James Madison by Gilbert Stuart GOVT 2305
U.S. GOVERNMENT
ROY EDWARD CASAGRANDA, PhD
Professor of Government


FALL 2017     
August 28 - December 17
Section: 34116 Lec 005
Time:  MW  9:00 - 10:20 am
Classroom: RGC30: 3348
Office Hours: MW: 10:20-11:20 am

TTh: 10:20-10:30 am

TTh: 11:50-12:00 noon

MW: 1:20-1:30 pm

TTh: 1:20-2:15 pm

MW: 2:50-3:00 pm

or by appointment
Email: roy.casagranda@austincc.edu
Office:  RG30: 3118
Websites: http://gov.casagranda.com
 
http://theaustinschool.com
Textbook: American Government
James Madison (1751-1836)  
  by Cal Jillson, Routledge
"So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property."
Federalist Paper #10

SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION
This class is supported by Supplemental Instruction and a Supplemental Instructor (SI).  Each week the SI will conduct three hours of study sessions at no additional charge.  The SI will run each study session with the aim of reviewing the material presented in class and from the textbook. The Supplemental Instructor is Zoe Fox. Her email is 
zoe.fox@g.austincc.edu.

COURSE OBJECTIVES AND DESCRIPTION
This course is an introduction to United States government.  The course includes a framework for understanding United States government and politics, the constitutional basis for United States government and politics, the processes of United States government and politics, the institutions of United States government and politics, and the policies of United States government. The basic objectives of the course are for the student to:

1. Gain an awareness of the principles that guided the founders of the U.S. and the manner in which our definition of these principles have changed over the years.

2. Understand the basic structure of the U.S. government.

3. Develop an awareness of the political process and its impact on government.

4. Become aware of the ways in which government affects/is affected by its citizens.

5. Think in political terms as part of the process of becoming a more effective citizen.

6. Develop independent critical thinking skills.

7. Understand the theoretical nature of what government is.

8. Critically explore such concepts as republic, democratic theory, and liberalism.

The course will begin with a theoretical overview of politics.  This beginning will include a discussion about what the very nature, role, and functions of government are.  We will explore the difference between the political, economic,Theodore
Roosevelt ca 1902 and normative sphere of action and how they interact to create politics.

In the second part of the course we will look at the evolution of the U.S. political system through the lens of political history.  The objective here will be to discover what we have and how we got it.

Next we will focus on the political process by looking at public opinion, interest groups, political parties, elections, voting, and the media.  In the process we will explore such concepts as single member district representation, republic, proportional representation, and campaign financing.

Then we will look at the institutions of the U.S. government, namely the Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, and the federal bureaucracy.

We will conclude the semester by examining foreign policy.

While this is primarily a lecture course, the class may also include videos, transparencies, role-playing simulations, internet activities, writing assignments, and classroom discussions.  Students must attend and participate regularly.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

CLASS POLICIES
STUDENTS ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES
Students with Disabilities: Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Student Accessibility Services Office on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.

VOICEMAIL
Voicemail is abused. Most voicemail that is left is trivial or deals with trivial matters. Most people who leave voicemail ramble. It is not a good thing to waste people's time. I will check it, but it is better to see me in person concerning any issue before or after class, during office hours, or by appointment.

EMAIL
I do not like email.  I realize that we live in a society where people consider email to be a normal means of communication and I will check it, but it is better to see me in person concerning any issue before or after class, during office hours, or by appointment.

I will not respond to email addresses that are clearly not your own.  In other words if you are using your parent's email, then I will not respond to any emails from such addresses.  For example if your name is John Smith and I receive an email that looks like the following:

Paula Smith <psmith@atthisisnotmystudent.com> Subject:

Federalist Paper  Full Headers:

Federalist Paper #10.docx


Professor Casagranda,
I am sending this to you per your request.

Thanks,
John Smith 

then please do not expect a reply from me.

If you do not have your own email address and you are incapable of getting one, such as one provided by ACC, then you will just need to see me during office hours or after class. 


The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill
PERSONAL EMAIL, MESSAGING, and FACEBOOK
Do NOT ever message or text the professor using Facebook, his personal email address, or his personal cell phone for questions related to the class.  You should view Facebook, personal email, and the personal cell as means of contacting the professor for Austin School business, personal matters, or political activism only.
 
