Frederick Douglass–Part II by Richard Peterson

July 1, 2018

Frederick Douglass (February 1818–February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writings. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave. []



Professor Richard Peterson is Director of Externships, Director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, and Assistant Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law where he has taught since 2002. He supervises 2nd and 3rd year law students in providing advocacy and legal services to parents of children with disabilities, and frequently provides instruction and training to school districts, parents, disability support groups, and others on the civil rights of children with disabilities and their parents under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and management of conflict in that domain. His publications may be accessed through the Pepperdine Law web site. In addition to his law degree, Professor Peterson holds an MDR and LLM in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law.


General Thomas L. Kane and Brigadier General Alexander W. Doniphan Defenders of Religious Freedom By Jeffrey Shields

June 20, 2018

   Although General Thomas L. Kane was a Presbyterian himself, he was nonetheless a powerful advocate for the religious freedom of the Latter-day Saints during their pioneer days. For example, Gen. Kane helped persuade Pres. Polk to form the Mormon Battalion, he helped obtain U.S. government permission for Mormon refugees to occupy lands along the Missouri River in Iowa when they had nowhere else to go, he gave an important speech and positive recommendations about the Utah Mormons to Pres. Fillmore and others in the East, including defending Brigham Young’s reputation, and he helped mediate resolution of the Utah War by traveling 3,000+ miles via Panama to Salt Lake City to help broker the end of the hostilities. Likewise, although Brigadier General Alexander W. Doniphan was not a Mormon, he literally risked his own life in the defense of the religious freedom of others. Notably, at the risk of being court martialed and potentially executed himself, Gen. Doniphan refused to obey an illegal direct order from his senior commander, Major General Lucas, to shoot both Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith. In other circumstances as well, Gen. Doniphan, ever a supporter of religious freedom, used the legal and legislative system and his personal influence to stand up for the rights of persons of other faiths.


   Presented by:   Jeffrey Shields is the principal of Shields Law Offices, which was founded in 1997. He practices business litigation exclusively, resolving both international and domestic disputes, and is AV rated by MartindaleHubbell. He has represented a wide variety of commercial clients in federal, state and bankruptcy courts, and has been acting as the lead attorney in trials and arbitrations for over 30 years. He is a member of the State Bar of California, and currently serves as an Advisor Emeritus to its International Law Section. He currently serves on the International Board of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and is also the former Chair of its Religious Freedom Subcommittee. Jeffrey speaks fluent Japanese, and previously worked from 1989-1990 in Tokyo, Japan, where he was a Foreign Certified Attorney (Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi). Among other memberships, he is currently a member of the International Bar Association, the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, and the Business Litigation and International Sections of the Orange County Bar Association.


Bono, Rockstar Philanthropist By Treg Julander

May 21, 2018

Bono, the charismatic frontman for the rock band U2, is one of the world's best-known philanthropic performers and was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal. In addition to writing songs steeped in social and political themes as the band’s primary lyricist, Bono has been instrumental in founding and supporting several causes aimed at pursuing global humanitarian relief. Prominent among these efforts is the ONE Campaign, an international, non-profit, advocacy organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and Product Red, a brand licensed to partner companies that raises money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Treg Julander is an attorney with the Ostergar Law Group in Mission Viejo, where his practice includes appeals, construction law, and business litigation. Since 2008, he has also served as General Counsel for Advent Companies in San Juan Capistrano, a general contractor that builds multi-family housing. Treg is the author of “Until Murder Do Us Part,” an LDS legal thriller. He also hosts a podcast about rock music called Rock Tale Hour. Treg lives in Rancho Santa Margarita with his wife, Jenny, and is an avid U2 fan!



Vietnam Revisited by Fritz Mehrtens

May 15, 2018

“Fritz Mehrtens, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and Vietnam veteran, presents Vietnam Revisited, a review of the events leading up to the struggle and the US involvement in it.  Vietnam was a major feature of the turbulent decade of the ‘60s that so changed American culture, and this presentation identifies the people and events that caused the conflict.  It further examines the two phases of US engagement in the conflict, the ‘Vietnamization’ program that began the US withdrawal, and the eventual fall of Saigon in 1975.  ~ 45 minutes.


