The 30th annual national Convention of American Atheists April 9-11, 2004 — San Diego, Calif. join us in beautiful San Diego, California for a gala event — our 30th annual national Convention of American Atheists – Convention 2004
We have an exciting three-day program including talks by distinguished speakers, panels and workshops, our annual Member’s Dinner, the Life Member & Legacy Members Dinner, plus a magnificent Harbor Excursion Cruise!
The 2004 Convention will be held at the luxurious Shelter Pointe Hotel and Marina on Shelter Island. This is a world-class resort tucked away on the tip of Shelter Island in beautiful San Diego Bay. Downtown is just a few short minutes away by car. Shelter Island includes two giant swimming pools and Jacuzzis, fitness club, private beach and volleyball courts with bicycle and court rentals, water sports, boat rentals, plenty of jogging paths and nearby championship golfing in San Diego and La Jolla! There’s also a picnic and barbecue area, full service waterfront restaurant, and AJ’s Lounge.
A Great Vacation Get-Away
The weather is just right at this time of year in San Diego, a perfect break for those of you living in those cold “snow-belt” areas! Warm-up, play, learn and spend time with your fellow Atheists in one of the great vacation spots on the West Coast! Before and after the convention (with our special room rates), you, friends and family can experience the fantastic attractions in and around one of the premier tourism destinations in the country!
* The San Diego Visitors Bureau web site is your place to start on the web. Gets maps, a list of area attractions and discount coupons. Find out about the culture, cuisine and shopping in and around San Diego!
* Balboa Park is one of the many “must see” attractions in the region. There are over 15 world-class museums here including the natural history museum, art museum and the Reuben Fleet Planetarium. The Inez Grant Memorial Rose Garden is one of the major such sites in the country. There are a variety of wonderful restaurants, sculpture gardens, and so much more!
* A drive north are other destination spots, including Disneyland, Legoland (yes, there is such a place, and kids 2-12 love it!) and Universal Studios.
* Closer in and around San Diego, you can visit Sea World, a 150-acre marine life park featuring Shamu, new attractions, aquatic shows, incredible marine habitats and aquariums, and the new Pirates 4-D program.
* The San Diego Zoo is one of the most incredible such facilities in the country. Here, over 4,000 rare and endangered birds, mammals and reptiles are protected, along with 6,500 varieties of exotic plants. See the Giant Pandas, the Polar Bear Plunge and the Ituri Forest! The Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is in Escondido, and includes a 2,200-acre exotic animal and botanical reserve.
* If you love science and particularly astronomy, one of the great historical telescopes of our era–the 200-Hale telescope–is the centerpiece at Mt. Palomar Observatory. Operated by the California Institute of Technology, Palomar is open to the public during the day with self-guided tours, museum and a gift shop.
Special Convention and Vacation Rate
As usual, American Atheists has arranged for a special Convention rate that allows you to make a “mini-vacation” and save money by arriving early and/or leaving late. Many of our members use the Convention weekend as an anchor for their annual vacations!
The special Convention rates are:
Deluxe Single/Double: $99/night
Jr. Suites: $149/night
1-Bedroom Suites: $189/night
You must make reservations directly with the resort by calling 1-800-566-2524. Be sure to identify yourself as being with the American Atheists convention so you may qualify for the special per day room rate. The above rates do not include the 10.5% state and local taxes. Registration cut-off date for this special convention rate is March 8, 2004. Reservations made after that date will be accepted only on an availability basis and only available hotel rates will then apply. We urge you to call now while space is available!
Getting to the Shelter Pointe Resort …
There is free shuttle service to the Shelter Pointe Resort from major transportation providers including the San Diego International Airport and AMTRAK. Prior to or upon your arrival, just contact the hotel at 619-221-8000.
Speakers and other Convention Events
As usual, the American Atheist Convention features a stimulating and informative line-up of speakers addresses a variety of topics of crucial interest to Atheists and other nonbelievers …
ELLEN JOHNSON is President of American Atheists. She has served with the organization for over two decades, and since 1994 has co-hosted “The Atheist Viewpoint” television program carried on dozens of cable systems throughout the nation and on the internet.
