Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame ReSources
Aug. 3-9, 1997

p. Notre Dame faculty are available for additional comment on these people and events in the news: p. Israeli/PLO tensions: “Fighting terrorism is like fighting crime, in that it can never be totally eliminated,” says Alan Dowty , professor of government and international studies at Notre Dame, in the wake of last week’s terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. “Suicide bombers are even more difficult to stop, since normal deterrent measures are irrelevant. Clearly, the hard-line government of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has no better answer to this threat than its predecessors. But, the frequency and impact of terror could be reduced by full cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Yasser Arafat has made a miscalculation in suspending security cooperation with Israel. Even if he does not favor these attacks, which also undermine his own authority, he leaves himself open to accusations of tacit complicity. At this point in the peace process, renewed terrorism is not in the interest of the Palestinians, but plays into the hands of extremists on both sides.” (219) 631-5098; dowty.1@nd.edu. * p. *William Weld: “He’s the wrong man at the wrong time,” says Jimmy Gurule , professor of law at Notre Dame, on William Weld, President Clinton’s nominee for ambassador to Mexico. “He has a reputation as being a pro-law enforcement individual,” says Gurule, who reported to Weld in the 1980s when both were in the Justice Department. “But there are two problems with his nomination. One is clearly political, which I won’t comment on. But the other is his public position on using marijuana for medicinal purposes. That position sends a mixed message to the Mexicans. If anything, at this time the United States should be sending a tough message on drugs, including marijuana. It isn’t helpful if the ambassador who is carrying the tough message has his own caveat.” (219) 631-5917; gurule.1@nd.edu. * p. *UPS: Barbara Fick , associate professor of law at Notre Dame, specializes in labor law and is available for comment on the UPS strike, and in particular how the Taft-Hartley Act might come into play. (219) 631-5864 p. Elvis: In advance of the 20th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death (Aug. 16), contact Eugene Halton , professor of sociology, for comment on the singer’s influence on American society. Halton teaches a course on the 1950s, with a special section devoted to Presley. (219) 631-7104 p. Pol Pot: The trial of ousted Cambodian dictator Pol Pot for genocide is a “betrayal of the expectations of Cambodians, who deserve to see him tried by an international tribunal,” says Garth Meintjes , associate director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame. “This is a thinly veiled attempt by the Khmer Rouge to reinvent their image by sacrificing one of the original architects of their movement. Cambodians deserve to see Pol Pot tried internationally because he represents an evil they fought so hard and long to overcome. Until they see him tried in a properly constituted court, most Cambodians will remain skeptical, and rightly so.” (219) 631-8544 p. Market values: Government social welfare programs have helped create a less secure labor environment for the typical American worker by inadvertently harming family values, according to a new study by Notre Dame economists Ralph Chami and Connel Fullenkamp . The study appears in the latest issue of The Cato Journal and can be obtained by calling Chami at (219) 631-8672 or Fullenkamp at (219) 631-8432 p. “Contact”: The recently released motion picture “Contact” focuses on the conflict between religion and the concept of extraterrestrial life, a debate that “has been going on for a long time,” says Michael Crowe , a professor of liberal studies at Notre Dame and author of the book, “The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900: The Idea of a Plurality of Worlds from Kant to Lowell.” “This isn’t a new issue, though some will think so because of the movie,” Crowe says. “The debate between religion and extraterrestrials has a long and complicated history and is an issue that is important and worthy of discussion.” (219) 631-6212 p. James Earl Ray: Inconclusive results from tests on the rifle and bullet that killed Martin Luther King, Jr., are of little consequence and in no way exonerate James Earl Ray, says G. Robert Blakey , professor of law at Notre Dame and chief counsel to the 1977-79 House Select Committee on Assassinations. “We were not able to correlate bullets we fired from the rifle either,” says Blakey, who added it is a “layman’s myth” that forensic tests always can match bullets to guns. “The (murder) bullet cannot be excluded from the rifle either, therefore the tests are of no significance.” (219) 631-5717 p. Sand castles: For kids on the beach, building sand castles is a delightful way to have fun in the summer sun. For Peter Schiffer and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi , it is a research subject. The two Notre Dame physicists have determined precisely what physical phenomenon is at work that allows damp sand to hold its shape in the construction of sand castles – surprisingly, a scientific question that never before had been addressed. The study has more practical application in the study of the structural strength of medicinal tablets or the concrete in bridges and buildings. The findings are published in the June 18 issue of the science journal Nature. Schiffer can be reached at (219) 631-7262 ; Barabasi at (219) 631-5767 p. Title IX: On the 25th anniversary of the adoption of Title IX of the Education Code, it would be helpful for all parties to “tone down the inflammatory rhetoric that increasingly crops up in discussions” of gender equity in athletics," says Debbie Brown , head women’s volleyball coach at Notre Dame, in an op-ed in USA Today. “While women’s programs worry over the lack of progress and men’s bemoan budget cuts, both should remember this is an evolutionary process.” (219) 631-6307

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