The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, March 4

Indonesian Democracy: The triumphs and challenges presented by multiplicity

Indonesian voting
Photo usage under Creative Commons license.

Indonesia has successfully maintained multiplicities—racially, ethnically, religiously, culturally, and artistically.

Indonesia's Consul General, the Honorable Sinambela will talk about this unique country model.


Meeting of Friday, February 25

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

OK, so it’s two days late and a dollar short, sputtering along like the economy…

Prez Alan Baer began the meeting ringing the bell and asking Mike Winter to lead the Club in the Pledge of Allegiance. Herb Cole lead us in a moment of silence for Justice, Freedom and Peace around the world. Henry Kelman made the observation that the Gadhafi era in Libya is about to end.

Rotarians with Guests

Rafael Madrigal on behalf of Prez Alan then introduced Edgar DeLeon as his guest today for a second time. Henry Moe introduced his guest Jim Claster, Placement Officer at Salesian HS.

Sunshine Report

None today.


  • Josh Surowitz announced that March 4th after Rotary the Club will be participating in the the Perez Read Aloud Program and will then past out the Rotary Dictionaries to every 3rd and 4th grader in the school. Please consider participating after coming to the Friday meeting and hearing the Consul General of Indonesia. Read Aloud begins at 2 PM and dictionary distribution will begin around 2:30PM.

  • Sign-up for Poker Night at Alan Bear’s home on March 11th. Besides the camaraderie and chance to slim down your wallet, the evening will feature ‘Santa’s ribs’ as a dinner treat. All are invited to dinner. Proceeds from the evening will go to Warner’s Fund.

  • Tickets for the 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day corn beef and cabbage dinner at Hs Lordship’s, hosted by the Berkeley Club are now available at $40 each. St. Pat’s Day & dinner is March 17th . Prez Alan says the Berkeley Club assures everyone that there will be ‘two bars upstairs’ this year.

  • Pam Jones Showed the club the BARSHEEP member club plaque received for participation in Rotary International’s recent project in central Mexico. Raf Madrigal did a eloquent job of reading the plaque to the club in Spanish. Consequently we are not exactly sure what the project was about.

Recognitions & Happy and Sad Dollars

Jim ‘the Beav’ Beaver took on all comers for today’s combo recognition and Happy & Sad Dollars:

  • Michael Gill has Happy $$ because it was Friday. Must have been one of those weeks.

  • Prez Alan had $20 Happy because one of his locksmith’s was recovering nicely after a serious roll over accident that totaled one of his Amour Locksmith Service trucks.

  • Both the Salesian boys and girls basket ball teams are in the playoffs! So, Henry Moe’s fist ws full of Happy $$.

  • Glenn Daggs son did very well in Little League and signed a contract with the Giants (just kidding).

  • David Brown’s lovely wife Cheryl Black was delighted to see the Giants World Series Trophy at the Richmond Auditorium and was directly responsible for David seeing it too.

  • Jan Brown was pleased with the recognition for her 9th club anniversary last week but questioned the accuracy of club record keeping. Your Scribe missed Jan’s count. More importantly Jan invited the club to celebrate the Richmond Art Center’s 75th Anniversary at the Dinner Gala March 26th . The Richmond Art Center is the oldest community art center in the Bay Region and the incubator of many successful professional artists. Dinner Gala tickets are $75/each and $125/couple. For more information and tickets go to

  • Speaking of the Richmond Art Center Rafael Madrigal had Happy $$ for a successful 23rd Street Merchants Association Mixer just held at the Art Center. Many members of the Association had never been to the Richmond Art Center before.

  • The Beav had Sad $$ because he has not yet been able to attend the Art Center nude modeling class he won at the Rotary Holiday Auction. Beav, are you drawing the model or modeling? In one of those quick, ‘Oh look a puppy…’ moments, the Beav observed it as a beautiful day to listen to a Giants.

Norm's Nonsense

Speaking of memory, Norm offers this joke in memory of Werner Schwarz, never one to give much regard to "political correctness."

This fellow walks into a store and says to the clerk: "Give me a pound of Polish sausage."

The clerk says: "Say, you're Polish, aren't you?"

Customer: "Yes, as a matter of fact I am, but why should you assume I'm Polish simply because I asked for Polish sausage?"

Clerk: "Because this is a hardware store."


PROGRAM of February 11

Seoin Moon, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar

Maritime Academy

Jim Young then introduced today’s speaker Seoin Moon. “Moon” was accompanied by Doug Webster who is a member of the Vallejo Rotary Club and a just retired publicity and communications officer of the California Maritime Academy.

Moon is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from South Korea. He is a senior cadet at the Korean Maritime University. He is currently studying marine transportation and maritime engineering related to the safe ocean delivery of economically important cargoes like LNG, LPG, containers and ores. Moon is currently enrolled (2010-11) at The California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA, where he is studying globalized knowledge of the maritime industry. He will complete his school year at the end of April and receive his bachelor’s degree in engineering and his navigation officer's license in June from the Korean Maritime University. Interesting facts Moon told us about himself and S. Korea include:

  • He was raised in Pusan S. Korea and Wales England where he learned to speak (excellent) English. He switched from British English to American English (very successfully) when people told him his ‘English’ accent made him sound too formal.
  • Attending the Korean Maritime University is a tradition in his family. His own service was encouraged because attendance and three years paid merchant marine service is a substitute for compulsory military service.
  • Noting that Korean has its own alphabet, Moon said their culture and language have been heavily influenced by their to large and powerful neighbors, China and Japan.
  • Moon was rather circumspect about modern Korea noting that after the Japanese surrender that China and Russia tried to force Korea to become communist, resulting in the partition of the country and the continuing official ‘state of war’ between the two Koreas. Moon said that recent events have worked against the S. Korean government’s official Sunshine Policy with N. Korea. Those events are the sinking of a S. Korean submarine and shelling of a S. Korean island. Moon said the Sunshine Policy is like the Asopes Fable contest between the wind and the sun to determine who is most Powerful. (
  • Moon acknowledged that the US is very different from Korea and very different from the Korean image of the US which is derived primarily from Hollywood movies. Moon said it is common for young adults to live at home in Korea and that they only get a car and/or a house when they are ready to get married. He said that it is hard to actually describe the main differences between Korea and America but that the people are much more friendly than he imagined and in a reference to the Hollywood image, very few people ever get shot.
  • Asked to compare the education provided by KMU and CMA Moon said that his education at CMA is much more practical than the education at KMU. As examples he used the CMA boathouse and learning to sail small boats as well as having to perform the actual maintenance (paint scraping) on an older ship, even if the paint is still in good condition.
  • Moon was asked how his countryman relate to the eminent threat posed by N’ Korean artillery and armed forces. He said people don’t think about it much and made reference again to the Sunshine Policy. He said he was surprised how concerned many Americans were about the situation.
  • Moon was asked if KMU is co-ed? He said 15% of the enrollment is women, but that they do not do well with the three year merchant marine commitment and usually serve only on ships like ferry boats that do not go out to sea.
  • Moon was asked how he became an Ambassador Scholar? He said he was very active in the KMU Interact Club and was approached to consider taking another year of education in order to become an Ambassador Scholar. Moon said it has been a good influence on his English skill which is uncommon at KMU and that he hopes to help other merchant marine students in Korea develop second language capabilities.
  • Moon thanked Rotary for the invitation to speak today and for the Ambassador Scholar Program.

Seion Moon, thank you for giving us a glimpse into life in S. Korea and putting a face on the work of Rotary International through the Ambassador Scholars Program

- Rotating Editor, Jim Young