just awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine. Randy was educated at UCLA and Stanford – we don’t hold the latter against him. He has taught at Berkeley for more than three decades: freshman seminars, postdocs supervision, you name it. Years ago, he started researching yeast and the transport and secretion of proteins and cells. Like all those engaged in basic research, exactly where the quest would lead could not be known as he set out; potential applications are rarely clearl at the outset. Where it led eventually was to discoveries that have since changed how the world treats Hepatitis B and diabetes and soon perhaps even Alzheimer’s. Teach for California and research for the world. This is the reason UC must thrive as a public enterprise. California and the university that proudly shares its name can show the world to a society that is more prosperous, more enlightened, different in many ways than what was in the past, but not in its essence. A society where hope and opportunity are not just words, they are realities. Yeah, I thought it would be pretty cool to take all this on. Pretty cool indeed. Stay tuned. Thank you. Photo by Ed Ritger

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. D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014





December 02 – January 26

Eight Weeks Calendar Mon


December 02


5:30 p.m. Discussion of the Symposium FM 6:00 p.m. Best Ethical Destinations Awards: Vote with Your Wings FM

6:30 p.m. The Age of Amazon and Twitter 7:00 p.m. Ari Shavit: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel


04 6:00 p.m. Forest Wars 8:00 p.m. The News about the News: A Conversation with Michael Krasny




11:30 a.m. Expert Roundtable: Skeptical About Cell Phones and Health? FM 6:00 p.m. The Democratic Surround and the Forgotten History of Multimedia FM 6:00 p.m. Treating Trauma with Ecstasy? FM

12:00 p.m. Skeptics and Smog 6:00 p.m. Randi Zuckerberg: Untangling Our Wired Lives

5:30 p.m. Carbon Curves and Nicholas Stern: The Stephen Schneider Award 6:00 p.m. Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit




5:30 p.m. Middle East Discussion Group FE 6:30 p.m. Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

6:00 p.m. Club Volunteer Orientation FM

5:15 p.m. Should I Sleep in His Dead Wife’s Bed?




Holiday break Club offices closed



January 01

Club offices closed

Club offices closed

Club offices closed




6:00 p.m. Who Will Own the Future? Privatization and the Threat to the Urban Environment FM

1:45 p.m. Nob Hill Walking Tour 6:30 p.m. New Rules for Getting and Keeping a Job You’ll Love

6:00 p.m. Righteous Heroes of the Holocaust 6:00 p.m. Eric Schlosser and Joseph Cirincione: Reducing the Nuclear Nightmare


Holiday break

Holiday break

Holiday break



6:00 p.m. Fictions that Train Your Brain FM 6:30 p.m. Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

6:30 p.m. LGBT MLF Organizing Meeting FE 6:00 p.m. Dr. Ed Lu: Protecting Earth from Asteroids 7:00 p.m. Origins of Life: A Biologist and Chemist Confer FE




6:00 p.m. The Trip to Echo Spring 6:30 p.m. R&D, Innovation Labs and Channeling Your Inner Startup

7:30 p.m. SV Reads: Books and Technology with Nicholas Carr and Robin Sloan FE



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

San Francisco


Free program for members

East Bay


Free program for everyone

Silicon Valley


Members–only program



S at








1:45 p.m. North Beach Walking Tour 6:30 p.m. Tasting the New California Wine Scene with Jon Bonné

12:00 p.m. A Doctor’s Hopes for Afghanistan FM


13 12:00 p.m. Christians and the Arab Spring FM








Club offices closed

Club offices closed












Holiday break

Holiday break


6:00 p.m. Yosemite Rim Fire FM 6:00 p.m. The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth FM


12:00 p.m. Fluid State: The Future of Water in California FM 12:00 p.m. The Golem and the Jinni FM



11:30 a.m. James Carville and Mary Matalin 12:00 p.m. Achieving Optimal Health While Living on a Toxic Planet

12:00 p.m. LGBT Rights in Israel: 25 Years of Progress and Challenges FM



12:00 p.m. Chronic Resilience: Changing the Way Patients Approach Healing 1:45 p.m. Russian Hill Walking Tour

12:00 p.m. Jose Cuisia, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. FM

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014


December 02 – January 26



December 02 – 03


M O N 02 | San Francisco

M O N 02 | San Francisco

Ten Decades: The California Society of Printmakers Centennial Exhibition 1913 - 2013

A Discussion of The Symposium, a Dialogue of Plato

Best Ethical Destinations Awards: Vote with Your Wings

One prominent modern philosopher has said that all of Western philosophy is but a footnote to Plato. The genius of Plato’s dialogues is how they raise and clarify deep issues in a conversational format which makes them entirely and brilliantly accessible, without specialized concepts or terminology. Human truth is derived from the common human experience. In this dialogue, the search for beauty and wisdom emerges as a kind of love that shares in the power and resourcefulness of the most burning erotic pursuits. Far from a dry and laborious exposition, the characters come alive with humor and drama.

Jeff Greenwald, Executive Director, Ethical Traveler Malia Everette, Founder, Altruvistas

Arranged decade by decade, this retrospective provides a visual journey through the history of printmaking in California since 1913. Historical works from the California Society of Printmakers archives will be featured, focusing on the vision of each decade and its relationship to the visual art trends and concepts of the time period. CSP is the oldest continuously operating association of printmakers in the United States. MLF: ARTS Location: SF Club Office Time: Regular Club business hours Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

MLF: SF BOOK DISCUSSION Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: $5 non-members, MEMBERS FREE Program Organizer: Barbara Massey

One of the best things mindful travelers can do is spend their tourist dollars in countries that uphold core values like human rights, civil society and environmental protection. Every December, Bay Area-based Ethical Traveler lists “The World’s Best Ethical Destinations.” They honor 10 countries – all in the developing world – that are promoting a socially just, sustainable tourism economy. Join the architects of this list, and representatives from the award-winning countries, for a discussion about which countries made the 2014 list and why. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, reception to follow Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)

T U E 03 | San Francisco

T U E 0 3 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

The Age of Amazon and Twitter

Ari Shavit: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Brad Stone, Senior Writer, Bloomberg Businessweek; Author, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon Nick Bilton, Columnist, The New York Times; Author, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal

Stone and Bilton have delved deep to get the inside stories of Amazon and Twitter. Industry leaders today, these two behemoths once faced the common struggles of many startups. Learn from their founders’ stories, and hear how they overcame interpersonal power struggles and engineered new markets to create successful mega companies. Join us as Stone and Bilton share corporate profiles and recount the beginnings, the drama and the glory of Amazon and Twitter. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in and premium reception, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. general reception and book signing Cost: General admission: $25 non-members, $15 members, $7 students (with valid ID); Premium ticket (includes both The Everything Store and Hatching Twitter, reserved seating and premium reception with speakers. Limited to 65 guests): $65 non-members, $50 members.



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Senior Correspondent and Member of the Editorial Board, Haaretz; Author, My Promised Land

Known for challenging the dogmas of both right and left, leading Israeli columnist and writer Shavit joins us for a discussion on the making of modern Israel. Shavit has interviewed Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Aharon Barak, Amos Oz, David Grossman and many other influential figures in Israel. Join Shavit as he discusses why and how Israel came to be, and the current internal and external threats the country faces. Location: Cubberley Community Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd., 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)

WED 04 | North Bay

Forest Wars

The News About the News: A Conversation with Michael Krasny

Mike Korchinsky, Project Developer, REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation); Founder and CEO, Wildlife Works T.J. DiCaprio, Senior Director, Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft Corporation Sissel Waage, Director of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, Business for Social Responsibility

Forests are some of the most important life systems on the planet. They help combat global warming by neutralizing the impacts of pollution worldwide. At a local level, they provide valuable resources to indigenous communities, such as clean water and protection from flood and drought. Yet forests continue to be destroyed for agriculture, urban development and energy production. First World demands for coffee, corn and oil keep the fate of the planet’s forests in constant flux. This past August, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa abandoned a plan to save the Yasuni rainforest, one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. Meanwhile, climate change mitigation strategies like REDD+ are helping to protect millions of forest acres in the Congo, Kenya and Brazil. Though some corporations see forests as places to extract resources, Microsoft and others see conservation as a way to offset pollution. Are trees worth more standing or cut down? Can we protect the forests and still support economic development to lift countries out of poverty? Join us for a conversation about the struggle between dollars and deforestation in the journey to create a more sustainable future.

The Commonwealth Club and the Marin Community Foundation present Marin Conversations, a monthly conversation between Marin personalities and subject matter experts on important social issues. Award-winning KQED “Forum” host Krasny cares deeply about the way media conveys information and news today. Attendees are welcome to dine at Piazza D’Angelo with a 10 percent discount on the evening of the program.

December 04 – 06

W E D 04 | San Francisco

Location: The Outdoor Art Club, 1 West Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley Time: 7 p.m. cash bar and hors d’oeuvres, 8 p.m. program Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members

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

T H U 05 | San Francisco

F R I 06 | San Francisco

Tasting the New California Wine Scene with Jon Bonné

North Beach Walking Tour

A Doctor’s Hopes for Afghanistan

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.

Nafisa Abdullah, M.D., Humanitarian; Educator Ruth Shapiro, Ph.D., Social Entrepreneur in Residence, The Club

Jon Bonné, Wine Editor, SF Chronicle; Author, The New California Wine

The New California Wine is the untold story of the Golden State’s wine industry. James Beard Awardwinning wine editor Bonné introduces us to the innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of winemaking. From their quest to express the uniqueness of California terroir to the battle to move the state away from the overly technocratic, reactionary practices of the past, Bonné takes us to the front lines of the wine revolution. After the program, sip and swill with the best of them at our wine tasting reception. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. wine tasting and book signing Cost: $25 non-members, $15 members Also know: All attendees must be 21 or older.

Location: Meeting at 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. The official address is 666 Filbert, between Columbus and Stockton. Parking lot option: North Beach Garage, 735 Vallejo Street (between Powell and Stockton) Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2-4 p.m. tour Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members Also know: Limited to 20 people. Must preregister. Tours operate rain or shine.

Learn about the prospects for peace in Afghanistan and what’s being done to address that country’s health-care situation from a Kabul-born doctor and humanitarian. Dr. Abdullah earned her medical doctorate in Kabul and was an attending ob-gyn physician at Kaiser West L.A. She has lectured widely on health-care rights and civil rights, particularly of women, children and noncombatants in war-torn countries. MLF: MIDDLE EAST/ASIA PACIFIC AFFAIRS/ BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP 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 Also know: In association with EmergencyUSA

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



T H U 05 | San Francisco

December 09

M O N 09 | San Francisco

M O N 09 | San Francisco

Expert Roundtable: Skeptical About Cell Phones and Health?

The Democratic Surround and the Forgotten History of Multimedia

Maxwell Anderson, Berkeley City Council Member Lisa Bailey, M.D., Breast Surgeon; Former President, American Cancer Society, California Frank Clegg, Former President, Microsoft, Canada; Founder, Canadians for Safe Technology Devra Davis, Ph.D., MPH, Visiting Scholar, Goldman School of Public Policy, Center for Environmental Policy, UC Berkeley; President, Environmental Health Trust Suleyman Kaplan, Ph.D, M.Sc., Chair, Dept. of Embryology, Ondokuz Mayis U., Turkey Dariusz Leszczynski, Ph.D., D.Sc., Research Prof., Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director, Center for Family and Community Health, Public Health UC Berkeley Michael O’Hare, Ph.D., Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley Hugh Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., Chief. Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prof of Medicine, Yale Gunnar Heuser, M.D. Ph.D. Fellow American College of Neurology Representative, San Francisco Department of the Environment

Experts in embryology, epidemiology, neurology, breast cancer, telecommunications and exposure modeling discuss: new research showing animals exposed prenatally to cell phone radiation develop damaged brains and testes and attention deficit disorder; why the FCC is seeking advice on whether to change its 17-year-old approach to cell phones; recent national policies. MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE Location: SF Club Office • Time: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. program • Cost: $32 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $10 students (with valid ID) • Program Organizer: Bill Grant • Also know: In association with Environmental Health Trust; Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, Center for Environmental Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley; Honorary Consulate for Turkey of San Francisco; Ondokuz Mayis University.

Fred Turner, Professor of Communication and Director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society, Stanford; Author, The Democratic Surround

Monday Night Philosophy brings back Professor Turner to lay bare the buried cultural roots of a media revolution. Today we find ourselves surrounded by screens. Little do we know that we are living out the multimedia dreams of Cold War social scientists and propagandists, a handful of Bauhaus artists, and the musician John Cage. Turner tracks those dreams from World War II to the psychedelic ‘60s to today. 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

M O N 09 | San Francisco

Treating Trauma with...Ecstasy?

Richard Rockefeller, M.D., Former Board Member, Rockefeller University; Former Chair, U.S. Advisory Board, Doctors Without Borders In conversation with Larry Brilliant, M.D., MPH, President, Skoll Global Threats Fund; Co-founder, Seva Foundation?