POLICY ON ATTENDANCE and WITHDRAWAL
Each student is expected to attend and participate in each class meeting and to complete the assigned reading PRIOR to each class.  Attendance is a direct component of the final grade (see Classroom Participation and Attendance below).  In addition absences limit the student's opportunity to participate fully and will almost certainly impact the student's essay performance.  Should it be necessary to miss a class a student should contact other class members for copies of the notes and materials covered in that class.  Attendance is required on test days.  Should you miss a test day there will be NO makeup exams, instead your final grade will be based on the tests taken.  Should you miss two or more exams you should consider dropping the course rather than suffering a failing grade.

Cell phones and text-messaging devices must be turned off and should not be in evidence in the classroom unless you have prior approval from the instructor.  Texting under the desk rarely conceals the activity and usually reflects poorly on the texter.  Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive so please be on time and plan to stay the entire period unless you have previously spoken to the instructor.  Excessive tardiness or failure to follow class policies on cell phones may result in the student being dropped from the course.  Do NOT get up during class to throw something away. 

The professor reserves the right to withdraw (drop) anyone from the class for any reason.  This does not mean that you will automatically be withdrawn if you are failing or if you are not attending class.  If you wish to drop the course please make sure to do so yourself.  The instructor will not do it for you.  

If, for any reason, you decide to withdraw from the course you must complete the required forms in the Admissions and Records office.  Make sure to keep up with the official last day to withdraw of the semester. This is the same date for the professor to drop a student, so if you do not drop by this date, there is nothing that the professor can to do help you. This may not be the same date for High School students, so be sure to be in compliance with your High School. 

INCOMPLETES
Incompletes will not be given to any student for any reason.  If it becomes clear that you will not be able to complete the course please consider dropping the course by the drop deadline.  Failure to complete the required coursework will likely result in lower grade or possibly an 'F' grade.  

We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. I hope to bring some of that discomfort of thought to the American people.
              John Anderson

SCHOLASTIC DISHONESTY
Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work.  Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research, or self-expression.  Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper, projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations, and homework.

If a student commits any of these actions, I will seek disciplinary action in the form of an academic penalty, which will likely include a course grade of 'F.'

Look, I take this very seriously and it has a real simple solution.  If you want to include text from someone else feel free to cite the original author.  It will strengthen your argument and suggest that you have done research on the subject.  Otherwise, I am ruthless and will show no mercy when it comes to plagiarism.  Failure to comply with this rule is almost certain to cause you to fail the course.  

I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason

I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices son
They're one in the same
I must isolate you
Isolate and save you from yourself

Swayin to the rhythm of the new world order and
Count the bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums

The boogeymen are coming
A Perfect Circle
 
CLASS PARTICIPATION and ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Just as each student is expected to attend class, each student is also expected to participate in the class discussion.  This not only includes preparing for class and listening in class, but also includes asking questions, answering questions, providing examples, and expressing opinions.  This class will be much more educational (as well as interesting) in an atmosphere of active participation and lively exchange of ideas.  There will be numerous opportunities throughout the semester to use current events to explore and expand upon our understanding of the concepts we are studying.  As a result I also expect students to keep up with current events.  If you are not normally in the habit of doing, then so you must plan to begin looking at a reliable news source.  The BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/ and Reuters http://today.reuters.com/news/home.aspx are two examples of the sort.  

In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints.  These differences enhance the learning experience and create an atmosphere where students and instructors alike will be encouraged to think and learn.  On sensitive and volatile topics, students may sometimes disagree not only with each other but also with the instructor.  It is expected that faculty and students will respect the views of others when expressed in classroom situations.  Each person has the right to express his or her opinion.  Our Bill of Rights not only guarantees us the right to express our opinions but also provides us the opportunity to learn from our fellow citizens as they express their opinions.
 
All our beliefs are being challenged now, and rightfully so, they're stupid.
Bill Hicks

CONCEALED HANDGUN POLICY
The Austin Community College District concealed handgun policy ensures compliance with Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code (also known as the Campus Carry Law), while maintaining ACC's commitment to provide a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Beginning August 1, 2017, individuals who are licensed to carry (LTC) may do so on campus premises except in locations and at activities prohibited by state or federal law, or the college's concealed handgun policy.

