Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York

The Corliss Lamont Chapter of the American Humanist Association

2013 Schedule


Happy Humanist Second
January 10 (1) 24 (2)
February 14 (3) 28 (4)
March 14 (5) 28 (6)
April 11 (7) 25 (8)
May (9) 23 (10)
June 13 (11) 27 (12)
July 11 (13) 25 (14)
August (15) 22 (16)
September 12 (17) 26 (18)
October 10 (19) 24 (20)
Happy Humanist First
November (21) 21 (22)
December (23) 19 (24)

(1) Thursday, January 10, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Room 508 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Hello Dear Humanist Friends and a Happy New Year to US ALL!

And let's anticipate a Happier New Year for the U.S. itself as well, because this might be the Year in which the People of this Country recognize the power that they've invested in Barack Obama, and use this mandate to create the Peaceful Revolution that Humanist and Ethical Principles demand!

My focus for a First Volley in the Battle is to prevent John Brennen, the "Assassination Czar," who advises Obama on his "Kill List" for lethal drone strikes, from being approved by the Senate to head the CIA.

An ironic corollary is Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam Veteran, for the Department of Defense, who faces a tough battle in the Republican dominated Senate, because he is not "terrorist" enough. He wisely recognized the rationale for invading Iraq was a hoax, and voted against it.

Please! Bring your own concerns to share at this gathering!

Our Humanist Group has been graciously invited to meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays this January (the 10th and the 24th) by the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC).

Please come to Room 508 to discuss these and other issues in a friendly open-minded and exploratory forum. All are welcome, bring family and neighbors, school mates, and we will have lively discussions on all of those "no-no" ethics, religion, sex, and politics!

Questions: Are You a Member of the American Humanist Association? Do You consider Yourself a Member of the Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York?

The reason that we're asking is...The AHA would like a list of Members of our group. I don't know what to tell them!!!!! We have attendees.

We have some faithful persons who come great distances, even on bicycle! Some come for only a short while because, they must return to their living situation at a designated time. Some come after classes and after work, and when the group is required to leave the building early...the short visit is hardly worth their sacrifice.

BUT, here's the amazing thing! They find the association with other Humanists and like-minded persons, reward enough to take the time and trouble.

Because each of us is making some kind of struggle to meet all of life's demands, and we're always so glad to see each other, that I would never even dream of asking for a Membership fee! But, how about a simple commitment?

Please respond with a strong affirmative if you consider yourself a Member of the Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York, The Corliss Lamont Chapter of the American Humanist Association.

I'm sending Humanist Hugs in advance to these faithful Chapter Members. Hoping to see you on Thursday! More Hugs from Beth Lamont.

Light snacks will be served. For additional information about this meeting, please call Beth.

(2) Thursday, January 24, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Room 508 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Many of us are sharing the elation of hearing our President dedicating the new administration to more progressive principles. We seem to be in good company...I'm hearing this hopeful corroboration from many Humanist friends. I'm hopeful that necessary endangered "People Programs" will now begin to gain proper support.

HOWEVER! There is absolutely NOTHING progressive or Humanistic about the un-mentioned...the un-spoken...tool of US foreign policy...the continuation of targeted assassination, and the waging of secret wars by elite teams of assassins. What's the rationale? Who chooses targets? By what criteria? Why?

What the hell is going on here? If ever there were a plan to create a steady unbroken stream of vengeful "anti-US-terrorists" from which we would need to defend "protect" this country...this is the way to DO it!

What better way to assure the continued un-examined and un-challenged funding of the perpetual war machine? There must be those who have a vested interest in its perpetuation! What say you? Please bring your views for discussion?

Come discuss the basic psychology of vengeance, and the long-range societal impacts of this phenomenon, with Dr. Andrew Lautin, author of several papers on the Neurological Sciences.

Do you agree with his thought that altruism is ultimately selfish?

I reluctantly had to agree with his challenge...that I actually DO GET A VERY GOOD FEELING, if I think that I'm doing the right thing! Especially in the face of opposing ahem, targeted assassination!

Would we ever work for beneficial change, if we didn't have vested interests in its outcome? If you've read "The Selfish Gene" would you please report on it for the Group? Can we defend our Humanist point-of-view?

I insist that most Humanists with whom I'm acquainted, behave ethically as a matter of principle, merely because it's the "right thing to do!" What say you? Please attend this gathering to discuss these issues?

I'm still focused on what we might choose to DO...after we share information and become alerted to a danger.

Do you know the White House phone number? It is 202-456-1111

Do you know your Congressperson's phone number?
Senator Chuck Schumer's is 202-224-6542;
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's is 202-244-4451.

Here's hoping to see you! All are welcome! Light snacks will be served.

For additional information about this meeting, please call Beth.

(3) Thursday, February 14, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Room 508 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Please bring your ideas and concerns to a discussion about the relationship between Humanism and Socialism (please see attached PDF file). You are invited to attend the presentation on this subject by Sidney J. Gluck, a long-time cohort of Corliss Lamont in their mutual concerns for Civil Liberties.

Sidney Gluck is an expert on China and is intent upon fostering a better exchange of ideas and a more productive understanding and peaceful relationship in the best interests of both of our Peoples. Please being your information for sharing with others.

Here's hoping to see you! All are welcome! Light snacks will be served.

For additional information about this meeting, please call Beth.

Adobe Acrobat PDF file.  (19,881 bytes).

Video of the Thursday, February 14, 2013, HSMNY Chapter Meeting

The video above was shot at the Thursday, February 14, 2013, HSMNY Chapter Meeting and includes Sidney J. Gluck's Humanism and Socialism presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session with the meeting attendees (58 minutes 4 seconds).

Credit: Joe Friendly.

Downloadable version:
640 by 360 progressive @ 30 fps MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC H.264/AAC-LC
Right-click and Save As... to download (633,012,422 bytes).
Play with your favorite multimedia player program. VideoLAN VLC media player recommended.

(4) Thursday, February 28, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Room 507 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Hello Dear Humanist Friends! February is the month to celebrate Black History, and the Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York invites you to a glorious Celebration.

