Picture of Riley Family

Jim, Scotty, Janie & Lee

Copper Mountain, Colorado (c. early 2000's)

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Jim Riley's Web Page

(This is not an official Regis University Web Page)

 Copyright 2022

 August 11, 2023

to my web page! I plan to periodically expand and enhance this page so that it will remain useful and interesting to my friends, former students and colleagues. The information contained will be both personal and professional. This is, I think, appropriate in order to get a sense of my values, goals and person. I invite all comments and suggestions for improvement (in particular please let me know if any links are out of date). No doubt there could be improvement on my picture but it will have to do for the time being. Thank you for taking the time to view and consider what I have provided.

Retirement Notice

           After teaching at the university level for about four decades I decided it was time to retire.   Although I hope and plan to remain a member of the academic community for many years to come, my days of regular in-class responsibilities are completed.  As an undergraduate student I came quickly to love the university environment such that I never wanted to leave it.  It was one of the many good fortunes in my life to achieve that professional goal.

          My start at Regis was in January, 1976 after previously being on the faculty at the University of Nebraska, University of Kansas and Southern Illinois University.  Moving to Colorado and joining the Regis faculty proved to be one of the best decisions of my life.  Colleagues, students and friends at Regis have enriched my life far beyond my ability to adequately describe their impact on me.  Suffice it to note that I have been fortunate in the extreme to have benefited from knowing them.  I have feelings of deep affection and high regard for many of those with whom I have encountered during my many years in academia.

          To all of my former students, know that I will be available to help in any way that I can as you pursue your chosen careers or further education.  Regis has generously granted my request to maintain both my existing e-mail account and web page.  Feel free to contact me via those avenues.  In the coming months I plan on modifying and updating my page so that it will continue to be of use to Regis students.  I invite you to use it as you see fit.  Suggestions for improvement and or criticisms are welcome.

NOTE:  Let me offer an apology for the many broken links in this web page.  To eliminate all of these flaws would require either a very time consuming effort or the eradication of whole sub-pages neither of which I am inclined to do.  However, I do continue to clean up those problems when they are evident through my periodic updates of the entire site.

Dancing in the Street

Normally I am not inclined toward exhibiting physical manifestations of joyous feelings at the turn of political events.  However when the time came for the corrupt demagogue Donald Trump to vacate the office of the President I felt an irresistible urge on Inauguration Day 2021 to Dance in the Street Behold(If this hyperlink does not work, copy and paste this address to your browser:   https://www.dropbox.com/s/za2c3ae5yargyvn/2021_01_21-Inauguration_Day_Dance.MP4?dl=0

Open Letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:


Members of the Commission:
        You and your work may very well constitute the last best hope America has to devise a workable plan to begin our nation's turnaround from our current path to disaster.  You know better than most the catastrophic consequences of continuing to accrue additional debt. 
        I urge you to state most forcefully and clearly in your report the dire situation facing our country along with the need for a true national commitment to stop our profligacy and to begin living within our means.  Of course this will then need to be made operational with a specific set of recommended policies that will achieve the goal of a balanced budget within a specified period of time.
        None of this will be meaningful absent a commitment from the President, leaders of Congress, Governors and other policy makers.   If there was ever a time for profiles in courage it is now.  Your report may serve to forge such a unified call to action.  Although my heart tells me it can happen, my fear is that it will not and that through the unwillingness of our national leaders to coalesce around a set of clear policies they will continue to pursue short term political goals rather than work for the long term fiscal health of our nation.  If this happens we will continue to slouch toward the abyss.

Mark the words of the Greek Orator Isocrates: 

“Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress.”

The Betrayal of America by Donald Trump

Summer, 2018

As a loyal Republican for 30+ years I write this note with deep sadness and great alarm for our nation's well being. Only those counting on short term economic/political/cultural gains from his policies, those who deny plain facts, extreme partisans, or devotees to his cult can remain blind to this reality: Donald Trump continues to substitute and seems to be accelerating the pursuit of his own political, financial and egotistical interests instead of fulfilling his duties imposed by the taking of the oath of office of President of the United States.  Recent events and commentaries associated with the meetings in Brussels and Helsinki further demonstrate with crystal clarity his betrayal of American interests and institutions.
    The menace of the Trump presidency must be resisted with energy and persistence.  As was written long ago, it remains true today:  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

The Betrayal of America - Revisited

January, 2019


     "Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country."  This remarkable and stunning tweet was posted on January 12, 2019 by David H. Laufman, former Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice's Counter Intelligence and Export Control Section.  As he explained during an interview on the Rachael Maddow show, he wrote this in reference to specific charges that Trump has attempted to conceal even from his own administration the content of conversations with Putin and has placed the interests of Russia over those of the United States.  Along with the many other warnings of honored, experienced and high-ranking officials this is chilling.

In recent days and weeks, we have been reminded repeatedly of the deeply troubling, indeed alarming, subservience of Donald Trump to Russia generally and Putin specifically.  Moreover, we should remember that Trump's connections to Russian financial and political backers predated his ascension to the presidency.  Shortly before inauguration day on Jan 17, 2017 I wrote the following note referring to Trump as the "Muscovite Candidate."  