Could ecstasy effectively treat – maybe even cure – post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)? Dr. Rockefeller says yes – or at least a very strong maybe. He says studies involving a small number of people with moderate to severe treatment-resistant PTSD found most subjects were improved after three treatments with medical-quality ecstasy. He’s cautiously optimistic about the prospect of psychedelic medicine, which he believes could heal the trauma in millions from Darfur to the former Yugoslavia. FDA-approved trials of therapy with ecstasy began in 2004, and Dr. Rockefeller believes the U.S. government will eventually approve using the drug for serious medical treatment if research on larger numbers bears out these early findings. What are the possible downsides to this research and what safeguards should be in place to govern it? Is this too good to be true? Join a conversation about the frontiers of brain science and potential for soothing the human condition. 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)



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Podcasting Subscribe to our podcasts! Receive a new program recording each week. It’s free! For more information, visit

Skeptics and Smog Bud Ward, Editor, Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media John Cook, Founder, Skeptical Science; Co-author, Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand Jim Hoggan, Co-founder, DeSmog Blog; Chair, The David Suzuki Foundation

The basic principles of human-caused climate change have been known for more than a century and are based on physics 101, chemistry 101 and economics 101. Yet the balance bias has skewed mainstream media coverage of the scientific underpinnings of climate disruption. It is no wonder average citizens have difficulty seeing through the smoke of industry obfuscation and some environmentalists’ hyperbolic claims. Public opinion tends to fluctuate in part due to media coverage and extreme weather events. Have some reporters crossed the line from journalism into advocacy? Join a conversation with three communicators deeply involved in the public debate about carbon pollution. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. networking reception Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

December 10 – 11

T U E 10 | San Francisco

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,

W E D 11 | San Francisco

Randi Zuckerberg: Untangling Our Wired Lives

Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit

Randi Zuckerberg, Former Marketing Director, Facebook; Editor-in-Chief, Dot Complicated; CEO & Founder, Zuckerberg Media; Author, dot Complicated – Untangling Our Wired Lives In conversation with Kara Swisher, Co-executive Editor, AllThingsD

Technology and social media have changed, enhanced, and complicated every facet of our lives, from how we interact with our friends to how we elect presidents. How we manage our careers to how we support important causes. How we find love to how we raise our children. The technology revolution is here to stay. We can’t hide from it or pretend that it’s not changing our lives in a thousand different ways. In Dot Complicated, Randi Zuckerberg explains how to navigate the social challenges created by technology and details practical solutions for maintaining balance in an interconnected world. Through first-hand accounts and stories from her time at Facebook and beyond, she explores the obstacles and opportunities presented by this new online reality. In the process, she establishes practical rules to bring some muchneeded order and clarity to our connected, complicated, and constantly changing lives. 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); Premium $45 non-members, $45 members (includes book and priority seating) Note: Part of the Good Lit series, underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

Alison Wright, Visual Anthropologist Documentary Photographer; Author, Face to Face

Journey around the world with Wright as she captures the universal human connection through her photographs. She celebrates the tapestry of humanity in all its diversity and splendor. 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

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



T U E 10 | San Francisco

December 11 – 16

W E D 11 | San Francisco

F R I 13 | San Francisco

Carbon Curves

Christians and the Arab Spring

Jane Lubchenco, Former Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The droughts and superstorms of 2012 were followed in 2013 by ravenous fires and heat waves. Do those extreme weather events have human fingerprints? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has forwarded further scientific evidence of human-caused climate disruption. This discussion will focus on where the science is firm (precipitation events, surface temperature, sea level) and where it is less clear (hurricanes).

Nicholas Stern: The Stephen Schneider Award Former World Bank Chief Economist; Professor of Economics, London School of Economics

Few people have impacted the discussion of economics of carbon pollution more than English economist Stern. He authored the 2006 “Stern Review,” which concluded that the problem was one of risk management on an immense and unprecedented scale. The costs of inaction were far greater than the costs of action. He has more recently emphasized the great opportunities in the transition to the low-carbon economy. Stern will receive the $10,000 Stephen Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication, awarded each year in memory of the late Stanford scientist Stephen H. Schneider. Dr. Schneider was a founding father of modern climate science and the first member of the Climate One Advisory Council. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5 p.m. check-in, 5:30 p.m. 1st program, 6:30 p.m. appetizers/networking, 7:15 p.m. 2nd program Cost: $40 non-members, $25 members, $15 students (all sessions and appetizers). Premium (priority seating): $60 non-members, $40 members Also know: In association with the Club’s Science & Technology MLF.

Marianne Ibrahim, Coptic Christian; Egyptian Activist Dina Ibrahim, Ph.D., Media Analyst; Educator Father Ninos Oshaana, Orthodox Christian Priest

Ibrahim has worked tirelessly as an organizer, activist and journalist. She will discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East and her work with human rights, social peace and interfaith dialogue organizations with Dr. Ibrahim, media analyst and educator. Both were in Egypt for the Arab Spring upheavals. Father Oshaana brings the valuable perspective of an Eastern Orthodox Christian priest with an Assyrian background. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M O N 16 | San Francisco

M O N 16 | San Francisco

Middle East Discussion Group

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

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.

Tammy Frisby, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Stanford University Melissa Griffin, Contributor, KPIX-TV and San Francisco Magazine; Attorney Robin Wilkey, Editor, Huffington Post San Francisco John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, Commonwealth Club - Host

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



It’s our last Week to Week political roundtable program of 2013, so join us for the latest on the past week and the past year. Week to Week has become a must-attend social and political gathering. 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! And come 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: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. social hour with wine and snacks, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $15 non-members, $5 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Exploring Tunisia Ancient Sites, Rich History & a Modern Democracy Movement April 24–May 4, 2014

Join Tunisian author, journalist and cultural historian Hatem Bourial on a unique tour of the country’s vast historical sites and Mediterranean culture, with a particular focus on what has transpired since the country’s revolution in January 2011. Come see why many political experts believe that Tunisia will serve as a model for democracy movements in the region.

• Meet political activists, media, students and leaders of Tunisia’s vibrant civil society.

• Visit Tunis, the capital city, with its elaborate medina and ville nouvelle and discover the picturesque Andalusian town of Sidi Bou Said.

• Experience ancient Carthage (including the tophets, the port, Antonine’s baths and Byrsa Hill) and the Bardo Museum’s world-class collection of mosaics.

• Tour Dougga, known as the city of temples and dating back to the 4th century B.C.

• Explore El Jem, with its amphitheater similar to Rome’s coliseum. • See Kairouan’s Great Mosque, dating from the 7th century and reputed to be the oldest mosque in Africa.

• Experience the Matmata region, where crater-like topography is dotted with troglodyte dwellings.

• Relax in the seaside resort of Jerba and learn about an ancient Jewish community.

• Throughout, stay in charming accommodations and enjoy meals in private homes and top restaurants.

Cost: $4,195 per person, double occupancy; $650 single room supplement

Trip Details



Thursday, April 24 U.S./Tunis Depart the U.S. for independent flights to Tunis, Tunisia.

April 24–May 4, 2014 (11 days)

Group Size:

Minimum 8, Maximum 25


$4,195 per person, double occupancy; $650 single room supplement


Tour leader, local guides and all guest speakers; activities as specified in the itinerary; transportation throughout; airport transfers on designated group dates and times; accommodations as specified (or similar); meals (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner); wine and beer with welcome and farewell events; bottled water on all coach vehicles; Commonwealth Club rep with 8 or more participants; all gratuities to local guides, driver, and for all included group activities; pre-departure materials.

Not included:

International air to Tunisia; visa and passport fees; meals not specified as included; optional outings and gratuities for those outings; alcoholic beverages beyond welcome and farewell events; travel insurance (recommended, information will be sent upon registration); items of a purely personal nature.

Friday, April 25 Tunis Transfer to our hotel in the Gammarth area of Tunis, a wonderful setting less than ten minutes from Carthage and the picturesque Andalusian village of Sidi Bou Said. Enjoy a traditional Tunisian meal at our welcome dinner. Golden Tulip (D) Saturday, April 26 Tunis After a morning orientation and lecture about Tunisia’s revolution, we visit Carthage. Founded around 800 B.C. by the Phoenicians, and a flourishing city for centuries, our visit includes the tophets, Punic ports, Antonine Baths, Byrsa Hill, cisterns, and the Carthage museum, which houses an unparalleled collection of Punic artifacts. Take an early evening walk in Sidi Bou Said, enjoying the winding alleyways and ocean views, before our dinner with local Tunisians. Golden Tulip (B, L, D) Sunday, April 27 Tunis/Dougga Explore the Bardo Museum’s world-class collection of Roman and Byzantine mosaics. En route to Dougga, we stop for lunch in the Medjez river valley. Dougga was known as the city of temples and its existence is thought to date back to the 4th century B.C. Visit several sites including the Capitol, and the theater, which today is used for the Dougga Drama festival and accommodates almost 3,500 people. Return in the early evening to Tunis for dinner and overnight. Golden Tulip (B, L, D)


Phone: 415.597.6720

Monday, April 28 Tunis Environs Morning lecture about “Women and Islam in Tunisia” followed by a late morning visit to Borj Loisir, an economically challenged section of Tunis, where we meet with the female founder of an NGO focused on empowering women and helping to spawn entrepreneurs in the region. Later in the day, meet with U.S. Embassy staff for a briefing. Golden Tulip (B, L) Tuesday, April 29 Sousse/ Kairouan Depart Tunis and discover the rich farming regions of central Tunisia, as we enter the Sahel. Arrive in Sousse (Tunisia’s third largest city) and meet with students and faculty at the University of Sousse to hear their perspectives on the revolution. Another hour drive brings us to Kairouan where we meet some of the locals in this traditional and small historic town. La Kasbah (B, L, D) Wednesday, April 30 Kairouan/El Jem/Sfax Kairouan’s location along the old caravan routes provided a base for a flourishing crafts industry, which lives on today in its rugs and textiles. Discover the medina, and wander past sellers of carpets, leather goods, brass works, and spices, on our way to Kairouan’s Great Mosque. Dating from the 7th century, it is reputed to be the oldest mosque in Africa and able to accommodate 200,000 people. Continue to El Jem, noted for its amphitheater, similar to the coliseum of Rome. Explore the amphitheater and the impressive mosaic collection at the museum. We depart for Sfax, the country’s second largest city and the only remaining fully walled city in Tunisia. Les Oliviers Palace (B, L, D)


Thursday, May 1 Matmata/Jerba This morning, drive south towards the ksour region and a visit to the area of Matmata. With its crater-like topography dotted with troglodyte dwellings, it provided one of the film locations for the movie, Star Wars. Explore some of these dwellings and have a lunch in a troglodyte home. Continue to the coast and take a ferry to the island of Jerba, were we enjoy our seaside resort. Radisson Blu (B, L, D)

Malta Post-Trip Extension May 4–7 Explore Malta on this 3-night/4-day extension staying at the boutique Victoria Hotel in Sliema, a town with a wonderful Mediterranean atmosphere. Visit prehistoric M’dina, including the Roman Villa and St. Paul’s Catacombs; see the Hypogeum of Paola and the PreMegalithic Temples of Malta; experience Valetta, Malta’s capital and home to the Barraca Gardens, St. John´s Cathedral and the Grand Master´s Palace; and visit the island of Gozo including the temples of Ggantija. Complete details available on request, and provided with trip confirmation. Cost: $1,875 per person, double occupancy; $200 single supplement (one-way air from Tunis to Malta included)

Friday, May 2 Jerba

Visit El Ghriba synagogue, located amidst one of the island’s two historically Jewish communities, and continues to live in harmony with the island’s larger Arab-Muslim community. Afternoon at leisure to explore Houmt Souk, Jerba’s main market town, where the Mediterranean atmosphere of cafes, restaurants and shopping underscore the island’s serenity.

Radisson Blu (B, D)

Saturday, May 3 Tunis Fly back to Tunis and transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city. Take a walking tour of the medina, as well as the nearby streets of “ville nouvelle”, the adjacent quarters of Tunis that were developed during the French period. See the Zitouna Mosque, dating from the 7th century. Our farewell dinner tonight is in the kasbah. The Palace Golden Yasmin (B, D) Sunday, May 4 Tunis/U.S. Transfer to the Tunis airport for flights home, or continue to Malta. (B)

Trip Leader, Journalist Hatem Bourial

The author of nine books, a weekly column for Tunis-Hebdo (a Tunisia-French weekly) and editor of many independent news magazines, Hatem Bourial is a frequent commentator on Tunisia’s radio and television. A well-known figure in Tunisia’s world of culture and the press, he will provide insightful analysis of Tunisia’s culture, history, politics and literature.

Tour Host, Jerry Sorkin

Hosting portions of this tour is Jerry Sorkin, a Middle East/North African specialist who resides much of the year in Tunisia and has been awarded Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s “Top Travel Specialist” five years in a row for his work in Tunisia. He is also currently the Director of George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies for Tunisia.


