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 Liberal Men of the Lowcountry      

Connect, Engage, Discuss, Act   

LML consists of a congenial, thoughtful group of 150 men from the Hilton Head/Bluffton area. We are back to in-person  monthly meetings with masks optional. Check out the Activity Groups and Event Calendar for updates.

Upcoming events

Now would be the perfect time to make a donation to LML.  Throughout the year, we make several donations to non-profit charitable organizations.  Your donation would be beneficial in helping us make more and larger contributions to these worthy causes.  Just click on this red Donate link to make your donation.  Thanks for your help!


February Luncheon Meeting:  February 8, 12:00pm at Country Club of Hilton Head


The next monthly meeting of Liberal Men of the Lowcountry will begin at noon, February 8, at the Country Club of Hilton Head.  Guest speaker is Shavonne Vasquez, Manager of the Hilton Head Circles Chapter, a new program from the Deep Well Project, that is designed to help lift people out of poverty. Ms. Vasquez will talk about the nature of this new endeavor. 

Shavonne, bilingual Social Worker, recently relocated from New York to continue her pursuits of equity and social justice. For the past eighteen years she’s remained committed to the human services field in the form of direct care, and advocacy. As the Circles Chapter Manager, Shavonne’s primary task will be to support program participants and their allies while also conducting outreach, facilitating meetings, coordinating training, and delegating tasks to resource teams. Shavonne herself has experienced a life in poverty and can therefore offer insight to the challenges faced by Circles participants. Three generations ago her family settled in New York from Puerto Rico in search of opportunity and success. Today, she continues to find ways to deconstruct ancestral patterns of oppression and encourages others to do so as well. In her free time Shavonne enjoys reading, theatre, and spending time with her pet parrots.


Current Events Lunch:  February 16 at 12:00pm at Mangiamo's

The Current Events Group will meet next on Thursday, February 16, at noon at Mangiamo’s on Main Street.

This group discusses interesting and timely current topics, such as education issues, race issues, and state, local and national politics.

We meet at Mangiamo’s at noon for lunch.  Please register via the events calendar on our website.  You pay for lunch at the restaurant, but we need to give them an accurate headcount prior to the date.

Discussion questions:

  • 1.      Should we close Guantanamo?  If so, what do we do with the prisoners?  If not, why not?
  • 2.      Should we be as concerned about Netanyahu as we are about rightwing dictators (Orban, Erdegan, Bolsonaro and others)?  What policies should the United States develop to deal with all extreme conservative leaders or do we just stay out of any influencing?
  • 3.      This is an extension of our conversation a few months ago.  We must have action rather than just move on and treat it as a blip.  A continuing problem in this country, what to do about police brutality against minorities (we only read about the most egregious cases, it is happening dozens of times every day in America)?  Do we need national training standards like other countries, less militarization, or other changes to improve policing across the country?


Member Expert Luncheon: March 1, 2023 at OKKO at 12pm

John Gilbert (Colonel, USAF, retired) had a lengthy career on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, including service on strategic missile launch crews, 15 years working in the intelligence world, and several years directly involved in on-site inspections in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.  He also prepared U.S. facilities and organizations to manage inspections under an international chemical weapons treaty.  As part of this work, he conducted over 35 inspections of nuclear and missile facilities in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Estonia, and Lithuania and served as an escort and "minder" for Soviet/Russian inspectors at locations in Germany and the U.S.  In addition to his inspection operations experience, he served as a member of U.S. Government interagency groups dealing with arms control issues, including as a member of U.S. delegations in Geneva, The Hague, and Moscow. Since retirement from active duty, he has continued to serve as a consultant, advisor, and trainer for arms control inspectors and analysts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (including IAEA's North Korea and Iran Teams) and analytical personnel from various government and academic institutions.  He has also advised State Department, Department of Commerce, Joint Staff, Secretary of Defense, Air Force, and foreign government personnel on managing inspections at U.S. and foreign facilities.  Most recently, he served as a key participant in arms control exercises at an Air Force base in the U.S. and at a contractor facility producing (among other things) equipment for export to Ukraine.  He is scheduled to support an inspection exercise at a U.S. facility in Europe later this year.


John's presentation on March 1 will be a brief discussion of some of his personal experiences as an inspector and advisor, and he welcomes questions and comments from attendees.




The next meeting of the LML Book Club will be Tuesday,  February 28th, at 5:30 pm at It's Greek To Me (at 11 Lagoon Rd - across the street from Coligny Plaza).  We will be outdoors on the patio. 

We will be discussing The Story of Russia by Orlando Figes.  

“This is the essential backstory, the history book that you need if you want to understand modern Russia and its wars with Ukraine, with its neighbors, with America, and with the West.”  ―Anne Applebaum, author of Twilight of Democracy and Red Famine

From “the great storyteller of Russian history” (Financial Times), The Story of Russia is a brilliant account of the national mythologies and imperial ideologies that have shaped Russia’s past and politics―essential reading for understanding the country today.

The Story of Russia is a fresh approach to the thousand years of Russia’s history, concerned as much with the ideas that have shaped how Russians think about their past as it is with the events and personalities comprising it. No other country has reimagined its own story so often, in a perpetual effort to stay in step with the shifts of ruling ideologies.

From the founding of Kievan Rus in the first millennium to Putin’s war against Ukraine, Orlando Figes explores the ideas that have guided Russia’s actions throughout its long and troubled existence. Whether he's describing the crowning of Ivan the Terrible in a candlelit cathedral or the dramatic upheaval of the peasant revolution, he reveals the impulses, often unappreciated or misunderstood by foreigners, that have driven Russian history: the medieval myth of Mother Russia’s holy mission to the world; the imperial tendency toward autocratic rule; the popular belief in a paternal tsar dispensing truth and justice; the cult of sacrifice rooted in the idea of the “Russian soul”; and always, the nationalist myth of Russia’s unjust treatment by the West.

How the Russians came to tell their story and to revise it so often as they went along is not only a vital aspect of their history; it is also our best means of understanding how the country thinks and acts today. Based on a lifetime of scholarship and enthrallingly written, The Story of Russia is quintessential Figes: sweeping, revelatory, and masterful.  We hope that it will inform our understanding of Russia’s motivation for the current crisis in Eastern Europe.

The Story of Russia was named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.


Please send any recommendations that you may have for our March read to Elliot Siegel at by January 31st.

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you on Feb. 28!

Elliot and Bob, Co-chairs


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