It is the responsibility of license holders to conceal their handguns at all times. Persons who see a handgun on campus are asked to contact the ACC Police Department by dialing 222 from a campus phone or 512-223-7999.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND SCHEDULE

EVALUATION
Three exams will be given during this semester as noted on the Course Schedule.  In addition to this your grade will include a Classroom Participation component and Auxiliary Assignments.

Writing assignments or take home essays will be turned into turnitin.com (http://www.turnitin.com).  Papers handed to the professor should be assumed lost and NO credit will be received for them.  Never treat a written assignment as a summarization.  You are to ask and answer some question of political significance.  Be creative, but also make sure to support your thesis and any claims made around it.  The class ID and enrollment passwords are listed below:
class ID: 15982840
enrollment password: madison

EVALUATION
                                     POINTS TOWARDS
REQUIREMENT              FINAL GRADE
EXAM 1 100
EXAM 2
200
FINAL EXAM
400
AUXILLARY ASSIGNMENTS
0-250
PARTICIPATION                  _ _150
MAXIMUM
1100

LETTER GRADE ASSIGNMENT
Final letter grades will be assigned after determining total points earned, as follows:

    Final  Grade Scale              Letter Grade    
          900 - 1100                         A    
           800 - 899                          B    
           700 - 799                          C    
           600 - 699                          D    
               0 - 599                          F    

EXAMS
Exams may be conducted as an in class test or as a take-home exam at the professor's discretion.  If an essay is assigned as take-home, that portion of the exam must be turned into turnitin.com (see above).  The exams will include both objective and essay questions.

There are NO make-up exams.  Should you miss an exam your grade will be calculated as if you took the 2nd and Final Exams, regardless of which exam you missed.  In other words if you miss an exam the highest grade that you can receive for the class will be 900 points (unless you make up for it with auxiliary assignments).  If you miss two exams, then the highest grade that you can receive for the class will be a 70%.  Sometimes things come up in life that we cannot control.  The first exam can serve as a sort of insurance policy, so that you will not be completely lost should you miss a test.

Arrangements can be made to take the first and second exam in the Testing Center if the professor is informed of a need to miss the regularly scheduled exam prior to the exam date.  NO arrangement can take place on or after the date of the test.  Due to Testing Center policy and since a new exam is generated every semester, NO such arrangement can be made for the Final Exam.

It should also be noted that there seems to be a high learning curve on exams in this course.  It has been the experience of the professor that people tend to do poorly on the first exam even if they ultimately earn an 'A' in the class.  The first exam should be regarded as a lesson in learning how to take exams for this course. 

It is perfectly true that the government is best which governs least.
It is equally true that the government is best which provides most.
Walter Lippmann

CLASSROOM PARTICIPATION and ATTENDANCE
Classroom participation is worth 150 points (one and a half letter grades).  The best way to earn a high participation grade is to ask questions, answer questions, and contribute insights when appropriate.  This is NOT a license to be obnoxious.  In fact being obnoxious will harm your classroom participation grade.

Attendance will be taken at the start of every class period.  Failure to be on time will mean that you will not be counted as in attendance.  You can miss one class period for free.  For every class period after the first one that you are absent, you will lose 40 points from your classroom participation grade.  There will be no excused absences.  In this manner you can render your classroom participation grade into a negative quantity.  In other words attendance could turn into a bottomless pit of grade msannihilation. 

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken

AUXILIARY ASSIGNMENTS
There are six ways to earn these 0-250 points.
1) Lectures: You can attend an Austin School Lecture Series talk, an Austin School Conference panel, or a speaking event announced by your professor. If you go to these event to get credit you must bring back proof that you attended or sign in a sign-in sheet at the event. Note: these are rare in the Summer and may not happen at all.  Your professor will make every means to provide you with such opportunities if they arise and he becomes aware of them. (30 points)

2) 60 Minutes:
You can write an 300 word essay about a political topic from a single story from 60 Minutes http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtml.  The exact episode and story from that episode is up to you.  However, since this essay MUST be political, so you will likely want to avoid writing about topics like Penelope Cruz, as fun as they might be.  (25 points)

