are in reverse chronological order--You should go through all announcements since your last visit, as simple common sense would suggest! NOTE: excuses such as "I did not know this was available via the class homepage," or "I did not have time to go to the class home page," and so on, will not be tolerated. In this class, intellectual laziness has its price: a poor grade.
Make sure you read the policies on office hours before you come to see me.
[[]] Course Assignment Materials

[[]] Test/Exam Schedule

[[]] Syllabus Packet

[[]] Office Hours

[[]] Missed Class/Test Form

[[]] Instructions for the Essay

[[]] Rules for quizzes /tests/ exams

[[]] AAS-Related Readings 

[[]] Computer Hygiene

[[]] Films List

[[]] Music--Jazz (origins/influences)

[[]] UB Spectrum (student newspaper)

[[]] UB Undergraduate Advising Services

[[]] CAS Undergraduate Advising Services

[[]] A-Z index of all UB websites

[[]] Study Guides and Strategies (effective study habits, taking notes, overcoming test anxiety, writing research papers, test-taking tips, etc.)

[[]] Khan Academy (free video tutorials on math, science, economics, finance, etc.)

[[]] Race/racism in the News

[[]] Articles on Health

[[]] Choosing safe consumer products

[[]] Sleep and Sleeplessness

[[]] WolframAlpha (fact-based knowledge engine)

[[]] Food and Nutrition Information Center

[[]] Requesting Letters of Recommendation from me.

[[]] Test/Quiz scores, plus Attendance Record 

[[]]  Occupational Outlook Handbook (critically important information compiled by the U.S. government on almost any job career you can ever think of).


Procedural democracy-related links you must also explore:

[[]] How laws are made in the U.S. 

[[]] Path to the Supreme Court (Chart)

[[]] U.S. Supreme Court Procedures

[[]] U.S. Supreme Court: Web site

[[]] The U.S. Judicial Process: The Federal Court System.

[[]] Legislation of the U.S. Congress (The Library of Congress Thomas web site)

[[]] Justice Denied.org

[[]] Famous trials in history

Posted 3/30/2020

People, please read and digest.

1. Just in case some of you are wondering, I am not responsible for CV-19; so please work with me to help you complete this super easy course (compared to your other classes) successfully. In other words, make sure you read/digest all instructions carefully--repeat, carefully. (Reminder about CV-19: it could be worse; think of the millions upon millions of people forced to live in refugee campus across the world through no fault of their own--many of them don't have access to soap, running water, medical facilities, etc.)

2. The one or two people who still claim they can't access the Google sites page via elegantbrain that has the films list page (because they did not do what they were asked to do on the computer hygiene page--link on the left), please carefully go through item 5(a) in Announcement no. 12, below.
3. Concerning Test 3 that was just administered over the past couple of days: (a) For reasons of fairness to everyone and to prevent cheating, once the test deadline has passed that test is over. The same test questions cannot be given again. (Reminder, there are about 150 students cross my classes this semester--I am sure you will agree with me that they are all entitled to fairness. After all, that is what this course about--fairness in society. Yes?) (b) For those few who claim you had a technical problem in taking Test 3: PROVIDED you meet the following condition, a new make-up test will be created: prove that Test 3 was just a one-off problem. (c) How will you be able to prove this? By making sure that you have no test-taking issues for all the remaining tests; therefore, the make-up for Test 3 will NOT be available until AFTER the final exam.

4. Homework for this week: See item 5 in Announcement No. 12, below.

5. Homework for next week (to be completed by 4/8/2020): (a) Study the slide image in the top left-hand corner of this page. (b) View and study (repeat, view AND study) these two films on the INTERSECTION of race and class: Great Divide and Democracy--class version; AND Spellbound.

6. All scores for all tests/exam will eventually be posted via the link in the left margin of this page.

7. To those who had permission to make up Test No. 2, it will be available on Wednesday (4/1/2020) around midday on Blackboard (under Assignments) and the same rules will apply as with Test 3 you have just taken, but with two differences: (a) it will be a short answer test and NOT multiple choice, and (b) you will have more time.

8. About sending me e-mails, see Announcement No. 3, item no. 4 below.

9. As indicated in an e-mail you were sent through HUB recently, the in-class essay writing project is being replaced with Test 6 (see the test/exam schedule via the link in the left margin).

