VALENCIA COLLEGE Introduction to Political Science/American National Government

Valencia College
Poinciana Campus

CRN 17228 MW 8:30 am - 9:45 am Room 1-217
CRN 17807 MW 1 - 2:15 pm Room 1-227
Course Syllabus POS2041
Fall 2019/Ron Ziegler

Three credits are earned upon completion of this course;
there are no prerequisites.


The theory, organization, principles and functions of national government,
stressing relationships of individuals to all levels of government in the political system.
This course includes activities designed to ensure or enhance competence
in the basic use of computers.

TEXT American Government & Politics Today Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes most recent edition in book store or recent one
(you may want to wait until you have attended the first class before purchasing text book)

Computer Based Learning Activity

To demonstrate competence with the basic use of computers
the College's US Government (POS2041) course is designed
to include a formal 'computer-based' learning activity. For this
particular course the following assignment(s) assessment and
percentage of final grade protocols have been established:

Description of assigned computer-based learning activity

Students will be required to download the mid term exam and study guide
from the internet web site on which it is posted. They will also be required
to locate one scholarly article from a website to which they are referred,
and another from professional scholarly journals in political science located
on VCC library data bases, and to submit via email their critical reviews of
those articles. Thirdly, students will be required to prepare a legal brief of
a supreme court decision by accessing web sources.
Laptops may be used in class but only for class-related activities.

Description of impact on percentage of final course grade

The article, book or movie critical reviews, web projects, film commentaries, and the case brief
each constitute 1/8 of the course grade the student earns in this class.
The mid term and final are each also 1/8 of the final grade.
Computer based skills thus are involved in well over half of the total final course grade.




Ron Ziegler, Political Science
Office Hours: by appointment/available for consultation before/after each class session


Human beings naturally live in groups. An effective government is necessary in organizing and maintaining order in a society of people, although it's function is not to control them. There must also be an agent whose function it is to maintain smooth market operations as to the allocation of natural resources. Government is also important in settling conflicts and disputes which arise in society. A citizen of a particular society must know and understand the operation of the government; it's primary function is to safeguard their natural rights as citizens. U.S. Government I is a required course designed to acquaint students with their political system.

Important Course and College Dates (Fall 2019)

August 26: Classes begin
September 2: Labor Day (College Closed)
September 3: Drop/Refund Deadline (midnight) ·
September 13: Change of Program Deadline ·
October 7-11: Early Alert Week for Grades ·
October 17: Spirit Day ·
November 1: Withdrawal Deadline-“W’ Grade (midnight) ·
November 18-22: International Education Week ·
November 27 – December 1: Thanksgiving Break (College Closed) ·
December 8: Day and Evening Classes End ·
December 8: Faculty Final Date to Enter Withdrawal ·
December 9–15: Final exam week ·
December 15: Term Ends ·
December 16: Grades Due 9:00am ·
December 17: Final Grades Viewable in Atlas ·
December 23 – January 1: Winter Break (College Closed)



Important Valencia Website Links
· College Calendar:
· Important Dates & Deadlines: ·
Final Exam Schedule: ·
College Catalog: ·
Valencia Policy and Procedures: · FERPA: ·
Poinciana Campus Scholarships:

Attendance Policy

Attendance is a major contributing factor to student success; as such, attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to attend our face-to-face meetings
After the too many absences, a student may be withdrawn from the course.
As a student, here is my expectation of you:
Arrive on time, complete all required assignments before class, and remain in class for the duration of the course, except on scheduled breaks.
In the event of an absence, students are responsible for making up any missed work, as well as keeping up with announcements made during class time.
I recommend you contact me with any questions regarding missed material.

“No Show” Status

Class attendance is required beginning with the first class meeting. If you do not attend the first class meeting, you may be withdrawn from the class as a “no show.”
If you are withdrawn as a “no show,” you will be financially responsible for the class and a final grade of “WN” will appear on your transcript for the course.


Students are expected to be in class on time; please try to avoid any scheduling conflicts with this course.
Special instructions for current assignments are often given at the beginning of class, so it is best to arrive at least five minutes early.
If tardiness is excessive, a direct intervention and future plan may be required from the professor.

