October 2010

The Commonwealth Magazine

The Commonwealth is the award-winning magazine of The Commonwealth Club of California.

For more than 80 years, The Commonwealth has included important speeches and debates held at the Club, provided valuable background for the topics discussed in Club proceedings, and previewed the Club's extensive list of upcoming events. The words of speakers like F.D.R., Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan, Nikita Khrushchev, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and David Brooks have appeared in its pages, along with related articles and interviews. Read more »

Free Speech for Organizations, or Purchasing Congress? Big Money in Big Campaigns

Oct 6, 2010 @ 12:27 PM
By Camille Koué

Yesterday, the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court started a new session. The court will be hearing an array of fascinating and controversial cases, and everyone will be interested to see how the most female Supreme Court of all time will vote on such heavy matters at lethal injection and lifetime prison sentences for juveniles.

Do cell phones cause brain cancer?

Wed, Oct 6 2010 - 12:00pm

Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?

Devra Davis, Author, Disconnect; School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Oncology expert Davis blows the lid off what she asserts is the cell phone industry’s abuse of science. It isn’t just about brain cancer, says Davis: cell phones damage DNA, break down the brain’s defenses, reduce sperm count, and increase memory loss. Radio frequency radiation from phones is especially threatening to children, whose brains are still growing. Read more »

Humanities West Book Discussion: The City: A Global History, by Joel Kotkin

Wed, Oct 6 2010 - 5:30pm

Humanities West Book Discussion: The City: A Global History, by Joel Kotkin

Join us as we focus on the historical triumphs of city-states, with a special focus on Venice. Joel Kotkin's book, The City: A Global History, highlights the effectiveness of powerful cities in history, and showcases Venice's achievements. The discussion will be moderated by Lynn Harris.

MLF: Humanities
Location: SF Club Office
Time: 5:30 p.m. Read more »

Swiss Federal Chancellor Corina Casanova

Published in:
Wed, Oct 6 2010 - 6:00pm

The Swiss System of Direct Democracy and How It Compares to the U.S.

Corina Casanova, Federal Chancellor, Switzerland

Switzerland has one of the most extensive systems of democratic rights in the world. Chancellor Casanova will compare the Swiss and U.S. constitutions, elaborating on commonalities and differences, particularly with regard to state institutions, direct democracy, people's rights and federalism. Casanova was a delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross in South Africa, Angola, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Read more »

Storms of My Grandchildren

Thu, Oct 14 2010 - 7:00pm

Storms of My Grandchildren

James Hansen, Climate Scientist; Author

A pioneer in climate science, Hansen testified at Al Gore’s seminal Congressional hearings on global warming in the late 1980s. Several years ago, when the federal government tried to muzzle climate scientists and computer models suggested tipping points were near, Hansen came out swinging. He was arrested at a demonstration against coal, and has become increasingly outspoken about the urgency of moving to cleaner fuels to run our economy. Read more »

Dean Ornish: Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Genes!

Tue, Oct 5 2010 - 6:00pm

Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Genes!

Dean Ornish, M.D., Preventive Medicine Research Institute
Kim Mulvihill, M.D.; CBS 5 Healthwatch Doctor - Moderator

Recognized by Life magazine as one of the 50 most influential members of his generation, Ornish undertook pioneering research that was the first to prove that lifestyle changes may stop or even reverse the progression of heart disease, early-stage prostate cancer and even change gene expression by “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning off” genes t Read more »

Keeping the Net Healthy: A Conversation with Vinton Cerf, Paul Mockapetris, and Esther Dyson

Published in:
Mon, Oct 4 2010 - 7:00pm

Keeping the Net Healthy: How Can We Develop an Immune System for the Internet?

Vinton Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google; one of the “fathers of the Internet”
Paul Mockapetris, Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Board, Nominum; Creator, Domain Name System (DNS)
Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings & Angel Investor - Moderator

Viruses, spyware, spam, phishing, zombie machines. Read more »

"The Secret Agent" by Joseph Conrad

Mon, Oct 4 2010 - 5:30pm

The Secret Agent

Join fellow Club members and lit enthusiasts as we discuss The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad's classic and prophetic espionage thriller about terrorists in turn-of-the-20th-century London.

MLF: SF Book Discussion
SF Club Office
Time: 5:30 p.m. program
Cost: FREE
Program Organizer:
Howard Crane

Plato's Theaetetus

Mon, Oct 4 2010 - 6:00pm

Plato’s Theaetetus

James Mink, Litigation Attorney; Classics Aficionado

Monday Night Philosophy delves deep into Plato’s dialogue on knowledge. Mink will focus on the Platonic ideas that underlie the search for truth in a jury trial, which led to the development of the common law on hearsay. Mink’s analysis will be followed by a Socratic dialogue with Hammond and an open discussion with the audience.

MLF: Humanities
SF Club Office
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. Read more »