Phone: 415.597.6720



Ancient Sites, Rich History & a Modern Democracy Movement

Commonwealth Club Travel

Phone: 415.597.6720 Fax: 415.597.6729






SINGLE TRAVELERS ONLY: If this is a reservation for one person, please indicate: ___ I plan to share accommodations with __________________________ OR ___ I wish to have single accommodations. OR ___ I’d like to know about possible roommates. I am a smoker / nonsmoker. (circle one) PAYMENT: Here is my deposit of $______ ($500 per person) for ___ place(s). ___ I/we would like the Malta post-trip extension. ___ Enclosed is my check (make payable to Commonwealth Club). OR ___ Charge my deposit to my ___ Visa ___ MasterCard ___ AMEX CARD#





Please note that final payment must be made by check. ___ I/We have read the Terms and Conditions for this program and agree to them. SIGNATURE

PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM ALONG WITH YOUR DEPOSIT TO: Commonwealth Club Travel 595 Market St., 2nd floor San Francisco, CA 94105 You may also fax the form to 415.597.6729

Terms and Conditions:

The Commonwealth Club (CWC) has contracted TunisUSA to organize this tour. Reservations: A $500 per person deposit, along with a completed and signed Reservation Form, will reserve a place for participants on this program. The balance of the trip is due 90 days prior to departure and must be paid by check. Cancellation and Refund Policy: Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply: • 91 days or more prior to departure: $350 per person • 90-60 days to departure: 50% fare • 59-1 days prior to departure: 100% fare Tour can also be cancelled due to low enrollment. Neither CWC nor TunisUSA accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased in conjunction with the tour. Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance as coverage against a covered unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave trip while it is in progress. A brochure describing coverage

will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation. Medical Information: Participation in this program requires that you be in good health. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure. Itinerary Changes & Trip Delay: We reserve the right to change a program’s dates, staff, itineraries, or accommodations as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed, or the itinerary changed, due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, airline schedules, government intervention, sickness or other contingency for which CWC or TunisUSA or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays or changes is not included. Limitations of Liability: CWC and TunisUSA its Owners, Agents, and Employees act only as the agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with this program (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. CWC and TunisUSA shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by

an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CWC/ TunisUSA for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. By registering for the trip, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CWC/ TunisUSA shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the traveler. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers.

CST: 2096889-40 Photos: (cover) isawnyu/flickr; Jerry Sorkin; Alex Cardeno; Cezary p/wikicommons; (inside) Naf/flickr; David Bjorgen/wikicommons; Mónica Gomes/fotopedia; Ghiyaal/wikicommons ; Jerry Sorkin

W E D 18 | San Francisco

M O N 06 | San Francisco

Club Volunteer Orientation

Should I Sleep in His Dead Wife’s Bed?

My Father’s Ghost Climbing in the Rain

Barbara Rose Brooker, Author

Patricio Pron, one of Granta’s Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists, gives us his American debut: a daring, deeply affecting novel about the secrets buried in the past of an Argentine family. A young writer, living abroad, makes the journey home to say goodbye to his dying father. In his parents’ house, he finds a cache of documents and unwittingly begins to unearth his father’s obsession with the disappearance of a local man. Suddenly he comes face to face with the ghosts of Argentina’s dark political past and with the long-hidden memories of his family’s underground resistance against an oppressive military regime. As a reminder, this is a book discussion group; the author will not be present.

The Club can’t function without the dedication of its volunteers. Help us keep public discussion alive. Event volunteers assist with greeting, ticketing, receptions, ushering, question cards and timing programs for radio broadcast. To reserve a space at the next volunteer orientation, please email volunteers@ The privilege of volunteering is reserved for Club members. Please include your name, phone number and membership ID number in the email. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. orientation Cost: FREE (must be a member) Program Organizer: Ellie Levine

There is much to be said about oftenoverlooked dating and romantic love after 60, according to Barbara Rose Brooker, the original “boomer hottie.” She will share excerpts from her latest novel, Should I Sleep in His Dead Wife’s Bed? Brooker is also the author of a weekly column for The Huffington Post, which details her romantic exploits in the Bay Area. MLF: GROWNUPS Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. check-in, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: John Milford

MLF: SAN FRANCISCO BOOK DISCUSSION Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: $5 non-members, MEMBERS FREE Program Organizer: Barbara Massey

T U E 07 | San Francisco

Who Will Own the Future?

Nob Hill Walking Tour

What will the future look like if the extremely wealthy take over our schools, parks, woods, recreation areas and safety and maintenance services? Share your views with well-known civic activists as they explore what happens when for-profit groups privatize the government. MLF: ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES/BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Ann Clark

Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills.” Nob Hill became an exclusive enclave of the rich and famous, who built large mansions in the neighborhood. This included prominent tycoons such as Leland Stanford, and other members of the Big Four. Highlights include the history of four landmark hotels: The Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court, and Huntington Hotel. Visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral, and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. Location: Meet 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 pre-register. Tour operates rain or shine.

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



M O N 06 | San Francisco

George Wooding, Former President, West of Twin Peaks Central Council; First Vice President, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods; Columnist, Westside Observer Aaron Peskin, Executive Director, Great Basin Land & Water; Former President, San Francisco Board of Supervisors; Former Chair, San Francisco Democratic Party Tim Redmond, Reporter; Manager, San Francisco Progressive Media Center; Former Editor, San Francisco Bay Guardian Dennis Antenore, Retired Attorney; Former Planning Commissioner and President, Friends of San Francisco City Planning

December 17 – January 07

T U E 17 | San Francisco

January 07 – 08

T U E 07 | San Francisco

W E D 08 | San Francisco

New Rules for Getting and Keeping a Job You’ll Love

Righteous Heroes of the Holocaust

Speakers TBA

Today’s job market is anything but traditional. Job seekers have to go beyond the paper resume, leveraging social media tools and maintaining an online persona that highlights not only IQ but also EQ (emotional intelligence). How can you as an applicant use these new indicators of talent to better showcase your skills and convey competency, let alone find a job that you’ll love? Some say that cultural fit can be as important as title and salary, so how do you persuade an employer that you can not only do the job, but that you’re one of the team? Our panel of career coaches and modern job experts will help you craft your most-hirable self and conquer the evolving job market. Not Your Usual Career Fair

After the panel network at our reception to connect with career coaches, find a mentor, get a resume mini makeover, and learn the skills to reimagine your career. Stay tuned for details. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. not your usual career fair Cost: $25 non-members, $15 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Marty Brounstein, Author, Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust

Nestled in the hills of the western side of Jerusalem is a museum, Yad Vashem, dedicated to learning from the Holocaust. A special section of the museum is dedicated to those non-Jewish heroes, known as The Righteous Among the Nations, who acted courageously, risking their own lives to help save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. Brounstein explores the common qualities of those courageous few and how we can apply the lessons we can learn from them both at work and at home. MLF: HUMANITIES 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: George Hammond

W E D 08 | San Francisco

Eric Schlosser and Joseph Cirincione: Reducing the Nuclear Nightmare Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund; Author, Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It’s too Late Eric Schlosser, Journalist; Author, Fast Food Nation and Command and Control

Hear startling new information about the dangers surrounding the storage of nuclear weapons in the United States and the proliferation of these weapons in such places as Iran, North Korea and Pakistan as well as possible steps to reduce these threats. Cirincione is a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s International Security Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations. Famed investigative journalist Schlosser has recently uncovered secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. He will discuss accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs. Both will address how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. 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)



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Members-Only Events …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.

T H U 09 | San Francisco

Explore the World from the Commonwealth Club Planning Meeting

Yosemite Rim Fire: Spring 2014 Forecast

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 2014. MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. planning meeting Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Norma Walden

Michael Carlin, Deputy General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Larry Cope, Director of Economic Development, Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority Joe Litehiser, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Bechtel Corp.; President, Friends of Camp Mather Eric Wesselman, Executive Director, Tuolumne River Trust

January 09 – 10

T H U 09 | San Francisco

The Yosemite Rim Fire of 2013 was the largest fire in Yosemite’s history. The fire impacted communities, homes, water resources and other public and private lands and properties. Compounding the fire damage, the winter rains and snow create more erosion and more damage to the already scorched earth, forest, meadows, river systems, watersheds, local economies and businesses. Four experienced experts will discuss what happens next. They will address the difficulties, major concerns and the path forward to recovery and restoration – a pathway for renewal for all of us who cherish this wondrous and treasured environment. MLF: ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES/BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP 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: Ann Clark

F R I 10 | San Francisco

The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

Fluid State: The Future of Water in California

Steve Fainaru, Senior Writer, ESPN Investigative Unit; Co-producer, PBS “Frontline” Documentary League of Denial; Co-author, League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth Mark Fainaru-Wada, ESPN Investigative Reporter; Co-producer, PBS “Frontline” Documentary League of Denial; Co-author, League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth

The recent PBS “Frontline” documentary and accompanying book League of Denial raised eyebrows in addressing the severity and prevalence of concussions among NFL players and how the league has addressed those issues. League of Denial posits that the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. Here’s your chance to hear and ask questions of the two journalists who broke the story … and to assess how dangerous the sport of football, at all levels, really is. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students; Premium (seating in first rows and a copy of the book): $45 non-members, $35 members

Lois Wolk, Member, CA State Senate Additional speakers TBA

Consumers and businesses can expect to pay more for their water in the future as the realities of climate disruption and severe weather sink into California’s parched soil and politics. Though many agree the state’s water system needs an overhaul, there is fierce debate about how to fix it and who should pay. How will stress on the Sierra snowpack and Colorado River water supply hit California? What water choices will voters face on the 2014 state ballot? Join a conversation about the future of water in the era of climate constraints. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. networking reception Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



T H U 09 | San Francisco

M O N 13 | San Francisco

The Golem and the Jinni

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

Helene Wecker, Author; M.F.A. in Fiction, Columbia University Raeshma Razvi, Director, Art and Cultural Programs at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California – Moderator

Melissa Griffin, Contributor, KPIX-TV and San Francisco Magazine; Attorney John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club – Host Additional panelists TBA

Wecker will discuss her novel, The Golem and the Jinni, which blends Jewish and Arabic mythologies and takes readers from Northern Europe and the Syrian desert to turn-of-the-century New York. Wecker combines mystical tales from her Jewish background and those of her Arab-American husband’s heritage to create a fascinating story that crosses cultural borders.

Join us for a new year of the Bay Area’s premier political roundtable! Week to Week has become a must-attend socializing and political gathering. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news and audience discussion of the week’s events. And come 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). Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. wine-and-snacks social, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $15 non-members, $5 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, students free (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

M O N 13 | San Francisco

T U E 14 | San Francisco

T U E 14 | San Francisco

Fictions that Train Your Brain

LGBT MLF Organizing Meeting

Joshua Landy, Professor of French, Stanford University; Director, Structured Liberal Education and Co-director, Philosophy and Literature, Stanford; Author, How to Do Things with Fictions

In recent months the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California and declared DOMA unconstitutional. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex marriage. Even President George H.W. Bush attended a lesbian wedding in Maine. The sea-change in public opinion toward LGBT people and issues has been astonishing. Club members want to be in the know about these developments, and we need your help to produce LGBT-related programming. Please join our organizing meeting to help us with this important endeavor.

Dr. Ed Lu: Protecting Earth from Asteroids – Why We Might Not See Them Coming

Monday Night Philosophy asks Joshua Landy to answer: Why does Plato’s Socrates make bad arguments? Why does Mark’s Jesus speak in parables? Why are Beckett’s novels so inscrutable? And why don’t stage magicians even pretend to summon spirits anymore? Professor Landy will also explain why such questions are worth asking in the first place. MLF: HUMANITIES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 standard, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: George Hammond



MLF: LGBT Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Stephen Seewer

D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Former NASA Astronaut; CEO and Cofounder, B612 Foundation

Lu has pointed out that more than a million “near-Earth asteroids” are larger than the one that struck Tunguska in 1908 – and about 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. Can anything be done to combat threats? Dr. Lu flew three space missions. He will discuss his mission to detect and track the million asteroids with the potential to destroy any major city on Earth and how his foundation plans to build, launch and operate a deep space telescope with an infrared lens – the first private-sector deep space mission in history. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-member, $12 member, $7 student Also know: In assn. with Science & Technology MLF

June 21 –27

January 10 – 14

F R I 10 | San Francisco

T H U 1 6 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Origins of Life: A Biologist and Chemist Confer

James Carville and Mary Matalin

Lynn Rothschild, Ph.D., Astrobiologist, NASA Ames Research Center Richard Zare, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University

Earth was once a molten ball, totally uninhabitable. In a geological instant, it was filled with life. What do we know about this transformation? And could there be more than one recipe for the transition from life to non-life? Join Rothschild and Zare as they ponder these questions and more about the origins of life.

James Carville, Co-author, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home Mary Matalin, Co-author, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home

Carville and Matalin are one of the country’s most intriguing, intense and ideologically mismatched political couples. Carville, a Democrat, has worked for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Matalin, a Republican, has worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. After 20 years together, Carville and Matalin offer a candid look into the heart of Washington politics. They also share why they decided to relocate their family to New Orleans and their continued efforts to rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina.

