News and Announcements

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The U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine of 1947 (Law, History, and Politics)

For this meeting, we'll discuss:

1) The U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine (c. 1947).

2) The creation of the State of Israel.

To that end, we'll discuss and analyze each of its three distinct components: Law, History and Politics.

I. Law
The U.N. Resolution 181 (III)
(https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/7F0AF2BD897689B785256C33006...)

II. History
- A very brief historical overview of the region in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
- The displacement and exodus of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes.

III. Politics
How Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism developed into a modern political force -- and thereby creating tensions that formed obstacles for a peaceful resolution.

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Ralph S. will give a short presentation and will moderate this discussion. There is a *bonus* topic added -- we'll spend the final 30 minutes of the meeting discussing the outcome of the recent Israeli election results.

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More about LHP:

The 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.

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A preview of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections

As we begin to enter yet another busy Presidential Election cycle, we'll preview what's ahead in this crowded field of candidates vying to unseat President Trump.

We'll do a candidate-by-candidate analysis and comparison on the proposed SUBSTANTIVE POLICIES -- with less emphasis on platitudes, media hype, "scandals" and the cumulative fundraising status.

One thing's for sure -- 2020 will be yet another memorable (and quite possibly historic) Election!

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The NYCPF is a nonpartisan organization. As such, we do not promote, endorse, or advocate on behalf of any particular candidates, parties, issues or causes. Rather, our aim is to foster independent, critical thinking by the exchange of views and ideas at the highest level of intellectual rigor.

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NOTE: the Primary Debate watch party will take place on June 24th. Stay tuned for details!

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Black Conservatism (#Blexit, #Walkaway) (Movement Politics, Part 7)

The "Movement Politics" series explore 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 tribalistic 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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For this meeting, we'll discuss and evaluate the state of Black Conservatism in the U.S. in 2019. To that end, we'll discuss and explore the following themes as they related to Black Conservatism:

- The early origins and notable figures (e.g., Booker T. Washington).

- Its role during Reconstruction.

- The influence and dominance of Liberalism leading up to and including the Civil Rights era.

- How certain recent political phenomena contributed to further defining the Movement (e.g., the Obama Presidency and Black Lives Matter).

- The rapid role of pervasiveness of identity politics and political correctness in shaping the Movement.

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Formation of UN + Univ. Declaration of Human Rights (Law, History & Politics)

For this meeting, we'll discuss:

1) The founding of the United Nations; and

2) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (circa Dec. 1948)

To that end, we'll discuss and analyze each of its three distinct components: Law, History and Politics.

The Premise: In the previous episode of LHP (Season Two), WWII had just ended. Various international tribunals were formed, adjudicating the "crimes against humanity." The rise and fall of "ultra-nationalism" during the early part of the 20th Century has now given way to grand reconstruction efforts (i.e., Marshal Plan and the formation of the UN).

Here are the discussion topics for this meeting:

I. Law

- The Charter of the United Nations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_United_Nations

- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

- Conflict of Laws vs. customary international law.

II. History

- Earlier efforts and failures in coalescing intergovernmental organizations, such as the League of Nations.

- A very brief historical summary of the outcome of WWII.

III. Politics

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Live Debate: "Capitalism is the most morally superior political + social system."

Come watch a live debate on the contentious topic of "Capitalism."

Chuck (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/80554492/) and Rob (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/191279019/) will team up against Erica (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/263655776/) and Derek (https://www.meetup.com/debateclub-6/members/4404967/) to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic.

Here's the final debate resolution:
"Capitalism is the most morally superior political and social system."

The debate will be in an "Oxford-style" format (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate#Oxford-style_debating).

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The event schedule:

6:00 -- doors open
6:15 -- introduction by the moderator
6:30 to 8:00 -- the debate!
8:00 to 8:15 -- event wrap-up

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Political Thinkers: Noam Chomsky

We'll continue the "Political Thinkers" series. It critically examines the political and ideological viewpoints of prominent public figures, considered to be tremendously influential as a trendsetter.

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 with an independent and critical lens, at the highest level of intellectual rigor.

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For this discussion, we'll evaluate the legacy and the work of Noam Chomsky.

To that end, we'll explore the following questions:

- What are the deep-rooted philosophical basis for his theories and views?

- What makes his appeal so controversial?

- Have his views and positions always remained intellectually consistent?

- What do his rise to popularity indicate about the cultural or political climate of his time period?

We will then examine Chomsky's theories and key policy matters, including:

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Current Events Forum: Bye Bye Amazon HQ2, Mueller Report, and New Zealand

As we wrap up another busy month, we'll take a look back at the important events and stories unfolding in our City, Nation and around the world.

▨ The City: As Amazon's plans for its HQ2 in Queens has reversed its course (for now), we'll look at the fallout. Was it a net positive or negative for New Yorkers? Who bears the responsibility, if any , for this abrupt reversal?

▨ The Nation: Now that the Special Counsel Mueller's investigation into the Russia Probe has now finally concluded, we'll have our VERY FIRST (and probably the only) discussion on the outcome of the findings . . . pending the release of the report from the Attorney General's office.

▨ The World: As New Zealand is still mourning over the mosque killings, we'll discuss the larger ramifications, if any, of this incident, including: 1) the government of New Zealand's swift response in proposing restrictive changes to gun laws; 2) the apparent rise in hate crimes and rampant Islamophobia in some corners of the world; and 3) the role of social media and the press in covering this event.

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The Iranian Revolution of 1979 . . . 40 years later

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the monarchy and replaced it with the Islamic Republic.

As we mark this consequential moment in history, we'll examine and discuss the following:

- The Western intervention in the early to mid-20th Century.
- The installment of the Shah's regime.
- Shah's efforts to "modernize" Iran and its economy.
- The civil unrest and undercurrents giving rise to the Revolution.
- The rise of Ayatollah Khomeini.
- The purported ideology behind the Revolution.
- The hostage crisis and reactions from the U.S.
- Reactions from the nations in the Gulf region to the Revolution.
- Reactions from the Western world to the Revolution.
- The aftermath of the Revolution and the geopolitical implications of the region, vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel.

Finally, we'll discuss the future of Iran in the post-JCPOA regime.

- Will it remain as a nation with nuclear ambitions?

- The future of Iran-Iraq relations.

- Are reform measures mutually exclusive with the hard-line rule under the Islamic Republic?

- Is secular, Western-style democracy possible in the near future?

-Will it continue to play a central role in propping up sectarian violence in the region?

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US-North Korea Summit II, Anti-BDS Bill, and AntiSemitism in UK's Labour Party?

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:

1) The Second U.S.-North Korea Summit -- We'll assess the outcome of second Trump-Kim Summit, including the takeaways, highlights, platitudes, and the lack of any real commitments toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. What's next for the disarmament talks, as the Summit ends in a stalemate, similar to the near 70-year conflict that never officially ended?

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Debate: "The regulation of Free Speech creates a more 'civil' society."

Come watch a live debate on the contentious topic of "Free Speech." Kyree (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/130850192/) and Nancy (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/212089790/) will team up against Anthony (https://www.meetup.com/debateclub-6/members/270262852/) and Ryan (https://www.meetup.com/debateclub-6/members/245972308/) to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic. The debate will be moderated by Matthew (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/236056539/).

Here's the final language of the debate resolution:

"The regulation of Free Speech creates a more 'civil' society."

The debate will be in an "Oxford-style" format (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate#Oxford-style_debating).

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The event schedule:

6:00 -- doors open
6:15 -- introduction by the moderator
6:30 to 8:00 -- the debate!
8:00 to 8:15 -- event wrap-up

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