Welcome to my course. Aristotle - the Greek philosopher of 2400 years ago, stated: "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." I look forward to being your professor for the semester. I wish to assist you any way possible to understand the course material so you will be successful.
Below are the courses I am presently teaching. Click on the below unique "course number & title" hyperlink for the class you are enrolled in, and there you will find your syllabus, assignments and exam reviews. You are responsible for reading both the "general" and "daily" announcements. Be certain to select your correct course link to avoid getting wrong course information that will be disastrous (has happened to some). I do NOT use Blackboard since I have my own website.
Click on your Fall 2014 course for correct
class announcements (links turned on before semester start)
2311 United States Government OR 2312 State & Local Government
Spring 2015 office hours UH 413 - Mondays and Wednesdays 1 PM to 2:30 PM; others arranged on request.
Political science is interesting, as sometimes you think you are learning about government and suddenly you realize you are learning lessons of life. If you could get paid to do what you love, what would it be? Confucius (551–479 BC) said: "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." Adopting that philosophy, I've worked very few days in my life, even though some have been very difficult and challenging. How do you choose to spend the one brief life you have? Make every minute count for a noble cause, or waste your brief time on earth? None of us really know how long we will live on this earth, as it can end abruptly, anytime, in the most surprising irrevocable ways. How do you one day want to reflect on your life's achievements? How do you want others to reflect on your life? It can be positive or negative with extreme contempt that one was a waste of space on earth. In 19 B.C., the Roman poet Virgil wrote in the Aeneid: “As long as rivers run to the sea – so long shall your honor, your name, your praises endure.” Teaching is like gardening because it cultivates the future by exposing others to truth and knowledge and how to process information. My mission is to help you prepare for, find, and land the job of your dreams and a rewarding life. But, you will have to identify your goal and the intermediate objectives necessary to get there, and then step up each rung of the ladder (representing each intermediate objective) by focusing, by working hard like the "Little Engine that Could," by applying yourself, and then you will be at the top enjoying your goal. Dream HIGH. Politics changes lives, the country and the world - sometimes for the better - sometimes it makes life worse. Contribute to changing the world to improve the future, rather than allowing others to perpetuate failures of the past and present. Edmund Burke said: "All the forces of darkness need to succeed is for the people to do nothing." Mark Twain, the American author who severely condemned Belgium's King Leopold II for murdering 10 million Congolese to profit from ivory and rubber between 1885 and 1908, once said: "Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest." Plato, Ancient Greek philosopher (about 428 to 347 B.C.) once said: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” He also said: "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." Thomas Paine said: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” The task will not be easy. New better ideas are often threatening to any old conservative establishment comfortable in its old ways. Change is always hard and why they fight it. Keep a positive attitude. If you maintain a negative attitude believing something impossible, you will be right, and you will not be like the change agents of history who risked all to act on bold new ideas that transformed the world for the better. Try not to burn bridges and realize that your adversary today can be your ally tomorrow. Honor the sacrifices of those who before you did their civic duty to serve and performed duty to society that cost many their lives to give and protect freedoms taken for granted by many today. One day, it may be your turn to sacrifice. Develop empathy, compassion, and service for those less fortunate than yourself and work to make your community and the world a better place.
