Deposit Required for Int'l Affairs - Prague Spring Meeting Tonight

From: Lee
Sent on: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3:18 PM

Meeting Topic: The War Continues and the Public Acquiesces - The State of the Union
(see below)


Why We Have a Deposit Policy

Prague Spring has conducted 80+ discussion group meetings over dinner since 2002. We emphasize a well-organized structure that allows us to focus on a single topic with small groups of 5-8 persons per table. We want everyone to be able to meaningfully participate in the discussions. The challenge the group has always faced is to find a place that is quiet enough for a large table to be heard by everyone and allows us to sit for two or more hours. Furthermore, the layout should make sure that we don?t disturb other guests of the establishment.

Taj, at 318 E.6th Street, allows us to arrange our tables in a big square. They provide a 4 course menu with choices of appetizer and main dish, real naan and an Indian custard dessert with coffee or tea (chai). So for $17, $12 for newcomers, we have a comfortable atmosphere along with dinner for our meetings. To be fair to the restaurant and continue our good relationship with them, we need a firm headcount and a reservation ahead of time. This is where the deposit comes in.

Without the deposit policy, we have found that the no show ratio is typically 50%, but can vary from 25% - 75%. Naturally you can see how difficult it would be to plan with such variance. With the deposit, attendance is typically 90% - 100%.

We realize the deposit may turn people off, but the group has decided it is better to have commitments from those who will definitely attend than it is to manage around the uncertainty. If you arrive without a deposit, we may not have a seat for you. Accordingly, please go to the Meetup page or Prague Spring?s own website meeting page and make a deposit if you intend to come.

Thanks,

Lee
Founder
Prague Spring

The Merger of Two Great Groups & Our Next Discussion

Big News,

Prague Spring is merging with the New York City International Affairs Club. The combined group will be named Prague Spring and continue its six year legacy of intelligent, in-depth discussion of the pressing topics of the day. The group will continue to have two types of meetings. We will continue the 2 hour dinners focused on a single topic with relevant articles posted before the meeting. We will also have book discussions announced a month or so in advance.

The meetup page for the New York Chapter will use the same one as the International Affairs Group and we will eventually change the name to Prague Spring. In another exciting piece of news, our second chapter will be opening in Florida soon. It will take over the existing Prague Spring page, so please change your membership to the New York City International Affairs Club if you are not already a member.

In the meantime, we hope you will come to the next meeting on Tuesday, May 27.


The War Continues and the Public Acquiesces - The State of the Union


The 5 year anniversary of the Iraq war has come and gone. It almost has seemed like a non-event based on the coverage of the mass media. Perhaps worse, it seems like the public is indifferent too. What happened to a concerned citizenry?

The intelligence has been shown to be flimsy at best, the justifications were heavy with fabricated terrorist connections and nuclear fears, the case for war was assisted by "expert" retired generals on the Pentagon payroll and the military targeted unfriendly journalists.

The Democrats were elected supposedly to bring the troops home and that is nowhere in sight. The Democratic candidates talk about withdrawal with caveats and McCain even compared our stay in Iraq to our presence in Germany and South Korea (let alone an off-the-cuff reference to a hundred years).

What does this say about the US and its future? Let's get together to talk about it.

Please note that the $17 attendance fee includes a 4 course Indian dinner and covers the tax and tip too. (First time attendees only pay $12 total including the deposit. Beverages are extra). To reserve a spot, you must make a $7 deposit through the PayPal link. The deposit allows us to plan on table sizes of 5-8 people, making for discussions that are neither too big nor too small.


Additional articles are found below.

Whistle-Blower Points to Target List in US Attack on Hotel

Iraqi Exile Group Fed False Information to News Media
Global Misinformation Campaign was Used to Build Case for War

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