News and Announcements

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Oct. Monthly Discussion: NYC Elections, #NYConCon, U.S. Supreme Court, and Myanmar

We'll resume our "regular" monthly roundtable discussion, covering the most compelling stories and events unfolding in our City, the State, the Nation, and around the World. As always, there's plenty to discuss!

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Topics:

1) The City: a preview of the upcoming local elections.

2) The State: a preview of the State's November 7th Constitutional Convention Referendum (#NYConCon).

3) The Nation: a preview of the new cases before the U.S. Supreme Court'e 2017 Term -- including the:

• Wisconsin redistricting case;
• Colorado's "Masterpiece Cakeshop" case; and
• Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project.

3) The World: Myanmar's Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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Motion Debate: "Is College Worth It?"

This month's Motion: "Higher education in America is worth the cost of tuition."



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Highlights from the debate:

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PREVIOUS MOTION DEBATES:

• It is difficult to successfully integrate or assimilate Islamic culture in the U.S." (Aug 24th)

• Is "Religion" more harmful to society than good? (July 26th)

• Is it a proper function of the government to provide healthcare to its citizens? (June 21st)

• Has "Political Correctness" gone too far? (May 25th)

• Is "Stop and Frisk" an effective policy? (April 5th)

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Law, History & Politics: Brown v. Board of Ed.

For this meeting, we'll read and discuss the Brown v. Board of Ed decisions -- the original decision ("Brown I"), as well as the "implementation" decision ("Brown II").

1) Brown v. Bd. of Ed. of Topeka, et al., 347 U.S. 483 (1954) ("Brown I") -- Click here to access it online.

2) Brown v. Bd. of Ed. of Topeka, et al., 349 U.S. 294 (1955) ("Brown II") -- Click here to access it online.

We'll discuss how and why the Brown decisions effectively overturned the doctrine of "Separate But Equal."

We'll then discuss the "Little Rock Nine" incident that followed the Brown decisions.

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Here's a sound track for this discussion:

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Previous LHP series:

• The Chinese Exclusion Act and Korematsu v. U.S. (July 2017): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/239229088/

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The Mayoral Debate

A full video clip of the debate:

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This is an exclusive invitation to attend a live Mayoral Debate at a historic Gramercy Park venue -- hosted, organized, and moderated by our very own group! This is an "open partisan" debate, as all declared mayoral candidates, regardless of their party affiliation were invited. The debate will take place a weekend prior to the September 12th primaries.

The following candidates have confirmed their participation in the debate:

• Fmr. Councilmember Sal Albanese (D)
• Richard Bashner, Esq. (D)
• Akeem Browder (G)
• Aaron Commey (L)
• Bob Gangi (D)
• Mike Tolkin (D)

The following candidates were invited, but haven't responded or confirmed:

• Mayor Bill de Blasio (D)
• Fmr. NYPD Det. Bo Dietl (I)
• Assmeblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R)

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The debate will be in a "townhall" format, covering the following topics:

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Motion Debate: the "Islamic Assimilation"

This month's Motion: "it is difficult to successfully integrate or assimilate Islamic culture in the U.S."

Kate and Nasser will team up against Danielle and Jabber in debating for and against the Motion, respectively. It will be moderated by Evan Rhoda.

PREVIOUS MOTION DEBATES:

• Is "Religion"­ more harmful to society than good? (July 26th)

• Is it a proper function of the government to provide healthcare to its citizens? (June 21st)

• Has "Political Correctness" gone too far? (May 25th)

• Is "Stop and Frisk" an effective policy? (April 5th)

• Does the government have a duty to educate its citizens? (Feb. 22nd)

• Is abundance of open information more harmful or good to society? (Jan. 26th)

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Rise of Nationalism (+ Military Expansionism) -- Part 2: China, India + Pakistan

This is a multi-part discussion series examining the ostensibly-sudden rise of nationalism in different parts of the world.

