Tag Archives: Commonwealth Club

Nov. 20, 2013 Robert Reich Inequality For All

Commonwealthlogo3 Reich Robert 5 aftershock

On November 20, 2013 in San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel, the Commonwealth Club hosted Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and author of “Aftershock: The Next Economy And America’s Future.” In Reich’s presentation “Inequality for All” he discussed growing economic injustice and strategies to restore the benefits of growth to all.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 13, 2013 Barney Frank US Congress Retired

Commonwealthlogo3 Frank Barney Shafer Scott

On May 13, 2013 in San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel, The Commonwealth Club hosted Barney Frank, Former Member of Congress (D-MA). He discussed his years in Congress with Scott Shafer of KQED. He is unhappy with the unwillingness of Republicans to work with Democrats that led to the financial crisis in 2008. In light of the mortgage meltdown, he thinks it is important to develop affordable housing. Not everyone needs to own a home, but they should at least have reasonable rents. As many people discovered during the Great Recession, a mortgage is basically renting a house from a bank. Unless you have a thirty year job to pay for that thirty year mortgage, it is going to be a risky wager. He also talked about the growing support for gay marriage and life after politics with his husband in Maine.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 24, 2013 Mark Mazzetti The Way Of The Knife

Commonwealthlogo3 Mazzetti Mark 3 wayoftheknife

On Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club, Mark Mazzetti, New York Times National Security Reporter and Pulitzer Prize Winner discussed his latest book “The Way Of The Knife.”   He thinks the CIA has moved from an espionage agency into a paramilitary organization while the Pentagon has moved into spying.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 26, 2012 US Asst. Sec. State Countryman Nonproliferation

On Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 in San Francisco, The Commonwealth Club hosted Thomas Countryman the U.S. Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation. His topic was “Addressing Next-Generation Proliferation Challenges.” Paul Carroll of the Ploughshares Fund introduced Countryman, who said that nuclear proliferation has spread from states to businesses and individuals. Countering this increasing threat requires greater cooperation inside and between governments.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 5, 2012 Tony Haymet Oceanography Meets Business

On Wednesday, September, 5, 2012 in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club, Tony Haymet, Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences UCSD, and Dean of the Graduate School of Marine Sciences UCSD presented “Understanding the Deep Sea – Oceanography Meets Business.” Haymet talked about the issues facing our oceans and possible commercial solutions. There is the promise of commercially useful chemicals and food, but also the threat of fossil fuel pollution causing acidification, the danger of nuclear power plants from earthquakes and tsunamis, and ultimately climate change raising sea levels. Haymet thinks that short term profits hurt the oceans and long term business goals.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 5, 2012 Iran Ambassador Seyed Mousavian

On Wednesday, September, 5, 2012 in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club, Ambassador Seyed Mousavian, Visiting Research Scholar of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University spoke about his new book “The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir” with Philip Yun of the Ploughshares Fund.

Being a diplomat in the Middle East is not easy. Mousavian was the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. A student in international affairs, he got his Masters degree in Teheran in 1998 and his PhD in Kent, England in 2002. The next year he represented Iran negotiating with the EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency. By 2007, Iran’s Ahmadinejad administration charged him with espionage while dealing with European nations. His book is a personal account of his years as a diplomat and now dissident, his assessment of Iran’s history and its possible future. There is a great deal of mistrust between Iran and the West, not to mention internal divisions in Iran. There are American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, on either side of Iran. This makes Iran nervous. Iran has a nuclear weapons program and has funded terrorism. This makes the West nervous. Without establishing trust, there will be no resolution to the impending threat.

As for internal politics, you have to remember this is a country where cultural conservatives have joined forces with a wealthy oil faction struggling to keep control against a more open tolerant sustainable society. And then there is Iran. I wonder if they want tax cuts too? :-)

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 7, 2012 Colin Powell Commonwealth Club

On June 7, 2012 in Santa Clara at The Commonwealth Club, Dan Ashley of ABC KGO talked with General Colin Powell about his new book “It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership.” Powell wanted to talk about the principles that guided him from the immigrant neighborhoods of New York City to corridors of power and how a new generation can follow that path.

He talked about his career after retiring from the military as Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. He turned down offers from Wall Street firms that simply wanted his name and reputation.  He served as U.S. Secretary of State in the second Bush administration but left after the invasion of Iraq. He spoke about dealing with North Korea and Iran on the futility of developing nuclear weapons to stay in power. In his travels Powell discovered that leaders of all nations face the same problems of finding jobs for people. Perhaps when they realize they are all in same boat they will begin to row in the same direction.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 26, 2012 US Sec. Treasury Timothy Geithner

On April 26, 2012, in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, the Commonwealth Club hosted US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. Adam Lashinsky of Fortune magazine asked him about the state of U.S. and Global Economies before he headed off with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the 2012 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Geithner reminded the audience of the crisis the Obama Aministration inherited at the end of 2008, with a nine percent drop in growth and millions more people unemployed every month. He felt the bailouts and stimulus packages were necessary based on his studies of history. Too often governments try to reach prosperity buy cutting their way to austerity, often stalling their recovery. A measured stimulus with steady growth has brought the US economy back from the brink. He knows there are continuing Occupy protests concerned about the economic injustice of the one percent toward the ninety-nine percent.

