The Democratic Party and Labor Unions

One of the most powerful and influential sources, historically speaking, of clout anmoney for the Democratic Party has been organized labor. Back in the heyday of the unions, their support or lack of it could make or break a candidate.

In recent years, probably going back to the Vietnam era, the unions, for a number of reasons, have not been so staunchly Democratic. One of the main reason, I think, for this “defection” wasthe blue-collsr union rank and file tended to be “love-ir-oe-leave it patriots” and many still are today. Continue reading The Democratic Party and Labor Unions

The Evangelical Factor

The Evangelical Crackup is a recent, very lengthy op-ed piece from the New York Times that looks at the relationship between the Republican Paprty and the evangelical/fundamentalist Christian community in the US. It is written by David D. Kirkpatrick, who has followed the political activism of evangelicals since the 2000 elections. In a large part, it was the political activism of evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Terry Fox that mustered financial and organization support for the Bush campaign in 2000.

As I have said in earlier articles in this series, the ability to provide money and bodies for a candidate, especially for a successful one, guarantees the provider of that money and manpower a great deal of influence on policy making. I think that the influence of the evangelicals on the present administration’s policies is self-evident on such things as the Terri Schiavo case and in Bush’s choices for the Supreme Court and other federal court judgeships. Continue reading The Evangelical Factor

Shaken Traditions: The Crushing of Myanmar’s Monks – New York Times

The repression of the monastic community in Myammar by the ruling nmilitary junta is, from the perspctive of most Westerners, an act of political brutality. But, for the people of Myammar it is much more than that. It is an attempt, much like the Chinese Cultural Revolution or the reign of terror in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, an attempt to brutally reshape the cultural foundations of a society.

The people of Myammar, to whom I will refer from here on by the more familiar term of Burmese, have very strong roots in the principles of\ Buddhism. According to figures quoted in Shaken Traditions: The Crushing of Myanmar’s Monks – New York Times, something lke 10% of the population is a monk. Monks are revered and respected in Burmese culture. It is much like the respect and esteem given to saints in early Christian communities. To attack one monk is bad, but to brutally attack thousands of them is horrific. Continue reading Shaken Traditions: The Crushing of Myanmar’s Monks – New York Times

Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head

Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head | Health & Medicine | DISCOVER Magazine

For those of you interested in the latest research on autism, the link above is to an extremely interesting article in the April issue of Discover magazine about the most recent clinical studies of autistics. I was made aware of this article by the wife of my best friend back in Chicago who is a nurse. I have asked my son”s doctor to read the article and we will be discussing doing some of the tests recommended in the article on Ian. Continue reading Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head