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Notes on Guest Speakers' Lectures, 2008-09

Page compiled by Jeremy Lewis, revised 1 May. '09.

  • Lt. Col. John P. Stokes, USAFR, spoke on 21 April '09 on the changing Air Force doctrine from large scale warfare to counterinsurgency, to PSC 303 International Relations, with illustrations drawn from combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan..
  • Prof. Jaime Demick of HC kindly spoke about her experiences in promoting a sexual harrassment bill in the Maryland state legislature, to PSC 212, in FL 203 at 0915 on Monday 6 April (on lobbying the legislature), and to PSC 314 with  in FL 203 at 1230 on Tuesday 7 April (on the criminal law process and rights she experienced.)
  • Prof. Shawn Bates, international law, American University, spoke on Tues. 10 March to PSC 314: Constitutional law on his Washington semester program and study abroad programs, then explained a case that morning in the 11th Circuit court in Montgomery.
  • Charles Walters '08 spoke to PSC 306 on his experiences at Duke postgraduate school of Divinity.
  • Jacques Lamour, a current HC student from Haiti, spoke to PSC 303 on the political history of Haiti from 1492 to Aristide.
  • Dr. Adam Lowther, USAFRI, spoke on "Nuclear Weapons: From the Cold War to the Present" [PPT] to PSC 303, 0930 on Th 26 Feb. in FL 203.
  • Event: the Montgomery mayoral candidates' debate was held in our chapel at 6-8 pm, 12 February.
  • Michael Briddell, former WSFA TV reporter, and an assistant to Mayor Bright, now a candidate for mayor, will likely speak (to be confirmed) to PSC 212 on Wednesday 11 Feb. at 09:15 in FL 203.
  • Scott Simmons, a candidate for mayor of Montgomery, who kindly visited our MUN pancake breakfast, will speak to PSC 212 on Friday 6 Feb. at 09:15 in FL 203.
  • Jan Crawford Greenburg (ABC News), the Stallworth lecturer, 7:30 pm on 23 Sep. 2008.  Author of Supreme Conflict, (2007)
  • New speakers' dates and topics for Alabama World Affairs Council meetings, 2008-09
  • Katheryn Kennedy, "Rock the Polls", 16 Sep. 12:30 in PSC 311.  Ms. Kennedy, formerly an aide to the Governor, now represents AUM's Center for Advanced Technology.
  • James Payne '99 also came to PSC 302 on 7 Oct. to speak on European institutions and law.
  • Felix Parker '04, Alabama Democrats, came to PSC 311 to speak on the Democratic campaign for US Rep. Bobby Bright, and voter identification software.


  • Professor Demick, on her Sexual Harrassment law in Maryland
    by Alexis Johnson, April 6, spring 2009 (another is below)
    Background:
     -Professor Demick was working at NASA in Maryland.
     -Man (janitor) was putting bodily fluids in her & other’s drinks.
     -She noticed something was wrong and locked her office.
     -The janitor became angry and left a nasty note.
     -She showed the note to security and they said it was a prank.
     - Others complained, and surveillance was established.
     - The man was caught in the act & confessed.
    So it was an “open and shut case” right?
     -could use either state or federal law because it was a federal institution
     -decided to use state, because it was more specific
     -there was no law against what he did
     - hoped that he would be prosecuted for simple assault because he used his bodily fluids as an  extension of his body in effort to harm others
     - The janitor pled not guilty, even though he signed a written confession.
     -He was found guilty of 3 counts of simple assault, and was sentenced to 6 months in prison for  each count.
    Sometime the victory is not enough (2003):
     -She set her mind on getting a law passed against it.
     -She called all of the representatives in her area, and one Senator said he would support the bill.
     -The bill went to a committee of the Senate and she had to testify.
     -The committee voted no, so the bill was dead.
    There were some things that had to be changed the second time around:
     -She needed to become affiliated with lobbyist groups.
     -She needed the support of the state police.
     -The category of the bill had to be changed, because the Senators were never going to vote for it  if it was under sex offense. They were afraid to ruin their images.
     -The senators wanted the bill to start off in the House, because that’s just the way things work.
     -She needed better marketing tools.
    Another try (2004):
     -tried two separate bills
      -first: made it a new crime
      -second: amended a law regarding poisoning
     -Both went to the judiciary committee of the House.
      -They amended the two bills into one and passed it, making it go to the Senate.
     -The Senate amended it as well, changing it from a felony to a misdemeanor
      -They then passed it, making it go back to the House.
     -The House passed the bill that had been amended by the Senate.
     -The Governor then signed it into law.
    Professor Demick on Sexual Harassment Law in Maryland
    By: Katelyn Carter, April 6, spring 2009
     -Professor Demick worked in Maryland with NASA.
     She always assumed that she was extremely safe, never locked her doors, etc.
     -“Creepy” man, also janitor, was putting bodily fluids into her drink when she would leave the office.
     -She noticed something was wrong and locked her office.
      She reported this to security but they assured her that nothing was wrong.
    -She stopped buying drinks from the building, went to different stores, etc. but drink always would taste the  same.
     - When others complained, security finally listened and installed surveillance cameras in her and the other workers offices.
     - The surveillance cameras captured the janitor on film and they questioned him about it and he openly confessed.

