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Commonwealth The

THE MAGAZINE OF THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB OF CALIFORNIA

APRIL/MAY 2018

DAVID FRUM THE CORRUPTION OF AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY HARM TO HOME A REFUGEE’S JOURNEY TO THE BAY NIALL FERGUSON POLITICS, POWER & NETWORKS DR. GLORIA DUFFY GETTING THINGS DONE ECONOMY IN 2018

UPCOMING PROGRAMS Complete Guide $5.00; free for members | commonwealthclub.org


Explore Jerusalem, sacred to three major religions. Meet with people from a unique community of 120 families, equally divided between Jews and Arabs. Experience Masada and visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Float in the Dead Sea and travel to Bethlehem and Ramallah in the West Bank. Explore Tiberias, Galilee, Caesarea and visit a Druze village in the Golan Heights. See Haifa’s Bahai Gardens and cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. Cost: $6,195 per person, double occupancy

Detailed brochure available at commonwealthclub.org/travel | 415.597.6720 | travel@commonwealthclub.org CST# 2096889-40


INSIDE 4

Editor’s Desk

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ISSUE

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Dr. Gloria Duffy: Getting Program Information Things Done

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Resolving Our Most Difficult Issues in the 21st Century

The Commons News and insights from the Club.

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Harm to Home: A Refugee’s Journey to the Bay

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In the News

Karen Ferguson on refugees

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Economic Forecast

Annual Dinner

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Two-month Calendar

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Program Listings

Optimistic or pessimistic about 2018?

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David Frum The Corruption of America’s Democracy

On the Cover - David Frum Photo by James Meinerth

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Networking through time

By Gloria Duffy

Niall Ferguson

Insight On this page: David Frum - Photo by: James Meinerth

For all the parts of the job that the president is supposed to do, Trump is very disengaged; but for the things that the president is not supposed to do, he is very wily and energetic, and he has the most ferocious will to power of any president, certainly in my lifetime. DAVID FRUM

April/May 2018 - Volume 112, No. 3

APRIL/MAY 2018

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John Zipperer, Vice President of Media & Editorial, (415) 597-6715 jzipperer@commonwealthclub.org The Commonwealth (ISSN 0010-3349) is published bimonthly (6 times a year) by The Commonwealth Club of California, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105. 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, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105 Tel: (415) 597-6700 E-mail: feedback@commonwealthclub.org 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 commonwealthclub. org/watch-listen, podcasts on Google Play and Apple iTunes, or contact Club offices to buy a compact disc. Printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink.

Copyright © 2018 The Commonwealth Club of California.

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Babylonian Empire

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his month, we explore things timely and timeless. From David Frum’s talk with Scott Shafer about the state of our democracy to historian Niall Ferguson’s theory about networks ancient and new, the programs excerpted in this issue give a good sense of the breadth of our programming—and they show why our auditoriums have been so full lately. Our president and CEO, Dr. Gloria Duffy, discusses solving difficult problems by using an approach that can be applied almost anywhere and anytime. Lenny Mendonca and John Tayler—who was shortlisted to be the new chair of the Federal Reserve—have a spirited discussion about the state of the economy and what to expect this year, as tax cuts and regulatory rollback have their impacts. Karen Ferguson gives some background on how the United States specifically and the world generally handle and mishandle the refugee challenge, which is growing at the very moment that the United States is dramatically scaling back its role. This is only a sample of our wide range of events. At the top of this page is a photo from a recent celebration of the legendary and ongoing comedy musical revue, Beach

Blanket Babylon. The program, organized by our longtime Member-Led Forum volunteer Norma Walden, began with an appearance in costume of two of the show’s performers, who sang a song before changing into street clothes and engaging in a discussion about their work. Be sure to take a look at our program listings at the back of this issue. We have been expanding the number of pages devoted to the next couple months worth of programs, because we are doing more programs than ever before. For years, we have averaged about 450 programs annually; it looks like going forward we’ll be closer to 500 programs. To see or hear even more of our programs, reserve a ticket and attend them. Or you can subscribe to our free podcasts on iTunes and Google Play, watch hundreds of videos on YouTube, catch our weekly program on the California Channel, or listen to our weekly programs on KQED, KLIV, KALW, KRCB, and TuneIn. But if you want to see someone entering the auditorium wearing a giant bright pink Beach Blanket Babylon hat, it helps to be here in person. JOHN Z I P P E R E R VP, ME DIA & ED I T O RI AL


TALK OF THE CLUB Calling Club Ceiling Breakers

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ere you one of the first women to join The Commonwealth Club between 1971 and 1981? Do you know someone who was? Help us fill in this important chapter of the Club’s history by contacting Anna Bryan at 415-597-6734 or abryan@ commonwealthclub.org.

Paint by Camera

Photographer Michael Mudd’s work is featured through the end of April in the Farmer Gallery, located on the first floor of the Club’s headquarters at 110 The Embarcadero. Mudd compares his moody landscape images to “painting with the camera.” You can view his expressionist photography in the Farmer Gallery 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Friday. Find Mudd’s artist statement and learn more about his background at commonwealthclub. org/exhibits.

Above left: Travel Committee Chair Richard Weiss along with Joan Rost, who won some Eagle Creek luggage at the Club’s travel party. Above right: Andrea Gourdine and Ann Courtright hold up a flyer for the Alaska trip they won. Below: Photographer Michael Mudd and his photo “Marshlands,” now on exhibit in the Club’s Farmer Gallery.

Hearing Assistance Available

The Club now has Hearing Loop technology available in both of its auditoriums at 110 The Embarcadero. Signs in each auditorium (see below) have instructions for using the innovative system: just switch your hearing device to the Telecoil “T” mode to access the

Hearing Loop audio. If your hearing aid does not have a “T” mode or if you do not wear a hearing aid but would still like to enjoy enhanced sound, contact our front desk before your arrival so we can provide you with a portable hearing assistance device. You can reach the front desk at 415-597-6705. The Hearing Loop was made possible by a generous gift from Club member Jim Canty.

Party Travelers

Some of the attendees at a February party thrown by the Club’s Travel staff had only recently taken their first trip with the Club,

while others were long-time travelers. But they all enjoyed sharing stories, food, and more when they got together for a party at 110 The Embarcadero. Joan Rost, one of the Club’s valuable volunteers, visited Columbia on her first trip with the Club; Rost won some luggage from Eagle Creek to use on her next journey. Meanwhile, long-time Club supporters and travelers Andrea Gourdine and Ann Courtright won a trip to Alaska. Check out the preview of next year’s travel opportunities in the center of this issue of The Commonwealth, and visit commonwealthclub.org/travel to learn more. APRIL/MAY 2018

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LEADERSHIP OF THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB CLUB OFFICERS Board Chair Richard A. Rubin Vice Chair Evelyn S. Dilsaver Secretary Dr. Jaleh Daie Treasurer John R. Farmer President & CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy

BOARD OF GOVERNORS John F. Allen Carlo Almendral Courtland Alves Scott Anderson Dan Ashley Massey J. Bambara Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman** Harry E. Blount John L. Boland

Michael R. Bracco Maryles Casto** Mary B. Cranston** Susie Cranston Dr. Kerry P. Curtis Dorian Daley Alecia DeCoudreaux Lee Dutra Joseph I. Epstein* Jeffrey A. Farber Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. Dr. Carol A. Fleming Kirsten Garen Leslie Saul Garvin John Geschke Paul M. Ginsburg Hon. James C. Hormel Mary Huss Julie Kane John Leckrone Dr. Mary Marcy Frank C. Meerkamp

Lenny Mendonca Anna W.M. Mok Bruce Raabe Skip Rhodes* Bill Ring Martha Ryan George M. Scalise Lata Krishnan Shah Dr. Ruth A. Shapiro Charlotte Mailliard Shultz George D. Smith, Jr. James Strother Hon. Tad Taube Ellen O’Kane Tauscher Charles Travers Don Wen Dr. Colleen B. Wilcox Jed York Mark Zitter ADVISORY BOARD Karin Helene Bauer

Hon. William Bradley Dennise M. Carter Steven Falk Amy Gershoni Jacquelyn Hadley Heather Kitchen Amy McCombs Don J. McGrath Hon. William J. Perry Hon. Barbara Pivnicka Hon. Richard Pivnicka Ray Taliaferro Nancy Thompson

PAST BOARD CHAIRS AND PRESIDENTS Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman ** Hon. Shirley Temple Black*† J. Dennis Bonney* John Busterud* Maryles Casto** Hon. Ming Chin* Mary B. Cranston**

Joseph I. Epstein * Dr. Joseph R. Fink * William German * Rose Guilbault** Claude B. Hutchison Jr. * Dr. Julius Krevans* Anna W.M. Mok** Richard Otter* Joseph Perrelli* Toni Rembe* Victor J. Revenko* Skip Rhodes* Renée Rubin * Robert Saldich** Connie Shapiro * Nelson Weller * Judith Wilbur * Dennis Wu* * Past President ** Past Chair † Deceased

TALK OF THE CLUB

IN THE NEWS “Liddle” Schiff

Congressman Adam Schiff, better known these days as the burr beneath Donald Trump’s saddle, dropped by a jam-packed meeting of the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Tuesday night. If you were in the mood for a laugh, he was your guy. “I know what you’re thinking,” Schiff told the rapt, partisan crowd. “He doesn’t look that little.” That was a tip o’ the cap to one of the president’s recent tweets in which he referred to the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee as “Liddle Adam Schiff, the leakin’ monster of no control.” —Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, February 22, 2018

Renewing Stockton

The Commonwealth Club of California kicked of Black History Month by featuring Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs in conversation with PolicyLink President Michael McAfee. With grace and humor the Mayor shared his progressive vision for a safe, prosperous and equitable Stockton while speaking candidly about his humble upbringing and

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how his policy priorities are governed by his lived experience. McAfee interviewed the Mayor for an hour on issues ranging from his investment in Stockton Scholars – to increase the number of residents going to college – to his ground-breaking work with Advancing Peace to significantly reduce gun violence. “Our passion and vision for Reinventing Stockton is based on my lived experience,” Mayor Tubbs explained to the sold-out crowd. “Whether its growing up poor, or losing a family member to gun violence, or the incredible opportunities I received that helped me get into Stanford. Our theory of change rests upon harvesting human capital.” —Conway Jones, Oakland Post, February 10, 2018

UC at 150

University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday she thinks the UC Academic Senate should guarantee admission to California Community College students who complete a certain list of courses. Napolitano spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco to commemorate the UC’s 150th anniversary. Napolitano said the UC should guarantee admission to students who complete its Transfer Pathways, which are lists of recommended premajor courses for students

intending to transfer to a UC. She also said the UC is working on ways to help more Californians get UC degrees and secure more state funding to mitigate tuition hikes. —Omar Said, Daily Bruin, March 8, 2018

Wilmore and Lewis

The house was sold out when writer/ comedian Larry Wilmore and journalist/ author Michael Lewis taped a segment of Wilmore’s podcast, “Black on the Air,” on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre. This was part of the Commonwealth Club’s Inforum series, promoted as part of programming for Black History Month. Wilmore has worked as a TV writer for more than 25 years, but probably came to most people’s attention as a correspondent on . . . “The Daily Show,” from which he went to his own Comedy Central program, “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore.” His humor is dry and his delivery is quick. But it was clear from the start that his role was as host, interviewing Lewis, author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short. Lewis himself was self-effacing about his presence. There were 550 people in the theater, he said, which “sold out before it was announced that I was the guest. I am not your guest. I am your prop.” —Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, February 7, 2018


Views from 110 Distinguished Citizen Award Gala - 115th Annual Dinner

Honoring the achievements of

Dr. Mary G.F. Bitterman

Dr. John L. Hennessy

President of The Bernard Osher Foundation and former President and CEO of KQED Public Broadcasting, Chairman of PBS Foundation

Board Chair of Alphabet and 10th President of Stanford University

Leon Panetta

Sylvia M. Panetta

Nancy E. Pfund

Co- founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, former Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA, White House Chief of Staff and U.S. Representative

Co-Chair and CEO of The Panetta Institute for Public Policy

Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Partners

4•19•18 Hosted at the beautiful new Commonwealth Club at 110 The Embarcadero

Tables & Sponsorships 415.597.6737 or annualdinner@commonwealthclub.org Tables and tickets are limited.


DAVID FRUM The Corruption of America’s Democracy DAVID FRUM Senior Editor, The Atlantic; Author, Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic; Twitter @davidfrum In conversation with SCOTT SHAFER Senior Editor of California Politics and Government Desk, KQED; Twitter @scottshafer

A conservative critic of the president says we need to separate our political from our constitutional commitments. From the February 5, 2018 program in San Francisco, “David Frum: The Corruption of American Democracy.” SCOTT SHAFER: I want to sort of start at the end, because the conclusion of your book is, “We’re living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered.” Are you saying that this is sort of existential threat to the nation? DAVID FRUM: The country’s institutions are in real trouble, but I want to make clear what the trouble is and what the trouble is not. Donald Trump is not the heart attack of democracy. He is the gum disease of democracy. You can die from gum disease, but it doesn’t happen instantly. It only happens if it’s allowed to fester. When Donald Trump was first elected, many people suggested some kind of dra-

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matic comparison to the worst cases of democratic breakdown in history. I don’t regard the survival of democracy as a light switch, on or off. It’s a dial. There are a lot of ways that democracy can degrade and decline without it reaching the very worst outcomes. The moderately bad outcomes are bad enough. SHAFER: And those are what? FRUM: Moderately bad outcomes are what we see in places like Poland and Hungary. What we are seeing in South Africa and India and Turkey. What we could see in France, should the National Front win there. And that is the gradual politicization of law enforcement, the loss of independence of your judiciary, informal pressure brought to bear on the press both through public pressure and also through private threat. The collapse of ethical standards that have relied on public opinion to uphold them. You can see this. Hungary is really in many ways the model case. Hungary’s a member of the European Union, a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, and the authoritarian of Hungary, Viktor Orban, has not wrongly arrested a single person. But he has a massive giant fortune, he has destroyed the integrity of law enforcement and of the courts. And he’s put enormous pressure to bear on critics—and effectively. He hasn’t silenced . . . those critics who write for very elite publications; they’re left alone. The critics in TV, radio, social media, they come under pressure. SHAFER: So, we’ve seen things like executive overreach. We’ve seen corruption. Richard Nixon, for example. FDR tried to pack the courts. We’ve seen these examples over the course of the country’s history. How does what’s happening right now compare to those kinds of things? FRUM: Well, I’m glad you put it in historical

perspective. That’s where this all needs to be. So let me give you a somewhat longer view. In order to fight the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, the United States strengthened the presidency enormously. As the presidency got stronger there were also terrible abuses, and many of the abuses that we collectively call Watergate, all had their origins in earlier times. Richard Nixon asked to see his opponents’ income tax returns. Franklin Delano Roosevelt generally got his opponents’ income tax returns. SHAFER: What did he do with them? FRUM: He entertained dinner parties with embarrassing details from them. More seriously, he pressured Joe Kennedy not to run for president in 1940 with information from [the returns]. Joe Kennedy would not have won. SHAFER: He was his ambassador at the time. FRUM: That was the consolation prize. Richard Nixon did wiretap nominated political opponents. Franklin Roosevelt wiretapped Charles Lindbergh, who he was afraid would become a nominated opponent. So these things have [historical] seeds. What happened in Watergate in that period was we took the post-Cold War presidency with all its powers and we put it under new constraints. We said the FBI, the CIA, they now must report to Congress as well as the president. We needed higher ethical standards; that’s when the custom of the president releasing his tax returns begins. That is when the law is passed requiring the president and the vice president to disclose financial information. A series of habits developed and they last for half a century. It’s not that what Donald Trump is doing is entirely unthought of in American history, but we were on one track


I don’t regard the survival of democracy as a light switch, on or off. It’s a dial. There are a lot of ways that democracy can degrade and decline without it reaching the very worst outcomes. The moderately bad outcomes are bad enough.

Photos by James Meinerth


from over the past 50 years and we’re now back on another track. This time, unlike the very powerful presidents of the Cold War era, who—whatever you think about any particular thing, [were] acting with a broad public vision in the context of deadly existential external threat to the United States—this time you have these powers being taken by a president who’s interested in nothing but his own enrichment. SHAFER: Part of what you’re saying then is that you’re reverting back to a time before Watergate, when these traditions as you describe them became common. Are you saying what’s happening now is normal? FRUM: No, because here’s the other difference between now and then, and here’s the part that is really new. In 1965 when the president had all of these incredible powers, Congress at that time was way more independent of the president, even if Congress and the president happened to share the same party affiliation. Jimmy Carter had a Democratic Congress through all 4 years. Bill Clinton had a Democratic Congress for his first two years, and yet in both cases Congress did oversight, stopped things the president

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wanted to do. Jimmy Carter was made by pressure from a Democratic Congress to sell his peanut farm. That was not Republicans who made him do that; they were in the minority in both houses. It was Democrats. You know, we now regard this as a joke, but it was quite a substantial farm and it could’ve received agricultural subsidies. Congress said that you have to sell or divest yourself to other family members. What has happened now is at the same time as we are breaking the post-Watergate ethical restraints on the presidency, we are also seeing a new hyper-partisan unity between Congress and the president. Where the old idea dating [to] the early days of the republic that ambition would balance ambition, that Congress would be one thing and the presidency would be a different thing— SHAFER: Checks and balances. FRUM: Checks and balances, which are a metaphor, not a law. They’re not checking because Congress is acting not as an independent body, but as fellow Republicans who are trying to pass a common agenda and need to protect and empower a president of the same party.

SHAFER: Well, let’s talk about one of those fellow Republicans. Devin Nunes, who is a congressman. We’ve seen his appearance on the White House lawn late at night. We’ve seen him writing a memo after it was approved by the House Intelligence Committee. So what’s going on with Devin Nunes and with this memo? FRUM: Again I want to put this in a bit of perspective, because I know I’m talking to a group of people who understand well the workings of government and care a lot about it. The reason we have intelligence committees in the House and Senate [is because] they were created after Watergate and after the discovery of real abuses at the FBI and CIA; they said it’s not enough to trust the president with the oversight of these bodies, Congress needs its own separate point of view. They’re the only committees with equal numbers of people from both parties or at least [in the] House, and a tradition of bipartisanship. I should say nonpartisan, [and] more equal numbers. I think there’s always one more for the majority party, but it’s not the kind of lopsidedness you see in other committees. SHAFER: Would they also behave a little


differently? FRUM: They behave a little differently. It’s a tremendous honor [to be on the committees] because you see these very serious secrets of the United States and you’re above all things not supposed to coordinate with the executive, because if executive oversight were all that was needed, you wouldn’t need the committee in the first place. The whole premise of the committee is Congress needs its own point of view as an institution, not as an adjunct of the majority of the moment. Congress as an institution. Devin Nunes has just taken that incredibly important tradition and trashed it. He has acted like the PR man for the White House and working by the way, as a really low-grade PR man. [Laughter.] SHAFER: He was pretty much a backbencher before this. FRUM: Yeah. But you look at this document that his group [put together]. I think given the development of this country and the advances in wealth and knowledge, that you would expect hand-crafted, artisanal collusion of justice. [Laughter.] Instead, you’re getting like this Twinkie collusion of justice.

