October 26, 98
Vol. 14 , No. 04
California's Swamp of lnitiatives: Distorting Politics in the Golden State
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1998
Recently retired after 19 years as editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee, Peter Schrag can be considered a lifelong journalist. He began his career as a reporter for the El Paso Herald-Post and was associate education editor and executive editor of the Saturday Review. Currently, he is a visiting scholar at Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies.
Schrag's articles on politics, education, and other social issues have appeared in publications such as Atlantic, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, and Playboy. His latest book, Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future, published in 1998, reports on the dark side of populism in America's Golden State. Schrag presents a different perspective on the initiative than that of Ron Unz, a recent Athenaeum speaker who launched an all-out defense of the initiative process.
With the election only days away and with some important issues to be decided by ballot initiatives, this timely discussion should be of interest to all voters.
Saving Lake Baikal and Lake Tahoe: Is It Possible?
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1998, 12:15 p.m.
Each summer, the Tahoe-Baikal Institute (TBI) holds its annual international environmental exchange at Lake Tahoe in California or Lake Baikal in Siberia. For ten weeks, an international team of students and young professionals from the U. S. and Russia come together to work with specialists and learn from policy- makers how to apply interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem-solving. Focusing on the threatened environments of two of the world's unique lakes, the TBI helps prepare future leaders while seeking solutions to regional and global ecological problems. A long-time leader of efforts to save Lake Tahoe, Resources Secretary Doug Wheeler spent part of the past summer at Lake Baikal with the TBI.
A graduate of Hamilton College and Duke University School of Law, Wheeler was named California's seventh Secretary for Resources by Governor Pete Wilson in 1990. A long-time leader in the field of conservation, Wheeler has served as Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation. Previously, Wheeler served as Executive Director of the Sierra Club and was founder and president of the American Farmland Trust. He has also held executive positions with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior from 1972-77.
In his Athenaeum appearance, Wheeler will discuss the two unique regions of Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal. Wheeler's luncheon address is sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center as part of the series on Regional and Global Environmental Issues. Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. and the lecture begins at 12:15 p.m.
From Boardroom to Classroom
TOM BLOCH '76
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1998
People from all different walks of life have taken an active role in improving the quality of our nation's K- 12 education system. Of particular concern and interest is improving schools that serve at-risk youth. Many have advocated the use of vouchers or education tax credits so that parents, regardless of income level, could send their children to the school of their choice. Corporate America has become involved by investing millions of dollars in scholarships for deserving students.
Few have taken a more active and personal role in improving schools on the local level than Thomas Bloch, CMC class of '76. Following graduation from CMC, Bloch spent twenty years working at H&R Block, Inc., the world's largest tax preparation firm, which was founded by his father, Henry, and uncle, Richard. In 1981, he became president of the tax division. Ten years later, he became president of the company; the following year was appointed chief executive officer. Bloch left H&R Block in 1995 to spend more time with his family and to seek a different kind of personal fulfillment. For the past three years, Bloch has taught middle school math at St. Francis Xavier School, an urban Kansas City school that serves lower income and minority students. Bloch helped establish a professional development relationship with Rockhurst College. The partnership is designed to transform St. Francis Xavier into a model of urban school reform while also strengthening the teacher preparation program at Rockhurst College.
Bloch's career change and commitment to education reform has attracted national media attention. He has appeared on several television shows including NBC's Today, CBS This Morning, and Oprah. He has also been featured in many newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, as well as People and Kiplinger. Please join the Athenaeum as our education reform series continues, and hear from a CMC alumnus who is a leader in improving our nation's schools.
The Media and Asia Pacific Security
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1998, 12:30 p.m.
Admiral Joseph W. Prueher is the 17th U.S. Naval Officer to hold the position of Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. As the senior United States military commander in the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas, he leads the largest of the unified commands and directs Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force operations across more than 100 million square miles. He is responsible to the President and the Secretary of Defense through the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and is the U.S. Military representative for collective defense arrangements in the Pacific.
Prior to assuming duties as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command in 1996, Admiral Prueher served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, preceded by commanding the U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO's Naval Striking and Support Forces Southern Europe. He has flown over 5,500 hours in 52 types of aircraft and has over 1,000 carrier landings.
Admiral Prueher graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964 and holds a master's degree in International Affairs.
The Athenaeum is grateful to the conference on Media in the Asia Pacific World for providing the CMC community with the opportunity to hear a first-hand analysis of security issues in the Pacific and to meet one of the most distinguished military leaders of our country.
Lunch begins with a reception at 12:00 noon. Admiral Prueher speaks at 12:30 p.m.
Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer
What We Learn From Chasing Tornadoes
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1998
Weather phenomenon has become a topic of much popular and scientific interest. While there is still much to discover, experts continue to enhance their ability to track and predict severe weather. Dr. Howard Bluestein, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, has contributed a great deal to the understanding of convective storms, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, and mesoscale weather phenomena.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bluestein received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in meteorology.
Since 1976, Bluestein has taught at the University of Oklahoma and has been recognized on several occasions for his excellence within the classroom. He has received numerous awards for teaching from the University of Oklahoma and in 1989 was named the Oklahoma Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Bluestein is an active researcher. He participated in the Global Atmospheric Research Program's Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE), in the Taiwan Area Mesoscale Experiment (TAMEX), and in storm- interception projects such as the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX).
Many publications have also featured Bluestein's work including Scientific American, Time, Outside, Live, Atlantic Monthly, and Popular Science. In addition, he has authored a two-volume textbook entitled Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology in Midlatitudes (1997) and his upcoming book, Tornado Alley: Monster Storms of the Great Plains (1999).
The Good News from Asia-After the Meltdown
SURIN PITSUWAN '72
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1998
Surin Pitsuwan came to the United States from Thailand in 1967 after winning an American Field Service Exchange Student Scholarship in 1967. He went on to graduate cum laude in political science from Claremont Men's College in 1972.
Surin later won a Rockefeller Fellowship to pursue his graduate studies at Harvard University. He spent one and a half years studying Arabic and researching Islamic philosophy and jurisprudence at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, returning to Harvard to complete his Ph.D. in 1982.
Upon his return to Bangkok, Thailand, Surin taught at Thammasart University and worked as a columnist for the two English daily newspapers, the Nation Review and the Bangkok Post.
Surin joined the Democrat Party in 1986 and won a Parliamentary seat from his native province, which he has kept during the past six general elections. In 1997 Surin was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, culminating his distinguished career in government service.
Again, the CMC community is fortunate to hear about the Asian economy from an expert and a political insider. Please join the Athenaeum in welcoming this distinguished alumnus back to Claremont.
Japanese Security Policy
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1998, 12:30 p.m.
The Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies is pleased to sponsor a luncheon speech by Professor Daniel I. Okimoto on November 2, 1998. He will discuss "Japanese Security Policy."
Okimoto is a leading specialist of Japanese security policy, especially U.S.-Japan military relations. A graduate of Princeton University and University of Michigan, Okimoto is a professor of political science and director emeritus of the Asia/Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. Okimoto has authored, edited, or coedited a large number of books and monographs, including Japan America Security Alliance: Prospects for the 21st Century (1998), and The Political Economy of Japan: The Changing International Context (1988).
The luncheon will begin at 12:00 noon and Professor Okimoto will speak from 12:30 p.m. until 1: 10 p.m.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1998
Bernard Cooper is going to surprise you. Nothing will prepare you for his hybrid of memoir and fiction or his open-hearted, humorous readings and lectures. Cooper's prose is resonant and exquisitely crafted. Growing up gay and middle class in the Los Angeles of the 1950s and 60s, sexuality, familial, relationships, loss, and AIDS-these are among Cooper's primary subjects.
Through them all, he expresses his deepest concern: how the writer explains identity by traveling the terrain of memory. Masterfully recalling details with delicacy and uncontrived finesse, Cooper reveals a wisdom in his looking back that ultimately transforms the way we examine our own lives. Winner of the PEN/Ernest Hemmingway Award in 1991 and the 0. Henry Prize in 1995, Cooper teaches at Antioch/ Los Angeles and at the UCLA Writers Program.
In his visit to the Athenaeum, Cooper will read from his two collections of memoirs: Maps to Anywhere (1990) and Truth Serum: Memoirs (1997). His work has appeared in Harpers, Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, and in anthologies such as The Best American Essays (1988, 1995, 1997), and the Oxford Book of Literature on Aging (1994).
The New York New Music Ensemble: Performance of Contemporary Music
DANIEL DRUCKMAN, percussion
CHRIS FINKEL, cello
STEPHEN GOSLING, piano and synthesizer
JEAN KOPPERUD, clarinet
JEFFREY MILARSKY, conductor and precussion
JAYN ROSENFELD, flute
CALVIN WIERSMA, violin and viola
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1998
From their jazzy, toe-tapping downtown songs to their uptown pieces of the European music tradition, The New York New Music Ensemble makes avant garde music fun and approachable.
For twenty-three years, the ensemble has inspired, commissioned, performed, and recorded music of the most important composers of our day including works by Milton Babbitt, George Perle, and Melinda Wagner. The ensemble recently issued its eleventh recording, New Electro-Acoustic Music (1998) featuring composers C. Bryan Rulon, James Primosch, and Rand Steiger. Other recordings include Music of Carter, Davies and Druckman (1996) and Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (1992).
The New York New Music Ensemble has performed all over the United States and in several European countries. The group has played at such sites as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and at festivals in Rome, Bonn, and Southeast Germany.
"The American Record Guide" hails the ensemble's "virtuosity, theatricality, and commitment" while the Buffalo press describes them as "one of the finest batch of players dealing with 20th century avant garde material." The New York Times has described them as "player for player, perhaps the best new music group in the country." The New York New Music Ensemble's combination of musicians and instruments (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion) will delight experienced composers and musical novices alike.
Post Election Commentary
P. EDWARD HALEY
JOHN J. PITNEY, JR.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1998
A the November election beckons, prognosticators have been giving odds on which candidates will win, the impact of President Clinton's problems on national politics as well as specific races, and what issues will be important to voters. Until the election results are in, however, the pundits are merely speculating. Fortunately for those of us here at CMC, we can listen to what analysts predict prior to the election and then hear from our own faculty once the results are in.
The Athenaeum has assembled a panel of four distinguished CMC professors from opposing political camps to discuss the meaning and significance of this year's elections. They will analyze specific races and comment on national trends and how the national political landscape has changed or remains the same.
Professor Mark Blitz is currently chair of the government department and is responsible for overseeing research conducted at the various institutes on campus. He is a former staff member of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee and Associate Director of the United States Information Agency. Professor Jack Pitney is also a member of the government department and CMC's resident political pundit, appearing frequently in print media, as well as on radio and television. A former Congressional Fellow, Pitney was also research director at the Republican National Committee.
Professor P. Edward Haley has taught at CMC for 30 years. though most of his work has focused on international issues, Haley has a profound interest in domestic politics as well. Professor Judith Merkle has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Oregon, and for the last sixteen years, at CMC. In addition to her work in public administration, she is also an international best-selling novelist.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1998
Chang-rae Lee is one of the most interesting contemporary Asian-American writers. Born in Seoul, he immigrated to the United States at the age of three. Educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale College, and the University of Oregon, he is presently Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Hunter College, one of the City Colleges in New York.
Lee is best known book is Native Speaker (1995), which won the 1995 PEN/Hemingway Prize as well as the American Book Award. He is a frequent contributor of nonfiction articles to The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and other journals.
The well-known Asian American poet Ganett Hongo wrote of Native Speaker, "Every once in a while, someone writes about a great long note of trouble, something they've been thinking about a long time, and that long note of trouble makes music; that Chang-rae Lee." Library Journal noted that the book was "a first novel of impressive poetic and psychological accomplishment."
Lee's second book, Black Flag, will be published by Riverhead books in 1999. At the Athenaeum he will read from new, unpublished work.
Chang-rae Lee comes to the Athenaeum as the final speaker in the series The State of Asian America: Identity, Politics, and Culture sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.
Asia Pacific Media: A Matter of Perspective
BREAKFAST AND PANEL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1998
This Media in the Asia Pacific World event begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Please see the Reservations page to sign up.
The North Korean Problem
BREAKFAST AND PANEL
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1998
This Media in the Asia Pacific World event begins with breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Please see the Reservations page to sign up.