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November 12th ACA Meeting at Ventana del Soul

September 19, 2006

The ACA's Sunday morning meeting for November 12th will be at the community center Ventana del Soul at the slightly earlier time of 11am. The location is 1834 East Oltorf St., just Southeast of downtown off I-35. See their map for directions. Ventana del Soul is a special place we think you'll like. It may become a regular meeting place for ACA. Please come to our first meeting there and let us know what you think.

Ventana del Soul charges a fee for the use of their space. We get a discount because we're a non-profit, and all of our food purchases will be deducted from our bill. In other words, if we have a good turn-out, and if people have a few bagels and muffins, we get the space for free. Just tell the cashier you are with ACA to ensure we get credit for your purchase. The cafe is downstairs, but the meeting will be upstairs in the big room on the right.

To help kick things off, we have a guest speaker for this meeting. Oak DeBerg is a speaker for MAAF, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, Oak will speak to us about atheists in the military.

Oak DeBerg joined the US Air Force in 1965 after completing Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon commissioning, he served as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch control officer for five years. Following this assignment, Oak worked in the areas of research and development and weapons acquisition. He was involved in the early development of unmanned aerial vehicles during the Viet Nam conflict. Later, he became responsible for integrating conventional weapons on the then new B-1B bomber. In the late 1970s, after joining the Air Staff at the Pentagon, he became an assistant executive secretary to the US Air Force scientific Advisory Board. In the early 80s, he was the scientific and technical adviser for, as well as a delegate to, the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and the Intermediate Nuclear Forces reduction treaty negotiations with the Soviet Union. He later went on to become the Assistant Chief-of-Staff for the Air Force Systems Command. He retired in 1995 with the rank of Colonel.

Colonel (Ret.) DeBerg holds a B.S. in Chemistry (University of California at Berkeley), a M.S. in aerospace engineering (Air Force Institute of Technology) and a B.A. in philosophy (The University of Texas at San Antonio). Colonel DeBerg has spoken at Vassar College on "The Need for a Universal Draft" as well as "Military Policy and Treatment of Gays." He also has given numerous talks to local civic groups on Charles Darwin, evolution and so-called intelligent design. On four occasions, he has given testimony to the Texas State Board of Education on the scientific and political issues involved in high school textbook selection.

After our guest speaker's talk, we will have a board meeting. Please consider lingering and participating. The room is big, so those who want to chat should not be a distraction to anyone who wants to listen to the board meeting.

Our reservation for the space ends at 1:00 pm. It will be possible to linger in the cafe or outside after the meeting.

Thanks to David Kennedy for finding the space and Don Rhoades and Joe Rhodes for helping to check it out.

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