WORLD OBSERVER

America & the World:  News, Analysis, Commentary

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The Enlightenment philosophies, pursuits & methods; importance today; how it guides WO.The Enlightenment in the founding of the US, the Founding Fathers, key documents (Constitution, Bill of Rights & more).Religion & Faith--News, issues, analysis, commentary,  research.Society & Social Issues:  News, analysis, commentary, research on contemporary social problems. Education, all levels:  News, analysis, commentary & research on current issues in education.Protecting Children: News, analysis, commentary & research on issues affecting children today.Supreme Court, courts, legislation, judicial activism, judges gone wild, the ACLU agenda & more!World Observer site map/table of contents.

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The Constitution: That Delicate Balance

The Constitution Video Series

Constitutional issues come to life in this Emmy Award-winning series. Key political, legal, and media professionals engage in spontaneous and heated debates on controversial issues such as campaign spending, the right to die, school prayer, and immigration reform. This series will deepen understanding of the life and power of this enduring document and its impact on history and current affairs, while bringing biases and misconceptions to light.  Produced by Columbia University Seminars on Media and Society.

1. Executive Privilege and Delegation of Powers
Can the President's conversations with advisors remain secret when Congress demands to know what was said? Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski, former President Gerald Ford, and Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox bring first-hand experience to this topic.

2. War Powers and Covert Action
If the president, as commander in chief, decides to declare war, can Congress restrain him? Debating the issue are Gerald Ford, former CIA deputy director Bobby Inman, former secretary of state Edmund Muskie, and others.

3. Nomination, Election, and Succession of the President
A tangled web of issues is involved in electing a president. Edmund Muskie, former presidential press secretary Jody Powell, party officials, and others discuss the role of political parties, the electoral college, and what to do if a president becomes disabled.

4. Criminal Justice and a Defendant's Right to a Fair Trial
Should a lawyer defend a guilty person? This and other questions are debated by Bronx district attorney Mario Merola, former New York mayor Edward Koch, CBS News anchor Dan Rather, and others.

5. Crime and Insanity
Is a psychiatric evaluation precise enough to be allowed as testimony in a court of law? U.S. Court of Appeals judge Irving Kaufman, Hastings Center president Willard Gaylin, and others discuss the use of psychiatry in law.

6. Crime and Punishments
Cruel and unusual punishment, from overcrowding in prisons to the death penalty, is debated by U.S. Court of Appeals judge Arthur Alarcon, Federal Bureau of Prisons director Norman Carlson, government leaders, civil libertarians, and journalists.

7. Campaign Spending
Do limits on campaign spending infringe on First Amendment rights? Political consultant David Garth, Washington Post columnist David Broder, Bill Moyers, and others explore the issues.

8. National Security and Freedom of the Press
What right does the public have to know about national security issues? Former CIA director and secretary of defense James Schlesinger, former attorney general Griffin Bell, and others debate the issue.

9. School Prayer, Gun Control, and the Right To Assemble
A series of events embroils a small town in First and Second Amendment controversies. Featured are Griffin Bell, former secretary of education Shirley Hufstedler, and civil liberties counsel Jeanne Baker.

10. Right To Live, Right To Die
Gloria Steinem, Joseph Califano, Rep. Henry Hyde, Phil Donahue, and others discuss the right to make intensely individual decisions about dying, abortion, personal freedom, and privacy.

11. Immigration Reform
The rights of legal and illegal aliens to employment and to medical and educational services are debated by U.S. Court of Appeals judge Arlin Adams, Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, and immigration officials and journalists.

12. Affirmative Action Versus Reverse Discrimination
Are quotas based on sex or race unconstitutional? Participants include Ellen Goodman, former EEOC chair Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, and United Federation of Teachers president Albert Shanker.

13. Federalism
How much power the federal government can wield over state and local affairs is debated in this final episode. Among those featured are Senators Orrin Hatch and Daniel Moynihan and Columbia University professor Diane Ravitch.