Class Preparation

Please come to class prepared, meaning that you have a utensil or device for taking notes, have all required course material,
and are prepared to be actively engaged in the course. Reading assignments should be completed prior to the class period where they will be discussed.
All assignments must be submitted by designated deadlines.

Class Participation

Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and activities. This will affect your performance in this course
(students who are actively involved in course material tend to be more successful).
Be prepared to discuss all materials in class: take notes while reading at home, complete all assigned tasks on the weekly schedule,
and have at least one question or comment about assigned readings every session. Please be aware that participation doesn’t just mean talking in class
(though I encourage you all to join in classroom discussions). Participation includes being attentive, joining in group work, and communicating with your professor.

Improper Technology Usage

While you are allowed to use technology as a resource in class, it is expected that you will use the resource maturely.
Please try to avoid using your cell phone/laptops for personal reasons during class time;
please note you are encouraged to use these devices for material relevant to the class discussion. The occasional emergency is understandable:
please leave class to check your phone if that is necessary. Otherwise, it is extremely disrespectful to the professor and your fellow classmates.
Excessive texting, use of social media in class, playing digital games without inviting the professor, or any other inappropriate activities may result in you being removed from the class for the day and marked absent.

International Students (F-1 or J-1 Visa)

Please be advised that withdrawal from this course due to attendance may result in the termination of your visa status
if you fall below the full-time enrollment requirements of 12 credit hours. Consult the International Student Service office for more information.

Withdrawal Policy

Please see the date above for the withdrawal deadline. During a first or second attempt in the same course at Valencia,
if you withdraw or are withdrawn by the professor, you will receive a non-punitive grade of “W” (Withdrawn).
You will not receive credit for the course, and the W will not be calculated in your grade point average; however, the enrollment will count in your total attempts in the specific course.
Students are not permitted to withdraw after the withdrawal deadline.
A student may be administratively withdrawn from the course due to violation of class attendance policy; if you are withdrawn administratively,
you will receive a W. Any student who withdraws or is withdrawn from a class during the third or subsequent attempt to complete the course will be assigned a grade of F.
Please note that withdrawal from a course may impact financial aid; it is strongly recommended a student consult with the professor, an adviser, and financial aid before withdrawing from the course.

Student Code of Conduct

Valencia College is dedicated not only to the advancement of knowledge and learning, but the development of responsible personal and social conduct.
By enrolling at Valencia College, a student assumes the responsibility for becoming familiar with and abiding by the general rules of conduct.
The primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the faculty.
Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member to leave the classroom.
Violation of any classroom or Valencia rules may lead to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from Valencia.
Disciplinary action could include being withdrawn from class, disciplinary warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate and authorized actions.
You will find the Student Code of Conduct in the current Valencia Student Handbook.

Academic Honesty

Each student is required to follow Valencia policy regarding academic honesty. All work submitted by students is expected to be the result
of the student’s individual thoughts, research, and self-expression, unless the assignment specifically states “group project.” Any act of academic dishonesty
will be handled in accordance with Valencia policy as set forth in the Student Handbook and Catalog.
At Valencia, we expect the highest standards of academic honesty. Academic dishonesty is prohibited in accordance with policy 6Hx28: 8-11
upheld by the Vice President of Student Affairs ( Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to,
plagiarism, cheating, furnishing false information, forgery, alteration or misuse of documents, misconduct during a testing situation, and misuse of identification with intent to defraud or deceive.


Plagiarism is the act of taking another individual’s writings or ideas and passing them off as your own.
This includes directly copying even a small portion of the text, indirectly taking thoughts by paraphrasing ideas without correctly attributing to the source
(meaning both with signal phrases and in-text parenthetical citations), using papers written in previous courses (self-plagiarism),
and using another individual’s research without the correct attribution. Any act of plagiarism or academic dishonesty will result in an automatic failing grade on the assignment,
no matter how small the infraction; to clarify, this means the assignment will receive no points. Additional action may be taken with the college’s administrative offices.
Do not endanger your academic career: If there is a severe issue, you are confused about what constitutes plagiarism,
or you feel dishonesty is your only solution, contact me immediately and we will discuss the matter.

