DAY 2: Orientation & What is politics?

January 26. Anybody here ever serve jury duty? They are now doing all this with the computer. The judge has the monitor in front of him. And so it's the same kind of thing. That goes on in the courtroom the judges reading along. So we're getting some real experiencing what the judicial system is like before we have the system discussed in class. You had an opportunity hopefully to examine the required materials for the course. I spoke a little about some of it on Thursday last week I spoke about the interfaces talk a little about the exams last week as well do you have any other questions now that you have had a chance to examine the materials that need to be clarified either on the interface or the exams or anything else on the sheets? Please don't hesitate to ask I got a couple of good ones. Did anybody come across the error that I screwed up on the Green Sheet".,' An error there on the Green sheet. On the page two, Now of course you wouldn't have found this error unless you decided to go up and check out interfaces because there is a web site listed for the interfaces. The link is incorrect, and I don't know why I did that it's actually the form that is used for the on-line course. You see it where about halfway down it's about four sentences there and it gives you a web site. All right. Just cross that out. I'll get you how to get there but that one is wrong. That doesn't get you there it gets you to a strange form. I not all of you care because your not going to be using the web site and I didn't no it. I was caught by one of my students in my Monday Wednesday class and I'm glad she did.

I still have not been able to figure out why I did that but sorry. But the fact that I got to watch what I say. This is all being literally recorded here. I don't have to testify in court. I might lose my position you know why I never entered politics and ran for office and I finally got an answer. I've never had an affair. I told you that, right? Didn't I tell you that last time? So I got this now that you got that on paper I can go on. Okay. Um, once again I think I described how to get up there in any case how to get to the interfaces on-line and that is simply go to one of three sites that are listed on the calendar, And hit about my courses. It's on the calendar the blue sheet right on the first page you see there's a listing of three sites. Okay. Go to about my courses. You'll see About Me, About My Family About My Courses you click there it will take you to a site that has political science on-line andwestern civ. You know you're not in the OnLine course; you know you're not western civ, so you click on political science. Then any place the word interface appears in the material there, it will be in blue which is a link anytime you see blue it should be a link you click on that blue link and it will take you to the interface page. So that should not be a major problem. We talked about it last time. Once again as I indicated there are even if you're not sending your interface forms in that way there are example exams that you can at least take a look at it to got a better feel for the exams. Did anybody do that yet? Just curious. Okay. Um, and I've got to remember and if anybody wants to E-mail me I've got to bring you in the site that will, list as a dictionary for political science words for those that may want to get using it. Did I mention that? But I can tell you how to get there. Um, in any case In case I forget again. You go to the on-line course. Click on the calendar. And under the calendar there's a list of the weeks. Click on week one and week one has a bunch of general political science sites to go to. Well I think that covers that element but I made that correction. Any other questions anybody can think of? Any questions about the term paper? what term paper? There isn't a term paper. I just wanted to see how thoroughly you did read it if you wet your pants a few times, got you all upset and that. I had to wake you up to see. I know that was nasty. I'm sorry. Monday; it's raining out, you know; it's Tuesday, sorry. I don't entertain any questions after this. Okay I have a question. Well, then I've got a couple of things I do want to talk about. Before getting into your pillow assignments. Yes I know, please don't misinterpret. I said to talk about taking notes from me. First, I will indicated to you that I talk rapidly. So I didn't talk about taking notes last time, just to be sure because I'm teaching five classes so I want to be sure. Since you don't have court reporters who were going to -- by the way -- So why don't I slow down. WhichI'm doing somewhat now. The reality of the situation is I've tried to speak slower. I find that it's very difficultfor me especially since I think very fast. I'm trying tokeep up with what I'm trying to think and if I slow downthen my thinking is ahead of my speech and I start stuttering. I start losing track over what I'm sayingbecause I don't know what I'm saying because I'm thinkingabout what I'm thinking to say in the future and so based on that I don't like slowing down because I don't get a good in besides if I slow down you understand what I'm saying you realize I'm not saying anything, but if I say it fast itsounds important so I will continue to speak rapidly howeverworried about realize that it really isn't that difficult totake notes from me because I repeat myself very often. I say things over and over again. And let's face it if I'msaying something for the first time I should be telling youthat that's important enough to open your notebook why elsewould I even say it for the tenth time. And so please if I start repeating it please be aware that it is importantenough or I won't be repeating it but it certainly is enough to me to make me repeat it so that you put it in your notesso that's the time to decide to put it in your notes. Now Imay say it different ways. I'm being redundant. I'm repeating myself. The fact is you know it's still the samematerial, just said differently so you may have to put it inyour own words you like teachers and give it to you and feed it to you like you're like I have to butter the bread of my16-year old but the fact is I don't want to do this. I wantit to go from your notes. So when I repeat, open yournotebook and put Do I knee to repeat that? Allright. What else? What if I don't think it's important or I don't repeat myself? Is it important? The answer is maybe. So how do you do that one? How do you take notes on

