Cabrini College

Fall 1999

Current Events

POL 230 B (Room 207)

Dr. Michael Edmondson

Wed 7:10pm-9:40pm

Disclaimer: ALL STUDENTS MUST READ!!! The material covered in this class, in the form of lecture notes, video presentations, readings, presentations, and class room discussions sometimes center around highly sensitive issues. (Examples include but are not limited to the following: race, gender, sex, drugs, political activism, terrorism, violence, and offensive language)

Introduction: The 17th century philosopher Francis Bacon once observed: "Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man." This course encompasses all three elements (reading, conference and writing) and seeks to accomplish one very important objective: educate and inform on a wide array of topics concerning the current situation regarding American life.

Student Responsibilities: In order to receive a grade for this class, all students are responsible for the following items:

1)All items covered in class (including lectures, handouts, video presentations, and discussions) Attendance is not mandatory, but I expect it.

2)All rules and regulations as outlined in the Cabrini College student handbook.

3)Final examination on Wednesday December 15 - essay in format and cumulative from entire semester. Sample questions provided on November 30. 25% of the grade

4)Three tests - objective in format (true/false, multiple choice, and fill in the blank) No essay questions will appear on any of the three tests. All tests will be administered upon the completion of the lecture for each night - approximately - 8:30pm. 30% of the grade

5)Weekly assignments: Each week students are required to locate one article from a particular political viewpoint and discuss how that article represents that particular political position. 25% of the grade.

6)Class participation and discussions play a key role each week. Students must read and actively discuss each class. 20% of grade.

Contact Information: Please do not hesitate and ask for assistance. I cannot stress this enough. Feel free to call me at my office during the day (8:00am-2:30pm) (856) 662-2160, Ext. 235, or leave a message on my voice Mail (856) 662-2160, Ext. 347. I arrive on campus somewhere between 4:00pm-5:00pm. Dr. Hedtke has graciously permitted me to share his office so you may find me there prior to class. His office is located on the second floor of Grace Hall. If you do not ask for help, I cannot provide any. Remember the old adage, Silence is consent! Additionally, feel free to e-mail me at or

Letter Grades

A = 92 or better

A- = 90 or 91

B+ = 88 or 89

B = 82-87

B- = 80 or 81

C+ = 78 or 79

C = 72-77

C- = 70 or 71

D = 63-69

F = 62 & below

All books are available at the college book store. If you purchase a book from an outside source, please make sure you have the correct year and edition.

Reading List:

Kors, Alan Charles and Harvey A. Silvergate. The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses (Free Press, 1998), 1st edition-cloth, 320pp.

Lott, Jr., John R. More Guns Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 1st edition-cloth, 220pp.

Whitaker, Reg. The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance is Becoming a Reality (New York: The New Press, 1999), 1st edition-cloth, 190pp.

Williams, Walter E. More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1999), 1st edition-paper, 260pp.

Class Meeting Dates

Part I: Williams, More Liberty Means Less Government

September 1

Lecture 1: The State of the Union

Homework: Find current event of the week (modern liberal)

Reading Assignment: Williams, 1-51

September 8

Lecture 2: Understanding the American Paradox

Discussion: Williams, 1-51

Homework: Find current event of the week (populist/progressive)

Video: John Stossel's Sex, Drugs, and Consenting Adults

Reading Assignment Williams, 52-131

September 15

Lecture 3: Understanding The Federal Budget and Taxes

Discussion: Williams, 52-131

Homework: Find current event of the week (conservative) and study for test

Reading Assignment: Williams, 131-213

September 22

Discussion: Williams, 131-213

Homework: Find current event of the week (classic liberal)

Reading Assignment: Lott, 1-50

Test: Number One on entire Williams book, Lectures one, two and three, and video (10%)

September 29

Lecture 4: The Status of Federal Regulations

Discussion: Lott, 1-50

Homework: Find current event of the week (any ideology)

Video: Waco, Part I

Reading Assignment Lott, 50-97

October 6

Lecture 5: The Federal Police

Discussion: Lott, 50-97

Homework: Find current event of the week (modern liberal)

Video: Waco, Part II

Reading Assignment Lott, 97-158

October 13

Lecture 6: The Powers of Federal Law Enforcement

Discussion: Lott, 97-158

Homework: Find current event of the week (classic liberal)

Video: Waco, Part III

Reading Assignment: Whitaker, 1-80

October 20

Discussion: Whitaker, 1-80

Homework: Find current event of the week (conservative)

Reading Assignment: Whitaker, 80-170

Test: Number Two on entire Lott book and Lectures four, five, and six, and video (10%)

October 27

Lecture 7: The National Identification Card

Discussion: Whitaker, 80-170

Homework: Find current event of the week (choice)

Reading Assignment: Kors, 1-112

Video: Michael Moore's The Awful Truth

November 3

Lecture 8: Working and Playing in America

Discussion: Kors, 1-112

Reading Assignment: Kors, 113-187

Homework: Find current event of the week (choice)

November 10

Discussion: Kors, 113-187

Reading Assignment: Kors, 187-264

Homework: Find current event of the week (classic liberal)

Test: Number Three on entire Whitaker book and Lectures, seven and eight, and video (10%)

November 17

Lecture 9: The Corporate Welfare System

Discussion: Kors, 187-264

Homework: Find current event of the week (modern liberal) due on December 1.

Reading Assignment: Kors, 264-374

November 24 No class

December 1

Lecture 10: Television, Radio, and Computers

Discussion: Kors 264-374

Homework: Study for final exams

Distribution: Essay questions distributed

December 8 No class

December 15 Final Exam - Cumulative and Essay in Format (40%)

**subject to change