Building from themes that emerged from Part One, for Part Two, we'll explore the current political climate and the "nationalistic fervor" enveloping in China, India, and Pakistan, including the following:

• "Nationalism" as a political ideology, giving rise to "Ethno-Nationalism" and "religious-based" nationalism.

• The emergence of the "National Consciousness."

• How "Nationalism" spills over into overseas or extraterritorial military expansion.

• The difference between "populist nationalism" and "authoritarian nationalism."

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CHINA, then and now:

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INDIA and PAKISTAN, then and now:


This week also marks the 70th Anniversary of the Partition.

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Motion Debate: Is "Religion"­ more harmful to society than good?

This month's Motion: on balance, is "Religion" more harmful to society than good?

For the purposes of this debate, "Religion" is defined as “the belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine, or to have control over human destiny."

PREVIOUS MOTION DEBATES:

• Is it a proper function of the government to provide healthcare to its citizens? (June 21st)

• Has "Political Correctness" gone too far? (May 25th)

• Is "Stop and Frisk" an effective policy? (April 5th)

• Does the government have a duty to educate its citizens? (Feb. 22nd)

• Is abundance of open information more harmful or good to society? (Jan. 26th)

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Law, History & Politics: the Chinese Exclusion Act + Korematsu v. U.S.

We'll continue our discussion in this new series -- LAW, HISTORY AND POLITICS.


he LHP series explore the intersections of its namesake -- an in-depth study of a particular law, court decision, or a legal precedent that shaped the political forces and its historical ramifications.

The LHP series will start out with subject matters that directly relate to the U.S. For instance, we'll discuss landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, particular Constitutional Amendments, or an influential Legislative body of work.

The advanced LHP series will explore international and comparative law from a historic perspective. These may include: Magna Carta, the Code of Justinian, the Code of Hammurabi -- to more recent selections, such as the Treaty of Versailles, the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights and the Geneva Convention.

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For this meeting, we'll read and discuss the following:

1) The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 --

Once upon a time, Congress enacted a law to prohibit an entire class of individuals from entering the U.S., based on race and ethnicity.

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July 2017 Newsletter

Hey all,

This past Sunday, we kicked off the "Pre-July 4th" celebrations with the following two events: 1) a viewing of an Alexander Hamilton documentary; and 2) a trivia night based on the "Revolutionary Period" themes. It was fun and informative -- many pointed out that the partisan divisions that sparked at the onset of this fledgling Republic still reverberates today.

Looking ahead, there are plenty of interesting events offered this month, including:

The U.S. Supreme Court's 2016 Term in Review (July 7th) -- regular seats full, with only waitlist seats available.

Special Art Exhibition, followed by a talk on the "State of Media and the Trump Administration" presented by a member of the "mainstream journalism" (July 25th) -- it's free to attend, but very limited seats are offered. More details will be posted soon. The RSVP window will open on Friday, July 7th at 9am.

Motion Debate: "Religion" (July 26th) -- the RSVP window will open on July 10th at 9am.

Finally, as the summer season kicks into full speed, a day-trip to Governor's Island for a picnic and a walking tour will be announced during August. We're looking for volunteers to assist with planning what will be a fun excursion!

Happy Fourth of July,

Thomas

www.nycpoliticalforum.org

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Law & Politics: the U.S. Supreme Court's 2016 Term in Review

It's that time of the year again -- as the Court recently wrapped up its 2016 Term, a series of important decisions were handed down in the waning days. While the cases are not as contentious as the 2014 or the 2015 Terms, the 2016 Term, nonetheless, consisted of matters brimming with public policy significance.

As always, we'll be discussing these cases from a prism of political or public policy lenses -- no prior legal experience, or a comprehensive understanding of the Constitution or the Supreme Court is required.

To that end, we'll discuss the following cases:

• Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer -- Does the exclusion of churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause? (Holding: yes).

• Matal v. Tam -- Is the "disparagement" clause of the Lanham Act, banning the trademark of offensive names, of an Asian rock band "The Slants," unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment? (Holding: yes).

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