Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown,

Notre Dame ReSources
June 21-27, 1998

p. Please feel free to call the following Notre Dame faculty for additional comment on these people and events in the news:
p. GM strike : The strikes at two Michigan parts plants that have crippled General Motors appear to be much more serious than past encounters, says Rev. Patrick Sullivan, C.S.C. , a director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at Notre Dame. “The stalemate at the bargaining table and the determination on the picket line indicate that this is not the jousting of earlier strikes,” Sullivan says. “The union rightly insists upon a strong stand against the plant-flight and outsourcing of U.S. corporations while corporate profits and CEO incomes continue to soar and while U.S. and foreign workers and communities continue to be exploited.” Contact: Michael Garvey, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Colombia
: Notre Dame political scientist Scott Mainwaring says newly elected Colombian president Andres Pastrana “inherits a terrible situation, with an economy that has eroded, decades-long political violence that has escalated sharply, a deteriorating human rights situation, growing power of right-wing paramilitary forces and drug traffickers, and a left-wing guerrilla threat. The most important question facing Pastrana is whether he will be able to foster negotiations that will produce peace. As a conservative candidate, he may have the support of the military and the international community that would enable him to undertake such negotiations, somewhat as president Cristiana did in El Salvador. Without peace, prospects for economic growth and democracy in Colombia are dim.” Contact:Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Cancer
: A Notre Dame psychologist reports his studies of patients at two cancer clinics in South Bend, Ind., indicate that their mind-sets ? what he terms “self-efficacy” ? contributes significantly to the length and quality of their lives. Self-efficacy, according to Thomas Merluzzi , associate professor of psychology, reflects a person’s confidence that he or she can cope with the various hardships of cancer. While Merluzzi is quick to say that early detection and proper medical care are far more important than attitude, he told the South Bend Tribune, “To me, it’s an awesome and spiritual thought that someone’s state of mind has an impact on the way they survive cancer.” Contact:Cynthia Day, 219-631-7367; *
p. *China
: Recent controversy over technology transfers and campaign contributions has cast a shadow over President Clinton’s visit to China, but those issues are emblematic of an ongoing problem with the American-Chinese relationship, according to Notre Dame political scientist Peter Moody . “The larger issue may be that currently the United States does not have a China policy other than a commercial policy, and the commercial policy is guided less by a vision of the national interest than by the interests of corporations favored either by the American or Chinese governments,” says Moody, director of Notre Dame’s Asian Studies Program. “There is little evidence of an attempt to place the commercial policy into some sort of coherent framework with those issues where American and Chinese interests may conflict or overlap ?E Taiwan, human rights, Tibet, Hong Kong, proliferation and other arms control issues, South Asia, Korea, the Asian economic crisis, and so forth. Everything seems to be handled ad hoc and the policy seems to drift.” Contact:Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Israel
: Notre Dame political scientist Alan Dowty says the object of the recent decision by Israel to extend the borders of Jerusalem “appears to be to add Jewish settlements, both to the west and the east, in order to reinforce the Jewish majority in the city and to make any future redivision of the city yet more impractical. In itself this does not change the demographic situation in the area, since any lines can be redrawn, but it is naturally seen by the Palestinians as a threat to their goal of having the Arab-populated areas of east Jerusalem as the capitol of their state.” Contact:Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Clinton’s privileges
: President Clinton’s decision to drop executive-privilege claims while invoking attorney-client privilege with White House counsel Bruce Lindsey is a "loser,‘’ says Douglas Kmiec , professor of law at Notre Dame. “The Federal Rules of Evidence admonish courts not to create privileges lightly that are not well recognized in the law and it has never been recognized that government lawyers represent anyone other than the government of the United States,” Kmiec says. “All executive branch employees, including attorneys, are under a statutory duty to report criminal wrongdoing. A newly minted privilege would undermine that duty. Given that the 8th Circuit already rejected every argument that the president is likely to make, and the Supreme Court denied further review of that 8th Circuit decision, it is likely that Mr. Starr will be able to get the appellate court to act quickly.” Contact:Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Indonesia
: The central figure among the Indonesian opposition groups is Amien Rais (pronounced RYE-ess), leader of the Muslim group Mohammadiya and a 1974 graduate of Notre Dame with a master’s degree in government and international studies. “When I see on television the massive student demonstrations on the streets of Jakarta, it’s hard for me to believe they are in response to a man I remember as a very quiet, mild-mannered individual,” says George Brinkley , professor emeritus of government at Notre Dame who directed Rais’ master’s thesis on the Soviet influence on Arab countries. “Even then he had a strong interest in Islam” Contact:Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *
p. *Basic research
: The federal government should direct more of its funding for science research toward fundamental inquiry, says James Merz , vice president for Graduate Studies and Research and the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering at Notre Dame. “Since the end of World War II the basic research conducted at American university laboratories has been a national strength,” Merz writes in a recent op-ed. “The myriad results of that research have generated a nearly endless list of advances for humanity ? effective cancer therapies, the Salk polio vaccine, long-term dialysis, computers, jet propulsion and laser eye surgery, to name but a few. This work has improved our lives and our society dramatically. It is imperative that the federal government continue to fund basic research at levels adequate to support scientists whose discoveries, perhaps unclaimed today, could shape the 21st century.” *Contact:Dennis Brown, 219-631-7367; *

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