SHAFER: The other Republicans on the committee have said what about this? FRUM: Some of them have sort of looked the other way like “Devin Nunes? Yeah, I think I met him once at a bus station.” SHAFER: On the committee? Yeah, but they also voted to release his [memo]. FRUM: Yes, but they’re not going out there. You’re not hearing from them. Devin Nunes is allowing himself to be made [the leader of this effort] because I think many members recognize there are risks. What we also have to wonder about is should the Republicans lose the House, there may be serious consequences for those members who took part in this. What the Democrats on the committee now are going to feel obliged to do is to release their own answer. So a committee whose premise was always that all of its work was done behind closed doors, where they preserve solidarity, that they could be trusted—even if we get through all of this in more or less okay form, there are real prices to be paid along the way that will not be so easy to repair. This story about the memo is one of them. The intelligence committees in the House and Senate, the people who were

set up to check the excesses of these agencies, rely to a huge extent on the voluntary cooperation of those agencies. Those agencies have tremendous secrets and if they want to hide from Congress they can probably do it, but there has been a tradition that they share because they are stronger and more politically legitimate when they have the approval of Congress as well as of the executive. If you’re an FBI director or an FBI agent, CIA director, or a CIA agent and you see somebody like Devin Nunes taking your work, rifling through it for the crassest kind of political purposes, grossly misrepresenting it, and also maybe burning some of your operations— SHAFER: Burning meaning giving them up? FRUM: Yeah, giving them up. Obviously Carter Page cannot be an important person in any investigation. The FBI came across him in the course of investigating other things that seemed more serious. There are people in the FBI [investigations] who may be in the incidental things that Nunes is betraying as he pursues [his goals], are giving away important information in other investigations in which Carter Page was an ARPIL/MAY 2018

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incidental figure. That’s why you’re supposed to keep your mouth shut, because members of Congress are amateurs in these areas and they do not always understand every aspect of every secret they see. SHAFER: So, Trump is a manifestation of the problems facing the Republican Party and the country, but there have been many enablers along the way and preexisting conditions. Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan—the leadership of the Republican Party—have been attacked by Donald Trump from time to time on Twitter and elsewhere, as is Lindsey Graham and pretty much everybody he ran against in the primary. Yet they seem to be falling in line fairly well and fairly quietly. Is that because they’re afraid of becoming his target again? Because they’re afraid of Trump’s base turning on them? What’s going on there? FRUM: All of the above. Paul Ryan is a person with a very aggressive agenda for the country. It’s an agenda that happens to be not tremendously popular, so it’s not something that you can just rely on people sending in their cards and letters from the country demanding the passage of his laws. He wants to do things that probably the majority of the country does not want. SHAFER: Like cutting entitlements. FRUM: Like cutting entitlements. Like this tax bill. Even the parts of it that are sensible, on the corporate side, obviously are not going to excite a lot of people because the benefits are very long-term. Meanwhile, on the personal side, it’s pretty crassly redistribution from the blue state affluent professionals to red state constituencies and to the true plutocratic elite of the country. You’re not going to be able to compel a

president to sign it whether he wants to or not. This is something that you need a president who isn’t thinking that clearly about his own reelection to sign. So there’s a pact. I think what they have said is “This man will sign our bills. We have to protect him because otherwise we won’t pass our laws.” SHAFER: Mike Pence would do that too. FRUM: Mike Pence will do that too, but Mike Pence isn’t there. And that’s not an option because the only way you get to Mike Pence is by actually doing something pretty radical, which is once Donald Trump has won the nomination, won the presidency, going up against him. Then you bump into that Donald Trump understood the Republican base better than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell—and something else. There are a lot of books out about Trump. There’s something to be learned from all of them. I was of course fascinated by the Michael Wolff book. Read it attentively. SHAFER: Fire and Fiery. FRUM: He gets one important thing wrong, not just as an error of fact, but as a real error of judgment and it’s dangerous. That is the presentation of Donald Trump as an imbecilic dotard. That’s a big mistake and a really ominous mistake. Yes, for all the parts of the job that the president is supposed to do, Trump is very disengaged; but for the things that the president is not supposed to do, he is very wily and energetic, and he has the most ferocious will to power of any president, certainly in my adult lifetime. People go against him thinking because they know more or understand bureaucracy better that they will win, and they discover that he’s just got a desire for dominance that imposes itself on weaker spirits. SHAFER: Yeah. I was talking last week to Jackie Speier, Bay Area congresswoman,

Democrat, who is on the House Intelligence Committee. We were talking about the Robert Mueller investigation, and she said that she thinks that what Trump is really concerned most about is that Mueller will dig in too far into his real estate holdings and the connections with Russian oligarchs who have purchased property and condos and other things. What do you make of the investigation? What is he really worried about? What should he be worried about and therefore what should we be worried about? FRUM: The flows of money from Russian individuals through numbered companies into his condo business. Normally, Americans do not typically buy real estate through shell companies, and they especially do not buy Florida real estate through shell companies, because Florida has the Homestead Act. If you owned a property in your own name in Florida, even if you go bankrupt, that property cannot be attached so long as it’s personally owned. People tend to buy big houses in Florida as financial assets knowing that they’re protected against bankruptcy proceedings. If you buy through a shell company, you lose that advantage. So when you see that Donald Trump is selling now something like a third of all the properties in Florida to numbered companies, that makes you wonder. USA Today has done some very good work on tracking this down. The financial implications go beyond just Russia. Right now, there are Trump Towers in Manila. There’s Trump Towers in Istanbul. There’s a Trump Tower rising in Buenos Aires. There are four Trump Towers in India and Dubai. In all of these places Donald Trump is not the developer. He has licensed his name to a local partner who pays him a fee. We don’t know if that’s a dollar fee, or a percentage fee. We don’t


know what their incentive bonuses are. We don’t know how much it is, whether we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions, or tens of millions. We don’t know what percentage of Donald Trump’s income these flows represent. Is it a small part, a medium part, a big part, a dominant part? But what we do know is that the governments in those countries have tremendous pressure power over Donald Trump’s business partners, who in turn have some sway with him. His business partner in the Philippines was appointed by the Filipino government as a special envoy to Washington to make sure that Filippino interests were well attended-to by the president of the United States, and I bet they are. SHAFER: One of the things you write in the book is and I quote here, “There is no hypocrisy about Donald Trump.” He’s basically doing what he said he was going to do. FRUM: Yes. SHAFER: A lot of what he said during the campaign was, “I’m for the little guy. The little guy has been screwed by the swamp in Washington. I’m going to drain the swamp. I’m going to put the trade policy back on track to help blue collar workers.” But at the same time, the tax policy is clearly tilted toward the wealthy. He’s undoing Obama-era protections on things like student loans and payday lending. He’s sort of destabilizing the health-care markets. Is none of that hypocrisy? FRUM: I would say none of that is hypocrisy. SHAFER: Lies, or what? FRUM: If you’re relying on guarantees or assurances from Donald Tr ump, join

the queue of disillusioned people, including the ex-wives, the former business partners, the cred[itors]. Any guarantee or promise from Donald Trump is worthless. When I said there’s hypocrisy, I was recalling a question that was for Hillary Clinton in one of the debates where she was asked if she could say something positive about Donald Trump. They’d obviously wargamed this as the Hillary campaign wargamed everything, maybe even a little bit to death and so she said, “He’s raised good kids.” I don’t know that’s a view that very many people would take today. [Laughter.] I said I can come up with one. And that is the hypocrisy, because what I meant to say there is and this is especially for evangelical friends and neighbors: You’re on notice. Donald Trump never pretended to be a good father. He never pretended to be a good husband. He never pretended to be a kind man. He never pretended to be, until the very end, a man of faith. He never pretended to be a charitable person, and he never pretended to be a decent, kind human being. He’s made it clear. He despises that. He would literally end his rallies by quoting a parable who’s punchline was, “You knew I was a snake when you took me in.” So you have no excuse for being fooled. SHAFER: You say you can’t say you weren’t forewarned. Certainly elites, people who read The New York Times, T h e Atlantic, the Huffington Post, you could say they were f o r e warned, but the average blue collar people in

Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania—were they really forewarned? [By] whom? Fox News didn’t warn them. FRUM: No, because this is just our human sense. To understand whether Donald Trump was a successful or unsuccessful business man in his previous career, how can anybody figure that out for themselves? You have to rely on information and fairly detailed information. I understand there are a lot of people—I can well understand why many people had the impression he was good at business when he wasn’t. I could well understand why many people didn’t understand that he had a record of breaking his promises. But we are as animals just equipped with a knowledge of who is cruel and who is kind. That is something that we have involved to see. A story I don’t tell in the book—it just seemed too trivial, but it’s actually one that sort of sticks with me—is Donald Trump has a youngest son who I think is now 11, from whom he’s very distant, to whom he promised that if he were elected president and they left New York and came to Washington, D.C. he would buy the boy a dog, which the boy desperately wants. There was a story in The Washington Post with a friend of Donald Trump’s, a wealthy woman who had a dog that the boy really, really wanted, and the boy met the woman and the woman offered the boy the dog and Donald Trump promised in front of this witness that when they got to Washington he would buy the son a dog. He broke that promise. SHAFER: To be cruel or what? FRUM: The point is that’s not on the top 500 of Donald Trump’s moral offenses, but it’s something we all know, we all can tell which father, if he makes a son a promise to get a dog, will do it and who are the fathers who won’t. That we know. SHAFER: You say that you held your nose and voted for


Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election. I guess you live in DC. FRUM: Yes. SHAFER: You have Eleanor Holmes Norton [as your representative in Congress], so you have a Democrat representing you. Would you hold your nose again in the fall and vote for Democrats? Given what you write about in the book, do you want Democrats to take control of the House and/or the Senate? FRUM: I don’t know now interesting my behaviors are to anybody—no I mean this seriously because— SHAFER: I think it just goes to how deep is the conviction, I think. FRUM: Okay. If I were a resident of the state of California, I’m not an expert on California politics, but I imagine I would be voting for Republicans candidates for the state assembly and state senate and governor. Generally that’s my philosophy of how government should work. A lot of the ethical concerns about Donald Trump, they’re not as extreme in the Hillary Clinton case. They were there. When I said I held my nose, literally what happened was I was away from DC on voting day so I got an absentee ballot. Your vote in DC—which was like 92 percent Democratic—it’s not so important, but I always take part. I filled out the form and it sat in the outbox of my mail

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for about five days before I [mailed] it. The best immediate way to check [the president’s power] is to get some gavels into Democratic hands. That’s really important. SHAFER: Are you pulling for the Democrats to win either or both? FRUM: Well, obviously this country would be in much safer hands if Adam Schiff were chair of the House Intelligence Committee. [Applause.] It comes at a cost, because in order to do that, a lot of things are going to happen that I don’t like. I think one of the challenges and tests of these Trump years is we have to learn to separate our political and our constitutional commitments. Since this seems to be a predominantly Democratic crowd, let me give you hard teaching for you. One of the things I hear a lot about members of Congress like John McCain or Jeff Flake is they will raise their voices against some Trump abuse. Somebody said, “Well, that’s no good because you voted for the corporate income tax cut.” Well, of course they did. They’re Republicans, of course they voted for the corporate income tax cut. The way I would think about this is imagine this: One of the big arguments in the book is that these anti-democratic tendencies are true across the developed world, and they come from deep places and not only from specifically American sources.

This is a global or a developed world phenomenon. In many countries, Trumpism has shown up not in the form or party of the Right, but in the form or party of the Left. In Italy the Trumpist candidate is on the Left. In England, Jeremy Corbyn. In some of the small countries of southeastern Europe in former communist parties, you’ve seen these. In the United States I think that would’ve been less likely to happen, but I can create a scenario where it did. Imagine that some Jeremy Corbyn figure had somehow bounced his way into the presidency and was surrounded by people who were literal Stalinists and was a literal apologist for Hamas, and there were Democratic members of the House and Senate who stood up to that person and stood up for the FBI and the CIA and stood up against Hamas and Hezbollah and said, “You shouldn’t have literal Stalinists advising you.” Would it be fair for people like me to then say, “But, you don’t agree with me on school choice. Unless you agree with me on school choice, I’m not interested in what you have to say about Jeremy Corbyn.” That’s the way I feel when I hear people criticizing Jeff Flake. Jeff Flake is a very economically conservative person, and that’s why it’s all the more impressive that he has done what he has done.


Dr. Gloria Duffy GETTING THINGS DONE DR. GLORIA DUFFY

Ph.D., President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club

KIRK HANSON

Executive Director, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University—Moderator

Photos by Sonya Abrams


“ When you hear leaders indicating that berating, confrontation, demeaning others, denying the viewpoints and interests of others and similar approaches are effective in solving the problems we face, don’t believe it“— the Club’s president and CEO explains how to solve tough issues. From the January 18, 2018 program “Dr. Gloria Duffy: Getting Things Done.” T his p ro g ra m is p a r t of our series on ethics and account abilit y, under writ ten by the Charles Travers family.

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hat follows is an excerpt from the question-and-answer session of Dr. Gloria Duffy’s program, “Getting Things Done.” The Q&A followed Dr. Duffy’s explanation of how five difficult challenges were dealt with. Those challenges were the existence of “loose nukes” in former Soviet states; the need to provide gainful employment to former Soviet nuclear scientists and keep them out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists; the use of valuable public land in the middle of San José; campus sexual assault; and building The Commonwealth Club’s new headquarters building. To watch the entire video, including Dr. Duffy’s explanation of the five examples as well as the complete, uncut Q&A, visit commonwealthclub.org/duffyvideo. KIRK HANSON: Thank you, Gloria. There are several questions [from the audience], all on the same theme: Here are five cases where this approach worked wonderfully—what are the other five cases you faced where this approach did not work so wonderfully? DUFFY: I have to say, truthfully, that in all cases where I have had a role in the outcome, they have all worked. This approach has always worked. You look at the ultra-parti-

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sanship in Congress and the inability to get much done. I started thinking back on my personal experiences and, truly, every time I’ve been involved in solving a difficult, complex problem, these approaches have worked. HANSON: We are at a time when there’re many people who don’t believe as you are arguing, who believe that confrontation is the approach. If you’re someone like yourself or like, hopefully, most of the audience now is convinced by your appeal for this, that cooperation and collaboration’s the way—what do you do with people who won’t play ball? Who won’t take that approach? DUFFY: I don’t mean to say there aren’t situations in which force has to be used, pressure has to be used, lawsuits have to be filed, toughness is the only way to go. Obviously, with a Hitler or another despot, situations where no negotiation is possible, you have to take a different approach. So I would not argue that every case can be solved through this kind of collaboration. I think many cases can be. You simply have to be creative in finding the way. I will tell you, there are two cases where I was brought in to mediate that did not resolve so pleasantly. One of them was a back-channel effort to resolve conflicts in the mid to late ’90s between the three Caucasus countries—Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia—all of whom have a large number of conflicts with one another. There are conflicts over territory. There are conflicts over religion. There are conflicts over the relationship with Russia. So there were a series of Track II meetings that took place in England and at Stanford, in which I had a part. They were meetings with the national security advisors to the presidents of each of the countries. This was encouraged by the Clinton administration, but it involved scholars and people who were not in the government. I had just left the government. The conflicts there were simply too deep, and we had no authority or power to put any incentives out, to really put pressure on, to resolve the conflicts. There was the war going on over in Nagorno-Karabakh and several other actual conflicts. So there was an example where efforts were tried, but the problem was just too complex and too far away and too difficult. So not every problem is amenable to solution in this way. I am not a person who believes that you don’t have to use force, or

you don’t have to use pressure in a situation where you’re faced by a force that is intent on domination or imperialism, or doing ill, and must be combated. HANSON: Two of the themes you raised have provoked questions here. Number one, the inclusiveness. How broadly do you reach to bring people into the decision process who may be in opposition to it? And then there are some questions about the concept of the public interest and whether that still is valid, and whether we can identify a core. So let’s start with the inclusiveness. Do you bring everyone who wants a stake in a decision into the mix, or do you have to make tough decisions? DUFFY: Often the problem is that important stakeholders who are important aren’t at the table. In the case of the Guadalupe River Park, a lawsuit was being threatened. It was emanating from a law firm here in San Francisco. It had a variety of groups, fish preservation groups—and environmental and river support groups, and so on—that weren’t necessarily familiar with the political situation in San José, the players and so on. So just calling them up directly and getting the sides talking to each other—they didn’t know who each other were, really, and they really weren’t talking with each other. So sometimes you have to go the first step, which is just to bring the parties to the table who really are directly involved. Back to the example of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union; at the beginning, dealing with Ukraine, we had a dance going on where Ukrainians wouldn’t let us come to talk to them. We kept requesting permission. We kept sending diplomatic cables. And of course they were a new government. They barely had their diplomatic process set up. They just kept waving us off, and their parliament would make these statements that they own the nuclear weapons. So at one point, Les Aspin, who was briefly the secretary of defense, was on a trip to Russia. He just diverted his plane and called in to Kiev, and asked if the secretary of defense of the United States could land in Kiev and meet with his counterpart, the brand new secretary of defense in Ukraine. So he reached out directly, and he came back and gave me the phone number of the secretary of defense. We started calling up the Ministry of Defense ourselves, because working through the diplomatic cables and


the formal methods for requesting access were not working. So sometimes you just have to reach out and bring to the table, directly, those who are involved, much less involving many other constituencies. HANSON: But there’s still some that you can’t work with. DUFFY: I believe, again, that the table should be large. So in the development of this building and this site—the waterfront in San Francisco is a precious resource. Many people are interested in that. So we reached out not only to our friends at the unions, to the neighbors here, to environmental groups, to the businesses in this area. To everyone we could think of who had a stake in it. We all care about San Francisco’s waterfront. It’s a world-class resource, so we cast the net widely. Just talking to them, telling them, showing them plans for our building, talking to them about what we were doing, and soliciting feedback. So not everybody should be at the table, but a wide group should be consulted to find out what the people’s views are, and also what stakeholders’ views are, and also what they might have to contribute. They might have ideas. They might have improvements that you can utilize. HANSON: You used the term public interest several times in your presentation. One of the

questions says, “Is there such a thing as the public interest today, or have we become so polarized that the views of the Right and the Left simply don’t intersect at all?” DUFFY: I do believe there’s a public interest. Again, just back to some of the examples, I sat through many hearings, public hearings, back in the late 1980s about this 250-acre swath of land in downtown San José. There were many proposals to privatize its use, and I still remember all of these. The motocross racing and the private golf course, and all of that. Well, if public funds have gone to create a resource, and if there’s a way of benefiting broad public needs, then you need to follow that as the public interest. Now, again, that doesn’t involve Right and Left, and Republican and Democrat. But, again, this is basic ethics that, if the public paid for something through their taxes, which was used to buy land or tear down buildings, or whatever, then that land should be used for public uses. So there’s sometimes a very clear relationship. I do believe that a public interest can be arrived at between Left and Right, and Republican and Democrat. The Commonwealth Club was founded in 1903, coming out of what was called the Progressive movement in California. The Progressive movement held that however different the

political ideologies and viewpoints were in California and the Bay Area, an area of common interest could be found, particularly in areas like environmental protection. The environment affects everybody, Left, Right, etcetera. Areas like public health. Public health affects everybody. So in many areas, I believe a public interest can be found, and agreement can be found. What we have today, unfortunately, is kind of a “gotcha” culture where political elements don’t want to cooperate because they can then point to the other side and blame the lack of a solution on the other side. So we need to move away from the “gotcha” culture back to the Progressive culture, which believes that the human condition can be improved. That’s what the Progressive ideology is, really. It can be progressively improved by finding common ground. HANSON: We’re having this event the night, once again, Congress is negotiating over a one-month extension [of federal spending]. There seems to be exactly what you illustrated. Each side would like not to be blamed for a shutdown, or to take credit for finding the solution that prevented the shutdown. DUFFY: Right. So we had an era of great compromisers in the U.S. Congress. These were people of extremely varying political philosophies, but their identity was around ARPIL/MAY 2018