maybes. If. you think something is interesting and hopefully

some things do get interesting once in a while, then it is

my suggestion traditionally to put it in your notes if it's

interesting to you but you say well you're not going to test

on this I'm only here because I need the American

institution requirement. where do you take notes in the

text book? Well some things may be underlined however,

again say the same thing you take your notes of the material

in the text you find interesting. Well what if I can't use

it the same thing good students that Size it they apply it

to the essay questions. How do you take the notes? Well

you could do that and that's on the margins or underlining

with a pencil or pen. My suggestion is if you like to use a

high lighter or colored pens they now have them on the

pencil on the other side which give you the option and

making comments. It stays in your mind. I hate books that

have small margins. Books with big margins are fun or you

can use note paper. They make notes and some people outline

the chapters but you can't do it with a yellow pen. Any

questions about taking notes using the text book? Well

then, let's touch on me a little. Why? Well I think it's

important to understand a professor, the philosophy, and how

to work and how to study and I also like to sermonize from.

time to time as a indicated on my green sheet one of. the

sermons I give to my kids and it certainly worked for me is

I never want to hear from them they did badly in the course

because the teacher was terrible. Did T mention this last

time? I think it's a stupidest excuse. In this case, what

am I saying to you? I'm saying basically I don't really

want somebody in the classroom that I had a few years ago

who after the final exam was over they came up to me and

said I've hated your course and I wanted to punch you in the

nose. I mean if you don't like me, take somebody who is

likable, like Dr. Dewitt. Or Mrs. Hanna, I don't care. But

at least I can warn you why you shouldn't like me and then

it won't matter because then you know why I do things. And

that maybe you'll do better in course you no it's my problem

not yourself and are not too make it your problem. I see

something, I immediately react and I say something. Don't

let it impact your study. However more important, generally

for any course is communication. And sometimes cultural

differences mean different communication. Many of you come

from different cultures which was implying before when I

talked about Utah where -ou have a dramatic -- it's nice.

It's nice to have people from different cultures and

learning about them. And I keep learning. And yet,

although, 1 think we have more in common. I also hate it

when those educational people talk about different cultures

because of the differences there is so much in common that

we have because of the diversity in cultures. And one of

them is a sense of humor. Humans do have it, but it's not

cultural as much as it is important. There are people who

have no humor. Okay and then there are people who wear

their sense over humor are based on canned jokes they have

to send them over the internet. Then there are people who

have spontaneous humor. Then what I'm saying is we

interpret things and that's a problem sometimes because you

hear me say things I don't think I said. And then I say

things from my perspective and it's not coming out

correctly. I really do think it's important that if you're

not sure what I'm saying or you're misinterpreting, please

ask. I will go out of the my way to try and explain what

I'm trying to say. Well I was pretty smooth not on halfway

though.		The problem, I learn in my first year of, teaching

that communication or what you say can get you in trouble

even though you didn't say it. I was teaching. I was 21

years old teaching high school, which means that I had

seventeen/ eighteen year olds in the class. I told you

that's why I have this Mr. Kirshner, call me Alan. In any

case I'm there about three/ four weeks and I hear through

the scholar from the rumor mill that Mr. Kirshner knocked up

this woman in Europe. Well I said oh, my God, who's

Mr. Kirshner? I knew it wasn't true, but students, you

know how they interpret things because I think I'm the only

guy ever to walk through the Pegale section of Paris and not get proposition by one -- and not one prostitute propositioned me, Not that is a real downer. I could only rationalize that they thought I was gay. At least, I now had an excuse--rationale.

