What we're about

The SFDebate Meetup is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. We have three goals:

(1) UNDERSTAND OTHER POINTS OF VIEW. With so much news available to us, it is easy to fall into the trap of relying on sources that simply support and reinforce our own limited beliefs. The SFDebate Meetup is a chance for you to expand your perspectives and understanding. We believe that when opinions are discussed in public, our critical faculties are sharpened as we are exposed to diverse viewpoints that we may not have considered before.

(2) DEVELOP YOUR PERSUASIVE SKILLS. If you want to be able to convince others of your ideas, if you want to change the world we live in, SFDebate is the forum for you. Consider SFDebate to be a 'dojo' for persuasive speaking. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. We work hard to keep things civil and will not tolerate physical intimidation or threats of any kind.

(3) The point is to HAVE FUN and MAKE FRIENDS. It is a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with drinks , a bite to eat, and some drunken debate at a nearby bar/restaurant.

Upcoming events (1)

This House Condemns DoJ Directive to FBI to Address Threats to School Officials

On October 4, 2021, U.S. Attorney-General Merrick Garland issued a memo stating:
"I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district ... These meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response."

The full 1-page memo is here:
https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1438986/download

The Department of Justice's press release about Garland's memo explains how "Threats of violence against school board members, officials, and workers in our nation’s public schools can be reported by the public to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) via its national tip line (1-800-CALL-FBI) and online through the FBI website (http://fbi.gov/tips).":
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-addresses-violent-threats-against-school-officials-and-teachers

Garland's action was prompted by a letter to President Biden from the National School Boards Association on September 29, "Re: Federal Assistance to Stop Threats and Acts of Violence Against Public Schoolchildren, Public School Board Members, and Other Public School District Officials and Educators."
Read that 6-page letter here:
https://nsba.org/-/media/NSBA/File/nsba-letter-to-president-biden-concerning-threats-to-public-schools-and-school-board-members-92921.pdf

Garland's directive to the FBI has been condemned by some as an abuse of federal power against people exercising their right to protest against decisions made by school officials. Others say it is a prudent and reasonable response to actual threats.

=== OUR MOTION FOR DEBATE: ===

"This House Condemns DoJ Directive to FBI to Address Threats to School Officials"

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER TO GIVE A 6-MINUTE PRESENTATION EITHER IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION OR AGAINST IT, CONTACT ROY FERREIRA THROUGH MEETUP.

WE ARE ALSO SEEKING A MODERATOR FOR THIS EVENT

=== ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION: ===

* Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, "Merrick Garland’s Federal Offense"
https://www.wsj.com/articles/merrick-garlands-federal-offense-department-of-justice-school-board-threats-11633540078
If you have a problem with the WSJ paywall, try this link instead:
https://theworldstockmarkets.com/index.php/2021/10/07/merrick-garlands-federal-offense/

* Robby Soave, Reason, "A.G. Merrick Garland Tells FBI To Investigate Parents Who Yell at School Officials About Critical Race Theory"
https://reason.com/2021/10/06/ag-merrick-garland-fbi-critical-race-theory-parents-schools-domestic-terrorists/

* Christopher Rufo, Manhattan Institute, "Biden Criminalizes CRT Dissent"
https://www.city-journal.org/biden-criminalizes-critical-race-theory-dissent

=== ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE MOTION: ===

* Steve Benen, MSNBC, "Leading Republicans balk after DOJ responds to school board threats"
https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/leading-republicans-balk-after-doj-responds-school-board-threats-n1280895

* Ruben Navarrette Jr., The Daily Beast, "Merrick Garland Isn’t 'Criminalizing Parenting' — He’s Protecting Schoolkids"
https://www.thedailybeast.com/merrick-garland-isnt-criminalizing-parentinghes-protecting-schoolkids

* Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, "Republicans are officially in favor of threats to school board members"
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/10/6/2056450/-Republicans-howl-about-silencing-parents-after-DOJ-reacts-to-threats-against-school-boards

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This meeting will be conducted on Zoom. The Zoom link will appear here on the event web page when you RSVP. It's your choice if you want to turn on your camera or not, but people who can be seen are often more persuasive. At SFDebate, everyone gets a chance to speak and is encouraged to do so, but no one is required to speak if they don't want to.

Photos (203)