     We now are witness to not only rejections by Donald Trump of U.S. intelligence community (CIA, NSA, FBI) findings regarding Russian interference in our election including  hacking of the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and attempted hacking of the RNC (Republican National Committee), we also hear his disparaging remarks about the CIA and other related agencies.  In light of his multiple financial connections with Russia, his favorable comments regarding Russian aggression in Crimea and the Ukraine, his encouragement of Russian hacking  into Hillary Clinton's e-mails, his praise of Vladimir Putin and appointment of Exxon Oil Executive VP Rex Tillerson (recipient of one of Russia's highest awards) as Secretary of State, there looms before the us the nerve wracking prospect of a President befriending and beholding to an authoritarian leader and government whose basic interests and values run counter to ours.

    Coupled with Trump's refusal to even have daily national security briefings, his repudiation of facts and analysis gathered and presented by U.S. intelligence communities is astounding even by his past "bull-in-the-china-shop" remarks and behavior.  This is the President Elect of the United States attacking and demeaning the nation's entire intelligence apparatus charged with gathering and analyzing information to protect our national security.  In place of it he is relying on his "gut" feelings! <http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/03/trump-foreign-policy-adviser-220853>  There is no comfort to be taken from Trump's comment explaining his refusal to hear daily security briefings:   " I don't have to be told -- you know, I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years."

    Any hope one may have had that once elected Trump would somehow miraculously be transformed into a responsible attentive leader of the nation is dashed by this shocking series of events and statements.  The on-going turmoil surrounding Trump will continue unabated once he is in office but then the vast powers of the presidency will be in his unstable grasp.  We can be certain that his penchant for erratically lashing out against his perceived enemies will not be muted by any sense of his unique responsibility as President.

    It now readily apparent that the concerns expressed in my commentary have been buttressed and expanded greatly by recent news reports. 

(1)   On January 11, 2019 Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos wrote in the New York Times (1/11/19 edition) :

WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

(2)   Two days later on January 13, 2019 Greg Miller of the Washington Post reported the following:

   President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

    Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

    The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

    As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.

(3)   On January 15, 2019 Peter Baker of the New York Times described in extensive detail five different times Trump has met with Putin but in each instance extensive efforts were taken by Trump to keep the substance of the conversations secret not only from the public but also from others within his own administration.  Of this development Andrew Weiss, advisor to Bill Clinton, said: “What’s disconcerting is the desire to hide information from your own team. The fact that Trump didn’t want the State Department or members of the White House team to know what he was talking with Putin about suggests it was not about advancing our country’s national interest but something more problematic.”

This view was reinforced in the same story by career diplomat Victoria Nuland:  "All five of the presidents whom I worked for, Republicans and Democrats, wanted a word-for-word set of notes, if only to protect the integrity of the American side of the conversation against later manipulation by the Soviets or the Russians." (1/15/19 edition)

(4)   Don Lemon of CNN has summarized with video documentation the many instances in which Donald Trump has placed the interests of Russia above those of the United States 

(5)   Going back further in time, Donald Trump has supported policies that dovetail with Russian goals and interests.  During the campaign there were numerous instances in which he expressed his support and admiration for Putin and Russia.  <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_of_the_Donald_Trump_administration#Russia>    At Helsinki he publicly took the word of Putin over the reports and findings of the U.S. Government regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Standing next to Putin he said: "What happened to Hillary Clinton's emails?  33,000 emails gone -- just gone.  I think in Russia they wouldn't be gone so easily.  I think its a disgrace that we can't get Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails.  So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that president Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.  And what he did is an incredible offer.  He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people.  I think that's an incredible offer. <https://www.vox.com/2018/7/16/17576956/transcript-putin-trump-russia-helsinki-press-conference>

(6)   It has been reliably reported on CNN that Trump has raised the issue of American withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the bulwark of U.S. Defense policy since WII.  This would be the ultimate foreign policy achievement for Putin who wishes to weaken or destroy the American-European alliance.  <https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/politics/trump-nato-us-withdraw/index.html>

(7)   In the final month of 2018 Trump made a major change in U.S. military policy by tweeting that American forces resisting ISIS in Syria would be withdrawn.  This was done with no consultation whatsoever with U.S. allies or even within the U.S. military prompting the Secretary of Defense to resign in protest.  Of course, this action gives a much enhanced power to Russia in Syria specifically and the middle east generally.  The abandonment of the Kurds to the mercies of the Turks and Assad forces sends a clear signal that the U.S. cannot be relied on by its allies further weakening American influence in the world.

The stunning but compelling conclusion these documented facts, statements and events produce is stark:  

Donald Trump has betrayed America!

    When the Special Counsel investigation is completed and its findings revealed (if indeed they are) we should find out the specifics of how, why and to what extent Trump has been disloyal to the fundamental interests of the United States.  My belief  is that the answer to why lies primarily in the base pathological narcissism of Trump through which all things revolve around himself.  Consequently, at various critical points in his life when illicit Russian resources (financial and otherwise) were extended to him he accepted them in the belief they were necessary for his very survival.  However, they came with the unmistakable threats of being revealed should he not pursue Russian goals as set forth by Putin.  Thus, he has been compromised, blackmailed (implicitly or directly) and otherwise made into an agent of Putin/Russian interests.

