WVRC. With Pres Elect PETER MORE, on August 8th

Yes, it was a taste of what is to come, with Prexy TED sojourning elsewhere.  As expected, the future looks bright indeed! PP HOWIE HENKES started us off with the Pledge, followed by that well-known combo of LENNY FRIEDMAN and GREGG ELLIOTT as we rendered Roll Out The Barrel. (and here, a news report some may not have observed, particularly if you left early) - DID YOU KNOW that LENNY saves the song sheets?  Yes, I saw him collecting them - and I thought it only proper that I should report this behavior, in my never-ceasing effort to present the whole truth, etc.… Alas, I did not have my recorder on when MYRON TAYLOR gave the Invocation, but it was a beaut!  Makes you wonder if he has done this sort of thing before.

Our Speaker, Maurice 'Mike' Inman was also our visiting Rotarian - he belongs to the Beverly Hills Club. Presiding PETER made the excellent suggestion that PP JIM DOWNIE deliver the wireless mike to our other guests, and PP STEVE SCHERER introduced Charlie Morgan, who is Of Counsel to Mike Inman's law firm. LENNY FRIEDMAN was next, with his "Flawless Gem, Sunny " - adding that she had her 80th BD just last week! And yes, there WAS another guest, as I attempted to point out a bit later in the proceedings - HENRIETTA LIAN was with Harold, but the mike arrived a bit late for him to be announced. (I knew he was there because Harold was seated at the next table, facing me, and I figured if he HAD been introduced and I missed it, that would indeed be cause for me to worry).

PP GEORGE DEA was called forward by PETER.  We were reminded that the middle initial of our immediate PP was L - and we were asked what that L stood for.  Turns out that GEORGE'S middle name is LUN-SHEK and Oriental culture defines the last name as the family name, while the middle name (Lun) refers to his generation.  After this explanation, PP GEORGE asked PP STEVE DAY to come forward to receive the District Award for our average contribution to the Rotary Foundation of over $100 per year.  PP STEVE used this opportunity to plug this year's Foundation Dinner, which will be held on Saturday, November 2nd at the new Cathedral downtown.  Please return your raffle ticket stubs to PP STEVE - he has over 30 responses already.     

PP HOWIE HENKES introduced our newest Member, Rev. CLAIR MITCHELL, who is the new Associate Minister at that well-known local Methodist institution on Wilshire Blvd.  PP HOWIE hastened to assure us that, while PP DOUG DESCH has sponsored CLAIR, DOUG'S leaving town the next day was not related!  Seizing the opportunity to inflate the Club coffers, Presiding PETER called PP JIM DOWNIE on the carpet, to explain his new set of wheels.  PP JIM allowed as how he had always liked the electrical transmission of the BMW, and his new vehicle is named Adolph.  He was so impressed with this transmission that he had to cover it with something, so he bought the whole car.  Presiding PETER assessed PP JIM fifty clams - but then added another one hundred and fifty to cover the rest of the car. An aside here - our thanks to Guin and PP RON LYSTER for arranging the wonderful swimming party at the home of Sally and PP HOMER NEWMAN - 16 of our Japanese exchange students attended, and it was a great event.

August birthdays were next covered, starting with KACY ROZELLE who arrived on the lst, in Basking Ridge, NJ.  On the 4th, along came RALPH SMITH, from Brockton, MA.  BRUCE ROLF, hailing from McPherson KS. arrived on this very day. the 8th - which of course DOUBLES his birthday fine, that being the rule of law by which we continue to operate. Next up was YOE, on the 11th in lovely Los Angeles.  (And not to put too fine a point on this reminder, there is still time for all who cannot resist providing me a BD present to get them to 780 Malcolm by that day…).  JACK HARRIS claims the 13th (same as my wife, JOY) and also hails from LA.  The 3rd LA'er in August is DAN PRICE, on the 16th.  Next day, the 17th, PP DOUG DESCH, from Grand Junction, CO, while CHARLES MAGNUSON arrived on the 19th in Seattle.  PP ROY BELOSIC hails from Miami Beach, on the 23rd, and Resident Saint VIRGINIA GANDY claims Piedmont, MO the next day.  Lompoc (note POKE, not pock) which is in lovely central California, claims credit for LENORE MULRYAN on the 25th - same date as MARK BLOCK, who hails from Passaic, NJ.  