This Celebration features our precious and famous Historian Friend Bernice (rhymes with furnace!) Cosey Pulley. You'll find videos of this fantastic Lady in action on Google. Her equally dear and famous Husband, Arthur Pulley, of Yale Law School and aged 96, is hospitalized, recovering from a fall, at the writing of this announcement, and so her attendance is, of course, based upon his well-being. We'd love for Arthur to be speaking to us also. Bernice modestly emphasizes that this is a GROUP presentation, and fervently wishes to acknowledge and to dedicate this Celebration to all of the Movement's "Sung and Unsung Heroes."

Some participants in this Celebration will bring Music, Drama and Dance. They are: Dr. Marion R. Davis, Baritone, who'll be singing about the "Rivers to Cross;" Walter Jones, dramatist, with a dynamic reading of Langston Hughes; Candence Tarpley, Indigenous American Dancer; and musicians: Maya Caballero, guitarist, and singers Carolyn Bischoff, and Carolyn Freebern will have you on your feet singing along. Andrew Bell, of WBAI will be back home with us reporting on his adventures in Africa and South America.

Most of these folks were totally immersed in the great struggle for equality and very conscious of the continuing need for standing strong for our rights and speaking out! They will be sharing their wisdom and personal experiences and relaying some of the inside dynamics of persons and decisions and actions that were undertaken, during the crucial Civil Rights Movement.

Our dear Joe Friendly will be there with his video camera to preserve this special event for YouTube and Cable!

Also at this meeting you will find another rarity: two Presidents of the HSMNY! This is indeed, an historic event in itself, because these Gentlemen have not before had the opportunity to work together. Our previous long time HSMNY President, Professor Thomas Riggins, who teaches at New York University, had not always been available to lead us on our customary Tuesdays, but NOW that we're meeting on Thursdays, we hope to see more of him!

Our current young, dynamic HSMNY President is Robert Heihn, and the intergenerational interchange between these two gentlemen will be especially informative, reflective of their various experiences and their outlooks and their predictions for the successful infusing of Humanist Ethics into our present day dilemmas.

Beth's challenge is as always, to discuss how we activists will strive to further Peace efforts and to Humanize our IN-Humane economic system: like...Capitalism with a Conscience?

Please feel free to bring lots of friends, as this promises to be a very interesting meeting. Also, this might be a perfect time for sharing any edibles you might wish to bring. They'll be welcome as there will not be the usual snacks.

Although we expect to get started at about 6:15 PM, due to Fire Dept. regulations, attendance is limited to 60 persons, so be sure to get there on time so as to guarantee your admittance to this exciting event! And please RSVP to Bernice Cosey Pulley if you plan to attend.

Here's hoping that you'll be able to attend and share your own concerns and thoughts and ideas.

Video of the Thursday, February 28, 2013, HSMNY Chapter Meeting

The video above was shot at the Thursday, February 28, 2013, HSMNY Chapter Meeting and features commentary by Bernice Cosey Pulley (1 hour 40 minutes 11 seconds).

Credit: Joe Friendly.

Downloadable version:
640 by 360 progressive @ 30 fps MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC H.264/AAC-LC
Right-click and Save As... to download (1,092,124,127 bytes).
Play with your favorite multimedia player program. VideoLAN VLC media player recommended.

Musical Performances from the February 28, 2013, HSMNY Chapter Meeting

The video above was shot at the Thursday, February 28, 2013, HSMNY Chapter Meeting and features several musical performances (39 minutes 50 seconds).

Credit: Joe Friendly.

Downloadable version:
640 by 360 progressive @ 30 fps MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC H.264/AAC-LC
Right-click and Save As... to download (434,629,465 bytes).
Play with your favorite multimedia player program. VideoLAN VLC media player recommended.

(5) Thursday, March 14, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Room 507 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Our special guest speaker will be Andrew Bell, who will speak on the topic, "LOVE PEACE POWER".

Although our meeting will begin at the usual time of 6:00 PM, Andrew's presentation will begin at 7:00 PM.

Refreshments and snacks will be served, and books will be available. Please call Beth with any questions that you may have.

Here's hoping that you'll be able to attend!

(6) Thursday, March 28, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (possibly 9:00 PM) in Room 507 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.We will be celebrating the life of Corliss Lamont. Please come and join us for this Celebration! All are welcome! Please bring friends and come to share thoughts and ideas, especially if you might have known or worked with Corliss Lamont.

A movie made by Corliss's Grandson, Jonathan Heap, will be shown that contains several interviews with Corliss; one of these takes place at the courthouse where Corliss was accused by Joseph McCarthy, because of his writings, of being a Communist. Corliss chuckles gleefully at having later outwitted McCarthy's tactics in a landmark unanimous Supreme Court decision.

Another interview is an inspired explanation of the Humanist Philosophy; its history and its importance in this day and age, with Corliss describing why he adheres to the Humanist principles. Copies of The Philosophy of Humanism and Freedom Is As Freedom Does: Civil Liberties in America, two of Corliss Lamont's most popular books, as well as many other titles, are available free to all attendees.

Over the years, the research and messages contained in both of these books, have gained more and more relevance. Humanism is now much better understood, with the increasing disengagement of young people with traditional religions, coupled with the more inclusive ideals and a more universal orientation, facilitated by the shared information of our "space age" technology.

Compassion and the recognition that we are all Humans, and observing that it's going to take "Super" courageous Human responsibility, instead of "supernatural intervention" to solve our staggering problems, may gain more traction, rather than clinging to discredited age-old divisive ideologies.

The warning subject matter of Corliss Lamont's Freedom Is As Freedom Does: Civil Liberties in America is even more relevant today than in the McCarthy era with ever new military control and increasing infringements upon our cherished Civil Liberties.

Here's hoping that you'll be present at this Birthday Party! There will be appropriate refreshments! Please feel free to call Beth Lamont for more information at any time.

Be brave! Please attend even if we're knee-deep in snow! Humanist Hugs!

Book References (available from

(7) Thursday, April 11, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in Room 514 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Here's a chance to get some academic grounding in the history of Humanism. We have been officially invited to attend an evening class: "Introduction to Humanism", moderated by Dr. Anne Klaeysen, Ethical Leader.