3) Frontline: You can write a 300 word essay about a political topic from a single story from Frontline http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/.  The exact episode is up to you.  However, since this essay MUST be political you will want to pick a story with political implications.  You may do more than one Frontline, each subsequent frontline can be turned into the Movie Review slots on turnitin.com and count as 20 points each.  (40 points)

4) Radiolab: You can write a 300 word essay about any topic from a single story from Radiolab http://www.radiolab.org/.  The exact episode is up to you. You may not do more than one Radiolab for credit. (40 points)

5) Online Lecture: You can write a 600 word political analysis on the following lecture. http://livestream.com/ACC/events/5039120/videos/116655773 "Global Lecture Series: The Origins of the Syrian Disaster and Its Global Impact." (80 points)  

6) Movie Reviews: You can write 300 word film review for up to a maximum of seven of the following movies: (20-30 points each)

Tora! Tora! Tora! (20)
Letters from Iwo Jima (20)
Gallipoli (20)
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (20)
Thin Blue Line (20)
Fog of War (30)
1984 (20)
Brazil (20)
A Woman in Berlin (20)
Fail Safe (20)
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral (25)
The Corporation (25)
The Tillman Story (20)
Hearts and Minds (30)
Koyaanisqatsi (30)
Battle of Algiers (30)

For options 2 - 6 you must turn in your work to turnitin.com (see instructions above).

HOW TO BEST COMPLETE THIS COURSE
1. Attend all class sessions; if you miss a class get copies of the handouts/notes from a classmate.
2. Do not miss tests.  It may be tempting to miss the first exam, but don't.
3. Read the assigned material prior to each class session.
4. Study the materials; prepare for and take each exam as scheduled.
5. Complete and turn in all assignments as assigned and on time.  NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR ANY REASON AFTER THE DUE DATE.
6. Contact the instructor if, at any time, you feel your performance is not up to your standards.

FUNDAMENTAL ACADEMIC FORCES (STRONGEST TO WEAKEST)
1. Writing Ability
2. Reading Ability
3. Critical Thinking and Analytical Sills
4. Memorization

If you can master these four forces, then you can succeed in academia.  To the extent possible this class will attempt to assist in developing all four skills further.  However, it should be obvious that English classes are generally where the above skills (especially the first two) are formally taught.  It is assumed that you have had English classes and that you will apply those skill sets developed in such classes to ALL writing assignments.   

COURSE SCHEDULE
DATE TOPIC ASSIGNMENT DUE DATE
TEXT
In the Beginning
8/28
Introduction

8/30, 9/6, 9/11
The Origin of the English Government

Chapter 1
9/4
LABOR DAY
NO CLASS
CELEBRATING LABOR
Who controls the past controls the future;
who controls the present controls the past.
George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
The Birth of a Republic
9/13, 9/18 The Enlgish Colonies

Chapter 2
9/20, 9/25
The Revolution
The Declaration of Independence
9/27
The Articles of Confederation

Federalist Paper #10
10/2, 10/4, 10/9
The Constitution

The Constitution
10/11
The Early Years

Chapter 3
10/16

FIRST EXAM
If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the
other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.
James Madison
The Facade
10/18
The Supreme and the Federal Courts
Chapter 12
10/23, 10/25, 10/30, 11/1
Ideology & Parties

Chapters 4 and 7
11/6
News Media


11/8, 11/13
US Foreign Policy
Chapter 16
11/15

SECOND EXAM
Successful politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies.
Walter Lippmann
The Machine
11/20, 11/22
Congress

Chapter 9
11/27, 11/29, 12/4, 12/6
The Presidency

Chapter 10
12/11
Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
Chapters 13 and 14
12/13

FINAL EXAM

12/15
All Auxiliary Assignments are due by 11:59 PM to turnitin.com
There is nothing so good for the human soul as the discovery that there are ancient and flourishing civilized societies which have somehow managed to exist for many centuries and are still in being though they have had no help from the traveler in solving their problems.
Walter Lippmann


God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of deathElbridge Gerry to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Letter to William Stevens Smith (November 13, 1787), quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy
                                                                                                                                                                                   
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.John Adams
Letter to John Taylor April 15, 1814
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826)
John Adams (October 30, 1735 - July 4, 1826)
 
Routledge 20%
Discount

The instructor reserves the right to modify any portion of the syllabus at any time.  The Course Schedule is meant as a guide; treat the rest as law.