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finding a solution. So they made compromises. They found a third way, something neither side had thought of before. A way to fund it, a way to get creative, to get the job done, and no one had to give up everything. Each side got some of what they wanted. That’s what we need in our politics today. HANSON: Bravo. There are some who believe that, unfortunately, fewer and fewer people in public service or in positions of leadership in business or in nonprofits or elsewhere have this concept of the public interest, the concept of cooperation, collaboration and compromise, and that many more today are focused on their material success or reelection at all costs. Do you see that trend happening over the last 20 or 30 years? DUFFY: Sure. I think we all see it. And, again, we see a paralysis in solving problems if you look at our inability to grapple with climate change, for instance. There’s a clear common interest. There’s clear documentation and scientific evidence, at this point, that it is happening. Whether it’s completely human-caused or whether it’s long-term trends in the weather, it really doesn’t matter, because the effects are the effects. It is happening. It’s documented that the climate is heating up. That causes difficulties ranging from the waves lapping over the Embarcadero here, to species changing habitats, habitats that are changing in terms of being hospitable to species, and so on. So the effects are the same. It doesn’t matter what the cause is. There should be an ability to collaborate to mitigate those effects. Come up with creative ways through public policy and technology, and so on, to mitigate the effects. There are clearly issues on which collaboration should be possible for the common interest. That’s going to affect everyone in terms of people’s beach houses falling into the ocean, and whatever. There are many, many impacts that are negative economic impacts. They are negative societal impacts, and there should be an incentive to collaborate. HANSON: Let’s talk, in this last couple of moments, about how we reach the youth. Because I know that’s been a great interest of yours with your involvement with Occidental [College] as a trustee, and with other educational programs. What should we be doing in our undergraduate programs to help spread this kind of concept? Because certainly at Santa Clara, Occidental, Berkeley or Stanford, we see some of the elements of

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polarization that exist in Washington. DUFFY: Well, I think you do terrific work through the Markkula Center and what you’ve done at Santa Clara University. You’ve really nurtured teaching and learning about ethics. For better or worse, we find this more in the context of religious institutions, now, than we do anywhere else. So a Jesuit university considers that a very important part of its mission. HANSON: I’ve spent half my career at Stanford and now at Santa Clara. It’s easier to do it if the students are more receptive. The other faculty are more receptive in a Jesuit university context. DUFFY: Right. I think teaching kids ethics at all levels, down to probably middle school or so, if not before, is important. So you can pose many choices and many dilemmas to kids. “What would you do about this?” Then try to use that to teach what the values are. It’s not just the values, but it’s that the values produce a certain success. So I think all those are parts of it. Certainly, the churches have a role, although not that many kids are attending church or Sunday School anymore. And the public schools and private schools all have a role. Ethics, as you well know, having taught it, can be taught. Those values have to come from somewhere. But there can also be, from a social science standpoint, study of how these approaches work. HANSON: There’s a very interesting, provocative question. Where did your values come from? Can you share with us some of the formation of your positive attitude toward compromise and collaboration? DUFFY: Sure. I will say that some may regard me as slightly Pollyanna-ish. My friend and former roommate, Condi Rice, was interviewed about me for a magazine article, which is a little bit of a twist in that I’m usually interviewed about her. But when I went off to Washington in the Clinton administration, she was quoted as saying, “Gloria thinks that anything can be accomplished.” Kind of in a wondering way. I had a good upbringing in the Methodist church—the Lafayette Methodist Church in the town where I grew up. My great uncle was a Methodist minister. My grandmother, his brother, lived in our home. She made sure that I went to Sunday School, and so I learned those basic values there. I would say they were reinforced all

through my schooling, and as I got out and started getting involved in public policy projects, I began to see how they worked. I’ll just cite one influence. In Lafayette, where I grew up, some friends and I, in my high school, felt—this is in the late ’60s— that there were too many drugs going on among our friends, and too little for suburban kids to do in this wealthier suburb. There was a certain ennui. A certain shiftlessness, a bit, among some of the kids, and there was no place to go. The town was very quiet. You couldn’t go to San Francisco or Berkeley without a car. So we decided that we thought there needed to be a youth commission, on the city level, that planned activities and thought about this question. We approached the mayor of Lafayette— this is a friend and I, from my high school. He’s a very smart guy who later became the president of the San Francisco Foundation, president of John F. Kennedy University, and had many roles. He said, “Okay. So, talk to every member of the city council. Go find the nonprofit or public organization that does something the most similar to what you want to do. Find a kid from the other high school in town.” He basically taught us how to go out and build a constituency. And then he said, “When you’ve done all those things, then come back.” So we did. It’s now called the Lafayette Youth Services Commission, and it still exists and does very good work—you can read all about it on the internet—and does volunteer work and hosts social events and so on. That was 40-some years ago. It had legs. It lasted, I think, because of the way that we went about it. My old friend who was the mayor of Lafayette taught my friends and I how to go about this. And it worked. It’s still going strong. So [I had] many influences out in the public arena, in school, and in church.


HARM TO HOME The Refugee’s Journey KAREN FERGUSON Executive Director for Northern California Offices, International Rescue Committee

A look at the policy and huma n asp e c t s of t h e world’s refugee challenge. From the January 9, 2018 program in San Francisco, “Harm to Home: A Refugee’s Journey to the Bay.”

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e need to start by understanding who is an immigrant. An immigrant is really just somebody who is coming from a different country than the one that you’re in, and is coming there not just to visit, not just to go to school, but is coming there to create some sort of perma-

nent residence. Generally, that’s going to involve having a job, making a home for a period of, at least, years. That’s an immigrant. There are many, many other avenues of immigration that happen; we have people who come here on what’s called humanitarian parole; we have people who come here on a variety of different other visas—an employment visa, a fiance visa; we have people who are coming here on temporary protected status. Who within that greater arch of immigrants are refugees? I want to talk specifically about who a refugee is, and the way that I often think about it is first by thinking of these two very distinct words in terms of how the U.S. approaches somebody who’s coming to this country for permanent residency. That’s the difference between opportunity versus sanctuary. When we think about the history of America, “a land of immigrants,” and that is a philosophy of opportunity that we open our shores to anyone who might come from another country and is going to be coming

here potentially to enrich themselves, and also in that process they’re going to enrich us, okay? Because of that, we don’t necessarily provide a whole blanket of emergency services. We in the U.S. believe that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps if they should be pioneers, that they should come here ready to dig in and improve both themselves and the community that they’re going to join. In general, immigrants do not have the ability to tap into a wide range of safety net and emergency services that are provided in the United States. There’s a different term that came about as the U.S. grappled with our role in the world through World War II, which is that you see people who are fleeing, there are also potentially people who could come here as immigrants, who could also enrich both themselves and us, but they’re in a different situation than our past history, and they need sanctuary. If you’re going to give sanctuary, if you go through the classic definition of APRIL/MAY 2018

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In 1980, we were bringing in over 200,000 people. We’re [now] on track to bring in 15,000 refugees this year, which is even 10,000 lower than what we brought in during 9/11. sanctuary, you’re going to give them what the church would’ve given; you’re going to give a roof; you’re going to give food; you’re going to give bedding and clothing. As the U.S. began to embark on having a history of actually welcoming refugees, we did this with the philosophy of sanctuary. Who is a refugee? We had a history of immigrants; people could come from all different parts of the world, whether they were fleeing some terrible situation in their country or they simply were seeking a new adventure. A refugee, though, started to have a very specific definition. This starts with somebody who didn’t necessarily want to leave their country. They had to leave because of what’s called the well-founded fear of persecution, meaning that they felt that themselves or their family, their friends, their community, was in vital danger. They flee their home, and they leave their country and enter another country. That is one of the distinctions of a refugee. It’s that they actually have left their home country because of this well-founded fear of persecution. Then we started to look at what would be the reasons for somebody to have to do that. They would do that due to one of five reasons; race, religion, nationality, social class or political opinion. This is based on the 1951 Geneva Convention for Refugees. It is a global definition that a person has fled due to the well-founded fear of persecution due to one of those reasons. A refugee is potentially going to end up being an immigrant in another country but they’re in need of sanctuary, and they have this very specific definition to them. Let’s understand where we are in the world. Unfortunately, we’re in a tragic time in world history, and that there are more people that have faced displacement due to war, violence, conflict, oppression, than at any other given time in history. In fact, according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, there are 65 million people, right now, facing displacement. Not all of them have had to flee their country; they may have simply moved

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to another city or another location, hoping to go back. But of those, 21.5 million actually meet this definition of refugee. Of those, half of the refugees are under 18. When we start to think about who are refugees, first and foremost, they’re children. Second, if you’re adding the women, 72 percent are women or children. Of those, 54 percent come from only three countries at this time in our global situation; from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Of those people, 65 million who are displaced, 21 million who meet that definition of refugee, what we’re going to talk about is less than 1 percent that face what is called resettlement or get the opportunity, the avenue, the path of resettlement. Why? Well, the first thing is that when you flee, you don’t necessarily want to go to some other country. You want to go home. You just fled because home was not safe at that moment. Many refugees hope for, and some refugees get the opportunity for, what we call voluntary repatriation; they eventually return home. A second option that we always hope for is called the integration, which means I go to some country, it might be adjacent or it might be several countries away, but it might share some similarities culturally, in terms of religious base, in terms of ethnicity, with the group that has fled, and so maybe I will be able to integrate within that other country. It could even be an asylum process. For example, people who are migrating and coming to European countries, for example from Syria. That could be an integration process. The third option then, which we called the option of last resort, is resettlement, and what that means is that the person meets the definition of refugee, and then by United Nations High Commission on Refugees classification, is determined as a group that at that point, no longer has the ability to voluntarily repatriate or to integrate. If you are left in that last remaining group, the only option for you would be to resettle, and resettle actually means being airlifted to one of about 22 countries within the world

that accept refugees for refugee resettlement. Until very recently, my statement always has been that the U.S. is the largest resettler of refugees, and if you take the other 21 countries combined, they do not equal the number that the U.S. brings. Unfortunately, I think we may be seeing that change. The U.S. doesn’t have an absolutely proud history in terms of this humanitarian work, in that we didn’t sign on until 1968 to the [Geneva] Convention; however, we did start to become very actively involved in resettlement, and especially in the ’70s with the Vietnam War, and also people fleeing especially from Hungary. The U.S. began receiving and welcoming people who met that definition of refugee. In the ’70s, there was quite a [large] influx of Vietnamese refugees, and generally, it was what was called the sponsorship model. Often a religious group would sign up and would be given a family or maybe several families, and they would mentor these families and help them to begin their new lives in America. There wasn’t any necessarily financial package to that. The church would put the money together, and they would do it. Some of this was beautiful. We had incredible success stories. We also had a lot of exploitation and problems that would happen. Eventually Congress decided that we needed to have a ceiling, we needed to know how many people we were really bringing in, and we probably needed to appropriate some funding for this, and maybe set some standards. In 1980 we created the Refugee Act, and at that point we started appropriating a set amount of money for a [certain] number of refugees. The president set the refugee resettlement cap, and then the agencies that were involved would try to meet that number. At the beginning in 1980, we were bringing in over 200,000 people. At that time, we had the capacity to provide that much services. A lot of people talk about, “Do we have the capacity now?” I give you our history that we used to have the capacity to provide services to 200,000 people quite a while ago. As you


see, the history dips and drops at different times in terms of the number of refugees that were expected by the ceiling, and by the admissions we always tried to meet that number. At 9/11, the ceiling was 80,000 under the Bush administration, which was very important. The Bush administration, [with] very bipartisan support, continued to have a ceiling that was appropriate to the need within the global community despite what had happened within our country. There was a brief pause while we tried to figure out security measures. In 9/11 we had a ceiling that was 80,000, but because of the security vetting that we decided we needed to add in, we actually only brought in about 23,000 individuals that year. Under the Obama administration we were starting to move up from 80,000 to 85,000 to 110,000 as the ceiling right before the change in administration. With the change in administration, there was a dramatic drop in the number of people brought in even while the number of the ceiling had not changed. What’s happened now? For 2016, we had 85,000 as the ceiling; we brought in 84,995. Those of us in the field were very, very proud of those numbers. That’s pretty damn good. Then we had . . . the executive orders coming out in January, which started to suspend ref-

ugee admissions, so the actual number that came in this past year was 53,000. The new administration set a number that has never in the history of the U.S. been set before for presidential ceiling, and that was 45,000 refugees. However, based on all of the security issues, we’re on track to bring in 15,000 refugees this year, which is even 10,000 lower than what we brought in during 9/11. Arriving in a New Home [If you, as a refugee, manage to come to the United States,] as you arrive in the U.S., you’re greeted by the staff of a resettlement agency, such as IRC. This group that meets you at the airport, the very first Americans you’re going to get to know, are going to be your guide, your cheerleader for the next several months. They’re going to enroll your children in school, they’re going to show you an apartment that is already furnished by community donations, including mixing bowls and spatulas. You’re going to be shown how to get groceries. You’re going to be shown how to get your Social Security card. And you’re going to get helped to start a first job. You’re going to learn the bus system, and you’re going to be attending cultural orientation classes, and within six months, 80 percent of you are going to be working.

Within 12 months, the vast majority of you will no longer need cash assistance, and in five years, most of you are going to become U.S. citizens. That is truly an epic journey of courage and resilience. Last year, 430 people did that journey to Oakland. Most of them were from Afghanistan. This year, you will see probably similar numbers in Oakland, and almost 90–95 percent of them will be from Afghanistan. That is because there are a group of people in Afghanistan who have decided to provide support to the U.S. military services. If you manage to survive and do that for one to two years, and then you find yourself in harm’s way, targeted because you are helping the U.S. military, you can then apply for what is called the Special Immigrant Visa and you can bring your family here for safety. That group has not been mentioned by any of the executive orders. Special Immigrant Visa holders are not what our current administration is focused on, and hence this group will continue to come while a lot of refugee groups are not coming. Northern California just happens to be a place that is extremely welcoming and we’re very proud to be that. Special Immigration Visa holders are going to be a group that you’re going to see a lot of in Northern California for the next year, as we do everything we can to bring everyone we can.

APRIL/MAY 2018

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Economy in 2018

Photos by Ed Ritger

LENNY MENDONCA Chair Emeritus, Bay Area Council and Bay Area Council Economic Institute; Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company; Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors JOHN TAYLOR Ph.D., Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics and George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Former Economic Advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush EDWARD WASSERMAN Ph.D., Dean, UC Berkeley Journalism School; Former Executive Business Editor, Miami Herald—Moderator

With big business tax breaks and regulatory changes taking a hold this year, what is in store for the economy? From the January 26, 2018 program in San Francisco, “Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Walter E. Hoadley Annual Economic Forecast.” EDWARD WASSERMAN: We have on the one hand an economy that is buoyant, that’s marked by substantial continuing growth, confidence, optimism—and that exists in a parallel universe on the political environment, which is marked by disarray, by leadership that doesn’t lead, by dismay affecting a substantial number of voters. Yet the economy seems to be going well and

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THE COMMO N WE AL TH

chugging along oblivious to this. How long can that go on? If the economy is responding to dog whistle sirens from the political leadership, the rest of us aren’t picking up. JOHN TAYLOR: I’ve been worried about the U.S. economy’s growing too slowly for a while. This Bay Area is doing great, but if you go to the Central Valley, it’s not so great; go down to Imperial County, it’s terrible. The

Above, left to right: Edward Wasserman, Lenny Mendonca and John Taylor

rest of the country has these pockets, which are not doing well. I think that has been because our growth rate—which has been continuing [to be] positive since the terrible Great Recession—has been quite low. It’s around 2 percent. What I think we’re seeing now—and I’ve been hoping this would happen—is a pick up. I almost like to think of this as finally, we’re having a recovery, which we should have had in 2009 and ’10, which we never really had. We never had the usual rebound of 5-, 6-, 7-percent growth as we had say in the ’80s rebound, but we may be getting it now and what I’ve been arguing is we need to have a change in policy. We need to have a tax reform. We need to have regulatory reform. We need to have budget reform, and my favorite subject, monetary reform. On the tax reform, we’ve had a big tax act that was passed recently. Firms have been anticipating it. People have been anticipating it. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the market is responding, not just to what people say, but what people do in this case. Then also on the regulatory side, quite a few changes. Now, it hasn’t happened on the budget, it hasn’t happened on certain parts of monetary policy; maybe it will happen a little bit more there, but it’s a start. I think that’s what we’re


seeing. If that’s the case, we should see a pick up in growth, and we may be seeing it already. All the cacophony that you’re referring to, there’s a huge division in our country about where we should be going. I hear it every day. Some people think it’s because of the social media, but it’s there. It’s remarkable. I think even the debate about the effect of economic policy, I’ve never seen it so split between one side and another, this tax reform bill—”How could this be good for America?” I’m more positive about lowering taxes on business substantially, small businesses as well. [There] is a change in the international tax system, repatriation discount rate. It’s amazing how many things are happening, not just these bonuses but actually firms expanding their operations. That’s what you’d expect if you lower the tax on investment, which is what that 35-to-21 percent does. You’d expect to see more, and I think we’re beginning to see more. If we want to make wages higher, we need to have more productivity. Workers have to be producing more per hour, and they do that with better and more capital and more technology. Let’s hope that what I say is correct and that it will tend to bring people back together again, because it’s been a split more than I’ve ever seen before. WASSERMAN: Just to get you back to the original question, are you suggesting that the quality of leadership is actually better than it seemed? TAYLOR: Oh, the delivery. Look, the delivery—let’s look on the results. That’s all I can do, quite frankly. I served many times in government. I love the idea of going back between the world of ideas and world of action. I think I benefit in both directions. The things happen also in different ways. There are these swings and a good policy and a bad policy in the United States. I don’t think actually the swings are much related to the political parties I criticized. For example, the terrible policy in the ’70s. A lot of that began with Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, but it was continuing later in that decade. Terrible economic performance, low productivity, low growth. Then it picked up in the ’80s, but it continued in the ’90s. That wasn’t just Reagan; it was Clinton, part of that, as well. It has not been so good recently, and that’s the concern that I think we all should have. The income inequality, low growth, low labor

force participation, parts of the country doing particularly bad. If we can turn that around, regardless of how it happens, politics works in funny ways. I think that sometimes I said, “You got to get your idea on the shelf.” Then at the right time, someone will pick it off and be able to move that, and you don’t know exactly when it will be. You hope it happens. It might not be the way you want it to happen, not the idea way we discussed it together in the seminar, but that’s what you want to have happen. WASSERMAN: Lenny, let me get you to weigh in on this wide-angle question. LENNY MENDONCA: Let me start with the things I do agree with. I do think this recent tax bill will stimulate the economy, and we’ll likely see faster growth. That’s the end of my productive comments about the tax bill. We have exacerbated the new Gilded Age we’re in by passing a bill that had the opportunity to deal with some of the problems that Dr. Taylor mentioned, particularly the issue about differential corporate taxation and the amount of cash that was on companies’ balance sheets that will be brought back to the United States. We definitely needed to do that, but we didn’t need to do it combined with a massive giveaway to the 1 percent. Less than a quarter of the gains that come from corporate tax reduction go to workers. The remainder goes to capital. Fifty percent of the capital of the United States is held by 1 percent of the population, and a third of the capital that’s in corporations in the United States is held by foreigners. Of course, it stimulated the economy. Of course it made the stock market go up, but it’s going to bore a hole in the deficit for the longer term and it’s going to exacerbate the biggest problem we’ve got in this country and around the world, which is inequality. We do not have a system that’s going to ensure that all of those gains benefit everyone. This tax bill was a missed opportunity to create a new tax regime globally, but have that be reinvested in the United States in a thoughtful way that benefits everyone. As for the disconnect between the markets and popular opinion, that’s also not surprising. We measure GDP. We measure the stock market. We have a good sense of the economic issues as they are measured. The Federal Reserve has two objectives: full employment and price stability. Who’s measuring or talking about or being held

accountable for economic mobility? The only people are politicians, and it only happens when there’s a vote. The anger that you’re seeing around the country and in the United States is partly partisan garbage driven by and enhanced by social media, but it’s actually a real and underlying concern about the economy not working well for everyone. Historically, democracy has been a great way to help deal with that. If you look back to the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century, I could describe a set of conditions for you that if I told you those were the conditions, you would say that’s today. Wealth is soaring. It’s concentrated. There is an enormous frustration with the concentration of power in the small hands of a number of individuals and a number of institutions. Women are taking to the streets in viral protest about their lack of access to opportunity. Citizens are frustrated with corruption in both parties and feeling like there needs to be a dramatic change. I just described for you the Progressive Era 120 years ago; we’re in it again, and I think what we’re going to have is the scale of that kind of response politically to these challenges economically. I actually think that’s constructive. Having a whole new way of a progressive federalism and thinking about these issues to ensure that the voices of citizens are in this is a really good idea. The alternative of not having productive democracy is called revolution. I like to see that these economic gains that are going to the stock market actually go to everyone. WASSERMAN: Let’s go back to the tax bill, because it’s probably the single most significant indication of where the political leadership is going with respect to the economy. I want to tease out some more reflections on what you anticipate the tax bill’s consequences to be. Let’s start with housing, since obviously both the restrictions on deductibility of mortgage, deductibility of global taxes, has an impact on housing. Everybody cares about housing prices as owners or with the buyers. John, where do you see the consequence of housing from the tax bill? TAYLOR: I think that it’s basically a positive, but because most of this tax reform has its impact on business investment, I think you will see more of an effect there, and I think that’s really what I think is so important to stress in this tax reform is growth. Growth has been low. ARPIL/MAY 2018

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WASSERMAN: You have no problem characterizing it as a reform? TAYLOR: No. The definitions of reforms vary, but on the corporate side, we reduced it in the direction that everybody wanted it to have happened. Actually, the beginning of last year through most of this last year, when I talked about tax reform, people would laugh. This is never going to happen. President Obama wanted to have corporate tax reform. He said there’s a high rate and wanted to do something about it. It went from 35 to 21. If you would ask me how can we get wages higher in America, I would say we need to have workers be more productive—that history tells you. The United States is a richer country than most countries in Africa because our productivity is so much higher. That’s it. If we want to have more wages, faster growing wages, we have to have a way that workers are more productive. That’s just arithmetic. How do you get workers more productive? Better technology. We’re talking about that all the time. Better equipment, better factories, more of those. What this tax bill reform act does is reduce the tax on capital. It’s not something that will generate only profits, it will generate more income. Look what’s happened already. There’s huge bonuses that hundreds of firms are paying. Now, people would say, “Oh, that’s just showing how good they are.” Well, they have to have money to do that. There’s also reports of more investment already. It’s quite amazing, and people like this. I think it’s important not to lose sight that what is trying to happen here. If

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you had asked me before this—2 years ago, 4 years ago, 6 years ago—how can we get wages growing in America more? I would say you’ve got to deal with this very high tax on businesses that employ workers, that provide a better life for higher wages. That’s what happened. That’s why I think it’s a positive. There’s things on the personal side, which we can talk about and debate. A lot of those have to do with states like California, but it’s a huge increase in the standard deduction that helps a lot of people. . . . We’re eliminating the state and local tax deduction in California—that’s going to hurt a lot of us. Actually, it hurts the rich. It hurts the rich. Think about that a little bit in terms of what’s happening, and ultimately, I think it will benefit everybody. Maybe it’s overly positive here, but the tone is in the other direction and I think people need to think about that. The reception [that President Trump received] in Davos—I think that surprised a lot of people, actually. It certainly surprised the press, and I think it’s revealing something that is maybe a positive as well. The subject of Trump’s speech this morning was “America first,” but it was, “America not alone.” He’s trying to emphasize that we’ve got to do this together. Let’s hope that happens. I’m a person that’s interested in international affairs a lot, and I think we need to make sure our country moves in that direction, but who could not want faster growth? Who could not want more jobs for people? MENDONCA: We definitely need faster growth. That’s what ultimately creates wealth and creates opportunity, but we can accel-

erate growth by not having it all go to the 1 percent. What we really need is not more inducement in tax benefits for capital. We need to ensure that labor is productive and the returns of that labor go to workers. That could have been done in this tax bill. What we should have done is said we’re going to give the opportunity for companies to bring their dollars back to the United States, but if you’re going to bring your dollars back and get a big inducement, they’re going to invest it in infrastructure. We need a lot of infrastructure in this country. That’s what we should have done. We should have also paid for it by not further exacerbating this problem by giving a huge tax deduction to the wealthy. We had an opportunity to do tax reform right; we did not. What we really need to be doing is not subsidizing capital. We need to be subsidizing labor. We need a huge investment in productivity in this country. The way that’s going to come is from labor productivity. The way we get labor productivity is to invest more in labor, not keep throwing more capital at it. We should have had an opportunity to invest in labor. The second thing I’d say on that is I actually believe we should not have had a substantial tax deduction for home interest, but if you’re going to do that, let’s do it based on the cost of where you live. It costs $1.5 million to buy the medium home in San Francisco. It costs $187,000 in Kansas. Should we make the limit based on average or should we adjust it for the cost of living? If you’re trying to do it rationally, we should have adjusted it for the cost of living. If you’re trying to do it


politically to punish blue states on the coast, you do it the way we just did it. WASSERMAN: Let me ask you to put on your economist hat. What’s at stake here in getting a coherent immigration policy, in economic terms? TAYLOR: America is built on immigration. It’s where a lot of our ideas come from, especially here in this valley, in this community, so we don’t want to get away from that. It’s very important. A sensible immigration policy is integral to our success as a country. I think it’s very important to do that. . . . The president of the United States has come up with another proposal in the last couple of days. Some people don’t like it, some people like it. We’ll see where that goes. But I think the [government] shutdown was terrible. People better wise up; those things just don’t work. I would like to see what I would call a regular order. Regular order is that a president would submit a budget, Congress would act on it; it would take place in the last quarter of the year and we’d be all set. That has disappeared from Washington. That [would provide for] much more certainty for military, for other kinds of spending. But we’re not there yet and partly it’s because there’s some incredible attacks on people. The question really to me is how do we move forward in the positive direction? More jobs, higher wages, higher growth, more equal distribution especially in the parts of the country that are doing terribly—parts of the Central Valley, but also parts of Ohio, Kentucky. J.D. Vance wrote eloquently about that in Hillbilly Elegy. We have problems in California. I give a statistic—which comes from my colleague, Rick Hanushek—about one of

our problems: If you look at the math scores for eighth grade Hispanics in California, we rank 43rd in the country. If you look at the math scores for eighth grade Hispanics in Texas, also a border state, second in the country. We’re not doing the right thing, and let’s focus on that. Those are real people who are not getting a good education, and that’s just a symbolic statistic. It occurs all over the place, and I want to deal with that. That’s why I want higher growth. That’s why I’m not going to complain about every last detail of this tax thing. WASSERMAN: I have an interesting question from the audience having to do with growth. When we put on our economics hats, we talk about the economy and how well it’s functioning, and we think that high growth is necessary and a very good thing. We are also living in a world in which resource constraints have deepened. Are we investing as we should be in renewables and in processes that enable us to make sure that we have a planet to bequeath to the young? TAYLOR: People forget that if you have more growth, you have more production of goods and service, and so you can devote more to these problems. The worst environmental disasters in the world were back in say, Poland, before they changed to market systems. I went there; it’s unbelievably bad because they had no money to spend on it. If you’re producing more, then you can produce things that are helpful to the environment. The other thing I would say is I agree completely that our lingo tends to be too abstract. Growth rate, 3 percent, 4 percent. What does that really mean? That’s really been broadcast loud and clear to me in the

last few years. When you’re getting stories of people that are really hurting and they’re trying to articulate themselves politically, and they have people who are saying that their family’s falling apart or they can’t get a good education and social services, that brings it home in a way that 3 percent, 2 percent, 2.6 percent cannot. We economists need to do more of that. I’d be so happy if we get 3 percent growth this year, but I need to say more about how that’s going to help somebody in Ohio or the Central Valley. MENDONCA: Having faster growth and reducing the carbon intensity and the extraction of resources are not antonyms. Done properly, they work together. Most of the rest of the world is trying to move in that direction. California’s more aggressively moving in that direction. The current policy of the United States is out of tune with what’s going on there. California can help move this forward by saying, “We want a fast-growth economy, but we [have] set targets for carbon reduction and we’re going to hold everyone accountable for those and it shall be the policy of the state of California and it should be enacted in actions that ensure that that happens.” Why can’t the United States do that? Those carbon policies for the United States need to be done in a way that doesn’t just advantage New York and Los Angeles and Chicago, but it helps Ohio and West Virginia and Kansas as well. That can be done. There’s actually a reasonably broadly agreed-to set of statements signed by economists, many Republican economists, who argued for a carbon tax in the United States. If we put that into the equation and said we’re trying to grow, but we’re also trying to ensure that APRIL/MAY 2018

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the price of extraction is included in the cost, we can do both. California did it with capand-trade and a set of assumptions around what we needed to do to reduce carbon. The United States can do it by putting on a carbon tax if they had any political will. WASSERMAN: How will the current economic policy, the tax bill, affect or either worsen or somehow ameliorate problems of long-term inequality? TAYLOR: I think the data show that the inequality is [in] pre-tax income. Earnings that are much higher for certain groups of wealthy pre-tax. Tax maybe has something to do with it, but it’s a story that comes from the system, the market system. What you do about this—first of all, there’s lots of ways that people keep what they have and the system can be more open and more flexible. Land use regulations are enormously restrictive for poor people. There’s huge differences in our country about land use regulations. California has one of the most restrictive land use laws in the country, and that may be part of the problem we see in different parts of the state. It’s a touchy subject, but let’s face it, that could be a big part of what you do to the inequality. The thing that seems to be more practical is education. I just think it’s tragic what’s happening with basically K–12 in this country. Aren’t we terribly embarrassed about the performance of California versus Texas and the delivery of the system? Let’s try to do something about it. The idea—I don’t think it is too controversial—to make education more equitable, more access to it no matter where you live, but delivering that is very hard. Have a new session on that at the

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Commonwealth Club. MENDONCA: I would love to have that session at The Commonwealth Club. It’s the class that I teach to business school students at Stanford. And think about our business leaders’ role in U.S. economic inequality. The first thing, just to give away the summary of the class in 30 seconds, is if you talk about it just as inequality, it creates concerns from a political standpoint. What we really should be talking about is economic mobility. Do you have a chance of advancing and is that getting better or worse? The answer is it’s getting worse —a lot worse. Someone born when I was born—I won’t tell you when, but a long time ago—had a two-thirds likelihood of having a better financial outcome than their parents. Today, it’s a coin flip. In the parts of the country where you are in poor neighborhoods with less-educated parents from disadvantaged populations, your chance of having economic mobility is incredibly low. That is not the American dream. We have to fix that problem. It is fixable. These are not laws of nature. There are human choices around how we design policy and what we choose to do. Housing, the issues around the ability to build more and do it in places [so it can] help give the next generation opportunities to own a home are an important part of that. Tax policies are incredibly important to that. The education policies are really important to that. We just have to get serious about this. If we’re going to assume that we’re not going to have another democratic revolt or something larger—when people are angry, it’s because they [believe] that mobility is not real for them.

WASSERMAN: I’m sure a number of people in our audience are very curious about the stock market. We have retirements that depend upon its continued health. It is going gangbusters. What’s going on? TAYLOR: Good question. As you might know from my previous comments, I think we’ve seen a change in policy, which is beneficial to the stock market and largely has to do with taxes and regulation. It’s not rocket science to say those are beneficial to firms. The debate is how beneficial it will be to everybody else, which I think it will be. There are also other unusual circumstances. The very low interest rates we’ve had in the U.S., globally, negative interest rates in Europe and Japan—it’s an unusual circumstance and it is very hard to determine the impact of that whether it’s on housing markets, whether it’s on the stock market. But I would just emphasize there are some things that are changing and those would be things that benefit stocks, and we just hope there’s not something else under the scenes that could break that apart. MENDONCA: If I knew the direction the stock market was going to go, I’d be making a fortune as a Bitcoin trader. WASSERMAN: You’re not resisting the idea that we’ll see the Dow at 30,000? MENDONCA: In my children’s lifetime? No, I think there is a logic to describe the market. It still has room to grow. There is logic that it’s over-valued. That’s really fundamentally dependent on the side of things that we were talking about earlier. What happens to the growth implications of what’s going on and what happens to interest rates—and there’s a lot of uncertainty around that—and that’s why it’s hard to predict.