Other useful links: Great web news links to inform students about government & the world around them, including comedy news like The Daley Show and the Cobert Report Voting Information Atomic Clock Time Set (most accurate on earth - need current JAVA) US Naval Observatory Master Clock time set National Park Vacation Lands in America Will provide my coaching guide hyperlink here as soon as I can on how to get great student & retiree summer jobs in beautiful national park resort areas. National Constitution Center 1st Amendment Center Independence National Historic Park Earth Sky U.S. Flag Protocol, Title 4 US Code, Chapter 1
I specialize in teaching the U.S. Constitution (the well spring from which all comes in this country) line by line, using historical intent and amplified by U.S. Supreme Court cases to show government authority, power and limits to it, as well as rights of the people. It is critical to build citizen government knowledge so they are able to make reasonably responsible decisions. Texas requires passing two government courses because democracy and citizen duties are critical to our survival and Texans score appallingly low on this knowledge and too few participate. There are excellent reasons why students now must pass government in state universities and why we need to expand this requirement to high school graduation http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article11101307.html Accurate knowledge is critical to arm yourself to be a leader able to stand up to ignorant and prejudiced charlatans who would guide our country down a disastrous path leading citizens over a cliff like lemmings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOOs8MaR1YM like Germans did blindly following Hitler to disaster, or like a perverted blood thirsty Tamerlane or Ghengis Khan. "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes," so said George Santana. Deceiving ourselves only causes harm. We seek truth, like the unemotional rational Vulcan Spock on Star Trek. Fascinating! We seek wisdom, good judgment and common sense. We are looking for empirical evidence like Sherlock Holmes and it is like assembling pieces of a puzzle. A citizen who does not understand the Constitution in an academic way is like a boat without a rudder, and therefore would drift aimlessly, grossly uninformed with no hope of understanding democracy and USA institutions, and would lack basic knowledge to protect and improve them. FDR stated in a 1938 anniversary speech at Gettysburg: "the Nation was founded to preserve a people's government for the people's good." It that what we have? Some selfish interests work hard to prevent what is best for the great majority of us, and we have to work hard to defeat them. Government is critical to organize complex society with law, that is decided by our chosen representatives. Society without it is anarchy, extreme inequality, terror, and survival of the fittest. Rotten political corruption is a great evil and the greatest threat to our democracy is the control of major policy by a few wealthy elites who grow fat on the carcasses of our citizens. If you do not stand up against it, who will? You have two choices as a citizen. 1). Throw up your hands in frustration and do nothing, which will allow those inferior to you make decisions that affect you. 2). Get involved and make our world better. Will you earn your keep on this earth enriching it and its inhabitants, or will the world view you a tragic waste of space who made life worse? Your generation is the custodian of the future. Will you do a good job as a watch dog protecting democracy and liberty and government of the people by passing on a better world for your children? Or will you have done a poor job, or abdicated your citizen responsibilities that permitted incompetent fools and the mean spirited to dictate your future? Your job as a good citizen is to question authority to prevent government from doing something stupid and adverse to our well being, such as elective unnecessary war. Free speech and press and the right to grip about government is the heart of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.
My experience teaching upper and lower level courses include: Congress and the Presidency, Texas Politics, United States Government, Introduction to Political Science, comparative State and Local Government, and comparative American & Texas Governments. I've taught 400 to 500 courses (stopped counting) to perhaps 50,000 or more of the finest young men and women from every country on earth, except Cuba and North Korea, and these new friends have taught me much. Like the Olympics of world minds, we study together in peace, freedom, respect and tolerance. I've discovered that young people all over the world are so much alike with their hopes and dreams. I'm so lucky to have been exposed to your wonderful cultures. All we neighbors on this wonderful planet have important problems we must solve together or the earth will be doomed. Fixing problems (like road pot holes, education, voting, crime, health care, clean environment, and other quality of life issues) should NOT be partisan republican and democrat problems, but Americans have allowed them to become so. Why did the vast majority of Americans permit the partisan few to hijack democracy? Example. Do you realize that 32 Americans cannot read? Do you realize that statistics show that if a child does not learn to read by the 4th grade that this child is likely to end up in prison due to inability to get an adequate job? Do you realize that 70% of America's prison population cannot read (the USA has the highest numbers of its citizens in prison than other nations)? Do you realize that it costs about $40,000 taxpayer dollars for every inmate in prison? Wouldn't it make better government policy to aggressively teach children to read? That's America. Think about the impact of high illiteracy rate in developing countries.
I bring not only academic training and experience teaching to the classroom, but also many decades of "real world" experience working for government as a "public servant" in various capacities. I will do my part, and you have major responsibilities, too. I want you to study hard so you can have a better future. Too many American students are lazy, do not study hard, and are unprepared for education success, education institutions are failing students, and this results in high probability of failure in life. Thus education is critical. Look at these 2012 PISA world test results and how USA students rank poorly among many world competitors who are defeating USA students badly. This is the most important education assessment exam on earth and the USA results are frightening and points to schools not providing quality education, parents not stressing quality education, and how too many students do not take advantage of the educational opportunities they have. This is about you standing in line for the job of your dreams and not being hired, while another gets the job you wanted because he or she did receive a quality education and you did not. Unemployment among college age students is too high. There are reasons why and that should frighten you. Study hard in all your courses as it is a matter of survival of the fittest. This is not a game you want to loose, as the consequences will hurt you.
There are so many uninformed Americans (who think they know everything but actually know little) as is true of many others else where on earth. It is not as much their fault, as it is education's fault, as well as parents. We have a lot of work to do to solve so many problems. These are not just “government” problems, they are problems for each of us, as they impact each of us, and require individual and team participation to solve them.