    By a disastrous combination of Trump campaign conspiracies, Clinton campaign failures, American cultural upheavals, social media developments, sinister and successful Russian digital warfare along with other factors Trump became President thus fulfilling the wildest dreams of Putin who got his lackey into the oval office.  Although this realization takes one's breath away it was a possibility forewarned by our first President who said in his farewell address: 

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.


     It is indeed time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country!  Donald Trump is a corrupt narcissistic demagogue who must never again become President of the United States.  Trumpism has basically destroyed the Republican Party.  Our national Republic will not survive a second Trump term.   We must each do what we can to stop this from happening.

Millennials, Conservatism, and Donald Trump

By Dr. Jim Riley, PhD.

Young adults embarking on careers, relationships, investments, and all that accompanies this wonderful time of life must necessarily be concerned with broad trends in our society and government. However, being concerned is not enough. Continuing engagement in shaping future developments is essential for individual self-fulfillment as well as contributing to a promising future.

Those Millennials with a conservative set of values have a perspective through which analysis and evaluation of policies and leadership comes with a skeptical tint. It is part of the nature of conservatism. This need not and should not spill into the realm of cynicism but rather encompass a healthy dose of thoughtful reflection until convincing evidence arises justifying support or opposition. Fundamentally important challenges now present themselves that must be dealt with by Millennials.

Our natural environment faces ever more destructive onslaughts from the effects of human activity. Reports of degradation in quality of air, sea, and land are overwhelming and undeniably demonstrable. Environmental protection and conservation is a primary task that must be continually pursued both within and beyond government. Without doubt, Millennials have vital interests in a future with less pollution and a generally cleaner environment. Trump administration actions include dozens of rollbacks of environmental protection rules and regulations. We simply cannot continue to foul our nest at the current pace without expecting catastrophic consequences to follow. Scientifically based environment protection policies need not impair economic growth and may indeed enhance it.

The Rule of Law has been a cornerstone of the American experiment with self-government since the adoption of the Constitution. Government officials have primary loyalty to their duties under the law rather than any personal or political obligations to officials holding public office. President Donald Trump has exhibited ignorance or willful disregard of this basic principle of the American governmental system. His request for personal loyalty from the director of the FBI was wholly inappropriate. It requires direct and unequivocal condemnation from all of those claiming to embrace this bed-rock American value.

Additional damage to the principle was done by his use of the presidential power to pardon. By granting a pardon to former sheriff Joe Arpaio the President was interfering in the judicial process for the clear purpose of catering to his political base. Just as Bill Clinton’s misuse of the pardoning power rightfully brought forth condemnation from conservatives, so too should this action by Trump be repudiated.

Utilization of science and objective reality as essential elements in policy-making has frequently received short shrift by the Trump administration. Certainly it is true that political considerations have long helped shape what governments choose to do or not to do. Nevertheless, acceptance of a common reality produced by careful scientific examination has long been accepted as a proper starting point for policy debates in our nation. Proffering so-called "alternative facts" strikes at the heart of rational consideration of desirable policy alternatives. Referring to verified media reports, governmental findings, or scientific studies as "fake" if the information contained therein does not reflect well on the administration strikes at the heart of a common basis for civic dialogue, rationally based policies and indeed representative government itself. The oft attributed “technological savvy” of Millennials provides them with a means to determine for themselves what is valid, believable, and persuasive information and what is not.

Conservatives typically and rightly emphasize the almost spiritual but vital concepts of civility, integrity, fairness, honesty, respect, dignity, and honor by government officials. Unhappily even in the best of times these expectations are all too often more aspirations than reality. Nevertheless, like the pursuit of “A More Perfect Union” they remain worthy goals. Among all government leaders the President has the greatest responsibility to represent and enhance these values. The record of Trump’s erratic governance methods gives no reason for confidence in movement toward any of these laudable objectives. Indeed, his persistent bombastic, bellicose, and often incoherent demagoguery has tarnished the great office of President of the United States.

Similarly, for those who believe in the need to conserve and protect the basic institutions of our government and society – including a free press — his outrageous commentaries – by “tweet” or by voice – should be wholly repudiated so that future presidents should learn never to follow his sordid example of using the “bully pulpit” as a platform to state fiction as fact, to insult, to demean, to inflame, to mislead, and generally to promote himself over all else.

Conservation and strengthening of national unity has long been one of the most important responsibilities of the President. Aside from the Vice President, the President is the only nationally elected official. The individual holding that highest office has a unique and existential obligation to maintain and nurture a sense of unity among American citizens. This is irrespective of religion, creed, race, ethnicity, gender, political orientation, or any other personal characteristic. Fostering a common sense of identity through substantive policies, rhetoric, and symbolic actions, presidents are expected to bring the country together. By any measure Donald Trump has done the opposite. Instead of embracing the office as a position to exert a high moral tone, he uses accusatory language to incite his political base. He has accused his critics of being “bad people, dishonest, not liking our country.” This is not criticism of the views of political opponents. Rather, such remarks impugn their motives and integrity. His words seek to inflame the hatreds of his supporters against those he implies to be disloyal. Demagoguery divides the nation. It does not unite it.

