News and Announcements

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#MeToo, #TimesUp -- the past, present, and future (Movement Politics, Part 4)

The "Movement Politics" series explore the various social movements, political forces, and coalitions that aim to bring about certain political changes, reforms or outcomes in furtherance of advancing a particular ideology.

Our aim is to explore these movements or groups, in depth, without the veneer of hyperpartisan rhetoric. As such, the discussions will be based on factual evidence, coupled with sound reasoning and any persuasion at the highest level of intellectual rigor.

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We've partnered with WeWork for this special townhall event.

For this meeting, we'll examine the rise and prominence of #MeToo in the public discourse, as it relates to an international movement against sexual harassment and assault. To that end, we'll discuss the following topics:

- Its origins and online campaigns.

- Its awareness and empathy, resulting in "The Reckoning."

- Its policies and laws, as they relate to workplace.

- Its reach and impact in various sectors and industries.

- Similarities to prior movements or campaigns.

- Its criticisms, backlash, and any unintended consequences.

- Finally, how it may shape the public discourse in the future.

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Law, History & Politics: The French Revolution -- Happy Bastille Day!

As we commemorate Bastille Day, we'll discuss the French Revolution (circa 1789 to 1799). For this meeting, we will examine the Revolution by analyzing its three distinct components: Law, History and Politics.

To that end, we'll discuss the following:

I. Law

Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp)

The French Constitution of 1791
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Constitution_of_1791)

II. History

New political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment.

Inspirations and aspirations derived from the "American Revolution."

Severe economic hardship caused by national debt and the political mismanagement of King Louis.

The financial woes brought on by wars and disruptions in its imperial colonies.

The storming of the Bastille in July 1789.

The overthrow of the Monarch and the public execution of France's last King and Queen.

The three distinct stages of the Revolution: the uprising, the overthrow, and the "Reign of Terror."

III. Politics

The post-feudal political system comprising of the "Three Estates."

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Movement Politics: Black Lives Matter

The "Movement Politics" series explore the various social movements, political forces, and coalitions that aim to bring about certain political changes, reforms or outcomes in furtherance of advancing a particular ideology.

Our aim is to explore these movements or groups, in depth, without the veneer of hyperpartisan rhetoric. As such, the discussions will be based on factual evidence, coupled with sound reasoning and any persuasion at the highest level of intellectual rigor.

For this meeting, we've partnered with WeWork for this special "townhall" style event.

For this meeting, we'll examine and take a critical look at the rise and prominence of Black Lives Matter in the public discourse, as it relates to the modern civil rights movement. To that end, we'll discuss and explore the following themes:

- Its origins, organizational structure, and online campaigns.

- Its appeal for civic protest and activism.

- Similarities to prior civic protest movements.

- Its attempts to influence electoral politics.

- Its criticisms, backlash, and any unintended consequences.

- Finally, how BLM may shape the public discourse in the future.

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The U.S. Supreme Court's 2017 Term in Review

The "Travel Ban," wedding cake, sports betting, internet sales tax, and the purging of voter lists -- these are just a handful of cases from the Court's docket during its 2017 Term.

Oh, and there was also an important partisan gerrymandering case, but the Court sidestepped it, by invoking a procedural escape-hatch, commonly referred to as the "lack of standing."

We'll also discuss the recent announcement of Justice Kennedy's retirement, and how this will impact the ideological makeup of the bench.

RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/251065057/

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Well, it's that time of the year again -- as the Court wraps up its 2017 Term, a series of important decisions will be handed down in the waning days.

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:

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Foreign Policy Roundtable: North Korea, G7, Jerusalem, and Italy's New Gov't

Join us for this month's featured Foreign Policy discussion, covering some of the most consequential events unfolding on the world stage.

The discussion topics will include:

I. The outcome of the U.S.-DPRK Summit in Singapore -- is it a beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

II. The U.S.' formal recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and the ongoing Middle East diplomacy, amid the violent clashes at the Gaza border.

III. Italy's new "populist" coalition government vis-à-vis its uncertain future as an E.U. member state, amid stagnant economy and the "nationalistic" fervor brought on by recent waves of migrants.

IV. The outcome of the G7 (or the G6 plus one) Summit and the diplomatic fallout with its member states. Should it revert to G8?

More details to follow.

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Past Meetup Law, History & Politics: The Russian Revolution (c. 1917)

We'll continue the Second Season of Law History and Politics, discussing the Russian Revolution of 1917.

For this meeting, we will examine the Russian Revolution of 1917 by analyzing its three distinct components: Law, History and Politics. To that end, we'll discuss the following:

I. Law

The 1918 Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1918_Constitution_(Fundamental_Law)_of_the_RSFSR).

