NEARBY MAKEUP SITES: Monday, Beverly Hills, BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset / Tuesday, WLA/Brentwood, Chez Mimi, 246 26th St, Santa Monica / Wednesday, Century City, Hyatt Regency Century City, in the Breeze Cafe, Culver City, Raddison Hotel, 6161 W Centinela Ave, CC, or Wilshire, The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA / Friday, Santa Monica, Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades
Fitness for All Ages
The Importance of Fitness for All Ages
Tuesday, March 10
BILL BLOOMFIELD Jr - at the home of ELOISE SISKEL. It all starts with the Auxiliary meeting at 11:30 that day, followed by lunch and BILL’S talk. The subject will be Washington DC, where BILL served as the National Director of Volunteers for John McCain! MARGIE DOWNIE will take your reservation it’s a MUST SEE!
District Breakfast - LAX
All Officers and Committee Chairs should (must!) attend
5400 W. Century Blvd.
Terrorism and Appeasement, WVRC on March 5th
LEAH VRIESMAN led the Pledge. Next up was JR DZUBAK with the Invocation "Dear Lord, may we recognize in our lives presence, power and light. May we realize we are never alone…May we have respect for our own individuality and differences…That behind our life’s finite years something beautiful, good and eternal is happening. May we see ourselves with delight and expectation in every moment and in every Rotarian, especially in this moment now!" Good job, JR - thanks.
SUNNY of course came with LENNY. PP JOHN SINLETON had a Special Guest, Pat Soley. She is the Group Exercise Director at The Sports Club, 1835 S. Sepulveda.
Somewhat out of sequence, those with birthdays or conception days, as interpreted by SEAN, were then announced. PP MIKE NEWMAN was first in line, choosing March 3rd, in Santa Monica. The next day, the 4th, TERRY M. WHITE picked Oceanside. MARIE ROLF preferred New Orleans, on the 9th, and PP CHRIS GAYNOR opted for the 11th, back in LA. URI HERSCHER (of Skirball fame) liked the 14th, all the way from Tel Aviv. PP JOHN SINGLETON also liked the 14th, but closer to here, in Salt Lake City. The 21st brought along PDG ANDY ANDERSON, in far away Buffalo. CURT SMITH brought us back to Bakersfield, on the 26th, which also suited MYRON TAYLOR. However, MYRON chose Goodwill, West. Va, and that brought up ADELE QUILICO, on the 29th, in Glendale. But alas, only three of the above were present in person LEAH VRIESMAN, TERRY WHITE, and PP JOHN SINGELTON. LENNY led their serenade, and they all signed the four books for the library.
The Head Table was graced by the same TERRY M. WHITE, who was happy to list the product line that he handles, Coors, Miller, Dos Equis, Tecate, and Pepsi products. New Member SCOTT FITCH allowed as how he didn’t have anything pressing to pass along. LEAH VRIESMAN felt she had spoken enough recently. PP CHRIS BRADFORD was uncharacteristically speechless also. Indeed, the only speaker at the Head Table WAS the Speaker, Avi Davis see below.
PP STEVE DAY then came forward to remind us that the Japanese Youth Exchange was coming up. Our kids will leave here on July 6th, returning on August 1st, and they will be accompanied by our Japanese youth guests, who will spend most of August in District 2580. As I have said a number of times, this is really an excellent program both my daughter and stepdaughter have done it, and Andrea is still in touch with some of those she met while in Japan. It’s open to children and grandchildren of Rotarians, and I would urge you to seriously consider having your kids apply. PP STEVE has all the details, of course.
Two quick announcements, if I may:
BILL BLOOMFIELD Jr, our Past President, now belonging to Manhattan Beach Rotary, will be speaking on Tuesday 10 March at the home of ELOISE SISKEL. It all starts with the Auxiliary meeting at 11:30 that day, followed by lunch and BILL’S talk. The subject will be Washington DC, where BILL served as the National Director of Volunteers for John McCain! MARGIE DOWNIE will take your reservation it’s a MUST SEE!
Also, the Culver City Rotary Club has moved, and the listing at the end of these pages shows their current address, which is the Radisson Hotel on Centinela.