Populism in its modern form as practiced by Donald Trump is incompatible with conservatism. Whereas conservatives seek to protect, conserve, and strengthen institutions of society and government which have proven their worth over the long span of history, Trumpism is a disruptive and destructive force with the guiding principle being essentially the promotion of its namesake. For Millennials, the dangers to their future presented by Trumpism are manifest and profound, a few of which have been addressed here. Hopefully their reputed tendency to eschew civic involvement will be replaced with a strong and persistent commitment to doing all they can to overcome the dangerous and disintegrative forces undergirding Trumpism.

Trump True Believers

Jim L. Riley

March, 2019


               Setting aside those Trump voters who cast their ballots because of traditional reasons -- party loyalty, antipathy toward the Democratic candidate and/or the existent President, general disgruntlement, etc. -- there is a contingent of his supporters who not only voted for him but have such a deep personal and emotional identification there to as to render him unassailable in their eyes. As Trump put it, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters."

           Of course, like countless other statements by Trump this is not accurate but there certainly are millions of his supporters for whom his villainy is to be overlooked or forgiven because ultimately, he can do no wrong in their eyes. Those bonds which tie them to him completely eclipse other issues such as incompetency, verbal incoherency, mental instability, sexual harassment, personal misconduct, abysmal ignorance, abuse of power, narcissistic personality disorder, incoherent/contradictory policy statements/"tweets" plus countless other misbehaviors including possible criminal activity both prior to and during his assumption of office.  Couple all of this with personal characteristics any one of which would have rendered other public figures wholly unacceptable as a seriously considered candidate for President and we are faced with a troubling question: Why is this so?

           A cursory view of the welcoming of his expressions of rage and hatreds by his adulators at political rallies reveals a deep emotional connection with his character and manner. The content of his words matters far less than the tone and manner in which they are expressed. That his assertions are filled with lies, incoherencies and obvious contradictions present no cause for rejection by those who embrace his expressions of hate, sarcasm, mockery and personal insults directed at his opponents. Indeed, such bullying language carrying implied or direct threats gives vent to similar if not identical feelings held by his dedicated supporters.

    For far too long (in their view) they have been disrespected, ignored, disparaged, left behind and ridiculed by those perceived to be in the "elites." These "upper classes" include the well-educated, professionals, intellectuals, those well-spoken, successful, cosmopolitan "know-it-alls." Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton put faces to their resentments and pain by using language perceived to be inflated and condescending. Crude and rude attacks from Donald Trump were and are seen as partial payback against these "elites." It matters not that Trump was born to high privilege, has enormous wealth acquired through highly questionable means, and lives a life of wretched excess in plush settings beyond the reach of his supporters. All that fades when he rages by voice or "tweets" in a tone that gives voice to the pent-up hatreds, frustrations, resentments and discontent of his die-hard followers.

    If, by his actions, instability develops within our social, political and economic institutions, all the better they feel. Venerable traditions are to be cast aside. Progress is of little to no concern. Trumpites do not really expect him to do all that he says or even most of it and they do not truly care. What they want is for him to "shake things up" and let the pieces fall as they may. In a very real sense there is a mood of anarchy and nihilism lying deep within the hardest core of his adulators. With more than a bit of malignance, they believe the whole "system" is corrupt, rigged against them and needs to be torn down.

    Without doubt, there lurks just below the surface of his most fervent supporters more than traces of racism and misogyny. Resentments linger at Obama’s professorial demeanor and cerebral governing techniques reinforced by his perceived haughty rhetoric. Clinton's carefully measured, lawyerly and stilted speaking style only reinforced the perception of her as unappealing, elitist, snobbish and unlikable. Often, she was called "shrill" in her tone which was sexist in its essence.

    Contrariwise, Trump's bombast, insults, and crudities were welcomed, overlooked or ignored by his defenders as were his recorded remarks detailing his past sexual harassment behaviors. Most notably, Hillary Clinton stoked the anti-elite resentment embedded in Trump supporters by her "basket of deplorables" campaign remark. Here was the already disliked "uppity feminist" berating them as deplorable. Referring to half of his supporters as "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [and] Islamophobic" she added fuel to the flames of their hatred for her as well as a sense of solidarity among his followers. Little doubt exists that intense anti-Clinton sentiment intensified support for Trump.

    In his classic 1951 treatise The True Believer Eric Hoffer described the essence of those with unassailable faith in a transcendent political cause.  Charismatic leaders such as Trump evoke similar emotional commitment and close identification.  Trumpites have attached a portion of their identity to his political fortunes. Criticism and opposition to Trump are personal to them. In their view, it is they who are being resisted, opposed, detested, demeaned and ridiculed by Trump's critics. This tribal-like "politics of identity" is not new in history but largely unfamiliar in the American scene. Likewise, a Cult of Personality has been nurtured and used by demagogues in many different settings including Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Peronist Argentina, Communist Cuba, Red China, North Korea and The Soviet Union under Stalin.

    The special danger for the United States flows from the painfully obvious fact that the present occupant of the office of President is a man clearly lacking in the skills, knowledge, thoughtfulness, self-restraint and character essential for him to carry out successfully basic constitutional, political and historical responsibilities.  Although under assault, countervailing media, political, judicial and administrative institutions have thus far been able to function semi-successfully as barriers against the dangerous demagogue in the White House.