Here is the introductory paragraph to the invitation that is to be found on the NYSEC website:

"Ethical Culture fits under a large tent of Humanism. It didn't start that way; founder Felix Adler was an Idealist philosopher, not a humanist. Since 1963, in a statement made by the National Leaders Council, Ethical Culture has acknowledged its evolving humanist philosophy, while maintaining a primary emphasis on ethics. Leader Anne Klaeysen, co-Dean of The Humanist Institute for Graduate Studies, explores the history of Humanism in the U.S., its major influences, and the major players and organizations today."

Registration is required so they will have an idea of the number of persons attending. To register please contact Yalitza Garcia-Krawczyk via e-mail, or telephone 212-874-5210, ext. 118.

Beth Lamont, with many other HSMNY Chapter Members, will be attending. Please join us? Copies of Corliss Lamont's The Philosophy of Humanism will be available for all attendees. For additional information, please call Beth.

When we get together in our own meetings of the Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York, we seldom talk about the origins of our Philosophy; we mostly discuss expressions of our belief in Ethical Behavior and Rational Thought, and perhaps most painful and perplexing, the consideration of whether or not we Humans might be evolving into a kinder gentler more respectful species. After a lifetime of consideration, my take on this matter's about a toss-up! But, I have hope!

Because, lately, I've been reading The Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans de Waal, and actually loving the thought that one of our closest primate relatives, makes love and not war. I find this truly inspiring.

De Waal describes observations in the Bonobo, repeated instances of compassion, altruism, judgement of right and wrong, expressions of shame for wrong doing, actual recognition of if/then consequences, acts of apology, and many other attributes that seem to have developed as feelings from their emotions, and apparently long predate any moralistic rules from the "thinking ape".

There may be hope for us Humans yet, that is, if we can minimize our several inherited angry Chimp urges, and let our loving Bonobo Nature take its course. This thought truly delights me! I speak with the wisdom of a wilted Flower Child from Haight-Ashbury.

Hope to see you there! We'll talk next time on April 25th, but this time we'll listen!

(8) Thursday, April 25, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.We will have the privilege of sharing the evening with Humanist Visitors from Chile, South America. Dr. José-Antonio Vargara and Ms. Gladys Vargara will be our guests, and have expressed a willingness to share, informally at our table-talk format, the experience of being isolated Humanists in a Latin American society. However, we learned that they were able to attend the World Humanist Congress in Oslo 2011. Surely they found much comfort and corroboration in that opportunity to associate with other world-wide Humanists. And we'll be able to welcome them to our own Humanist gathering....New York style.

Dr. Vargara is by profession a medical public health officer in a regional office of the Ministry of Health. He teaches at a local University to students of Medicine on epidemiology and the history of science and medicine. Dr. Vargara has informed me that Chilean President Salvador Allende was also an MD, and was intent upon creating a better public health system for the Peoples of Chile. I was quite surprised to learn of this; it brought the conversation to long standing U.S. Foreign policies, and to matters political.

Dr. Vargara states that politically he belongs to the broad tradition of a democratic, non-dogmatic, non-sectarian and moderate Left wing. Further, that he totally rejects the too agreeable and understanding attitude, cowardly adopted by the traditional Left. He adds that tolerance towards totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, and all their moral and social miseries, has been mistakenly considered a duty of "comradeship".

This will be a very interesting evening for discussion and exchange of ideas. Please bring your comments and concerns for sharing. Please bring family and friends, as well. The more...the merrier, as the old saying goes. I'm always thrilled with the statistics that indicate that "non-religious but spiritual" is the choice of more and more Americans. I do believe that the positive aspects of the Humanist philosophy are becoming better known.

I'm always quick to differentiate between the "Anti-Religious" focus of some Free Thinkers, and the more Humanistic attitude, respectful, more ecumenical, embracing practitioners of all faiths that manifest good works, teaching love and tolerance, and not hate and vengeance. We have friends at the UN who are Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian; so many religions that are focused on caring for Humans Here and Now.

Here's hoping that you'll attend this meeting and share your thoughts and ideas. There will be copies available of Corliss Lamont's book The Philosophy of Humanism. Snacks will be available, too. For more information, please call Beth.

(9) Thursday, May 9, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ]. Please check sign in Lobby for exact room location.

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Join with other concerned Humanists and Freethinkers. Please bring your ideas about how we might turn our talk into real action; perhaps raise our voices to be heard, and make a plan to try to affect at least one small area of screaming need, as Humanists, in this scary in-humane world. We will be discussing current events, foreign policy, political affairs, and philosophy. Please bring your concerns and ideas.

Here's hoping that you'll attend this meeting and share your thoughts and ideas. There will be copies available of Corliss Lamont's book The Philosophy of Humanism. Light snacks will be available. For more information, please call Beth.

(10) Thursday, May 23, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the downstairs Recreation Room at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Pamela Timmins, an activist Video Producer, and creator of her own video production service called, appropriately, "Pamorama" presents her latest MNN programs about the outreach efforts of New York activists to educate about urgent issues; hydrofracking with options for efficient and renewable energy.

Pamela creates documentary videos, independent and social media to bring to Public Access Cable screens innovative ways to promote a sustainable future with respect for harmony along the Hudson River Valley.

Please bring information about your own concerns to share with others. Together we will gain strength and resolve to continue our activism in the struggle to make beneficial changes so needed in this world. More and more we Earthlings must acknowledge: Mother Nature is angry!

Pamela Timmins is the producer/director of Pamorama Productions start-up video company and Manhattan Neighborhood Network producer, cultural channel # 4.

On May 23rd 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM her cable program will be showing a video Honoring Women's History Month interview with performance by Spirit of Thunderheart, all women drum circle of Mohawk heritage from the Hudson River Valley announcing production of their new CD, Rising, and a documentary DVD.

Also the Clearwater Nation shows every fourth Thursday at 10:00 AM monthly episodes about what's sustainable in New York City along the Hudson River Valley to Albany, N.Y. For more information, see New Apple Music and Art Productions.

All are welcome to attend. We will meet in the Recreation Room downstairs. It's a giant room; we can have a Ball!

Hope to see you there any time after 6:00 PM. It's dinner there will be "refreshments". For more information, please call Beth.