“Steven Spielberg, Filmmaker” by Matt Ball

April 30, 2018

Matt Ball comes with a foundation of marketing and development in the film industry with an emphasis in special event projects, stage performance, writing, and producing. As one of those in the first wave of employees at Dream Works Studios-before there was an SKG Studios-Matt wore any hat that was necessary to help launch the feature films departmant. Yet his heart was always personally attached to the prospect of having a say-so as to what ultimately got on the screen. Consequently, writing has always been the secret sauce of having a voice that people would want to hear. 

Currently, Matt's responsibilities as Director of Public Affairs (North America West Area) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints involves developing relationships with opinion leaders from academia, business, government and religion, public or privately maintained. Matt's work ultimately involves building bridges with those people or entities that might help or hinder the LDS Church. His goal is to clarify public positions, demystify folklore or misunderstood doctrine, and to help introduce the Morman phenomenon into positive, mainstream awareness. In his spare time, if you don't find Matt with his family, he might be at the movie theater or on his road bike or mountain bike, cycling for the sheer love of it! Matt has been married for 37 years and is a father of seven children.

Matt will talk about his personal experience with Dream Works Studios and his subsequent interaction with Steven Spielberg. In conjuntion with that, he will connect his personal experience with Steven Spielberg as it compares to the comprehensive analysis that was done in the book, "The Men Who Would Be King".


Albert Einstein and the World’s Most Famous Equation: E = MC2 by Dan Fuller

November 10, 2017

Albert Einstein and the World's Most Famous Equation: E = MC2.  We all know the equation but do we know what it means and more importantly, its significance in our lives? You don’t have to be a mathematician or a rocket scientist to appreciate this equation and the genius who brought it to us while working as a clerk in a patent office in 1905.


Benjamin Franklin, the “First American” by JUDGE BRETT LONDON

November 10, 2017

Benjamin Franklin, the “First American,” was a most remarkable person.  He was a writer and printer and created over 1,000 famous quotes and proverbs.  He was a model citizen and founded the first public library, the first volunteer fire department, the first public hospital, the first liberal arts academy, the first think tank, and the first mutual insurance company.  He was an inventor and created the lightning rod, bi-focal glasses, flexible urinary catheter, Franklin stove, and daylight savings time.  He was a scientist, and he conducted groundbreaking experiments in electricity.  He was the person who persuaded the French to join the American Revolution, and he was involved in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, and the Constitution.  He was the most beloved celebrity of his time—with his funeral being  attended by over 20,000 people.  Come explore the life of Benjamin Franklin.


Founding Principles, by Becky Davies

October 15, 2017

This presentation is about our nearly lost national principles. This presentation has been inspiring to many audiences and surprising to many who thought they knew history. Becky Davies has written and taught a community Constitution/Founding Principles class for the past 5 years which will be taught by other teachers in January 2017 in 6-8 locations in San Diego. This presentation addresses how unfamiliar we, as a people, have become in the principles of Liberty. This presentation is non-partisan, non-political, and non-denominational.


Grimm’s Fairy Tales by John Skousen

November 11, 2016

If the Grimms' Fairy Tales were not original, how old are the original stories?

One Swedish folklorist, Anna Brigitta Rooth, has observed the considerable complexity of the stories.  Notably, she reportedly coined the term, "Cinderella Cycle," wherein she identified seven hundred versions of the basic Cinderella story. The task was to discern which type of Cinderella variant was the original tale and to determine how the original tale spread.

What purposes were served by the proliferation of these magical tales?

Did the tales satisfy some unfulfilled needs of the ancient and medieval civilizations?

Are there any obscure messages in the fairy tale that may be surprising?

John Skousen practices law in Irvine, California, and is a partner at Fisher Phillips LLP, a national labor employment law firm. 


Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” by Curt Duke

November 10, 2016

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too...Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it.” If, by Rudyard Kipling.

Among Rudyard Kipling’s writings, The Jungle Book is one of his most popular. It is one of many children's books written by Kipling—who was also a prolific poet. In 1907, Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature—making him the first author to awarded this prize for literature in the English language.

Mr. Duke is an archaeologist who specializes in southern California prehistory. He received his B.A. in Anthropology in 1994 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his M.A. in Anthropology in 2006 from California State University, Fullerton. His M.A. thesis focused on prehistoric mortuary analysis in southern California.