    Professor Demick became upset because the janitor couldn’t be charged because there was no law against it so she decided to write one.
     -She could have used either state or federal law because it was a federal institution and that is what the law states
     -She decided to use state, because it was more specific and was more likely to enter the discussion rooms
     -Her goal was that he would be prosecuted for “simple assault” because he used his bodily fluids as an extension of his body in effort to harm others which he could have done by infected the workers with unwanted STD’s, etc…
     - When it came to the actual court, the janitor did not confess, although he had already signed a written confession.
     -He was found guilty of 3 counts of “simple assault”
    -He received six months in prison for each count.

    However, in 2003:
     -She needed a lot of support so she called around and got one senator to support her. Then she wrote a bill and had to go to the Senate. The bill failed and it died.
     -She got word from different representative that she needed to find a lobbying group to help get a lot of support for the bill. She would also need state police support.
    -The bill also was changed from a sex offense as well.
    -Had to sell the bill to people.

    Third time is the charm:
     -She combined the bill that stated it as a new crime and also regarded it to poisoning.
      -There was amendments made and then the governor signed it.

    Dr. Jamie Demick on Sexual Harassment and Maryland Lawmaking
    PSC 212 Guest Lecture, Monday, 06 April 2009
    by Brad Witt, Spring 2009
    “The responsiblilty of making and passing law belongs to the citizens.” –Dr. Demick

    Dr. Demick began her lecture with a brief summary of what happened, compelling her to pass legislation in the state of Maryland.

    • Begins as employee at NASA in Maryland, late 1990s through early 2000s.
    • Keep in mind, an “act” is the proper term for something that is not defined as a crime.
    • Begins with a “creepy” janitor; noticed to oddly stare; “checking me out”
    • Job requires back and forth commute from office to lab. No food/drink allowed in lab, left in office for a quick bite/sip.
    • Early on, begins to notice a strange consistency/taste of Coca-Cola.
    • Unsure of what it is; called “crazy” by friends/family.
    • Reports not taken seriously by security/higher-ups.
    • Note left on door. Very sexual. Creates extreme discomfort. Once again, looked over and called a “prank”.
    • Similar reports surface from three (3) other employees of office building. Admin takes a look.
    • The “creepy” janitor is caught on security cameras inserting bodily fluids into drink. (Semen/Urine)
    The four victims of this act get together with the State and Federal attorneys (can use both due to the fact the act was performed in a federal facility.)
    However, a loop hole in the State Legislation allows for this act to be considered noncriminal. Even with a full written confession, the defendant pleads not guilty to three (3) counts of minor assault. Max sentence is eighteen (18) months jail time and six (6) months probation. Assistance to the conviction: Female judge; Defendant waived right to jury; young, arrogant defense attorney who argued this was a mere “prank”.
    Dr. Demick was outraged and decided to submit legislation making it illegal to “Knowingly and willingly cause another to ingest bodily fluids.”
    Calls, visits, emails, pens, mugs. Gains support of State Police. First attempt shot down. Change from sexual offense to criminal offense. Once again, lobbies, submits.
    Back and Forth from the House to the Senate. Amended and Re-Amended.
    Finally passed as House Bill 76, 2004 Regular Session.

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  • Dr. Adam Lowther, USAFRI, will speak on "Nuclear Weapons: From the Cold War to the Present" [PPT] to PSC 303, 0930 on Th 26 Feb. in FL 203.
  • The Atom Bomb
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Continued
  • Schelling v. Kahn
  • Deterrence
  • Dissuasion
  • Denial
  • Threat
  • Compellence
  • Shaping Model
  • Means
  • Abolitionists
  • Modernizers
  • Dr. Strangelove
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  • Michael Briddell, former WSFA TV reporter, and an assistant to Mayor Bright, now a candidate for mayor, will speak to PSC 212 on Wednesday 11 Feb. at 09:15 in FL 203.


  • Scott Simmons, a candidate for mayor of Montgomery, who kindly visited our MUN pancake breakfast, spoke to PSC 212 on Friday 6 Feb. at 09:15 in FL 203.  He presented various plans for developing the city, including:
  • a "re-birth" zone with lower sales taxes in Montgomery Mall,
  • avoiding increases in the property tax to pay for a lower sales tax citywide;
  • alternative sentencing for minor offenders; and
  • boosting tourism.
  • He also demonstrated knowledge of the city budget items, and spoke for a warmer political climate in the city, welcoming all..