(11) Thursday, June 13, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on the Fifth Floor (check sign in Lobby for exact room number) at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Beth Lamont will present a report on the Left Forum conference recently held at Pace University from June 7 through 9. The theme of this year's Forum was "Mobilizing for Ecological/Economic Transformation" and Beth herself was a presenter at "The Marginalized Left: Lessons from Past and Recent Histories" session.

She attended many sessions at the Left Forum event and will provide a comperhensive report to the Chapter.

All are welcome to attend this meeting and we hope to see you there any time after 6:00 PM. Light snacks will be served. For more information, please call Beth.

(12) Thursday, June 27, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on the Fifth Floor (check sign in Lobby for exact room number) at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Our Guest Speaker will be Norman Roscoe, a long-time Humanist Activist and a member of the Long Island Secular Humanists, who is interested in networking with other Humanist organizations, and has created a coalition of all Long Island Humanist groups. They engage in joint activities and work on projects together, creating far more community impact. We are invited to affiliate with this coalition.

Norman Roscoe reports: "I went to the Unitarian Universalists General Assembly this past week, where many issues were addressed. We were trying to prioritize issues from: Climate change, reproductive rights, Campaign finance reform, and numerous others."

He described the difficulty in narrowing down this huge array of concerns that are screaming for attention, and to develop priorities for further action. He feels confident that a clear Humanist perspective will emerge. He met specially with Humanists of the UU and discussed their place within the broad scope of the UU agenda.

As Climate Change was the first concern mentioned on his own list, he along with all of us who are so concerned, will be celebrating the historic significance of the President's announced bold stand on protecting the Environment and creating new initiatives to scale back the threatening damage caused primarily by carbon emissions.

Here's part of the President's speech, describing the task: "No single step can reverse the effects of climate change, but that's no excuse for inaction. We have a moral obligation to leave our kids a planet that's not broken and polluted."

A White House message described the action..."So here's what we're going to do:

President Obama's Plan to Fight Climate Change

The White House message carried the further admonition..."Share President Obama's plan to make sure people in your community understand why we're taking these steps and what comes next."

This taking of responsibility sounds pretty Humanistic to me! After the disappointments with Congress and the Supreme Court, it's great to be able to cheer some spectacular Executive Branch Action!

Come share your thoughts and concerns with others of like mind at this meeting. We'll have lots to talk about. Since we meet at dinnertime...we always have snacks available. See you there. For more information, please call Beth.

(13) Thursday, July 11, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Social Hall on the lower level at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Steve James, Producer of the TV Series, "Perspective: Exploring Human Behavior", will lead a discussion on the American Cultural Anthropologist Ernest Becker, an interdisciplinary thinker and writer.

Becker, in his studies, challenged the discipline of psychoanalysis, saying that it was not science, and that human behavior could not be studied out of its cultural and ethnic setting. For this stand, and other principled critiques, he was ostracized. Corliss Lamont also took unpopular stands in politics and religion. He suffered similar scorn.

Our Speaker, Steve James, sees the possibility of a synthesis of Corliss Lamont's The Philosophy of Humanism, as well as his The Illusion of Immortality with Ernest Becker's Science of Humanity. The discussion will explore how the two thinkers intersect and how Becker's theories in The Denial of Death and Escape From Evil may support Lamont's core concepts.

Question: Did either of these thinkers, who were so concerned with man's propensity for doing harm, have hope for the survival Humankind? Please do your homework and prepare for discussion by going to the relevant websites.

All are Welcome! Bring Friends and Family Members! Snacks are served. Books are available. Hope to see YOU!! For more information, please call Beth.

(14) Thursday, July 25, 2013: We will meet from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in Room 103 at Jerome L. Greene Hall at Columbia University Law School, 435 West 116th Street at Amsterdam Avenue [ click here for map ]. Then, at 5:00 PM when the building must close, we are invited to go down the hill for a block or two to our second venue: Haakon's Hall at 1187 Amsterdam Avenue, where a conference table awaits us in a gracious and welcoming atmosphere, where "Happy Hour" is taking place and we can order Pizza. We will probably be there until 10:00 PM or later, so come join us if you can.

Instead of meeting at 6:00 PM at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), where we have recently been so graciously hosted, we are reaching out to Students on Columbia University Campus this Thursday starting at 3:00 PM.

The Government Surveillance Forum flyer that we are posting all over the place, announcing the event, with a funny "spy" illustration, that we hope will create some curiosity on Campus about the timely subject matter for discussion, is available for download.

Please come prepared to share whatever you've newly learned about government surveillance and secrecy, and punishment of whistleblowers and journalists. We just heard that all of the various phone and Internet information carriers whose data has long been pilfered by the government and funneled into its own secret storage system, were forbidden, (can you imagine! Forbidden!) to divulge this little bit of information to us, the public whose information was being stolen.

This will be an opportunity to share our hard-earned wisdom with younger folks who need to know what's been going on in this country...before they were born!

Sure, they can Google for some information, if they know what to look for, but better we should share our experiences and inspire the young folks to become involved; who will challenge to make needed changes, and carry the banners when we are gone? Our eldest HSMNY Member, Sidney J. Gluck, will be 97 in August, and he has a lifetime of wisdom to share with us. He believes as I do, that we can still get this experimental democracy thing right, if we work at it hard enough!

Corliss Lamont, a Champion of Civil Liberties, would be up in arms about the newest breaches of our Constitutional Right to privacy. The pamphlet that he edited and published entitled, The Right To Know: The Civil Liberties Campaign Against Secrecy in Government, was describing F.B.I. spying and wire-tapping in the 1970s, and the C.I.A.'s secret wars.

His pamphlet suggests The Remedy as follows: All Americans concerned with truth in government, and the people's right to know, should request their representatives in Congress to conduct open hearings on these matters.

Dear Corliss, this sounds like good advice, BUT we've been there and done that! We even get lied to in Congress! What shall we do NEXT?

Please don't miss this meeting! It's going to be a goody! Please call Beth for more information.

Adobe Acrobat PDF file.  Government_Surveillance_Forum.pdf  (51,718 bytes).

PS: The Granny Peace Brigade is going to Wall Street at this same time on Thursday. If you don't show up at the HSMNY Meeting...we'll know where you are!

