News and Announcements

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The China-North Korea Relations (Asia Society Policy Institute Panel Discussion)

Our friends at the Asia Society has once again invited us and offered our group limited seats to attend a panel discussion on the status of the Sino-DPRK relationship entitled "Bitter Allies: China and North Korea" at the Asia Society https://asiasociety.org/new-york/events/bitter-allies-china-and-north-korea

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Description from the event organizers:

China and North Korea are nominally allies, but relations between the two neighbors – always difficult – have deteriorated as North Korea has accelerated its nuclear and ballistic missile development under Kim Jong Un. Over the past year, Kim has deliberately timed his nuclear and ballistic missile tests to coincide with high-profile Chinese events such as the BRICS summit in Xiamen, the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, and the Xi-Trump Mar-a-Lago summit. Yet, North Korea is economically dependent on China, which currently accounts for over 90 percent of its total trade volume and most food and energy imports. Although Beijing has tightened sanctions on North Korea, China remains an economic lifeline and has resisted placing regime-threatening pressure on Pyongyang.

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Oxford-Style Debate: "Net Neutrality" (January 18, 2017 at 6:30pm)

This month's debate topic: "Government should implement Net Neutrality.” "Net Neutrality" is defined as: the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

This is an invitation to attend and watch a live Oxford-Style Debate as an audience. This event is in collaboration with Micgoat (https://www.micgoat.com/), an app based on a free online community, where individuals around the world come to debate society's biggest issues in politics, finance, sports, and more via live video.

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American Presidents: James K. Polk (Pres. No. 11)

The "American Presidents" series will explore the legacies of select former American Presidents by examining their biographies, before, during, and after their Presidencies.

One of the goals of the Presidents series is to critically examine and learn more about the obscure, lesser-known Presidents. To that end, we'll be examining many Presidents from the 19th Century and the early 20th Century.

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For the debut series, we'll be examining the James K. Polk Presidency. The topics of discussions may include the following for this 11th President:

- The historic state of America during this era.

- The state of the economy, trade, and technology during this era.

- The early personal life and career of this President before the presidency.

- Any landmark achievements or reforms, as well as any failures and controversies.

- The foreign policy goals and international alliances at the time.

- The ever-lasting legacies and influences (if any).

- How this President stacks with other former presidents in the overall job approval ratings.

- Finally, if they were sitting in the Oval Office in 2018, how effective will they be?

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No required reading for this meeting.

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The New Tax Law -- what it means for you and America

As this new tax overhaul suddenly goes into effect, we'll dissect and analyze this sweeping legislation.

Some of the subtopics that we'll discuss may include:

- How will this affect your personal lives?
- The "winners" and "losers" from the new law.
- The merits of the purported legislative aims of the "tax reform."
- The potential budgetary, fiscal, and economic impacts.
- How this law affects certain provisions of Obamacare.
- How this will play out politically in the 2018 Midterm Elections and beyond.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: this meeting is strictly intended for informal, social purposes only. The NYCPF does not give tax advice, and this meeting is NOT intended for exchanging or receiving legal advice regarding any of the topics discussed. Further, a mere attendance of this meeting does NOT create an attorney-client relationship with the event host.

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Law, History & Politics (Season 2): Magna Carta

We'll kick off the Second Season of Law History and Politics! This month's season debut will be a discussion based on Magna Carta Libertatum (Medieval Latin for "the Great Charter of the Liberties").

Our discussions will include:

I. Law

Textual meaning of this "Great Charter," as well as the subsequent iterations.

Certain protections and guarantees under this Charter.

The subsequent laws passed in the ensuing years, including the Habeus Corpus Act and the Bill of Rights.

II. History

The historical background circa 13th Century.

The Legacies of King John, as well as, other Kings that immediately preceded and superseded him.

The internal turmoil in the British Isles, including civil wars and unrest, among various factions.

England's hostile relations with its neighbors, territorial expansions, and the resulting of various wars.

III. Politics

How Magna Carta gave rise to the notion of the "British Exceptionalism."

How it was incorporated into the British Constitution.

How it had an everlasting influence, including during the Enlightenment Era.

How it became universally adopted and symbolized, giving rise to the modern concept of the "universal human rights."

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The Rise of Nationalism (Part 4): These United States

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

Building from themes that emerged from Parts One, Two, and Three, we'll explore the current political climate and the "nationalistic fervor" enveloping here in the U.S., including the following:

• "Nationalism" in response to and in opposition of "Globalism" and the current immigration policies.

• The overlap between "Nationalism" and "Populism."

• The invocation of "American Exceptionalism" as the basis for Nationalism.

• Nationalism based on selective interpretation of history.

• A "nostalgic" sense of nationalism.

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

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A couple of years ago, we had a lengthy discussion on the notion of "American Exceptionalism" -- we'll continue that dialogue vis-à-vis "Nationalism."

FINALLY, we'll conclude the discussion with how we define "American Values" in the current political climate.

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Here's a soundtrack for this discussion:

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The Fourth Annual Holiday Party!

It's been our tradition to have a holiday party for two reasons. First, our Group was founded around this time four years ago. Second, as we embark on the Holiday Season, it's a good moment to look back and reflect on the year.


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The format: small group discussions with the following themes:

* 2017: Year in Review -- what were the most important, or perhaps the most under-reported stories / events?

** BUT, most importantly -- what did the Year 2017 mean to you personally?

*** PLUS, predictions for 2018.

**** FINALLY, there will be important group announcements, including three new discussion series launching in 2018!

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Here's a sound track for this event:

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Motion Debate: "Universal Basic Income"

This is an invitation to attend and watch a live Motion Debate as an audience. This event is in collaboration with MotionDebate.com, as part of the monthly debate series. It's FREE to attend and complimentary beverages will be offered. To attend, please complete the RSVP on this meetup page and also register at the external splashpage by clicking here.

Brian Hanley and Conrad Shaw will team up against Erik Carter and Christina Zorbas. It will be moderated by Evan Rhoda.

This month's Motion: "Universal basic income is the most important solution to rising joblessness in America."



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PREVIOUS MOTION DEBATES:

• "Artificial intelligence poses a serious threat to the future of human existence." (Oct. 25th)

• "Higher education in America is worth the cost of tuition." (Sept. 28th).

• "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)

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Law, History & Politics: Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges

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

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.

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 a pair of marriage cases:

1) Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)

This 1967 unanimous ruling struck down state laws that banned interracial marriage (i.e, the "anti-miscegenation" laws). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Loving decision.

Supplemental references (OPTIONAL):

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The Trump Presidency -- One Year Later . . .

On November 9, 2016, Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the U.S. While some cheered this surprise victory, others expressed dismay and despondence -- the latter of which still resonate today.

As we embark on this one-year mark, we'll take a look back at how the Trump Presidency affected our daily, personal lives, if any at all. Here, we can offer anecdotal examples on a personal and introspective level.

This is a unique event because it will be the first time that we devote the entire event discussing the Trump Presidency.

To that end, we'll discuss the following:

I. How the Trump Presidency impacted your economic well being. Also, how certain domestic programs affected your personal, daily aspect of your lives. (e.g., rescinding of DACA, the attempted "repeal and replace" of Obamacare, the "Trump Tax Plan, the "Travel Ban," etc.)

II. How President Trump contributed -- or even instigated, in some instances -- to the overall mood of the country. (e.g., Charlottesville, the NFL protests, his relationship with Congress, interactions with the media, the infamous Twitter feuds, etc.)

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