Minutes of 12 October Meeting
Another boffo program! We had scads of visitors, who had to be impressed
with both Tom Campbell and Ayuyoe Graham, as YOE certainly was. I only hope
I can include everyone who was there as a guest - stay tuned.
PAUL SORRELL started us off with the Pledge, followed by a triumvirate (that
means three) co-song-persons, to sort of coin a phrase. LENNY FRIEDMAN was
the overall major domo (that means he paid the other two to perform), and was
thus assisted by both JACK HARRIS and PP JIM DOWNIE on the ivories. After a
somewhat tentative start, we came through with at least several verses of I
Been Working on the RR. SALLY BRANT was up next, with an Irish Prayer -
good, and short, always an excellent combo.
KEVIN KOMATSU had a lot of introductions. ANN ELKIN brought Accuse Graham
and Lynn Kitchen, both from Spirit Awakening Foundation. Accuse was
originally from Ghana, and will be returning to WVRC on November 2nd to tell
us more about her excellent organization, which helps at-risk youth plus
doing some literacy training. It was good to see former member Bruce
Blickensderfer again (now with the Santa Monica Club), and the junior member
of the Broomfield family was there with Peggy and BILL. If you want to make
Bill Jr's day, ask him what he will be doing shortly, down in Cabo San Lucas.
YOE sat next to new member ATHENA JACKSON, who introduced her guest, Leslie
Scott, of I'm Blessed. DON NELSON brought Ambassadorial Candidate Suzanne
Karpilowsky, who gave a lovely overview of her educational plans - she will
attend the Sorbonne. And then PETER MORE introduced Shirley, who was thanked
by Prez STEVE for hosting yesterday's Rotary Auxiliary Meeting at the MORE'S
home. PETER then introduced Umi Hara, Co-President of Rotaract, who spoke
about their involvement in the Aids Walk, LA, which we were asked to support.
Umi also was pleased to report that they just brought in 33 NEW members -
this is really a going organization! PP STEVE SCHERER introduced his good
friend and long-time partner, Chris Bradford. PP JIM DOWNIE commented that
his guest, Margie, and he had been married for FIFTY years!
The aforementioned Mr. NELSON, along with SALLY BRANT and PP JIM COLLINS,
having been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak, were each
fined two hundred big ones for attending the Olympics in Sydney - you really
can't afford to leave town, apparently. Next up was PP BOB WESSLING, who was
pleased to announce that we have received a gift from the Gene Raymond Living
Trust in the amount of fifty thousand dollars, which brings our WW Village
Rotary Foundation cash-on-hand to over $130K - now it's up to the Past
Presidents to decide if we should begin to spend the interest this will
generate. BOB THOM is the trustee for Mr. Raymond, and we owe BOB a real
Thank You for directing this gift to us. However, in fairness (which is
always the ultimate goal of this publication, as I'm sure you would agree) it
should be mentioned that PP WESSLING then spoke somewhat self-servingly about
the help and counseling he has provided to his beloved DePauw Tigers. They
have been in the midst of another 0 and 4 start, but after his meeting with
the team, they went out and beat the hell out of Sewanee, that well-known
University of the South. Last year, the same thing happened - that is, they
were 0-4, Bob counseled, and they won their last SIX games. That's a tough
act to follow, but I'm sure we will be kept up-to-date on their progress, and
we thank PP BOB for sharing this good news with all of us. However, again
referring to our obvious record of past fairness, it would seem that some
minor fine for self-promotion - call it a communication charge, perhaps -
might be in order here. Just a thought, of course.
Raffle tickets should be returned pronto to PP STEVE DAY - you can't win if
you don't turn them in, and we are two weeks away. Don't forget to RSVP to
HARLAN LEWIS so you can attend the Yearling Breakfast on the 24th at the
Holiday Inn - all are invited, and if you haven't been before, or even
recently, give it a try - it's always a nice event.
On the more serious side, two of our members could use some help -
BRUCE HARRIS is again home, and doing OK. But he has been an avid reader,
and at least for awhile, that isn't possible. I'd like to propose a reading
chain - that is, five of us, each taking a day a week, and going over between
eleven and two o'clock, to read the Times or whatever he suggests. This has
the double benefit of keeping BRUCE abreast of what is going on news-wise,
PLUS giving Caroline a bit of time off to do some errands and have a break in
her routine. I'll be calling some of you retired types - plus Rotary Anne's,
DAN PRICE has now been at St. Johns for two weeks, and has at least another
week to go, recovering from pneumonia. He's been pretty sick, has lost a lot
of weight (which he didn't have that much extra to lose), and will be quite
weak for awhile. BRUCE ROLF and Marie have been visiting, and more of us
should step forward. Cards and telephone calls will help, please. (310)
829-5511x376-2, or 1328 22nd Street, room 376, Santa Monica 90404.
NEAL ZASLAVSKY gave an excellent intro for Tom Campbell, pointing out that he
has a Ph.D. in Economics, teaches at Stanford, was a State Senator, is
currently in his FIFTH term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is
running as the Republican nominee against Democrat Diane Feinstein for the
U.S. Senate. Representative Campbell began by reminding us that interest in
the electoral process has declined markedly in the last twenty years, which
is not a good trend He then pointed out, quite convincingly, that there IS
NO BUDGET SURPLUS at present. Federal accounting procedures are done with
smoke and mirrors, all revolving around the present surplus in the Social
Security System, which is used quite creatively. And the famed "Lock Box"
contains only IOU's, in the form of government bonds - not an asset, but a
liability. Tom went on to suggest that both presidential candidates are
guilty of planning to spend money they don't have now, and may never have.
Projecting this 'system' TEN YEARS down the road and believing the result
might work with those who are a year old now, but for us adults, it sure
shouldn't be believable. His solution to the use of any surplus that may
show up is to apply it directly to our current national debt - which of
course is simply a mortgage to be paid by our children.
Campbell suggests that a portion of our Social Security trust fund should be
invested in municipal bonds - that is, airports, toll roads, toll bridges -
which pay a real rate of return. Another option would be to allow younger
workers to designate part of their FICA contributions to mutual fund
investments, which have been proven, over many years, to provide a better
return than 30-year Treasuries. This would mean changing the present law, of
course - plus depriving the politicians of controlling these funds entirely,
as they now do (and enjoy doing).
Tom Campbell has been urging Senator Einstein to debate him, and she responds
that that is an interesting THEORY. He assumes this must be a California
town, perhaps just north of Bakersfield, but wherever, he's willing…He would
like to discuss America's war on drugs - our recent 1.3 billion dollar
donation to Columbia, will, apparently, solve this 37-year old internal
rebellion (just like in Vietnam). Is a change worth considering?
Where has our current energy policy led us - we are more dependent on foreign
oil now than we were in the crises days of the 70's. There is still time for
a Senatorial Debate - let's hope it happens (even in Theory).
In the Q&A period, he strongly came out FOR Prop 36, and AGAINST Prop 38 -
read the fine print, and you'll probably agree. And he predicts that the
sponsor of Prop 38, Tim Draper, an industrialist from the Silicon Valley,
will run against Governor Gray Davis in the next election. Stay tuned - and
for Tom Campbell, our best wishes, and thanks for bringing him, NEAL
Next week, our own DR RALPH BEASOM will be reminiscing about his 50-year
career in medicine. For those of you who may not know RALPH, be prepared for
a real treat. RALPH is WVRC's RENAISSANCE MAN, and you'll agree after next
Thought for the Day, directed, somehow, toward YOE - "Do not the most moving
moments of our lives find us without words?" Marcel Marceau.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe