Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Herb Meyer: "What's Going On In The World?"

Herb Meyer is an expert on international events and policies. He is the host and producer of an internationally best selling DVD entitled "The Seige of Western Civilization," which analyzes threats to America's security, economy, and culture. He has served under the Reagan administration in the CIA, and was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal after his forecast of the Soviet collapse. He is currently working on a book, How to Analyze Information: a Step-by-Step Guide to Life's Most Important Skill

Meyer's many experiences with international intelligence will make for a very exciting, timely speech relevant to the concerns of Alaskans and the world. We look forward to a very interesting program this week! It is also our annual board elections; if you are member in good standing please don't forget to come and vote! There are several incumbents as well as newly applying board members, and you can help us make a difference in the Council. We will see you at the Hilton Chart Room at 11:30 am this Friday, May 1st! Please RSVP to 276-8038 or Lunch program is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers, and coffee is $6. See you there!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Patrick Yack's presentation

Last Friday, the World Affairs Council welcomed over 80 people for a program by Patrick Yack. We were back in the newly renovated Chart Room on the top floor of the Hilton, our usual spot. The last few months have given the room a new shine, and we were glad to be back. Patrick Yack, Atwood Chair of Journalism at UAA, was our speaker. He's held many prestigous journalism and editor positions around the country, and reported from around the globe. Yack's main point was the ever-changing journalism industry and the quality of news that comes from the many media systems we have today.
"The 24-hour news turnaround has become the 24-second."

With the prevalence of at-your-fingertips news sources such as Google Alerts and Twitter, there isn't time for journalists to draft stories. The goal for new and emerging journalists, Yack said, is to have them be as versatile and efficient as possible, and adept at all the different sources of journalism.
While these new forms of news are not necessarily bad, they do run soem risks. Anyone can sign up to write a blog, and there is no way to check soemone's credibility on the Internet. Yack stressed the importance of using legitimate new sources to gain information.
Yack's speech was quick and to the point, allowing lots of time for question-and-answer with the audience. Questions crossed a wide number of topics relating to foreign journalism, the internet news sources, and more. We enjoyed Yack's knowledge on this timely and relevant issue, as all our lives are changing because of it.

Join us this week for Dr. Joseph Ha, Vice President for International Business and Government Relations for Nike Corporation. His speech topic is "Points of Conflict and Cooperation between the United States and China."

--Chloe Miller

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Patrick Yack "The Collapse of Foreign Journalism in the American Press"

Patrick Yack speaks this Friday on a both national and interntaional issue-- the fall of foreign journalism in American newspapers and other media. With the journalism industry changing in so many ways, making way for the internet and such, this is a timely issue that is sure to be an interesting lecture.
Yack is the Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He has held many high journalism positions such as DC Bureau Chief of the Denver Post, National Editor of the Atlanta Constitution, and more. He has worked in South Korea, the Soviet Union, and Honduras, and has a great interest in foreign policy. He is an advocate of open governemnt and First Amendment rights.
Join us for Yack's presentation, this Friday, April 17 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is at the Hilton Hotel, $25 for nonmembers, $20 for members, and $6 for coffee. Students are free with a valid student id. Hope to see you there!
--Chloe Miller

Friday, April 10, 2009

Afghan Panel Presentation

Last Friday’s speech was a panel of four service men who have served time in Afghanistan over the last several years. COL Daly, Lt. John M. Romspert, Sergeant Major Patrick Meegan, and Master Sergeant Scott I. Anderson shared with us their insight of their overseas duty. For biographies of our panel, please see
The program began with a slideshow of pictures by COL Daly. The pictures ranged from combat images, maps, landscapes, portraits, and humanity-building projects currently in Afghanistan. COL Daly shared not only his experience from a military standpoint, but also his cultural experiences in Afghanistan. The panel of four then participated in a very dynamic and engaging question and answer session. Though time did manage to get away from us and there were many questions still floating around the audience, we learned a lot about the four men’s different experiences. Common interests were the language barriers they experienced and the political situation in Afghanistan right now.
The presentation was an interesting and relevant topic to today’s events. We thank our panel for their wonderfully engaging perspective!

---Chloe Miller

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Marshall Goldman Detained in Seattle by Redoubt's Ash; Diddy Hitchens Saves the Day

Redoubt’s ash cloud has created several inconveniences for Anchorage residents. One major disappointment of last week’s weather was flight service, and AWAC was not spared the annoyance. Highly anticipated Russia expert Marshall Goldman traveled all the way to Seattle only to get stuck there, receiving delay after delay until he had to cancel his Friday speech in Anchorage. Many of us were disappointed that he couldn’t make it, but fortunately the day was saved by Diddy Hitchens, PhD.

Diddy Hitchens is a professor Emerita of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She received notice that Marshall Goldman might not make it on Thursday afternoon, and spent the next 18 hours impressively preparing herself to stand in his place. As a fan who has read Goldman’s books and used them in her classes, Ms. Hitchens was a great candidate for the topic. She had not, however, read Goldman’s most recent book, Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia. Therefore, she took it upon herself to read his book and summarize his main stance on Russia’s energy politics on Thursday night, in preparation for her Friday speech.

After such a stressful night, we were all very pleased with Ms. Hitchens’s delivery of a beautiful, polished summary of Goldman’s book. She demonstrated great knowledge of Goldman’s opinions as well as Russia history and politics. She answered many questions that were perhaps more suited to the author of the book, but she answered them quite satisfactorily. All in all, it was a great presentation and we give our greatest thanks to Diddy Hitchens for saving the day on such short notice!

--Chloe Miller