News and Announcements

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The 2008 Financial Crisis -- Ten Years Later . . .

Ten years ago, on this very day, Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This started a pivotal three-week period that ultimately resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

As we look back at what took place ten years ago, we'll discuss the following:

- How much have we recovered? More importantly, how are some still left behind?

- Were the massive bailouts of the financial institutions justified?

- Was the justification of "too big to fail" a morally plausible one?

- What were the lessons learned, if any?

- Are the corrective measures that went into effect (e.g., the Dodd Frank Act) sufficient in addressing the root cause?

- Can this happen again -- or more appropriately, are we in a midst of another impending financial crisis?

- How the financial crisis adversely affected the world market. Also the scope of geopolitical implications from the downturn of international market.

- Finally, how has the financial crisis affected you personally? Did you make career changes or redirect your budgeting or fiscal priorities?

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The Upcoming Midterm Elections and New York Primaries (a preview)

The September 13th primaries are right around the corner, involving contests for the following local offices:

Local city council seats

State Senate and Assembly

State Attorney General

Gubernatorial

We'll also preview the upcoming Congressional Midterm Elections in November, in this pivotal election year for both parties. The fate of which party controls either, or both, houses of Congress will undoubtedly advance or impede the remaining two years of Pres. Trump's first term.

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As always, we'll focus on the substantive policy issues at stake, rather than the "horse-race" aspect of the contests.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: because The NYC Political Forum is a nonpartisan organization, we do not endorse or advocate on behalf of any causes, agendas, groups, organizations, candidates, or political parties. As such, this event is for "discussion" purposes only.

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Remembering John McCain

In light of the recent passing of Sen. John McCain, we'll spend a couple of hours discussing his legacy.

We'll critically examine various aspects of his public life, including:

- His military service and years of captivity as a POW.

- Congressional Career spanning over three decades.

- Legislative aims and accomplishments, including in the areas of bipartisan bills and laws, such as campaign finance reform, comprehensive immigration reform, and reforms to reduce congressional appropriations and waste.

- His Presidential bids in 2000 and 2008.

- His expertise in the area of foreign policy -- and thereby advocating the aggressive use of military force and defense spending.

- His checkered relations with the members of the Republican Party.

- His checked record on race relations and civil rights.

- His legacy as a "Maverick."

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Saturday, September 1, 2018 Demystifying the "Deep State"

Premise: The deep level of distrust and disdain in many of our society's institutions are at all time low. Some feel betrayed by these institutions, while others assert that they have simply outlived their usefulness, in this rapidly-changing society. Technology has fueled the widespread of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

Where do we go from here?

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Background: For many decades, those on the Left commonly invoked the term "Military Industrial Complex" in criticizing government abuse and lack of transparency. Those on the Right commonly invoked the term "Shadow Government" to describe a similar phenomena. However, in the recent years the term "Deep Sate" has seeped into the public discourse.

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For this meeting, we'll evaluate and explore the following concepts in furtherance of demystifying the "Deep State":

- Its origins and prominence, especially in the name of "National Security."

- Other similar terms and phenomena, including "The Police State," "The Security State," "The Permanent State," and "The New World Order."

- Emergence of mainstream appeal of underground conspiracy movements vis-a-vis "QAnon."

- The notion of "entrenched bureaucracy."

- The rise of government secrecy and covert operations.

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The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives -- a townhall discussion

This discussion will initially start out with the five "moral statements of the righteous minds," as mentioned in the TED Talks.

This discussion will initially start out with the five "moral statements of the righteous minds," as mentioned in the TED Talks.

- harm / care
- fairness / reciprocity
- in-group / loyalty
- authority / respect
- purity / sanctity

We'll then discuss different ways how the liberals and conservatives perceive their own psychology vis-à-vis the psychology of their ideological counterparts. We'll compare and contrast the instinctual, tribal, and steadfast "visceral" views held by both sides, including the following examples:

- On "rational" thinking
- On "progress" and "inequalities"
- On "emotionalism" and objectivity
- On individual responsibility
- On individualism vs. collectivism
- On technology and cultural preservation

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Immigration: Border Security, "Zero Tolerance," Sanctuary City, and Central American Policies

In August 2014, we hosted an epic "Immigration Debate," comprehensively debating various aspects of the U.S. Immigration Policy at the time (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/193436152/).

The political winds have changed since August 2014, and the Immigration Debate has now become a cornerstone of the partisan divide in the U.S.

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For this meeting, we'll discuss the following four policies:

I. NYC's designation as a "sanctuary" jurisdiction and the federal government's withholding of grants. We'll also discuss NYC's recent court challenge of the DOJ's withholding of grants (https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/07/18/ny-state-city-suing-tru...).

II. The "Zero Tolerance" Policy of separating families at the border -- the purported merits and the moral objections. We'll also discuss the subsequent Executive Order ending this Policy (https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-oppor...).

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Foreign Policy Roundtable: Russia + NATO Summits, Brexit, "Trade War" and Mexico

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:

- The outcome and political fallout from the U.S.-Russia Summit in Helsinki.

- The outcome of the NATO Summit and the U.S.' future role in it.

- The U.K.'s Brexit dilemma -- too "soft" or too "hard"?

- An escalation of the "trade war" between the U.S. and China.

- Mexico's new President-elect, and the future of the U.S.-Mexico relations, including the fate of NAFTA.

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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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