What we're about
Upcoming events (5)
Come watch a live virtual debate on a timely, yet contentious topic of the Electoral College. This debate will capture the spirit and essence of a live debate, yet held remotely via Zoom. Here's the final debate resolution: "This house supports abolishing the Electoral College." Erik (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/12950328/) and Justin (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/225541364/) will team up against Fred (https://www.meetup.com/debateclub-6/members/68578742) and Rory (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/members/35070802/) to engage in a civil and thoughtful debate on this topic. The debate will be in an "Oxford-style" format (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate#Oxford-style_debating). ************** IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The NYCPF is a nonpartisan organization. As such, we do not promote or advocate on behalf of any particular issues or causes. Rather, our aim is to foster independent, critical thinking by exchange of views with the highest level of intellectual rigor. ************** Previous Oxford Debates: ▨ Sept. 10, 2020: "This house supports school re-opening amid the pandemic" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/272948701/) ▨ Feb. 21, 2020: "Do 'Gig Economy' Workers Need Protection?" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/268511702/) ▨ Jan. 8, 2020: "Healthcare should be a fundamental human right." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/267377390/) ▨ Dec. 6, 2019: "This House supports the U.K. leaving the E.U." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/266463982/) ▨ Oct 1, 2019: "This House supports the right to bear arms as a fundamental right." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/264799445/) ▨ August 14, 2019: "This house supports reparations for slavery." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/263571020/) ▨ July 17, 2019: "Social media is good for democracy." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/262854423/) ▨ June 19, 2019: "Economic inequality is unjust and harmful." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/262185550/) ▨ May 22, 2019: "The Democratic Party has moved too far left." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/261429304/) ▨ April 24, 2019: "Capitalism is the most morally superior political and social system." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/260120605/) ▨ March 6, 2019: "The regulation of Free Speech creates a more 'civil' society." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/259042993/) ▨ Jan 18, 2019: "Affirmative action is necessary to redress past racial injustices." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/257427434/) ▨ Nov. 30, 2018: "On balance, illegal immigrants are a 'net positive' to society." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/256231796/)
By the time this event takes place, it is more likely than not that the Senate will have enough votes to approve the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be the next Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In what has otherwise have been a contentious showdown in the nomination of justices at our nation's highest court, we'll preview how the confirmation of Justice Barrett will shape the makeup of the SCOTUS and how many important public policies will be adjudicated under a SCOTUS review. As we preview these (likely) developments, let's discuss the following: ▨ Do you find the Republican Party's reasoning for fast-tracking Justice Barrett's nomination (vis-à-vis the arbitrary withholding of Merrick Garland's nomination) persuasive or hypocritical? ▨ How will Justice Barrett's judicial philosophy of "Originalism" influence her role on the bench? Additionally, how her approach to law may have been influenced by her mentor, the late Justice Scalia. ▨ What her opinions and rulings from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reveal about her judicial philosophy. ▨ The historical nature and significant of this confirmation -- only the fifth woman to be elevated to the SCOTUS. ▨ What is at stake for important public policy matters, including Roe v. Wade, the ACA challenge, immigration, and same-sex marriage? ▨ Should Justice Barret recuse herself in another potential post-election SCOTUS litigation, due to a putative conflict of interest? ▨ Finally, the current makeup of the Roberts Court now appears to be staunchly conservative. Did Justice Barret solidify the conservative ideological wing by a clear 6-3 majority for many years to come?
IMPORTANT: In order to participate create a profile on Zoom: https://zoom.us/ 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. • Our society, cultural norms, institutions, infrastructure, and government were grossly unprepared for a global (let alone a nation-wide) crisis. • Our society, institutions, infrastructure, and government are grossly under-prepared and ill-equipped for an adequate medical response. • While some experts have been ringing the alarm bell for many years, many of our elected officials and society at large (myself included) were asleep behind the wheel -- some even outright downplayed the dangers. Only after the crisis had unfolded, we then found ourselves asking "how could this have happened? . . . I had no idea it would be this bad." • FINALLY, assuming that the projections by the overwhelming majority of the experts in the scientific community are true, what can be done? Is it too late? Can the skeptics ever be convinced of the scientific data? ********************* Past sessions: ▨ Session 1: Sharing our stories about coping, readiness and survival. (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269537632/) ▨ Session 3: COVID-19: From Wuhan to Washington to everywhere (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269537632/) ▨ Session 3: TED Talks: Did Bill Gates predict COVID-19 in 2015? (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269622313/) ▨ Session 4: The Economic Impacts of the Coronavirus (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269653040/) ▨ Session 5: The $2.2 TRILLION stimulus and mega-bailout (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269746655/) ▨ Session 6: COVID-19 Lockdowns vs. Our Individual Freedoms (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269792901/) ▨ Session 7: "The role of faith, spirituality and humanism during a pandemic." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269911744/) ▨ Session 8: "Individualism vs. Utilitarianism vs. Collectivism during a pandemic" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/269972631/) ▨ Session 9: "How the coronavirus is magnifying the racial and socio-economic disparities." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270067753/) ▨ Session 10: "The Future of the U.S.-China Relations in the Covidien Era" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270203517/) ▨ Session 11: "Europe's response to COVID-19 and the future of the E.U." (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270294141/) ▨ Session 12: "India's response to the coronavirus -- for its 1.3 billion people" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270358983/) ▨ Session 13: "The 1918 'Spanish Flu' Influenza Pandemic - history, pathology & lessons learned" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270450880/) ▨ Session 14: "Big Gov't or Limited Gov't" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270504613/) ▨ Session 15: "The New Normal" (https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/270914119/) ********************* We'll limit the attendance to ten attendees for each session. Each event will be announced about two to three days beforehand.
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. The first (Philosophy: Who Needs It) is a talk given to West Point cadets in which Rand describes the need for philosophy in general as inescapable and then offers a brief summary of her own philosophy. The second (Man's Rights) is an essay on Rand's view of rights. The third (The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made) is the most advanced of the three and covers not just metaphysics, but also epistemology and ethics. Reading these three is not mandatory, but it is encouraged if you want to get the most out of this meetup. Philosophy: Who Needs It https://courses.aynrand.org/works/philosophy-who-needs-it/ (PWNI) Man's Rights https://courses.aynrand.org/works/mans-rights/ The Metaphysical versus the Man-Made https://courses.aynrand.org/works/the-metaphysical-versus-the-man-made/ ************************ Previous "Political Thinkers" series: ▨ Frederick Douglass (February 16, 2020): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/268091167 ▨ Ta-Nehisi Coates (August 17, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/263637235/ ▨ Steve Bannon and Andrew Breitbart (July 27, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/261209955/ ▨ Noam Chomsky (April 13, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/260117021/ ▨ Milton Friedman (Feb. 23, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/258359948/ ▨ Christopher Hitchens (Jan. 12, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/257700330/ ▨ Jordon Peterson (May 26, 2018): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/250182531 ▨ Sam Harris and Reza Azlan (April 21, 2018): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/248609818/ ▨ Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro, Linda Sarsour, Cenk Uygur (Feb. 10, 2018): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/246998014/