January 14 – 21

June 27 – July 17

T U E 1 4 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Location: Schultz Cultural Hall, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto Time: 11 a.m. check-in, 11:30 a.m. program Cost: General admission: $25 non-members, $15 members, $8 students (with valid ID); Premium (priority seating & copy of book): $55 non-members, $45 members. Also know: Part of the Good Lit series. Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

Location: NASA Ames Conference CenterNACC, Building 152, Room 17, 200 Dailey Road, Mountain View Time: 7 p.m. program Cost: FREE Also know: In association with Wonderfest

F R I 17 | San Francisco

T U E 21 | San Francisco

Achieving Optimal Health While Living on a Toxic Planet

LGBT Rights in Israel: 25 Years of Progress and Challenges

The Trip to Echo Spring

Garry F. Gordon, MD, DO, MD(H); Coauthor, Detox with Oral Chelation and The Omega 3 Miracle

Arthur Slepian, Executive Director, A Wider Bridge Rabbi Aderet Drucker, Congregation B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek

Some fear that our bodies are burdened with alarming levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and fluoride, organic pollutants like BPA, PBDE’s, Teflon and dioxins and pesticides. Some experts contend that planetary changes and the decline of our protective electromagnetic field has further weakened cellular metabolic functions of energy production, nutrient assimilation and cell recycling and detoxification. Dr. Gordon explains how to improve your health with nutritional support, chelation and detoxification protocols.

Having enacted LGBT anti-discrimination protections in 1992 and home to an open LGBT-rights movement, Israel’s stance on equality is radically different from many of its neighbors. But why? Slepian, the founder of A Wider Bridge, which helps the LGBT community and allies build deeper connections with Israel, serves on the board of the Jewish Community Federation (S.F. Bay Area) and on the SF Jewish Community Relations Council.

MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE 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: Adrea Brier

MLF: MIDDLE EAST/LGBT 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

Olivia Laing, Author, The Trip to Echo Spring

In her stunning work of unconventional biography, Laing delves deep into the lives of revered yet troubled writers: John Cheever, Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and poet John Berryman. She travels by train, plane and automobile from Key West to New Orleans, and from New York City to Washington state, seeing for herself the places that inspired their most famous works. Laing also penetrates the fascinatingly turbulent life of each author, revealing stunning truths about each one. 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, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: George Hammond

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



T H U 16 | San Francisco

R&D, Innovation Labs and Channeling Your Inner Startup

Write Us

Will Young, Director, Zappos Labs Additional speakers TBA

With constantly evolving technology and the challenge to think outside the box, the trend of separate innovation “labs” has spread among big name businesses. Companies that have shed their “startup” classification are keeping their crews nimble by designating teams to experiment – try and fail and try, try again – in an effort to go toe-to-toe with each new startup. You wouldn’t immediately connect nimble, tech-savvy creators with big standalone brands; yet these companies are able to give creative minds what they need most – the opportunity to fail without longterm damage. So how do these teams fit within the larger corporate structure? What’s the difference between an R&D team and an innovations lab? How do these teams keep a startup mentality working for established brands and products? And how do they use technology and new ideas to reach the perfect consumer for their brand? Our panelists will discuss the importance of innovation within large companies and how corporate teams are thinking like startups and projects that have both succeeded and failed in the labs.

Pleased at what you see in these pages? Outraged? Send a letter to the editor! We welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Letters The Commonwealth Club 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105

Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $25 non-members, $15 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

W E D 2 2 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

T H U 23 | San Francisco

SV Reads 2014: Books and Technology with Nicholas Carr and Robin Sloan

Chronic Resilience: Changing the Way Patients Approach Healing

Nicholas Carr, Author, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains Robin Sloan, Author, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel In conversation with Mike Cassidy, Columnist, San Jose Mercury News

Are books being redefined by innovation? This year’s SV Reads selections include two books focusing on the intersection of traditional books and technology. Carr, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, examines the intellectual and cultural consequences of computers and the Internet. Bay Area author Sloan discusses the inspiration behind his quirky novel and explores new ideas for books and readers in the digital age. Location: Campbell Heritage Theatre, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell Time: 7 p.m. doors open, 7:30 p.m. program, 8:30 p.m. book signing Cost: FREE Also know: In association with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Library District, and San Jose Public Library Foundation

Danea Horn, Author, Chronic Resilience; Ambassador, Donate Life; Founder, Creative Affirmations

Can the mind heal the body? This was the question Horn asked herself when she learned that she would need a kidney transplant. After trying numerous self-help therapies, Danea concluded that the blame and guilt inherent in the search for healing are counterproductive. Horn presents an intimate exploration into the psyche of a patient and an inspirational guide for coping with life’s unmet expectations. MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Bill Grant



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

June 27 – July 17

January 21 – 23

T U E 21 | San Francisco

F R I 24 | San Francisco

M O N 27 | San Francisco

Russian Hill Walking Tour

The Resurgent Philippine Economy: Can It Be Sustained?

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social

Join a more active Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure! Russian Hill is a magical area with secret gardens and amazing views. Join Rick Evans for a two-hour hike up hills and staircases and learn about the history of this neighborhood. See where great artists and architects lived and worked, and walk down residential streets where some of the most historically significant houses in the Bay Area are located. Location: Meet in front of Swensen’s Ice Cream Store located at 1999 Hyde Street at Union. Your best option is to take bus transportation. No parking lots or street parking. The tour ends about six blocks from the Swensen’s Ice Cream Shop, at the corner of Vallejo and Jones. Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–4 p.m. tour Cost: $45 non-members, $35 members Also know: Steep hills and staircases, recommended for good walkers. Parking difficult. Limited to 20. Must pre-register. Tour operates rain or shine.

Jose Cuisia, Jr., Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States

Ambassador Cuisia will discuss the growth of the Philippine economy as well as his country’s crucial relationship with the United States. Cuisia was nominated by President Benigno S. Aquino III to the position of ambassador on November 30, 2010. Previously he served as central bank governor and chairman of the Monetary Board and chairman of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation Board. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)

Larry Gerston, Professor, SJSU; Political Analyst, NBC 11; Author, Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California Carla Marinucci, Senior Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle Additional panelist TBA

Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, as well as audience Q&A, and come 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). Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. wine-and-snacks social, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $15 non-members, $5 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

M O N 27 | San Francisco

M O N 27 | San Francisco

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Educational Opportunity

Middle East Discussion Group

Richard Powers

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.

Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Author, The Echo Maker and Orfeo

For students from low-income families or whose parents never went to college, finding the resources to pay for higher education is a challenge. Martin examines the social importance of helping disadvantaged kids finance a college degree without taking on burdensome debt that would only postpone prosperity for themselves and their communities. She will also discuss the growing racial divide between students attending elite private schools and those going to public universities due to a lack of financial support. MLF: HUMANITIES/BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: George Hammond

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

The National Book Awardwinning author of The Echo Maker delivers his most emotionally charged novel to date, inspired by the myth of Orpheus. In Orfeo, composer Peter Els finds the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab, the latest step in the lifelong journey to find music in natural patterns, has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. As an Internetfueled hysteria erupts, the now fugitive Els pays a final visit to the people he loves. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Part of the Good Lit series, Underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



M O N 27 | San Francisco

Lynne Martin, Executive Director, Students Rising Above in San Francisco

January 23 – 27

July 18 – 29

T H U 23 | San Francisco

T U E 28 | San Francisco

Science & Technology Planning Meeting

The High (?) Road to a True Smart Grid

Join fellow Club members with similar interests and brainstorm upcoming Science & Technology programs. All Commonwealth Club members are welcome. We explore visions for the future through science and technology. Discuss current issues and share your insights with fellow Club members to shape and plan programs for the months ahead. MLF: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Location: SF Club Office Time: 6:15 p.m. meeting Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Chisako Ress

Timothy Schoechle, Ph.D., Author, “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid,” published by the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy, Washington, D.C. James S. Turner, Esq., Principal, Swankin & Turner; Board Chair, Citizens for Health; Co-founder, Voice for H.O.P.E., Healers of Planet Earth; Chairman, National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy Karl Maret, M.D., M.Eng. President, Dove Health Alliance Duncan A. Campbell, Esq., Colorado Radio Host Camilla Rees, MBA, Founder, Electromagnetic and Campaign for Radiation Free Schools – Moderator

Billions of dollars of smart utility meters are being installed that are unable to integrate with, or enable, the smart grid of the future on which U.S. energy sustainability depends, according to the landmark report “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid.” The meter network has been called a colossal waste of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars by critics, who argue that the new meters and networks do not improve energy efficiency, enhance energy management, help balance supply and demand, or facilitate the integration of renewable sources. The panel will clarify technical misunderstandings about smart meters, the entrenched economic models preventing utilities from fully embracing renewable energy, and how the growing smart meter rebellion may herald a transformation in the political economy of energy. MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE/ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. lunch, 12-3 p.m. program Cost: $32 non-members, $20 members, $10 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Bill Grant

T U E 28 | San Francisco

T U E 28 | San Francisco

Healing the Body by Healing the Mind

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee: The Second Machine Age

Michael F. Cantwell, M.D., MPH; Author, Map of the Spirit

Map of the Spirit presents a radically new, universal framework of human spiritual development. Cantwell says that all of us, regardless of our particular spiritual beliefs, pass through the same four stages of spiritual development; “blockages” in this process give rise to “spiritual stress,” the spiritual roots of ill-health and disease. He says anyone can determine, quickly and easily: 1) how much spirituality is affecting their health, 2) where they are in the course of their spiritual development, and 3) how to treat their spirits and their “spiritual stress.”

Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management; Director, MIT Center for Digital Business; Co-author, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies Andrew McAfee, Blogger; Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for Digital Business; Co-author, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies Andrew Leonard, Staff Writer, Salon – Moderator

Welcome to the modern age, where computers diagnose diseases, drive cars and write clean prose. Advances like these have created unprecedented economic bounty. Meanwhile, median income has stagnated and unemployment has risen. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee reveal the technological forces behind this economic sea change. As business researchers at MIT they predict that the path to prosperity lies in businesses and individuals using ingenuity to race with machines. 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: In association with the Science & Technology Member-Led Forum.

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



D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

July 18 – 29

January 27 – 28

M O N 27 | San Francisco

T H U 30 | San Francisco

Patricia Schultz: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

Scott Carroll: Conciliation Biology – An Approach to Conservation that Reconciles Past, Present and Future Landscapes in Nature

Travel Journalist; Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

Culled from a lifetime of traveling around the world, Schultz’s list of favorites is a thousand places long. She has created a special Europe presentation for us, selecting just a few dozen of her favorite European locations featured in her New York Times #1 best seller, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Regaling us with information and anecdotes about destinations both well known and off the radar, Schultz promises to add to your bucket list and refuel your wanderlust. Location: Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing Cost: $22 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

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

Founding Director, Institute for Contemporary Evolution, Dept. of Entomology, UC Davis

Biologists are now considering the “conciliatory approach.” This approach recognizes that mutual adaptation of native and non-native species is changing best practices for promoting biodiversity. Dr. Carroll investigates how organisms respond to human-caused environmental change.

January 29 – February 03

July 30 – August 06

WED 29 | East Bay

MLF: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizers: Chisako Ress and Dee Seligman Also know: Part of The Science of Conservation and Biodiversity in the 21st Century

M O N 03 | San Francisco

Christina Romer and Keith Hennessey: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E. Hoadley Annual Economic Forecast

Orville Schell: The Rise of China

Keith Hennessey, Faculty Member, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Director, National Economic Council Under President George W. Bush; Member, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Christina Romer, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley; Immediate Past Chair, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers

With budget and debt ceiling fights again looming in Washington, will the economy continue its modest improvement? Don’t miss this lively discussion with two former top presidential economic advisors on where the U.S. and global economies are headed in 2014 and what should be done to keep them on track. MEMBERS-ONLY +1 paying guest Location: Julia Morgan Ballroom, 465 California St. Time: 11:45 a.m. luncheon, 12:30 p.m. program Cost: General admission (includes lunch): $90 non-members, $75 members. Registration required by noon on January 29th. Table pricing: Platinum Table $3500 ($4,000 after 12/31/13) Gold Table $2,500 ($3,000 after 12/31/13) Silver Table $800 ($1,000 after 12/31/13) Also know: To purchase tables, please contact Tara Crain at tcrain@commonwealthclub or (415) 869-5919. Underwritten by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society; Former Dean and Professor, UC Berkeley; Co-author, Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the TwentyFirst Century

Modern China is shaped by many figures, including political leaders, writers and activists. Orville Schell observes that the rapidly transforming country has shifted from “imperial doormat to global economic powerhouse.” Schell, drawing on his career of scholarly work, will discuss China’s future. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



F R I 31 | San Francisco

T U E 0 4 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

W E D 05 | San Francisco

Chip Conley: Happiness and Hospitality, a Business Model

Dr. Drew Endy

Humanities West Book Discussion: The Alexiad by Anna Komnene

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford School of Medicine; President, BioBricks Foundation

Chip Conley, Founder, Joie de Vivre Hotels; Head of Global Hospitality, Airbnb; Author, Emotional Equations

Conley raised a million dollars and bought the decrepit Phoenix Hotel in the Tenderloin, revolutionizing the hotel business. His company, Joie de Vivre, has since expanded and owns more than 30 boutique hotels. He shares the inside scoop on his distinctive business model that combines happiness and hospitality with economic success and growth. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in and premium reception, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. reception and book signing Cost: $20 non-members, $12 members, $7 students; Premium (Emotional Equations, reserved seating, reception with speakers): $40 non-members, $25 members.

The Human Genome Project gave us the ability to read nature’s instruction manual: DNA. But the real opportunities, scientists say, lie in our ability to not only read genetic code, but also to write it, then build it. Synthetic biology works because biological creatures can be seen as programmable manufacturing systems. Endy wants to take control of a cell’s genetic machinery to make cells that can follow different programs and scan for chemical signals of cancer, producing a drug that will target the cancer directly. Endy wants to revolutionize the way we detect and combat disease. Location: Schultz Cultural Hall, The Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program Cost: $15 non-members, $10 members, $7 students

T H U 06 | San Francisco


Chinatown Walking Tour

M O N D AY D E C E M B E R 2

Power Year in Review

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.

Lauren Faber, West Coast Political Director, Environmental Defense Fund Craig Miller, Senior Editor, KQED Climate Watch Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, $7 students (with valid ID)

W E D N E S D AY J A N U A R Y 1 5 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 non-members, $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.



Step into My Shoes: Validating the Older Person with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Jane Mahakian, Ph.D., President/Founder, Aging Matters Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. check-in, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $20 non-members, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID)

D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Written between 1143 and 1153 by the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, The Alexiad is one of the most popular and revealing primary sources in the vast canon of medieval literature. Princess Anna Komnene, eldest child of the imperial couple, reveals the inner workings of the court, profiles its many extraordinary personages, and offers a firsthand account of significant events, such as the First Crusade, including its impact on the relationship between eastern and western Christianity. A celebrated triumph of Byzantine letters, this is an unparalleled view of the glories of Constantinople. Discussion led by Lynn Harris. MLF: HUMANITIES Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: $5 non-members, MEMBERS FREE Program Organizer: George Hammond Also know: In assn. with Humanities West

CLUB LEADERSHIP CLUB OFFICERS Board Chair Anna W.M. Mok Vice Chair John R. Farmer Secretary William F. Adams Treasurer Lee J. Dutra President & CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy BOARD OF GOVERNORS Dan Ashley Massey J. Bambara Ralph Baxter 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 Alecia DeCoudreaux Evelyn S. Dilsaver Joseph I. Epstein* Jeffrey A. Farber

Dr. Joseph R. Fink* CarolA.Fleming,Ph.D. Leslie Saul Garvin William German* Dr. Charles Geschke Paul M. Ginsburg 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

July 30 – August 06

February 04 – 06

T U E 04 | San Francisco

BOGHOSIAN continued from page 8 terrorism charge. HAMMOND: How about the drones? Where do you think they’re going? BOGHOSIAN: It fascinates me what Johns Hopkins University and many other educational institutions are researching. Johns Hopkins is looking into how butterflies fly, because their goal is to make unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) miniature, some the size of mosquitos, and to have them be able to hover in the air for extended periods of time. Again, as with most technological developments, there are positive uses for drones. They can go above a fire or into a dangerous zone where you don’t put a person’s life at risk. But the idea of having a mosquito-[sized] drone – the Federal Aviation Administration admitted that the main reason they want to have more drones in the sky is for law enforcement purposes, and that involves surveillance. Can you imagine a mosquito coming into a congested area and flying into your apartment, unbeknownst to you, being able to hover for a few days, and have a sophisticated micro camera or laser device that can track you over an extended period of time? That calls into question the nature of an unreasonable government search and seizure. And the regulation just hasn’t kept up; the technology is coming too fast. [They want] permission to deploy them above civilian skies, but we don’t have the precautions and the safeguards set in place. HAMMOND: Do you think that this trend is influenced partially by the lack of interest in personal privacy that’s come in the computerized generation? BOGHOSIAN: Technology has advanced so quickly that, as a nation that loves its gadgets, of course we’ve been intrigued, mesmerized and addicted to our personal devices. So we need to take a look at how we want to control the information that is made available to us. One of the problems with the so-called gathering of metadata is that the government, by whom you call, can infer associations. Say you call a cancer clinic or buy a book on cancer; they can assume maybe you have cancer. Another danger with this data collection is storage and how someone can access it and change your health records or personal financial information, or manipulate it. We don’t know. The amount of information collected on you contains such a high rate of inaccuracy, and you have no way of know-

ing it or correcting it. Government officials admit this. The question is how to take the good uses of technology and restore the fundamental rights on which this country was founded, and say we have a responsibility as people to hold the government in check and to say we don’t like certain invasions of privacy. It is difficult, because so many young people were raised on technology and may not understand the long-term consequences right now. But for people to say, “I’ve never protested; I’m not interested; I have nothing to hide.” Well, I would ask, do you want to live in a country where, if your neighbor had a serious injustice perpetrated against him or her, a family member who might have been poisoned by toxic water, and wants to fight

“ T here

is no national

security exception to the Fourth Amendment. We don’t have to choose between our safety and our liber ties. ” that, do you want to live in a nation where that person can’t speak out? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think of a democracy as being a place where people have a certain level of soul awareness and options that enhance creativity. What will be the long-term effect on people who have no privacy? BOGHOSIAN: I think that the loss of creativity and personal autonomy is tragic. A friend of mine in the East Village in New York has opened a little museum to try to preserve the history of squatters and community gardens there, and he’s always telling me that it’s the Europeans who come over and take the weekly tours they give, who are very enlightened and appreciate that history. But a lot of the people in our own community don’t even know what a squat was or understand the notion of a community fighting to keep a small plot of garden open. We have stereotypes in this country about protesters. It’s really important to try to break through those stereotypes and not let the government relegate free-speech zones. Any of us who sees an injustice and who has

served the country in one way or another or who pays taxes has a right to say that we hate this, this is not America, and you can’t do this in our name. HAMMOND: You have a section on “A Break-in for Justice” that I’d like to read. “On March 8, 1971, in a stealth move that laid bare a brazen government intent on silencing free speech and dissent, the Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI broke into the FBI’s resident agency in Media, Pennsylvania. The raiders took approximately 1,000 classified documents that showed aggressive spying and disruption of politically active groups and individuals. The files detailed the ways that FBI agents provoked U.S. citizens to commit unlawful activities to justify harsh police responses.” This is a form of spying on the government. I was wondering if you think the government shouldn’t have the right to spy on us but we need the right to break in and get their information. BOGHOSIAN: I believe those individuals were heroes because they exposed COINTELPRO, the counter- intelligence programs under J. Edgar Hoover that targeted lawful activities by people like Martin Luther King Jr. and antiwar activists, and exposed what many believe is an overreaching government, one where Hoover saw enemies everywhere and collected dossiers on high-profile individuals. Public outrage was so great that a commission was convened, the Church Committee, that looked into COINTELPRO and decided that the programs were illegal; they violated the Constitution. They put into place the attorney general’s guidelines that limited FBI spying on domestic dissidents, religious groups and others. The practices during COINTELPRO were dirty, meant to disrupt organizations. Not just to spy on them, but go in and destroy them. At that time, we had a lot of illegal Army spying on campuses in the ’60s and ’70s, amassing files on individuals. I think this is important to remember, that we look to our citizens to be the watchdog arm of the government at times of so-called national crisis, when we see too often the national security argument invoked as a necessity. There is no exception to the Fourth Amendment. There is no national security exception to the Fourth Amendment; we don’t have to choose between our safety and our liberties.

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



There’s a revolution occurring in the world of social entrepreneurship. The Real Problem Solvers brings together leading entrepreneurs, funders, investors, thinkers and champions in the field of social entrepreneurship. Contributors include marquee figures such as Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Ashoka founder Bill Drayton, Acumen Fund founder Jacqueline Novogratz and Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg. The chapters weave together the voices of various contributors in discussions and Q&As. In no other book are so many leaders presented side by side, making this the ideal accessible and personal introduction for students of – and newcomers to – social entrepreneurship.

“In the past 10 years, a rich ecosystem has developed around the idea, energy and success of social entrepreneurs. With years of experience, Ruth Shapiro captures the complexity and complementarity of the men and women whose innovation and drive are changing the way we solve social problems and should be required reading for all.” —Bill Draper, Co-chair, the Draper, Richards, Kaplan Foundation; General Partner, Draper Richards LLC; and author, The Start-up Game

“Ingenuity, initiative and determination are valued traits in any enterprise. Social entrepreneurs apply these talents to solving difficult social problems. This book showcases a number of these commendable people and inspires the reader to think deeply about his or her own contributions to society.” —George P. Shultz, Former U.S. Secretary of State

Order it from Stanford University Press:

Photo by Ed Ritger

DAWKINS continued from page 11 young to see through it. Yes, I was a Christian at the age of 13. HARI: Is this also a time that science came into your view? DAWKINS: Yes. There was no science at the first school I was talking about, but then I started learning science at the age of about 14 and I was pretty interested in it [but] not interested enough. It took until I got to university for me to be really fired up by science. HARI: I was struck by the language you used [in the book] where you said Oxford “made you” in a lot of ways. DAWKINS: I discovered the difference between school education and university education, which to me is that in school you learn facts from textbooks and then at university you learn how to think. That was epitomized for me by the tutorial system at Oxford, where you have an hour one-to-one tutorial once a week where you present an essay to the tutor – and you have spent the whole of the last week writing the essay in the library, reading up original research papers in the library; we didn’t use textbooks at all. It was always a rather narrow subject of the essay, and the tutor would give you a reading list, which consisted of the latest research literature on the subject. So by the end of the week you were kind of a world authority on that narrow subject because you’d read it up more recently than most other people. And if you were any good, you knew more about it than your tutor, because he hadn’t read it up

so recently as us. I thrived under that. I loved writing those essays. I wrote enormously long essays – too long, actually. They weren’t very good, but they inspired me with the ideal of scholarship. HARI: Do you remember the moment when you decided to view [your education] as a research proposition? DAWKINS: I’m not sure it was any particular moment, but it was pretty near the beginning of my second year [at Oxford]. It was when I started doing essay topics which were controversial, where you had to go and read opposing points of view, and you realized that there wasn’t just an official truth. There were people who thought “X” and there were people who thought the opposite of “X,” so you, the student, had to make up your own mind and judge the opposing points of view for yourself. The other thing was that I was sent to a different tutor every term. One of the tutors I was sent to was Arthur Kane, who had me reading philosophy and the history of science and with no regard to whether it would be of any help to me in answering exam questions. So this was being educated for its own sake rather than in order to tackle particular exam questions. HARI: [How did you] meet Nikolaas Tinbergen and end up in his group? DAWKINS: He was a Dutch ethologist who had been lured, poached really, from Holland by our professor of zoology. He’d come to Oxford long before he became really famous

and won the Nobel Prize, and he lectured to us on animal behavior. In my penultimate term at Oxford, I was sent to him for tutorials. He had an entirely unique style of giving tutorials. He didn’t give you a reading list of references in the library; he gave you a single Ph.D. thesis to read, usually one of his own ex-students’. So the undergraduate had to read this Ph.D. thesis and evaluate it, look at the literature leading up to the thesis, criticize the experiments done by the Ph.D. student, suggest further research – all that kind of thing – and that again was training to think, training to be a scholar. I was very inspired by this, and I was inspired by the subject of animal behavior. I asked whether he would take me on as his graduate student, and I’m very grateful that he did. It was a turning point for me. My thesis was the Shakespearean natureor-nurture question, and I worked on baby chicks and a particular example of trying to see whether you could sort out how much a baby animal comes into the world knowing and how much it has to learn. If you think about it, there’s an awful lot of things that we know how to do and animals know how to do, but how do we know? How do we know how to copulate? With us, it’s rather difficult to tell how much we would know because we’re told. We learn from other people. But if we were brought up in total isolation without any sex education of any kind, would it somehow come to us, like it probably does with many other animal

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



species? I didn’t work on that. [Laughter.] I worked instead on a more tractable problem: Baby chicks, when they hatch out of the egg, almost immediately start feeding themselves. They start pecking around and they peck at objects that might or might not be food, and it looks as though they’ve got a kind of idea about what food looks like. I wanted to know how much they know about what to peck at. One of the things about food is that it tends to be solid, three dimensional: things like grubs and grains of wheat. How do we know that a thing is solid? How do we know it’s three dimensional? If there’s light coming from above, if the sun is up there, then a solid object is lighter above than it is below. This is the basis of a well-known illusion that if you see a photograph of, say, a moon crater, with the light coming from one side of the crater, depending on which way up you look at the photograph of the moon crater, it may look like a crater or it may look like a flat-topped hill. It will look like a flat-topped hill if the light is such that it looks as though there’s light falling on the top side of the crater. I wanted to know whether chicks see this illusion. So I gave them a choice between photographs of a hemisphere, a half ping pong ball, lit from above and lit from below. One of them looked solid and one looked hollow, but they were both actually the same photograph with one turned upside down. The chicks went very strongly for the one that was lit from above. That could mean, and I wanted it to mean, that the chicks knew that



they were born into a world in which the sun is up there. Because it’s only in a world in which the sun is up there that solid objects look lit from above. By the way, this illusion is probably widespread in the animal kingdom, because it’s why fish are nearly all colored darker on the top than underneath. That’s to neutralize the effect; since their scales are

