Thursday, July 28, 2016

"American Politics" discussion topics for Monday, August 1 at the North Shore Senior Center

Allan Kaufman will lead our discussion August 1.  Here are Allan's topics:

Bernie Sanders supporters called out “Lock Her Up” (from the RNC) on Monday morning prior to the convention opening.  Do you feel that will have any impact on Hillary’s campaign?

David Duke, former head of the KKK is running for Senate in Louisiana. Duke stated “I am overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for.  My slogan remains America first.”  How do you feel this could affect Trump?

Do you feel the Olympic ban on the Russian athletics that tested positive for performance enhancing drugs will affect the Olympics? 

The “Gold Old Boy´ mentality, still exist in many corporations today.  Hillary Clinton is “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” as the 1st woman nominee of a major political party.  Do you feel this will have an impact on this Good Old Boy network on the corporate level?

RNC vs. DNC.  Your thoughts on the conventions on the topics below:
a.      Demonstrations/Unity
b.      Chaos and/or order
c.       Speakers
d.      VP’s and their speeches
e.      Bashing the other candidate
f.        Which convention did the Best and Worst

Bernie supporters inside and outside were booing Bernie when he asked them to support Hillary.  Then later that evening Sarah Silverman said to the Bernie supporters “You’re Being Ridiculous.”  What effect did this have on the Bernie supporters?  Do you think they will vote for Hillary?

Donna Brazile, CNN National political analyst and former campaign manager for Al Gore is now the DNC Chairman.  Good move or bad and why?

53 million people have been under a heat advisory this week.  Fires on the west coast, flooding and heat in the Midwest and more violent weather throughout the US.  Is climate change real?  Your thoughts on this.

Your thoughts on the petition for redistricting in Illinois.  Good for Illinois or bad for Illinois?

Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC is now considered one of the greatest in DNC history.  She was able to oppose the RNC candidate’s views without ever mentioning his name.  Her story of living in a house built by slaves, watching her young girls playing on the White House lawn, and more captivated the DNC and viewer alike.  She stated “Don’t let anyone tell you that this country isn’t great.  That we need to make it great again.  This, right now, is the greatest country on Earth.”  What did you think of her speech, and do you think there could be a political future for Mrs. Obama?

What do you think of Bill O’Reilly’s comments after Michelle Obama speech, “Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings …” One Twitter response to that comment was “Bill O’Reilly seems to think it’s ok if you feed and house your slaves well. What part of the word ‘slave’ doesn’t he understand?”

Trump transfigured the Republican Party into something much different and won. Have we seen the end of the "Traditional" Republican Party and birth of a new  "nationalist party" similar to what happened in the UK?  Can an American form of "Brexit" win the White House for Trump?

4th Circuit Court overturns the NC decision on voter registration law.  What affect can this have on the Presidential election and other states with similar laws? 

The Cubs acquired a new relief pitcher who served a 30 game suspension by MLB for for violating the league’s domestic-violence policy.  He was not convicted by any legal court system. Good, bad or ugly?

Many incidents have happened throughout the world in the past few months.  Would you travel or change your plans.  How have these incidents affected tourism throughout the world?

Who is the “Change Maker”, Hilary or Donald and why?

TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is a trade agreement ratified by 12 countries.  Parts of the agreement promote economic growth, new jobs and more.  It also lowers tariffs.  Economists differ on their views on this agreement.  Do you think it will have a positive or negative effect on our economy and why?

Donald J. Trump , the master marketer succeeds in stealing airtime from the DNC.  What do you think about Trump’s comments about Russia hacking the DNC emails and having some impact on the Presidential Elections?  Could this be encouraging espionage toward America?

"Current Events" discussion topics for Thursday, August 4 at the North Shore Senior Center

Topics for August 4 will be posted several days before we meet.

Monday, July 25, 2016

"Great Ideas: Israeli History" on Thursday, August 11 in the Northbrook Library Pollak Room

Here are two links that will allow you to review, download and print the slides we show and discuss at each session:

Israeli History: Zionism through 1967:

Israeli History: Post 1967:

On August 11 we will continue our discussion of Israeli history  in 1973 with the prelude to the Yom Kippur War.

FOR FUTURE DISCUSSION….May 14, 1948 Israel set a course into the future, based in part upon the following words etched into the country’s Declaration of Independence:

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Which of these objectives is Israel well on its way to realizing? Which of them have proved most elusive?
  • What elements are part and parcel of a country that has been “developed for the benefit of all its inhabitants?”
  • How would you define “freedom of conscience?”
  • If you were to have the chance to revise this paragraph in 2016, would you make any additions? Would you take anything out?

Below is a list of books mentioned during our sessions:

  • "The Arab-Israeli Wars" by Chaim Herzog
  • "Kissinger and the Yom Kippur War" by David Morse
  • "The Making of Modern Israel 1948-1967" by Leslie Stein
  • "Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict" by Charles D. Smith
  • “The Iron Wall: Israel & The Arab World” by Avi Shlaim
  • “Transformative Justice: Israeli Identity on Trial” by Leora Bilsky
  • "Six Days of War : June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" by Michael Oren
  • “The Secret War Against The Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons
  • “A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel” by Allis Radosh and Ronald Rados
  • "Truman" by David McCullough
  • “Louis D. Brandeis: A Life” by Melvin Urofsky
  • “The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership” by Yehuda Avner
  • “George C. Marshall” by Forest Pogue (a 4 volume work- the most definitive biography)
  • “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” by Benny Morris
  • “Woodrow Wilson: A Biography” by John Milton Cooper, Jr
  • “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” by David Fromkin
  • "Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews": A History by James Carroll
  • “In the Garden of the Beasts” by Erik Larson
  • “My Promised Land - The Triumph & Tragedy of Israel” by Ari Shavit
  • "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" by Samantha Power
  • "The Physician" by Noah Gordon
  • "Start-up Nation: the Story of Israel's Economic Miracle" by Dan Senor and Saul Singer
  • "Eichmann in Jerusalem: a Report on the Banality of Evil" by Hannah Arendt
  • "The Eichmann Trial" by Deborah Lipstadt
  • "The House on Garibaldi Street" by Isser Harrel
  • "Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices" by Mosab Hassan Yousef
  • “Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of A Mass Murder” by Bettina Stangneth
  • "Jaffa Beach" by Fedora Horowitz
  • "Operation Thunderbolt:  Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the most Audacious Hostage Rescue in History", by Saul David
  • "Abba Eban", A Biography by Asaf Siniver
  • "Jerusalem: The Biography" by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • "The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine" by Ben Ehrenreich
  • "Jabotinsky" by Hillel Halkin
  • "Doomed to Succeed" by Dennis Ross

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Important Information About Our Discussions

"Current Events" and "Great Ideas" meet at the Northbrook Library

We meet in Pollak Rooms A & B--with a capacity of 90-100 people.  You can bring in covered cups, mugs, etc. with coffee. Food is not allowed. There are vending machines in the lobby area right outside the Pollak Room if you wish to purchase a beverage. The library will not be providing coffee.


At times, during discussions, participants mention an internet article of interest. This page will list such links. Contact Ron Mantegna if you want to suggest a link appropriate to a specific discussion topic.