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    DiscussionBanner
     
    As a way to try a foster some more open debate and discussion on some of big political, economic, and social issues of the day within Mr H's Government and Economics classes, students will be asked from time to time to log on, review, and post discussion thoughts on a wide range of issues related to the class content. Student will be given until an assigned due date to review any materials posted below by Mr H and communicate their thoughts in a form of online dialog that will help facilitate learning, debate, and discussion both in and out of the classroom.
    Students, from time to time, will also be asked to respond (politely and respectfully) to other students point of view so that everyone can better understand opposing viewpoints as well as learn to appreciate other young citizens point of view. All posts are reviewed by Mr H prior to going live and all posts are related to established weekly homework grades.
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Have you ever posted on an online discussion board
    like this for a class prior to this semester?
     
    Before you do, read over the tips for "Discussion Board Etiquette" or "Netiquette"
    before advancing by clicking here
     
     
     
     
    Rubric for Discussion Board Postings: Postings will be assigned in advance on Mr H's Homework Checklist and will carry the same amount of points as a typical, weekly homework assignment. Students are encouraged to refer to the rubric below for posting guidance:

    10 points
    8 points
    6 points
    4 points
    1 point
     
     
    Insightful posting
    Makes connections to class content or story
    Offers new insights / ideas
    Completed on time or prior to assigned due date
    No stylistic errors
    (grammar, spelling, etc.)
     
     
     
    Clear posting
    Satisfactory connections to class content or story
    Offers limited insights / ideas
    Completed on time or prior to assigned due date
    1-2 stylistic errors
    (grammar, spelling, etc.)
     
     
     
    Clear posting, but w/ minor issues
    Limited connections to class content or story
    Offers few insights / ideas
    Completed on time
    3-4 stylistic errors
    (grammar, spelling, etc.)
     
     
     
    Flawed posting
    Poor connections to class content or story
    Offers almost no insights / ideas
    Completed on time
    5-6 stylistic errors
    (grammar, spelling, etc.)
     
     
     
    Poor posting
    No connections to class content or story
    Offers no insights / ideas
    Completed late
    completed on time or late posting
    6-8 stylistic errors
    (grammar, spelling, etc.)
     
     
     
    DIRECTIONS: To comment on the Discussion Board posting, click the "comment" link at the bottom of the post and type your comments into the provided fields. When your finished click the "Submit Comment" button and your writing will be submitted to Mr. H for posting. Comments will often be posted live for all viewers to see within the next 12-24 hours, typically.
     
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  • Discussion Post #2: Do We Need a New Consitution?

    Posted by Mr Huesken on 11/10/2018 4:00:00 AM
    Constitutional Conventions2292992
     
    Introduction
    Following the signing of the US Constitution in 1787, there has been a plethora of debates  as to whether or not the Founding Father got it right. How much power should this new Federal government have? What if Federal officials start to dictate public policy to the states? What if citizens like their state governments, but not their Federal counterparts? What if the Federal government starts taking away the rights of the citizens or the rights of the states? All of these are questions that have been brought up and debated over the last two hundred (200) years, but few answers have been achieved. So it is under this cloud of discontent that our society has faced numerous Constitutional issues and continued on. In our modern era today, some have called for a reexamination of some of the most important and secrete ideals of what it means to be an American and floated the idea that perhaps an overhaul of our current government institutions might be necessary.
     
     
    How Did The Constitution Come to Be?
    To get a little background on the events, controversies, and history that surrounding the Constitutional Convention, check out the video below with self-proclaimed expert John Green and Crash Course: US History...
     
     
    Fast-forward to today's political charged and highly divided government....
     
     
    Side A: Do We Need a New Constitution?
    While the Founding Fathers may not have envisioned a republic that could have endeared for more than a decade (thank you, Benjamin Franklin) or a generation,  they did believe that the system they created could deal with conflict, allow it to present itself, and then be compromised. With the rise of the political polarization in Washington DC, many have questioned this logic. Some even going so far as to call for a new "constitutional convention" to address some of the growing problems in our national government / society.
     
    TIME Magazine addressed some of this modern-day Constitutional crises in a controversial cover article in its June, 2011 issue in which it raised serious questions about some of the major current issues of the day that would have been inconsiderable to the Founding Fathers in 1787...

     

    "One Document, Under Siege" (TIME Magazine.com)

     
    One such proponent of a new "Con-Con" (a Constitutional Convention) is former lawyer, author, Constitutional scholar, and conservative radio show host Mark Levin. As president of the conservative-leaning Landmark Legal Foundation, which advocates for limited government, Levin has authored five books and contributes commentary to various media outlets such as National Review Online. Posted below is an interview he gave for his 2013 book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, which debuted on The New York Times bestseller's list at #1 in three different categories. In the book, Levin calls for a new constitutional convention known as an "Article V Convention" (named so because it is allowed under Article V of the US Constitution) to discuss a set of new amendments to the Constitution that will help correct some of the societal and political woes our country is facing. Check out more of Levin's interview from Insta-Vision with Glenn Reynolds:
     
     
    In the January, 2018 issue of The Week, journalist Ryan Cooper takes the discussion of revamping the Constitution a step further, by not just criticizing the age of the Constitution, but offering some real-world suggestions on how the document could be improved for the 21st Century...
     
     
     
    Side B: Is It Really Wise to Tamper With The Constitution?
    On the opposite side of the argument, another conservative group called the John Birth Society has argued against Levin's idea of an Article V "Con-Con" out of fear that a new constitutional convention will not just open up the Constitution for simple changes, but also allow individuals the opportunity to really tinker with and possible destroy some of the major institutions of government. Such a convention, they warn, could result in a movement away from democracy and more of a move towards dictatorship or something worse. An example of these fears is posted below from the John Birth Society's YouTube channel. In this interview, Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon is asked about his feelings towards a new constitutional convention and the dangers it might entail:
     
     
    In a more simplistic sense, the same question of do we need to overhaul the US Constitution was asked by PBS host and NPR personality Peter Sagal to a group of High School students in the PBS series Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Check out the segment below:
     
     
    Finally, with a new class of political leaders coming to stage in 2016, what does the future hold for the US Constitution and the possibility that we might see a Con-Con in the US. To see more on this aspect of the debate, click the link below from the Associated Press...
    white1
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    [To see Florida Senator and GOP 2016 Presidential nominee, Marco Rubio, speak on the issue of a Con-Con, click below]
     

    white1
    Directions for Your Posting:
    After viewing these online stories, consider the following question(s) using good supports, background information from class, and intelligent arguments, and post your thoughts in a  and please also reply on at least one (1) other person's thoughts.
     

     

    • After opening the app, enter the assigned code when prompted (7cfb2222). You can also go to the discussion directly using this link (https://flipgrid.com/7cfb2222)

     

    • When prompted, enter the grid finally using your etownstudents.org account via the Google button provided.

     

    • If you already have the app on your phone from a previous class or are using a desktop computer with a camera, you can click the link / icon below and be directed to the site.

     

    • Create a personalized video using your mobile or electronic device (max. of 5 minutes) that addresses the following points:
      • In your opinion, is the US Constitution (and particularly the idea of federalism) still a document / concept that can keep up with our world today even with an ever changing political and social landscape? Explain your reasoning why or why not.
      • In your viewpoint, would you be supportive of a new Constitutional Convention (a "Con-Con")? Explain why or why not.
      • If your answer to Question #2 was yes, expand on your reasoning. What major reforms or changes would you like to see to the American system of government? Should any new rights be added for protection? Explain.  If you answer was no, expand on your reasoning as well. What fears or injustices might arise from tinkering with our two-hundred year old Constitutional institutions? Explain.

     

    Postings will not be accepted past the assigned due date unless otherwise stipulated. Refer to the rubric posted above for more grading information.
     
    When posting your replys to your peers, remember the posted "netiquettes" above. We want to stimulate debate and discussion, not hurt feelings and animosity
    white1
     
    Comments (0)
  • Discussion Post #1: Does our Election System Need an Overhaul?

    Posted by Mr Huesken on 10/13/2018 2:00:00 AM

    USvoting2928288822

     

    Introduction
    If there has been one lasting impact from the last few election cycles in American politics, its a revival in the discussion of comprehensive and lasting electorial reform in the US, especially when it comes to picking the most important office in the land, the American Presidency. The term "electoral reform" refers to efforts to change in the way American elections are run and overseen, candidates are selected, and votes are tabulated so that average American citizen / voters feel that their will is being considered in the political process more fully. Most elections in the U.S. select one person; elections with multiple candidates selected by proportional representation or a system in which the number of seats held by members of a political party is determined directlt by the number of votes its candidates receive in an election are, surprisingly, relatively rare. Typical examples include the US House of Representatives, whose members are elected by a plurality (or getting the most votes, but not a majority) of votes in a signle-member district. The number of representatives from each state is set in proportion to each state's population, based on a 10-year census record. District boundaries for both houses of Congress and state legislatures are usually redrawn after each such census by partisian political legislatures and the process often produces "gerrymandering" or the intentional redrawling of district boundaries designed to increase and secure the majority of the party in power and ensuring electoral victory. This is one of a number of institutional features that increase the advantage of incumbents seeking reelection. The US Senate and the US Presidency are also elected by plurality. While these elections are not affected by gerrymandering to the extent that state and House races are, they are still subject to the influence of wealth, publicity from outside groups, and a confusing system of primaries, caucuses, and inter-party elections, whose rules are often lost on not the voters - but the candidates and party elders themselves.

     

    Throught the years, there have been numerious attempts to try and reform the election practices of the US. Proposals for electoral reform have included overturning the controversial 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision (allowing for protection of campaign donations as "free speech") and citizen funding of elections, limits and transparency in campaign funding, instant runoff voting in disputed plurality elections, public or citizen funding of news agencies and campaign coverage for more unbias election coverage, a new national holiday called "Deliberation Day" to support voters spending a full day in structured discussions of issues and candidates, abolishing the US Electoral College or nullifying its impact through a national popular vote, and / or improving ballot access for third parties, among others. The U.S. Constitution gives states wide latitude to determine how elections are conducted, although some details, such as election dates and limits on restrictions to the ballot like poll taxes, are mandated by federal law or Constitutional amendment.

     

    Your Task:
    After taking a look at the following attached video clip from This Week Tonight with John Oliver (below), consider the attached questions and post your responses to these questions using the Comment link provided at the bottom of this post.
     
     


    Directions for Your Posting:
    After viewing these online stories, consider the following question(s) using good supports, background information from class, and intelligent arguments and please also comment / reply on at least one (1) other person's thoughts. To post, just click the "Comment" button at the bottom of the page. When you do, the post will refresh. Scroll to the bottom of the page and post your thoughts in the space provided completed with name and email address. Make sure your post is at least 4-5 sentences in length, in paragraph form, and that you explain your answer. Postings will not be accepted past the assigned due date unless otherwise stipulated. Refer to the rubric posted above for more grading information. Please make sure that you include your name & email address with your post. No posts from "anonymous" will be accepted; postings should be made prior to the assigned due date posted on the Google Classroom; any posts made after the assigned due date will be considered late.
     
    When posting your replys to your peers, remember the posted "netiquettes" above. We want to stimulate debate and discussion, not hurt feelings and animosity
     
     
    1) As you watched John Oliver's segment on primaries and caucuses, what is the most shocking element of our election process for picking a Presidential nominee that stricks you? Why was this element the most shocking to you? Explain.
     
    2) At one point in his segment, Oliver makes the point that there is a major disconnect in American society between how people think our primaries and caucuses work and how they actually do in real life. In your opinion, why do you think there is such a disconnect? Is it our media? Our education system? Our society as a whole? Explain your answer.
     
    3) At the end of the segment, Oliver makes a point of mentioning that part of the reason why fundamental electoral reform doesn't happen is because the person with the most votes usually wins anyway and people often loose interest in fixing the process when the election is over. In your opinion, does Oliver destroy the message he is trying to get across in this segment by acknowledging this? If the person with the most votes wins anyway, is there really even a need for electoral refom? Is the discussion even relavent? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
     
    Comments (38)
  • Discussion Post Intro: What Student of Politics Are You?

    Posted by Mr Huesken on 9/1/2017 2:00:00 AM
    Einstein202829292
    As a beginning to our discussion of American government, politics, and economics, consider the following ideas below as a way to introduce yourself, your political involvement, and what issues are important to you and post your response in the comment section. To further enhance this introductory discussion, we will be using the video discussion app, Flipgrid, to post a video introction of ourselves. Please follow the following instructions:
     

     

    • After opening the app, enter the assigned code when prompted (8626f6). You can also go directly to the posting by using the link provided here (https://flipgrid.com/8626f6)

     

    • When prompted, enter the grid finally using your etownstudents.org account via the Google button provided.

     

    • If you already have the app on your phone from a previous class or are using a desktop computer with a camera, you can click the link / icon below and be directed to the site.

     

    • Create a personalized video using your mobile or electronic device (min. of 30 seconds / max of 1 minutes & 30 seconds) that addresses the following points:
      • Introduce yourself (Hi...my name is Jill Smith and I'm a senior at Elizabethtown Area High School)
      • What has been your experience with politics in the past? Do you follow it closely? Are you a political novice or non-expert? Is politics something you stay away from completely? Why? Explain.
      • In your opinion, what is your own social or political ideology? Liberal? Conservative? Independent? Unsure? Why? Explain.
      • What issue or issues are the most concerned about in our country today, as a young voter or soon-to-be graduated citizen? The economy? Foreign polcy? Heathcare? Something else? What is your thoughts (breifly) on this issue and why is it something you feel passionatly about? Explain.

     

    Videos will be automadically shared with Mr H. No posts from "anonymous" will be accepted; postings should be made prior to the assigned due date posted on the Google Classroom; any posts made after the assigned due date will be considered late

     

    Comments (0)