Current Events

Current Events

Great Decisions Discussion Group (174/176)

Here’s your chance for lively discussion about topics in the news.  This facilitated discussion group will take you beyond the headlines by providing a look at eight of the most significant and far-reaching challenges facing the world.  Each class begins with a short video on the topic, and then OLLI member Barb Mitchell will facilitate discussion and debate on that week’s topic.  The 2014 topics, in order of discussion include: Political Islam in Africa, China’s Foreign Policy, Turkey, Israel, Energy Independence, Economic Statecraft and Trade, Defense and the Rise of New Technologies, Food Security and Climate Change.  You may sign up for either session or both.  The class price includes the $20 briefing book.  (To receive the combined price discount, you must register for both sessions at the same time.)

Session One (174) Tuesdays: September 16, 23, 30 & October 7 • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Session Two (175) Tuesdays: October 14, 21, 28 & November 4 • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Session One & Two (176)
Price - Session One OR Two: $47 Members;$77 Non-Members
Price - Session One AND Two:  $74 Members; $104 Non-Members 
Room: C140


World Political Update (177)

The world seems to be increasingly dynamic and in many respects less stable.  Twice each year we analyze recent developments in political events around the globe.  Since our last course we have witnessed continued destabilization in Ukraine, the horrific actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria, bloodshed in the Central African Republic, the continuing carnage in Syria, and the most recent (and predicted) demise of Iraq as a functioning nation state, now under assault by ISIL.  In this course we take a deeper dive into the dynamics behind the surface treatment given to these important issues in the media.  The class will be led by Jim Johnson, an adjunct political science professor and attorney.

Fridays: September 19, 26 & October 3, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Price: $22 Members; $44 Non-Members   
Room: C224


Key Issues in the Supreme Court’s 2013-14 Term (178)

The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what our Constitution says and means, and each term it is called upon to decide important questions that balance the powers of our governments and the rights of our citizens.  Similarly to other courses led by Eric Gilbertson, course discussion will focus on rulings from recent cases decided by the United States Supreme Court in the 2013-14 term.  These will include cases involving political contributions, prayer in public meetings and events, affirmative action, capital punishment and other controversial and critical issues.  Gilbertson returns to campus this fall as a professor.

Tuesdays: October 14 & 21 • 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Price: $18 Members; $36 Non-Members  
Room: Banquet C, Curtiss Hall


The Enigma of Israel (179)

Israel is often portrayed by presidents, senators and congressmen as “America’s closet ally” in the Middle East and a beacon of democracy in an unstable part of the world.  Failing to endorse the policies of Israel may result in political suicide for any aspiring politician.  Each year the United States provides more foreign aid to Israel than to any other nation in the world.  Your tax dollars contribute an enormous portion of the annual defense budget for Israel.  But what do we receive in return?  What is the “true” cost to America?  In this course we will explore the complex political lobbying and public relations campaigns waged by Israel in Washington.  The class will be led by Jim Johnson, an adjunct political science professor and attorney.

Fridays: November 7, 14, & 21 •1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Price: $22 Members; $44 Non-Members  
Room: C224


Issues in the News (180)

This class will discuss various issues currently in the news.  There will be two topics each class period.  A 15-20 minute video from TED will present one speaker’s view of the issue. Discussion of the issue will follow each talk.  Likely topics will be the rise of the new global rich, how income inequality harms society, should we trust the market system with our civic life, the one-party political system in China, reforming our political system, science denial, good leadership, and tools for a better world.  The class will be moderated by OLLI member Carol Gohm.

Mondays:   November 24, December 1, 8, & 15  9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Price: $27 Members; $54 Non-Members  
Room: C129