Posted by Pamela Arnsberger on Nov 02, 2018


This Saturday November 3rd the club will be doing weeding at the The Farm Park in Soquel, a project for the restoration of Native Plants. The park is up from Soquel Drive (near Fairway). Go north on Harden, then to the right on Tee. This will replace our usual beach clean-up. 

There is a club board meeting on November 8th at 11:00. All are welcome. We will be hearing a presentation about the Capitola library.

Keith announced that the annual Christmas party will be December 2nd at his house. Please sign up on the sign-up sheet and indicate how many you of you are coming.

Kate announced that the home tour will be December 1st and 2nd for th symphony league’s big fundraiser.  See her for tickets….



      Today our club heard a presentation from two political science professors from Cabrillo  College. Cabrillo President Matt Wetstein introduced Rory 0’Brien and Nick Rowell from the Department of Political Sciences.  Dr. O’Brien focuses on forces in American politics and served two terms as faculty president.  Dr. Rowell teaches courses on comparative government and has a research focus on Latin American politics.



They focused on national politics. They first addressed the “blue wave” issue. Both Nick and Rory suggested that the large number of retirees on the republican side of the house has reduced the # of incumbents and increased the chances for democrats. They mentioned the always expected “October surprise”  has happened in spades this time including the bombing scare and number of Guatemalans moving thru Mexico right now.

They spoke about  the old Tip O’Neal quote about all politics is being local. Nick said it is no longer as relevant as it once was. He spoke about national spending on contested races and the emphasis on national concerns.  Rory said he agreed. One indication is that usually in midterm elections, we will see a dip in the president’s party. Despite Trumps low ratings, however Republicans are holding their own, perhaps from  Trump is keeping the pressure on.   He said the important thing on what happens in the house and senate and not the president.Nick and Rory both said that there was going to high turnout for midterm elections.


They went on to discuss ideological polarization addressing the questions: Is it more divisive now? Is social media driving some of that? Rory thinks that social media is getting a little out of control. A new phenomenon is that about 1/3 of the voters have moved into independent status. Nick mentioned 1968-69 as a parallel to the divisiveness of these times with the pitched battles in the streets. He said a little known fact was that between Jan 69 and April of 70 there were 3000 bombings across the U.S.

The floor was opened to questions. We discussed how current campaigns have become so negative.  They both said they are teaching a generation of students who are really with it. They said they are not worried about the future. 

They both spoke about the threat to the 14th amendment. They both agreed that the executive order is not a way to overturn a constitutional amendment.  It must be done by changing the constitution itself.  The 14th amendment nationalizes the Bill of Rights. There was a good discussion about the history of the 14th amendment and how it has to do with the fact that anyone in the US is subject to our laws and the protection under those laws.

Rory sees what is happening as a wake-up call. Mat concluded by summing up what was said and predicting an interesting house session in 2019-2020.