In the Wake of Disaster

Derek Tennant

May 13, 2012

  Derek Tennant has many stories to tell from his work with FEMA following recent large hurricanes.  He has also performed volunteer work in Haiti and Thailand (for Burmese refugees). In addition to discussing his own experiences, he will facilitate a discussion about our own disaster preparedness and ways we can help each other become more resilient.


Humanist Community Forum (2012-05-13): In the Wake of Disaster (Derek Tennant) from Humanist Community-SiliconValley on Vimeo.


When the People Speak – Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation

Prof. James S. Fishkin

May 6, 2012

  All over the world, democratic reforms have brought power to the people, but under conditions where the people have little opportunity to think about the power that they exercise. Stanford Professor James S. Fishkin will discuss his book whose title is the title of this talk. In this book, he combines a new theory of democracy with actual practice and shows how an idea that harks back to ancient Athenians and their use of the Kleroterion machine can be used to revive our modern democracies. Professor Fishkin is a Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science at Stanford. He is also Director of Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy and Chair of the Dept. of Communication.  For more information on this critical subject see his web site:


Humanist Community Forum (2012-05-06): When the People Speak – Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation from Humanist Community-SiliconValley on Vimeo.


The Religious Right’s War on Sex—and Democracy

Dr. Marty Klein

April 29, 2012

  Sex and religion are constantly in the news this election year—typically in ways quite aggravating to humanists. With razor-sharp wit and 30 years of clinical experience, Dr. Marty Klein will analyze the news, describing what he calls America’s War On Sex ( “The Religious Right is using the issue of sexual regulation to undermine secular democracy,” he says. “Its War On Sex uses phony categories, dangerism, and a broad Sexual Disaster Industry. It is successfully re-conceptualizing private sexual expression into public behavior, which is therefore subject to public control.” The subject of sexuality is currently missing from much of humanist thought. But a humanist approach to sexuality, says Dr. Klein, would address people’s fear of their own–and others’–sexuality without supporting their ignorance, superstition, narrow categories, and anxiety about not being “normal.” What a great way to attract people to humanism, he says—and what a great way to make supernatural religion obsolete. Dr. Marty Klein is a Palo Alto-based psychotherapist, sex therapist, and international lecturer in sexuality and public policy. He has been an expert witness or invited plaintiff in many important state and federal obscenity and anti-censorship cases. His landmark book America’s War On Sex, with a foreword by the ACLU’s Nadine Strossen, was honored as Book of the Year by AASECT, and will be re-released on April 30. Join us for a creative, thought-provoking, and entertaining talk.

Globalization, an Ironic Economic Theory, and Time and Money

Martin Squibbs

April 22, 2012

This presentation will contain ideas that longtime Humanist Community member Martin Squibbs has developed from the presentations on “Values and Wealth” and “Money”, that he gave respectively in November 2011 and January 2012. Firstly, he will discuss globalization, and how we might differentiate its meaning into material and human categories in order to discuss the subject more intelligently and more usefully (from the point of view of looking forward to a better future). Secondly, he will present and discuss a model of the US economic system which may extend to many other economic systems and which may offer some ironic connections between government debt and stock market valuation. Finally, if time allows, he has some additional thoughts on time and money.

View the slides here.

More Militarism and War = More Guns But Little Butter

Michael Eisenscher

April 15, 2012

Sunday April 15, 2012 Michael Eisenscher will discuss the economic consequences of a militarized foreign policy and economy. He will describe how a decade of militarism and war has contributed to the economic crisis and how continuing to prosecute the “war on terror” will prolong and deepen that crisis, while actually undermining national security. He will report on the emerging Bay Area and national movement for “new priorities” – which seeks to redirect revenue from the bloated military budget to create jobs, repair the social safety net, protect the environment and meet a host of other urgent social needs – and will suggest what is required for a transition to a peace economy.


Humanist Community Forum (2012-04-15): More Militarism and War = More Guns But Little Butter (Michael Eisenscher) from Humanist Community-SiliconValley on Vimeo.