The Passport for November 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

The Rise of China: Past, Present, and Future

Professor Covell Meyskens looks at the rise of China through the historian’s lens. “China’s rise is not occurring within a historical vacuum,” he asserts. “It is taking place within an East Asian international order that has been dominated by the United States since World War II.” In his presentation, he will discuss the main pillars of American power in East Asia, how China has challenged them in the last few decades, and how the US and its regional allies have responded. He will further explore China’s current ambitions and its prospects for realizing them.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


Welcome to Our New Members

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

  • Karina Dmitri
  • Colette Erreca-Norris
  • Mary Fisk
  • Lori Sanders
  • Roger Smith

Program Report: Alex Zaragoza

For our September luncheon, the World Affairs Council was honored to have Professor Alex M. Saragoza from UC Berkeley speak on “Relations Between the US and Mexico.” Dr. Saragoza focused on three key issues: trade, immigration, and drugs, noting that for each issue, domestic politics on both sides of the border are really consequential.

Regarding trade, the recently negotiated US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement has not yet been ratified by Congress due to reservations over worker rights and environmental protections. It is another example of the triumph of domestic politics: the Trump administration made a big show over what are only “cosmetic changes” to NAFTA, while the current House of Representatives has no interest in giving Trump a political win.

Immigration of Mexicans to the US has declined overall since the recession of 2008. Today, most people crossing the southern border are from Central America, not Mexico. There are different drivers of this migration; for example, 65 percent of Hondurans live below the poverty line. However, it is important to note that 60 percent of illegal immigrants in the US are people who have overstayed their legal visas, and the lion’s share of those overstays are Canadians. The immigration issue will likely remain a hot button issue as automation increases. It is expected that by 2030, about 73 million US jobs will have been automated.

The problem of illicit drugs coming into the US from Mexico has gotten worse as more countries get a piece of the action. Before, both Mexican and Colombian drugs would enter the US from Mexico. Now, countries around the world ship illegal drugs to Mexico, and those drugs then find their way to the US market. For example, much of the banned drug E phedra that enters the US from Mexico is produced in China.


Calling All World Travelers!

As a member of the World Affairs Councils of America (our umbrella organization), you are eligible to participate in Travel the World, an international travel program that has been run by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for more than 35 years. The 2019-2020 program is already underway, and quite a number of trips in the spring and summer of 2020 still have space available. The following examples are just a taste:

  • 12/29/19 to 1/7/20
    Ring in the New Year under Antarctica’s midnight sun aboard the MV Hondius, the world’s first Polar Class 6 ice-strengthened ship.
  • 1/27/20 to 2/9/20
    Explore New Zealand’s spectacular North and South Islands, from Auckland in the north to Stewart Island in the far south, on this trip led by Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary.
  • 4/28/20 to 5/12/20
    Experience the glory of the mighty Himalayan range on this journey to Nepal and Bhutan. You’ll visit temples and monasteries, dine with local families, and go rafting on Bhutan’s Mo Chu River.
  • 6/2/20 to 6/10/20
    Explore the history, culture, and cuisine of southwest France. From your base in Albi, with its Gothic cathedral and Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, visit the Carcassonne Fortress, cruise the historic Canal du Midi, and sample the region’s wines and cheeses.

Intrigued? Go to https://wacphila.org/travel for the full list of trips and further details!


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for October 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Turmoil in Hong Kong: Social Inequality and Political Failures are Rupturing the Community

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China since 1997, is undergoing unprecedented social and political turmoil. In his presentation to the World Affairs Council, Michael Ipson will examine the underlying issues that have fueled the protests in Hong Kong, including enormous disparities in wealth, a housing crisis, the legacy of colonial rule, hesitant political reform, and the younger generation’s growing estrangement from China. He will also analyze the actions of the various stakeholders in the dispute and sketch out possible outcomes.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


WAC in Profile: Peggy Field

Peggy Field, the co-chair of WACMB’s Office Administration and one of the smiling faces that greet you at our luncheons, has been involved with our organization since 2010. She has made Pacific Grove her home since 2009, after seven years in San Francisco and 40 years in “the Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Living, working, and playing during the Golden Age of Silicon Valley seems to her to be the greatest of historical good fortune.

Psychology presented itself as her life’s calling while a freshman at UCSB, from which she graduated with a dual major in Philosophy and Psychology. Although she planned to go to medical school, a summer job at NASA’s Ames Research Center launched Peggy on a five-year detour into Space Sciences; she worked on the Pioneer Project and “Grand Tour” mission, experiencing exciting launches at Cape Canaveral and celebrations at the Monkey Bar. Those experiences opened doors and set a high bar for life. Peggy’s serpentine trajectory continued when she landed a position as Human Resources Director for Spectra-Physics, again setting a high bar for leadership integrity and best practices management, as well as cutting edge technology. Toss together a few more years in corporate management, add five years in graduate school, and a brilliant mentor; stir and mix, and voila! Peggy became a Psychologist.

Now holding a PhD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology, with a dissertation on Systems Archetypes in a Learning Organization, Peggy began a 30-year psychology practice, with 20 of those years in Cupertino. Her practice attracted business and technical people suffering personal and professional fallout from high performance lives, and ultimately led to the door of Apple Computer, where she worked as Corporate Psychologist. Peggy currently works as a consulting scholar for Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara.

“Always in community” is one of Peggy’s foundational personal philosophies. Her favorite activity is her 36- year-running Saturday night date with her husband, Terry Field.


Program Report: Isebill Gruhn

We were honored to have Dr. Isebill Gruhn from UC Santa Cruz speak on Europe in Turmoil at our August luncheon. From Brexit to Italy’s ongoing government problems to the general rise of nationalist-populist movements, the European project has not seen such disarray since it began in the aftermath of World War II.

Gruhn noted that European integration, from NATO to the European Union, was designed to end the persistent warfare that had plagued Europe through increased interdependence. Integration would also produce economies of scale for the modern world. The US played a critical role in advancing Europe’s integration.

Europe’s current turmoil has two primary causes. First, the EU’s enormous expansion following the end of the Cold War allowed poorer countries of Eastern Europe to join, leading to a shift of large amounts of resources from richer to poorer countries within the EU. Those transfers generated significant resentment and alienation in Britain, Germany, and elsewhere among the original EU countries, creating lots of “unhappy people” who adopted new forms of nationalism out of national resentment. Second, under the Trump administration, the US is no longer committed to an integrated Europe, expediting the turmoil.

While these two causes are primary, other issues have fed into the resentment, including the mass immigration of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, and the overbearing approach by the EU administration based in Brussels. The rise of right-wing populist movements in many European countries does not bode well for the future of an integrated Europe


Click the headline above to read more.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for September 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Relations Between the US and Mexico

In his remarks, Professor Alex Saragoza will examine the three issues that vex the contemporary relationship between the US and Mexico: the revisions of NAFTA, the illegal drug trade, and immigration and border enforcement.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


Welcome to our New Members

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

  • Barry and Kim Bedwell
  • Kristen Carlson
  • Luke and Linda Dilger
  • Robert Grant
  • Elsa Haas
  • Jeanne Herrick
  • Carol Johnson and Bill Savage
  • Joanne Kelly
  • Linnea and Michael Kwasny
  • Holly Mikkelson
  • Aziz Popal
  • Coleman Smith
  • Frank and Linda Southers
  • Barry and Kathleen Swift

WACA Announces the 2019 National Conference

The World Affairs Councils of America (our umbrella organization) invites you to attend its annual National Conference, which will be held November 6-8 at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. This year’s topic is “The Eight Forces Shaping the Global Economy.” Speakers include the following:

  • James Baker, former Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and White House Chief of Staff
  • Chuck Hagel, former Senator and Secretary of Defense
  • Molly Kinder, Senior Advisor to the New America National Network
  • Richard Stengel, former Undersecretary of State and editor of Time Magazine.

The WACA National Conference offers unparalleled opportunities for learning, networking, and professional development. There will be keynotes, panel discussions, luncheons, off-site visits to think tanks, and a special reception at the embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

The Mayflower Hotel, which opened in 1925, is one of DC’s landmark spaces. Its downtown location places you right in the center of things. Walk to the National Mall, the Smithsonian, the White House, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and Rock Creek Park. To travel more widely, hop on Metrorail, which you can access at the Farragut North station, less than two blocks away from the Mayflower.

Special Early-Bird registration rates are now available. For further information or to register, go to https://www.wacaconference2019.com.


Help Our Organization Grow!

Did you know that most of our new members find WACMB through our current members? You can help our organization to continue to grow by spreading the word about the advantages and opportunities that membership in WACMB brings. How?

  • Bring a friend to a luncheon
  • Mention our organization at a social gathering
  • Take home a few brochures to pass around.

Have you noticed that we’ve been doing some advertising lately? It’s just another step we’re taking to tell the community about WACMB. We welcome members’ suggestions about other ways to help our organization grow. Send your suggestions to wacmb@redshift.com!


Click the headline above to read more.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for August 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Europe in Turmoil

Immigration.  Brexit.  An unraveling nuclear deal with Iran.  A populist surge.  Trade tensions. Climate change……  The European Union and Europe in general face myriad and sometimes overwhelming challenges.  Many believe the conflict between an old establishment and new challenges will define future European politics. Our guest, Dr. Isebill Gruhn, will examine the current issues, their political and economic consequences, and the prospects for the future.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


WACMB In Profile: Fred Lawson

The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is full of interesting people who have done and are doing interesting things. WACMB In Profile will let you get to know some of them better.

If WACMB had an icon, it would be Fred Lawson. He has been involved with our organization for many years, including stints as president, board member, and discussion group facilitator. But there’s a lot more to Fred than WAC. Let’s scroll back to WWII, when he left the little town of Aledo, Illinois, at the tender age of 17 to enlist in the army. Starting as a private, he rose through the ranks in the European Theater of Operations, and went on to serve as an officer during the Korean War. After concluding his active duty service, Fred joined the Army Reserves, and continued his meteoric rise there, retiring as the Commanding General of the 91st Division of the Army Reserves. No surprise: Fred is in Fort Benning’s OCS Hall of Fame.

In the meantime, Fred had quite the civilian career. After earning degrees at the University of Illinois and the Stanford Graduate School of Business (where he was a Stanford Sloan Fellow), Fred went to work in the corporate world, where he – you guessed it – rose through the ranks. He was Corporate VP at Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp., and Senior VP at BHP, Ltd., the world’s largest multinational mining company. His work sent him to Jamaica, Sardinia, several sub-Saharan Africa countries, and twice to Australia, where he combined the two strands of his life by serving in the Australian Army Reserves, and where he was honored by being named to Who’s Who in Australia.

After “retiring” from the corporate world, Fred went to work as a private management consultant in organizational restructuring, financial management, strategic planning, management development, and industrial relations. When he’s not working, he’s volunteering with the Ft. Ord Alumni Association, the CSUMB Foundation, and, of course, WACMB.

Fred and his wife, Peggy, live in Carmel. They have two sons and two grandchildren, all of whom they enjoy seeing as often as possible. And we of the World Affairs Council very much enjoy all the time we get to spend with Fred!


Program Report: Larry Diamond

World-renowned Stanford professor Larry Diamond spoke at our July luncheon on the declining state of democracy in the world. The expansion of democracy during the “third wave” of democratization, which began four decades ago, led to a majority of the world’s countries being democratic for the first time in history. The democratic expansion continued until 2006, when it ground to a halt. We have seen a “protracted democratic slump” ever since.

Democracies tend not to die quickly, but rather change over time to illiberal democracies and then to non-democracies. Hungary and Turkey, for example, are well down the path of democratic reversal. Dying democracies tend to turn into “competitive authoritarian regimes,” which share some features of democracy, including elections, but their system is rigged to all but ensure that an opposition cannot win an election. The surprise win of the opposition in the Istanbul city elections so flummoxed President Erdogan that he called for a ‘do-over’ election, which also failed. Even competitive authoritarian regimes can sometime miscalculate.

The “12 Step Program for Autocrats” is similar around the world, and includes declaring media as the ‘enemy of the people,’ constraining the judiciary, intimidating civil society, taming the business community, undermining civil service and the intelligence community as agents of a ‘deep state,’ and taking steps to suppress votes and rig elections.

Diamond concluded his talk by noting the pernicious influence of Russia and China on democracy. Neither country wants liberal democracy to thrive, and both are taking steps to undermine democratic prospects.


Click the headline above to read more.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for June and July 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Venezuela’s Crisis: Chavez, Maduro, and Beyond?

Venezuela finds itself mired in an unprecedented economic and political crisis.  The economy has contracted nearly 50% since President Maduro took office in 2013, oil production has declined to levels below those last seen in 1950, and inflation has reached as high as an estimated annual rate of over 1.3 million percent.  Millions have fled abroad in search of a better life, making Venezuela’s migration crisis the second worst in the world after Syria’s.

In 2019, the ruling Maduro regime faces new challenges at home from an opposition that has declared it illegitimate.  There is also unrest from within its own ranks, and from abroad due to diplomatic non-recognition by over 50 governments and U.S. opposition to its continuation of power.  In his talk, Dr. Harold Trinkunas will examine the apparently intractable political and economic crisis facing Venezuela. He will discuss the role played by the military in keeping the present government in power and the impact of the latest domestic and international pressures on the Maduro regime.

Click the dateline above to read more.


Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency

Larry Diamond is a leading contemporary scholar in the field of democracy studies. He has made it his life’s work to secure democracy’s future by understanding its past and by advising dissidents who are fighting autocracy around the world. During his talk, Professor Diamond will discuss his latest book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency (Penguin Press, 2019), which is a personal and passionate call to action against the rising authoritarianism that is occurring today. In his remarks, he will analyze the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the United States and around the world, and will offer an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy both at home and abroad.

Click the dateline above to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline above to read more.


Click the headline above to read more.


WACMB In Profile: Judy Sloan

The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is full of interesting people who have done and are doing interesting things. WACMB In Profile will let you get to know some of them better.

If you enjoy the WACMB luncheon programs, Judy Sloan is the person to thank. She’s headed up the Programs Committee for 14 years, and enjoys finding great speakers who can enlighten us about world affairs.

A second-generation San Franciscan, Judy decided early in life that she wanted to see the world. When she was sixteen, her dream came true when her high school selected her to be its foreign exchange student. Off she went to Sweden, where she lived with a family on a farm on Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea. This magical experience launched her into a lifetime of international work and travel.

Judy spent her freshman year of college in Japan on a Lions Club exchange through Tokyo’s Kojimachi Lions Club. Her sponsor family introduced her to all things Japanese, from Zen temples to sumo wrestling. Judy fell in love with East Asia. She earned a BA in International Relations at UC Davis (and a Phi Beta Kappa key), and was awarded a full scholarship to Stanford, where she obtained an MA in East Asian Studies. Along the way, she returned to Japan to study for a second time.

Judy’s career began in San Francisco at the Asia Foundation, a grant-making international development organization. While there, Judy met Lin Sloan, an executive with the Foundation. They married in 1978, and immediately resigned their jobs to . . . you guessed it: travel around the world. During their year-long odyssey, Judy and Lin spent time in Asia, Egypt, and Europe, living on a shoestring and having a grand time. In Goa, India, they stayed for three weeks in an old Portuguese house on the beach, which they rented for fifty cents a day. Judy says it was more interesting and fun than any five-star hotel could have been.

Upon their return to the US, Judy and Lin settled in Washington, DC, where she joined the staff of the International Rescue Committee, a refugee resettlement organization. Eventually, she made her way to the DC office of the Asia Society, a nonprofit, public education organization founded by John D. Rockefeller III and based in New York City. (Don’t confused the Asia Society with the Asia Foundation.) As the Director of the DC office for 18 years, Judy did a little bit of everything – developed programs, recruited and trained staff, raised funds, balanced budgets – and thrived on the diversity. Meanwhile, Lin worked in Congress for the House Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees.

After 23 years in DC, Judy and Lin moved back west to care for her parents. They landed in Monterey, where Judy fairly quickly found her niche at WACMB. She also seized the opportunity to study calligraphy and watercolor. In fact, she just had her first watercolor show at the Carmel Foundation. Clearly, Judy continues to find new and exciting worlds to explore!


Want to Get Involved?

WACMB is always looking for volunteers to help keep the organization running smoothly. If you’d like to get more involved with your organization, whether on a committee or on the board, we welcome you! Please let us know by sending an email to wacmb@redshift.com.


Speaker’s Book

At October’s luncheon, Tom Bruneau, Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the Naval Postgraduate School, spoke about the implications of the US military’s increasing use of private contractors. If you’d like to learn more about Professor Bruneau’s topic, you might be interested in his book Patriots for Profit: Contractors and the Military in U.S. National Security, published by Stanford University Press in 2011. It is available from the publisher in both hardcover and paperback (www.sup.org), and from Amazon in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle editions.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for May 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Afghanistan: Political Order and the Prospects for Peace

In recent months there has been a flurry of movement in the Afghan peace process after years of frustrated efforts to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.  Is peace at hand and is it sustainable?

Our guest, Dr. Naazneen Barma, will assess the prospects for a peaceful settlement to the Afghanistan conflict, the current draft peace framework, and the complex governance challenges that would follow if such a deal were struck with the Taliban. 

Click the headline to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


WACMB In Profile:
Board President Larry Johnson

Welcome to WACMB In Profile, the first in an occasional series of profiles of members of our organization. The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is full of interesting people who have done and are doing interesting things. WACMB In Profile will let you get to know some of them better. For this inaugural column, we begin at the head of the organization.

WACMB Board President Larry Johnson is a lifelong Californian and a proud graduate of UC Santa Cruz (you may have noticed that he bleeds Banana Slug Yellow), where he studied Politics with an emphasis on Public Opinion and Social Psychology. He put his degree to work during a long and distinguished career in radio. Larry was a co-founder of the UCSC radio station (KRUZ, now KZSC); Founder, Program Director, and DJ at KTYD in Santa Barbara; DJ at KNDE in Sacramento; DJ and Public Affairs Programmer at KSJO in San Jose; and Public Affairs Programmer both at KOME in San Jose and at Double 99 in San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

In addition to his wide-ranging work with radio stations, Larry has taught Radio Programming and Production at CSU Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, and San Jose State University. Some of the best parts of his career were playing a role in the birth of the Progressive Rock radio format, and founding and participating in radio stations. Now Larry gets to indulge his lifelong interest in current events and world affairs by serving as WACMB Board president and moderator of the WAC/MPC Discussion Group.

Larry’s wife, Kathleen Baker, is an active volunteer who has done some wonderful work in our community. She is a co-founder of Gathering For Women – Monterey, a resource center and community for homeless women on the Monterey Peninsula. She is also involved in the Master Gardeners Program and Monterey’s Neighborhood Improvement Program. Larry’s daughter, Erin, lives in the Seattle area, where she works in Human Resources in the technology sector when she’s not out traveling around the world.


Want to Get Involved?

WACMB is always looking for volunteers to help keep the organization running smoothly. If you’d like to get more involved with your organization, whether on a committee or on the board, we welcome you! Please let us know by sending an email to wacmb@redshift.com.


New Refund Policy

If you look closely at the Reservation Form for our monthly luncheon, you’ll notice a new line:

No refunds or credit will be given for cancellations received after the due date.

You can make and cancel luncheon reservations at any time up until the end of the day on the due date, which is always listed on the reservation form. We agree to pay the luncheon venue for the number of reservations we have at that point. If you cancel a reservation after the due date, your WACMB is still contractually obligated to pay for that unused lunch. Therefore, in order to be fiscally responsible, we will no longer be able to issue refunds or credit for any cancellations that are made after the due date.

Thank you for understanding why we have implemented this change. As always, members’ comments are welcome. Send your thoughts to wacmb@redshift.com.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for April 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

The Impact of California Agriculture in the International Arena

By a large margin, California remains the national leader in agricultural production and exports. In 2017, California farms and ranches produced over $50 billion in total cash receipts for over 400 crops grown. Exports of our state’s agricultural goods totaled more than $20.5 billion, almost double the amount from 10 years ago.

However, the Golden State’s agricultural producers face increasing challenges as they strive to meet the growing domestic and international demand for food. Our guest, Barry Bedwell, will discuss some of these challenges and what they mean for the future, in terms of both innovation
and leadership.

Click the headline to read more.


WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups, which are free and open to the public. Each month, the group selects the topic for the following month’s discussion.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


New Mission Statement for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area

After much discussion and deliberation, the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area has decided to adopt the following mission statement for our organization:

The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs.

The consensus of the board was that this statement best describes the mission of our organization. Your Board of Directors will use it to guide all future decision making for WACMB. As always, members’ comments are welcome. Send your thoughts to wacmb@redshift.com.


Something to Think About

Are you still receiving your monthly Passport in the mail? Consider receiving it via email instead.

What’s the advantage to that? It’s faster. Here’s why: once the Passport is created, it goes to both the printer and our Membership office at the same time. The printer takes about four to five days to print the hard copies. The printed Passports go to the mailing service, where they are addressed over another four to five days, and then they are put in the mail, which takes several more days.

Meanwhile, the Membership office has clicked a few buttons and emailed the Passport, which appears in your inbox on that very same day. This means that you’ll receive an emailed Passport up to two weeks before you receive a printed copy. So if there’s a luncheon that might be sold out (such as Ambassador McFaul’s talk in September), you’ll be able to register for it significantly earlier than if you only receive the mailed version.

In addition to being efficient, receiving your Passport via email can also save your World Affairs Council some money for printing and mailing – and you’ll help to save some trees in the process!

To make the change, click here and use the form that comes up to request an emailed Passport instead of a hard copy. Be sure to include the email address where you’d like to receive The Passport.


Announcing a New Service

Did you need to miss a recent luncheon meeting that you really wanted to attend? Fear not! Your WACMB is now videotaping the luncheon presentations and making them available on our website. This is a program that’s just getting underway, but you can already watch talks by Professors Anne Marie Baylouny, Jason Blazakis, Philipp Bleek, and Francis Fukuyama, and new videos will be added each month.

Explore the realm of world affairs from the comfort of your own living room by clicking the Past Speakers, Topics, and Videos link on the General Information menu on any page of the web site.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

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The Passport for March 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

Iraq has been ravaged in recent years by cycles of warfare, a growing refugee crisis, crippling sectarianism, and the violent spread of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Although the U.S.- led war in Iraq officially ended in 2011, there is widespread concern that Iraq poses a long-term challenge to stability in the region. What are the threats facing Iraq today? What can the United States and other countries do to help stabilize Iraq and get it on the right path to self-sufficiency and stability?

Click the headline to read more.


From January through March, WACMB presents Great Decisions, an eight-week program produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America (FPA). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Each year, the program provides background information and policy options for eight of the most critical issues facing the United States; this information serves as the focal text for discussion groups all across the country, including ones at MPC and OLLI/CSUMB.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


Welcome to our New Members

The World Affairs Council of Monterey Bay is pleased to welcome our new members:

  • Ray Hiebert and Sheila Gibbons Hiebert
  • Bonnie Lockwood
  • Anthony and Jane Diamond
  • Joseph and Cynthia Hertlein
  • Deborah and Peter Stern

WACA Newsletters

The World Affairs Councils of America (our umbrella organization) offers a number of free regular email newsletters for WAC members. You can sign up to receive weekly or monthly updates about WACA programs, such as Cover to Cover conference calls, the WAC travel program, leadership conferences, the Academic World Quest high school competition, and
programs at other WAC chapters around the country. WACA also offers the Weekly World News Update, which contains links that allow you to go into depth about current items of interest in world affairs.

To sign up for these free email newsletters, click here to go directly to the Newsroom page on the WACA website, or go to the main page at www.worldaffairscouncils.org and click on the Programs menu item and then on Newsroom. (The appearance of the menu system depends on the device you use to view it – computer, tablet, or smartphone.) You can read previous newsletters and sign up to receive new ones (and you can unsubscribe at any time).

Check out this free service for WAC members!


Luncheon Price Increase

Please note that the prices for our luncheons have gone up, beginning this month. The price for members is now $31 and the price for guests is $40. If you’re not a member, join now and save $9 on every luncheon!

Your WACMB board made the decision to raise the prices for our luncheons because our luncheon venues have raised the prices that they charge us. If we hadn’t raised the rates, we’d lose money on every luncheon. We think you’ll agree that the quality programs offered by WACMB are easily worth the price.


This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for February 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

What will become of the Syrian refugees? Professor Anne Marie Baylouny will update us on this humanitarian crisis, how the host countries are faring, the dimensions of international aid, and policy options for the international community and the United States. She will also address the prospects for an end to the conflict.

Click the headline to read more.


From January through March, WACMB presents Great Decisions, an eight-week program produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America (FPA). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Each year, the program provides background information and policy options for eight of the most critical issues facing the United States; this information serves as the focal text for discussion groups all across the country, including ones at MPC and OLLI/CSUMB.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


Cover to Cover

Are you interested in books about world affairs? Would you like to hear what the authors of those books have to say, without waiting (and hoping) for them to come to town? Look no further: Cover to Cover is here for you!

Cover to Cover is a free monthly half-hour conference call featuring interviews with some of today’s most prominent writers on world affairs. Speakers during the past year have included Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, discussing his book A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order; Ambassador Rick Barton, currently at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, discussing his book Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World; and Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, former head of the US Diplomatic Mission to Cuba, discussing her book Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba.

Cover to Cover is a free benefit offered to World Affairs Council members by the World Affairs Council of America, our umbrella organization. Preregistration for the conference calls is required. To register, click here to go directly to the Cover to Cover web page or go to the main site: www.worldaffairscouncils.org and click on the Programs menu item and then on Cover to Cover. (The appearance of the menu system depends on the device you use to view it – computer, tablet, or smartphone.) Once on the Cover to Cover page, click on the conference call of interest.

Missed an interesting call? Not to worry: previous Cover to Cover calls become free podcasts, which you can access from that same page. You’ll see Professor Francis Fukuyama and Ambassador Michael McFaul featured there, just in case you might have missed them when they spoke here!

December Program Report

Bill Clifford

The World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay was honored to host national president and Japan expert Bill Clifford for our December luncheon. Clifford has helped to revitalize the national organization, and has been visiting many local chapters around the country. While here, Clifford met with our Board to discuss new programming and possibilities for growth.

At the luncheon, Clifford spoke on “Japan, America, and the New Nationalism,” touching upon internal Japanese politics, regional issues, and Japan’s important relationship with the United States.

Shinzo Abe, recently re-elected, has become a major leader of the international order, even more so given America’s retreat and Europe’s
problems. The perception is widespread in Japan that the US is abdicating its global role, and that “America First” is a significant break with 70 years of history. There is also a disconnect between 50,000 US troops stationed
in Japan and new US tariffs that hurt Japanese exports.

The US engagement on the Korean peninsula worries Japan, as Tokyo does not have a seat at the table for the nuclear talks. Despite good personal relations with Trump, Abe is hedging his bets politically, for he has seen this administration treat many old allies poorly.

Perhaps Japan’s greatest internal challenge is a “demographic time bomb.” Its fertility rate is 1.2, well below the replacement rate of 2.1, and since Japan allows virtually no immigration, its population is shrinking. This will put Japan’s social safety net under stress, since there are not enough workers to support its aging population.

— by Glenn E. Robinson

This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

WACMB Logo

The Passport for January 2019

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

For a number of years, ISIS has been engaged in the illegal antiquities trade, generating millions of dollars by looting priceless cultural artifacts. Jason Blazakis, the Director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) will address this practice in his talk on January 21. He will discuss the overall ways that ISIS finances itself, and will then delve more specifically into its process of exploiting antiquities for profit. He will also address some of the countermeasures employed by the US government to combat this problem.

Click the headline to read more.


From January through March, WACMB presents Great Decisions, an eight-week program produced by the Foreign Policy Association of America (FPA). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. Each year, the program provides background information and policy options for eight of the most critical issues facing the United States; this information serves as the focal text for discussion groups all across the country, including ones at MPC and OLLI/CSUMB.

Click the headline to read more.


Click the headline to read more.


October Program Report

Dr. Thomas Bruneau

At the October luncheon, WACMB was honored to host Dr. Thomas Bruneau, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Naval Postgraduate School. Bruneau spoke on “Patriots for Profit? America’s Experience with Private Military Contractors,” with a particular focus on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Using private military contractors can be an attractive option for decision makers because there are no long term costs committed to a particular job, just a shorter term contract. In addition, such contractors can be quite effective, as they are often retired special forces and other well trained American military personnel. These sorts of contracts provide significant flexibility to decision makers.

Still, according to Bruneau, the use of private military contractors has gotten out of hand. In 2017, the total Department of Defense budget for contractors was $320 billion, or 55% of the total DoD budget. Some people view contractors as mercenaries, a term Bruneau said is loaded. In reality, contractors are used by the DoD for a wide variety of jobs, from cooks to truck drivers to warriors. This kind of outsourcing is quite legal; indeed, it has been strongly encouraged in US law since the 1980s.

Contractors have become so pervasive in the DoD that most DoD contracting officers who write and oversee various contracts, are contractors themselves. At the end of the day, contractors report to the head of the company that employs them, not to the unit commander in whose office they work. Bruneau argued that significant reform is needed in the DoD contracting model in future American wars abroad.

— by Glenn E. Robinson

A Polite Request

Things become complicated when luncheon reservations reach the office after the deadline, and also when people arrive at the luncheons without making reservations beforehand. The luncheon venues charge WACMB a higher rate for meals that are ordered past the deadline. We don’t want to pass those extra costs on to our members, and so we ask that you please respect the deadlines for registration that are listed on the reservation form.

Did you forget to mail your reservation in time to meet the deadline? Don’t worry: you can now register online! Just go to www.wacmb.org and find the News and Events list on the right sidebar. Click on the link to the next luncheon, then scroll down to Registration. The first paragraph contains options to register by phone or fax, and the second contains a link to register online. Check it out: it’s easy and efficient!

This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm

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