FALL 2019 Schedule of Work


8/26 Introductions, syllabus, grading criterion
8/28 read ch 1 (watch The Great Global Warming Swindle in class and write a 500 word Comment on it)
9/2 Labor Day School is Closed
9/4 read ch 2 amer system, const, and federalism, factors in the current economic crisis
9/9 read ch 3 amer system, const, and federalism (Revolutionary Holocaust)
view Fahrenhype 911 outside of class fahrenhype 911
/submit your 500 word comment with MidTerm

9/11 read ch 4, 5 natural rights
9/16 (Fiscal Policy)
9/18 read ch 6 political socialization and interest groups
9/23 read ch 7 political socialization and interest groups (Booms and Busts)
9/25 read ch 8 interest groups, parties, elections, media
9/30 view Collapse 2017 videos outside of class and write a 500 commentary to submit with midterm
Go Here

10/2 Read ch 9 interest groups, parties, elections, media
10/7 (Free to Choose - Markets, "Fear the Boom and Bust")
10/9 read ch 10 congress /Organization of Congress
10/14 (Free to Choose - Velvet Revolution)
10/16 Congress
10/21 (The Fed)
Congressional Districting
10/23 Mid Term Due along with four web projects, commentaries on Fahrenhype 911 and Collapse 2017, and the one case brief
10/28 The work of Congress
10/30 read ch 11 presidency and bureaucracy
11/4 read ch 12 judiciary policy
11/6 read ch 13 & 14
View short video about Convention of States in class
Convention of States
11/11 Veterans Day School is Closed
11/13 (CIA - Iran, Bay of Pigs, etc)
view Clinton Cash and turn in a 500 word commentary on it with your final
Clinton Cash
Clinton cash
11/18 Dumbarton Oaks/UN
11/20 (CIA Iran, Cuba, Laos and Mujahudeen)
11/25 Bretton Woods and IMF
11/27 Thanksgiving School Closed
Watch first 34 minutes of CIA video CIA
View 2 minute clip on liberation theology Collective Salvation
12/2 read ch 15 (CIA Afghanistan and Guatemala)
12/4 (CIA - complete film review)
12/9 Finals week - no class meetings
12/11 Final Exams, book review or eyes on the prize project,
Clinton Cash commentary, and four 500 word critical article reviews are due

A General Outline of Class Discussions

The Scientific Method and Popper's Falsification Principle
Statutory and Regulatory/Administrative Law
Factors in the 2008 Economic Crisis
Theories of Democracy: Democracies and Republics
Political Economy
Elitism and Pluralism
Limited Government
Civil Law and Natural Law
Political Culture and Socialization
Confederation, Federation, and Unitary Gov't
Charter of Negative Liberties?
Habeas Corpus, et al
Formal and Informal Constitutional Change
Fiscal Federalism and Fiscal Policy
Judicial Review
Amendment Process
Redistributive Justice
Vote Choice and Political Socialization
Statistical Analysis and Polling
Parties and Elections
Campaign Finance Reform
Structure of Congress
The Work of Congress and the Policy Process
Reapportionment and Redistricting
Presidential Power
The Fed and Monetary Policy
Dumbarton Oaks and the UN
Bretton Woods and the IMF
CIA - Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, etc.


You may write a book review or watch eyes on the prize as an alternative
to this assignment. A critical book review will involve submitting
strong paragraph synopses and critiques of each chapter of one of the following

books by the end of the term:

Unfreedom of the Press by Mark Levin
The Big Lie by Dinesh D'souza
Rediscovering Americanism and Tyranny of Progressivism by Mark Levin
A Battle for the Soul of Islam by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser
Heretic by Ayaan Ali
Defeating Jihad by Dr. Sebastian Gorka
Liberal Fascism by Jonas Goldberg
Hillary's America: A Secret History of the Democrat Party by Dinesh D'Sousa
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
The Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Marxism by Thomas Sowell
Dismantling America by Thomas Sowell
Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
Applied Economics by Thomas Sowell
The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell
The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 911 by Lawrence Wright
The End of Southern Exceptionalism by Schaffer
The End of Prosperity by Arthur Laffer, et al
The Fair Tax by Neal Bortz, et al
Con Job by Crystal Wright
Planning for Freedom by Ludwig von Mises
Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War by Ludwig von Mises
The Fatal Conceit by Frederich Hayek
The Road to Serfdom by Frederich Hayek
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
America�s Great Depression by Murray Rothbard
The Roosevelt Myth by John T. Flynn
Tempting of America by Robert Bork
Slouching to Gomorrah by Robert Bork Imperial Congress by Jones and Marini
Liberty and the Tyranny of Socialism by Walter Williams
Liberty or Tyranny by Mark Levin
The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin
Plunder and Deceit by Mark Levin
Defeating Jihad by Dr. Sebastian Zorka
The Imperial Congress by Jones, Marini and Gingrich
Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin
Crimes Against Liberty by David Limbaugh
The Law by Frederic Bastiat
Liars by Glenn Beck

if you have a different book in mind, consult with the instructor >

Eyes on the Prize is a video history of the civil rights movement and is
available for viewing in the media center. Students will have
to arrange to view each of the first six segments of the tape series,
each of which is about one hour long, and then select any twenty
of the following to write 20 paragraph essays about based on having watched the series
(the assignment is due with the final).
The first six segments of the series for this assignment are:

1 � �Awakenings� (1954�1956)
Murder of Emmett Till
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Go Here

2 � �Fighting Back� (1957�1962)
Central High School and the Little Rock Nine
James Meredith and the University of Mississippi
Go Here

3 � �Ain�t Scared of Your Jails� (1960�1961)
Nashville sit-ins and boycotts
Freedom Riders
Go here

4 � �No Easy Walk� (1961�1963) Martin Luther King, Jr.
Albany, Georgia
Birmingham, Alabama
The March on Washington
Go Here

5 � �Mississippi: Is This America?� (1962�1964)
Medgar Evers
Murder of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Go Here

6 � �Bridge to Freedom� (1965)
Go Here

1. Emmet Til
2. Rosa Parks
3. Martin Luther King, Jr.(role in Montgomery Improvement Assoc)
4. Little Rock Central
5. Orval Faubus
6. Albany Movement
7. Laurie Pritchett
8. Bull Connor
9. Letter from the Birmingham Jail
10. Jim Clark
11. March on Washington
12. Civil Rights Act of 1964
13. Voting Rights Act of 1965
14. Sit-Ins
15. CORE
16. SNCC
17. Freedom Rides
18. SCLC
19. 16th St Baptist Church
20. Aubrey Lucy
21. James Meredith
22. Ross Barnett
23. George Wallace
24. Brown vs Board of Education
25. Thurgood Marshall
26. Freedom Summer
27. Byron dela Beckwourth
28. Schreoner, Goodman, and Chaney
29. Edmund Pettus Bridge
30. Selma to Montgomery March
31. Elijah Muhammed
32. Medgar Evars
33. Chicago Open Housing Marches
34. Stokley Carmichael
35. H. Rap Brown
36. Huey P. Newton
37. Watts
38. April 4, 1968
39. Feb 21, 1965
40. White Citizens Councils >

Turn in Case Brief. Global Warming Swindle, Fahrenhype 911 and Collapse 2017 and commentaries, and Web Projects with Mid Term
Submit Article Reviews, Clinton Cash commentary, and either book review
or Eyes on the Prize assignment with Final
All assignments should be submitted by email to my yahoo address
























The grade each student earns in this class will be the average of grades earned
on several different instruments, each constituting 1/8 of the total grade:

Mid Term
Four Critical Article Reviews
Case Brief
Four Film Commentaries
Four Web Projects
Eyes on Prize or Book Review



Mid Term
Go Here
Study Guide for Case Law on Mid Term
Go Here
Final Exam
Go Here

































Article Reviews

First Review

Go to or and search out one of the political science articles which is of interest to you to read, review, and write a 500 word critical analysis about it.