Democracy in America

Democracy in America Video Series

Democracy in America Web Site

This program offers 15 half-hour video programs, print guide, and web site. You can view the videos free online on the Annenberg/CPB web site and they are also available on DVD.  Democracy in America covers topics of civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions recommended by The Civics Framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress developed by the U.S. Department of Education. The 15 half-hour video programs, hosted by national television correspondent Renée Poussaint, and related print and Web site materials provide both cognitive and experiential learning in civics education.   Produced by the Educational Film Center, 2003.

1. Citizenship: Making Government Work
introduces basic concepts of government, politics, and citizenship. It explores the tension between maintaining order and preserving freedoms, the essential role of politics in addressing the will of the people, and the need for citizens to participate in order to make democracy work.

2. The Constitution: Fixed or Flexible?
examines the search for balance between the original Constitution and the need to interpret and adjust it to meet the needs of changing times. It explains the original Jeffersonian-Madisonian debate, the concept of checks and balances, and the stringent procedures for amending the Constitution.

3. Federalism: U.S. v. the States
explores federalism as a Constitutional compromise, especially in terms of present-day conflicts between people who believe that power should reside primarily in the national government and those who want government authority retained within the states.

4. Civil Liberties: Safeguarding the Individual
examines the First, Fourth, and Sixth Constitutional Amendments to show how the Bill of Rights protects individual citizens from excessive or arbitrary government interference, yet, contrary to the belief of many Americans, does not grant unlimited rights.

5. Civil Rights: Demanding Equality
looks at the nature of the guarantees of political and social equality, and the roles that individuals and government have played in expanding these guarantees to less-protected segments of society, such as African Americans, women, and the disabled.

6. Legislatures: Laying Down the Law
explores the idea that legislatures, although contentious bodies, are institutions composed of men and women who make representative democracy work by reflecting and reconciling the wide diversity of views held by Americans.

7. The Modern Presidency: Tools of Power
shows that the American Presidency has been transformed since the 1930s. Today, presidents are overtly active in the legislative process: they use the media to appeal directly to the people and they exercise leadership over an "institutional presidency" with thousands of aides.

8. Bureaucracy: A Controversial Necessity
reveals how the American bureaucracy delivers significant services directly to the people, how it has expanded in response to citizen demands for increased government services, and how bureaucrats sometimes face contradictory expectations that are difficult to satisfy.

9. The Courts: Our Rule of Law
examines the role of courts as institutions dedicated to conflict resolution, with the power both to apply and to interpret the meaning of law in trial and appeal courts. It shows the increased power of the Supreme Court through its use of judicial review and the difficulty of creating a judiciary that is independent of politics.

10. The Media: Inside Story
explores the media as an integral part of American democracy, highlighting the scrutiny they impose on the performance of public officials, the interdependence of politics and the media, and the power the media wields in selecting the news.

11. Public Opinion: Voice of the People
examines the power of public opinion to influence government policy, the increasing tendency of public officials to rely on polls, and the need to use many forms of feedback to get an accurate measure of public opinion.

12. Political Parties: Mobilizing Agents
shows how political parties perform important functions that link the public to the institutions of American government. Parties create coalitions of citizens who share political goals, elect candidates to public office to achieve those goals, and organize the legislative and executive branches of government.

13. Elections: The Maintenance of Democracy
explores the crucial role of strategy in the two-stage electoral campaign system; the opportunities for citizens to choose, organize, and elect candidates who will pursue policies they favor; and the need for campaigns to increase voter turnout by educating citizens about the importance and influence of their vote.

14. Interest Groups: Organizing To Influence
shows how America’s large number of corporate, citizen-action, and grass-roots interest groups enhance our representative process by giving citizens a role in shaping policy agendas.

15. Global Politics: U.S.A. and the World
examines the need for the United States to use the tools of foreign policy in ways that recognize the growing interdependence of nations — implementing both traditional and new forms of military, trade, and diplomatic strategies to promote benefits for America and the world as a whole.

Also view other programs on demand on the Annenberg web site  or call 1-800-LEARNER to learn more or to order.

 

 

 

  

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Home About WO Enlightenment US Foundations News/Research News/Opinion WO Advocates Forums & Blogs Take Action WO Contents

Religion & Faith Society Education Children Politics as Usual US Government Judicial & Legal     World News & Issues Country Conditions World Atlas    

Front Page Hot Topics 1, 2, 3