Notre Dame ReSources Oct. 12-18

Author: Dennis Brown and Michael O. Garvey

*Notre Dame ReSources
Oct. 12-18
p. Please feel free to call the following Notre Dame faculty for additional comment on these people and events in the news:

  • p. China : The upcoming state visit of China’s Jiang Zemin is “evidence, if any were needed, that the United States no longer is interested in hectoring China about human rights, opting instead for constructive engagement,” says Peter Moody , professor of government and international relations and director of Notre Dame’s Asian Studies Program. “There will continue to be points of irritation and tension in the relationshipon trade, on Taiwan, and, existentially, the mutual mistrust resulting from American military predominance in the world and China’s desire to increase its own military capacity. The visit, which seems to be low key as far as state visits go, will perhaps serve as a statement of a desire by both sides to keep up some kind of civility despite the tensions and despite the lack of any incentive for close cooperation on most issues, with the possible exception of the Korean question.” (219) 631-7492; *
    p. *Central Africa
    : All of Central Africa is on the verge of a massive humanitarian disaster, says Rev. Patrick Gaffney, C.S.C. , chair and associate professor of anthropology at Notre Dame. “The genocides in Rwanda and Burundi have spawned regional warfare and a refugee crisis which now overflows into the Republic of Congo, the former Zaire. Terrifying as the situation is for the refugees, it is only the beginning of a humanitarian disaster which is worsening daily and which the international community seems powerless to meet.” (219) 631-4113 p. Term limits : When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit invalidated the California term limits initiative last week, it held “in essence that the voters of California cannot be trusted to govern themselves,” says Douglas Kmiec , professor of constitutional law at Notre Dame. “The opinion is an affront to popular sovereignty and to say the least is Orwellian. According to the court, the people can be denied the right to vote in order to preserve the right to vote. There is something terribly wrong in that formulation, and I respectfully suggest it is the court. If the majority opinion by Judge Stephen Reinhardt were correctthat state term limits infringe the right to votethe 22nd Amendment limiting presidential terms to two also would be unconstitutional.” (310) 456-4664 p. Cassini : Despite the warnings and demonstrations by antinuclear activists, the plutonium-powered Cassini probe to Saturn is safe, says John Lucey , associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at Notre Dame. “There’s nothing new here,” he says. “These generators have been launched before and they are very well protected. In fact, there are generators on the moon that are similar. Plus, there is no other way to power long-term missions like these.” (219) 631-7381 p. Ecological psychology : Controlling population is the best way to solve the earth’s environmental problems, says George Howard , professor of psychology at Notre Dame, in his new book, “Ecological Psychology: Creating a More Earth-Friendly Human Nature.” “Every time you have a child, you’ve created a lifetime of wants, desires and needs,” he said in an interview with the South Bend Tribune. “Population is the only factor involved in every ecological problem, as opposed to (other factors such as ) burning coal or chlorofluorocarbons. If you can lessen population, everything is helped. Unless we reduce human population, it’s like guaranteeing a meteor would strike every year. Life has always been vulnerable to random events, but now we’re facing a certainty. We have to do something about human overpopulation, or the earth will do it to us.” (219) 631-5423 p. Black Monday : The “circuit breakers” instituted after the stock market lost 22 percent of its value on “Black Monday” ten years ago Oct. 19 ought to be reevaluated, says Frank Reilly , the Hank Professor of Business Administration at Notre Dame. “If the market drops like that now, the circuit breakers put in place ten years ago will shut the market down for three or four hours,” Reilly says. “But there are a lot of peoplemyself includedwho think circuit breakers are inappropriate. The SEC says it wants to avoid major swings in order to protect the small individual investor, but if the market is allowed to adjust on its own, it will, and it will do it faster. If nothing else, a couple of these safeguards should be reevaluated. I think the circuit breaker point spreads are too small. The market is much larger now than it was in 1987 and yet we’re still using the same numbers. We should investigate and decide whether we want circuit breakers and, if so, at what level they should be used.” (219) 631-6393 p. Big Six merger : The planned merger of Big Six accounting firms Price Waterhouse and Coopers&Lybrand is “driven primarily by client interest in one-stop shopping for a variety of professional services that need to be provided on a global basis,” says Thomas Frecka , the Lizzadro Chair and Professor of Accountancy at Notre Dame. “As more and more services are provided globally, size is apparently an important competitive factor. It will be interesting to see if the firms can deal with their governance and partner compensation issues and actually complete this merger.” (219) 631-8395; *
    p. *Recusal recommendation
    : Catholic judges, as well as those from other faith groups that oppose capital punishment, should recuse themselves from death penalty cases, says John Garvey , professor of law at Notre Dame. “We believe that Catholic judgesif they are faithful to the teaching of their churchare morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty,” Garvey says. “This means that they cannot themselves sentence criminals to death nor enforce jury recommendations of death.” (219) 631-9258 p. SIDS : Recent research suggesting that many cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may actually have been infanticide is worrisome, says James McKenna , professor of anthropology and director of Notre Dame’s new Mother and Infant Behavioral Sleep Laboratory. “While of course there always have been and always will be acts of infanticide, it’s something else again to make these kinds of generalizations,” says McKenna. “My fear is that this will create another element of pain, with too much suspicion being directed at parents. The problem with SIDS is that it’s an autopsy by exclusion, which means that prevailing cultural beliefs play a significant role. Beliefs are really important, and I’m worried that a sensational book or research will sensitize people to believe a death is infanticide when it really was a case of SIDS.” (219) 631-3816 p.

TopicID: 554