Um, so I wanted to search out what happened to try and straighten it away. I was able to search it. I had seen the principal had assigned me a slow learner group, but it was a slower learner group but they were emotionally disturbed, There may be times you feel I'm drawing dirty pictures, once in awhile I may actually draw, however, most of the time it's miscommunication. So let ask me what I'm trying to say so that we don't have the miscommunication and we can try, and in a sense, educate you. Okay?

Well, I told you what the class is about 1 warned you about

what you need to watch out for. Me. Is there any other

questions or materials that you need me to cover before we

go to your pillows? All right.

Will you take out the pillow assignment and pass it forward

please? All right. i guess the number one question is why

do you think i gave you this assignment? it says in the

book because -- Anyway, like the tag on the pillow so it

kind of political science because like the government

monitoring our pillows or something. Did you write your

paper or did you? i read the book after, so my paper's

really stupid. Oh, good. i like the stupid ones. Why else

might i have given you the assignment? To make us think.

See how good college students we think. Think about what?

Your pillows? What am i making you think about? Like go

beyond what you usually think of a pillow is for. To think

about what? What was the topic that we just said that made

you think about besides the symboliom? The cubjoct you had

to think about was politics. You had to. Why? Because the

question was how was your pillow -- how is your pillow

political? So obviously what you're having to think about

is my pillow political? You have to think about politics.

if you didn't you couldn't answer the question. How many

have you looked up the word politics in the dictionary or in

the book? I knew it wouldn't, but at least you did at least

your approaching it from the right way, right? Because so i

could have said think about politics, but this way you were

forced into a strange assignment. Why else? Maybe because

if your pillow can be political, you can kind of draw a

parallel to anythinq that we come in contact with?

Possibly.		Probably be more you probably could find it

easier on a soda can, but yeah, the taxes. Um, which is a

common commentary too we'll talk about in a minute. Why

else might		I have given you the assignment? Well,


Yeah !'!I tell you a couple of reasons. One, it's your

first essay assignment. We said that this gives you an

opportunity -- I've had two before but never three. I

think through the papers, at points that you may have made

here at least I can make some comments that might be useful

for you for future essays. By the way, I can't grade this

paper right now. Why? Or I shouldn't be able to with you I

could grade it in about three weeks. Not the same paper but

if I gave you the assignment I could probably grade it. Why

would I not be able to grade it now but in three weeks?

Because it		wouldn't be fair to grade us on a before you've

taken the course at all. Well I think you're right. It's

not fair to grade you on your opinion. So you didn't get

term. in order, I can always ask however what am I grading

on? I can		only grade on what you've showed me you've

learned whether you really learned it or not because at

least I can grade on term from the textbooks or from what

you learn or from my lectures and that's it. I think I made

that point		last time. Talk about example of an essay

question:		Do you believe in democracy? Explain. Anybody

here can write that now but I couldn't grade you on it. Any

one of you		can sit down and probably do I believe and

probably democracy -J-- government of the peop-le by t he

people, and for the people go through that kind of stuff but

it's not going to help you to know at least any thing of

what you may have gotten out of the text or sources or you

knew, my own lectures- -~and --c so the concept here was to

tri, and structure this in such a way to arve yrou in

developing an escape question and of course in a question how is

your pillow political?

What that's to be there in any essay on? You

need to define politics.

know how You're relating to your pillow to it if u do

provide me with some sort of a definition which I'm

basically saying is I will believe you at some point four,

five, six, seven, anything the text

book gives you. See, a

couple by showing you are known later in the course then

you're showing me yed something. Today. now you

you've could make your analogy based on the shape of the

flag or whatever and I'm., not grading it but if You would do

be fully acceptable.

trying to say? So what's another reason I gave it to you

just to let you

Is that you u.-der--t--nd what I'm

know there are reasons behind .-yr M--dnoss .

I'm always interested to see and it occurs every semester in

every class the number of people that are negative about

politics and the number that are positive. In other words,

your reaction to politics does can you through the way you

write it and it's interesting to me that the reactions to

from students change from year to year or sometimes maybe

two years it's a grouping. Sometimes more students are

negative and sometimes more are positive. And I think it

has a lot to do with the atmosphere out here. Despite all

of the well, I was going to say crap but I probably think

it's my feeling that's going on in Washington at the present

time. The fact is that most of the students have been more

positive over the last year than negative. And yet the

system we could argue may be seen negatively, but why? I

think the answer to me is fairly simple. We have a good

economic system. Jobs are available and I think therefore

we feel better about our lives and therefore possibly we're

thanking Clinton. But there's no doubt in my mind that his

high popularity rating is due to the fact that Americans are

pretty satisfied with the system in the United States and

we're not fearful of the major enemy like the Soviet Union

we may not like Iraq, but I don't think they scare the hell

out of us the way the Soviet Union did when it existed. And

so we're sitting pretty positive, but I really do feel that

if the economy were poor right now, Clinton would be out of

the office. His popularity rating would not be 66 percent

during this crises. I mean he would be gone. When the

economy dropped, Bill Clinton got elected. George Bush had

the highest rating after the Gulf War, after Desert Storm.

After full- examination of pillow, I discovered that the only

things that make it political. are the pinstrips and the

tag. I feel the stripes are political because all my other

pillows don't have them. I think they are more liberal.

And that's it. Why are stripes m.ore liberal? I don't ask

the person. I don't have to call on him but if I were

writing this as a test question for reading that is all

right. Now what makes a stripe liberal or not? I'm still

thinking about that. Color of the stripes? If the stripes

were red I suppose they're like communist. Am I wearing

stripes today? I don't know. So answers need such basis.

How can did this person describe politics? As to whether

pillows have stripes or not? So again we're not filling out

an answer here.

As I sit here and look at my old white pillow only one thing

comes to mind: Sleep, However, 1 was able to come up with

one reason why my pillow is political. Whenever I go to bed

I place my pillow on the left side. When I wake up, it is

shifted to the right side. Therefore, telling me it has a

political right side View, T myself being a liberal would

like to stay to the left. Even the center, but my pillow

definitely takes a conservative position on my bed. That is

why I feel my pillow is political. Well we seem to have a

liberal conservative element to the sides of the pillow and

the stripes. Actually, I can't really tell if they're

negative or positive which usually becomes pretty obvious. I

guess the pillow describes primary role for which is to rest

my head. To make my resting or sleeping habits

comfortable. It goes through physical changes as the time

of usage goes -- is this one positive or negative? I'd say

negative. No, I think it's positive. Why? Because that's

like being the head comfortable if it shifts based on your

needs that's pretty much a positive statement about

politics. A pillow looks all right before T pull the covers

off. After I put it off the covers my pillow looked thin.

And I when I pressed or poked on one side, the other or

opposite side went up or raised. I can tell the pillow is

the government. It looked pretty balanced when the cover

was pulled off I saw that the pillow really looked like what

the real pillow really looked like when stress on one issue

other problems come out of it. Maybe like what happened in

the Paula Jones lawsuit. All right. What's it was going

all right I'm sorry if I start thinking about these things

of somebody puffing on a pillow and Paula Jones P-A-U-L-A

J-0-N-E-S-. Oh, okay they continue. I should have read

further. Monica Lewinsky came out when you poked Paula

Jones which was true if the Paula Jones lawsuit had been

settled before Monica Lewinsky having to be brought into

case. And so the whole matter came out because they had

refused to settle the Paula Jones case. Maybe it's that

when democrats brought up an issue the republicans reacted.

They poked in the pillow the opposite side went up. You

sort of actually see a few of the Wougo once you will

covoro you have lining it's not perfect at capital hill. My

pillow is made of feathers. And out of the cloth layer

which it's the earth's in some noise my pillow is very and

other nights I'd rather not have a pillow. The government

is made up of the president, the pillow manufacturing plant

the legislature the feathers. And everything put together

makes up of government. The requirement of the pillow

sometimes our government makes us feel comfort and helpless.

And angry in the pillow. Personally and honestly I have no

idea how this pillow ~- politico but I try. Will Soo some

interesting onoo. It's interesting. This class had more

commentary relating to the tags then any of the other

clasooo. How many of you saw tags on your pillows? Not

that one of my classes I had almost half the class and they

didn't write on the tags. So this class apparently more did

many here one that we wont on. Under the penalty of the law

it was not to be removed except by the consumer. it went on

to describe the type of the pillow, it's size and the

registered number and the name and address and the

manufacturer were also stated on the tag etcetera.

In many cases, in one way or another, you the people, the

voter, consumer, determine that the government should == in

reality it's thought the laws it's the indirect element of

the law who regulates things in this country the government

the law? Yeah. But who within the government generally?

The regulatory agencies. What's an example of a regulatory

-- the F-D.A. Food drug administration. What else? What's

another agency? FBI form of a regulatory -- in other words,

any of those letter bureaus with bureaucrats. Politicians

aren't bureaucrats because they're elected official is part

of the term ment employee's of government. They have civil

service status which is sort of like tenure though to get

rid of and they internet the laws and they determine there

are too many regulations that you get placed on things so

with the pillow then gets regulated because we decide we

want certain things or politicians -- this will -- hey this

will be a great idea. They'll get me votes. Example, last

week, did I mention in Livermore the library case because of

the pornography in the internet in this class? Last week a

judge who I have to teach here political science for a while

um, George Hernandez he lives here in Fremont, who is the

judge presiding in the case. A woman in Livermore sued the

Livermore library because they do not have a blocker on the

internet and her fourteen year old son went to the library

and looked up pornography and now she says he's got a

pornographic hang up and so she sued to have the library put

blockers on it. The library has argued that number one, a

federal court ruling years a number of years ago said that

they were not allowed to put blockers on because blockers

would cut out words like breast and that means that a patron

could not look up breast cancer and number two, the head

librarian this is a parental upon not yours we have to serve

the public. Okay? And the judge bought it and threw the

case out, However, two politicians, one was from South

Carolina, one was from another southern state -- democrats

in this case so you this somewhere and they have introduced

it to legislation last week. To have the federal government

cut off all fundings to any library that does not put a

blocker at one computer. Okay? Now note they couldn't or

the city of Livermore in the state of the California to

block it because they could cut off federal funds and said

we don't have any federal funds anyway but the point to be

made is that politicians got concerned because some people

are concerned and then they introduce and sooner or later we

will have an agency that is going to check on libraries to

see if they've got blocking. But don't they also claim

that's unconstitutional? It might go -- the law might go to

the courts they attempted to put a blocker on the internet

through very comprehensive internet law that will make

searching of certain sites, even abortion, pornographic and

that was thrown out by the federal courts. But that doesn't

mean it always gets thrown out. The interpret again what

the courts do with it so it's sometimes irrelevant to the

politians because they're often creating things sometime

what the people want. We don't want rat hair in our hot

dogs, so we pass laws to make sure there's an agency that

checks the meat. The F-D.A. But then again most of us

might not care about internet pornography. Obviously child

pornography is regulated anyway by our child pornography

laws had arisen the United States. In fact, that happened

in oh, we got another switch. That happened in Milpitas

recently. A couple -- in because they were selling over the

internet pictures of animals having sex with humans -- but

that was is Milpitas. They were not tried in Milpitas. They

were tried in Tennessee because it went interstate and it

was the supreme court has generally ruled that communities

have certain standards and in those communities if those

standards are not violated it's not considered pornographic.

