News and Announcements

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Greenland, Amazon, Kashmir and Hong Kong -- a case study on "sovereignty"

These four regions have garnered significant world attention lately. These regions are either semi-autonomous, or are situated in an area that ostensibly threatens the dominant state's sense of "sovereignty" over the servient state. We'll explore various modern political concepts, such as the "democratic theory," a notion of a "true sovereign," "extraterritoriality," and of course, the rise of "Nationalism."

With that in mind, we'll analyze each of the four regions:

▨ Greenland -- It was recently revealed that the Trump Administration seriously considered in purchasing Greenland. But who are the appropriate parties in this proposed international real estate transaction? Are the Greenlanders the rightful owners of this island-continent, or should any discussions of a potential sale be subject to the approval of the Kingdom of Denmark?

▨ Hong Kong -- Large-scale protests against the extradition bill have engulfed Hong Kong since June. Is the concept of "one nation, two systems" beginning to show signs of collapse? What is the proper balance between the servient state's stated goal of autonomy, and the dominant state's encroachment under the guise of "security and stability"?

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Live Debate: "This House supports the right to bear arms as a fundamental right"

Come watch a live debate on the contentious topic of "The Right to Bear Arms."

Louis ( and
Rob ( will team up against Rajiv ( and Colin ( to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic.

Here's the final debate resolution:
"This house supports less restrictions on the right to bear arms because it's a fundamental right."

The debate will be in an "Oxford-style" format (

The event schedule:

6:00 -- doors open
6:15 -- introduction by the moderator
6:30 to 7:50 -- the debate!
7:50 to 8:00 -- event wrap-up

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The State of the 2020 Presidential Primaries and Candidates

The Political Forum is back!

It's been a long, noisy summer along the campaign trail and on the stump. The field of candidates for the Democratic Party has finally winnowed down to a (relatively) manageable size. Three additional challengers have emerged for the Republican Party, in an attempt to unseat the incumbent President. A perennial question remains whether this is a viable year for any third party candidates.

We'll spend the entire afternoon discussing the proposed SUBSTANTIVE POLICIES of these candidates -- with less emphasis on platitudes, media hype, "scandals" and the cumulative fundraising status.

We'll discuss the following areas of the proposed substantive policies:

▨ Healthcare
▨ Trade and tariffs
▨ Fiscal policies and budgetary proprieties
▨ Economic and job growth
▨ Climate change
▨ Foreign policy and international relations
▨ . . . and of course, the "culture wars"

The upcoming election and primary contest days by the numbers -- from the date of this meetup, there are:

- 4 months and 13 days until the Iowa Caucuses.
- 5 months and 11 days until Super Tuesday.
- 7 months and 7 days until the New York Primaries.
- 1 year, 1 month and 13 days until the General Election!

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Live Oxford Debate: "This house supports reparations for slavery."

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

Justin ( and Jaquon will team up against Kyree ( and Derek ( to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic.

Here's the final debate resolution:
"This house supports reparations for slavery."

The debate will be in an "Oxford-style" format (

The event schedule:

6:00 -- doors open
6:15 -- introduction by the moderator
6:30 to 7:50 -- the debate!
7:50 to 8:00 -- event wrap-up

PLEASE NOTE: due to the limited seating arrangements, there will only be thirty seats available, on a first-come basis. The remaining attendees will be accommodated via "standing-room" only. Therefore, an on-time arrival is strongly recommended.

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Mueller Time

Special Counsel Mueller's testimony was a culmination of a special probe, two-years in making, summarized in an over 440-page report, with 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants, and approximately 500 witnesses.

This meeting is only our SECOND and probably the FINAL discussion on "Russia-gate." That being said, we'll discuss the following:

▨ The takeaway from Mueller's testimony.

▨ Was Mueller's testimony consistent with the Report?

▨ How did Mueller's testimony contradict the A.G. Barr's interpretation?

▨ Should a sitting-president be indicted for any criminal offenses?