    Charismatic leaders by definition draw loyal backers to them. When such demagogic leaders claim, directly or indirectly, to be free from traditional institutional restraints they are embarked on a road to authoritarianism. Donald Trump is well down that road with the support of fanatical supporters numbering in the millions. Fortunately for America we have not had a history of mass movements akin to Nazism or Communism. However, Trumpism is heading in that direction.

    The strength of these bonds tying Trump to his most ardent supporters could conceivably be strained as he continues with his iconoclastic actions along with often incoherent, impulsive, intemperate and erratic rhetoric. One possible scenario for such weakening would be negative analysis and conclusions of Trump by media outlets such as Fox News, Breitbart News and the AM talk radio world. If these "news" sources relied upon by Trumpites undermined their hero, serious cracks in the edifice of Trump's base are plausible if not likely.  This is particularly conceivable if Trump is perceived as being disloyal to individuals or causes near and dear to right wing media. Tension between Tweets by Trump and criticisms from his previously loyal media supporters would be a development possibly foretelling a weakening in his heretofore implacable base. Thus far this development remains to be made manifest.

    On the other hand, even if he should receive less adoration from the right-wing media, this cooling of support could well be tuned-out or rejected by Trumpites. For many their personal loyalty to him has such a tribal essence to it as to be almost impervious to any criticism, direct or implied, irrespective of its source or objective credibility. Sensing this early on, Trump has made remarks seeking to convey the impression that critics of him are essentially trying to steal from his supporters their choice for President. He recently made this statement at a post-election rally: "They can't beat us at the voting booths so they are trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want." By merging his critics with those trying to "cheat" his supporters, Trump wants to further solidify their loyalty to him and him alone. This tactic seems likely to work because Trumpites so closely identify with him that they will not recognize his failures despite compelling evidence. To do so they would have to admit being wrong in their devotion to him. Repudiation of deeply held faith in a cause, a religion or a person does not come readily.

    Trump earlier had sought to bolster this personal loyalty with this statement at the Republican National Convention: "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."  Supplementing this strategy of buttressing his personal support is the two-pronged effort to denigrate traditional television and print news outlets while simultaneously exploiting the direct access he has to his followers via social media. The result is to reinforce the existence of an "echo chamber"  in which only those messages favorable to Trump are heard. Contrary facts and evidence simply get filtered out.

    Although Trump's time as President will inevitably end, the ultimate fate of Trumpism is unclear. Just as the legacy of Peronism in Argentina infected that nation’s political culture for decades, the U.S. may suffer a similar long term contagion. While Donald Trump himself is by any reasonable measure a blight on the American body politic, the greater danger is the long-term impact of the poisonous milieu permeating his support.  Trump did not create the schisms presently eroding the remaining remnants of national unity but he certainly has accelerated the process.

    Similar to what the right-wing in Germany touted following the 1918 Versailles Treaty, Trumpites will claim to have been "stabbed in the back" if and when the Trump administration is brought down. In place of Marxists, "cultural Bolsheviks" and Jews the new "traitors" will be the Washington "establishment," traditional media news outlets, disloyal Republicans, Democrats, liberal "moles" within the bureaucracy, biased judges and the "elites" or "deep state" in general. This will be an attempt to shape history such that the legend of a "lost cause" can be created and perpetuated. His die-hard supporters will not easily or quickly be separated from their loyalty to him and what he stands for.

Links to Issues of Important Topics

America's War Against Islamo-Fascist Terrorists

    John O'Neill:  The Man Who Knew

National Debt and Public Policy Sites

Citizens Against Government Waste

The U.S. Debt Clock

Outstanding Research Papers of My Students

(begun 9/06)

Geo-Political Analysis and Warfighting Implications

Peter Fanning

Lessons for Chief Justice John Roberts

William Dong

Oral Argument:  U.S. Morrison

An Analysis of the Oral Argument Presented Before the Supreme Court

Will Gohl

Revised View on Anthropegenic Climate Change

Jim L. Riley    

Having previously taken the position that human effected climate change was insufficiently demonstrated to justify extremely costly and invasive public policies to reduce carbon emissions, I have come now to the conclusion that the evidence is now sufficiently overwhelming to revise my views.   

Although the degree to which climate change is caused by human activities is yet to be precisely determined (indeed, this may not be possible), I now believe meaningful and multiple actions need to be taken now by individuals, governments, international organizations and private sector entities throughout the world to reduce significantly human produced carbon emissions and other environmentally damaging waste.  As the only species able to impact its own destiny by willful plans and actions for the future, we must diminish dramatically our fouling of the planet on which we rely for not only our survival but for which we are ethically obliged to protect to the extent we can.

      In particular we need to increase reliance on solar, wind, thermal, hydroelectric and nuclear power along with massive improvements in the power transmissions methods, transportation mechanisms and many other basic systems of society including enhanced policies in the area of conservation, efficiency, environmental protection, waste recycling and the like.  These expansive policies including but not limited to governmental regulations should be implemented not only with a view toward their effectiveness but also with proper consideration of individual freedom, privacy, productivity and wealth.  Finding the balance that is acceptable to the myriad of competing interests -- political, social and economic -- will be a Hurculeon task indeed.  

