Month: June 2018

Current Affairs: International Trade, October 18, 2018

Discussion leader: Harris Hester

International Trade – It’s complicated

Foreign Affairs.  Three Cheers for Trump’s Foreign Policy: What the establishment misses by Randy Schweller

Foreign Affairs & Trade

China’s Small Share of an iphone

China’s Share of iphone

This is a brief fact check on the relationship between the federal deficit and the trade deficit.

This is a more in depth analysis of the same thing.





Current Affairs: Global Warming, Dec 13, 2018. Now 1:00 today

Discussion leader:Jack Neafsey

Discussion outline:

       MINI ICE AGE FROM 1850 TO 1925

Global Warming
What we probably agree on by Bob Baker:
Atmospheric CO2 levels are now at the highest of the past million years. This has occurred while CO2 emissions have risen since the start of the industrial revolution.

Current atmospheric level of 410 ppm compares to 280 ppm at start of industrial revolution
For the past 4-5 years CO2 emissions have leveled off at about 100 million tons per day.
This compares with about 60 million tons per day in 1990, when temperatures were rising.

Global temperatures have an erratic yr. to yr. change but have risen since 1950 by about .7 degree C at sea level and about 1 degree C at land surface.

In 1990, the temp. increases were at about their midpoint, such that if CO2 emissions were to drop to the 1990 level, we would not expect any decline in the rate of temperature increase.

The growth in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels has resulted from the consumer choice for consuming these fuels vs alternatives. The added cost for alternatives is not known.

What is at issue is the target in the “Paris Accords” to limit global temperature rise to 2.0 degrees C (but with a preferred target of a 1.5degree rise) in some target year. No agreed level of global emissions has been set; any reduction of atmospheric CO2 will need “CO2 capture and containment” which has not been demonstrated as feasible on a large scale. Lowering CO2 emissions does not lower atmospheric CO2 levels.

Estimated costs for meaningful reductions in fossil fuel use are huge, with the assumption that these will offset future costs of higher world temperatures.

About a billion persons do not have access to a reliable supply of electricity. What is the optimum method/cost for meeting this demand?

Several humanitarian uses for large expenditures can be identified which can yield with near-term results. (Between and one and two million persons die each year: lack of clean water, malaria, HIV and malnutrition).

What is the best use of huge mandated expenditures?

What’s with this wild weather? Blame an ‘extreme’ jet stream pattern.
The Washington Post

“Even veteran meteorologists with decades of experience are astounded,” said Capital Weather Gang’s severe weather expert.

More from the Washington Post

WSJ – Economics of Climate Change

California’s Death Valley Will Have the Hottest Month Ever Recorded on Earth

July has been one for extreme heat around the world, but every locale pales in comparison to what’s going on at Death Valley in California. Already one of the hottest places on the Earth, the heat has gone into overdrive this July. Death Valley is in line to set a record for the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

Startling new research suggests even faster rate of global warming
The Washington Post

More than 90 percent of global warming ends up in the oceans.

The Climate Won’t Crash the Economy

A worst-case scenario projects annual GDP growth will be slower by 0.05 percentage point.  WSJ 11/27/18

Climate Change Is Affordable

A new assessment allows us to think about good policy without panicking.

You should read this.note the comment that U S emissions are declining and are now 14% versus China’s 27%. China’s are growing does the pact deal with China and India?

A paper by Carolyn Holmes Coffey (Joe Holmes’ daughter)

Golf Outing, Oak Hills Park Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Our second outing this year is at Oak Hills Park, Norwalk, Tuesday, 17 July, starting at 12:30 pm.
Tee times will be assigned once registration is complete.
You are encouraged to arrive ahead of your tee time and enjoy lunch in the Clubhouse Grille.

To sign up, email Peter Carnes,

Provide your handicap to facilitate pairing.

Fee is $50 (includes cart).

Confirmation and coordination will be via email during the week prior to play.

For directions to Oak Hills, go to.

