August 12: Middle East Update with Paul Wineman
Due to the four week sojourn of our Editor Ernie Wolfe, the duties of editor fell to Mark Block. Because of Mark's inability to attend the Friendly Westwood Village Rotary Club's meeting (unforeseen circumstances), the anvil fell (*@!%) on the editor of last resort -- me, Elliott Turner! (you know what flows downhill now, don't you!) Elliott apologizes in advance for any and all omissions, insults, slights, misspelled words and offensive language.
O.K. Let's take care of the business end of this missive. Outstanding invocation by PP Homer Newman, father of Michael Newman. Emotional flag salute and reading of the 4-Way Test by PP Michael Newman, son of Homer Newman (welcome to the newman (not oldman) program). Inspirational song "My Country Tis' of Thee" superbly conducted by Lenny Friedman (David's dad). The head table was populated by PP Chris Bradford, Leah Vriesman, PP Homer Newman (in case you forgot, father of Michael Newman), PDG and PP Bill Goodwyn, our guest speaker and former WVRC Rotarian Paul Wineman, and, let’s see, who did I forget . . . oh yes, Prexy Gordon Fell.
Prexy Gordon led off by saying "Welcome." This greeting was supplied by Rotary International H.Q. in Indiana (?!). Well done Prexy Gordon! He then waltzed seamlessly into visiting Rotarians (none), and then Guests: Maxine Rogo (Mark's mom), Sonny Friedman (David's mom), and thank you to Membership Chair, Mike Newman, for bringing Holly Maginnis. Terry de Sousa was cruising around collecting scads of moola for unwary non-pin toting Rotarians. The pinless Kevin Komatsu was fined $30. I think she collected $4 million! Way to go Terry! Somebody then blurted out that Prexy Gordon just had his 30th Anniversary. Congrats Gordo!
Oh yeah . . . Kacy Rozelle, Ernie Wolfe, Mark Block, Madison Goritsan and Jim Crane are officially one year older than last month. Happy Birthday, boys.
Leah Vriesman in going to Germany for a year on a Fulbright Scholarship. She will be very missed by the members. Please keep us informed of your adventure (especially the beer halls!). Bon Voyage.
Don’t forget: if you want to have fun, come to Peggy Bloomfield's house on August 28th. It's a Fun Party. There is also a youth protection certification seminar for anyone who wishes to work with under 18 youths. It's August 20th.
He's been shot at. Captured and held hostage by the PLO. Hijacked on a commercial flight. Survived two airplane crashes. And Paul Wineman also spoke to us today about the state of affairs in the Middle East. Paul told us the four reasons for our involvement in the Middle East: oil, oil, oil and Israel. If Al Qaida wanted to stop oil flowing into the west (mostly to Europe & Japan), they could blow up the thousands of miles of unprotected oil pipelines tomorrow. They are paid off by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar not to blow up the pipes!
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. They have the most powerful lobby in Washington. Mossad has the most accurate intelligence in the region, for which the U.S. pays billions of dollars.
Another small item: we sell billions of dollars of armaments to the Middle East for cash. Don't get upset; if we didn't, Russia, China, South Africa, Germany or France would be in there in a New York minute.
I quote Mr. Wineman: "In the short term, in the Middle East, to win their hearts and minds, grab them by their privates. Their hearts and minds will quickly follow." Sounds like sage advice to me.
Best joke of the day: Prexy Gordon told us about Poland's worst air disaster in 100 years. I can't repeat it. I can't. I won't. I have my integrity, my reputation, my honor (?!). I quit!