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Meeting Location: The New Dynasty Buffet

Group Leader: Dave Helgager

This group replaced the Philosophy Group,
which was suspended at the beginning of December, 2019

How It Works:

Round Table sessions encourage input from all who attend the meeting. Each person will be allowed five minutes to make his or her point. Following that, the next phase allows two minutes for rebuttal.


Next Meeting: April 6, 2022 (1:15pm)

Subject: "Degrowth"

The world's major economies focus on growing their economies with the ultimate aim of perpetually increasing production, trade, exports, employment, wealth, etc. for the betterment of its citizens.

However, these economies fail to factor in the mathematical reality that endless, compounding economic growth is impossible in a closed system which in this case is planet earth.

Fifty years ago a courageous team of scientists, economists, environmentalists and programmers challenged conventional economic wisdom and produced evidence of the limits to growth. Jack Davis will summarize the current call for "Degrowth" and his views on why degrowth is unlikely to happen.

A RoundTable discussion with attendees will follow.

Last Meeting: December 1. 2021

Subject: "The AP reported ten days ago that roughly 20,000 members of the US Intelligence Community do not have their Covid-19 shots -- and did not seem inclined to get them. The latest numbers are still about half that. Jack Davis, having spent 28 years in the IC, 25 of which were with the CIA, will offer his perspectives on some of the significant security implications of this situation and will take a couple of rounds of questions from members."

Presenters:  Dave Helgager, Jack Davis

Previous Meeting: October. 13, 2021

Subject: Climate Change and Mass Migration - Mitigation and Adaptation
Presenters:  Dave Helgager, Jack Davis, Dan Dana and Barry Zack

Synopsis: Our presenters discussed one of Climate Change's greatest threats: The populations that will be forced to migrate due to sea-level rise.

Previous Meeting: Sept. 15, 2021

Subject: The President's Daily Briefing
Presenters:  Dave Helgager and Jack Davis

Synopsis: Jack Davis will discuss the President's Daily Briefing from his perspective of having worked for a couple of years on the staff that produces it. He will touch on the sources and types of intelligence information that it includes, its depth of detail and the process by which it reflects the current positions of other members of the US Intelligence Community.

Time and interest permitting, he will present a couple of specific examples of high priority events and how they were handled that resulted in quick and effective action that benefited the US and its key allies.

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Previous Meeting: June 16, 2021

Subject: The Illusion of Communication
Presenters:  Dave Helgager and Jack Davis

Synopsis: A paraphrase of key points made by Dave Pollard

“The great enemy of communication is the illusion of it” William Whyte famously said.

The functioning (and dysfunction) of our whole society rests on the myth that what the speaker is saying and what the listener is perceiving is more often than not quite different. The disconnect is thought to result from our conditioning, beliefs, expectations and hopes and significantly molds our worldviews.

In general, we are incapable of learning anything we don’t care about.

What doesn’t fit the listener’s worldview and ways of thinking will simply not be heard, much less understood accurately. This is our nature.

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Previous Meeting:
May 12, 2021

Subject: Evolution's Role in Racism

Presenters:  Dave Helgager and Jack Davis

Synopsis: This Roundtable will be soliciting the views of members as to whether evolution has played a major role in the development of racism. An argument worth considering is that our species has, over the past couple of thousand years, increasingly and effectively stopped evolving in the Darwinian sense. We no longer allow the sick, the weak, the hungry, the least clever or resourceful to perish without a fuss. Others claim that we humans have evolved sufficiently as social creatures to value the rich diversity of races and ethnicities available to us.

Sun Tsu who wisely said: “Know your enemy”. If there is scientific evidence that racism is indeed embedded in our genes then that reality needs to be recognized, thought about, and reckoned with.

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Previous Meeting:
March 17, 2021

Subject: "Why do you call yourself a Humanist?"

Presenters:  Dave Helgager and Jack Davis


A few things to think about:     
  • What do Humanists believe in?  Is humanism a set of ethics or ideas about how we should live and act?

  • What is the difference, if any, between a Humanist and a "Secular Humanist"? 

  • What processes or approaches do Humanists prefer to answer the larger questions of life, living and death?

  • What are some examples of Humanism? 

  • Is there a place for spirituality in a Humanist philosophy? 

  • Indeed is Humanism a philosophy and does it matter? 

  • Do Humanists believe in a god?  

  • What do Humanists believe about a person's right to die? 

  • Humanists believe they can lead ethical and fulfilling lives and aspire to the greater good. Are they right or just another tribe of like-minded individuals?  
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Previous Meeting:
January 20, 2021

Subject: A New Presidential Era

Presenters:  Dave Helgager and Jack Davis

Synopsis: This Roundtable discussion happens to fall on January 20th, Inauguration Day, and the beginning of a new Presidency and Vice Presidency, and for what many of us believe, hopefully, is the beginning of rational, scientific, and sane thinking after the previous four years.  The focus of the "Table" will be on this new leadership, the events of Wednesday the 6th, and what you think all of this  means and doesn't mean for us as a country and as Humanists. 