Current Affairs: Immigration Revisited, September 20, 2018

Discussion leaders: David Mace & Charlie Goodyear

Opening summary: Immigration Opening Comments

Migrants Are on the Rise Around the World, and Myths About Them Are Shaping Attitudes – The New York Times
Migrants Around the World

Key facts about U.S. immigration policies and proposed changes | Pew Research Center

Companies Say Trump Is Hurting Business by Limiting Legal Immigration – The New York Times Stories&pgtype=Homepage Stories&pgtype=Homepage

June 19, 2018: Last Wandering until September

Taylor Strubinger reports that on Tuesday, June 19, the Happy Wanderers will visit the area west of Lincoln Center.

After a short refreshment, we will continue in our effort to walk the entire Hudson River Greenway one section at a time.

This Tuesday, we will walk the Greenway from W. 74th Street to W. 34th Street.

Previously, we walked the Highline portion of the Greenway that runs from W. 34th Street to W. 12th Street.

We will be on the 8:36 a.m. train out of Darien and the 8:39 a.m. from Noroton. We will gather at the Information Booth in Grand Central Station before starting off.

Come join us.

Moscow Nights : the Van Cliburn Story : How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War by Nigel Cliff, July 11, 2018

Note we’ll meet on summer hours – 9:00 Mather Center.

Gripping narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic story of a remarkable young Texan pianist, Van Cliburn, who played his way through the wall of fear built by the Cold War, won the hearts of the American and Russian people, and eased tensions between two superpowers on the brink of nuclear war.

In 1958, an unheralded twenty-three-year-old piano prodigy from Texas named Van Cliburn traveled to Moscow to compete in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviets had no intention of bestowing their coveted prize on an unknown American; a Russian pianist had already been chosen to win. Yet when the gangly Texan with the shy grin took the stage and began to play, he instantly captivated an entire nation.

The Soviet people were charmed by Van Cliburn’s extraordinary talent, passion, and fresh-faced innocence, but it was his palpable love for the music that earned their devotion; for many, he played more like a Russian than their own musicians. As enraptured crowds mobbed Cliburn’s performances, pressure mounted to award him the competition prize. “Is he the best?” Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev demanded of the judges. “In that case . . . give him the prize!”

Adored by millions in the USSR, Cliburn returned to a thunderous hero’s welcome in the USA and became, for a time, an ambassador of hope for two dangerously hostile superpowers. In this thrilling, impeccably researched account, Nigel Cliff recreates the drama and tension of the Cold War era, and brings into focus the gifted musician and deeply compelling figure whose music would temporarily bridge the divide between two dangerously hostile powers.


Recommended by Gary Banks

In Memoriam Bill Shepard, Jr., May 29, 2018

William “Bill” Brown Shepard, Jr., 71, of Darien, CT and Naples, FL passed away suddenly on Tuesday, May 29th surrounded by his loved ones after a brief battle with metastatic melanoma cancer.

Bill was born in Summit, New Jersey to William and Mary Shepard. He graduated from The Pingry School and Wesleyan University where he had a long high school and college swimming career. He passed on a deep love of competitive and recreational swimming to his children and grandchildren, and any Shepard family vacation always included being on the water.

It was during college where he met his loving wife of 49 years, Midge, who came back the night they met and said “this is the first man I could consider marrying.”

After college they were married before Bill served a year in Vietnam as an officer stationed at a riverboat base. He returned home safely as a decorated Navy Vietnam combat veteran.

He then received his MBA from Columbia Business School and went on to have a fascinating international banking career that brought him and his family around the world. During his 40 year career he was fluent and successful across many cultures throughout Asia and the Middle East. He started at Manufacturers Hanover in New York City and later transferred with his family to Tokyo, Japan. After three years they returned to the US where he worked at Irving T rust Bank before another international assignment inSaudi Arabia at National Commercial Bank. He returned four years later and worked at Gulf International Bank in New York City before he and Midge moved to Houston for eight years where he ultimately retired as the head of US operations for Riyad Bank.

Bill’s greatest pride and joy was his family and his life revolved around them. He was immensely proud of the adults his children have become. He adored his five grandchildren.

