The Flywheel

Program for friDAY JUNE 13Th

Dr. Tom Campbell

Dr. Tom Campbell

The Dean of the Haas School of Business, Dr. Tom Campbell, will address the Club this Friday.

The exact topic of Dr. Campbell's presentation was not known at the time of this posting. However, we're confident that his subject will be of particular interest to those concerned about the state of the California economy.

MEETING OF June 6th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Glenn led the Invocation and April led the Pledge.  Henry noted that it was the 64th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Germany, and dedicated the anniversary in honor of the souls who had given themselves up for freedom and justice, bowing his head for them.

Visiting Rotarians

Jim Yoder joined us from the Walnut-Creek Sunrise Rotary (please visit for information about Rotary’s “prosthetic hand” joint project) and Victor Georgiou joined us from the Rotary Club of Danville.

Sunshine Report

John Nicol provided information about the funeral for Don Martin.  Jon also shared with the group that Norm Foley had an unfortunate fall, but had not broken his hip, as he had feared.  Norm’s wife Bonnie also had suffered a stroke, though she was getting better.



Liliane, back from her GSE program trip to Madagascar, spun a tale of "wonderful experiences” featuring animals, missed connections, generous drivers and more.  Our tireless traveller manager to visit 9 of the 11 Rotary Clubs within Madagascar’s capital city of Antananarivo, and returned with gifts of colorful lapel pins bearing the flags of Madagascar and the US. Thank you, Liliane!

Don and Jan invite current Rotarians who have been in the club for over 30 years to an abbreviated version of the 1968 Rotary history tour any Friday after the meeting through the summer by prearrangement. Our local historians can take 4 comfortably. They will leave Mira Vista after our meeting and return about 3PM. Call Jan (234-2141) to arrange.


Margaret announced the Recognitions. 

  • Ralph Hill celebrated his 60 year anniversary with the Richmond club and last Friday had been his 85th Birthday. 
  • Margaret also was celebrating her 3 year anniversary with the club.
  • Margaret announced the Pt. Richmond Music Festival.  Check with her about more information about this event.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Leslie Levy was sad because although her son had finally set a wedding date in July 2009, the place intended for the big event located in the Santa Cruz Mountains was a victim of recent fires.  But she was happy because she had purchased her friend’s first nude bronze statue and had her home (featuring the statue) displayed in a published book.
  • Joe Bagley was happy because he is going to be playing in his first gig since high school.   
  • Herb Cole had happy dollars for his personalized tour of Richmond and thanked Don and Jan for his “wonderful experience”.
  • Jan was happy because of everyone in the “back of the van” and because she was lucky to have her father Don in the club. (If you missed it above, note the invitation for Richmond history tours for those in the Club for over 30 years.)
  • Jim Young was happy because of participating in the “wonderful living history experience” put on by Jan and Don.
  • Ted was happy because at a recent Retired Educators luncheon, students had been honored for the tremendous accomplishment of graduating with perfect attendance and tardy records.
  • Sid was happy because his daughter had hung her shingle as a new accountant.
  • Jon Lawlis was happy to thank Liliane for her GSE success.
  • Rafael Cartegena was happy to see visiting Rotarians Vic and Jim and recognized the great work they had done in Colombia.

Raffle Results

Dan Sanders drew the Orange Ball!


The Dishonor of "Honor Killings"

Cover of book on "Honor Killings"

Bay area resident Ellen Sheeley journeyed on her own to Amman, Jordan, in recent years to collect data and write about Jordanian public attitudes, opinions, and beliefs concerning honor killings. Based on her findings,  Ms. Sheeley wrote “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan” after members of the Jordanian legislature had requested that she record her recommendations in book format.

An "honor killing" in this context is the intra-familial killing of a person, usually a female, for actual or perceived immoral sexual behavior in an attempt to restore family honor.  Because there is nothing honorable whatsoever about these killings, she prefers to use the term “dishonor killings”.

Ms. Sheeley dispelled the notion that these killings are sanctioned by Islam. On the contrary, the practice of dishonor killings is not Islamic at all.  Instead it is based on misinterpreted tribal codes. Today the tradition is claimed as justification for the intra-family murder of women for premarital or extramarital affairs, being victims of rape, and for conduct as benign as flirtation.  Many of these cases are hidden, unreported or disguised as suicide or as a woman mysteriously leaving her home. Estimates put the total incidence of dishonor killings at approximately 5,000 cases per year in Islamic cultures.  Jordan, where Ms. Sheeley conducted her research, has one of the world’s poorest records for per-capita dishonor killings, which are the most common manner for women to be murdered in that country. Gaza and the West Bank also have some of the world’s poorest per capita dishonor killings records. 

Perpetrators of these vicious murders frequently go unpunished or serve sentences under 6 months — less harsh than bouncing a check. The practice of dishonor killing is perpetuated by the fact that women in families are often complicit with men in persecuting their daughters, sisters or nieces.

Women accused of "dishonorable" sexual conduct who are not murdered may languish in prison for up to 20 years for “protection”, since there are no public services to support them in Jordan. 

What can be done about the problem?

Jordan is in violation of 17 international human rights agreements that pertain to "honor killing". Ms. Sheeley asserts, therefore, that the international community must do more to enforce the terms of those agreements.  She also believes that tying foreign aid packages to human rights issues can be effective, particularly since Jordan ranks among the top five nations receiving US foreign aid. Tragically, none of the aid money is dedicated to supporting the victims and would-be victims of dishonor killings, for example, by establishing shelters for the victims instead of sentencing them to decades long prison terms.

-Your Rotating Editor, Joshua Surowitz