Valencia College
Osceola Campus

American National Government
Course Syllabus POS2041
Fall Term 2017/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.


11891 TR 0730A-0815A ROOM: 3-110
12231 TR 0830A-0945A ROOM: 3-110


FALL 2017 Schedule of Work


8/29 Introductions, syllabus, grading criterion
8/31 read ch 1 (The Great Global Warming Swindle)
9/5 read ch 2 amer system, const, and federalism, factors in the current economic crisis
9/7 read ch 3 amer system, const, and federalism (Revolutionary Holocaust)
view Fahrenhype 911 outside of class/submit your 500 word comment with MidTerm
Fahrenhype 911

9/12 read ch 4, 5 natural rights
9/14 (Fiscal Policy)
9/19 read ch 6 political socialization and interest groups
9/21 read ch 7 political socialization and interest groups (Booms and Busts)
9/26 read ch 8 interest groups, parties, elections, media
9/28 (Keynesianism)
view Collapse 2017 videos outside of class and write a 500 commentary to submit with midterm
Collapse 2017

Go Here

10/3 Read ch 9 interest groups, parties, elections, media
10/5 (Free to Choose - Markets, "Fear the Boom and Bust")
10/10 read ch 10 congress /Organization of Congress
10/12 (Free to Choose - Velvet Revolution)
10/17 Congress
10/19 (The Fed)
10/24 Congressional Districting
10/24 Mid Term Due along with four web projects, commentaries on Fahrenhype 911 and Collapse 2017, and the one case brief
- view The Third Jihad and write a 500 word commentary on it to submit with final
Third Jihad
10/26 The work of Congress
10/31 read ch 11 presidency and bureaucracy
11/2 read ch 12 judiciary policy
11/7 read ch 13
View short video about Convention of States in class
Convention of States
11/9 read ch 14
11/14 (CIA - Iran, Bay of Pigs, etc)
view Clinton Cash and turn in a 500 word commentary on it with your final
Clinton Cash
11/16 Dumbarton Oaks/UN
11/21 (CIA Iran, Cuba, Laos and Mujahudeen)
11/23 Thanksgiving 11/28 Bretton Woods and IMF
11/30 read ch 15 (CIA Afghanistan and Guatemala)
12/5 (CIA - complete film review)
12/7 complete in class review of material
12/12 Finals week - no class meetings
12/14 Final Exams, book review or eyes on the prize project,
Third Jihad and Clinton Cash commentaries, 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:

Rogue Spooks by Dick Morris
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
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
2 – “Fighting Back” (1957–1962)
Central High School and the Little Rock Nine
James Meredith and the University of Mississippi
3 – “Ain’t Scared of Your Jails” (1960–1961)
Nashville sit-ins and boycotts
Freedom Riders
4 – “No Easy Walk” (1961–1963) Martin Luther King, Jr.
Albany, Georgia
Birmingham, Alabama
The March on Washington
5 – “Mississippi: Is This America?” (1962–1964)
Medgar Evers
Murder of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
6 – “Bridge to Freedom” (1965)

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. Fahrenhype 911 and Collapse 2017 and commentaries, and Web Projects with Mid Term
Submit Article Reviews, Clinton Cash and Third Jihad commentaries, 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

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.