May 2017




As you can see we have a new name and logo for our newsletter. Congratulations to Rod Broker who submitted the winning entry.


Secular Conversations

—(public welcome) freethinkers participate in respectful dialogue sharing ideas and opinions on a variety of subjects. Videos, essays, participant and guest speakers provide topics at 2:00 pm on the third Saturday each month at Cypress Hall, 8413 SW 80th Street Ocala.

This Month

May 20th 2017: What Being a Humanist Means To Me

Instructor: Harvey Paskin.

Although an engineer by education (BSEE, MS, PhD) Harvey Paskin’s strongest inclination is towards people management and strategic thinking. He entered the Air Force through ROTC and retired with the rank of Colonel after 22 years of service. Next came 17 years in the defense industry, retiring as a Director of Strategic Planning in the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Finally, after 9 years of business development and strategic planning consultancy as a sole proprietor, Harvey and his wife retired to Stone Creek in Ocala.

A panel of Humanists of North Central Florida members will discuss what being a Humanists means to them and how becoming a Humanist has changed their lives and relationships.

Panelists: Bob Zannelli, Rod Broker, Ellen Goodman and Pat Mac Murray.

  1. What set you on your path to Humanism?
  2. What religious traditions, if any, did you leave behind?
  3. What “pot holes” did you see in the traditions of your previous religious experience?
  4. How did your family, friends, and colleagues react when you told them about your path to Humanism?
  5. What suggestions would you give others who now follow a path to humanism?
  6. Did you find that your position impacted others to consider making a similar move as yours?
  7. What does being a Humanist mean to you?
  8. What distinguishes humanism from other ways of thinking?

Next Three Months

June 17th 2017:  Commemorating Juneteenth:

“Amazing grace,” one of America’s most recognized musical pieces, was written by Sir John Newton, a slave captain. He participated in many abhorrent evils and vicious brutalities inflicted upon Africans aboard slave ships. Many years and voyages later, he was moved to write, “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” To understand the violence of many inner cities today, we must begin with understanding the condition and confinement of slave ships which kept human persons penned in, struggling to breath, for water and light.

Leroy Chandler’s historical analysis of the slave ship is key to understanding the conditions of America’s inner cities today. He has spent years acquiring material of the African American experience with his “museum on wheels” in Marion County. More importantly, is his studied reflection of the material connecting the past of slave ships to inner cities today. A scholarly “tour de force” Newton had a conversion of his complicity in inhumanity, “at which my heart now shudders.” Can Americans have a conversion of heart and mind for complicity in maintaining the confinement of too many persons, penned in America’s inner cities?

Leroy Chandler will take us on a voyage of discovery, enlightenment, and hopefully conversion of heart and mind. Come aboard, and begin the perilous journey to change the course of history. We are the captains of our destiny.

July 15th 2017:  Nuclear Power…A Blessing or a Curse.

Instructor: Bob Zannelli

Should the US shy away from the use of nuclear energy to meet power generation needs? Are the risks of nuclear energy being evaluated rationally? Using videos produced by The Teaching Company, we will learn, at a basic laymen’s level, about radiation and nuclear fission and take an unbiased look at the pros and cons of nuclear energy. Questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed.

Bob Zannelli earned enough credits for  Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology and Nuclear Engineering Technology from the University of New York Regents College.

After six years in the Navy as a nuclear power plant operator, Bob spent 27 years at various nuclear power facilities.  His responsibilities were in start up engineering and engineering support, focused mainly in the area of instrumentation, control and safety systems  included new installation, design review, developing operating procedures and establishing certification standards and programs for nuclear technicians.

As an avocation, he collaborated with the physicist Dr. Gerald Fitzpatrick on three papers on the puzzle of  Fermion Families in particle physics  and with Dr. Victor Stenger (along with other members of Dr. Stenger’s “physics gang” on eight books and two papers, fine tuning questions in cosmology and the defense of New Atheism.

August 19th: Marijuana-Science or Fiction

 While our history with cannabis has been known since the beginning of civilization, amazingly there are many myths and misconceptions about its effects on our body.

At a time when Cannabis products have been approved in several states and recently in Florida for either medical or recreational purposes, our communities need to understand the possible benefits and risks of its use. For this lecture, I have done a comprehensive review of the literature, from historical features of the plant and the data regarding its potential medical benefits, to its short and long term side effects.


Dr. Gaudier is neurologist practicing in Ocala for 25 years. He studied medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and then move to the states for his Neurology training in Alabama, before establishing his practice in Marion County.  He is former president of the Marion County Medical Society, former member of the hospice board and among other positions was chairman of the hospital ethics committee.  He is known for his interest in education and has lectured extensively on topics of history, science, medicine and neurology.