2019

Commonwealth Club Travel

World-Class Destinations Exceptional Experiences Engaging Speakers Insightful Discussions Superb Sta Outstanding Company

commonwealthclub.org/travel travel@commonwealthclub.org (415) 597-6720 CST: 2096889-40


India: Splendors of the South (Optional Sri Lanka Extension) January 22 – February 6, 2019 Experience a 16-day journey from Mumbai to Mysore to the wildlife haven of Nagarhole National Park. Explore Calicut, “City of Spices,” then enjoy a leisurely two-night cruise along Kerala’s palm-fringed canals. Discover fascinating Kochi, boasting its rich mix of Arab, Portuguese, British and Dutch influences. Delhi and Agra pre-tour extension and Sri Lanka post-tour extension. Cost: $5,674 per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

Pride of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe featuring the MS Zambezi Queen February 14–28, 2019 Travel the breadth of southern Africa, where history is rich, culture is diverse and “Big Five” game viewing is extraordinary. Enjoy a unique three-night river safari aboard the Five-Star Zambezi Queen on Namibia’s legendary Chobe River. Experience superb game viewing in Botswana. Visit Johannesburg, Cape Town and Victoria Falls. Pre-tour extension to MalaMala Private Game Reserve. Cost: from approximately $8,395 per person, double occupancy

Death Valley National Park March 3–8, 2019 Explore this magnificent land of extremes with study leader Frank Ackerman, former Death Valley National Park Ranger. Visit Badwater Salt Flats (282 feet below sea level) and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of all 11,049 feet of Telescope Peak. Hike amid the multi-hued walls of Golden Canyon; experience sunrise at Zabriskie Point; and visit Ubehebe Crater. Cost: from approximately $3,395 per person, double occupancy

Belize to Tikal: Reefs, Rivers & Ruins of the Maya Aboard National Geographic Quest March 5–13, 2019 Discover the vibrant reefs of Belize and the dramatic Maya ruins of Tikal on a comprehensive land-and-sea expedition. Sail aboard the newly built 100-guest National Geographic Quest to snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard along the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest reef in the Northern Hemisphere. Then venture to Tikal to explore stone temples swathed in rain forest and teeming with wildlife. Cost: from approximately $5,760 per person, double occupancy

Moroccan Discovery April 2–15, 2019 Travel to the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakech. View the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis; wander the alleys of Fez; visit a Berber village; take a sunset camel ride at the edge of the Sahara; and view the spectacular scenery of the High Atlas Mountains. Discover Marrakech’s medina and Djemaa el Fna Square. Conclude in Casablanca. Cost: approximately $6,079 per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

Dutch Waterways: Antwerp to Amsterdam Aboard MS Amadeus Silver III April 29 – May 7, 2019 Glide through the waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium during a seven-night cruise aboard an exclusively chartered, first-class river ship. Enjoy the seaport of Antwerp, the charming village of Giethoorn and the canals of Amsterdam. Design your time in The Hague, Delft and Bruges from a selection of included excursions, including cycling to chocolate tasting to tulips. Optional Amsterdam post-tour extension. Cost: from approximately $2,595 per person, double occupancy

Discovering Eastern Europe April 30 – May 16, 2019 Experience an overview of five distinct and fascinating nations – Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Explore Warsaw’s Old Town and view Budapest’s scenic Danube Bend. Attend a classical music performance in Vienna and tour majestic Schönbrunn Palace. Experience Prague’s acclaimed museums and architectural treasures. Visit Germany’s capital on an optional 4-day/3-night Berlin post-tour extension. Cost: approximately $5,497, per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

Walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago May 16–28, 2019 Walk some of the most attractive segments of the pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago. Explore Burgos and Leon. Visit a wine cellar in Rioja and stop at the Shrine of San Juan de Ortega. Hike to stunning views of Galician landscapes. Conclude at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the finest example of both Romanesque and Baroque art in Spain. Cost: approximately $5,695, per person, double occupancy


Walking in Peru: The Sacred Valley & the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu May 17–26, 2019 Experience the ancient history and living culture of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Visit the archeological site of Chinchero and the market at Pisaq. Take a Peruvian cooking class. Stay in deluxe mountain lodges along the Lares Trail and tailor your experience with adventure activities and cultural encounters. Explore the remarkable complex of Machu Picchu. Cost: approximately $5,465, per person, double occupancy

Celtic Lands with Dwight David Eisenhower II Aboard MS Le Boreal May 28 – June 7, 2019 Sail from Scotland to Wales, Ireland, France and England. Walk the hallowed beaches of Normandy with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of President Eisenhower. Meet Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre. Experience Caernarfon Castle near Holyhead, Wales; the beauty of the Inner Hebridean Isles; and the Celtic treasures in Dublin. Optional Glasgow/Edinburgh pre-tour and London post-tour extensions. Cost: from approximately $6,895 per person, double occupancy

Norwegian Splendor: Denmark and Norway (Optional Sweden Extension) June 6–21, 2019 Visit Copenhagen’s Rosenborg Castle and Christianborg Palace. Travel to Elsinore, setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Board an overnight ferry to Oslo, and head to the ski resort of Gaala. Enjoy charming Bergen, the Western Fjord District, and ride on the Flåm Railway. Discover Oslo’s architecture and the Viking Ship Museum. Optional 4-day/3-night post-tour extension in Stockholm. Cost: approximately $6,684, per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

Arctic Expedition: Spitzbergen Aboard MS L’Austral June 21 – July 1, 2019 Voyage through the otherworldly Arctic Circle on this unique 11-day itinerary featuring a seven-night expedition. Sail the shores of secluded Spitsbergen, the jewel of Norway’s rarely visited Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy expert-led Zodiac excursions in diverse terrains, where remarkable wildlife—from whales and walruses to Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes—roam freely. Optional Paris pre-trip extension. Cost: from approximately $6,995 per person, double occupancy

Russian Waterways: St. Petersberg to Moscow Aboard MS Volga Dream August 2–13, 2019 Cruise for six nights along the scenic rivers, lakes and canals that link Russia’s cultural capitals. Spend three nights in St. Petersburg and one night in Moscow in deluxe accommodations. Visit the State Hermitage Museum and Catherine Palace. Explore Russia’s heartland in 10th-century Uglich and medieval Yaroslavl. Discover the open-air museum of Kizhi Island. Optional Moscow post-tour extension. Cost: from approximately $5,995 per person, double occupancy

Danube Passage: Prague to Sophia Aboard MS Amadeus Silver September 3–17, 2019 Journey through eight countries, discover old-world capitals and charming villages along the Danube River. After three nights exploring Prague, embark the MS Amadeus Silver for an eight-night river cruise. Visit Passau, Melk and Dürnstein, the Wachau Valley, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Wander through Kalemegdan Citadel in Belgrade, and sail through the Iron Gate Gorge. Disembark for two nights in Sofia. Cost: from approximately $4,795, per person, double occupancy

Journey to Yunnan and Tibet September 5–19, 2019 Fly from Shanghai to the Yunnan province. Explore Dali’s ancient historic quarter and surrounding Bai villages. Discover Lijiang’s canals and stone bridges. Journey to the Tibetan plateau, enjoying views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and stopping at Tiger Leaping Gorge. Marvel at the Potala Palace in Lhasa and wander the markets of Barkhor Street. Visit the fabled temples and forts of Gyangtse and Shigatse. Cost: approximately $7,295, per person, double occupancy

Exploring Australia & New Zealand September 21 – October 12, 2019 Begin your epic 23-day journey in Cairns. Ride the historic railway to the mountain village of Kuranda. Cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef and sail around Sydney Harbor. Explore New Zealand’s Mt. Cook National Park and the breathtaking fjords of Milford Sound. Experience the Maori culture at a traditional hangi dinner and performance. Optional post-tour extension in Auckland. Cost: approximately $10,084 per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO


Perspectives of Iran: Minarets & Mosaics September 19 – October 3, 2019 Explore Tehran’s palaces and view the spectacular Crown Jewels. Visit a contemporary art gallery to learn about artistic expression. Explore Shiraz, city of poetry and gardens. Marvel at the magnificent ruins of Persepolis. Discover Yazd, the country’s center of Zoroastrianism, and the most traditional Persian architecture. Experience Isfahan’s brilliant blue-tiled buildings and majestic bridges. Cost: approximately $7,490 per person, double occupancy

Insider’s Japan: From Tokyo to Kyoto September 23 – Oct 5, 2019 Experience Tokyo’s ancient Shinto Meiji Shrine and modern Ginza district. Visit Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and spend the night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Explore Takayama’s ancient streets and Kanazawa’s famed Kenrokuen Gardens. Attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and embark on a cycling tour through the grounds of Kyoto’s Imperial Palace. Optional Hiroshima post-tour extension. Cost: approximately $6,257 per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

Ancient Empires: Rome to Malta Aboard Le Bougainville September 26 – October 4, 2019 Cruise for seven nights from Rome to Valletta. Visit seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. Marvel at Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast and the superbly excavated town of Pompeii. Discover Sicily’s storied Taormina and the seaside town of Sorrento. See legendary Syracuse and Agrigento’s majestic Valley of the Temples. Learn about the rich history of Malta. Rome pre-tour and Malta post-tour extensions. Cost: From approximately $4,395 per person, double occupancy

Arabia Through the Looking Glass: UAE, Oman & Qatar October 15–29, 2019 Experience Art Dubai and ride to the top of world’s tallest building, the Burj Al Khalifa. See Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with a capacity of 40,000 worshippers. Explore the ancient oasis town of Nizwa and the Oman National Museum in Muscat. Visit Doha’s Education City, the Al Jazeera Headquarters and the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei. Cost: approximately $7,995 per person, double occupancy

Botswana: Desert Sun, Delta Dawn October 23 – November 2, 2019 Discover Botswana’s breathtaking landscapes, spectacular wildlife, and luxurious camps - from the vast Kalahari Desert to the fertile Okavango Delta. Enjoy wildlife viewing in the otherworldly Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Venture out in 4X4 vehicles in search of black-maned lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, and the rare African wild dog. Optional post-tour extension to Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls. Cost: approximately $8,895 per person, double occupancy

Egypt & the Eternal Nile (Optional Jordan Extension) November 4–18, 2019 Experience Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, the necropolis at Saqqara, the enigmatic Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza. Relax during a 3-night cruise on Lake Nasser. See the temples at Abu Simbel and sail down the Nile on a 4-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Visit the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and Karnak. Optional 5-day/4-night Jordan post-tour extension. Cost: approximately $5,197 per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

The Maya: Exploring Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula December 7–15, 2019 Explore the spectacular Maya ceremonial centers—Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Tulum and Coba—and more remote sites such as Labna, Sayil and Mayapan with an expert educational team. Learn about Mayan art, architecture and mathematical and astronomical systems. Visit Merida’s Sunday market and discover the rich natural world of the Maya at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Cost: approximately $5,990 per person, double occupancy

Journey to Cuba December 9–16, 2019 Explore old Havana’s history and architecture. Meet with farmers and enjoy a private flamenco performance by some of Cuba’s best dancers. Discuss U.S./Cuban foreign policy during lectures with local experts. Learn about Cuban music and visit private art collections. In the Viñales Valley, take in views of the dramatic landscapes and limestone mogotes. Cost: approximately $5,295 per person, double occupancy


Niall Ferguson POLITICS, POWER & NETWORKS

NIALL FERGUSON Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Author, The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook In conversation with

QUENTIN HARDY

Head of Editorial, Google Cloud

Photos by Ed Ritger


S ocial ne t wor k s didn ’ t begin with Facebook. Their genesis lies thousands of years in the past. From the January 24, 2018, program in San Francisco, “ Niall Ferguson: Politics, Power and Networks.” QUENTIN HARDY: You seem to think we are living in the “curse of interesting times” very much, and this is really one of the great watersheds in history. You’re training us to go against that and to look out for people who say this is so important. What led you to such an important conclusion? NIALL FERGUSON: I was kind of shocked when I got to Stanford—which was nearly a year and a half ago—and had my first upclose and personal encounters with Silicon Valley, to find that most people there thought history began with the Google IPO and everything before that was the Stone Age about which nothing of interest could be said. Part of my motive in writing this book was, as Eric Schmidt put it, to teach Silicon Valley a history lesson and in particular to show that social networks hadn’t been invented by Mark Zuckerberg—that in fact one could understand the whole of human history using this framework of tension and interaction between hierarchies and networks, towers and squares. I think the key way of understanding the present, which is far more effective than abstract mathematical models, is by analogy. What is this like? That’s the question that I go through life asking. What is our time like? Because when you hear on the news that something is unprecedented, what that means is the person speaking

knows no history. If you know no history, everything is unprecedented. [One] subgroup is the people who know only the 1930s, for whom everything is like the 1930s, whatever it is. My sense is that this is completely not like the 1930s. To understand our time, we have to go back a lot further. We have to go back about 500 years to a time when a new technology, the printing press, profoundly changed the European public sphere so much that Martin Luther could mount a challenge to the extraordinarily powerful hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and avoid being destroyed as a heretic, which he certainly would have been had it not been for the printing press. The printing press allowed Luther’s message to go viral, as we would now say, to spread all over Europe, and a new kind of social network very rapidly formed of people who basically agreed with him. For me, the starting point of the book was that analogy that we are at a relatively early stage of a similar process to that which began with the advent of printing in Europe. Our public sphere has been as revolutionized by the Internet, by the personal computer, and now the smartphone as the European public sphere was revolutionized by the printing press. We need to learn from that history what the pitfalls are of a more networked society. That was really what motivated me to write the book. HARDY: The parallels can be quite chilling, because the advent of print slowed the development of language; what Luther did in translating the Bible was to take literally the word of God and put it in your tongue. That fast-forwarded a couple of centuries is the seeds of nationalism, where being a French speaker becomes an interesting form of identity, and you evolve this myth that we’ve always been French speakers, we’ve always been here. That’s something worth fighting and dying for. Now we seem to have this new transnational ad hoc technology, very data-driven, very powerful, very emotional in a way. Does it threaten the nation-state ultimately, the way the Catholic Church was threatened? The church didn’t go away, but it had to accommodate these forces. FERGUSON Potentially, in the sense that FERGUSON: what happened in the 16th century was not what Luther expected. Luther thought if it were possible to mass-produce Bibles and other re-

ligious texts in the vernacular, you would get a step closer to the priesthood of all believers, which the Bible talks about. The vision was a rather utopian one; if everybody could have a direct relationship to scripture and therefore to God, then you wouldn’t have this intermediating corrupt clergy against which Luther had inveighed. Well, we didn’t see that at all. What in fact happened in Europe was something that was predictable on the basis of network science. Those people who’ve written the sociology of networks have long understood that even relatively small networks tend to polarize. They tend to cluster according to the principle of homophily—birds of a feather flock together. People congregate together, like-minded or otherwise like groups. That’s exactly what happened in Europe once the Reformation got underway. The people who agreed with Luther became Protestants. The only problem Luther had was that a good many of them said, “You haven’t gone nearly far enough.” So you not only had a Protestant cluster, but it tended to move to a kind of more extreme critique of Catholicism as it was practiced. Those who disagreed with Luther said, “Absolutely not, we must resist this. We need a Counter-Reformation.” Very quickly instead of a priesthood of all believers, Luther had unleashed 130 years of religious conflict in Europe that in times became extraordinarily bloody. That is a key lesson for our times, too. Those who thought that they could create a global community when everybody would be connected, then everything would be awesome—I mean that’s essentially the message that we’ve got. I come bearing bad news. Once everybody is connected, it won’t be really awesome. It’s already pretty bad with about a third of the planet connected. Look at what happened— HARDY: There were good things too FERGUSON: Oh, no. I don’t want to come across as a Luddite here. I make it very clear, Quentin, that much of the creativity of the West was unlocked by the printing press and the Reformation, because pretty soon you had the scientific revolution, then came the Enlightenment. Most of the good ideas of modernity came from these networks of intellectuals and scholars trading ideas. Not only in the printed word, but often in the written word. That’s part of the excitement of this subject; you realize the extent to which


the great breakthroughs in human knowledge including the industrial revolutions didn’t come from heroic individuals but from networks of innovators, whether in the realm of technology or of philosophy. That’s the good news. The bad news is that social networks, even if they’re very high-minded, have these inherent negative properties. Polarization is one, and we can see in our own time the extent to which creating online social networks that now include a really high proportion of Americans has not created a wonderful sense of community. It has intensified an already growing polarization. One could see this if one looks at the network structure of Twitter users or Facebook users. There are these clusters, one conservative, one liberal. They’re extraordinarily separate from one another. HARDY: In high-information environments like this, where new stuff is calling at you all the time, there’s a lot of money in reassuring people that their worldview doesn’t have to change. FERGUSON: The algorithms of course are designed to give people more of what they like. More of what you engage with yesterday is coming your way tomorrow. We all pretty much understand former President Obama talking about filter bubbles, echo chambers. That’s becoming conventional wisdom, but let’s just think about what that implies. That implies [that] the 1990’s or even 2000’s vision of a wonderful global community [where] we don’t get together and share cat videos—that vision was a complete delusion. You have to ignore not only history but network science to believe that we would all just be in one happy cluster. The reality was that polarization was always likely. The exact same thing happened once it was possible to communicate ideas much faster than before through the printing press. Broadly speaking, the printing press has the same kind of effect as the personal computer does in terms of its impact on the price and volume of information sharing. HARDY: It changes epistemology. People start to think about the world differently. Unless you’re comfortable with that, unless you’re steering it, it can be extremely traumatic. The 30 Years War. FERGUSON: I don’t want to be excessively alarmist; the danger here is I don’t see any way of stopping this polarization from continuing. As long as the algorithms are doing

what they do, it seems to me that we are bound to grow further apart. I read a paper after I published the book which really made me sit up. The paper showed that on political issues, a tweet was 20 percent more likely to be retweeted for every moral or emotive word that it used. The incentive therefore if you’re interested in being retweeted is always to use strong language. We have actually set up something of a polarization machine that is going to continue to drive us apart unless we fundamentally rethink the way in which the network platforms operate. HARDY: In society at the elite level, there’s a reward for finding out you’re wrong. The system really doesn’t reward people below that. Some of the smartest guys I know say, “I love being wrong. It means I’m about to learn something.” But for normal people, it’s stressful. FERGUSON: Try being wrong on social media or on a network. HARDY: Shame culture. FERGUSON: It is so unpleasant that an incentive has been created for public intellectuals never to admit that they’re wrong. And I can think of a few—I won’t name them—who make a virtue of their consistency, airbrushing out their errors of the past. If you do say I was wrong, there’s a kind of howl of indignation, which discourages intellectual honesty. I certainly see a lot of intelligent colleagues retreating ever further from the public sphere. because they just don’t want to get into this mud-wrestling competition. HARDY: That’s so unfortunate. One of the most memorable and entertaining things I’ve ever seen in Congress was a scientist testifying, and a congressman said to him, “You used to say this and now you say this.” And he looked at him and said, “I changed my mind.” FERGUSON: “II changed my mind; what do you do, sir?” Great question. HARDY: Now, this is a good segue, because for those who thought you’re a vicious free-market capitalist red in tooth and claw, you seem to be quite concerned about the immense concentration of wealth at the highest level here. You think that’s also contributing to some of our dilemma. FERGUSON: Absolutely. One of the paradoxes of the networked world is that we were promised greater equality. We were all going to be netizens and we were all going to be able to speak truth

to power or at least share cat videos. It turns out that the structure of the networks that have been created online is anything but egalitarian. This turns out to be inherent again in the way that social networks form. As people join a network, the phenomenon of preferential attachment leads them to want to be connected to the people who are already really well-connected. That is why some people end up having millions of Twitter followers and other people end up having hardly any. This is the characteristic structure of a social network; it’s governed by a power law. It’s still free to use the language that the physicist Laszlo Barabasi has used. We therefore have this paradox. We were promised a kind of democratization, but in reality the networks that have been created are anything but flat. Moreover, ownership of network platforms is extraordinary concentrated; I hardly need to tell an audience in San Francisco that the founders of the network platforms have become fantastically wealthy, the users not so much, because we gave them all our data for free. HARDY: It’s just the big bucks, it’s not just the wealth. There’s a really interesting evolution probably since financial deregulation in the ’70s of a kind of transnational class that used to first meet with bankers. When I was in Japan, I’d meet these guys and they’d say, “Oh, I saw Fred in London and I’m seeing Barbara in Switzerland.” FERGUSON: They’re all in Switzerland at the moment; they’re all in Davos. HARDY: Right. They knew each other better than they knew any of the locals. In the Valley a couple years ago—this is going to sound like a joke—I was with an American and a Romanian and a Czech. I said, “If I threw down a German passport and a Canadian passport


and an Australian passport, would you even care which one you picked up?” They all said no. . . . The class of transnationals has vastly increased. The rise of Bitcoin is interesting where that’s concerned. They champion this currency that has no central bank. FERGUSON: The promise was distributed networks, decentralization, the libertarian promise of a great deal. But what ends up happening is that the existing inequalities that the market economy generates if it’s left to itself without great disruptions like world wars has been magnified by the advent of network economics. I read a terrific economics paper as I was writing the book that for me was an a-ha moment. The paper argues that in the past networks were essentially nepotistic networks, hereditary networks based on inherited privilege and status. The market economy came along and essentially eroded those networks of privilege and status. That’s essentially the story of the rise of capitalism in a nutshell. The problem has been that we got rid of those old elites and created new elites based on capitalism and the accumulation of wealth. Then we overlaid a new structure on top of that that’s network-based and that has magnified the existing inequalities of income and wealth in ways that are profoundly disruptive. HARDY: We have some questions from the audience: As we think about networks, have you deprecated the great man theory? What does this mean about a Churchill, or a Stalin,

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or a Lincoln, or a Freud or a Marx? FERGUSON: Well, I think any serious historian knows that not everything can be explained in terms of great or for that matter terrible men. I sometimes think that our media have collectively forgotten this in the past year, because we essentially live in this world in which all that really matters is the personality of the president and we obsess [over] this. Nothing that I have learned from the study of history over the last 30 or so years leads me to believe that is the right framework to understand the politics of a modern democracy. The structure of politics is the really important thing one has to understand as well. I’ve never written anything that’s been entirely structuralist. I’ve written about the incredible mistakes that were made by statesmen in 1914 and I’ve written about some of the extraordinarily important and successful decisions that were taken in 1939, ’40, some of which are now immortalized on the silver screen in the movie about Churchill. I’m not somebody who says it’s all structure, it’s not personality. But I think one has as a historian to strike a balance between the role of individuals and the structures within which they operate. The founding fathers designed the United States of America to be almost the antidote to the great man theory. They didn’t really want great men running the United States. They well understood because they’d studied history and they’d studied classical political theory that the most likely outcome for a republic with democratic

elements was its descent into tyranny. Exactly that happened in France. The United States has avoided that fate precisely because the power of the president is circumscribed. I keep trying to tell people it doesn’t matter as much as you keep saying what the personality of the president is. However awful you may find him—and I certainly find many things about Donald Trump quite awful—that’s not the most important thing about American politics. I do feel as if we’ve forgotten that in a kind of “terrible man theory of history.” HARDY: You say technology has enormously empowered networks of all kinds relative to traditional hierarchical power structures, but the consequence of that change will be determined by the structures, emergent properties and interactions of those networks. So are we screwed? FERGUSON: We run the risk of being screwed, but I don’t want us to abandon all hope. The first necessary precondition for fixing these problems is to identify the nature of the problem. As long as we think the problem is the president has a warped personality, we’re going nowhere. We need to understand that something much more profound is amiss that has to do with the structure of politics and of the public sphere. He is a product of that. Had he not existed, I have no doubt that some other populist demagogue with a large TV audience would have seized the opportunity, just as similar people are seizing these opportunities in different countries.