(15) Thursday, August 8, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM in the downstairs Recreation Room at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Our previous theme for discussion was on "The People's Right To Know!". We shared many important historical documents that described the struggle to preserve our Civil Liberties in the face of various encroachments and limitations that seem all too familiar at this moment with the revelations of government surveillance, secrecy, and punishment of whistleblowers and journalists.

With all of the new age of information availability and sharing, with access to Google for searching for historical facts, here's one I missed; and I'll bet a nickel that you did too! Do you know that the Native Americans and the Dutch made a treaty that was respectful of Mother Earth almost exactly 400 years ago?

It is true! And Pamela Timmins is involved in the active commemoration of this historical Event. She is videotaping the progress of Native Americans as they are Kayaking down the Hudson participating in commemorative celebrations along the way, emphasizing the need to be "Good Stewards" of the Earth.

Pamela writes: "Last weekend, The Kingston Film Festival selected this program: "Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign," describing the physical, mental and spiritual action outreach with volunteer paddlers in canoes and kayaks camping along the Hudson River from Albany to Manhattan."

"It is said that it is time to polish the chain of friendship and to be good stewards of our natural resources. This action brings attention to the 400th anniversary of the first peace treaty agreed to by the Natives and the Colonizers."

"The Iroquois Confederacy and our "Founding Fathers" agreed to the wampum belt as the "Law of the Land" forever! It is written in our US Constitution, influenced by the natives, to travel the river of life in peace and friendship."

She says further: "It is an honor to present my DVD to the Humanists, extra time for Q&A this Thursday. Now, streaming on my Pamela Timmins Channel on YouTube." If you'd like to be in touch with Pam of "Pamorama Productions," here's her e-mail address:

And here are some of her credits: Pamela Timmins is a Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) Producer of the monthly series, "Clearwater Nation", documenting events focused on sustainable life styles along the Hudson River Valley from New York City to Albany.

This will be a great presentation and discussion that you will enjoy. Hope to see you there! Best wishes to all and have a Happy Summer!

(16) Thursday, August 22, 2013: Hello Dear Humanist Folks All, Here's a plan to accommodate "all those concerned" regarding the Humanist Meetings of this Thursday, August 22nd, at which we will have, now confirmed, our Special Guest Speakers, Maggie Ardiente and Roy Speckhardt, from the AHA National Office! We've invited our Special Guests to speak on their own timely and favorite topics. More information including credits and Humanist involvement of both Maggie and Roy, will be found below. They'll welcome all of your questions and comments as time permits.

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.There will be a surprise After Hours Bonus for this week's Humanist Meeting. In addition to our usual time of 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM meeting at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West, we are now invited (after some dinner, of course), to a special Studio, 3-Camera Professional Videotaping, at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), located at 537 West 59th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues), from 10:00 PM to Midnight, on the very Humanistic and Ethical subject of "Protecting Planet Earth"! We Humanists have nowhere else to go!

Manhattan Neighborhood Network logo.So, those of us who would still have time to travel the necessary distance, to get home at this late/late hour, and/or make it to work on Friday, will enjoy this extra treat of participating in a specially planned Studio videotaping about the dangers of Global Warming and of Climate Change. Since it will be Dinner time, it has been suggested that a Greek Diner on the corner of 60th Street and Amsterdam Avenue would be a good gathering place for a quick bite before proceeding to Manhattan Neighborhood Network Studio.

These great plans have been kindly initiated by Pamela Timmins, who is deeply involved with the promotion of the "Two-Row Wampum Treaty" between the Onandaga Nation and the first Dutch Settlers. Some of the Panelist Speakers, are passionately committed Native Americans, involved in canoeing down the Hudson River to promote the 400 year old Treaty with the Dutch that promised all to live in Peace and to Protect Mother Earth.

The resultant three 28-minute programs, with its many Panelists and Participants, will be available for future use, and for further dissemination on Cable TV, and the Internet, and maybe even available as DVD's for your own use, and for sale "as a fund-raiser".

Josh Volinski, who has made these studio arrangements, will use the three 28-minute programs on his own show, the Josh Volinski Show, and Pam Timmins will use them for her own Clearwater Nation show. Joe Friendly's Truth For A Change, as well as Beth's Humanist Here And Now show, will also be privileged to show this very timely environmental information.

Another featured Speaker and possible Panelist will be Richard Morgan. A friend and advocate of James Hansen, whom I recognize as the real Granddaddy of the Environmental Movement and a whistleblower for many years about the impending dangers of Climate Change. Richard Morgan has created special Programs to promote this connection also in collaboration with his friend Pete Seeger. He has a special Power Point slide Presentation that we hope might be seen on Thursday, but if not, we would ask him to be our One-and-Only featured Speaker on September 12th at a next Humanist Meeting at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

It would be ever so nice, if we could also invite "All of the Ethicals" there, who might be interested in these issues, and those who would wish to attend the meeting with Maggie and Roy, by means of a poster in the Ethical Society lobby, or an announcement at their meetings. Any ideas about how, or to whom, to suggest this?

Here is bio information about our Humanist Headquarters speakers Roy Speckhardt and Maggie Ardiente, and more about the work in which they are involved.

Maggie Ardiente - "Humanism Today: An Update from the AHA", the American Humanist Association is one of the most active secular organizations in the country, working to lobby Congress on humanist issues, promote science and reason in education, protect the church-state wall, and build a network of humanist groups across the country—all to represent the growing number of Americans who are "good without God". Maggie Ardiente, development director of the AHA, will give an update on the AHA's latest efforts to promote humanism and atheism at the national level. (15 minutes)

Maggie Ardiente is the Director of Development and Communications at the American Humanist Association and editor of the AHA's popular e-zine Humanist Network News, which reaches 40,000 subscribers weekly. She graduated with a B.S. in sociology from James Madison University and served as Vice President of the JMU Freethinkers, a student group for atheists, agnostics, and humanists. She is a former board member of the Secular Student Alliance and a graduate (Class 15) and board member of The Humanist Institute.