So I guess it will be pornographic and not in Milpitas. So

they took the case. I'm serious, they took the case to

Tennessee. Is there anything that you can think of that has

not been regulated or is not presently regulated by a

government agency or bylaw? Breathing. Well, no. That's a

legitimate statement. Is your breathing regulated? well

your personal because the air that you are breathing is by

air pollution it's not one to be kidding about it's a

serious answer. They can't regulate how you breathe

necessarily, um, but they he can regulate the air and they

do. Any other that you can think of? Thinking? Yeah we

can't regulate thinking. Not yet. Give us some time, but

we certainly can regulate what goes into your thinking and

in the sense of the information that you get sometimes such

as controlling the internet or controlling pornography or we

certainly can pass laws which we have regulating the action

on your thinking, but at this point they have not regulated

thinking, and so, yeah, that's basically valid, There's

one. Anything else? Freedom of speech? Oh, freedom of

speech is very regulated. You have a certain level of

freedom of speech, but for example, a friend of mine -- it

cost him $50 to go tell his landlady -- you could say F- the

draft because it's political. Political speech usually is

not regulated unless of course your free speech and/or

slanderous or libelous depending. Writing versus verbal. So

you have free speech to a limit. In fact there are many

schools where the speech does not exist free. It's called

harassment. An example, if you were to make comments in

some schools they have passed legislation that if you make

derogatory comments that's considered harassment of the

interfering with their ability to learn and those people are

expelled from college. It's crazy. Well I think it is

because I think I'd rather have that knowledge known that

there are people that have those feelings. I think it's far

better than to have that information out than not to have

people believe. I talked to you last time about the woman in

my class was the skinhead? No? Oh, a few years ago I had a

woman in the class who was a skinhead. She would interiect

in the classroom all the time about how blacks (African

Americans, whatever) she didn't use either of those terms.

She felt that's all blacks were good for was being slaves

and that way they could do the manual labor and that way

they did the labor then we wouldnit need the Mexicans then

we could sent them back across the border. And I'm going

nuts. I want to kill this woman literally. I want to throw

her out, but the students obviously exploded. It was good.

It was a nice and change didn't stop her, but I think it's

an awakening to realize that there are people who think like

that. I think as educationally sound and then you begin to

understand why certain minority groups are confronted and

say that there is racism out there most people feel that way

certainly aren't going to express. The real trouble there

was that she -- remember I grade by social security number

-- I don't grade by social security numbers, well the point

was I didn't know who she was on the exam, and so I couldn't

flunk her. I wanted to badly. Tragically, she got an A-in

the class on not knowing who they were but again I think

it's best to tell you the truth. Not healthy for her


Anything else you can think of that's not regulated--that is

not requlated? Jokes. Well they can be regulated. What

about Disney? Disney? No they cover up to prevent their

regulations and apparently have been a come of books to show

that especially the danger of some of the rides on the


Anything else that you can think of that's not regulated?

Not very good here. That's, by the way, very strange. When

you go back East and people are smoking all over the place

anywhere and they don't recycle. We talk about different

regulations. Well, in any case the point I'm making here

becomes pretty obvious. If everything you can think of from

the cradle you were born into or put into to the casket your

buried in is regulated, and they are, then government does

have an impact on your lives. Obviously what I'm trying to

identify is government doesn't effect me. It doesn't. Okay

you're putting your head in the ground by thinking that it

doesn't. So okay. Well okay it effects me, but so what.

Well that's the bigqy, the so what. In many cases you may

be right. So what? And if you don't think it's important

then there's nothing you can do people who walk with a cloud

over their heads. Or more likely to get high blood

pressure, tension headaches, heart attacks, they're more

likely to be explosive and maybe even more subject to

disease, I think talking today about positive attitudes for

living. Being relaxed and I think there may be some truth

to that, but negative people they usually just are not

observant. The fact is that maybe you can't do anything

about it, but knowing about it helps and I'm not saying

you're such to run for government or the president because

you have to make your choice. I got a couple of minutes

despite your books moving. I have a choice as to which

things I do want to act on but before I can do that, I have

to know and most of the time I am successful. When I fall,

okay, I fell, but since I'm more successful than failure I

feel more positive about things and I'm willing to try and

make things better for myself. And so politics does in a

sense impact your lives and that's perhaps one of the thinqs

hopefully you'll be able to get out of the course is to

decide in what areas that politics is important to you and

how if at any point you want to do anything about it and

even if you don't, at least to know that it's in -- so

therefore, seeing things as in as a New Yorker to be aware

to be able to see things becomes important. Somewhere along

the line we lose the ability to see things and they say it.

Huh? They have no hesitancy. It gets knocked out of the

them and all of a sudden they block. Because we as parents

have a responsibility and we feel the protect our kids.

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