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
(http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/bl34.asp)

II. History

The rise of "worker's movement" in the era of Industrial Revolution.

Prior assassination attempts of the Czars.

Russia's entry into WWI.

The Civil War of 1918.

The sudden influence and the rise of power of Grigori Rasputin.

The demise, exile and the ultimate execution of the Romanovs, ending a 300-year Monarchy.

III. Politics

The growing political opposition to Czar Nicholas II.

A formation of the interim governing body, the Duma.

Bolsheviks vs. Mensheviks

The rise of the Social Democratic Party lead by Lenin and Trotsky -- resulting in Leninism vs. Trotskyism.

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Motion Debate: "Free Speech" on Public University Campuses

Background:
In October 2017, the University of Florida spent a staggering $600,000 for extra security measures to prepare for a talk given by white supremacist leader, Richard Spencer. At UC Berkeley, a conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, was met by hundreds of protestors, police officers, and barricades. His speech was delivered to a few dozen people in a nearly empty forum, and subsequently the four-day "Free Speech Week" was canceled.

We're seeing a rise of the "heckler's veto," a term for disruptive behavior causing universities to cancel contentious programs. Conservatives argue liberals are stifling free speech, and liberals view free speech as a weapon used by the right to spread hateful rhetoric.

Are these divisive speakers ultimately benefiting the student body through constructive dialogue, or is their presence a dangerous distraction? Are the exorbitant costs to provide adequate safety protocols on campus worth it to taxpayers? Where does the First Amendment fit into this, and do public universities have an obligation to grant these speakers an audience?

We hope you'll join us!

Complimentary beer and refreshments served all night!

More details @ MotionDebate.com

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Event Schedule:

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Political Thinkers: Jordon Peterson (Part One)

We'll continue the "Political Thinkers" series -- it critically examines the political and ideological viewpoints of prominent public figures, considered to be tremendously influential in the current "new media" landscape.

Here, the goal is to discuss fresh viewpoints -- some of which might be "unconventional" in nature -- in analyzing its applicability in our ever-increasingly complex society. Just like every issue that our group discusses, we examine and evaluate it in an independent and critical manner, at the highest intellectually-rigorous level.

For this discussion, we'll evaluate the views of the following contemporary individual: Jordon Peterson.

We'll explore the following questions:

- Does his views blur the lines of traditional ideological boundaries?
- What makes his appeal so controversial?
- Has his views and positions always remained intellectually consistent?
- What are his deep-rooted philosophical basis for his stated views and positions, if any?
- What do his rise to popularity indicate about the current cultural or political climate?

We will then view his positions on deep philosophical themes and key policy matters, including:

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up Law, History & Politics: The "Beer Hall Putsch" -- Munich, Bavaria (c. 1923)

We'll continue the Second Season of Law History and Politics, discussing Hitler's trial for high treason in the People's Court in Munich, Bavaria.

For this meeting, we will examine Hitler's trial by analyzing its three distinct components: Law, History and Politics. To that end, we'll discuss the following:

I. Law

The nature of charges for orchestrating the Beer Hall Putsch (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch#Trial_and_prison).

Other named co-defendants, including Gen. Erich Ludendorff.

The verdict and the underlying justifications
(https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Adolf_Hitler_Trial_before_the_People%...)

The post-verdict prison sentence.

II. History

The post-WWI devastation faced by all belligerents, including Germany.

The proclamation and designation of the Weimar Republic.

Germany's ongoing burdens and obligations from the Treaty of Versailles

The post-war economic crisis, hyperinflation, and high unemployment.

III. Politics

The highly politicized nature of the Defendant's speeches during trial.

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Political Thinkers: Sam Harris and Reza Azlan

We'll continue the "Political Thinkers" series -- it examines the political and ideological viewpoints of prominent public figures, considered to be tremendously influential in their respective ideological camps.

For this discussion, we'll compare and contrast the views of these contemporary individual: Sam Harris and Reza Azlan. We'll explore the following questions:

- Do their views blur the lines of traditional ideological boundaries?
- What makes their appeal so controversial?
- Have their views and positions always remained intellectually consistent?
- What are their deep-rooted philosophical basis for their stated views and positions, if any?
- What do their rise to popularity indicate about the current cultural or political climate?

We will then view their positions on key policy matters, including:

- Islam vs. Secularism
- The role of religion in shaping public policies.
- The role of religion in international conflicts (past and present).
- Views on evolution and "creationism."
- Merits of political correctness (and lack thereof).
- The current state of "Liberalism."
- The moral complexity of genetics.

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