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Jennifer Palmieri 4/2 • Commonwealth Club Weekly Tour 4/4

MONDAY, APRIL 2 THE KOREMATSU CASE AND THE WORLD WAR II JAPANESEAMERICAN INCARCERATION: COULD IT HAPPEN AGAIN?

Eric K. Yamamoto, Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii; Author, Interracial Justice and In the Shadow of Korematsu: Democratic Liberties and National Security

In 1942, as 110,000 Japanese Americans in the western U.S. were incarcerated in desolate “internment camps” around the country, Fred Korematsu refused and mounted a legal challenge that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Eric K. Yamamoto considers the present-day significance of the ruling in the context of security-liberty controversies such as the president’s Muslim travel ban and sweeping electronic surveillance of Americans. He addresses the importance of judicial independence and how genuinely committed we in America are to democracy and the Constitution.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: Asia-Pacific Affairs • Program organizer: Lillian Nakagawa

DEAR MADAM PRESIDENT: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WOMEN WHO WILL RUN THE WORLD

Jennifer Palmieri, President, the Center for American Progress Action Fund; Former Head of Communications, Hillary for America 2016; Author, Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World Andrea Dew Steele, President and Founder, Emerge America—Moderator

Political operative Jennifer Palmieri is mak-

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ing sure there is a playbook for future female political and professional leaders. Palmieri argues that the roadmap for the path to a female presidency hasn’t yet been clearly drawn and that our country needs to reimagine women in leadership roles—from the boardroom all the way to the Oval Office. SAN FRANCISCO • INFORUM PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, book signing to follow

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4 INNOVATING FOR GOOD CONFERENCE See website for panelists

Businesses face new expectations in the 21st century. We look to enterprises to create a positive impact in the manner that they source their materials, produce their products, and engage their communities. But is it possible to “do good” and still run a profitable business? This conference features business leaders who are succeeding at just that, building brands at the top of their market sector and embedding positive social impact into the core of their enterprises. An increasing body of companies now go beyond charity: Their enterprise is their mission. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 9:45 a.m. check-in, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. program

CLUB WEEKLY TOUR SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

MAKING THE MOST OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE: A LIFE-MAPPING WORKSHOP

David Marshall, Author, My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future Kate Marshall, Author, My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future

David and Kate Marshall introduce life mapping, an introspective and holistic life planning tool, in this workshop. Learn how to chart your whole life—past, present and future—to better understand where you’ve been, where you are now and to create a vision of your future with clarity and intention using a tool like a vision board, but with words instead of pictures. Explore questions of what gives your life meaning and purpose, and what your priorities are for the rest of your life. By examining areas such as family, friends, education, work, service and play, and then putting it all together, the end results are 10-year and whole life maps that can help you to get to where you want to be. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium San Francisco • Time: 4:45 p.m. networking reception, 5:15 p.m. program • MLF: Grownups • Program Organizer: Denise Michaud

BEN FRANKLIN CIRCLES Join us for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. The Ben Franklin Circles program brings people together to discuss the most pressing philosophical and ethical issues of our time with the goal of improving ourselves and our world. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond

FOODIE DESTINATION MARIN: CHEF RON SIEGEL IN CONVERSATION WITH “FOOD GAL” CAROLYN JUNG

Ron Siegel, Chef, Madcap; Former “Iron Chef” Winner In conversation with Carolyn Jung, Writer, “Food Gal”; James Beard Award Winner

Marin, a long-time foodie destination, is


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Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall & His Times 4/9

known for an abundance of local high-quality ingredients and great diversity in restaurants. Former Iron Chef winner Ron Siegel, fresh off the launch of his restaurant Madcap in San Anselmo, has made quite an impression and has quickly become a favorite destination for local gourmands. Come hear culinary insights and stories of one of the Bay Area’s acclaimed chefs, in conversation with Food Gal writer and James Beard award winner Carolyn Jung. NORTH BAY • MARIN CONVERSATIONS PROGRAM • Location: Outdoor Art Club, One West Blithesdale, Mill Valley • Time: 7 p.m. check-in and light hors d’oeuvres, 7:45–9 p.m. program • Note: Cash bar available

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 4/5/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show” Radio and TV; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

SAN FRANCISCO ARCHITECTURE WALKING TOUR Explore San Francisco’s Financial District with historian Rick Evans and learn the history and stories behind some of our city’s remarkable structures, streets, and public squares. Hear about the famous architects that influenced the building of San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake. Discover hard-to-find rooftop gardens, Art Deco lobbies, unique open spaces, and historic landmarks.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Meet in the Lobby of the Galleria Park Hotel, 191 Sutter Street, San Francisco • Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–4:30 p.m.

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walk • Notes: Involves walking up and down stairs but covers less than one mile of walking in the Financial District; tour operates rain or shine; tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at check-in; walks will be cancelled with fewer than 6 participants (you will be notified three days prior if it will be cancelled due to low enrollment)

MELTDOWN: WHY OUR SYSTEMS FAIL

Chris Clearfield, Founder, System Logic; Co-author, Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It András Tilcsik, Canada Research Chair in Strategy, Organizations, and Society, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Co-author, Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It Dr. Kit Yarrow, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Golden Gate University—Moderator

Failure is a seemingly inevitable part of life. However, surprising new research shows that the myriad of failures that dominate headlines every day share similar causes. Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik, co-authors of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do about It, believe that if we can understand what lies behind these failures, we can make better decisions at work and at home. Clearfield and Tilcsik combine social science and stories— from the Gulf of Mexico to Mount Everest—to analyze why we’re so vulnerable to failure and what we can do to manage it.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing

MONDAY, APRIL 9 WITHOUT PRECEDENT: CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN MARSHALL & HIS TIMES

Joel Richard Paul, Professor of Constitu-

tional and International Law, UC Hastings; Author, Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times (forthcoming)

Monday Night Philosophy rediscovers the influential precedents set by Chief Justice John Marshall. No member of America’s founding generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From our nation’s founding in 1776, and for the next 40 years, Marshall was at the center of every political battle. As longest-serving chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in history, he established the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the Constitution and the federal courts. As a diplomat and secretary of state, he defended American sovereignty against France and Britain, counseled President John Adams, and supervised the construction of Washington, D.C. This is the story of how a rough-cut frontiersman became one of the nation’s preeminent lawyers and politicians.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond • Notes: This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

READING CALIFORNIANS BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP: ENGINEERING EDEN, BY JORDAN FISHER SMITH Based on the fascinating true story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks, Engineering Eden won the silver medal in nonfiction in the 86th Annual California Book Awards. When 25-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a


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Magician Mark Mitton 4/10 • The Michelle Meow Show 4/12 • Sean Penn 4/9

proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. What was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Reading Californians • Program Organizer: Betty Bullock

FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY DAVID MILIBAND

David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee; Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, United Kingdom, 2007-10; Author, Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time

“The Global Refugee Crisis: Solutions and Responsibility” President Bill Clinton called former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.” As president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, Miliband oversees the agency’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in 28 U.S. cities. Miliband points out that we are in the middle of the largest humanitarian crisis of the modern era and that more people have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and crisis than at any time since World War II. Miliband will discuss his view that while political leadership, abroad and in the United States is in retreat, close collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors can help save millions of lives.

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SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing • Notes: Premium seating includes copy of book

AN EVENING WITH SEAN PENN

Sean Penn, Academy Award-Winning Actor; Writer; Producer; Director; Author, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff

Academy Award-winner and loudmouth Sean Penn has worked as an actor, writer, producer and director on more than 100 theater and film productions, and now he’s adding another role to his repertoire: first-time novelist. Part satirical thriller and part political commentary, Penn’s debut novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, tells the story of Bob Honey, a modern American entrepreneur and part-time assassin who spends his days selling septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses and arranging pyrotechnic displays for foreign dictators. He’s also a contract killer for a clandestine program run by a branch of U.S. intelligence that targets the elderly, the infirm and other populations who drain a consumption-driven society of its resources.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Hebst Theatre, 409 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, 94102 • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program • Notes: This is a Good Lit event, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation; photo by Eric Ray Davidson

TUESDAY, APRIL 10 HOW DO WE HEAL THE WOUNDS OF HISTORY? UNDERSTANDING AND ADDRESSING INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA

Elizabeth Rosner, Poet; Author, The Speed of Light, Electric City and Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory

Renowned author Elizabeth Rosner takes on the complex subject of war’s long aftermath. The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, she interweaves personal narrative with extensive research, in order to provide an over-arching look at the multi-generational consequences of genocide and atrocities worldwide. Incorporating scientific evidence for epigenetics, she examines interconnections among descendants of Holocaust victims, survivors


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Unbound: San Francisco Ballet and Choreography for Right Now 4/12

of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees, and African Americans shadowed by the legacy of slavery and lynching — offering insights into the urgent need for meaningful, shared dialogue about our collective task of healing

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: International Relations • Program organizer: Linda J. Calhoun

MAGICIAN MARK MITTON: MYTH, MAGIC AND SURPRISE

Mark Mitton, Professional Magician In conversation with David Eisenbud, Ph.D., Director, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute; Professor of Mathematics, UC Berkeley

Come for an enlightening and entertaining conversation between mathematician David Eisenbud and magician Mark Mitton about the relationship between technique and discovery. Learn math and magic tricks.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing • Note: In association with The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

THURSDAY, APRIL 12 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 4/12/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

CHINATOWN WALKING TOUR 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.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Meet in front of Starbucks, 359 Grant Avenue, SF (corner of Grant & Bush near Chinatown Gate) • Time: 9:45 a.m. check-in, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. walk • Notes: Temple visit requires walking up three flights of stairs; tour operates rain or shine; tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at check-in; walks will be cancelled with fewer than 6 participants (you will be notified three days prior if it will be cancelled due to low enrollment).

UNBOUND: SAN FRANCISCO BALLET AND CHOREOGRAPHY FOR RIGHT NOW

Choreographers of SFB Ballet’s 2018 Unbound Series TBA

San Francisco Ballet is more familiar to audiences for classical ballet or works by Balanchine, but the world-reknowned company is also committed to performing and commissioning new dances. This power-packed ballet panel will provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Unbound: A Festival of New Works, launching this spring. Bringing 12 international choreographers to San Francisco to create 12 new works, the festival is unprecedented in scope.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorum, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program • MLF: The Arts • Program organizer: Anne W. Smith

BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCY: THE BASICS Laura Shin, Journalist; Podcast Host— Moderator APRIL/MAY 2018

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Diplomatic Righteous Among the Nations 4/13 • Dinner in Camelot 4/17

Speakers TBA

Buzzwords such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, and bitcoin are popping up in every news outlet and in casual conversation--but if you’re not an insider, do you actually know how it works? INFORUM wants to make sure this new technology feels more accessible and understandable to all, and we’ve got lots of questions we want to get answered. Join top blockchain journalist Laura Shin as she digs into the burgeoning field and asks all our burning questions to a leader (TBA) in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space known for being a clear and candid “explainer”. It’s time to clarify this murky world and ensure you can both throw the buzzwords around and engage more deeply with this technology. Start thinking of your questions now! A few of ours include: What is cryptocurrency? Why does it matter? What is an ICO? What does “mining” mean? Should I buy cryptocurrency? If so, how? This program is the first in a series exploring blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the future of this technology. SAN FRANCISCO • INFORUM PRO-

GRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program

FRIDAY, APRIL 13 DIPLOMATIC RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS

Shlomi Kofman, Consul General for Israel to the Pacific Northwest Michael Pappas, Executive Director, San Francisco Interfaith Council—Moderator Additional panelists TBA

Join us on the day after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, as our distinguished panel of consuls general discusses the actions of heroic diplomats who defied their superiors to save thousands of Jews from certain annihilation in the Holocaust. While almost the whole world was reluctant to help desperate Jewish refugees, these brave diplomats went beyond the call of duty and are recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program • MLF: Middle-East • Program organizer: Celia Menczel

MONDAY, APRIL 16 SOCRATES CAFÉ One Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group’s facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. Everyone is welcome to attend.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30–8 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program Organizer: George Hammond

TUESDAY, APRIL 17 DINNER IN CAMELOT

Joseph Esposito, Author, Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House

In April 1962, the Kennedys hosted 49 Nobel Prize winners, along with many other prominent scientists, artists and writers, at a White House dinner. Among the guests were: J. Robert Oppenheimer; Linus Pauling, who had picketed the White House that very afternoon; William and Rose Styron; James Baldwin; Mary Welsh Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s widow, who sat next to the president and grilled him on his policy in Cuba; astronaut John Glenn; and historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.. Held at the height of the Cold War, the dinner symbolized a time when intellectuals were esteemed, divergent viewpoints could be respectfully discussed at the highest level and the great minds of an age might all dine together in the rarefied glamour of “The People’s House.”

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond • Notes: This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

FINDING HUMANITY AT THE END OF LIFE: TWO PROVOCATIVE EVENINGS WITH PASTOR COREY KENNARD AND DR. JESSICA ZITTER

Corey Kennard, Pastor, Amplify Christian Church, Detroit Jessica Nutik Zitter, Physician, Highland Hospital, Oakland


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Humanities West Book Discussion: The Borgias and Their Enemies 4/18

Amy Tobin, CEO, Jewish Community Center of the East Bay—Facilitator

Join us for the first in this two-part mini series, which aims to explore the experience of seriously ill and dying African Americans in our health-care system. We will explore the important role that faith plays, as well as examine the inequities this community encounters when seeking care at the end of life. Part 1: Reaching Across Traditions: Spirituality and Medicine at End of Life Is spiritual support important for hospitalized dying patients? Should doctors pray with their patients? What if the doctor is a different religion, or not religious at all? In part one of this series, we will take a look at the intersection of faith and medicine at the end of life, specifically as it plays out in communities of color. This conversation will address the role of faith and prayer for patients with serious illness in the medical setting.

SILICON VALLEY • Location: Oakland Museum of California (tentative), 1000 Oak Street, Oakland • Time: 7 p.m. program • Notes: Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay; attendees must register with each venue and not through The Commonwealth Club; ticketing must be done via the ReImagine website: letsreimagine. org/#letsreimagine2018

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18 CLUB WEEKLY TOUR SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

HUMANITIES WEST BOOK DISCUSSION: THE BORGIAS AND THEIR ENEMIES Join us for a discussion of The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431 - 1519, by Christopher Hibbert. The name Borgia is synonymous with the corruption, nepotism, and greed that were

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rife in Renaissance Italy. The powerful, voracious Rodrigo Borgia, better known to history as Pope Alexander VI, was the central figure of the dynasty. Two of his seven papal offspring also rose to power and fame—Lucrezia Borgia, his daughter, whose husband was famously murdered by her brother, and that brother, Cesare, who served as the model for Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince. Notorious for seizing power, wealth, land, and titles through bribery, marriage, and murder, the dynasty’s dramatic rise from its Spanish roots to its occupation of the highest position in Renaissance society forms a gripping tale. Erudite, witty, and always insightful, Hibbert removes the layers of myth surrounding the Borgia family. The discussion will be led by Lynn Harris. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond

FINDING HUMANITY AT THE END OF LIFE: TWO PROVOCATIVE EVENINGS WITH PASTOR COREY KENNARD AND DR. JESSICA ZITTER

Corey Kennard, Pastor, Amplify Christian Church, Detroit Jessica Nutik Zitter, Physician, Highland Hospital, Oakland Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA, Executive Director, Alameda County Care Alliance—Facilitator

Join us for the second in this two-part mini series (see April 17 for Part 1). Part 2: Exploring Racial Inequities in Health Care at the End of Life How can we build trust and confidence in our health-care system for African Americans, who have suffered from inequitable treatment, been excluded and neglected in our nation’s

healthcare system? Part Two of this series will explore the great divide between seriously ill African American patients and the health-care system they come to for support. The history of racial inequity in our health-care system has created an atmosphere of alienation and distrust on the part of African Americans. This program will acknowledge and explore those challenges and discuss strategies to bring patient, family, and healthcare team closer together. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Glide Memorial Church, 330 Ellis Street, San Francisco, 94102 • Time: 7 p.m. program • Notes: Sponsored by the Glide Memorial Church; attendees must register with each venue and not through The Commonwealth Club; ticketing must be done via the ReImagine website: letsreimagine.org/#letsreimagine2018

THURSDAY, APRIL 19 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 4/19/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable, The Commonwealth Club

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

SATURDAY, APRIL 21 THE 21ST ANNUAL TRAVERS CONFERENCE ON ETHICS AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN GOVERNMENT

Corey Kennard, Pastor, Amplify Christian Church, Detroit Jessica Nutik Zitter, Physician, Highland Hospital, Oakland APRIL/MAY 2018

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Nell Scovell 4/23 • Robert Reich 4/25

Cynthia Carter Perrilliat, MPA, Executive Director, Alameda County Care Alliance—Facilitator

This year’s Travers Conference will focus on “Parties and Partisanship in the Era of Twitter and Trump.” Join in an exploration of how social media and societal trends have challenged the power of

American political parties and reshaped the nature of the Americans’ partisan attachments. The 2018 Travers Conference will bring together academics, journalists and political practitioners to assess the current state of voter partisanship and political party organizations. Partisanship Out of Control? The current nature of voter partisanship, and how it has evolved over time. Parties Losing Control? The difficulties faced by modern political party organizations in performing key functions. Social Media in Control? The rise of social media and its influence on politics.