Previous Meetings:
December 23, 2020

Subject: Religious Victimhood

Presenters:  Dave Helgager and Jack Davis

Synopsis: HUSBAY might want to consider an initiative to provide more active and available guidance to others, particularly non members who have been the victims of some of the intolerable practices of mainstream religions ranging from the inquisition to shunning, shaming, banishing, discrimination, peer pressure and  "brainwashing" to name a few. 

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November 18, 2020

Subject: Biden Priorities 

Presenter:  Dave Helgager

Synopsis: What initiatives need to be President Biden's priorities as he takes over the reins of our government? According to experts it's considered that he faces the greatest challenges since FDR as assumes the Presidency. For this SIG Round Table we will ask those present to offer up to a five minute presentation a list of up to three Secular Humanist/atheist initiatives for the new President to consider, followed by discussion.


October 7, 2020

Subject: Cancel Culture (Definition)

Presenter: Jack Davis and Dave Helgager

Synopsis: Will Darwin be subjected to "cancel culture"? Jack Davis and Dave Helgager will lead this session, which will focus on the effects of "cancel culture" on our society.

Given scientific and political leaders who have fallen, it's possible Darwin could come under a "reevaluation" for missteps that cancel you for keeps. Jack Davis will read a number of quotes from diverse sources defining "cancel culture" and then use the round table approach (See the 'How It Works' paragraph above)


September 9, 2020

Subject: The 'Prepper' and 'Survivalist' Movements of the 70's and 80's

Presenter: Jack Davis

Synopsis: Jack's presentation focueds on his negative and positive impressions and observations about American survivalists and preppers spanning the last 45 years.

He declares two biases, having grown up in a culture with a history of floods and hurricanes and having spent 20+ years ferreting out the details of the strategic weapons systems of America's arch enemies:the USSR and the People's Republic of China (PRC).

These exposures led to his researching ways to cope with a variety of natural as well as military, technological and political emergencies.

At the height of the cold war, the most expert opinions leaned to odds of about 1:100 that the world would experience an exchange of some weapon of mass destruction whether as an accident or a premeditated act of war leading him to prepare for such an unfortunate event.

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August 19, 2020

Facilitators:  David Helgager

Subject: What Drives Fake News?Who exactly shares it, and why?

Description: There is news that is purposefully false and spread to mislead others for a particular agenda. More prevalent in recent years many people are labeling journalism from long-respected sources as untrustworthy or downright false.

There are obvious ideological drivers for this phenomenon intended to undermine political opponents by any means necessary. But there might be another reason people are drawn to declaring, or rejecting long-respected journalism as “fake news!”; a need for order.


The paper on this subject is available as a PDF that can be downloaded from our website.

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July 15, 2020

Facilitators:  David Helgager and Jack Stuart

Description: Why some believe Climate Change is not the end of the world.

Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that it's real and poses a major threat to all mankind, there are many in our country that have dismissed Climate Change as a hoax.

Below you'll find a link to piece on climate denial.

It's Title:Why I Believe Climate Change Is Not the End of the World, which was the inspiration for this session.

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May 6, 2020

Facilitator:  Dave Helgager

Description: My Life In Shelter: "Oh, the times they are a changing" (line in a Bob Dylan song)

Wednesday's Round Table gave those attending a chance to expound on their experiences sheltering in place. What have you learned? What humorous experiences have you had? Is it time to begin opening up?

In the first round, each particpant got up to five minutes to share his or her thoughts. Time permitting, in a second round we will give everyone an opportunity to pose a brief question or summary comment.

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March 11, 2020

Fascilitators: David Helgager and Dan Dana

Description:  The topic of discussion is - “What would be appropriate and productive for Humanists sharing their thoughts?” Are we missing the opportunity to articulate the secular humanist philosophy to some people who might never otherwise experience a more intellectually free and honest way of thinking about religion. (If organized religion requires of its adherents that they "witness" their beliefs, in a nation where religious and intellectual freedom is prized and guaranteed, secular humanists have every right to do the same, not to upset and disturb others, but to help them free themselves from dogmatic, rigid and often crushing religious practices.)

January 29, 2020

Fascilitators: David Helgager and Jack Davis

Description: On the recent anniversary of Martin Luther's excommunication from the Catholic Church in 1521, for questioning the church's selling of indulgences, a couple of us shared a few cathartic personal stories about the religious indoctrination we were exposed to (endured) in our formative years. This led to some thinking about when and what made us start thinking for ourselves about religion, and how that changed the direction of our lives.

Thinking we could use a break from the current political discord, we suggested that this as the topic for a "Roundtable" discussion.  Each member had up to five minutes to share their experiences, followed by another round of comments or questions arose. We then had a final "wrapup" round of comments regarding what was learned from the discussion.

Date: Jan. 8

Fascilitators: David Helgager and Jack Davis

Description: Politics in 2020 (A very sucessful turnout, with nearly every attendee participating.) We don't think we have heard the last on this subject.

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Our First Meeting: December 11, 2019

Subject: The Impeacment Process

A very enthusiastic crowd met,
and broadly participated in the discussion.
While there were differences in opinion,
all speakers were treated with respect.

If only Congress could behave similarly.

If you have ideas for the future meetingas,
or would like to lead this group
please let the the website editor know.



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