Posted 3/25/2020  (Updated 3/27/2020)

Folks, please read and digest:

1. About Test 3:

(a) It is super important that you do the assigned homework that the test will cover; otherwise you will be in the same boat as the last test.

(b) What the test will cover: See item no. 2 in the next Announcement below.

(c) Date and time: See item no. 2 in the next Announcement  below. Update: Test will be available today at 11:30 pm on Blackboard (UBLearns) under Assignments. Make sure you read the instructions! Please note that in the name of fairness, and to prevent cheating, the rules cannot be changed.

(d) Format: It will be a multiple choice test (with responses graded by the computer). However, points will be deducted for guessing. <-- Read this sentence again.

(e) Place: the test will be online and available via Blackboard (UBLearns).

(f) Methodology: See item no. 2 in the next Announcement  below.

2. Reminder about e-mails policy:
See item no. 7 in the next Announcement below. (Reminder: I have about 150 students across my classes this semester. I am sure you can guess why I mentioning this fact.)

Posted 3/23/2020   

People, Spring Break is over; so please read and digest:

1. About submitting Test 2: see item 3 in Announcement 11, below.

2. About the upcoming Test No. 3 this week, see item 4 in Announcement 11, below.

3. About class announcements for the rest of the semester, see item 2 in Announcement 11, below.

4. Homework for this week, see item 1 in Announcement 11, below.

5. Homework for next week to be completed by 4/1/2020:
(a) download, view and digest: Inside Job--class version, available via the Films List page. (See Announcement 3, item 3, below, OR click on link in the left margin of this page that also takes you directly to that page.)
(b) download and study item L15 (including all images) from Section One of PART L of Online Course Assignment Materials. <--This is a long read.

6. About the test/exam schedule for the rest of the semester: see updated schedule via link in the left margin.

7. About sending me e-mails, see Announcement 3, item no. 4 below.

8. About reading, digesting, and following instructions in this class: click on the slide image in the top left corner of this page.

Posted 3/12/2020 (updated 3/22/2020)  

Folks: Please read and digest:

1. Homework, to be completed by 3/25/2020:
(a) Finish viewing the documentary we began in class titled American Outrage (available via the Film List page).
(b) Study the entire definition of "Class" available in the Course Glossary (PART B of online Course Assignment Materials).

2. Group divisions are now no longer applicable. Everyone is in the same group now. Additionally, please note that all class announcements will continue to be posted on this page. Warning: You must stay on top of the announcements available via this page, and of course you must be on top of all assigned homework.
3. About Test no. 2: because of changed circumstances relating to the virus thingy, do not drop off the test by my office. Instead, upload your test responses via Blackboard (UBlearns) by 3/25. Click on "Assignments" when you arrive on the Blackboard page for this course. (Note: If you have already dropped off the test at my office, before today, that's O.K.)

4. Test No. 3, which will cover everything mentioned in Announcements 9 through 11 will be online and it will be available on 3/27/2020 by the end of the day. Once the test is available, you will have 48 hours in which to do it. Note: in order to prevent cheating: (a) it will be a timed test which you will have to complete in one sitting--that is, once you have begun the test you must complete it; you won't be able to go back to it if you stop before time is up, or if you run out of time; and (b) questions will cover the same  assigned material but they will not necessarily be the same for everyone.
Make sure you study everything before you take the test; otherwise you will fail the test--that's a guarantee--because you won't be able to answer the questions.
The link to the test and additional instructions will be posted on this page as part of Announcement No. 13, when it is posted.

Posted 3/4/2020 

Guys: Please read and digest:

1. Homework:
(a) Go through all the announcements below, starting from the bottom. (Warning: failure to read announcements on a timely basis is an unacceptable excuse.)
(b) Do NOT send me e-mails about anything until after you have gone through all the announcements.
(c) Study your attendance record--link in the left margin of this page.
(d) Study the class Attendance/Test schedule--link in the left margin of this page.
(e) Catch up on homework, class discussions, etc. from previous announcements.

