The complicated world we live in is illuminated a bit more every week at the North County Chapter’s Thursday Morning Forum in Rancho Bernardo. Forums begin at 9:30 a.m. with a coffee social and registration, followed at 10 a.m. with a one-hour program and one hour of polite, but freewheeling, Q&A.

Unless otherwise indicated, North County Chapter Thursday Morning Forums are held at The Remington Club, Phase II, 16916 Hierba Drive, Rancho Bernardo. Free parking is available at the adjacent shopping center.


February 2, 2017: Donald Gragg, M.D./Ph.D. (Member) Retired Navy Captain and former Chief of Addiction Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles, Past President of the North County Chapter and Continuing Education Center, Rancho Bernardo, will discuss  “The Quiet Corner of the Arabian Peninsula: Oman and the UAE.”  The southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula was figuratively awakened from sleep by the development of petroleum exports in the 1960s and ’70s.  How different countries have managed this blessing/curse has resulted in interesting, contrasting conditions.  This presentation based on the presenter’s recent visit to the region and personal research will examine current social, political, and cultural conditions in the region and explore why this area has been spared from the turmoil in much of the rest of the Middle East. Note: There will be a Program Committee meeting shortly after the morning lecture in the conference room.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

 


February 9, 2017: David A. Shirk Ph.D. (Guest) – Associate Professor and Director of Master of Arts in International Relations Program, Department of Political Science and International Relations at USD.  Dr. Shirk will present “U.S.-Mexico Relations in Uncertain Times.” Few countries send us more goods, capital, or people than Mexico, and perhaps no other country in the world is as intimately tied to the United States as Mexico. Roughly 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the United States, 40% of the contents of U.S. imports from Mexico were made in the United States, and Mexico buys more U.S. goods than any country except Canada. Yet, Mexico is also a favorite punching bag in U.S. politics, as made evident in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. With recent criminal violence and economic turmoil in Mexico, the growing discord in U.S.-Mexico relations could not come at a worse time. This talk will examine the state and future prospects of U.S.-Mexico relations in these uncertain times. Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting the sponsor, Phyllis Murchland: pmurchland@san.rr.com

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

 


February 16, 2017: Jim Verdi (Guest) has worked for the FBI for more than 20 years as a Special Agent Bomb Technician. He will share with us an overview of “FBI Counter-IED Operations Overseas” and discuss the FBI’s role in fighting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) overseas. He will also talk about the evolution of this effort from Khobar Towers to the present day, and U.S. efforts to provide forensic knowledge to the military.  He will intersperse this with stories and many pictures of his missions into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting the sponsor, Phyllis Murchland: pmurchland@san.rr.com

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

 


February 23, 2017The usual meeting location is not available this week. Our speaker, the Rev. Daren Erisman, has graciously volunteered his church to host the North County Chapter’s Thursday Morning Forum meeting and included coffee and cookies. The morning social will start at 9:30am and the meeting will begin promptly at 10am. Below is the program description, directions to the meeting location, and a change also to the round table lunch location.

The Rev. Daren Erisman (Guest) earned a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology, and an M.A. in Islamic Studies.  He is an expert in Christian-Muslim relationships and will explain “The One and the Many: The Challenge of Unity and Diversity Within Islam.” The Rev. Erisman engages the question of how a diverse religion, spanning the world with 1.6 billion adherents, addresses the challenges of modern globalization and modern extremism. Dr. Erisman explains how the heart of the Islamic religion, tawhid, asserting the unity of God, guides and challenges contemporary Muslims to make sense of a quickly changing world involving multiple cultures and contexts. This talk addresses the real diversity within Islam and the fundamental desire by Muslims to live out tawhid both personally and communally. Learn some of the key concepts that are often ignored or misunderstood by the media and by some forms of modern Islamic extremism.   Rev. Erisman will intersperse his talk with stories and many pictures of his missions into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Member reservations for a round table lunch following the presentation may be made by contacting the sponsor, Joe McElroy: jmcelroy2013@gmail.com. The round table lunch will be held at a nearby restaurant or catered to the Church.  If anyone needs assistance or would like to carpool contact pmurchland@san.rr.com.

Directions:  House of Prayer, 795 N. Rose St., Escondido, CA, 92027

  1. Take 15 North
  2. Take exit 32 (stay in the right lane) to Route 78, east to Ramona
  3. After 1.5 miles you will come to a stop light, go straight onto Lincoln Parkway, which will become E. Lincoln Parkway
  4. After 1.5 miles turn right onto N. Rose at the stop light
  5. Drive .25 miles and the church is on the right
  6. Parking is in the lot behind the church.

9:30 a.m. Coffee Social

10:00 a.m. Free Program

11:10 a.m. Question & Answer

Please note: This venue has no steps. Everything is on one level.


For further information please e-mail TPReeve72@gmail.com.

Upcoming events of the San Diego World Affairs Council and the North County Chapter can be seen on www.sdwac.org.