October 12, 98

Vol. 14 , No. 03   

Reflections on Asian American Politics

Daniel K. Inouye, a native of Hawaii, has served his home state for nearly forty years as an elected member of Congress, including six-terms as United States Senator. Inouye's interest in politics began as a student at the University of Hawaii where he contributed his time and energy to the Congressional race of Democrat John Burns. After graduating from the George Washington University Law School in 1952, Inouye returned to Hawaii to the post of assistant public prosecutor. Inouye was active in territorial politics and in 1959 was elected to the Eighty-sixth congress as the first representative from the newly recognized state of Hawaii. After two terms in the House, Inouye was elected to the Senate where he has continued to serve.

During World War II, Inouye volunteered to join the U.S. Army, serving with the all-Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team that would become among the most decorated units in American military history. The 442nd engaged in fierce fighting in Europe, and Inouye lost his right arm in battle, ending his dreams of becoming a surgeon. Inouye is recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military honor.

Senator Inouye's visit to the Athenaeum is the inaugural event in the series The State of Asian America: Identity, Politics, and Culture, sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at Claremont McKenna College.

The Politics of California Health Care Reform

Consumer activist Harvey Rosenfield, author of California's landmark Proposition 103 to reform and roll back auto insurance rates, has long been aware of the findings of a Wall Street Journal poll that Americans rank health care and medicine at the top of public policy priorities. He anticipated citizens' fears that today's giant managed care and health maintenance organizations (HMO's) operate without sufficient accountability and responsibility for patients.

Rosenfield established the Consumers for Quality Health Care watchdog unit within the non-profit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, of which he is president. He also wrote and guided the 1996 ballot initiative, Proposition 216, the "Patient Protection Act." Though Prop 216 did not pass, the drive for similar measures is gaining momentum at both the state and national levels: California's Republican and Democratic candidates for governor now promise reforms similar to those in Prop 216, as do President Clinton and Congressional Democrats.

Rosenfield, rated one of "Top 50 Lawyers Under 50" by the National Law Journal has been profiled in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. The author of Silent Violence, Silent Death: The Hidden Epidemic of Medical Malpractice (1994), Rosenfield obtained his B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1974 and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979.

Rosenfield is one of three experts on health care issues sponsored by the Athenaeum this semester in conjunction with CMC's new Government 105 course "Organization of Health Care and Public Policy," taught by Professors Fred Lynch and Judith Merkle.

History as a Source of Strength

A master of narrative history, David McCullough is the author of many best-selling books on American history, including the splendid biography, Truman (1992), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. His research is wide ranging, from The Johnstown Flood (1968) to The Great Bridge (1972), the story of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, The Path Between the Seas (1977), about the building of the Panama Canal, and Mornings on Horseback (1981), a biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. McCullough is currently writing a book on the interwoven lives of John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

In addition to the Pulitzer, McCullough has received the National Book Award (twice), the National Book Foundation's Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the Charles Frankel Prize of the National Endowment for the Hurnanities, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service.

McCullough is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and he holds numerous honorary degrees.

These honors salute a multifaceted career devoted to the study of history, literature, and the human achievement. McCullough has taught at Cornell, Dartmouth, and Wesleyan Universities. He hosts the PBS series The American Experience and narrated Ken Burns' The Civil War and other television documentaries. He has served as president of the Society of American Historians and is a founding member of Protect Historic America.

It is a special pleasure to have David McCullough return to Claremont McKenna College to inaugurate the William F. Podlich Distinguished Visitors Program. This program is generously endowed by CMC alumnus and trustee William F. Podlich '66, whose aim is to enrich the college intellectually by bringing preeminent figures in scholarship, business, and public affairs to campus for extended visits. Under these auspices, the CMC history department will host three renowned guests, of whom McCullough is the first.

Dinner reservations are for members of the CMC community only. The 6:45 p.m. lecture is open to all, no reservation required.