Roy Speckhardt - "In It to Win: Building a Nontheist Rights Movement", Humanists have experienced many legal successes historically, but recently our track record is mixed at best. It's time for a fresh approach to these issues, in and out of the courts. Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association, will explain how the Religious Right got the upper hand and what we can do about it. Armed with new strategy, we'll chart a new course together and discuss the next priorities for expanding nontheist rights in America. (25 minutes)

Roy Speckhardt is Executive Director of the American Humanist Association where he actively promotes the humanist perspective on progressive political issues. He's appeared on CNN Headline News, Fox News, numerous national radio shows, and has spoken to dozens of local humanist groups across the country. He also serves as a board member of the Humanist Institute and the United Coalition of Reason and as an advisory board member of the Secular Student Alliance. He holds an M.B.A. from George Mason University and a B.A. in Sociology from Mary Washington College.

(17) Thursday, September 12, 2013: The Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York will meet this Thursday, September 12, 2013, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in a different place! (information is below) Come hear an excellent presentation on urgent issues of Global Warming at 7:00 PM. Our speaker, Richard Morgan, is associated with Lamont-Doherty Earth Science Institute. He will be presenting a riveting documentation regarding the dangers of Global Warming, or Climate Change, if you prefer. This matter, especially the rapidly melting polar ice caps, is of crucial importance to us on seacoasts and islands. All of Humanity is in danger, because of these drastic changes.

Richard Morgan has spent a life time working in and studying Science and Engineering. Most recently he has assisted Dr. James Hansen, the just retired Executive Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA. Richard assisted Dr. Hansen with research on his last two presentations to the U.S. Congress, and Dr. Hansen's Autobiography and text on the Science of Global Warming, Storms of My Grandchildren, Richard received an Appreciation for his assistance in the book, by Dr. Hansen.

Richard will cover the causes, the science, the effects, and many facets of the solution to this threat to our world. Please don't miss this meeting, as our understanding of this critical subject is truly important, and our own participation in influencing efforts to remedy the situation and to reduce the dangerous levels of carbon in the atmosphere is essential. Eventually, we'll all be involved one way or another. There'll be no bystanders or opportunity to "sit-this-one-out!" Taking responsibility for ethical action is almost a mandate for Humanists. With this issue we can really become "immersed!" Ooops! Involved would be a better choice of words.

Now, about the new meeting place for our Thursday Humanist get togethers! Longtime members will remember the Moonstruck East Restaurant, 449 Third Avenue at the Southeast corner of East 31st Street. We used to meet upstairs in their private room until it was closed. It is open! And this will be our new gathering place! Dino, the Manager there, remembers us kindly from years ago, and welcomes us back. We're invited to order as little or as much as we like from their menu. And Thursday evenings are open, so we can keep our recent pattern of second and fourth Thursdays from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. We'd like for the Moonstruck East to be happy with us. Here's hoping that you'll be able to attend and that we'll have a great turnout!

More about Richard Morgan's talents and efforts: He also established a get together in a wonderful evening of Music and the Science of Global Warming with another friend of his, Pete Seeger. He was also the Associate Producer of the first at-length film about Pete Seeger and the Sloop Clearwater, entitled, "Clearwater". Richard is currently presenting his most important message to colleagues and groups of all locations and sizes, and looks forward to his presentation with us.

Here's hoping that we'll see you at the Moonstruck East! Closest Subway line is 4-5-6, and it is the 6 that stops closest at 33rd Street. Call Beth for more information. See you on Thursday!

(18) Thursday, September 26, 2013: THURSDAY IS A BIG DAY FOR HUMANISTS! At least three great Humanist Events are happening, and all about the same time in the evening! Oi! What choices!

First of all, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) on 64th Street at Central Park West, in the downstairs Recreation Hall, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, the Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York will sponsor for the evening meeting, a charming, dynamic, young, activist Speaker-Artist named Andrew Bell. His photo is below.

Photo of Andrew Bell.He is associated with Radio Station WBAI, a speaker at its "concern for Planet Earth" Meeting at the Corliss Lamont Half-Moon Foundation Peace and Justice Center in Ossining, NY, that was later broadcast. Pete Seeger's Rivertown Kids and Raging Grannies were singer participants, also, at that great event.

Andrew says he "will discuss key points in his personal internal pathway which have led to success measurable and immeasurable." Come explore with Andrew Bell his developing philosophy and world view. (all the quotes below are from his own writings)

Andrew is sorting out his personal search for a "comprehensive Universal Knowledge," that he says begins with contemplation. He is truly concerned with World Peace and Justice, and his own place, his own mission, in this confusing world. He asserts hopefully that "knowing thyself" is the beginning of Peace. And that "Therefore, Peace is on the way!" This sounds inspiring and optimistic!

Fellow Humanists: What has been you own philosophical experience? What advice would you bring to this opportunity for conversation with Andrew Bell?

Andrew will bring samples of his art, "abstract pointillist sketches of various sizes," that you might purchase, if you wish. He says the "Proceeds will benefit the HSMNY and the continuation of the artist-in-speaker's message of Love Peace and Power through artistic invention."

Here's more about Andrew-Markus Bell: He was born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1984 to a minister and a librarian. His parents' influence is why Andrew calls his artistic expressions "the combination of divine inspiration and methodical application."

After moving to New York in 2005 Andrew found many types of influences which informed (as he puts it) his "rhythmic and gravitational, improvised cooperative effort with the Muse." Come share the evening with Andrew! There will be snacks!


If you would choose to attend a meeting with the famed Evolutionary Biologist and author of The Selfish Gene, and The God Dilemma, Professor Richard Dawkins, who is introducing his new book, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist here is the info! We just received this announcement!

"New York City Atheists Inc. (NYCA) is honored to announce that author and Atheist icon Richard Dawkins will be speaking in person at its monthly meeting on September 26th. Doors Open at 6:30 PM. Program Starts at 7:00 PM. Will take place at the SLC Conference Center, 15 West 39th Street, 3rd Floor.

After Dawkins' talk, there will be a question and answer period, and after that, Prof. Dawkins will be available to sign his latest book, which NYCA will have on hand for a special price of $20, cash only. They have approximately 50 copies of Richard Dawkins' book. "Since we expect a huge crowd at this event, please purchase your book before the talk and hold it for autographing afterwards."

This meeting should also be of great interest to Humanists!


John Rafferty of the Secular Humanist Society of New York (SHSNY) will also be a speaker this Thursday evening! His presentation will take place from 7:00 to 10:00 PM at Cellar 58, located at 58 Second Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets.

