News and Announcements

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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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Saturday, February 23, 2019 "Conservatism" in the Era of Trump (Movement Politics, Part 6)

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 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 current state of "Conservatism" in the Era of Trump. This meeting also coincides with the 2019 CPAC convention (https://conservative.org/events/cpac), which will be held during the week of Feb. 27, 2019. To that end, we'll discuss and explore the following themes:

- What are the core values of a modern day Conservative?

- Have those core values changed or deviated from the "traditional" Conservative orthodoxy?

- What are some of the ideological orthodoxies that are being rebuked by the modern-day Conservative movement? If so, why?

- Can "economic populism" mutually co-exist with "market-based" solutions?

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Foreign Policy Preview of 2019

For this meeting, we'll preview some of the Foreign Policy challenges ahead for the U.S. in 2019. We'll evaluate and analyze the political tensions and risks in several important regions around the world. Further, we'll examine the international economic trends, diplomatic obstacles, and the political climate in certain nations and regions that will play a critical role in 2019.

To that end, we'll review and analyze the following:

1. The U.S.-China relations -- This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations of these two nations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93United_States_relations#Norm...). However, the dynamics between the world's two largest economies have taken a drastic turn in recent years, resulting from bitter trade disputes, regional territorial dominance, and the waning of the U.S. influence on the world stage. We'll discuss the challenges that lie ahead for the two nations. We'll also examine any practical and strategic cooperation mutually sought by both sides.

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The State of Our Union

The State of Our Union is _________________________. (fill in the blank)

For this meeting, we'll discuss the current State of Our Union. Please note that this is not a watch party for the SOTU address.

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The Premise:

The Nation has just endured the longest government shutdown. The SOTU address has been tabled, while theatrics stemming from tribal hyper-partisanship has roiled the Nation. This month also marks the half-way point of the Trump Presidency. The balance of power has split in the two houses of Congress. Finally, the 2020 Presidential Election is expected to kick in full gear in months ahead.

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With that in mind, let's explore and discuss the following themes:

- The right-track vs. wrong-track of our Union.

- The merits and criticisms of the stated reasons for the government shutdown.

- The lessons learned, if any, from the government shutdown. Can we expect another shutdown soon?

- The purported merits and criticisms for declaring a National Emergency.

- Are the posturing, bickering, and gamesmanship injected by our elected officials unprecedented?

- What to expect from the change in balance of power in Congress.

- Finally, what are the most pressing issues and challenges ahead for our Union this year?

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Political Thinkers: Milton Friedman

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 work of the late Milton Friedman.

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

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

- 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 Friedman's economic theories and key policy matters, including:

- Monetary and market policies.

- His ardent and steadfast opposition to the Keynesian economic theory.

- The articulation of the "Economic Freedom" theory.

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Letter from Birmingham Jail

As we mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we'll read and discuss the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (circa April 1963).

It can be accessed from various sources online, including at the following link below:

https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

This meeting is intended to be a small group discussion to allow a robust exchange of views and ideas. The discussion will be focused on a close textual analysis of philosophical insights from this historically-significant document.

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Some questions worthy of further exploration or consideration:

- Do any universal themes emerge from the text?

- Who is the intended recipient of the letter and has he pursued the reader or the audience?

- Do you find the moral, philosophical, and religious references to be relevant and persuasive?

- Is this document still relevant in today's society? If so, how?

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IMPORTANT: the reading assignment is mandatory, if you wish to attend.

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Debate: "Affirmative action is necessary to redress past racial injustices."

Come watch a live debate on the contentious topic of "Affirmative Action." Fred (https://www.meetup.com/debateclub-6/members/68578742/) and Karin (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/13122227/) will team up against Chuck (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/80554492/) and Rob (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/191279019/) to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic.

Here's the final language of the debate resolution:

"Affirmative action is necessary to redress past racial injustices."

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
6:30 -- introduction by the moderator
6:45 to 8:30 -- the debate
8:30 to 8:45 -- event wrap-up

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Political Thinkers: Christopher Hitchens

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 intellectually-rigorous level.

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For this discussion, we'll evaluate the work of the late Christopher Hitchens.

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

- Do his views blur the lines of traditional ideological boundaries?
- What makes his appeal so controversial?
- Have 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 cultural or political climate of his time period?

We will then examine Hitchens' positions on philosophical topics and key policy matters, including:

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Saturday, December 29, 2018 Foreign Policy Forum: Climate Summit, Paris Protests, Brazil's Bolsonaro, Yemen

As we wrap up another busy year, we'll discuss a few important events and stories unfolding around the world.

1) Paris Protests -- The "Yellow Vest Movement" has sparked the world's attention in the recent weeks. We'll discuss the source of tensions, and the underlying economic and regulatory policies giving rise to this movement.

2) Brazil's Bolsonaro -- Brazil's President-elect is a self-proclaimed "nationalist" and "populist." In the post-liberal Lula-Rousseff era, there are many challenges ahead, including rampant corruption, as well as its relations with the South American neighbors and the U.S. The rise of self-proclaimed "populist" leaders with authoritarian leanings are prevalent in the current era -- what does it say about the current state of affairs?

3) Yemen's War -- The U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen is quickly losing public support. This is especially the prevailing consensus in Congress, in the wake of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. The Senate, in its resolution, exercises the War Powers Act to order the executive branch to end an unauthorized military campaign. As this war enters its fourth year, we'll discuss the vested interests in this apparent regional proxy war, as well as the grave humanitarian crisis unfolding on our watch.

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