The global economy is split with the rapid growth in Asia and debt crisis in Europe. He thinks it is important to continue to support European efforts to resolve the crisis. He hopes China will change its policy toward the exchange rates of its currency with the dollar. Despite the differences between America, China and Europe, they all have rapidly aging populations, rising energy demands and the need for continued growth.

Also covering this event were Grace Lee of CBS-TV, Mark Niu of CCTV, Doug Sovern of CBS Radio, Carolyn Tyler of ABC-TV.

Finally, Wendy Wanderman of the Commonwealth Club will be moving on. Congratulations! You will be missed.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 17, 2011 FBI Robert Mueller

On Thursday, November 17, 2011 in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III spoke on “Changing Threats in a Changing World: Staying Ahead of Terrorists, Spies and Hackers.” Mueller was introduced by Willrich Mason, Chair of California ISO Board of Governors and interviewed by Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Co-Director, Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Mueller became FBI Director in September 2001 and talked about how the world has changed over the past decade. There is as much government and corporate espionage activity in the United States today as there was during the Cold War. Globalization allows terrorists and hackers to disrupt governments, corporations and ordinary citizens. Mueller says the national security priorities are counterterrorism, counterintelligence and cyber security. The FBI is strengthening cooperation with law enforcement from international to local agencies and developing technology to respond to these threats.

Covering the event were Deric Fujihara of ABC KGO-TV, KC Leung of Papi TV,  Suzanne Manneh of New American Media, Joseph Menn of the Financial Times, Josh Richman of Oakland Tribune Louis Trager of Warren Communication News and Tom Whitaker of Fox News. Also present were John Crew and Laura Saponara of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC).

My thanks to the Commonwealth Club’s Caitlin, Sweety Ghuman, Gungun Kapoor, Wendy Wanderman and John Zipperer.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 19, 2011 Commonwealth Club Jim Lehrer Tension City

On Wednesday, October 19, 2011 in Palo Alto at the Lucie Stern Community Theatre, the Commonwealth Club hosted Jim Lehrer, former news anchor of the PBS NewsHour and author of “Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.” He was interviewed by David M. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University. Lehrer discussed moderating eleven debates over the past fifty years and how it changed the political process.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 16, 2011 Robert Kennedy Jr. NRDC

On Thursday, June 16, 2011 in San Francisco, The Commonwealth Club hosted Robert Kennedy Jr. of the Natural Resources Defense Council and filmmaker Bill Haney. They discussed the environmental risks of coal mining in America, as presented in their new documentary, “Last Mountain.” The film is about dynamiting the tops of mountains to mine the coal that pollutes air and water. They believe that a truly free market will support the development of alternative sources of energy.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 25, 2011 Commonwealth Club Jack Dorsey Twitter

On Wednesday, May 25, 2011 in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square received the 21st Century Visionary Award. Kara Swisher of AllThingsD talked with him about his journey from learning dispatch systems in St. Louis and New York City to Silicon Valley. While Twitter has become a technological and political force, Dorsey thinks his Square device will change the way mobile electronic transactions are handled around the world. While he has support from Visa, Google and PayPal are offering solutions in the same space. I wonder if there will be an announcement about some Square deal with Apple at WWDC.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 19, 2011 Commonwealth Club Eli Pariser MoveOn.org

On May 19, 2011 in Mountain View  at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation,  the Commonwealth Club hosted Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org and author of “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.” The book describes how personalization on the Internet controls and limits the information we get. Once users’ online profiles are known the information they get is filtered to their tastes and they are not challenged outside their comfort zones. Political debate on facts leading to reasonable compromise becomes difficult and could threaten the democratic process.

He thinks companies like Google and Facebook filter and customize searches, undermining the Internet’s original purpose to be an open platform for ideas and information. He talked about about the hidden Web and how to people can protect themselves and their personal information online.

Get outside your comfort zone. Try to meet people outside the circle of people you meet. Think twice about the information you find online.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 14, 2011 Commonwealth Club FCC Julius Genachowski

Note: The contents for this post are being used without my permission on another website. Now on with the article:

On April 14, 2011 in Mountain View at the Computer History Museum, The Commonwealth Club hosted a conversation between Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and Adam Lashinsky of Fortune Magazine. They discussed the growth of mobile devices, new net neutrality regulations and dwindling airwave spectrum availability.

Genachowski says America can overcome the innovator’s dilemma with a balanced approach to new technology. Like an older larger corporation, it is harder to innovate against existing entrenched interests and compete effectively in a global market. In emerging countries, few people had land line phones so there was less of a fight introducing cell phones. The global demand for spectrum will only increase with tablets using a hundred times more bandwidth than an old cell phone. The spectrum will have to shared like water or any other limited resource. He thinks there should be considerations for licensed and unlicensed spectrum to encourage more innovation around the bottlenecks we have today.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved.