Rotagram Index Page
Back to Home Page
Rotary Wheel Rotagram - Meeting Notes and Club News Rotary Wheel
Volume 83 Issue 10 Wed Septrember 6, 2023

Rota-Scribe: Gerardo Chagolla

The Fabric of Democracy and Why It Works in America
with Dr. Kevin O’Leary of Chapman University

Meeting was called to order by club president Jim Ripley. He opened today’s meeting with a joke, “So an Irishman walks into a bar in Toronto and orders a drink. The bartender notices his accent and asks him, ‘what brings you to Canada?’ The Irishman says, “well, I was in a pub in Dublin, and the drink coaster under my drink said, “drink Canada Dry,” so I thought I’d give it a shot.” President Ripley gave an update on all the missing CIA awards mail, apparently, the post office found a bag pertaining to the Fullerton Rotary Club with all of the checks. “She received quite a few donations. We are so very grateful for that. We are up to 31 members, and we’ve raised $9,400 thus far.” Ripley says that he will be mailing the letter again, so if you already donated to please ignore it.

For our Commencement Ceremonies, Bill Hite led us in our Patriotic Moment with the Pledge of Allegiance. Carl Camp gave us our invocation with prayer. “We thank you for Rotary and our friendships. We pray that you would just continue to develop those and help us to know one another better and better. We thank you Lord that you are God and that you’re in control that we are not. As we enjoy our food, I pray that you bless it, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”Today’s guest, Lorri Smith who is visiting from La Mirada, and us guest of Dan Ouweleen. Wilma Peloquin, guest, and wife of Bill Peloquin. Shane Dodzweit, guest of Bill Edman. Welcome to all guests!

The Fullerton Rotary Club inducted a new member on this day. Zoot Velasco had the privilege of inducting Leilani Beck, “Most of you probably know Leilani by now, who works with St. Jude and she is the newest Rotarian in the world today. Help me welcome her.” She was pinned with her very own Rotary International pin. Congratulations Leilani Beck!

Proposed new Member: Jin Sung, Executive Director of Oasis, proposed by Dan Ouweleen

Today’s announcements, immediate past president Joe Lins announced Century 21 Discovery is on the move. Their new home will be in the Fullerton Towers starting mid-September. New address is 1440 N. Harbor Blvd., Suite 225, Fullerton, California, 92835. “Our first day of business there will be September 18. It’s just been a joy of what we’re doing.”Today’s Fine Master/Recognition master was Minard Duncan. Minard had asked club members to come prepared with poems for today’s Fine Master segment. In honor of Farrell Hirsch not being at today’s meeting, President Jim Ripley was prepared to read Farrell’s poem. The Poem was so good that Minard almost did not fine him $5, which is standard for all fines. Bill Peloquin was asked to stand and be recognized for his 26th anniversary that day. He was asked if he was aware of the Poetry Session to which he said he was not. “I am going to charge everyone one dollar for not telling you.” He was asked to guess which celebrity shared a birthday on his anniversary, he did not know so he was fined $5. Thad Sandford was recognized for his 55th wedding anniversary. He was asked if he researched a poem, “yes I did, but I left it at home.” This received a lot of laughs. He was fined $5 but was given a lifelong to guess which celebrity was born on the day of his anniversary. He was not able to do so, so he was fined $5 and his table mates were fined one buck a piece. Johny Hong was asked to stand up and be recognized for his Rotary Anniversary, he was asked which celebrity was born on his anniversary, Johny answered with Leonardo DiCaprio, Minard said that may be true, but it is not on his list, so he fined him $5. This too received a huge laugh. Miko was recognized for her Rotary Anniversary, she was asked to name celebrity that was born on her birthday but was unable to do so. Everyone from her table was asked to donate one buck and she was fined $5 for her anniversary. Jim Williams was asked to recite his poem, his poem was a nice but was a little bit short so he was fined $5. He was asked what he was celebrating, “A celebrity birthday,” he responded. “Celebrity Sally (Williams) birthday.” Jim was asked to name one of four celebrities celebrating a birthday, he answered incorrectly so everyone from his table was fined $1.Bill Mathy recited a poem for Minard which was approved to be fine free. Good job Bill Mathy. Larry Bennett, also recited a great poem, which was given a great compliment by Minard, “this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone outdo Jim Williams in a poem.” Zoot Velasco recited a poem that received mixed reviews, after some consideration, Minard fined everyone from Zoot’s table one dollar. Minard Duncan did a fantastic job as Fine Master, everyone had a fun time and it built goodwill and better friendship.

Our Song Master, Johny Hong wanted a way to enhance our experience and participation at rotary, “today, we are going to dance, however, in collaboration with the Fine Master, we came up with a prize for those who refuse to dance. It’s called, ‘Fine Me Twice.’” The person who refuses to dance will be double fined. His song of choice was the Macarena! This time, everyone participated in dance and as President Ripley said, “Johny got everybody awake!”

Today’s Program at Hand was introduced by Sir Jim Williams. “I do believe in very short introductions. You’re going to enjoy today’s program and you’re going to walk away informed. Let’s give a warm welcome to Professor Kevin O’Leary.” Professor O’Leary thanked everyone for having him, “thank you very much to the Fullerton Rotary Club for inviting me to speak.” Professor O’Leary is a political scientist at Chapman University, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at UC Irvine and spent part of his career as a journalist. A west coast reporter, A Los Angeles Times reporter and editor for OC Metro Magazine. He has a Ph.D. from Yale University and a B.A. from UCLA. He is a long-time resident of Los Angeles, he was raised in Manhattan Beach, California where he had an idyllic childhood. “One of my friends used to surfboard, I was more of a body surfer.” He says that he would spend most of his summers going back to Northwest Missouri where his grandparents owned a 500-acre farm. There, he learned family values through Sunday school, scouts, football, “and things like that.” He tells of his time at UCLA, “I figured out the system, I got these really good grades, and I am trying to figure out what do I want to do.” After UCLA, he thought about going to law school but according to him, it was not a right fit. He applied to some Ph.D. programs, but University of California Berkeley is where he accepted, “it turned out to be a marvelous place. It was a marvelous experience.” During his time at Berkeley, he remembers a professor by the name of Juan, who had grown up in Spain during the civil war. Professor Juan used the Spanish Civil War to help him understand Democracy and why things fall apart, “So you look at why democracies rise, but especially how democracies fall apart.” He goes off to become a journalist for the LA Times during the 1990s but keeps Professor Juan’s lecture on the back of his mind the whole time. Dr. O’Leary uses the American Revolution, French Revolution, and the Cold War with the Soviet Union as examples of how kingdoms and dictatorships have been replaced by democracies. “All of a sudden there was this change where we used to think of democracy as a set of values and a kind of community. We take democracy for granted but democracy is really rare, right?” Dr. O’Leary uses the ancient Greeks and the Roman Republic as examples of democratic empires from the past to get his message across. America has experimented with nearly 250 years of democracy and it’s worked, “I call my topic the fabric of democracy because historically, democracy is pretty fragile and delicate.” He ends his presentation saying that government is a good thing, “you don’t want to destroy government because you can’t make a society work just on the economy alone, right?” To show his appreciation, president Jim Ripley presents him with the Rotary International Four-Way test and a certificate of donation, with his name, to Working Dogs for Warriors, a non-profit organization that rescues dogs, trains them and pairs them with veterans and first responders who struggle with PTSD.

Last thing on the agenda was the 50/50 drawing, “we’re going to make somebody really rich today!” Lucky ticket holder 6368274 wins the money. Next week’s program is a New Member Craft Talk with Rotarian Tim Howells. “Don’t forget to subscribe and hit the like button. Tell a friend and invite someone to our next meeting. With that, we call the meeting adjourned!”

Tell a Friend and Share Rotary
9/6/23 The Fabric of Democacy - Why it woks in America
Chapman Universsity Professor Kevin O'Leary
9/13/23 New Member Craft Talk - Tim Howells
9/20/23 The Legacy of "Shari Lewis and Lamb Chops" -
By Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chops - Farrel Hirsch
9/27/23 "What if it all goes right?"- Amy Scruggs
TV Host / Recording Artist / Media Coach / Best Selling Author
10/4/23 Election Issues and Predictions -
Barbara Stone Entertains an Informs our Rotary Club
10/1823 New Member Craft Talk
SHHS Principal Craig Weinrich ' "It's All Actually about the Principal"
(published using 100% recycled electrons)
this edition was published in Fullerton, CA
if you wish to unsubscribe, click here.