Last year, Ms. Johnson served as Chairperson of the Godless American March on Washington (GAMOW) Task Force, which organized the first national gathering of diverse Atheist, Freethought and Secular Humanist groups in Washington, D.C. Her call for our nonbeliever community to “work together on the basis of mutual respect” struck a chord with thousands of nonbelievers throughout the nation.
Ellen Johnson is a frequent media guest on national and regional programs. She received her Masters Degree in Political Science from the prestigious New School for Social Research and is a second-generation Atheist.
EDDIE TABASH, Attorney and First Amendment political activist. Mr. Tabash is a Constitutional and civil rights attorney from California who will speak on “ATHEISTS ENGAGING THE POLITICAL PROCESS: How to Effectively Support and Oppose Legislation …”
Mr. Tabash has emerged as a key force in raising political awareness throughout America’s diverse community of nonbelievers. He serves on the Platform Committee and State Central Committee of the California Democratic Party.
ALEXANDER WAUGH, Novelist and music critic. Born in 1963, Alexander Waugh comes from a line of distinguished writers and thinkers. He is the grandson of the popular distinguished British writer Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh (1903-1966, author of Brideshead Revisted, Decline and Fall and A Handful of Dust., and the son of columnist Auberon Waught and novelist Teresa Waugh.
Alexander Waugh read Music and Manchester University, and became Chief Opera Critic for the “Mail on Sunday” newspaper and the London Evening Standard. He is a renowned authority on music and written several books including “Classical Music: A New Way of Listening,” a delightful work that has been translated into 14 languages. His recent book is Time–Its Origins, Its Enigma, Its History published by Carroll & Graf of New York. In this seminal work, Waugh explores the origins of our idea of time beginning (perhaps) with the Big Bang through the writings of Zeno, Gailileo, Newton, Caesar, Einstein and others.
Alexander Waugh is also a publisher, a cartoonist and illustrator, and he composed the music for the award-winning stage hit, “Bon Voyage!”
Mr. Waugh will be speaking on his latest work, God. We are pleased to also host a book signing for this distinguished author following his lecture.
DEBRA OLSON is the granddaughter of the late California Governor Culbert L. Olson (1938-1942). She graduated from UCLA Magna cum Lauda with degrees in Business and Political Science. In addition to a career in real estate and development, she has continued her family’s legacy of political activism and is involved in the Kucinich for President Campaign. In addition, she has been involved in philanthropic and social justice movements, active in the Children’s Global Village; and served as Co-Chair of the Women’s International Advisory Committee. Today, Ms. Olson also develops strategies for grassroots advocacy organizations, and advises groups on everything from voter participation to fundraising and coalition building.
Another family relation with deep roots in progressive politics was Debra Olson’s Great Grandmother, Deliah King Olson, one of the first Suffragette leaders in the United States.
AROUP CHATTERJEE is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Final Verdict which probes the life and sordid legacy of Mother Teresa.
Mr. Chatterjee was born in Calcutta, India; his father was an attorney, Atheist, and involved in politics. After studying medicine and two years of hospital practice, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1985 where he pursued graduate studies, married and started a family. It was here, and not in India, where he first began seeing western media coverage and celebrity-fascination with Mother Teresa. An intellectual who had taken up the Western Enlightenment weltanshauung–and skeptical, then tired of the uncritical adulation of the Catholic nun–Aroup Chatterjee began investigating. He finished the first draft of The Final Verdict but publishers repeated slammed the doors. Macmillan UK signed, but then withdrew from the contract. The book was finally published from Kolkata (as Calcutta has been officially renamed).
Mr. Chatterjee’s exhaustive work blows the media gloss off the life and deeds of Mother Teresa. We will host a book signing for the author at the Convention.
FRANK ZINDLER is the Director of the American Atheist Press, and Editor of the quarterly American Atheist Magazine. Mr. Zindler is an internationally renowned science writer and linguist, with an expertise in over two dozen contemporary and ancient languages. He is a former professor of biology and geology.
Frank Zindler is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society and the American Schools of Oriental Research. He is also a member and participant in the Jesus Seminar, a global community of scholars probing the early history of Christianity.