     Nature's experiment with highly advanced intelligence and self awareness does not guarantee wisdom.  Nor do the present configurations of political arrangements and procedures offer much by way of confidence that meaningful and effective policies will be forthcoming.  Are we as a species up to the job?  Probably not but then not trying is to doom future generations to a bleak existence or extinction.

Short Cuts

You may access the information in this web page either by scrolling down, clicking on the table of contents to the left, or on the major headings below. By clicking on the "Back" button on the tool bar you will return to the page from whence you came.

Professional Background Personal Background
My Course Syllabi Information for Students of Politics
Information for PreLaw Students Miscellaneous Information
Various Writings by Jim Riley E-Mail to Jim Riley

Professional Background

My undergraduate education was obtained while attending the University of Missouri at Columbia and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Despite an early flirtation with becoming a math major, I quickly became fascinated with the subject of politics and obtained my B.A. in 1962 from SIU with a major in Government and minor in History.  While in high school I had been required -- as a punishment for misbehavior -- to write out the U.S. Constitution three times and the Illinois Constitution twice!  As such I knew the material for the required Illinois test on the two constitutions and made a very high score.   It also prepared me well for my college Introduction to American Government course.  Who says that rote memorization has no benefits?

The next two years were spent at SIU working on my master's degree which I obtained in 1964 with a Thesis on the subject of the White Citizen's Councils in the southern regions of the U.S. After a one year hiatus from academia (much of the time spent laying sewer lines in the swamps of Southern Illinois) I returned to graduate studies attending the University of Kansas where I began my Ph.D. program. After one year at KU I resumed my studies at SIU in the fall of 1966. I spent the next four years there finishing my doctoral program. In 1971 I was awarded the Ph.D. My dissertation was on the subject of juvenile courts with a special emphasis on their establishment, development and functioning in Illinois.

During my graduate years at SIU and KU I was fortunate to be given my own classes to teach so when I obtained my first full-time position in September, 1970 at the University of Nebraska/Omaha I was more than a little familiar with the responsibilities of college instruction. My position at UNO lasted through December, 1975 when I resigned from UNO and assumed my position at Regis College (now Regis University) in Denver in January, 1976. I have remained at Regis to this time. Other than Regis I have taught in Colorado at CU/Boulder, CU/Denver, Colorado School of Mines, Metro State College and Denver University. The Regis University Home Page will provide much useful information about my home institution. Let me urge you to also access the Web Page for the Regis Department of History & Politics for a description of the Department and its members.

My primary areas of professional interest are U.S. Constitutional Law, Judicial Process, American Politics generally and PreLaw activities. As a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Political Science Association, Colorado\Wyoming Political Science Group, PreLaw Advisor's National Council (past chair), Western Association of PreLaw Advisors (past president and founder), former  member of the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Public Education, and the American Bar Association PreLaw Committee, I have found that participating in organizational activities is both professionally and personally rewarding. In particular I am very proud to have been the 2014 recipient of the Gerald L. Wilson award for excellence in PreLaw Advising.

In addition, having served as President of the Regis University Chapter of AAUP and as its Chief Negotiator, the benefits of Regis University administrative/faculty collegiality were especially apparent to me.

Teaching at the college and university level is a privilege I have enjoyed for many years.  During that time I have occasionally thought about my profession from what might be called a philosophical perspective.  A favorite professor of mine Randall Nelson best expressed my sentiments and beliefs when he wrote a short piece entitled:  Educational Philosophy.  I urge you to read it.

Personal Background

Being born and raised in southern Illinois, I have a particular love for small town America.  Some very old pictures are available if you want to see them.  After losing my parents while in high school and having no siblings, it quickly became clear that self-reliance supported by education was essential to achieve my desired goals. Fortunately for me higher education was more affordable then than it is today (as I painfully learned recently when I paid tuition and other fees for Lee, my oldest son, who entered college in Fall, 2003).

In addition to spending much time on Crab Orchard Lake near SIU, I was fortunate enough to tour Europe with friends. During these wonderful summer trips of 1967, 1969 and 1971 I rode a BSA Lightning and Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. The road from London to Istanbul (with many stops in between -- Paris, Rome, Athens, Belgrade, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Salzburg, Vienna, Istanbul, Palma, Brussels and others) was filled with adventure, challenge, fun. tough times and lots of wonderful memories. Once in Yugoslavia our path was blocked by a parade of very large automobiles one of which contained Marshal Tito who was waving at a genuinely appreciative crowd of admirers. Aside from touring Europe I lived there for several months offering graduate and undergraduate courses to U.S. armed forces personnel. While living in Madrid, Spain and Wiesbaden, West Germany I acquired a perspective on European affairs otherwise not available to me. It was a marvelous learning experience as well as a challenging assignment.

There were other memorable experiences not the least of which was making several journeys to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Spring Spring races and RoadAmerica 500.   When ever we went we always tried to look cool.