3. Class proceedings today: (a) Went over material in the next announcement below. (b) Reminded class about the link in Announcement no. 5 below. (c) Discussed procedural democracy and term-limits. See this reading. (d) Class must study the slide image at the top of the left margin of this page. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Posted 3/2/2020 

People: Please read and digest:

1. As indicated below, all announcements--repeat, ALL announcements--unless stated otherwise, apply to both groups.

2. Homework for Wednesday (3/4/2020): Catch up on homework, class discussions, etc. from previous announcements.

3. When you miss a class for legitimate reasons, do not send me an e-mail. Instead, complete the missed class/test form (link on the left).
4. Class proceedings today: (a) we went over these concepts "authentic democracy" versus "procedural democracy," "subjective interests," and "objective interests." (Objective interests connected to authentic democracy. Example of subjective interests: racism, sexism, ethnicism, etc. See the definition of "Objective Interests" in the course glossary.)
(b) AV material shown in class today: https://buffalo.box.com/v/authenticdemocracy
(c) Slide image: "What is Democracy?" (item D4 of PART K of Online Course Materials)

Posted 2/27/2020 

Guys: Please read and digest:

1. All announcements about homework, class discussions, and other matters, unless stated otherwise, apply to both groups.

2. The test coming up for both groups will be based on everything (repeat, everything) specified in Announcements Nos. 3 through 8; however, the questions for the two groups will not be the same. Go through the rules for tests--link is in the left column. By the way, do you know what the "lazy student rule" is?

3. Homework for Monday (3/2) next week: view and study the first half of  "Comprehending Race--Part Two (Section One)" from the FILM LIST.
NOTE: This is a repeat of assignment in Announcement No. 4, below (which also tells you how to access the FILM LIST page). (Reminder: Section Two was assigned for last week.)

4. Homework for Wednesday (3/4) next week: view and study the second half of "Comprehending Race--Part Two (Section One)" from FILM LIST.

5. When you miss a class for legitimate reasons, do not send me an e-mail. Instead, complete the missed class/test form (link on the left).

Posted 2/25/2020 

People: Please read and digest:

1. Homework for Wednesday this week (2/26): (a) Go through the updated class attendance/test schedule--link on the left.  (b) Catch up on existing homework (see announcements below).

2. Class proceedings on Monday (yesterday--2/24) covered:
(a) Varieties of racism. See Section 4 of "Race/Racism" in the Course Glossary. Do you know how to get to the course glossary?
(b) "Identity Politics." See the course glossary for this term, and make sure you also study all the images.

Posted 2/20/2020 

Folks: Please read and digest:

1. Homework for Wednesday next week (2/26):
(a) Study this film: "Comprehending Race--Part Two (Section Two)" from FILM LIST. (See instructions in Item no. 1 of Announcement no. 4 below on how to access the FILM LIST page).
(b) Study this reading: music and productivity.

2. Class proceedings on Wednesday this week (2/19) covered
(a) the importance of fortuitousness (chance/coincidences) in human history as an antidote to civilizational hubris--and telelogical hubris. (See Course Glossary for definition of hubris.)
(b) Institutionalized racism versus interpersonal racism. However, did not screen the video titled "Buffalo--Transportation" from the FILM LIST, which you must now see on your own.

Posted 2/18/2020 

Folks: Please read and digest:

1. Homework for Monday next week (2/24):
Study these terms from the course glossary (PART B of online course assignment materials)--together with any accompanying images: Scapegoat; Stereotype; Other/Otherness; Marginality; Ideology; and Objective Interests.

2. Class proceedings yesterday, among other things, covered:
(a) above terms, plus the political economy of scapegoating. (Example: Mexicans, Muslims, recent immigrants; Latina/Latinos, etc.);
(b) PART O--sources of course content; and
(c) this web page: https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-deregulation-in-the-trump-era/  (Note: "deregulation" is almost always a code word for attacking "authentic democracy", which will be discussed in a later class.)

Posted 2/13/2020 

Guys: Please read and digest:

1. Homework for Wednesday next week (2/19) requires you to, first, get to know the Film Assignments page for this course. Here is a repeat of instructions from the next announcement below: click on "Course Assignment Materials" (on this page, or the preceding page) and follow the click path until you end up with a web page that states 'INTRODUCTION (read this first)" while its left column has a listing running from PART A through PART O. Now, access the Film Assignments page by clicking PART I (Film Class Assignments) and then scrolling down to SECTION ONE on that page.