Secular Friends at Home

Small Group Gatherings for Members Only
Fourth Tuesday in 2017
Host locations are now being accepted
from HNCFL Members who wish to host either
a 12:00 p.m. Lunch or a 6:00 p.m. Dinner
on May 23, June 27, or July 25.
Host in your home or favorite restaurant.
You make the meal arrangements.
Four to eight other Members sign up to join you.
Good food and conversation builds friendships.
Click HERE for more details about hosting.
Click HERE if you want to be a Host.

Secular Tables

HNCFL members and friends come together to enjoy conversation over lunch. Held monthly on the first Wednesday at 11:30 AM at a variety of restaurants. We welcome suggestions and input regarding where you would like to meet.

Seating is not prearranged nor tables pushed together preferring instead to have smaller groups at separate tables for easier communication.

May 3rd, 11:30 a.m.

Amrit Palace

3415 SW College Rd., Ocala, Fl. (352) 873.8500

Sizable eatery serving a large menu of Northern Indian cuisine in stylish environs.


Events You Don’t Want to Miss

In Reason We Trust


In Reason We Trust

76th Annual AHA Conference

June 8-11, 2017

Charleston, SC

Informative sessions on humanist philosophy, science, social justice, the First Amendment, and more.Expert speakers and guests. Check it out



June 5th through July 28th

R.A.M.A.L. Educational & Social Services strives to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most by “Reaching, Aiming, Motivating and Leading.” Our mission is to provide information, training, and life coaching to empower, inspire and motivate individuals to improve their lives and the community in which they live.

Mission Statement

To provide information, training, and life coaching which will empower, inspire, and motivate individuals to improve their lives and the community in which they live.

The summer enrichment camp will be held at the Marion County Boys and Girls Club.

We need individuals for tutoring, mentoring, special skills (i. e., art, arts. & crafts, computer, financial literacy, etc.).

Remember, we are open for suggestions of something you can offer which is not listed. Ask yourself, “What can I offer that would be fun, or informational, or educational? What can I offer which will enrich the life of an at risk student? Educational? Fun games? Writing – poetry, stories? Crafts? Grooming? Jewelry making or other craft? Chess? Computer skills? Music? These suggestions are not all inclusive. Offer an idea or a suggestion and it will be explored to see if the program can support it.

Thank you!!

The RAMAL curriculum for the Summer will consist of:

1. Math – 1 certified teacher

2. Reading – 1 certified teacher

3. Life Skills (financial literacy, self esteem, character development)

4. Computer Literacy

5. Health & Fitness

6. Art


Other News


There is a new PO Box to use as the mailing address for the HNCFL. Just be extra careful with all those 2s and 7s.


Checking Out a Summer Volunteer Opportunity

HNCFL Members toured the Boys and Girls Club of Marion County in March with an eye to volunteering there with our partner R.A.M.A.L. this Summer 2017.


Freedom Beyond Belief 


In January of 2016, Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) reached the culmination of multiple years of planning and preparation by much of their staff and some volunteers. They finally achieved something that on one had done before — the first deployment of a national Humanist Disaster Recover (HDR) Team.

You can check out their web site by clicking  here.

You can also their HDR team by clicking here.


The U.S. Constitution provides protection for disagreeing with leaders and policies. INDIVISIBLE is an online guide developed by former progressive congressional staffers who “believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda- but a resistance built in the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.” This short guide offers proven strategies for action and making your voice heard. Google INDIVISIBLE to read this free guide. Groups have formed in Stone Creek, OTOW, Dunnellon and Ocala.

Have a smart-phone or tablet? Text RESIST to 50409. You will receive a message from RESISTBOT who will invite you to identify your concerns and what you want your leaders in DC to know. It will then send your comments to their offices. It is the least one can do.

Social Media


MEETUP:  Ocala/Marion Co Freethinkers, Humanists, Agnostics site is available to everyone online.  You can find them HERE.

Facebook:  Humanists of North Central Florida Community needs LIKES.  

The HNCFL directory (password protected) is available on our website.

Help Wanted!

Facebook Manager

  • Manage Page Roles and Settings
  • Edit the Page
  • Create and Delete Posts
  • Respond to and Delete Comments

Newsletter Editor/Publisher

  • Collect monthly Humanist items of interest
  • Edit as appropriate
  • Peer review by board of directors before publishing
  • Publish the newsletter on a monthly basis




Chamber & Economic Partnership: To Be The Catalyst For A Prosperous Community

To learn more about CEP click HERE.

HNCFL is now a partner with CEP. Partnership with the CEP will be beneficial only if HNCFL members participate in activities. Volunteers are invited to plan a CEP event for young professionals. To see the benefits of using CEP to schedule such events just click HERE.

 Quote of the Month

“I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.”
― Kurt Vonnegut―

On the lighter side








Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in HNCFL Newsletters
One comment on “May 2017
  1. Anonymous says:

    Super Job Danny. You will be hard to replace.

    Liked by 1 person

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 18 other followers

Follow Humanists of North Central Florida on
%d bloggers like this: