Monday, November 19, 2012

Intro of the Final Project - 11/19/12

Dates and topics of Final Project

All of the following dates are approximate and subject to change. Presentation dates will be finalized on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29.

GOVT - Final Project

US GOVERNMENT - FINAL PROJECT
Your final project deals with today's most important national issues.  Here's what you will do in advance:
  • Organize into groups of 2 or 3 (no more or less)
  • Choose a topic AND a position from the list below
  • Research the topic
  • Prepare an oral argument that supports your position
  • Prepare visuals, photos, video--anything that can be accessed from a school computer and internet connection
  • Prepare a handout for the class (optional)
On the DAY OF your Project, you will:
  • Have 10 minutes to present your argument
  • Have 10 minutes to listen to your opponents' argument (if any exists)
  • Have 5 minutes to take questions and respond to arguments against your position
  • Have 5 minutes to argue against and question your opposition (if any exists)
  • Have handouts to give to everyone in the class.  You may give Mr. Ippolito ONE single-sided sheet to make copies.  You must give this to Mr. Ippolito by 3:00 p.m. the day BEFORE your presentation (optional)
You will be graded on:
  • The quality of your argument
  • Having the FACTS to back up your argument (be prepared to explain your sources, and make sure your sources are reliable--not just, "Well, according to Wikipedia . . .")
  • Having resources to share with the class to back up your argument
Project Topics (or you can choose your own; topic must be approved by Mr. Ippolito before you begin)
  • ECONOMIC STIMULUS Plan (the bank bailout)
    • Support the stimulus plan
    • Scrap the stimulus plan
  • TAX THE WEALTHY to help pay down the national debt
    • Let's increase income taxes on the wealthiest one or two percent of Americans.
    • NO! Any increase of any taxes of any income level hurts the economy.
  • Use MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAN if it is discovered that they are developing nuclear weapons
    • I would support using military force
    • I would NOT support using military force
  • WATERBOARDING of terror suspects
    • It's "enhanced interrogation" and a valuable tool in the war on terror
    • It's "torture" and counterproductive, illegal and/or immoral
  • BUSINESS & LABOR
    • Labor unions should be limited! Would favor the pro-business positions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and similar groups.
    • Labor unions are good! Would favor the pro-labor positions of the AFL-CIO and similar groups.
  • SUPPORT ISRAEL AT ALL COSTS
    • Israel is our ally in the Middle East. We must support them in their fight against terror groups and Muslim extremist groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. 
    • Israel has gotten a "free pass" for too long. We must balance our support for them with an acknowledgement that they have been denying Palestinian Muslims rights in the name of national security. 
  • MINIMUM WAGE
    • I support increases in the minimum wage. 
    • I oppose increases in the minimum wage. 
  • SOCIAL SECURITY
    • We should keep it a governmental program, a non-private entity, possibly adjusting the earnings ceiling and/or the retirement age, etc.
    • We should consider other options, including and especially privatization. 
  • TRADE ISSUES
    • I support free trade policies. Free trade is a system in which the trade of goods and services between or within countries flows unhindered by government-imposed restrictions [such as] taxes and tariffs, non-tariff barriers, quotas.
    • I support fair trade policies. (Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards... More at Wikipedia) 
  • EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
    • I support federal expansion of embryonic stem cell research. 
    • I oppose federal expansion of embryonic stem cell research. 
  • ABORTION
    • I support the pro-choice positions of organizations like NARAL.
    • I support the pro-life positions of organizations like National Right to Life Committee. 
  • CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
    • I support the death penalty.
    • I oppose the death penalty.
  • GUN CONTROL
    • I support gun control legislation recommended by groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
    • I oppose gun control legislation, agreeing with groups such as the NRA and the Gun Owners of America.
  • MARIJUANA laws
    • I not advocate any sort of legalization of marijuana.
    • I support legalization for doctor prescribed medical use of marijuana. 
    • I support a general decriminalization of marijuana.
  • NATIONAL HEALTH CARE
    • We should "repeal and replace" the health insurance reform bill signed by Obama (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).
    • We should support the health insurance reform bill signed by Obama (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). 
  • ENVIRONMENT & PROPERTY RIGHTS
    • I favor positions of environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters. 
    • I support positions of property rights advocating groups like the American Land Rights Association. 
  • ARIZONA'S IMMIGRATION LAW - Arizona SB 1070 is the broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in decades. Some see it as a necessity to stop crime and illegal immigration. Others are concerned about racial profiling and constitutional issues.
    • I oppose Arizona's new illegal immigration law.
    • I support Arizona's new illegal immigration law.
  • SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
    • I oppose both marriage and civil unions for same sex couples.
    • I support both marriage and civil unions for same sex couples.
    • I support civil unions for same sex couples. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Midterm Review

Your US government midterm exam is Thursday, November 15. Here are topics you should be ready for:
  1. How does the Electoral College work? How many votes are needed to win the Presidency? What are the strategies for campaigning? What is a "battleground" state?
  2. Who are the Justices of the current US Supreme Court? Know that entire "Supreme Court Justices 2012" sheet with the bios of each Justice.
  3. What is "judicial review"? How did it get started in our country?
  4. Know the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" packet. Know each of the cases, the outcome of each case, and the amendments that apply to each case.
  5. Election 2012--know the names and parties of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates from both major parties and know the outcome of the election.
  6. Bill of Rights--know each of the rights from the "most critical" amendments--#1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8.