“I f you think about the fact that we are labeled as 21st century human beings by the shifting moral zeitgeist, you can forget about the holy books.” darker on the top than underneath, if you see them with light coming from above, they don’t look so solid as they would if they were the same color all over. There’s even a beautiful exception that proves the rule, which is the upside down catfish. It hovers on the underside of sort-of lily pads and colors itself in the opposite direction. There are also insects that are reverse countershaded for the same reason. The chicks prefer the correctly oriented photograph of a solid object, but the crucial experiment was: Did they learn that, or was it built in with the genes? So what I did was

DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

I brought up chicks in a world where they only ever saw light from below. They were in a black box with a wire netting floor and there was bright light coming from below. So any time they ever saw a solid object in their world, it was lit from below. So my reasoning was that if this illusion was learned, when I finally gave them the choice between the two ping pong ball pictures, they should go for the opposite one; but if it was innate, if it was built into the genes, then they should go for the correctly oriented one, as though the sun was above. And they went very, very decisively for the correctly oriented one – in effect, they were telling me that their genes had told them that the sun is up and not down in the world in which they were about to be born. I did a lot more experiments [related to this topic as well]. HARI: Was that the basis of you coming towards that gene-centered view of evolution? DAWKINS: Not really, no. I don’t think it was. The whole Oxford undergraduate experience is very Darwinian, and there’s a very strong tradition of evolutionary thinking at Oxford. W. D. Hamilton wrote a pair of very important papers in 1964 on what’s now called the theory of kin selection. I was inspired to read those papers by my colleague and mentor Michael Cullen. He introduced me to Hamilton’s ideas and I was very inspired by that; I incorporated them into undergraduate lectures that I gave at the time. I actually found my lecture notes from 1966 while

writing this book, and what impresses me now, looking at that page of lecture notes, is how, word for word, there is the rhetoric which was to dominate my book, The Selfish Gene, 10 years later. HARI: The concept of a shifting moral landscape during your lifetime comes up many times during the book. I’m curious if that’s been an ongoing thought for you over the last few years or if that’s relatively new? DAWKINS: I’m impressed by the way you can recognize the decade that a work of fiction in the 20th century was written in. You can tell by the racist language, the sexist language, that kind of thing, which decade it was written in. If you read a thriller, just an ordinary detective story from the 1920s, like, say, Agatha Christie, it’s full of racist language. It’s something you couldn’t possibly get away with today, and there is a real sense in which we move steadily onwards toward a better and better morality – I call it the shifting moral zeitgeist. If you go back to Victorian times, people like Thomas Henry Huxley, who was in the vanguard of progressive liberal thought for his time, would be thought to be rabid racists by modern standards. There’s a definite shift, a definite improvement, in the moral zeitgeist. I’m interested in this because we are labeled as 21st century beings by our morals, our ethics, our social mores, which distinguish us from people of 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 150 years ago. And I think it’s that that outweighs the traditional sources of morals

and ethics and mores, things like holy books. Holy books don’t really do it. If you think about the fact that we are labeled as 21st century human beings by the shifting moral zeitgeist, you can more or less forget about the holy books. You can find verses, if you look hard enough, in your holy books, which are compatible with our modern attitude, and then you reject all the verses in the holy book which are incompatible with it. The criteria by which you do the selecting, by which you choose the nice verses and reject the nasty verses, have to be non-scriptural and they come from the shifting moral zeitgeist. HARI: [Do] you have an optimistic view of the future? How do you see humankind progressing? DAWKINS: Well, I vary. One can take a very pessimistic view. Martin Rees, the astronomer royal, which is a sort of archaic title in Britain, is a very distinguished physicist. He’s written a book in which he gives the human race a 50-50 chance of making it through the 21st century, for various reasons; global warming is one, but another one is the possibility of lethal weapons, which have been kept in the relatively safe hands of big governments, falling into the hands of irresponsible militants of small groups, perhaps religious fanatics who actively want to die, who therefore are not put off by the usual deterrent arguments. There is plenty of scope for pessimism. But I seem to have a fairly sunny nature, a fairly optimistic disposition, and so I’m optimistic.

HARI: I would suspect that some of your detractors would not call you one with a sunny disposition. And that goes to a lot of questions that are emerging about how you do view detractors and why you engage them so heartily and readily at times. DAWKINS: I’m actually quite a nice person. I think religion is the problem. If you offer fairly mild criticism of religion, because everybody is used to the idea that you don’t criticise religion at all, they hear it as though it was very severe criticism. Actually it can be much, much milder than the sort of criticism that anybody might indulge in when talking about a politician, or a football player, or a restaurant. You can say quite savage things about political opponents, about restaurants. “This is the most disgusting food I’ve ever eaten in my entire life!” is the sort of thing that comes [routinely] in restaurant criticism, theater criticism, political criticism, sports criticism. But if you say something quite mildly negative about religion, people are so surprised, because you just don’t do that. Why don’t you do it? Well, you just don’t. Therefore, it sounds much more negative and much more strident than it actually is. Political cartoons can be absolutely savage, and politicians are expected to take it in their stride, but if you draw a cartoon depicting a religious prophet then you get death threats. So there is this sort of double standard, and I think that if you think you’ve detected a sort of hostility toward me, it may be because I tend not to criticize politicians or football Photo by Ed Ritger

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



players or restaurants, but I tend to offer quite mild criticism of religion. HARI: At the same time, you engage a number of people in the religious community who are more favorable to the scientific view of the world. You speak often with pastors and priests, and there have been a number of questions here about whether there is any real optimism in your mind to change some of the minds in that world by engaging folks in that realm. DAWKINS: You are talking now of people who are good scientists. I actually form alliances with such people when it’s a matter of trying to deal with problems of fundamentalist creationism, for example. In Britain the problem is not quite as bad as it is [in the United States], but there are schools in Britain which are openly teaching young-earth creationism. There was one in the north of England, which got a lot of publicity. And I got together with the then-bishop of Oxford, who’s a very nice man called Richard Harries, and we mustered a group of scientists. I got a number of fellows at the Royal Society and he got a number of bishops, and we wrote a joint letter to Tony Blair – six bishops and nine fellows from the Royal Society – asking Tony Blair to intervene and look into this creationist school. Tony Blair did nothing, of course. That was an example of a collaboration with a set of bishops. HARI: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about genetic determinism. DAWKINS: Genetic determinism is one of those pejorative words that get trotted out, like reductionism. People always talk about reductionism, and they never know what it means; they just know it’s a bad word. Genetic determinism is a bit like that. When I wrote The Selfish Gene, it was criticized in a few corners for genetic determinism as though it was making a thesis about embryology. A genetic determinist thesis about embryology would be that your genes determine the way you are going to be, and there’s nothing you can do about it. [I’m not talking about physical characteristics, which are] genuinely deterministic. But in the field of behavior, we’re interested in the evolution of things like aggressive behavior, cooperative behavior, nest-building behavior. In order to talk about that in a Darwinian way, because natural selection works at the level of a gene, you have got to postulate a gene for the behavior you’re interested in.



That doesn’t mean you think there’s only one gene that influences [that behavior]. What it does mean is that if you talk about a gene for aggression, what you mean is that an individual who contains that gene is statistically more likely to be aggressive than an individual who doesn’t. You have to postulate that or you can’t do Darwinism. Darwinism has to be done as differential survival of genes, and therefore you have to postulate genes for “X” where “X” is the quality whose evolution you’re talking about. The critics understood “gene for X” to mean a deterministic influence, such as that if you’ve got the gene for X, then there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t change it; if you’ve got a gene for aggression, you’re going to hit everybody you see and there’s no question of education or taming or anything

“In Britain the problem is not quite as bad as it is [in America], but there are schools in Britain which are openly teaching young-earth creationism. ” like that. That was miles away from anything I ever intended. This was a book about evolution, not a book about embryology. Genetic determinism is an embryological concept, and I was interested in evolution. As I said, for the purposes of talking about evolution, you have got to postulate genes, which statistically increase the probability that you will do such and such a behavior under normal conditions. It says absolutely nothing about the possibility that you can change those conditions to remove, or even reverse, that behavior. HARI: So what is your reaction when you see headlines [saying] that scientists have found the gene for “x”? DAWKINS: That’s OK as long as you understand that it only means a gene that statistically increases the possibility [of “x”]. You could ask yourself, is there a gene for religiosity? Is there a gene for being gay? The most clear-cut way of testing that is to do twin studies, where you look for identical twins, monozygotic twins who have identi-

DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

cal genes, and you look for fraternal twins as a control, and you look for both kinds of twins who have been reared together, which most twins are, and you look for those rare cases where twins, for accidental reasons, have happened to be reared apart. Identical twins being quite rare anyway, the number who have been reared apart is pretty rare, but nevertheless, there are a few dozen cases and they have been intensively studied. If you compare the religiosity, the sexual inclinations, the aggressiveness, whatever you like, of these four categories of twins, you can calculate what percentage of the variants in a normal population is attributable to genes, and what percentage is not. And that’s a perfectly respectable way of doing science, and the results vary. In the case of something like hair color or eye color, the heritability is 100 percent. In the case of behavioral measures, like musical ability, mathematical ability, that kind of thing, it’s not 100 percent, but the correlation is higher for identical twins, even when reared apart, than it is for fraternal twins, indicating a significant genetic component to the variance. That’s all that natural selection needs in order to go to work and favor a gene for “x.” HARI: What do you think the legacy of Richard Dawkins will be? DAWKINS: I’m supposed to be writing a second volume. This is the first volume, taking me up to The Selfish Gene, and I’m supposed to write volume two. I’ve been trying to think of how to do volume two. One [option], obviously, is to do it chronologically – just take off from where I’ve left of in volume one. But somebody suggested that it might be a good idea to do it as a flashback, to start, say, in an auditorium in San Francisco and then say, well, how did I get to this point? I thought, why not go even further into the future, and start on my deathbed and have a flashback from a hypothetical deathbed and think, what when I’m dying would I regret? What would I hope for my legacy? What would I feel that I had missed doing? But I haven’t actually told you what I would miss, have I? John Betjeman, a very, very delightful poet, a real character; in his extreme old age he was asked by an interviewer, “Sir John, you’ve had a long and interesting life; is there anything you regret looking back?” He thought for a bit and then he said, “Not enough sex.” Shall I leave it at that? I didn’t really mean that.





Connecting Bay Area Business Leaders

in Print, Online, & at Events Subscribe to the San Francisco Business Times or call 415 路 288路 4973


On political friendships and int ra -Washington warfare. Excerpted f ro m “Chr is M at t h e w s ,” October 7, 2013. CHRIS MATTHEWS

Host, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” MSNBC; Author, Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked


e live in a time of turmoil and polarization and the failure to find – or have them emerge – dealmakers; people that know how to reconcile differences and actually ease the process of democratic government, which is all based on deals, compromises. That’s why we have something called the Congress. The notion of coming to Washington, getting to trust each other and finding not necessarily common ground, which I’ll talk about a bit – there’s a difference between common ground and compromise. Common ground assumes the same values. You can’t assume that. You can’t assume that people have the same purposes. What you can assume is that the people who have different purposes find a way of reconciling what both sides wish to do and are willing to give up in order to reach what they do believe. It’s doable. We do it all the time in marriage, for example. It’s always done this way. It’s the way we deal with our children, older children. You find a compromise. It’s how life goes on. We do not naturally agree. We naturally agree to agree at some point. Otherwise, life would be totally chaotic, like it is in Washington. The latest polling has come in, and there are no winners. I’m center-left, I’ll admit it in my sway, but in my analysis I think I’m pretty honest. In fact, I’m fact-driven. That is, when I look at the numbers I don’t see a lot of happiness with either party. Seventy percent of the country disapproves of Republicans in Congress. Yippee. Now the Democrats: 61 percent. This is a horse race for disapproval. This isn’t a good time for either party. I know right now the curve is against the Republicans. I’m not betting at the end of the week, going into next week, when we face the debt ceiling situation of the 17th, which is only 10 days off, that the president won’t



begin to feel the heat as well. There will be no winners if we have a default. It will be on Obama’s record. I’d like to talk about the stakes on that one before I get into what I believe we can get back to. If you were to book a plane right now and you heard that an airline had a 95 percent safety record, 95 looks pretty good, but not good enough. You would look around for one with 100 percent safety record. When you find it, you would stay there for a while. For 100 years the United States has had a 100 percent safety record on our credit. We have always paid our bills. When you were a paper boy, as I was in Philadelphia, you were encouraged to buy safety bonds, because, even though they don’t pay a ton of money, you were guaranteed the money because it was as good as the United States government. Remember that phrase? As good as the United States government. Every Chinese billionaire that may not like us especially knows that they can lend money to the United States with total confidence that they will be paid, because it’s always been that way. What happens after next week, when it isn’t always that way? Maybe we miss it by an hour or two hours or we almost miss it, like in ’11, which really hurt. We’re not going to be as good a country, as powerful a country. We have self-government and we also have credibility. The speaker of the House says we will, then he says maybe not, and then he says we will. I can’t keep track of that. I don’t know what Obama is willing to commit or what he’s willing to concede. I would bet, however, that he won’t concede on health care. I say this is the strangest kidnapping in history. In this kidnapping, they’ve grabbed the money and demanded the baby. Usually it’s the other way around. You grab the baby because you know the parent will always pay what’s necessary to get the baby back. In this case, is there any parent who would give up the baby? Because, to Obama, health care is his baby. This is what he created. You could say, “All we’re going to do is cut a little finger off. That’s all.” No, he’s not going to do that, and I’m not making a case for him. I’m simply saying he will not give on this, and any Republican that thought he would was making a miscalculation. Jim Baker said that in his interview with Peggy Noonan this weekend. Baker’s smart, he really is smart. I worked on the other side with him. We always respected

DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Chr Ma

ris atthews

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014

THE COMMO WE AL TH 49 Original photo by N chetlyzarko/wkicommons

him back in the ’80s. He’s a keen politician. When I first met President Ronald Reagan, he came to give a State of the Union address, his first, and I was there to meet him. I welcomed him to the room. It was a holding room while the dogs were sniffing for bombs in the chamber. He was in there alone for a while, and I walked in to see him. I said, “Mr. President, welcome to the room where we plot against you.” He said, “Oh no, not after six. The speaker says we’re all friends after six.” I didn’t know about that until then and never heard it again until I read Tip’s memoirs. That was their relationship; they did try, these two old Irish guys, to get along, especially after hours. They had a lot of Irish events, and they used to match stories. Reagan didn’t drink much, Tip drank a little but not at work, and they had an interesting time in terms of their social life together. At the same time, they were at war the rest of the time. Reagan said in his diary, “Tip can be your friend and really like you, and then try to knock your block off.” Mike Deaver, who worked for Reagan, said that he was there when they had Tip’s 69th birthday party. Reagan spent the whole afternoon with him, ordering up champagne and all that stuff and offering up all these ridiculous over-the-top toasts like, “If I had a ticket to heaven and you didn’t, I’d go to hell with you.” But the point was there. And then he said they would hold arms and walk across to the

elevator, arm in arm, and then Tip would go outside and kick the hell out of Reagan in front of the press. Reagan once said of Tip that he would be charming and loving and friendly and all that but then, like a light switch, he’d turn into a piranha. Question and answer session with Michael Moritz, managing member of Sequoia Capital MICHAEL MORITZ: You’ve worked with Speaker O’Neill obviously and you’ve watched lots of other speakers over the years. John Boehner, Newt Gingrich, Tip O’Neill: Can you explain some of the differences between those three characters? CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tip was not the boss, was not that tough. I don’t think he was as tough as [Nancy] Pelosi. Pelosi runs a tight ship. Friends of mine are, let me put it this way, afraid of her. She’s for real. She’s a big city politician from Baltimore. She comes from a tough ethnic family and they’re used to tough loyalty. So she doesn’t brook bad behavior by a member of Congress. Tip was much more forgiving. He had a lot of Southern guys that he got along with pretty well who didn’t vote with him. Newt was a revolutionary. He came in and he won the majority in ’94. He was sort of an agent provocateur. He liked to cause trouble. He went after people’s patriotism, which drove Tip crazy. He was not good for the House. He would do things that I don’t think have anything to do with partisan politics.

He would tell people, “Don’t bring your spouse to Washington. Leave your spouse at home.” Which caused nothing but trouble in Washington; divorces all over the place. It created no camaraderie, because social life is generally the woman. If you’re married to a woman, it’s the woman that puts things together socially. You don’t have friends if you don’t have a wife. In many cases, they don’t hang around and drink beer together. They’re basically looking for a wife to organize the weekends; “Where are we going for a barbeque?” I saw this on the trips they took to junkets. It was always the women that became friends, which made things a lot easier for the men to get along, less testosterone going around. I think he was bad news. Tip couldn’t afford to bring his family down from Boston, but every time he met with a freshmen class he said, “Please, as soon as you can afford it, bring your spouse here. It’s just better for you. That means you spend five days a week with your family, you [go] up and campaign over the weekends on Saturday, and then you come home. Otherwise, the only time you’re home and see your family is when you’re home campaigning, because you go home for the weekend and you’re right out there with the barbeques and whatever else you’re doing and you’re never home. He tried to keep it healthier that way. Newt didn’t care about that stuff. Newt had his own stuff going on. Newt was messing around with a woman on the Ag Committee when he was going after [Bill] Clinton Photo by opacity/flickr



DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

for impeachment. Talk about keeping two ideas in your head at the same time. Pelosi’s good. Boehner is strange. See, Boehner’s problem is not that he’s a bad guy – he’s not a bad guy, obviously; he’s not one of them. He’s not one of the Tea Party people. He’s transparently a regular Republican. He’s a business guy who likes small business, a classic small-town Republican business guy; a good guy who’s basically like Jerry Ford from Michigan or like Bob Michel from Illinois; a regular guy from a middle-sized town. He would be very happy if he had normal people. One time, I was at an event and we were trying to support opportunity scholarships, basically vouchers in D.C. It’s a Catholic event. We all believe in Catholic education, especially for minorities, because we believe it really brings you up and gets you out of the sometimes pathetic public school system in big cities like Washington. He was there; he’s active. Even though the cardinal was there, the term [Boehner] used for his caucus, these right-wingers, was unbelievable. You ready? You want to give me license to say this? MORITZ: Everybody’s sitting down. MATTHEWS: He called them “little sh-ts.” See? That’s how they talk. It’s unbelievable. The cardinal was there and I go, “Oh my God, did he just say that?” They were just giving him a hard time. I’m sure he gets in the car, he cuts a deal with Obama. He gets in the car the first thing, his chief of staff calls and says, “They’re not going to like this.” He gets back there and there’s already Cantor, the future Nixon – in a good sense – and then there’s Kevin McCarthy. He must be secure about those guys around him, because it would really be very unsportsman[like] of them to turn on them. For some reason, he’s very afraid of his caucus. He keeps changing his mind. MORITZ: You touched on something there about the speaker being able to control his constituency or command the respect of his constituency. I thought one of the most meaningful paragraphs in your book was this, that both Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were conviction politicians. Each man, you said, embodies the philosophy of his party. If Reagan pronounced a deal “OK” Republicans would be ready to accept it, and the same for the speaker of the Democrats. Between them, they carried an overriding political authority. Once they came together, the perilous situation could be resolved. What’s changed?

MATTHEWS: Obama – let’s be tough on Obama for a minute, Obama is not one of anybody. He’s not part of a crowd. He’s not part of a group. He’s very much a loner. I think he’s as much a loner as Carter was, whom I worked for. Poor Jimmy Carter; he has the greatest values in the world and he was pretty much a pacifist, which became clear – which is OK, for individuals to be pacifists; it’s not good for a president to be a pacifist, because you are commander in chief. You have to defend the security of the country. You can’t just be simon-pure about things. Obama doesn’t enjoy the company of other politicians, and I think they all know it. I’ve heard terrible stories about it. He doesn’t hang out with them; he doesn’t meet with them; he doesn’t have them over; he doesn’t

“Obama is very much a loner. Obama doesn’t enjoy the company of other politicians, and I think they all know it. I’ve heard terrible stories about it.” want to be with them. No, it’s for real. It’s a strange thing for a guy in politics – for anybody in politics. I mean, the Clintons love other politicians; this is really rare. [And] they like their contributors, which is really rare. Most people put up with them: “Oh God, it’s him again” or “it’s her again.” [But the Clintons] like them. They like to go up to Martha’s Vineyard and swim with them; basically, “Oh yeah, Carly Simon, get in here.” They just love all that stuff. They’re real politicians, from the time they were teenagers. But Obama, he’s gutsy, he’s a beautiful orator – maybe the best ever. I would go around and cover him in these groups about this size where you just were overwhelmed with him. I thought that because he could do that, he could do all the other stuff. What I didn’t realize is that most politicians don’t become great orators until later in their careers, years and years. Kennedy wasn’t good until about ’60. Obama, on the other hand, picked up on the speaking ability right in the beginning but didn’t develop that other political skill,

which is that if you’re going to be a leader, someone has to follow you. It’s so essential. Like, in school there are some natural leaders. There are some natural leaders in your social life. People follow them. They go, “What does he want to do? I want to go with him. I want to follow him.” He doesn’t have that skill, to lead. He has to give speeches and all, and they just ignore it. Boehner, on the other hand, it’s quite simple; he’s not a Tea Partier. Those Tea Partiers are so angry and they represent people even angrier than themselves. The true leader of the Republican right, not the whole party, is the angriest guy in the back row of the next Tea Party meeting. Because I think what they’re all afraid of is, go to a group like this and in the back row there will be a guy, maybe with a few drinks, who will start yelling, “You sold us out.” They are so scared of that in the Tea Party world, because that means the whole crowd will turn on them. Then they have to play defense; watch John McCain try to do it. McCain is so noble at times. When some woman will try to say “He’s an Arab,” about Obama, he’ll say, “Well, actually, he isn’t.” You know how much guts that takes? Very few of them have the guts to do that and just say, “No, he’s not an Arab. He’s an American just like us.” But with the Tea Party crowd – I had a guy on just last week, [GOP Rep. Blake] Farenthold; these guys are knuckleheads. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t say that, but he’s a knucklehead. I said, “Just repeat after me. President Obama was legitimately elected president. Let me just hear you say that.” They won’t say it. They want to hold on to the birther crowd, the racist crowd, and they will not give the guy American citizenship. That’s just a fact. Then there’s Donald Trump, who is their cheerleader. Explain that. MORITZ: Can you think of others, like Ted Cruz, who have emerged over time who seem to be very willing – MATTHEWS: Joe McCarthy. Not the same tactics, but similar: fear. Chuck Hagel was up for secretary of defense, a good, moderate Republican, and he said, “How do we know you didn’t take $200,000 from the North Koreans?” I confronted him with that last week. I said, “You know, that’s McCarthy stuff,” in the back room. He said, “I don’t like the way you described that.” I said, “Well, that’s McCarthy stuff. You don’t question

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014



another person’s patriotism so lightly.” That’s what McCarthy did. I also think this fear, this reign of terror and fear that he’s going to point to you. He’s going to say, “You’re an incumbent that has to get beat.” It’s not the same. McCarthy was a real menace, but this guy has some of the tactic. He’s actually more like that guy Ackerman in Advise and Consent, that fabulous movie about the United States Senate. The one guy, who was a lefty in that case, was the guy spreading the word about the guy having a gay affair in the service. He committed suicide, the character. It’s an amazing story about the Senate. He’s like Ackerman. I think they’re basically shunning him in the Senate right now. I think the senators don’t like him. I’m not saying that’s proof that he’s a bad guy, but it’s a leading indicator that they don’t like him. Nobody likes him because of his tactics. They asked him at lunch last week, “What are we going to do now?” and he says, “I don’t know.” And they said, “Will you stop supporting efforts to unseat your fellow members of the Republican caucus?” And he said, “No,

I’m not doing it.” He’s out there, still trying to cannibalize the party. If you’re a real right-winger, he’s your guy. If you’re not a real right-winger, he’s not your guy. MORITZ: What was Tip’s best characteristic and what was his worst? MATTHEWS: His best was something that I quote in the book that Anthony Eden said of Churchill. It’s one thing to take one hit, but to keep taking them, unexpected disappointments – a lot of people put up with this in their lives, that things just keep breaking the wrong way – and to still keep your chin up and to go to work and keep it up, that’s real courage. Eden said it really well about Churchill and I would say that about Tip. That’s his greatest strength. He got to work every morning when Reagan was flying high and he was the butt of all the jokes, big fat guy. His worst was, when I was with him, he never understood Reagan’s popularity. He knew it, he saw it, but he didn’t quite get it. I think Reagan’s popularity was very easy to understand. He was blue skies. He was hope. He was pride in America, a basic

patriotism, a love of this country that was just overwhelming. I got it and he didn’t. I think that probably hurt him a little, not to get that. MORITZ: Do you think that the reason that President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill were able to get things done was because they were both Irish-Americans? MATTHEWS: I think it helped a little, but the big thing was that they were both about 70 years old. I’m 67; when you get older in life you start to realize, these are for keeps, these battles. You’re not going to get a lot more. Reagan knew he’d only be president once, and really that’s just a couple years to get something done that first term Tip knew that this was the crowning challenge of his life. He’d been complacent many years. It had been too easy to control the Congress all those years. Now he was facing the challenge of his life at the end of his political career, and he had to do well. He had to get something done. It wasn’t posturing or positioning. No, there had to be an end and a success. That meant working together.