This occasion is featured as a Book Launch & Signing & Wine Social - John Rafferty's new book is titled: A Fit of Pique - Dispatches from the Culture Wars. John Rafferty is President of the SHSNY, and Editor of its newsletter: PIQUE. This is an open invitation to all: Come celebrate the publication of John Rafferty's first book, and enjoy the company of other Humanists.

Here's an interesting revelation by John, that mirrors my own discovery in the 1970s: "I've been a humanist all my life, but only woke up to that fact in the mid-1990s. Meeting other humanists - like the people here - is a joy." His conversation with TV personality Harold Channer was shown Tuesday on MNN.

With such a wealth of wisdom and interesting human company...that are available this Thursday, September 26th, in this great City of New York, the choices might bedazzle us, but one thing is certain! HUMANISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!

I like to promote what I call Ecumenical Humanism! Tear down fences; better to build bridges! And thanks very much to the generosity of the NYSEC for allowing us to hold our meeting at their facility. We certainly appreciate their good work. Please call for more information. Hope to see you soon!

(19) Thursday, October 10, 2013: New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Greetings Humanists! You're invited to participate in a very special HSMNY Meeting this Thursday, October 10 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ].

We will be "On-Camera" in the Elliott Library, Room 507, for a TV Production!

Here's an idea to ponder: We Freethinkers, who have pushed away from organized religion, might all agree that religion's primary stranglehold on humans is the promise that death is not the end. I even joke about buying Celestial Real Estate! But, what is it in our very human psychological make-up that makes us so vulnerable to holding out hope for a hereafter? Life is such a priceless gift; with all of our senses so alive, how can we imagine not being? What say you?

Please come to hear the wisdom on this subject of psychologist and author, Dr. Jerry S. Piven, our speaker this Thursday, who has agreed to be interviewed on camera. Steve James, HSMNY Member, in his Humanist Leadership role has invited Dr. Piven, and has arranged for this TV production opportunity. Steve writes: "I know Jerry and he will give us a fascinating interview or two".

This is Jerry's info:

"Dr. Jerry S. Piven teaches the psychology of religion at New School University and New York University. His courses focus on death, sexuality, and psychoanalytic investigations of culture and history. Professor Piven also trains at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, and has lectured for the International Psychohistorical Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Ernest Becker Foundation. He is the author of a book entitled Death Denial and Religious Evolution: Psychopathology and Sexual Violence in History, which has been submitted for publication."

Please come with your own questions and comments. We'll alternately observe and participate in this event. We will be the "audience" during the video shoot of our speaker, and then become "participants" for Q&A! This interview will be shown on various media outlets.

A briefing on upcoming important Climate Change Programs will follow. There is ACTION at the United Nations starting on Tuesday, October 22nd, to which you can be invited if you respond, expressing interest. This notice came to me:

The World Energy Forum wishes to invite you to attend the commemoration of World Energy Day at the United Nations, New York City, on October 22, 2013. This event will extend from 10:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Kindly confirm your attendance at this event by registering. When asked for your affiliation, you may say The American Humanist Association, which is an NGO to the United Nations.

Here's an invitation to participate in another Action! The Climate Reality Team, invites you to: "Join our efforts in getting millions of people to tune into 24 Hours of Reality on October 22." Go to:

Also, our next Humanist Meeting on Thursday, October 24th at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, will focus on the urgency for counteracting Climate Change.

Another announcement just came in from Arthur Kanegis: A first showing of the new movie about Gary Davis, the First World Citizen, at Noon on Thursday, but we don't know where, yet! Call for details to attend this movie.

Pamela Timmins reminded, though Congress isn't in session yet, our Reps are still approachable. An important bill coming up has been dubbed "NAFTA-on-steroids"...the TPP world trade agreement to coerce developing nations, that need investment, into letting capitalists have their way with them, even over-riding their own local government control. Do you know your Congress Critter's phone number? If not, it can be found on Google! I'll give mine an earful! Call the White House, also, to express your opinion on all issues: 202-456-1111

Here's hoping to see you this Thursday evening and at future meetings. There will be some health-conscious snacks also. Call Beth for more information.

(20) Thursday, October 24, 2013: We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West [ click here for map ]. Please check sign in Lobby for exact room location.

New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.Greetings and Good wishes! Here's an invitation for you to bring new ideas to this Thursday's meeting. Please attend and participate! We need your input!

The Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York is planning a new program for 2014 and we need your input. As you know, our group meets twice a month, sponsors a website, a local TV show, and ad hoc events during the year. We want to know what you would like HSMNY to be doing. What topics should we address? What guest speakers should we invite? What suggestions do you have for a fundraising event or special occasion? What other New York groups should we partner with?

Please give us your suggestions and advice as we plan for next year. Let us know by e-mail, or come to our planning meeting this Thursday, October 24. Please come with your ideas! Or, please let us hear from you?

Here's an idea from the American Humanist Association Chapter Grant Fund. They are offering cash awards for this very purpose. Let's write an appeal that could be effective in spreading the good word; it might be chosen!

Two additional meetings that you will surely be interested in: At the United Nations, starting Tuesday, October 22, the World Energy Forum will be taking place all week. Sharing ideas on Alternative Energies, protecting and respecting Planet Earth, are topics dear to a Humanist heart!

Pete Seeger is inviting you to come to the NYSEC at 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 26, to celebrate the life of his dear wife, Toshi. They had been together for 70 years! She was a creative partner who had helped sustain them through all of their difficult times. She was a soupmaker! In her honor we are invited to help make "Stone soup!" Bring something to put in the pot. Together, we'll create a nourishing meal; symbolic of the need for cooperative efforts.

What would you think of hosting a Humanist Satirist Musician for a fund-raiser? Tom Neilson gets great reviews...even endorsed and promoted by the AHA: "Tom is politically cutting-edge, incisive, warm, & very funny with a raucous political satire & quick wit. He is a thoughtful combination of art and activism as he skewers the outrageous behavior of the greedy & powerful in corporations, the media & government. He does a great job of reminding people of what is really important, and the power of folk music to say it." Tom says: "If you want to host a concert, please check my web site and read 'ORGANIZE A SHOW'. This will provide important info about logistics, travel needs, finances, etc. Below are concert reviews. Hope to see you in my travels. Best, Tom 413-774-2411".

Hoping to see you at the meeting! Call Beth for more information.

(21) Thursday, November 7, 2013: New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Adler Study (room number 514) at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ]. Kathy Davis of radio station WBAI will be our speaker for a quite different and interesting presentation. Hope that you'll be there to experience it!

As Humanists most of us probably don't believe in spirits, incorporeal creatures or imagined aspects of our minds as separate from our bodies. But also as Humanists we remain freethinkers, open to other cultures and their ways of living and coping with the human condition. For example, other cultures have found ways of dealing with the stresses of everyday life that don't include our modern American dependence on pharmaceuticals or television. This evening's meeting is dedicated to the very human need for all of us activists to care for our own "instruments" of activism. We will be encouraged to find peace and some measure of harmony within ourselves through ancient Chinese practices as demonstrated by Kathy Davis, founder of the Kun Li Sheng Qigong form and school.

Here is the personal invitation to you from Kathy Davis, and her introduction to her special program.

Un-cage the heart and liberate the self, with Kathryn Davis.

Many activists, in their life long commitment to bring justice into the world, often forget to internalize justice within their own lives and as a matter of course sacrifice the needs of their self. In some cases the internal voice mercilessly judges the self when efforts to transform political issues seem to fail. This can lead to exhaustion, despondency and burnout. Over time the stress of this lifestyle can manifest as physical, emotional and psychological illness.

Qigong, a Taoist practice, along the lines of humanism, teaches an understanding of the human energetic system and provides practices that support and heal our human organism: mind and body, helping to restore us to our natural capacity to be whole, healthy and self compassionate.

In this session we will go into deep relaxation, connect to the heart's compassionate nature, and use this vibrational frequency to clear stagnation from our body and mind. As this occurs we will initiate a restorative process that will once again allow inspiration to flow forth into new avenues of creativity and purpose.

The practice sometimes has immediate results, but most often works as in the peeling of layers from an onion. You will receive basic exercises that you can use as part of your everyday process and compassionate self care.

Breathe in and Radiate Peace and Harmony into the World.

Here are a few Leftovers from the scary Witching days of October 31st!

John Whitehouse, a Humanist Correspondent, writes of a cautionary tale. He begins his article with this still timely admonition by Edward R. Murrow: "If none of us ever read a book that was 'dangerous,' had a friend who was 'different,' or joined an organization that advocated 'change,' we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants." - John Whitehouse says: "Remember those wise words this Halloween!" He also tells of the outrageous lies that have been perpetrated especially on the monstrous media by the Radical Right in their attempt to kill Health Care.

Follow John on Twitter at: Health Care And The Media

Also, if you caught the Health Care hearings on C-SPAN, you'll have been quite impressed with how courageously Elizabeth Sebelius faced the wicked Ogres in a House Hearing, raking her mercilessly over the coals for the defects of the Internet Health Care Coverage sign-up program. Let's believe that there are better days ahead.

Come to the meeting on Thursday and share your thoughts and ideas...and try the relaxing techniques. There'll be light snacks. Please call Beth for more information. Hoping to see you soon.

(22) Thursday, November 21, 2013: New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM downstairs in the Social Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ].

HSMNY Member Hugh McGuire, vitally involved in an ancient land preservation issue, is showing a movie that explores the ecological dangers of the proposed destruction of Mount Manresa, an historical landmark on Staten Island, and describes the efforts to save it. These 15 acres contain a terrain that has existed virtually untouched since the last Ice Age and was formed as the huge continental ice sheet reached its most southern limit 20,000 years ago.

The Ice Age hill at Mount Manresa is part of the once lengthy terminal moraine which stretched across North America. Some of the majestic Tulip Trees we see on the property today are about two hundred years or more old and are direct descendants and the last remnants of the original Old Growth Forest that existed here before the early Dutch and French Huguenot settlers arrived in 1661.

Hugh McGuire says: "I'll be discussing the impact that architectural design and landscape design has on human behavior. The trees and open green space of Mt. Manresa's 15 acres acts as natural purifier for the large volumes of carbon dioxide and other exhaust gases emitted daily by the tremendous amount of cars, buses and trucks passing within yards of this location on one of the busiest federal highways in America."

Please join this gathering, bring friends and family, engage in discussion. Perhaps sign a petition? Enjoy congenial company and a few snacks. Books of Corliss Lamont are available. For more information please call Beth.

(23) Thursday, December 5, 2013: New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM downstairs in the Social Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ].

Our group will host Psychologist and Author Jerry S. Piven, PhD who will speak about and lead a discussion on America's recent wars and culture of violence. Dr. Piven has taught at NYU, New School University, and Case Western Reserve University, where his courses have focused on the philosophy of religion, existentialism, psychoanalysis, and metaphysics. He has earned interdisciplinary graduate degrees in the fields of psychology, religion, philosophy, and literature, and has studied at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis training institute. He is the editor of several books and author of several others, including Death and Delusion: A Freudian Analysis of Mortal Terror (2004). He has recently completed Slaughtering Death: On the Psychoanalysis of Terror, Religion, and Violence.

There will be gift books by Corliss Lamont available, and snacks provided. Please attend. I hope to see you at the meeting.

Call Beth for more information.

(24) Thursday, December 19, 2013: New York Society for Ethical Culture logo.We will meet from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM downstairs in the Social Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West click here for map ].

"The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed," according to Barack Obama. Economic inequality, particularly the rising level in the U.S., has been a growing concern for decades and is reaching a critical point. Our discussion will explore the effects of inequality, some of the reasons, and possible solutions. We will begin by showing a short video featuring epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson who charts data that proves societies that are more equal are healthier, happier societies. We will discuss details from the book, The Spirit Level, co-authored by Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, that chart the effects of inequality on health, longevity, infant mortality, social mobility, and overall happiness. We will also summarize findings from The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too by economist James Galbraith, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by economist Joseph Stiglitz, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland, and other sources. Please come prepared to discuss what is being called a "defining challenge" for the U.S. and what can be done about it for the benefit of us all.

There will be gift books by Corliss Lamont available, and snacks provided. Please attend. We hope to see you at the meeting.

Call Beth for more information.

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