Second Article Review

Similarly select and treat an article or piece from either of the following:

The von Mises Institute

The Ayn Rand Institute

Third Article Review

Select one article from one of the following and comment on it in a like manner:


Walter E. Williams

Thomas sowell article

Or select one writing from the following to read on which to comment(in Spanish):

Fourth Article Review

You are going to do the same thing with one article which you select from VCC Library
media bank resources taken from any one of the following professional journals:

The American Political Science Review
The Journal of Politics
Political Research Quarterly
Political Science Quarterly
American Politics Quarterly
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Political Theory
Foreign Policy
Foreign Affairs
American Journal of Political Science
Political Behavior
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Policy Studies Journal
Policy Studies Review

You will have to include a proper citation with your comments(article title,
author, publication, issue, and date) You will find selected articles from some
of these journals if you google the journal itself, but be sure to select
a complete article to write about so you have enough to get your teeth into.






Case Brief

Select a Supreme Court decision which is of interest to you from the text and submit the assignment by the time of the mid term

Do a web search on the case you have selected:

One of the hits will be the actual text of the decision.

Prepare a paper not to exceed two pages, which includes the following:

1) The name of the case
2) The date it was decided by the Supreme Court
3) The facts of the case
4) The issue being decided
5) The decision of the court
6) The legal reasoning behind the case
7) The justice who wrote the decision
8) The vote
9) The concurring and dissenting decisions
10) Indicate whether the decision is still law of if it has been overturned



Web Projects

(one of these should be done every week and submitted as a set with the mid term exam)

First Project/ New Media

Find each of the following on line:

The Drudge Report

World Net Daily


Fox news network

Write a one paragraph description of each


Second Project/ Elections/FEC

Go to

what does it tell you about campaign finance reports and data?

what does it tell you about reporting and compliance?

Go to

You will need to copy and paste the link and go to the section for elections and proceed from there

what agency is this webpage?

what kinds of information could you learn from this webpage?













Third Project Legislative Branch

Locate the official website of the United States Congress

( and

Identify each of the following:

Speaker of the House

Majority Leader of the House

Majority Whip of the House

Minority Leader of the House

Minority Whip of the House

the number of members who are Republicans

the number of members who are Democrats

the name of the member of Congress whose district you live in

and the committees that member serves on in the Congress


President of the Senate

President pro temp of the Senate

Majority Leader of the Senate

Minority Leader of the Senate

the Florida members of the U.S. Senate and their party affiliation

(look at the state district map at

Which Florida House District do you live in, and what is the name of the Representative

elected from that district?

Which Florida Senate District do you live in, and what is the name of the Representative

elected from that district?

(use to search out this information)



Fourth Project/ Executive Branch

Go to

a) go to USA.GOV to find Executive Agencies, etc

list five of the agencies of the Executive Office of the President

tell one duty of each

name the current official serving in that position

b) click on Cabinet

name each department, one duty of each, and the current head of each

c) for Federal Agencies and Commissions

Go Here

list five independent regulatory commissions

five government corporations

five executive/administrative agencies

(and identify the primary task of each)


Contacting Instructor

You may contact the instructor through email at
or by calling at 321-805-2507 (cell). You may leave a voice mail.
If necessary, I will contact you as necessary. If you have to miss a class,
it is advisable that you contact the instructor with that information before hand.

About Your Instructor

Ron Ziegler taught high school in Detroit, Michigan from 1967 until his retirement in 1999. During those years, he also taught adult education classes with the Cass Outreach program, and Kettering, Hazel Park, and Monroe/Bedford adult ed programs. Since 1982, he has taught political science, history, and economics at Detroit College of Business/Davenport College, Wayne State University, and Valencia College. He earned his Bachelors degree in education and political science from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1968, where he also was awarded a Masters degree in political science in 1980. He completed work on his PhD in political science and history there as well.




Intellectual Honesty and Integrity

It is absolutely essential that each student maintain the highest standards
of scholastic integrity. That does not mean that students should not or may
not work together on some of their work in this class, but what is finally submitted
must be your own effort. Anything else is unacceptable. Any assignment on which
such standards are found to have been breached will be assigned a failing grade
without recourse of altering that grade. Plagiarism is unacceptable.

If you work with someone on any aspect of the course, submit your own work,

and keep in mind that the grade you receive will be based on your work. Thus,

taking someone else's 'advice' could adversely impact your grade.