To begin to understand America and its government and what we stand for, all Americans, especially you, must read and study the following documents rated as the greatest essays on American democracy. This is knowledge that will not be gained in one day, one month or one year, but will take a lifetime of careful study from time to time to refresh your memory. They will help you to be more thoughtful and to be more informed about America and its government. Without these great documents on democracy, your views of American democracy will be like a rudderless sail boat. These eight greatest documents are: (1) Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, (2) Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, (3) the Federalist Papers authored by several, (4) the United States Constitution, (5) the Bill of Rights, (6) President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address 11/19/1863, and (7) Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address 3/4/1865. You should add (8) President Grant's Memoirs - the hero who saved the USA in the civil war. This work has been acclaimed as an astute observation of our American democratic republic.
(free Adobe Reader download)
I have a variety of professional experiences. I most love being an adventurer-explorer of wilderness places untouched by man, as well as the adrenaline race as a federal government first responder to the worst crises that can befall humans. I have saved many lives but also have been with too many as they gasp their last breaths. Also, for years I have been working "pro bono publico" for thousands of hours in international community service - all free donated time - to help bring peace to the good Congolese people. See this CIA Africa map. Did you know to date there have been about 8.1 million people killed in the Congo, (another million dead in the Rwanda source of the conflict), millions wounded and starved, and 2 million women gang raped in a population of 70 million? My Congo Freedom non-profit organization is doing some good things to help these people (see www.congofreedom.org). No other conflict on earth compares in magnitude since WWII, yet few know anything about it. Click on this PDF of Millsap work with Congo
(free Adobe Reader download). On the slide with the gorilla, click on the links to see people close to these magnificent animals; my dream to be with them. One of the many things I do to help end this conflict is to ghost write position papers on how to transform anarchy into a peaceful constitutional democratic republic - such as this PDF of my essay Justice and Rule of Law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Someday I plan to be the superintendent of Congo's UNESCO World Heritage Virunga National Park (14-15,000' mountains) - home of the famous mountain gorillas that are endanger of becoming extinct due to war http://gorillacd.org/ and this assignment would be fine with me. I will get my baby gorilla to rear one day. And I will have my own ranger company, who will train like Marines - all to protect civilians and the gorillas in the environment of anarchy and war. Rangers have battles with M23 & Mai Mai rebels (pour magic water on selves to stop ranger bullets) and some 150 rangers have been killed in action since 1996. http://ens-newswire.com/2012/10/25/eight-dead-in-attack-on-virunga-national-park-rangers/ Would be perfect duty for me.
" (German for devil dogs) - as WWI German soldiers called legendary Marines who could not be stopped from the attack, even when gravely wounded, until the objective is achieved or death. Wars cannot be won without grunt boots on the ground and all other occupations support us to be able to accomplish our objectives, and we cannot do that without them - for we are a team. Today only 1/2 of 1% of USA society has any military experience, and even a smaller percentage has grunt experience. Thus there is a disconnect for the first time in history between those who pay a price to serve and the rest of the civilian population who pay no price to defend this country, except in borrowed debt paid at a future date by a future generation. That is not healthy for society and is why I am for 2 years of "national service" like done in the past (military draft and civilian public service options like teaching or nursing in poverty zones or like the famous CCC or WPA). It is very hard to get into the Marines, and there are reasons why the Corps is highly selective of applicants. See the following links to learn why the USMC is given unique responsibilities and recognized as the USA's premier fighting force in all climates of the earth. What do people say about U.S. Marines? and Life as a U.S. Marine and Marine Officer and Officer commissioning programs and Special Operations and The National Museum of the Marine Corps and White House Marines and Marines responsible for flying the President of the United States (my son), and the White House U.S. Marine Band (oldest & finest symphony concert organization in the USA - free patriotic music downloads) and listen to https://www.youtube.com/user/usmarineband, and see Marines who protect every USA embassy on earth and see Medal of Honor & the Legion of Valor (both were established by act of Congress) and Marine Earns Navy Cross May 2011. Marine Jason Dunham earns Medal of Honor for heroic action in 2006 in Iraq and new Navy destroyer ship named in his honor. Marine Dakota Meyer earns Medal of Honor for heroism in 2009 Afghanistan battle, and watch CBS 60 Minutes reporter interview Dakota Meyer 9/18/11. Also see Marine Boot Camp http://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/recruit-training/-/proving-grounds/slide/5#pg and USMC Martial Arts Training and UFC champion fighters experience USMC martial artists
© 2013 Prof. Richard Millsap
The University of Texas at Arlington
Department of Political Science
701 S. Nedderman Drive
University Hall, Room 414
Arlington, Texas 76019-0539
Phone (817) 272-2991
This site was last updated 05/19/15