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  • Jan Crawford Greenburg (ABC News, formerly PBS Newshour) will be the Stallworth lecturer, 7:30 pm on 23 Sep. 2008.
  • Also, class guest speaker in PSC 311, Tues 23 Sep at 12:30 in FL 203. NEW
  • My book notes on Supreme Conflict  NEW
  • Summary of reviews:
  • Her lively new book, Supreme Conflict, (2007)argues that W. Bush has been more successful than other recent Republican presidents, in casting the Supreme Court in a conservative direction.  His appointees, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, are more ideologically motivated than some predecessors, and not so off-putting to conservative and moderate colleagues as is Clarence Thomas.  According to reviewers, the book's qualities are use of participant interviews and papers of Supreme Court justices -- while weaknesses are a lack of theory or academic data, and missing some important areas of judicial politics.  Some complain that her book is delivered from a harsh and simplistic conservative viewpoint (one review compares Greenburg to Ann Coulter) that fails to understand the qualities of moderate conservative justices.  On the other hand, some reviewers excuse her for reporting such views of others -- her own views seem (to reviewers) to fall between moderate and radical conservatism.  She is particularly critical of Justice Souter and critical of O'Connor, despite her being a likeable source.  A specific point she makes is that notes show Clarence Thomas is opinionated and often a leader, not a follower, of Antonin Scalia.  She also argues that Bush v Gore (2000), decided in great haste, resulted in an unnusual argument based on equal protection and is not typical of quality or pattern of the Supreme Court's work.
  • Overall, the book (although not an academic work) is the best reported, popular, "inside" story of the Court since Woodward and Armstrong's The Brethren, thirty years ago.
  • Some pertinent questions suggested for Ms. Greenburg:
  • Does her thesis of a struggle for a conservative revolution, really depend on limiting conservatism to the radical, moral Right?
  • Does her thesis depend on Republican Presidents (before W. Bush) actually desiring the radical conservatives' agenda?
  • Why can't judges blend the common law approach with the constitutional approach in most cases?
  • Why is it not judicial activism to reverse precedents in a conservative direction?
  • Does her thesis depend on confusing originalism (intent of the Founders) with judicial restraint (judges not making new law)?
  • Doesn't her book show that some Republican activists deliberately politicized Supreme Court appointments?
  • Why doesn't her book feature judicial issues beyond the moral right agenda -- like economic or defense powers?
  • Is a subtheme of the book that both women justices felt "put-downs" from men, not only when first denied jobs but also when on the Supreme Court?
  • Are there some rights (like abortion, or privacy from police intrusions) that were not written into the constitution precisely because abortion (until the baby kicked) and privacy (there being no police) were assumed normal in 1787?
  • On page 174, on restricting federal powers over interstate commerce under the constitution, why does she  only give the tenth amendment's restriction-- and leave out the "make all laws necessary and proper" or 'elastic' clause?
  • Voting blocs on the Supreme Court:NEW
  • Justices generally considered legal conservatives: Roberts (Chief), Scalia, Thomas, Alito
  • Justices considered moderate legal conservatives, swing voters: Kennedy (and formerly O'Connor, now retired)
  • Justices generally considered legal liberals: Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter, Breyer
  • Justices and their appointments, (ages in 2008) -- party of president nominating: NEW
  • John Roberts (chief) by W. Bush, 2005 (53) -- R
  • John Paul Stevens by Ford, 1975 (88) -- R
  • Antonin Scalia by Reagan, 1986 (72) -- R
  • Anthony Kennedy by Reagan, 1988 (72) -- R
  • David Souter by G. Bush, 1990 (69) -- R
  • Clarence Thomas by G. Bush 1991 (60) -- R, very close confirmation vote
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Clinton, 1993 (75) -- D
  • Stephen Breyer, by Clinton, 1994 (70) -- D
  • Samuel Alito, by W. Bush, 2006 (58) -- R, close confirmation vote
  • Reviews and notes:
  • New York Times review (favorable, with some gaps such as hard data and topics such as presidential power)
  • John O. McGinnis, "Coming to Order, How the Supreme Court Really Works," Wall Street Journal Opinion NEW
  • Ken Gormley, "Bush Built a Right Wing on Highest Court by Trial, Error," review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette NEW
  • Amazon.com: best customer reviews: Favorable | Critical
  • The Court's current membership, table, on Wikipedia NEW

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    Katheryn Kennedy, "Rock the Polls", 16 Sep. 12:30 in PSC 311.  Ms. Kennedy, formerly an aide to the Governor, now represents AUM's Center for Advanced Technology.

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