▨ Did the testimony sway your opinion regarding the impeachment efforts brewing in the House?

▨ Is it proper for the Office of the Special Counsel to issue any "exoneration" at the conclusion of its investigation?

▨ Overall, did Mueller's testimony clarify, or further confuse, your understanding of the Report?

▨ What's next, if any, for this special probe?

▨ Finally, the "known-knowns" and the "unknown-unknowns."

IMPORTANT: This discussion will strictly be focused on the Mueller Report and his testimony. Due to the time constraints, we won't have time to delve into "conspiracy theories" or resort to hyper-partisan rhetoric.

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Foreign Policy Forum: Iran, Sudan India, and Hong Kong

It's been a while since we've discussed major events unfolding on the world's stage.

For this meeting, we'll discuss the following:

▨ Iran: The drumbeat for a military showdown is getting louder, as the military hardliners on both sides of the confrontation continues to spew dangerous rhetoric, making a military escalation ostensibly all but inevitable.

▨ India : We'll discuss the outcome of the recent presidential elections, including the major campaign issues and the challenges ahead.

▨ Sudan: As Sudan ousts its long-reigning dictator, military crackdown begins, erupting in widespread violence against the "pro-democracy" movement. We'll discuss the latest, including the civilian-military power-sharing deal.

▨ Hong Kong: This month marks the 22nd anniversary since the U.K. relinquished its control. Massive protests have taken over the streets to protest the authoritarian measures proposed by the mainland.

More details to follow.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Live Oxford Debate: "Social media is good for democracy."

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

Maim ( and Shaheed ( will team up against Danielle ( and Kanishka ( to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic.

Here's the final debate resolution:
"Social media is good for democracy."

The debate will be in an "Oxford-style" format (

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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The U.S. Supreme Court's 2018-2019 Term in Review

Partisan gerrymandering, double jeopardy, the Census Bureau's questionnaire about citizenship status, a display of religious symbol in the public -- these are just a handful of cases from the Court's docket during its[masked] Term.

Oh, and the newly-minted Justice Kavanaugh was on the bench by the time oral arguments for many of these cases were heard before the Court. This year marks a drastic ideological turn for the Court, as it is now a solidly conservative institution for many years to come.

Well, it's that time of the year again -- as the Court wraps up its[masked] 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 jurisprudence is required.

That being said, we'll discuss the following cases:

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Presidential Primary Debate Watch Party!

Join us for the second night of the Democratic Party Primary Debate Watch Party!

Come cheer or jeer the crowded field of ten candidates who will take the stage on the second night of the first televised debate for the 2020 election! We'll play political bingo and have pre-debate social gathering. It's gonna be a long primary season, but this debate is sure to be a doozy!

There's no fee to attend this event and you can purchase food and / or drinks on your own tab.

Here's the proposed schedule:
7pm: the doors open
7pm to 9pm: pre-debate social gathering
9pm to 11pm: watch the televised debate!

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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The Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 . . . a 30-year lookback

Thirty years ago, on this month, the massive student protests in Beijing resulted in a declaration of marshal law and a military crackdown by the Communist Regime -- later to be remembered as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which resulted in deaths of thousands.

As we look back at this watershed moment in history, we'll discuss the following:

- The post-Cultural Revolution period reforms giving rise to demand for more reforms.

- China's tensions and alliances with other Nations during the Cold War, and how they influenced the protestors' demands.

- The impetus giving rise to the April 1989 protests and the protestors' momentum in May 1989.

- The role of domestic and international media in covering the protests, as well as the international reaction.

- The Communist regime's declaration of marshal law.

- The death toll from the massacre and the government's systematic cover up in a concerted misinformation campaign.

- The continuing censorship and oppression by the Communist Party on the mainland.

- The recent extradition bill proposed for residents of Hong Kong and the "Yellow Umbrella" protests of 2014 -- how they were influenced by the Tiananmen Square protests.

- FINALLY, the legacy of Tiananmen Square in the context of "modern" China.