2. WARNING: If you can't access PART I on your laptop then click on the "computer hygiene" link in the left margin.

3. Homework for Wednesday next week (2/19):
(a) Film: "Comprehending Race--Part Two (Section One)" from Film List.

4. Class proceedings yesterday: Video screened in class: "Buffalo--Transportation" (link is on the same page as the preceding item).

Class discussion: The fifth main function of racism in a capitalist society ("affirmative action" and unfair competition for scare resources for perpetrators of institutional racism); institutional racism versus interpersonal racism; Simple Justice: two coincidences (Felix Frankfurter..., death of Chief Justice...); etc.

Posted 2/10/2020 


As promised in class today, please note:

1. If  your last name, as it appear in school records, begins with any of the letters A through L, then you are in Group 1; the rest of the class belongs to Group 2. You are not allowed to switch groups.

2. Your group's attendance/test schedule is available via the link in the left margin.

3. Homework for this week: Simple Justice, available via the film list page on elegantbrain.com--as I showed you in class. Here is the click path: begin with "Online Materials for Assignments" and end up with the page that states 'INTRODUCTION (read this first)" while its left column has a listing running from PART A through PART N. Now, access the film list by clicking PART I (Films) and then scrolling down to SECTION ONE on that page.
WARNING: If you can't access PART I on your laptop then you have two choices: either clear the cache in your browser (this is called computer hygiene), or use the computers in the library and download the film to your USB drive. How do you clear your cache? Click on the computer hygiene link in the left margin.

4. Reminder about e-mails: (a) I don't answer e-mails on matters already covered in the syllabus and/or announcements/links on this page (this semester I am teaching about 150 students altogether). (b) Your e-mails must always be in the format indicated in the syllabus, otherwise you may not get a response. (c) See also item 7 in the announcement below.

Posted 2/6/2020 


Welcome to the class home page for AAS 355 which you are required to visit on a regular basis. Please go through all the items in the following announcement carefully:

1. As announced in class last week on Wednesday, we will have our first test on Monday, 2/10/2020.  

2. Please go through the rules for quizzes/tests/exams in this course, available here.

3. Yes. I am allowing you to bring HANDWRITTEN notes to the test. But be careful. Your notes should not be so detailed that you will run out of time looking for information. Best way to take notes on an assigned film: use one or two key words for every scene (not shot) in the film. (See item 11 below; and if I were you, I would see the films twice.)

4. If you are a first-year or second-year student, please read this document here.

6. In the future, with rare exception, I won't be sending you e-mail reminders about announcements. Instead, you should make it your habit to visit this class-home page regularly.

7. I do not access e-mails through mobile devices; I access them only through a desktop computer. My job description does not require me to be a prisoner of communications technology. :) Therefore, you may not get a response to an e-mail you send me before the next class meets. If this happens, talk to me after class, because if you don't I will assume that your e-mail message was not important--in which case of course you, most likely, will never get a response.


9. Course Syllabus is available here.

10. Links to film/video homework assignments are in the next announcement below.

11. Links to videos:

WARNING No. 1: Do not ignore any subtitles and comments in the AV materials.
WARNING No. 2: Do not ignore any subtitles and comments in the AV materials.

12. The test will cover
(a) item nos. 2, and 8 above;
(b) pages 1 through 2 of item no. 9 above;
(c) video items in item 11. above; and
(d) Film assignments in the next announcement below.
(e) The rephrasing assignment, which you must bring with you to class, is available here.

  e-mailed 1/30/2020 

This e-mail was sent to all who had registered for this class by 1/30/2020:

Dear All:

As explained in class, homework for next week is as follows:

For Monday (2/3/2020), view and study this film:

For Wednesday (2/5/2020), view and study this two-part film:
Part 0ne: https://buffalo.box.com/v/NewWorld-SectionOne
Part Two: https://buffalo.box.com/v/NewWorld-ClassVersion

Class syllabus

Homework from this week:

Reminder: To make things easier for you, as explained in class, I do not use the commercial website called "Blackboard," which here at UB is called "UBLearns." However, at some point soon I will create a web page for the class at a different site.

Do NOT reply to this e-mail; it has been sent to you via HUB.


A-Z Index of all UB websites

Miscellaneous Info (may or may not be relevant)


One of my favorite web sites (not recommended except for those with a lot of common sense): darwinawards.com Guys: If anybody knows the answer to the following question posed by the Dilbert Cartoonist, Scott Adams, let me know: "If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?"