Those who were present were questioned, as follows: BRUCE has three great grandchildren, ages 9,7 and 8 months. LENORE's grandson is Ryan, who is 14, and he has recently completed a SIX-YEAR circumnavigation of the world by sailing vessel!  MARK was first asked about grandchildren, but having none, did say his three sons are 2, 6, and 10.  I was asked to explain the initials YOE, which I'm sure everyone knows stand for Ye Olde Editor. DAN was asked what his oldest car is, and he admitted to owning a 1934 Rolls-Royce - which he admitted he didn't drive much!  CHARLES and his wife Carole have just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, and his two sons are Douglas, an artist, and Gregory, a writer.  With that, we almost launched into the Birthday Song, but Presiding PETER, in a nice touch, invited SUNNY FRIEDMAN to join the other birthdayers on the dais for the serenade.  After distribution of appropriate presents, we resumed our regular places.

SALLY BRANT introduced our Speaker, Mike Inman, who was a last-minute substitute. Mike graduated from UCLA Magna Cum Laude, then Harvard Law, and opened his own firm in 1960. From 1981 to 1986 he was General Counsel, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Dept of Justice in the Reagan Administration.  He supervised over 200 attorneys over the U.S., and they handled 140K administrative cases per year, plus 1000 District Court and Court of Appeals cases, AND 16 cases before the Supreme Court - they prevailed in all 1016 cases!  So he is well qualified to speak on Immigration Policy today.

Mike is very concerned over the direction of our present Immigration Policy.  He reminded us that the INS is publicly attacked almost daily in the press and TV, based essentially on their continuing failures since 9/11.  He has a report that almost two MILLION documents are now either lost or have not been delivered, including 200K change of address forms. Since his own political preference is known, his criticisms of the present system are all the more telling.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service is supposed to control our borders, along with the Customs Service.  The State Dept controls who enters the U.S., how long they can stay, and what they can do while here. As an aside, many U.S. businesses would have trouble operating without the help of the many immigrants who are here on special work visas.  Last year 110K such visas were issued - 50K from India alone!  So our entire economy is a major beneficiary of these special visas - yet the current administration seems to be questioning the status of these very immigrants.  

These new policies are set, essentially, by Attorney General Ashcroft.  He is of course a political appointee, but seems to be ignoring many basic legal rights which we have long upheld - and cherished.  Of the 1000 plus detainees arrested after the 9/11 attack, their names are still not published, for instance. There are Immigration Courts located in many parts of the country, and the current head of that operation, which Mike created when he was in office, called him recently to ask what he should do. Attorney General Ashcroft is telling him how certain cases should be decided!  No longer should there be public trials.  No longer should the accused be allowed to confront witnesses.  No Longer should records of the proceedings be kept. All these obvious violations of the rules of law are now justified by the perceived needs of National Security.

He gave an example of a plan that was put forward to build a 30 foot high fence along part of the border with Mexico.  This was to be topped with barbed wire, of course.  When the plan was submitted to the Senate, Ted Kennedy asked many questions.  His major concern was that this fence could injure those trying to climb over it!  While the cost of the fence would be much less that what we now spend on patrolling this section of the border, and would be much more effective, it was rejected on'humanitarian' grounds.  The essential question Mike was asking us was, what is the tradeoff between protecting our borders from terrorism Vs eliminating the legal rights of those who may be trying to enter our country.  Not an easy question to answer, right?

Q&A - I asked where these policies come from, and he said from Ashcroft, although President Bush apparently tolerates them.  DONN CONNOR - cost of the fence (answered above).  ELLIOTT TURNER - is it easier to enter through Canada - the border is porous.  DON NELSON - is due process still in effect.  Not evenly applied.
GEORGE COX - what happens when the police have an illegal immigrant in custody - INS is too busy to respond - we don't have time for your small problems.  CATHY REZOS - has the Executive Branch gone too far - lots of rules apply, and such a hodgepodge creates not only confusion but delay.  CLARK MCQUAY - how do Green Cards work - they are conditional for first two years, then apply for ten.  GREGG ELIOTT - is it true that demanding answers under oath destroys the information network.  No.  

You can see we had a lot to ask about.
     YOE, Ernie Wolfe