Saturday, January 31, 2009


By Don Wilde


On January 30th, in the year 1815, President James Madison approved an act of Congress
appropriating $23,950 to purchase Thomas Jefferson’s library of 68,487 volumes.(In today’s money that comes to a little under three dollars a book—about what you’d pay today for a root beer and a hot dog. )


The first full-length movie with a smell track, Behind The Great Wall, opened at the DeMille Theater in New York City on December 2nd, 1959. It was a massive flop. All the smells in the movie melded into one, totally bewildering the audience.


“I did a lot of things that were mostly right.”
--Rod Blagovich, ex-Governor of Illinois


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM by Paul Rosen (our President was tardy) to cheering, whistling, and extremely loud foot-stomping.

OUR CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: President Fulfree, now in attendance, welcomed our three guests, and reminded us of the upcoming meeting of the Board, to be held next week at Atria. He then told us about the scheduled Rotary visit to the Children’s Wing of Phelps Hospital, where Rotary members will hand out stuffed toys to the ailing children and cookies and donuts to the hospital staff. President Fulfree then called for Community News.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS Sy Yuter responded by hailing Rotarian Frances Chu’s writing style. Mark Seiden followed by quoting from a letter from the Ossining Food Pantry thanking Briarcliff Rotary for its contribution to their recently-completed Sweater, Coat, and Outerwear effort. Peter Garth then rose to call our attention to an article on the front page of the N.Y. Times, describing the apprehension of the son of a jailed C.I.A. mole, who allegedly was spying for the Soviets. (Peter has a son in the F.B.I,--so watch it!

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker next week will be Judy Foster, who will
describe for us the purpose and activities of the “Friends of Karen.”


TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was.Mr. Tom Saunders, who brought us up to date on the secrets of “Government Internet Surveillance”, and include telephone communication, as well.

Taken altogether, it is a frightening picture—unless you are a fan of governmental eaves-dropping. Mr. Saunders estimated that 30% of messages, domestic and international, between parties is monitored; but stated that he felt the estimate was decidedly on the low side.

He ran through the various House and Senate bills that legimatized warrantless snooping. In effect, the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, dealing with invasion of privacy, is on hold because of suspected terrorist activity. Legally, message-intercept methods are now permissible by law.

Mr. Saunders stated that information gained on activities other than those pertaining to
national security might be used in a court of law.

“It is the biggest legal mess I’ve seen in my lifetime” stated a lawyer in the Office of Legal Council.

Many who heard Mr. Saunders’ talk would agree.


THE DRAWING: The winner of the first drawing was Rod Ertischek; the second winner was Peter Garth..

An outraged Bishop John, reached by telephone, shouted “Fraud!,” promptly barricaded himself in the church restroom and refused to come out..

CLOSING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting, sadly, drew to a conclusion at 1:26 pm., with Madame Etrusca Consentino’s rendition of a lovely aria from “Madame Butterfly.”
She was rewarded with a blizzard of bouquets. (I know, I know. I made up this part, but I
wanted this week’s report to end on a high note.)

Submitted by Recording Secretary,
Don Wilde


Friday, January 16, 2009

1/16/09 Meeting

January 16, 2009


On January 16th, 1981, boxer Leon Spinks was mugged. His assailants even took his gold teeth. (“Oh, dear!”)

On January 16th, 1991, “Days of Our Lives” won the 7th Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards. (“Oh, my!”)

On January 16th 2005, Adriana Iliescu became the oldest woman in recorded history to give birth. She was 61. (OH, SWEET JESUS!!)


If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.
--A very wise person .

OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM. to a chorus of cheers and enthusiastic foot stomping. Zen Eidel led attending Rotarians in a stirring Salute to Our Flag, the golden-throated Sy Yuter mesmerized us with an unusual version of “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee”, and the most-reverend Paul Rosen rounded things off in fine fashion by appealing to The Man Upstairs for a morsel of mercy and hints as to the winning New York state lottery number.

OUR CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: President Fulfree described the recent fire at the Guadalhara Restaurant on Rt. 9, suggesting that if we had reservations there, we might think about canceling them. He then called for Community News. Mark Seiden, who heads up the Exploratory Commitee, explained that a revision of the terms of membership in our Club was long overdue, if we are to serve our community adequately.
To remain vital and relevant, we must bring in new members who are willing to work and to serve on appropriate Club committees. Mr. Seiden pointed out that, if we are serious about turning Briarcliff Rotary around, we need “do-ers” and not people who only come to weekly meetings to have lunch and a friendly chat. He will be reporting on this matter in full, at a later date.

Bravo, Mark!

ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS: Responding to the Club president’s call for announcements, Frances Chu declared enthusiastic support for Mark Seiden’s plan for attracting more-involved, active Club members, Fran Wills
made a school announcement, and President Fulfree issued an appeal for additional trucks for our Club’s upcoming “Truck Festival.”


NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker next week will be Don Wilde, who will address us on the subject of “The Sex Lives Of Garter Snakes”—or something along those lines.

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was Dr. Sy Yuter. His topic: The Israelie-
Palestinian Never-Ending War. He broke the subject down into three parts: (1) The geography of the conflict; (2) The history of the conflict, and (3) The present conflict itself.

It is all a terrible jumble, but Mr.Yuter explained the ins-and-outs of it masterfully, while weaving in personal memories of his and wife Eleanor’s visit to Israel. The upshot of is talk was that the Arabs and the Israelies dislike one other intensely and seemingly will
continue fighting each other until the end of time. The Arabs lob missiles into Israel over and over again, and the Israelis retaliate—over and over again. Women, children, and innocent individual are being slaughtered daily. And there is no end in sight.

One can only weep.

.THE DRAWING: The winner of the first drawing was Don Wilde (“At last!); the winner of the second was Marie Fuesy (”Thank God, I really need the money!”)

(NOTE: If Bishop John fails to win one of the two drawings next week, he has vowed to “go postal” and send the Recreation Center sky-high. Briarcliff Police have been notified and are standing at the ready.

CLOSING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting drew to a close at 1:26 pm. Celebrating the occasion, Ernie Pacchiana distributed grapefruit left over from our recent Rotary Club fund-raising effort, grinning all the while like a Cheshire cat.


Friday, January 9, 2009

DG Eric Storberg's Visit 1/9/09 from Pres. Peter Fulfree

Eric Storberg, District Governor of Rotary 7230 visited Briarcliff Rotary