My America (...0r Honk if You Love Buddha)

As writer, cultural critic, political activist, and award-winning documentary film-maker, Renee Tajima-Peña has never shied from controversy, conflict, or confrontation. The civil rights movement identified many of the causes for which she has so impassionedly campaigned; film provided the perfect forum. "I was an activist and I had a lot of ideas and things to say," Tajima-Peña explains. "But I hated when people disagreed with me, so I figured if I make a film they would have to watch it."

Critics and moviegoers alike have validated Tajima-Peña's choice. The irreverent wit, intelligence, thoroughness, and captivating visual and narrative qualities of her work have won Tajima-Peña a loyal audience and a number of awards. Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1988), an investigation of the beating death of a Chinese American in Detroit by an unemployed auto worker, received an Academy Award nomination. My America (... Or Honk if You Love Buddha) (1997), a Jack Kerouac-inspired "road picture" chronicling the film-maker's cross-country discovery of the many aspects of Asian American experience, garnered a Sundance Film Festival Award as well as top honors at the Athens International Film Festival. Tajima-Peña's other credits include What the Americans Really Think of the Japanese (1990), a 90-minute documentary that aired on Fuji Television in Japan; Jennifer's in Jail (1992), a documentary about Asian girl gangs and teenagers incarcerated in the California Youth Authority; and The Last Beat Movie (1997), an overview, appreciation, and retrospective on the Beat Generation poets.

Renee Tajima-Peña's Athenaeum presentation is the second in a series of programs on Asian Americans sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Habitat Conservation Planning in California: Dealing with the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act contains very specific requirements for the development of "recovery plans" for species listed by the Federal Government as endangered. These plans must be highly focused on protecting the species in question and their provisions can often be detrimental both to other species sharing the same habitat and to the human activity. It is therefore in the best interests of everyone, both humans and potentially endangered species, to manage the environment in such a way that species do not become endangered in the first place. Often such management can be achieved by identifying habitats that are being disrupted and taking the appropriate steps to head off the need for listing individual species as threatened and endangered. Often, though, these steps require the cooperation of private landowners and government agencies in unprecedented and extraordinary ways. Goldzband has been a leader in California in forging this kind of cooperation, and will talk about the development of formal or de facto habitat conservation plans as a powerful tool for environmental management, as well as a much better paradigm for the interaction of agencies and the public than the existing command and control approach.

Goldzband, an alumnus of Pomona College '80, is the Director of the California Department of Conservation. This agency has a complex mission ranging from land resource protection to beverage container recycling, and Goldzband has been Secretary Doug Wheeler's choice to initiate and manage the complicated business of bringing stakeholders together to solve impending Endangered Species Act issues.

This lecture by Larry Goldzband is sponsored by the Roberts Environmental Center as part of the series on Regional and Global Environmental Issues.

The Madrigal Feast

A Special Notice to the CMC Community

The Madrigal dinner is back! The Sixteenth Annual Madrigal Feast will again return to the Athenaeum featuring the Concert Choir of The Claremont Colleges and the medieval cuisine of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

There are two dates still open: Thursday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 8. Due to the popularity of the Madrigal, you are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Seating is on a first-come basis. The CMC community—students, faculty, and staff—will get a preferential sign-up period through October 21. After that all other Claremont Colleges students may sign up.

Use the reservation coupon to sign up and be sure to include your payment and meal card number when turning in your reservation at the Athenaeum office. If you wish to sit with a group, please turn in a list of all names and meal card numbers with your payment. We have a limited number of tables that can seat 8 or 10 people.

CMC students with meal card $10.00 per person
CMC students without meal card $13.00 per person
CMC faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $15.00 per person
Claremont Colleges students with meal card $12.00 per person
Claremont Colleges students without meal card $17.00 per person
Claremont Colleges faculty and staff (limit two tickets per person) $23.00 per person
Community persons $32.50 per person

Seating for each Madrigal Feast will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. and concluding around 9:00 p.m. after the concert following each meal. All guests to the feast are expected to remain for the concert.

Where you sit at the Madrigal is entirely dependent upon when your paid reservation is received. Get a group of friends to sign up to sit together so that you may all have an unforgettable time at the Sixteenth Annual Madrigal Feast at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.