RESERVE YOUR TABLE TODAY! THE 2014 BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH WALTER E. HOADLEY ECONOMIC FORECAST & PRIVATE PANEL FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2014 Now in its 84th year, the acclaimed, authoritative Annual Economic Forecast is the perfect networking event for you and your Bay Area business colleagues, peers and clients to attend. Purchasing a Gold or Platinum level table entitles all attendees access to the private pre-event panel featuring exceptional speakers in conversation on a pressing economic theme. Location: Julia Morgan Ballroom, 465 California St. • Time: 10:30 a.m. private panel, 11:45 a.m. luncheon, 12:30 p.m. public program Private Panel Featuring Paul Markovich, President and CEO, Blue Shield California Additional Panelists TBA

Public Program Featuring Keith Hennessey, Faculty Member, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Director, National Economic Council under President George W. Bush; Member, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Christina Romer, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley; Immediate Past Chair, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers

Table Sponsor Levels (limited availability, tables sell out every year!) Platinum Table $3,500 ($4,000 after 12/31/13): Premium seating for 10 at private panel • Premier table for 10 at luncheon and public program • Logo recognition on event collateral (program, table signage, web) • Inclusion in event press release Gold Table $2,500 ($3,000 after 12/31/13): Seating for 10 at private panel • Table for 10 at luncheon and public program • Logo recognition on event collateral (program, table signage, web) Silver Table $800 ($1,000 after 12/31/13): Table for 10 at luncheon and public program • Name recognition on event collateral (program) To purchase tables, please contact Tara Crain at (415) 869.5919 or; or Kimberly Maas at (415) 597.6726 or



DEC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

The Commonwealth Club

putting you face-to-face with today’s thought leaders


Tough questions


ears ago I joined the CWC as you had interesting speakers. You still have interesting speakers, but you fail to ask them any serious questions. I would like to pass around the [David] Stockman and [Grover] Norquist articles [The Commonwealth, June/July 2013] to a select set of friends on my mailing list, but I can’t find the current issue of the magazine online :-( I just read the June/July 2013 issue of of the CWC magazine and enjoyed Stockman’s speech. OTOH: Grover Norquist babbled on for a few pages and none of the questions were a real challenge to him. I would describe his speech as a “we sit around and have a [pointless exercise]” over minor issues of freedom, ... and then we go out and convince legislators not to raise taxes because we don’t believe in government ... Did no one ask him about bringing the tax code back to the 1986 Reagan code where all forms of income were taxed uniformly according to Stockman?? Really, guys & gals, if you want more people to show up at your meetings, then take idiots like Norquist and work them over, or let the audience do it directly. Steve Jasik Menlo Park Club members can read, print, and download complete editions of The Commonwealth magazine at

We also heard from ...


happened to be listening to a woman talking this morning on the radio about The Commonwealth Club. Unfortunately, I did not get her name. She was talking about the lack of outrage for various things going on in our schools as well as across the country. She sounded like a well-spoken, intelligent woman. She mentioned the “Commonwealth Club,” which I had never heard of, so I looked it up. However, much to my dismay, The Commonwealth Club appears to be a liberal organization. I should have suspected as much since it is based in California. Perhaps I will hear this woman talk again. She sounded interesting. Unfortunately, that is about as close as I will get to The Commonwealth Club. Pity, really. Anonymous via email

2013 Challenge Grant

As 2013 comes to a close, many of us reflect on what we have achieved over the months as we set our sights on the coming year. At the Commonwealth Club of California, we have had an exciting year and feel that the Club has lived up to its highest standards, and furthered its reputation as the premier public forum in the Bay Area. Every year, the Commonwealth Club presents hundreds of events throughout the Bay Area, using multiple platforms, including live presentations, streaming audio, podcasts and this very magazine. As the CEO of the Commonwealth Club, I feel proud of the dedication of our board, staff and volunteers who make this great feat possible. Also, I feel great appreciation for Commonwealth Club members like you who have been our partners in this important civic endeavor over the years. Support from our members has made The Commonwealth Club a key civic and cultural institution in the Bay Area for 110 years. So I urge you to make your year end contribution today, and help ensure that the Club continues to play a vital part in sustaining a dynamic community and enhancing the intellectual life of the Bay Area for the next 110 years. When it comes to supporting the Commonwealth Club, there is no better time than today… Skip Rhodes, one of our most generous friends and previous Board president, has pledged to match contributions made by Club members dollar for dollar up to $20,000 through December 31st, 2013. Use the envelope in the center of the magazine or go online to yearend to take advantage of this opportunity and demonstrate your commitment. I thank you in advance for your generosity. Sincerely, Dr. Gloria Duffy, CEO, The Commonwealth Club



to The Commonwealth Club

Need a stocking stuffer? Club CDs are perfect for everyone on your list: informative and fascinating. Or how about a copy of our book Each a Mighty Voice? Have you remembered the Club in your estate plans? Call and let us know that you have made arrangements for the Club in your estate plans, and we can recognize you as a member of our Legacy Circle. If you haven’t yet made your estate plan, give us a call and we will give you the legal information you need. Do you have more time than dollars? Volunteer for the Club and help to collect audience questions, time the events or help organize the Member-Led Forum programs. Do you have a car taking up room that you can donate to the Club? Go online to v-dac. com or call (877) 999-8322 and tell them that The Commonwealth Club sent you. Would you like to completely wow a special someone on your gift list? Have you considered a once-in-a-lifetime trip with the Club’s travel program? Imagine visiting the Great Wall of China, sailing on the Danube or viewing sacred Buddhist shrines in Laos – a travel gift is one to anticipate and savor and one that benefits your Club. Do you have loved ones on your gift list who are impossible to buy for? Why not give them a gift membership or simply make a tribute gift in their name? We will send a card to your beneficiary recognizing your thoughtfulness. You can make a gift to the Club directly from your IRA if you are fortunate enough to be at least 70-½ years of age – your welcome gift to the Club has positive tax benefits for you. Include the Club in your 2014 marketing plans. You can showcase your business in The Commonwealth magazine, at special receptions with speakers, and on our Internet downloads and podcasts. Charitable and smart business in a single donation!

More info at or call (415) 597-6700

D E C E M B E R 2013/J A N UA RY 2014




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

The Defenders Lodge


tories of successful human traordinary difference. They included Lisa Freeman, director of the endeavors are always wel- Palo Alto VA; the leadership of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union come around the holidays. and its foundation; and Lee and Penny Anderson, private donors One of the best stories I’ve encoun- who provided a major contribution to the project. Lee Anderson tered in the year past is the saga of is a West Point graduate who heads Minnesota-based APi Group. the Defenders Lodge. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also contributed, makThe veterans hospital in Palo ing the project a public-private partnership. And a number of our Alto is the regional center in our local business leaders and philanthropists – VISA Corporation, area where veterans receive medi- Mike and Mary Ellen Fox, George Marcus, the Sobrato family, cal treatment. The VA offers the the Knights of St. John, the Bechtel family, Condoleezza Rice, medical, surgical, psychiatric, re- the Shultz family, the 49ers Foundation, Lockheed Martin and habilitation, neurology, oncology, others – have supported and contributed to the project. Kudos to dentistry, geriatrics and extended all of these generous folks. Photo courtesy of Gloria Duffy care services needed by veterans Most of the $17 million to pay for the facility was quickly of recent conflicts and all prior wars. The Palo Alto VA also offers pledged, and a project that was just a concept a couple of years ago specialized programs such as a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, will open in January 2014. The Defenders Lodge will provide 52 a Spinal Cord Injury Center, a Comprehensive Rehabilitation suites with 104 beds, and it will be able to house almost 19,000 Center, a Traumatic Brain Injury Center, the Western Blind Reha- overnight stays per year for vets and their families. bilitation Center, a Center for Homeless Veterans and the National The main challenge, when I served as emcee for the dinner in Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder early October at Stanford celebrating the suc(PTSD) that bring veterans to this facilcess of the project, was to fit everyone who ity from around the West and across the had made a difference onto the program. a n y v e t e r a n s w h o It was truly an uplifting event, marking nation. The Palo Alto VA accommodates nearly 1 million veteran outpatient visits might otherwise have come a project that came together quickly and every year. effectively to support a good cause. There Many veterans and their families, espe- to the Palo Alto VA hospital was collaboration among private and public cially younger soldiers who have served in organizations, between current and former recent wars, are of very modest means. As might not have come at all officials, with financial institutions and with we know, Palo Alto and the surrounding individual donors. Local public agencies region has among the highest costs of liv- because of the housing costs.” handled planning consideration for the new ing in the country. A hotel or motel stay facility expeditiously. Now the Department overnight in Palo Alto can cost $100, $200, of Veterans Affairs is looking at how this or even $300 per night, a price that is far beyond the budget of model might be replicated around the country, setting up Defenders most military families. These are the costs military families have Lodges at others among the hundreds of veterans treatment centers been facing when service members need medical treatments offered throughout the United States. at the Palo Alto VA. We seem so mired in the inability to accomplish much in WashThe staff at the Palo Alto VA began to hear that vets could not ington that the Defenders Lodge strikes me as a terrific example of afford to come to Palo Alto for treatments. They also began to notice people from various sectors taking matters into their own hands to that those vets and their families who did come sometimes slept in get something done. If just left to the federal institutions responsible their cars in the parking lot at the Palo Alto VA, because they could for caring for veterans, building such a facility would have taken not afford a hotel or motel. They found that nearly 3,000 veterans much longer and might never have happened. But when officials, per year who came to the VA were not able to stay overnight in a companies, philanthropists and others simply assumed responsibilsmall, older housing facility that existed at the complex, but had ity and took charge, the project came together rapidly. to seek housing elsewhere in the Palo Alto area at high cost. Many Increasingly, we must look to these kinds of initiatives to solve who might otherwise come for their treatments might not have our problems. While Washington battles sway one way or another come at all because of the housing costs. and some things do get done, the pitched fighting and gridlock in A few individuals and institutions decided to take charge and Congress simply do not measure up to meeting the practical chalsolve this problem. Several of those who stepped up made an ex- lenges before us.




D EC EM BER 2013/JA N UA RY 2014

Paradores and Pousadas Historic Lodging of Spain & Portugal May 5–19, 2014 Join us as we experience the best of the Iberian Peninsula in Portugal and Spain. This special two-week journey offers captivating sights, excellent cuisine and memorable experiences. The lodgings promise to be equally unforgettable, with deluxe accommodations in each country’s capital, as well as distinctive inns known as paradores in Spain and pousadas throughout Portugal. • Explore Lisbon and see Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower 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 the outstanding Roman ruins at Merida, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cordoba. • Explore Seville, Andalucia’s charming capital, and Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest and most charming towns. • Experience Granada’s famous Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, medieval Toledo, and Madrid’s Royal Palace and Prado Museum. • Enjoy exclusive educational highlights including a briefing by U.S. Foreign Service staff, a traditional Tuna performance in Evora, and a private excursion to a local olive farm. • A post-tour extension to Barcelona available. Cost: $5,657, per person, double occupancy (including land and air from SFO); $1,295 single-room supplement. Limited to 24 travelers!

Detailed brochure available at: Contact: (415) 597-6720 • CST: 2096889-40

Photos: DAVID ILIFF/wikicommons; SkareMedia/wikicommons; Gerhard Palnstorfer/flickr; Juliano Mattos/flickr

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

Purchase event tickets at


or call (415) 597-6705 or (800) 847-7730 To subscribe to our free weekly events email newsletter, go to and click on “MY CLUB ACCOUNT” in the menu at the bottom of the page.

PROGRAMS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS Randi Zuckerberg Former Marketing Director, Facebook; Editor-in-Chief, Dot Complicated; CEO & Founder of Zuckerberg Media; Author, Dot Complicated – Untangling Our Wired Lives

Mary Matalin & James Carville Co-authors, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home

Randi Zuckerberg explains how to navigate the social challenges created by technology and details practical solutions for maintaining balance in an interconnected world. Through firsthand accounts and stories from her time at Facebook and beyond, she explores the obstacles and opportunities presented by this new online reality.

Matalin and Carville are one of the country’s most intriguing, intense and ideologically mismatched political couples. Carville, a Democrat, has worked for Bill and Hillary Clinton and Matalin, a Republican, has worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Matalin and Carville offer a candid look into the heart of Washington politics.

for event details, see page 25

for event details, see page 35

Tuesday, December 10

Friday, January 31

Thursday, January 16

Economic Forecast

Chip Conley

The 2014 Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E. Hoadley Economic Forecast & private panel

Founder, Joie de Vivre Hotels; Head of Global Hospitality, Airbnb; Author, Emotional Equations

With budget and debt ceiling fights again looming in Washington, will the economy continue to improve? Don’t miss this lively discussion with Christine Romer and Keith Hennessy, two former top presidential economic advisors on where the U.S. and global economies are headed in 2014 and what should be done to keep them on track.

Twenty-six years ago Conley raised a million dollars and bought the decrepit Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. By revamping the rundown icon, he revolutionized the hotel business, developing his own unique transformative business model based on an individual’s need for meaning, as outlined in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Conley’s unique perspective on change management has put him at the forefront of bringing happiness to the workplace.

for event details, see page 39

for event details, see page 40

Tuesday, February 4

The Commonwealth Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014  
The Commonwealth Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014  

Feel like you're being watched? Well, you are, and this issue, Heidi Boghosian discusses the surveillance state. Also this issue: Richard Da...