He led a life of great joy and enthusiasm and found so many pleasures in living his life fully. He enjoyed boating, gardening (and then frequently moving each plant in his garden to find its perfect spot, much to the amusement of his family), attending sporting events for his children and grandchildren, reading about history and countless other topics, being active in his church and volunteer communities, and observing shore life on the beach in Naples. He was very active up until his passing and cherished his almost daily swims, bike rides, and beach walks with Midge.

Bill was a shining light of love, positive attitude, gratitude and optimism that was contagious and will be sorely missed. He recognized every day the many blessings he had in his life, including being the friend of many wonderful people. His outgoing and uplifting personality gave him a unique ability to connect with and touch people from all walks of life. He loved meeting people and to him strangers were just friends he hadn’t met yet.

He also found deep personal satisfaction and enjoyment in helping others, especially sponsoring, mentoring, and supporting those with substance abuse addiction, and volunteering in countless other ways.

Bill was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, CT and Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples, FL. He was a member of the Country Club of Darien and the Darien Boat Club.

A proud husband, father, and grandfather who will be missed beyond belief, he is survived by his wife, Midge, and their three children, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren: Trip and Tracy Shepard (Grace, Conor, Eric) of Darien, CT; Jay and Courtney Shepard (Jay and Blake) of Litchfield, CT; and Susan Shepard of New York, NY. He also leaves behind two brothers, Dick Shepard of Holland, MIand David Shepard of Kingston, MA.

A memorial service will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, CT on Saturday, June 9th at 4:30pm.There will be another memorial service in Naples, FL in the fall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider donating in Bill’s name to St Luke’s Parish in Darien, CT or New Beginnings in Naples, Florida where he volunteered:

St. Luke’s Parish
1864 Post Rd
Darien, CT 06820

New Beginnings Naples (care of Captain Peltz)
3710 Estey Avenue
Naples, FL 34104

Officers, Directors & Committee Chairmen
2018 — 2019

Back row, left to right: Jan Selkowitz, Tony Yezzi, Jack Fitzgibbons, Bert von Stuelpnagel, Gehr Brown, Bob McGroarty, Chris Snyder

Front row, let to right: Tom Lom, Ray Meurer, Sunil Saksena, John Wolcott, Bryan Hooper, Bob Hughes, Gary Banks



PresidentJohn Wolcott
First Vice PresidentSunil SaksenaProgram Committee
Second Vice PresidentGary BanksProgram Committee
SecretaryBob Hughes
Asst. SecretaryJan Selkowitz
TreasurerBert von Stuelpnagel
Asst. TreasurerTony Yezzi


1 st TermBob McGroarty
2 nd TermGehr Brown


Tom Lom
Scott Hutchason


Social EventsChairman/DirectorChris Snyder
Membership & HospitalityChairman/DirectorBryan Hooper
Chairman EmeritusChick Scribner
Directory & RosterFrank Kemp
New Member Bio'sTaylor Strubinger
New Member PhotosMichael Poler
New MembersJoe Kennedy
Community ServiceChairman/DirectorJack Fitzgibbons
Ray Meurer
Editorial SupportTaylor Strubinger
PhotographerMichael Poler
WebsiteGary Banks
E-BlastsRay Meurer
A/V SupportBob Smith
Video recoding, meeting set upDorin Parmint
Nominating CommitteeChairmanTom Lom

DMA officers consist of President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary.  The officers, except for the Treasurer, serve one year terms.  The Treasurer typically serves for two years.  Terms begin on June 1 and end on May 31.

DMA officers also serve as directors on the DMA Board.  In addition there are the following members of the DMA Board:

  • There are two directors-at-large on the DMA Board and they serve for two years.  The terms are staggered such that one new one is elected each year.
  • When the term of the DMA President ends he remains on the DMA Board for two more years, which results in two past presidents being on the DMA Board.
  • The chairmen of the Membership & Hospitality, Social Events,  Community Service, and Communications Committees are directors on the DMA Board and serve as long as they remain chairmen of their committees.