In 1984 and 1986 I became the father of two boys -- Lee and Scott. Here they are as  teenagers. We spent much time together skiing, biking, traveling, searching museums, zoos and other sites. Raising two sons I am now very appreciative of the role mother's have traditionally played in our society: homemaker, nurse, disciplinarian, cook, chauffeur -- not to mention that of provider. From the time they were little they are sometimes marvelously friendly and on other occasions they are just having fun . (I won't show the arguments and other manifestations of sibling rivalry.)   Occasionally they went fishing.  Lee has recently become adept at developing his own web page and now has a professional page.   Now that both Lee and Scotty have graduated from high school he has to have his own picture for distribution to all his friends.  Scotty chose this one.  They have each finished college now but occasionally I can get them together as I did when we went to the zoo in summer, 2005.

Being avid downhill skiers and explorers of Colorado we spend much time out-of-doors. In particular we enjoy traveling, exploring deserted mining towns, visiting historical sites and finding places off-the-beaten-track. They, however, also thoroughly enjoy the very "beaten" tracks of such places as Disneyworld and Disneyland.   Sometime we might even get to view a launch of the Space Shuttle. 

In the Summer of 1998 we enjoyed a week at a working ranch in Wyoming with lots of horseback riding, camping, fishing, boating and rodeoing.  One of our most memorable days this summer was in Aspen hiking the Maroon Bells.  There is one picture of the boys, Janie and I on our trek up to a 9,000 foot lake at the base of the mountain and another at Thanksgiving (see also Thanksgiving 2002 and 2003.  Several years ago Janie and I got married. Our Golden Retriever,  Sam, is very happy with the new family and especially his new friend "Sanity the Pug (also known as the Chunk)."

During June, 1999 we spent almost three weeks on a trip to EuropeJanie, Lee, Scotty and I visited Germany, France, the Czech Republic, and Austria.  Kristen, Janie's daughter got married in Stuttgart.  This was my first visit to Europe since 1984.  Pictures here!

Somehow it seems that we always take our vacations in June.   This year of the new millennium was no different.  For the first time in four years we went to Florida.  Although travelling around the country is always enjoyable, skiing in Colorado remains one of my great pleasures.

For 2001 our trip was to spend time searching American history in the middle eastern seaboard states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.  You are welcome to take a peek at our time there.

In late May, 2002 we took a trip to San Francisco.  This was one of our few trips that was strictly urban.  It was expensive but fun.   Great food, eye-opening diversity of people, unique cosmopolitan environment -- all there!   Shortly thereafter Janie and I visited her daughter and son-in-law (Christi and Frank respectively) in Bonn, Germany.  We spent about ten days travelling through wine country, floating on the Rhine and enjoying beer, brats and sauerbraten.  As usual there are some images of our trip you are welcome to view.

In late July and early August of 2003 we were in New York City and surrounding environs for a 10 day vacation.  Well, for everyone except Janie it was a vacation.  Her current assignment is in New York City so she had to work   much of the time that we played and explored.  If you are interested you can see some images of our time there.  We also visited in the summer of 2005.

Lee turned 21 this fall.   Although I had hoped I could take him to New Orleans for a birthday trip the tragedy of Katrina prevented that.  Instead, we went to Las Vegas for a few days.   Despite my best efforts, Lee managed to win a few dollars at the slot machines.   Hopefully he will not get bitten by the gambling bug although he didn't escape Vampira.  As always I took a few pictures.

Lee accomplished something that is increasingly unusual in this day and age:  he graduated from college in four years (eight semesters).   Earning a college degree is an admirable achievement in and of itself, but doing so with a very high GPA and in four years, well, that's remarkable (of course, as his Dad, I am unashamedly prideful).  .  He was very happy as you can see.  If you have a few minutes to wait for the image to load, you can see a short video of Lee's graduation and Scotty's boistrous but loving congratulations.  Scotty graduated a year later from CSU.  What a wonderful feeling it is to have your youngest successfully complete a four year college curriculum.  Way to go Boys!

On several occasions we have visited our good friends Phil and Jan in Southern California, just north of San Diego.  On a recent trip we spend much time on the beach and in LA.  Here are a few images.

For Summer of 2007 we travelled to Maui to clebrate Scotty's twenty-first birthday.  Fortunately we were a couple of weeks ahead of a hurricane which skimmed along the southern portion of the islands.   It was a trip filled with new sights, sounds, and experiences.  Here are some images.

Course Syllabi

The following syllabi have been used in my classes. The date on the syllabus will indicate if it is currently in use or not. Although these documents are comparably extensive I believe firmly that students are entitled to have detailed information about the course in which they are enrolled. Of special importance, it seems to me, are the standards used in grading as well as the foundation on which grades will be determined. You may access the desired syllabus or other links by simply clicking on the name of the class.

Within the syllabi below are schedules of daily class discussions.   These course titles are linked to an on line image of the class lecture/discussion outline.  Moreover, these outlines contain additional hypertext links to sites with information pertinent to the named topic.

Introduction to U.S. National Politics U.S. Elections and Political Behavior
Congress and the Legislative Process State and Local Politics
U.S. Constitutional Law: 
Civil Rights & Liberties
Internship in Politics
Introduction to Political Science  Judicial Process
United States Public Policy  Constitutional Law:  Structure and Processes 
Topics in Political Theory The United States Presidency 
Capstone Course in Politics   Seminar in U.S. Politics:  The U.S. Supreme Court:   
Introduction to U.S. Politics:  CU

Information for Students of Politics

Below are various WWW links that may be of use to students of Politics and those interested in politics generally.