And I mustn’t forget the five obvious criminal types who were fined five bucks apiece for being their usual rowdy selves. In order, they included DICK ROBINSON, STEVE LOHR, PP ERIC LOBERG, ED GAULD and PP HOMER NEWMAN. And in my never-ending effort at accuracy, it somewhat pains me to report that our former President, LOBERG by name, was so destitute that he had to borrow the 5$ from Mr. LORE. Thus it could be stated that the Contractor was floating the Dentist, more or less…
Once again, the newly discovered deadbeat, PP ERIC LOBERG provided our Inspirational Moment. The subject matter was titled, How to Clean your Toilet. First, put some shampoo in the bowl. Then place the cat in the bowl, and a cautionary note here you may need to stand on the lid! You now flush the toilet three times. The cat will provide ample suds, and never mind the noises that come from the capped bowl the cat is enjoying this. And these multiple flushings will provide ample rinsing rotation. Open the front door of your home, be sure there is nothing in the pathway to the door, and open the lid. The cat will emerge, race outside, and thoroughly dry himself off. This will make the bowl AND the cat sparkling clean. Sincerely, the Dog.
I must report that this scholarly, step-by-step approach was well received. But fear not History will still be served! You know there are problems when Bono (of U2 fame) who had planned to build Ireland’s tallest high rise (more that 400 feet tall) in Dublin’s dilapidated docklands to punctuate Ireland’s rejuvenation was unable to obtain financing for the project (approximately $265 million). The U2 tower’s “arrested development is a woeful scene replicated throughout Ireland these days” (LA Times) noting the only difference between Ireland and Iceland (whose banks and government have failed) is one letter. In Ireland, reports of cronyism and outright corruption among bankers and politicians fill the newspapers and the airways. Thus, including the Anglo Irish Bank which has been rocked by revelations of a secret multi-billion dollar transfer from a rival bank to hide its losses and loans to its former chairman Sean Fitzpatrick, along with the usual allegations of share price manipulation and irregular loans.
PP CHRIS BRADFORD introduced our Speaker, Avi Davis, who is a Senior Fellow at the American Freedom Alliance. Mr. Davis has spoken to us before, and you can reach him at (310) 444-3085, www.AmericanFreedomAlliance.org. Their purpose is to promote freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience. Our speaker was born in Melbourne, where he attended Law School. He also studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. As a journalist, his articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor. He is also on TV, with CNN and Fox News. The title of his talk today is Terrorism and Appeasement.
Prez Sean and PP Chris with speaker Avi Davis
Sept 29th, 2008 marked the seventies Anniversary of the Munich Agreement, which was the catalyst for WWII. The memories remain strong the handshake at Berchtesgaden, the ill-fated airport address at Heathrow by Neville Chamberlain, with his agreement blowing in the wind, the false proclamations of peace in the newspapers all remain vivid. But even stronger images return the scarred battlefields, cratered cities, billowing crematoria, emaciated concentration camp victims, and the newsreels revealing piles of rotting corpses.
Now, we in the 21st Century have the benefit of hindsight. We can review the series of events that led to one of the greatest diplomatic debacles in history, and ask What motivated those concerned? What kind of worldview impeded any serious effort to confront Hitler, and to abandon a democratic country who were allies? And, now, what lessons have we learned from Munich, after all?
In reality, appeasement was a function of the foreign policies of all the Great Powers in the 19th Century. European leaders from Metternich to Bismarck to Salisbury skillfully employed it, to create a balance of power that kept Europe at peace for 100 years. Imperial Rome used it to govern its far-flung empire, as did Great Britain when its own imperial ambitions began to outgrow its reach. For example, between 1896 and 1903 the British acceded to American demands to accept the Monroe Doctrine, and settled a Canadian-American border dispute in the U.S.’s favor.
The once favorable definition of appeasement has now given way to actions denoting cowardice, or caving in, so to speak. The First World War destroyed the previous period of almost-peace, even though the writings of men such as Harold Nicholson and Maynard Keynes were suggesting that diplomacy should rehabilitate the losers and strengthen their fledging democratic institutions. But what the Peace Treaty became was an instrument of Allied retribution which led, inevitably, to WWII. The effects of Munich as a symbol has been used by every American President since Truman as an example of disaster.
Over the next twenty years after Versailles, the British in particular began the undoing of its harshness. The British Parliament endorsed the Anglo-German Naval Treaty of 1935. This implicitly violated the terms of the Versailles Treaty. The Allies failed to respond to Germany’s re-occupation of the Rhineland in 1936, and this led to the abandonment of Austria when Hitler marched his troops into Vienna in early 1938.
