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Valencia Community College
Poinciana Campus

everything you will need for this course will be found on this syllabus or on links included here
You do not need to look on blackboard to do the assignments


American National Government
Course Syllabus POS2041
Summer Term 2019/R. Ziegler
MW 11:30 - 1:05 pm
CRN 33753
Room 204

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.

American Government & Politics Today Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes
Do Not purchase text before attending first class

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 via web search.
Laptops may be used in class but only for class-related activities.
Please submit all work to instructor�s yahoo email address, listed below
Description of impact on percentage of final course grade

The critical reviews, web projects, and the case brief
each constitute 1/5 of the course grade the student earns in this class.
The mid term and final are each also 1/5 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

If clicking the yahoo email link does not work, copy and paste it


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.

A General Outline of Class Topics

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.


(why are there almost no stories in the �mainstream news� about Venezuela?)


week of:
5/6,5/8, 5/13, 5/15,5/20/5/22. read ch 1, 2,3 american system, constitution, and federalism
view The Great Global Warming Swindle in class
Go here
write a 500 word comment on this movie and email it to instructor with the other film commentaries by 7/4
a critical review or commentary suggests evidence of having viewed and considered
the film and intelligent reflection on the content
we will also be viewing a video about fiscal policy in class but no review of it will be submitted
begin working on midterm - see below
(it would be wise to start on the final, as well)
5/29, 6/3, 6/5. 6/10, 6/12 read chapters 4, 5, 6 civil rights and liberties
view The Revolutionary Holocaust in class
Revolutionary Holocaust
write a 500 word comment on this movie and email it to instructor
with the other film commentaries by 7/4
we will also view a video about the Boom and Bust business cycle in class, but no review will be submitted about it
Do the Case Brief described in the syllabus below
6/17, 6/19, 6/24, 6/26 read chapters 7,8,9, and appendix A civil rights and liberties
and do the four Web Projects described in syllabus below
Go Here
write a 500 word comment on first Free to Choose video in class
and email it to instructor with the other film commentaries 7/4
7/1, 7/3, 7/8, 7/10 read ch 10, 11 political socialization
Submit the Mid Term, 4 web projects and case brief by 7/4
Begin Working on Final
View second Free to Choose about the Velvet Revolution outside of class
Go Here
and write a 500 word comment on this movie and email it to instructor
with the other film commentaries by 7/30
7/15, 7/17, 7/22, 7/24 read ch 12,13,14 interest groups, parties, elections, media
View either the Third Jihad or Clinton Cash video
Go here
Clinton Cash
and write a 500 word comment on the movie and email it to instructor
with the other film commentaries by 7/30
We will view a video about the Federal Reserve in class but no review of it will b submitted
7/29 All work is due by 7/30 at midnight along with film commentaries
these films have a decidedly left bias in them but they are interesting and
will help you answer quite a few of the questions on the final exam
CIA - first 52 minutes
CIA first 34 minutes
























The grade each student earns in this class will be the average of grades earned
on several different instruments, each constituting 1/6 of the total grade:

Mid Term
(be advised that completing the exams are time consuming and you should
get started on them asap
Case Brief
Commentaries on the films
(from global warming swindle, revolutionary holocaust, the Friedman videos, and either clinton cash or the third jihad)
Four Web Projects

Look at answer A on part I of the mid term
Do a search on what it says (right click, highlight, search) or ask your phone
Then write A next to John Hancock # 22 on the test
Much of both tests can be answered in this manner
Be sure to look at the Study Guide for Case Law on the Midterm

submit all work by email to ronaldgordonziegler@yahoo.com



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






































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 search on that case and find the text of the case.

Read it and prepare a paper not to exceed two pages (1000 words) 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

(these should be done 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

Brightbart News

Rush Limbaugh.com

Fox news network


Write a one paragraph description of each


Second Project/ Elections/FEC

Go to www.fec.gov

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

what does it tell you about reporting and compliance?

Go to http://election.dos.state.fl.us/

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

(house.gov and senate.gov)

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 www.myflorida.com to search out this information)



Fourth Project/ Executive Branch

Go to www.whitehouse.gov

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)

The following short videos will assist you on your exams
Charter of Negative Liberties

view the following short video:
collective salvation and liberation theology

This not only identifies what liberation theology is, but puts Obama squarely in the ideology.
The Vatican has been fighting to weed that ideology out of the Catholic Church, led by John Paul II and Benedict XVI both of whom call it Marxism
but which Francis seems friendly towards

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
University, Wayne State University, Macomb Community College, Monroe
Community College, Florida Metropolitan/Everest University, Keiser
University, and Valencia State 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. He lives near Kissimmee, to which they relocated
following his retirement on thirty plus years of teaching with the Detroit
Board of Education and following the passing of his wife in 1998.




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.