The Discipline of Politics

Regis University Politics Area Department of Politics and Political Science WebPages
Ultimate Political Science Links American Political Science Association

Government Resources on the Web

Government Resources on the Web Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Library of Congress U.S. Houses of Representatives
United States Senate Historic Supreme Court Decisions
Congressional Research Service Reports Presidential Libraries
Federal Courts Home Page Virtual Tour of the Supreme Court
Historical Documents Government Documents
The Federal Register U.S. Supreme Court

Current Political Event Sites


Washington Post Home Page The New York Times
CNN Politics Page The Public Agenda

State and Local Government Sites

State of Colorado Web Page* Council of State Governments
National Conference of State Legislatures Legal Information for Various States
Denver, Colorado Littleton, Colorado
Constitutions of the Fifty States State Government and Politics Generally
Governing the States State and Local Governments on the Net

*Other state web pages may be found by typing in the "open" box on the taskbar the following:
"www.state.[state abbreviation].us"

Miscellaneous Political Reference Sites

Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

Great American Speeches

The Federalist Society
Yahoo Politics Page Judicial Watch The Debt of the United States
Cornell Legal Information Institute The Cato Institute The Concord Coalition
The Heritage Foundation Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations History-Out-Loud -- Great Speeches and Private Conversations
Political Science Resources U.S. Public Policy Campaign Information
Electronic Encyclopedia The National Archives Council on Foreign Relations
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education  The Constitution Society The Federal Judicial Center
Great Political   Speeches   The Census Bureau American National Election Studies 
Browse Members of Congress The Federal Election Commission Pork Spending Revealed 
CyberLaw Journal (links galore) Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy   (Thanks to Liz Kerr) Arlington National Cemetery
The National   Constitution Center Republican National Committee    Democratic National Committee  
State Taxes and Spending Political Parties of the World Reference Guide to U.S. Supreme Court
Education and Subsequent Achievement Levels  Supreme Court Historical Society (Thanks to Flynn Murphy) Guide to Money in U.S. Elections

(Thanks to Charity Tilleman-Dick)

Yale Law School Documents Collection  (a superb source) The U.S. Constitution Annotated American Rhetoric:  Great Speeches and
The Interactive Constitution Justice Robert H. Jackson -- Website Taxpayers for Common Sense
Recordings of Phone Conversations of President Lyndon Johnson   Tax Policy Center Recordings of Phone Conversations of Lyndon B. Johnson
Overview of U.S. Government Presidential Powers
(Thanks to History Club)
Homes and the Stock Market Crash of the 1930's  
(Thanks to Ryan Sellers)

Here are additional links to Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Courts

Information for PreLaw Students

Information About the Regis University PreLaw Program

Overview of Regis University PreLaw Program Answers to Questions of PreLaw Students
Do I Want to Become a Lawyer? The Application Process
Law School View of Letters of Recommendations The Law School Admission Test - On-Line Sample Test
The Personal Statement Three Basic Rules Regarding Financing a Legal Education
PHI ALPHA DELTA:  Regis Chapter Basic Advice
The LSAC:  Preparing for the LSAT LSAT Test Questions and Related Information

Links to Professional Organizations

Law School Admission Services ABA Statement on Preparing for Law School (revised)
Legal Resource Guide West Publishing Company Home Page
Counsel Connect The American Bar Association-PreLaw Tool Kit
Internet Law Library ABA Approved Law Schools
Financial Aid - Law Access Group PreLaw List Serve (send message:  subscribe prelaw-students Your Name)
National Association for Public Interest Law The Ranking Game Critique of Rankings
National Association for Law Placement PreLaw Advisors National Council
Recommendations for Financing a Legal Education Western Association of PreLaw Advisors
ABA:   Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar The LSAT
ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools Jesuit Law Schools in the U.S.

PreLaw Information on Other Campuses and Elsewhere

  Legal Careers-Snippets of Information 
Rice University Arizona State University:  PreLaw
Find Law - PreLaw Resources Boston College Law School Locator
PreLaw Student Services Paying for Education & Financial Aid
PreLaw Insider Magazine Exploring Legal Careers
Legal Internships   Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
Mega Links for PreLaw Students  


Miscellaneous Research and Writing Information

Research References How Not to Write a Term Paper
Citing Resources on the Internet Writing Hints
Undergraduate Gems of Wisdom

(things you never knew about history)

Professional Journals: History, Political Science, Law
Logical Arguments Similes and Metaphors Found in High School Essays  
Fallacious Arguments Guide to Writing and Grammar

Various Writings by Jim Riley

The Future of Limited Government The Debt of the United States: 

Courting National Disaster  -

Introduction to Political Ideologies Moderate Political Ideologies
Extremist Ideologies of the Right Group Preferences/Affirmative Action
The Death Penalty Justified Disrespecting the Constitution - Again!  
PC: More than a Computer and

Dangers of Multiculturalism

Federalism Revitalized
Respect the Constitution Misinformation About Tragedy at

Columbine High School

Citizen's Councils:  Masters Thesis

Juvenile Justice:  Ph.D. Dissertation
W*A*P*L*A*   History   National Debt Crisis: Causes and Solutions
Riley on Golf



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