British policy for four hundred years had been to align itself against any rising power bent on continental domination. Therefore, an ascendant Germany had to be thwarted by carefully constructed alliances and the application of assertive diplomacy. However, the problem was that Hitler did not act like a statesman he had no moral guidelines. This was the Allies most consequential mistake. Hitler could not be deterred by appeals to reason, or by appeals to self-interest. Thus he could not be appeased. And yet, while historians have called Munich a victory for Hitler, he himself considered it a defeat he considered war a strategic objective, and when war did not occur, he felt he had failed.
Neville Chamberlain has been portrayed for decades as a dupe and fool which was not accurate at all. He was a strong politician with a strong sense of the national mood. He completely shared the near universal desire of the British citizenry to avoid war, and was practicing the kind of personal international statecraft, which had worked so well for the leaders of his father’s generation. Chamberlain expected his fascist counterparts in Germany and Italy to play along. And it should be noted that the policies of France were more or less dictated by the British since they felt too weak to go to war alone.
But Chamberlain failed to asses the strategic consequences of Germany’s union with Austria, failed to appreciate the deterrent value of an accelerated rearmament program with a firm commitment to defend France and the Los Countries with troop deployments, and he failed to understand that Eastern Europe could not be defended by Britain and France alone, but only with the intervention of the Soviet Union and he was unwilling to explore the option of an alliance with the communists.
There has been endless speculation about what might have happened had England and France stood up to Hitler. Had they stood firm at Munich, it is possible that his generals might have removed him from power. Certainly the outbreak of WWII would have been delayed but again, this is all speculation. Truman said that Munich dictated intervention in Korea Eisenhower used it to justify the domino theory and Kennedy cited Munich during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Lyndon Johnson escalated the Vietnam War for fear of appearing to be an appeaser. Nixon and later Carter, then Reagan, all acted or defended their actions with Munich as a reference.
So, where are we today? There will always be threats to freedom. Iran and Korea of course come to mind, plus what will happen between Iran and Israel when Iran does get their bomb? The reality today is that London, Paris, Madrid, and Berlin are facing demands of their growing Islamic population, for Sharia Law, and Political Correctness carried to an extreme. Mr. Davis feels that Britain is in more immediate peril than France, for instance, since they have already allowed Sharia Law in some quarters. An important change in attitude would be for us to accept that the concept of appeasement applies not only to countries but to aggressive populations as well. And let us not forget Russia, based on their very recent moves along their borders.
We cannot sit idly by and allow these rogue regimes to achieve nuclear capability. True, we are engaging them diplomatically, but in the final analysis this must be backed by the real threat of military force. Let us remember that appeasement only works when it operates from a position of military, economic and psychological superiority. We must all remain constantly vigilant and unified. And finally, preemptive war may at times not only be a military necessity, but a moral imperative.
Q&A. What causes Muslims to reject us? They have learned to work the system and use it against traditional authority. They don’t reject, as much as they find ways to get their way. Is there any way to segment the Muslim population? A good question. Most of what we see is the Wahabi strain, which does call for a confrontation with the west. The moderate do not speak, often because of fear. Why is the government of Saudi Arabia, which is based on the Wahabi strain, considered to be an ally of ours? A very complicated situation. We have many strategic and oil interests that coincide, but I remind everyone that there are consequences in dealing with the devil. They are a great threat, and I hope that becomes more evident over time. In France, the Muslims are having ten children, while the French have one when is France done? Ben Lewis predicts that in fifty years Europe will either be an Isalmist republic or in civil war.
France seems to be verging on civil war even today, with all kinds of problems. But remember this is the Fifth Republic it has collapsed before. However, I think England will collapse before France they have enormous problems, and are refusing to deal with them. There are more Muslims in the U.S. than there are Episcopalians. Remember that England had an empire India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are part of that Commonwealth. They started coming into England in the 1960’s, and their children do not assimilate as they do here in the U.S. This failure to assimilate in England has led to the many fundamentalists they now have.
Mr. Avid Davis, we very much appreciate your excellent presentation.
Words of Wisdom:
President Ronald Reagan once said, “The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.”
WESTWOOD VILLAGE ROTARY CLUB 2009 - 2010
Ernie Wolfe, Jr.
Community Service Chair
International Service Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Youth Service Chair
Dong Kurn Lee
DISTRICT 5280 GOVERNOR:
Redondo Beach Rotary
For information about on-line makeups, www.recswusa.org