Past & Upcoming Events

Racism, Bigotry and Violence in 2020

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

The three recent incidents of highly disturbing, or an apparent outright unjustified, unilateral use of deadly force against African-Americans, have placed the race relations at front and center of the public discourse again.

For this meeting, we'll discuss the incidents surrounding the following three African-Americans:

▨ Ahmaud Arbery (deceased)
▨ George Floyd (deceased)
▨ Christian Cooper

As such, we'll discuss the following:

• How are these incidents any different than the previous high-profile killings of African-Americans in the hands of law enforcement or vigilantism?

• In the George Floyd incident, assuming that there's no contradicting evidence other than what's shown in the videoclips, was the arrest of the police officer on duty swift and just?

• Is racial profiling and the use of excessive (deadly) force against African-Americans still rampant in law enforcement?

• Does the Christian Cooper incident at Central Park renew the notion of "White Privilege"? Is this an isolated (but disturbing) incident, or is the problem more widespread in the public's perspective on African-Americans?

• Do these three incidents change or renew your views on the Black Lives Matter movement?

[REPEAT] The "new normal" - maintaining personal relationships, travel & leisure

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

*** Due to popular demand, this Meetup is being offered to those who couldn't attend the original event on May 26th.


We'll continue to discuss how the pandemic is (and will be) fundamentally changing virtually every aspect of our daily lives. As such, how will the new changes will bring about the "new normal" in our personal lives and in our community?

THE PREMISE: The lessons learned from the 1918 Spanish Influenza indicate that pandemic can linger for several years, on a global scale. Many public health experts have suggested that a vaccine may not be available at least for a few years. There's also a slim, but plausible, chance that there will never be a vaccine -- in which case, COVID-19 may never be eradicated.

As the new grim reality sets in, let's discuss how this will affect the future of travel, leisure and maintaining personal relationships.

• How will the pandemic disrupt the airline and tourism industry? Is the disruption more likely to be temporary or permanent?

• What constitutes as an "essential travel," as opposed to nonessential travel?

• How will the downturn in tourism affect NYC, as one of the most sought-after travel destinations?

Vote-by-Mail, Absentee Voting and the 2020 Elections

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

As the election year looms, we'll discuss the challenges that lie ahead in accessing the ballot, amid the pandemic. We'll discuss the pros and cons, as well as the unintended consequences, of the three options currently in the works in various states.

▨ Vote-by-Mail
▨ Absentee ballots
▨ Maintain the status quo (in-person voting at polling sites)

In weighing in the merits of these options, we'll discuss the following:

• What are the pros and cons of each of the three options?

• What are the facts and myths of the alleged "voter fraud" in the past elections, as well as vote-by-mail?

• In the event that the pandemic lingers (or even gets worse via the "second wave"), does this justify expanding the voting options?

• What does the conventional wisdom tell us about the inherent partisan advantage of vote-by-mail? What are the fallacies of the conventional wisdom?

• Is it logistically possible to expand the voting options? Are there sufficient funding, training, resources and infrastructure in place to ensure that access to the ballot can preserved and protected?

• What lessons from recent absentee voting in the States of Wisconsin and Texas can tell us about the 2020 general elections?

Is COVID-19 pandemic a preview of our climate change future? (Virtual Meetup)

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

IMPORTANT: In order to participate create a profile on Zoom:

If using Zoom for the first time, please download the app. It's free and only takes a few minutes to complete.

You'll receive a link to the Zoom videoconference one day before the Meetup.

We'll continue discussing the coronavirus pandemic. For the Eighth Session, we'll discuss whether this pandemic is a preview of what's to come if the current projections of climate change turns out to be true.

To that end, below is what we've discovered so far from the pandemic -- and these are the important questions that our society must rigorously examine:

• This pandemic has revealed the sobering reality of the true limits and vulnerabilities of human nature and our technology vs. the mightiness and dangers of the natural world.

• The potential reemergence of "prehistoric" plagues from rapid melting of the Arctic ice. This pandemic has revealed that our immune systems are highly vulnerable to any "novel" pathogens.

Political Thinkers: Ayn Rand

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

We'll continue the "Political Thinkers" series. It critically examines the political and ideological viewpoints of prominent public intellectuals, both current and from the past.

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.


For this discussion, we'll evaluate the life and legacy of Ayn Rand. We'll explore the following:

▨ The highlights of her career as an author and public intellectual.

▨ The development of Rand's philosophy of "Objectivism." A discussion on the Objectivist positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.

▨ Rand's influence in the modern political movements and public intellectuals.

For those that want to get some exposure to Ayn Rand's idea prior to the meetup, here are some suggested readings. These are all on the website of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), which is an organization dedicated to spreading and advocating Ayn Rand's ideas.

Kazakhstan: the past, present and future

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

For this meeting, we'll have a multi-faceted discussion on Kazakhstan. Our resident Kazakh native, Gani, will lead the discussion and will discuss the following:

- A brief history.
- Its role during the Cold War.
- Its independence.
- The current economy and industry.
- The current geopolitical relations and tensions with its neighboring countries.
- The current challenges both internally and on the world stage.
- Finally, what changes or reforms are needed?

After the meeting, we'll go to a nearby Kazakh restaurant for further cultural experience!

*** The event will be announced about 8 to 10 days beforehand.

New York, NY 10001 - USA

Sunday, January 17 at 4:00 PM


On "ideological absolutism" and "purity tests"

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

For this meeting, we'll discuss the "non-compromising" postures often observed in partisan politics. When is the "litmus test" applicable for an elected official? What's more, as the primary season is underway, and in the aftermath of the Impeachment, we've also observed growing ideological divide within each major parties (a/k/a "the circular firing squad" and the threats of "primary challenges").

Let's further explore the following:

▨ Why has "compromise" in governance become equated with "betrayal" or "disingenuousness"?

▨ Are "political purity tests" productive or overly rigid?

▨ When are "political purity tests" justified in shifting the Overton Window of the public discourse?

▨ On what grounds can one justify an outright "ideological absolutism"?

▨ In a partisan dog fight, when is it acceptable to abandon party loyalty and caucus with the opposing party?

▨ FINALLY, we'll discuss the merits (and defenses) of the perennial debate in "pragmatism vs. ideological rigidity."

Using the principles set forth above, we'll apply them to the current issues at stake:

Book Club: "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

For this meeting, we'll read and discuss Machiavelli's "The Prince" (https://en.wikipedia....).

Based on the reading, here are some questions and themes for our discussion:

▨ The emergence of the Italian renaissance, its reigning rulers of the period, and the governing system.

▨ A brief biography of Machiavelli.

▨ The intended audience and meaning of The Prince.

▨ The analysis and interpretation of The Prince.

▨ The applicability of political principles and theories stemming from The Prince.

▨ The wide-ranging influence of The Prince -- from the revolutionaries, controversial theorists, dictators, to modern politicians.

IMPORTANT: If you wish to attend, it is strongly recommended that you read the text, as the discussion will primarily be based from the reading assignment. Many copies are available on line, including at the following link: https://www.constitut...

More details to follow.

New York, NY 10001 - USA

The Suez Canal Crisis of 1956 (Law, History, and Politics)

photo"The NYC Political Forum"

For this meeting, we'll discuss the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956.

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

I. Law
- The Convention of Constantinople of 1888 (https://en.wikipedia....)

- The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 (https://en.wikipedia....)

- A secret agreement reached between the governments of Britain, France and Israel, later to be known as the "Protocol of Sèvres" (https://en.wikipedia....)