Mr. Zindler will be speaking on “NOAH’S SECOND FLOOD: Religious Domination in the Media and the Great Disinformation Inundation.” He explores how America’s broadcast, electronic and print media have been flooded with disinformation on a myriad of topics all manufactured by religious propagandists. The truths of history and science are being swamped by a rising sea of noisome religious revisionism. What can skeptics and others who are guided by the scientific method do about it?
TIM SLAGLE is a nationally famous entertainer whose politically-charged style of comedy has appeared on MTV, C-SPAN, Showtime and other media outlets. You may know him from his boisterous, witty and controversial delivery at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Washington, DC where he burned an American flag while producing a copy of the Bill of Rights. “It wasn’t the real flag, only forty-nine stars. Rather than amend the constitution to protect the flag, I though I’d just amend the flag to protect the Constitution!”
Tim tells us that he arrived in Chicago in 1986, pulled up a barstool and proceeded to mess up his hair. In the period since arriving in the Windy City, his hair has gone from normal to shaved, from jet black to two-toned, from brush-cut to dread locks.”
“If we were really serious about saving the earth, each and every one of us would be perfectly willing to spend the rest of our lives without cars, toilet paper or underarm deodorant; and I’d rather be dead. Who wants to live like the Amish?”
CHARLIE BOY is a rapper, humorist, and, yes, an Atheist who brings his edge brand of humor to our Convention! We’ve had classical, pop … and now rap. Why not?
Charlie Boy’s latest CD, Da Fearless Weirdo has been released to critical acclaim. He touches on a reality that most rappers have ignored. Blending harsh humor, poignant jokes and expressive rhymes (Is he the next Nelly?), it has been described as one of the funniest rap albums in the history of the genre. Dave Kong describes “Weirdo” as having “solid musical underpinning,” and “the coolest rap CD I have ever heard.”
CONRAD GOERINGER is Editor of AANEWS and a frequent contributor to The American Atheist Magazine and the Newsletter. He is a former antiquarian book dealer and investigative reporter. His articles on organized crime, international politics, First Amendment concerns and cultural and scientific issues have appeared in such diverse publications as “Schism,” “New Times” and “Sky & Telescope.”
Mr. Goeringer will speak on “Searching for Frances Farmer, the Lost Atheist.” For years, he has relentlessly pursued the story of Frances Farmer, the famous 30s and 40s-era actress who starred in such stage-and-screen hits as “Come and Get It!,” “Golden Boy,” and “Son of Fury.” But while popularly acknowledged as a Hollywood beauty queen and celebrity, Farmer had a parallel life as an heretic, radical political activist, crusader for peace and social justice and an intellectual. At age 16 she shocked and outraged much of the nation with a controversial Atheistic essay. As she rose to stardom, Farmer never abandoned her political principles and as an advocate for victims of the Spanish Civil War, for strikers and the working men and women of America including the dispossessed farm laborers of California. She ran afowl of the law, spent years in an oppressive mental institute where, some say, she was subjected to inhumane experimental treatment, perhaps a lobotomy, and the loss of her rights. Using published and original archival information not unearthed for decades, including censored FBI files and other historical resources, Mr. Goeringer gives us a glimpse of who Frances Farmer really was. Goeringer is working on a forthcoming book, Frances Farmer: Heretic, Radical, Feminist …
RELATED ARTICLE: THE ANNUAL MEMBER’S DINNER
The social high-point of the Convention is the Annual Member’s Banquet. Here, we award those special people who have distinguished themselves for contributions to the First Amendment separation of church and state, Atheism, and American Atheists. The Banquet also includes the yearly Address From the President, Ellen Johnson.
Served buffet-style, this gathering will take place on Friday evening, April 9, 2004. The Shelter Pointe Hotel Chefs and Staff are known for their gourmet menu, and this soiree will be no exception. The menu features a variety of Tender Greens served with your choice of Dressings; Oriental Tortellini Salad; Angel Hair Pasta Salad with Smoked Ham; Chicken Tarragon; Fettucini Alfredo; Seasoned Rice Pilaf, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and fresh Seasonal Vegetables; freshly baked rolls with butter; Chef’s sweet table, Coffee, decaffeinated coffee and tea.
The Member’s Dinner includes talks, presentations and other entertainment. The $39.95 charge covers gratuity, taxes and other costs.
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