EAST BAY • Location: Bancroft Hotel 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley • Time: 10:15 a.m.–4:15 p.m. • Notes: Hosted by the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley, in cooperation with The Commonwealth Club of California; lunch is provided for all registered participants in this free program; registration must be done through UC Berkeley at polisci.berkeley.edu/ travers

MONDAY, APRIL 23 HOW TO ACHIEVE SOCIAL STARTUP SUCCESS

Kathleen Kelly Janus, Social Entrepreneur; Co-founder, Spark; Lecturer, Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship; Author, Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference Abby Falik, CEO, Global Citizen Year Krista Donaldson, CEO, D-Rev Tess Reynolds, CEO, New Door Ventures

How do top-performing nonprofits achieve success, and how can we all play a part in making

a difference? An expert on philanthropy, Millennial engagement and scaling early-stage organizations, Kathleen Kelly Janus has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Tech Crunch and the San Francisco Chronicle. An attorney, Kathleen is also co-founder of Spark, a nonprofit focused on building a community of young global citizens promoting gender equality. Join Janus in a lively conversation with inspiring social entrepreneurs Abby Falik and Tess Reynolds highlighting the stories and insights from her new book, Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: Business & Leadership • Program organizer: Elizabeth Carney

HOLLYWOOD HUMOR TO #METOO WITH NELL SCOVELL

Nell Scovell, Televison and Magazine Writer; Producer; Director; Author, Just the Funny Parts: ... And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boys’ Club Kara Swisher, Executive Editor, Recode Moderator

From late-night TV to Lean In, America has heard Nell Scovell’s words for years, but as a writer, she’s always worked behind the scenes. Now, Scovell shines a bright light on her experiences as a writer and advocate for women in the workplace and reveals her thoughts on the ongoing cultural revolutions in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and beyond. Scovell will be in conversation with Kara Swisher, another leader in cultural coverage and executive editor of Recode. Join Scovell as she shares her experiences and stories from her new book and opens up about her rise to the top of a highly competitive


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Paul Hawken Presents Drawdown: The World’s First Comprehensive Plan to Reverse Global Warming 4/26

and male-dominated industry that is now under fire and facing changes.

SAN FRANCISCO • INFORUM PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, book signing to follow • Notes: This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation; photo by Robert Trachtenberg

TUESDAY, APRIL 24 WEEK TO WEEK POLITICS ROUNDTABLE AND SOCIAL HOUR 4/24/18

Larry Gerston, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, San Jose State University; Political Analyst, NBC Bay Area Marisa Lagos, Reporter, California Politics and Government, KQED Dan Schnur, Director, Los Angeles Region of the American Jewish Committee; Former Chairman, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission

Join us as we discuss the biggest, most controversial and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz! Come early before the program to discuss the news over snacks and wine at our members social (open to all attendees).

SAN FRANCISCO • WEEK TO WEEK PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • 
Time: 5:30 p.m. wine-and-snacks social, 6:30 p.m. program

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 ROBERT REICH: FIGHTING FOR THE COMMON GOOD

Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor and Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Public Policy, UC

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Berkeley; Former U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Clinton; Author, The Common Good

This program is sold out.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing • Notes: Each ticket includes a copy of Robert Reich’s new book, The Common Good; Reich photo by Delaney Inamine

THURSDAY, APRIL 26 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 4/26/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

PAUL HAWKEN PRESENTS DRAWDOWN: THE WORLD’S FIRST COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING

Paul Hawken Environmental Activist; Entrepreneur; Author, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Can we begin to reverse global warming in the next 30 years? This is the burning question of the 21st century and renowned environmentalist Hawken says yes. Hawken has launched Project Drawdown, which he calls the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. This local California NGO gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research and model the 100 most substantive,

existing solutions to address climate change, something never done before, even though climate change has been in the public and academic sphere for over 40 years. What was uncovered is a path forward that might begin to reverse global emissions within 30 years.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: Business & Leadership • Program organizer: Elizabeth Carney

THE OPPOSITE OF HATE: A FIELD GUIDE TO REPAIRING OUR HUMANITY WITH SALLY KOHN

Sally Kohn, CNN Commentator; Activist; Host, “State of Resistance” podcast; Author, The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Humanity Julie Lythcott-Haims, Author, Real American and How to Raise an Adult—Moderator

Whether on social media or television screens, there’s increasing divisiveness, hate, vitriol, and more as people discuss their perspectives in public forums. As a progressive commentator on Fox News and CNN, Sally Kohn has earned a reputation as someone who can build bridges across party lines—but even she has her limits. Through conversations across America, the Middle East and Rwanda with scientists, white supremacists and even some of her own Twitter trolls, Kohn will help us understand how hate develops and what we can do to stop it from growing and consuming us. SAN FRANCISCO • INFORUM PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, book signing to follow

LUCY COOKE: THE TRUTH ABOUT ANIMALS

Lucy Cooke, Award-winning documentary APRIL/MAY 2018

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For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State 4/27 • Ronan Farrow 4/30

filmmaker; Author, The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife

You’ve probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates or worker ants lay about. They do—and that’s just for starters. Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey and exposes the secret, and often hilarious, habits of the animal kingdom. She explores our biggest myths and misconceptions about animals, ensuring that we will never think about hyenas, penguins and pandas in the same way again.

SILICON VALLEY • Location: Cubberley Community Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd. (near Montrose & Middlefield), Palo Alto • Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in,

7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing • Notes: In association with Wonderfest

FRIDAY, APRIL 27 MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE

Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State; Author, Fascism: A Warning

This program is sold out.

SILICON VALLEY • Location: Crowne Plaza Palo Alto, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto • Time: 6:15 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing • Note: No large bags; attendees subject to search

MONDAY, APRIL 30 MIDDLE EAST FORUM DISCUSSION The Middle East Forum discussion group, which primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan, has been meeting monthly for about 10 years. We are not a debate group. We discuss timely, cultural subjects in a civil atmosphere with respect for others and their opinions.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 5 p.m. check-in, 5:30 p.m. program • MLF: Middle East • Program organizer: Celia Menczel

SPRING 2018 REPORT ON THE SIERRA NEVADA’S RAIN, FIRES, SNOWPACK, TREES, WATER AND ECOSYSTEMS

Jason Kuiken, Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor, U.S. Forest Service Patrick Koepele, Executive Director, Tuolumne River Trust Michael Carlin, Deputy General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Bob Kingman, Assistant Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy

Join our distinguished an-

nual panel for an up-to-date report on the Sierra Nevada mountains, habitats, water, rivers, trees, ground cover, and the harsh economic impacts caused by fire, degradation, drought and ecosystems changes. Where are we now in the 2017–2018 climate cycle and the cycle of destruction, renewal and regrowth for our mountains, valleys, rivers, farmlands, cities and economies?

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Environment & Natural Resources • Program organizer: Ann Clark

RONAN FARROW: THE WAR ON PEACE

Ronan Farrow, Investigative Journalist; Author, War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and The Decline of American Influence Kara Swisher, Executive Editor, Recode Moderator

Recent accounts of the U.S. State Department building liken it to site of a nuclear attack: empty offices, dark wings and noiseless halls. According to Ronan Farrow, this desolate building is a symbol of something even bigger — American diplomacy has fallen to the wayside while our use of military action seems to grow. How did this happen and what does it mean for America’s place in the international sphere? Farrow documents the decline of diplomacy since 9/11, citing incidents from across the globe and sharing interviews with whistleblowers, policymakers and every living Secretary of State, from Henry Kissinger to Rex Tillerson.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing • Note: Attendees subject to search; photo by Brigitte Lacombe


For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Spring 2018 Report on The Sierra Nevada’s Rain, Fires, Snowpack, Trees, Water and Ecosystems 4/30

TUESDAY, MAY 1 THE GOOD FIGHT: AMERICA’S ONGOING STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE

Rick Smolan, Co-creator, Day in the Life series; Author, The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice—Moderator Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League DeRay Mckesson, Host, “Pod Save the People”; Civil Rights Activist and Organizer Tiffany Shlain, Founder, Webby Awards; Emmy-nominated Filmmaker Ray Suarez, John McCloy Visiting Professor of American Studies, Amherst College; Former Chief National Correspondent, PBS “NewsHour”

In difficult times, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by oppression, hatred and bigotry to the point of inaction. Yet, we can look back over the past century and see how many battles we have fought and how many victories we have won. Rick Smolan, photographer and CEO of Against All Odds, has published The Good Fight to demonstrate just this. People living in America have experienced persecution on everything from religion to skin color and sexual orientation and have fought back. But, Smolan argues, their success can only be maintained by continuing the fight. Smolan will talk with a few contributors to his book from across the country, shedding light on a variety of issues and the ways that activists have approached them. Jonathan Greenblatt tackles societal issues through social entrepreneurship as CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League. DeRay McKesson tackles civil rights issues on the streets and on social media. Tiffany Shlain uses art by way of filmmaking to bring attention to the issues of women’s rights. Ray Suarez, a longstanding journalist, tells the story of immigrants to em-

commonwealthclub.org/events

phasize their humanity and importance to our country.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 COMMONWEALTH CLUB WEEKLY TOUR SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

TOP 3 KEYS TO GET OUT OF BACK PAIN

Dot Spaet, Self-help Back Pain Specialist; Personal Trainer; Yoga Instructor

Do you wake up stiff and creaky? Does an old back injury sometimes knock you out of commission? Back pain often becomes more prevalent as we age, and though we may think we’re powerless, back problems can be fixed. Learn specific moves that decrease back and neck pain almost immediately, or prevent pain if there isn’t any. We will talk about how to keep your back pain-free by learning how to bend in a way that does not hurt you, and by learning how to sit at your computer. We’ll cover what it takes to get and maintain a back that stays pain-free. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 4:45 p.m. check-in, 5:15 p.m. program • MLF: Grownups • Program organizer: John Milford

BEN FRANKLIN CIRCLES Join us monthly, every first Wednesday, for a 21st-century version of Ben Franklin’s mutual improvement club. One evening a week, for more than 40 years, the founding father discussed and debated with his friends the 13

virtues that he felt formed the basis for personal and civic improvement, a list he created when he was 20 years old. The virtues to which he aspired included justice, resolution and humility. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond

WILLIE BROWN: ANNUAL COMMONWEALTH CLUB LECTURE

Willie Brown, Former Mayor, San Francisco; Former Speaker, California State Assembly

Always outspoken and entertaining, with four decades of experience at the center of California politics, Brown will give his annual lecture on where we’re headed at the state and federal levels. A two-term mayor of San Francisco, legendary speaker of the state assembly and widely regarded as one of the most influential African-American politicians of the late 20th century, Brown is a key figure in California politics, government and civic life. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program • Notes: Members-only plus one paying guest

THURSDAY, MAY 3 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 5/3/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable, The Commonwealth Club

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing current LGBTQ topics. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program APRIL/MAY 2018

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For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Willie Brown: Annual Commonwealth Club Lecture 5/2 • Seven Disasters in Seven Weeks 5/8

ESCAPE TO BERKELEY: THE 1906 EARTHQUAKE RELIEF EFFORT

Richard Schwartz, Historian; Author, Berkeley 1900, Daily Life at the Turn of the Century and Earthquake Exodus, 1906

After the ground stopped rumbling in the 1906 earthquake, many survivors fled the flames engulfing San Francisco and escaped to Berkeley. For the next 10 weeks there, an all-volunteer, citizen-organized relief effort first saved those refugees’ lives and then put them back on their own two feet. In this illustrated presentation, Schwartz plumbs the depths of these events and reconstructs the stories, details and subtleties of the relief period. He also asks: What did the people of 1906 know about human nature that they were able to mount a relief effort so successful that it was completed in 10 weeks, everyone having been uplifted to a new life or returned to their old ones? Find out the intriguing answers.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program Organizer: George Hammond

MONDAY, MAY 7 WEEK TO WEEK POLITICS ROUNDTABLE AND SOCIAL HOUR 5/7/18

Carson Bruno, Assistant Dean for Admissions & Program Relations, Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy; Former Research Fellow, Hoover Institute; California Policy Specialist; Barbara Marshman, Former Editorial Page Editorial, Mercury News Additional Panelist TBA

Join us as we discuss the biggest, most controversial and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists

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who are smart, are civil and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live 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 members social (open to all attendees).

SAN FRANCISCO • WEEK TO WEEK PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • 
Time: 5:30 p.m. wineand-snacks social, 6:30 p.m. program

TUESDAY, MAY 8 SEVEN DISASTERS IN SEVEN WEEKS: OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF DISASTER LOGISTICS Charles Redding, CEO, MedShare

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the worst in recent memory and cost the United States $265 billion. To make matters worse, several other disasters, such as monsoon flooding, catastrophic mudslides and earthquakes, occurred. This put a strain on the capacity of global health care. Charles Redding will talk about the challenging aspects of multiple disaster logistics. In particular, he will discuss how MedShare has built a global capacity to meet the needs of local communities. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. networking reception, noon program • MLF: Health & Medicine • Program organizer: Bill Grant

NOB HILL WALKING TOUR Explore one of San Francisco’s 44 hills, and one of its original “Seven Hills.” Because of great views and its central position, Nob Hill became an enclave of the rich and famous on the west coast 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; visit the city’s largest house of worship, Grace Cathedral; and discover architectural tidbits and anecdotes about the railroad barons and silver kings. A true San Francisco experience of elegance, urbanity, scandals and fabulous views.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Meet in front of Caffe Cento, 801 Powell Street, San Francisco • Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–4:30 p.m. walk • Notes: Tour operates rain or shine; limited to 20 participants; tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at check-in; walks will be cancelled with fewer than six participants (you will be notified 3 days prior if it will be cancelled due to low enrollment).

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 COMMONWEALTH CLUB WEEKLY TOUR SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

YOUSOLAR: SOLAR SIMPLIFIED, POWER AMPLIFIED

Arnold Leitner, Founder & CEO, YouSolar

YouSolar has designed a stand-alone solar and battery system that works in areas with unreliable grids or no grid at all. The system is high-power and can replace diesel generators widely used in these situations. The system is plug-and-play and can be assembled from box to power in one hour, making it useful for disaster relief. YouSolar’s initial markets are India and Indonesia where a considerable amount of electric power is generated by dirty, noisy and expensive home diesel generators. Join us for a conversation with Leitner on what YouSolar is doing to improve global access to solar and battery power systems.


For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Yousolar: Solar Simplified, Power Amplified 5/9 • Edward Larson 5/10 SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Environment & Natural Resources • Program organizer: Ann Clark

JOHN DOERR, CHAIR OF KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS

John Doerr, Chair, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Author, Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

Every startup, corporation and nonprofit began as an idea. But ideas can’t become reality without successful execution. According to renowned venture capitalist John Doerr, the success of any organization hinges on understanding and mastering OKRs—objectives and key results. Doerr demonstrates how companies and organizations like Google, Intel and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have achieved success by embracing OKRs, a framework that fosters focus, alignment, transparency and accountability for employees at all levels. Doerr discovered the value of OKRs when he was an engineer at Intel working under Andy Grove. Since then he has helped entrepreneurs and startups become the “next big thing” in mobile and social networks, e-commerce, greentech and education. His investments and ventures have created more than 425,000 jobs worldwide. SILICON VALLEY • Location: Santa Clara Convention Center Theatre, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santaeck-in, 7 p.m. program

THURSDAY, MAY 10 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 5/10/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week Political

commonwealthclub.org/events

Roundtable, The Commonwealth Club

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

TO THE EDGES OF THE EARTH

Edward Larson, University Professor of History, Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair of Law, Pepperdine University; Author, To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, The Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration

As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the “Third Pole” of altitude, located in the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny and the harshest conditions on the planet and had each planted their flags of triumph. America’s Robert Peary and Matthew Henson, Britain’s Ernest Shackleton and Australia’s Douglas Mawson and Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi simultaneously raced their expeditions to the top, bottom, and heights of the world. Based on extensive archival and on-theground research, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Ed Larson also draws upon his own voyages to the Himalaya, the Arctic and the ice sheets of the Antarctic, where he himself reached the South Pole and lived in Shackleton’s Cape Royds hut.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program Organizer: George Hammond • Notes: Part of the Good Lit Series, underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

FRIDAY, MAY 11 TRUMP AND THE MIDDLE EAST 2018

Maher Kalaji, Ph.D. in Chemistry Alon Sachar, Middle East Peace Advisor under G.W. Bush and Obama administrations; Co-author, Path to Peace Eddy Simonian, MA in International Relations Banafsheh Keynoush, Ph.D., Author, Saudi Arabia and Iran — Moderator

Last April, our distinguished panel discussed how the Trump presidency might affect the Middle East. Since then, some critics have said that Trump has gutted our diplomatic corps, supported tyrants and is destabilizing the region. Others have said that Trump is more realistic about the region than his predecessors, is defeating ISIS and making America safer. One year later, our panel of Middle East experts will continue the conversation.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program • MLF: Middle East • Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

MONDAY, MAY 14 THE WATERGATE: INSIDE AMERICA’S MOST INFAMOUS ADDRESS

Joseph Rodota, Political Consultant; Author, The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address

Monday Night Philosophy gets detailed about a location’s influence on the action within its walls. Rodota gives an eye-opening look at the remarkable cast of characters—politicians, journalists, socialites and spies—who helped make the Watergate, after it opened in 1965, into the most infamous private address in Washington. The cast includes the Watergate burglars; Washington’s first “super lobbyAPRIL/MAY 2018

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For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Trump and the Middle East 5/11 • The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address 5/14

ist” Tommy Corcoran and his “Tiger Hostess” Anna Chennault; the irrepressible Martha Mitchell, wife of Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell; Reagan’s California posse; Condoleezza Rice, who played the piano in chamber music concerts she staged in her Watergate living room; and Elizabeth and Bob Dole, who lived next to Monica Lewinsky.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: Humanities • Program Organizer: George Hammond • Notes: Photo by Ted Eytan

SAN FRANCISCO DECIDES: MAYORAL ELECTION 2018

Angela Alioto, Attorney; Former San Francisco Supervisor, District 2 Ellen Lee Zhou, Public Health Worker Michelle Bravo, Massage Therapist London Breed, President, S.F. Board of Supervisors; Supervisor, District 5 Amy Farah Weiss, Homelessness Activist Richie Greenberg, Businessman; Advisor Jane Kim, S.F. Supervisor, District 6 Mark Leno, Former California State Senator, SD-11 Melissa Caen, Politics and Legal Reporter, CBS Bay Area (KPIX 5)—Moderator

Join us for our nonpartisan San Francisco mayoral candidate forum as the city decides who will occupy its highest office. We’ll be discussing a wide range of important policy areas with the candidates—from public safety and education, to cannabis, gentrification and more! Don’t miss your chance to ask a question of the candidates! We’ll be accepting pre-submitted audience questions prior to our forum. Email inforum@commonwealthclub.org or tweet @inforumsf. SAN FRANCISCO • INFORUM PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Au-

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ditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30pm check-in, 6:30pm program • Notes: If you would like to attend the forum but the price of admission is cost prohibitive to you, please contact us at inforum@ commonwealthclub.org

TUESDAY, MAY 15 DAUGHTER OF THE COLD WAR

Grace Kennan Warnecke, Chairman of the Board, National Committee on American Foreign Policy; Photographer; Senior Editor, A Day in the Life of the Soviet Union; Author, Daughter of the Cold War

Grace Kennan Warnecke has lived a life on the edge of history: Born in Latvia, Warnecke lived in seven countries and spoke five languages before she was eleven. As a child, she witnessed Hitler’s march into Prague, attended a Soviet school during World War II and sailed the seas with her father. Later she accompanied Ted Kennedy and his family to Russia, escorted Joan Baez to Moscow to meet with dissident Andrei Sakharov, hosted Josef Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, and witnessed the breakup of the Soviet Union. Come hear from this remarkable woman who has a front-row seat to history.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond • Notes: Part of the Good Lit Series, underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation

JONAH GOLDBERG: THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN LIBERTY

Jonah Goldberg, Senior Editor, National Review; Contributor, Fox News; Author, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy

According to Jonah Goldberg, American liberty is under threat like never before. More and

more often we are hearing that about liberty being on the decline, or even more frightening: that it is dying. As authoritarianism and nationalism are revitalized across the globe, tribalism and identity politics has come to dominates political discourse at home. But why is this happening? And who is at fault for the sickening of Western political values? Join this provocative conversation on how we are killing our own democracy and how a leading conservative voice sees a way out though a return to the ideals that once built our modern civilization.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing

DEBORAH AND JAMES FALLOWS: OUR 100,000 MILE JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF AMERICA

James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic; Co-author, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America Deborah Fallows, Author, Dreaming in Chinese and A Mother’s Work; Co-author, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America

For the last five years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across the country, meeting with civic leaders, factory workers, entrepreneurs and recent immigrants to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing small- and medium-sized cities in the United States. The Fallows offer a unique portrait of America and the people and organizations that are helping reshape our country and present a vision of hope.

SILICON VALLEY • Location: Cubberley Community Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd. (near Montrose & Middlefield), Palo Alto • Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing • Notes: Photo by Kyle Chesser, Hands On Studio


For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Commonwealth Club Weekly Tour 5/16 • Deborah and James Fallows 5/15 • Dambisa Moyo 5/17

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 CLUB WEEKLY TOUR SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

DANIEL ZIBLATT: HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE

Daniel Ziblatt – Professor of Government, Harvard University; Co-Author, How Democracies Die

Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many people never thought they would be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than 20 years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang— in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that they say we have already passed the first one.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing

HUMANITIES WEST BOOK DISCUSSION: THE PRINCE, BY NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI Join us for a discussion of The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli cut his political teeth during the Renaissance, a time of intense hatred between Italian city-states. He was a man of action, and a devout patriot, who wrote The Prince to describe how a strong leader

commonwealthclub.org/events

could unite Italy and put an end to the senseless conflict. But he was also such a realist in describing how princes actually ruled their citystates that his name has become synonymous with off-stage political intrigue. The discussion will be led by Lynn Harris. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m check-in, 6:30 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program organizer: George Hammond

THURSDAY, MAY 17 EHUD BARAK

Ehud Barak, Former Prime Minister, Israel; Author, My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace

Born on a kibbutz, Barak became commander of Israel’s elite special forces, then army chief of staff, and ultimately prime minister. Now he tells the unvarnished story of his—and his country’s—first seven decades; of its major successes, but also its setbacks and misjudgments. He offers candid assessments of his fellow Israeli politicians, of the American administrations with which he worked, and of himself. He sounds a powerful warning: Israel is at a crossroads, threatened by events beyond its borders and by divisions within. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 11:15 a.m. check-in, noon program • Notes: Part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation; no large bags; attendees subject to search

THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 5/17/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week Po-

litical Roundtable, The Commonwealth Club

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

DAMBISA MOYO

Dambisa Moyo, Economist; Author; Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth and How to Fix It

The widening gap between the rich and the poor is one of the most important issues facing societies worldwide. Income inequality has increased drastically over the past four decades, and the debate on how to address this problem has never been more important. Global economist Dambisa Moyo analyzes how liberal


For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Simon Winchester 5/21 • Francesca Zambello 5/21 • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 5/21

democracies are failing their own citizens. She emphasizes the importance of economic growth in creating global stability, and presents us with a radical roadmap to reform our democracies to meet the needs of the people.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. book signing • Note: Photo by Pink Orange Photography

MONDAY, MAY 21 SIMON WINCHESTER: THE PERFECTIONISTS

Simon Winchester, Author, The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World”

The revered bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing • Notes: Co-hosted by the Mechanics Institute

FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO AND THE HAUNTING THEMES OF THE RING

Francesca Zambello, Director, Der Ring des Nibelungen, San Francisco Opera 2017-18 season; Director, Carmen, SF Opera 2018–19

San Francisco Opera characterizes its upcoming production of 2018 Richard Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen (The Ring) as a transformative journey through a world unhinged by corruption and politics, ravaged by greed and neglect, and where the one true power is the redeeming force of love. Reknowned opera and stage director Francesca Zambello will lead

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us through production video and music that reflect how the The Ring, as she reminds us, “is always contemporary. We are presenting a world in some ways familiar to our audience but also one that will feel very mythic as we look to our country’s rich imagery. The great themes of the Ring—nature, power and corruption—resound through America’s past and haunt our present.” SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m check-in, noon program • MLF: Arts • Program Organizer: Anne W. Smith

SOCRATES CAFÉ Socrates Café is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. checkin, 6:30–8 p.m. program • MLF: Humanities • Program Organizer: George Hammond

WEEK TO WEEK POLITICS ROUNDTABLE AND SOCIAL HOUR 5/21/18 Carson Bruno, Assistant Dean for Admissions & Program Relations, Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy; Additional Panelists TBA

Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz. Come early before the program and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our members social (open to all attendees). SAN FRANCISCO • WEEK TO WEEK PROGRAM • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • 
Time: 5:30 p.m. wineand-snacks social, 6:30 p.m. program

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.: AMERICAN VALUES

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance; Author, American Values: Les-

sons I Learned from My Family

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the third of 11 children born to Bobby Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, reflects on what it meant to grow up as part of that extraordinary family. He shares some of his favorite childhood memories and speaks passionately of the role models who shaped him, including his father and his Uncle Jack.

SILICON VALLEY • Location: check website • Time: 6:15 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. program • Notes: Part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation

TUESDAY, MAY 22 AMBASSADOR MICHAEL MCFAUL: A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIA

Michael McFaul, Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia; Author, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia

Michael McFaul shares his knowledge of Russia and provides a unique perspective on one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. Come listen to reflections on U.S.-Russia relations, election interference, the rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president and a firsthand account of McFaul’s ambassadorship. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. program • Notes: Part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 CLUB WEEKLY TOUR SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

SONIC SEA DOCUMENTARY: OUR OCEANS ARE A SYMPHONY

Daniel Hinerfeld, Director and Producer,


For current prices, call 415.597.6705 or go to commonwealthclub.org

Turning Heartbreak into Victory 5/24 • Middle East Forum Discussion 5/29

“Sonic Sea”

Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But manmade ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. Join us for this fascinating journey below the sea and what we need to do to protect our oceans.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program • MLF: Grownups • Program Organizer: Denise Michaud

THE GREAT DEBATE: SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE IN CALIFORNIA

Paul Song, M.D., Co-chair, Campaign for a Healthy California Coalition; Chief Medical Officer, ATGen Global Micah Weinberg, Ph.D., President, Bay Area Council Economic Institute Mark Zitter, Chair, The Zetema Project— Moderator

Dr. Paul Song, co-chair of the group behind SB562, which puts forward a single-payer health-care plan for California, and Micah Weinberg, who heads a think tank focused on economic and policy issues facing the Bay Area, will debate the pros and cons of SB562 specifically and single payer health care generally.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program

THURSDAY, MAY 24 THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 5/24/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

commonwealthclub.org/events

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program

NORTH BEACH WALKING TOUR 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 hangouts, you’ll discover authentic Italian cathedrals and coffee shops.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: Meet at Victoria Pastry Cafe located at 700 Filbert Street (at Columbus Ave) across from Washington Square Park • Time: 1:45 p.m. check-in, 2–4:30 p.m. walk • Notes: Tour operates rain or shine; tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at check-in; walks will be cancelled with fewer than six participants

TURNING HEARTBREAK INTO VICTORY

Eddie Hart, Olympic Champion; Co-author, Disqualified: Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the Voices of the Most Tragic Olympics Dave Newhouse, Sportswriter and Columnist, Oakland Tribune; Radio Talk Show Host, KNBR; Co-author, Disqualified: Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the Voices of the Most Tragic Olympics

What really happened at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games, in which the assassination of 11 Israeli athletes overshadowed much of the athletic competitions? Learn new facts about the many surprising and tragic events of that summer through the a discussion of the remarkable life of Eddie Hart, world record holder in the 100-meter dash, who was favored to win a gold medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, but was disqualified when his sprint coach was given the wrong time for a qualifying

heat. Ten years of training and sacrifice, gone in a heartbeat. Hart returned to Munich 42 years later and interviewed people who played a large role in the events of that summer, he now sheds light on the games and their impact worldwide.

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco • Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing • MLF: International Relations • Program Organizer: Linda J. Calhoun

TUESDAY, MAY 29 MIDDLE EAST FORUM DISCUSSION The Middle East Forum discussion group, which primarily covers the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan, has been meeting monthly for about 10 years. We discuss timely, cultural subjects in a civil atmosphere with respect for others and their opinions. SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, Max Thelen Boardroom, San Francisco • Time: 5 p.m. check-in, 5:30 p.m. program • MLF: Middle East • Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

WEDNESDAY, MAY 30 COMMONWEALTH CLUB WEEKLY TOUR

SAN FRANCISCO • Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 1:30 p.m. check-in, 2 p.m. program

THURSDAY, MAY 31

THE MICHELLE MEOW SHOW 5/31/18

Michelle Meow, Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; President, SF Pride John Zipperer, Host, Week to Week

Fascinating—and often controversial—people discussing LGBTQ issues. Check commonwealthclub.org/mms for this week’s guests.

SAN FRANCISCO • MICHELLE MEOW PROGRAM • Location: Max Thelen Board Room, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco • Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program APRIL/MAY 2018

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INSIGHT The New Children’s Crusade

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President and CEO

M

any groups in America have been victimized by discrimination, harassment, even violence. Over time, workers, women, minorities and other segments of the population became aware of their victimization as groups and demanded to be protected. Protection of classes of people has grown since the industrial revolution, when the first laws were put into place to restrict abusive labor practices, followed by civil rights protections and safeguarding groups, including women and LGBTQ people, from harassment, discrimination and abuse. Now there is another group in America whose consciousness of victimization is coming into focus. Finally, after hundreds of school shootings, young people have realized that they, as a group, are being victimized. And in their case, gun violence at school presents the most extreme possible danger, that of being killed. There have been 290 school shootings since 2013, and 17 so far in 2018 alone. Two hundred and ninety-seven people, most of them students, have been killed in school shootings since 1980, and many others wounded. All efforts to diminish this threat by calls to restrict access to firearms have failed, and the incidence of school shootings is on the rise. Until recently, the young people who are victims of school gun violence had not identified themselves as a victimized group. It was heartening, therefore, after the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida to see youth leaders stand up to demand that they be protected from gun violence. Led initially by students from Florida, young people have been meeting and rallying all over the country, from Florida to Chicago to Washington, D.C. to Helena, Montana. They are working through churches, independent anti-gun-violence organizations, Jewish youth groups, even arts groups to insist on safety for themselves and their schools. “March for Our Lives” demonstrations were planned all over the country for March 24th, including more than 15 here in the Bay Area. More than 10 million students have signed a pledge against gun violence. The question is, once the threat has been identified and students have mobilized, what should be done to protect young people from gun violence? Arming teachers and other school laypeople with guns is an absurd approach. Clearly better security at schools is important, including physical security improvements to school campuses. A 2016 RAND Corporation study identified numerous technologies that could better protect schools, including entry control equipment, ID technology, video surveillance, school-site alarm and protection systems, metal detectors and X-ray machines, anonymous tip lines, tracking systems, mapping schools and bus routes, using violence

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prediction technology, and social media monitoring. Every school should have such technologies, and voters in school districts should make sure the funds are available to procure them. But other important steps are what we have been discussing at the national level for many years. We need to deal with the comprehensiveness of background checks, and the background checking system needs to Photo by James Meinerth have greater oversight and be kept up to date by law enforcement agencies. We need to ensure that automatic or semi-automatic weapons, such as the AR-15 used in several recent mass shootings, cannot get into the hands of disturbed individuals. I understand the Second Amendment gun rights argument. As a descendent of Revolutionary War militiamen, I believe it was important at that time for citizens to have the right to bear arms to obtain our independence and protect our liberty. But 228 years after the Bill of Rights was passed, the situation has fundamentally changed. Do we really think handguns or even assault weapons would be important instruments against potential oppressors that have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and millions of people under arms? This clearly does not make sense. Obviously, we must rely on other ways of protecting our liberties, such as engagement in the electoral process and strong oversight of our leaders. Guns for protection of one’s home or for hunting are one thing. But the availability of assault weapons and not requiring effective background checks for gun sales simply fosters the kind of mass shootings we are currently experiencing. We also need to take seriously the problem of psychotic individuals and their propensity for mass murder. There have been significant warning signs in the cases of nearly all the individuals who have committed school violence, and they have repeatedly been ignored. Psychosis, paranoia, delusions and other such disorders, plus guns, equals violence. Families, schools, the military, law enforcement and other institutions need to be more proactive with those who show signs of psychosis or extreme anger toward others. Should America allow its children to be regularly killed, when we can reduce or prevent gun violence? No, we should not be that kind of society. Maybe America’s youth will stand up and persevere with what needs to be done, since adults are not effectively protecting their safety.


Romance of the Mekong River

Aboard R.V. Mekong Navigator

October 2-17, 2018

• Explore Vietnam and Cambodia’s history, culture and cuisine. Enjoy presentations and discussions with guest speakers. • Spend three nights in Saigon and visit Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels. • In Siem Reap, discover the wonders of ancient Angkor with expert guides who bring these archaeological sites to life. • Spend seven nights cruising the Mekong River aboard the all-suite Mekong Navigator. Enjoy river-view accommodations, all meals, wine with dinner, and complimentary local spirits and beer on board. • Experience Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh, and learn about the country’s troubled past at the Choueng Ek Memorial. • Optional pre-trip extension to Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. Cost: from $6,395 per person, double occupancy. Free economy air from SFO and other gateway cities.

Brochure at commonwealthclub.org/travel | 415.597.6720 | travel@commonwealthclub.org CST: 2096889-40


To purchase tickets:

The Commonwealth Club of California

visit commonwealthclub.org or call (415) 597-6705 or call (800) 847-7730

P.O. Box 194210 San Francisco, CA 94119

Periodicals postage paid in San Francisco, California

To subscribe to our email newsletter: visit commonwealthclub.org and use the simple “Be the First to Know” feature on the homepage

MONDAY, APRIL 30

Details on page 46

TUESDAY, MAY 15

RONAN FARROW

JONAH GOLDBERG

Ronan Farrow, Investigative Journalist; Author, War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and The Decline of American Influence Kara Swisher, Executive Editor, Recode—Moderator

Jonah Goldberg, Senior Editor, National Review; Contributor, Fox News; Author, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy

Ronan Farrow documents the decline of diplomacy since 9/11, citing incidents from across the globe and sharing interviews with whistleblowers, policymakers and every living secretary of state, from Henry Kissinger to Rex Tillerson.

THURSDAY, MAY 17

Details on page 51

DAMBISA MOYO

Details on page 50

Jonah Goldberg says American liberty is under threat like never before. As authoritarianism and nationalism are revitalized across the globe, tribalism and identity politics has come to dominate political discourse at home. But why is this happening? And who is at fault for the sickening of Western political values?

MONDAY, MAY 21

Details on page 52

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.

Dambisa Moyo, Economist; Au-

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance; Author, American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family

The widening gap between the rich and the poor is one of the most important issues facing the world. Global economist Dambisa Moyo analyzes how liberal democracies are failing their own citizens. She emphasizes the importance of economic growth in creating global stability, and presents us with a radical roadmap to reform our democracies to meet the needs of the people.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the third of 11 children born to Bobby Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, reflects on what it meant to grow up as part of that extraordinary family. He shares some of his favorite childhood memories and speaks passionately of the role models who shaped him, including his father and his Uncle Jack.

thor; Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth and How to Fix It

The Commonwealth April-May 2018  

Conservative David Frum, a vocal critic of President Trump, explains the threat of corruption in the country's democratic institutions; plus...

The Commonwealth April-May 2018  

Conservative David Frum, a vocal critic of President Trump, explains the threat of corruption in the country's democratic institutions; plus...