The priests, the nuns and the people

By James Flanigan
National Catholic Reporter
February 17, 2009

In the recent film “Doubt,” set in 1964, Fr. Brendan Flynn, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, pastor of a parish in the Bronx, wants to bring the church closer to the people. He tells Sr. Aloysius Beauvier, principal of the parish elementary school, that “we [the clergy and nuns] are really just like them,” meaning the parishioners.

But Sr. Aloysius, played by Meryl Streep, protests vehemently, “We are not like them. We are different, and we must be different. These working-class people depend on us” to be different, to be above and apart from them, to guide them and to care for their children whom they have entrusted to us.

Both were right. Read more “The priests, the nuns and the people”

Change Could Turn Mideast Into an Economic Superstar

By James Flanigan
Los Angeles Times
June 30, 1991

Americans looking at news reports might think that little has changed in the Middle East as a result of the Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein, although reduced in power, remains on top in Iraq. The Kuwaitis are back in their homeland, but like the Bourbon kings after the French Revolution, they seem in some ways to have “learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has stated publicly that the war has left the region “unchanged.” Read more “Change Could Turn Mideast Into an Economic Superstar”

The Peso’s Plunge: A Case of Deja Vu

By James Flanigan
Los Angeles Times
January 8, 1995

By now, it’s a familiar story. Mexico rises toward world-class development. And then disaster strikes. Why does it keep dashing its own best hopes?

This was supposed to be a time of deliverance for Mexico’s 90 million people-a new period of growth, job creation and rising living standards. Rewards for good behavior were anticipated because cutbacks and reforms in the last six years had reduced inflation from 159% a year to less than 10%. Read more “The Peso’s Plunge: A Case of Deja Vu”

Asian Miracle II; CHINA; A Difficult Journey to a New Economy

By James Flanigan
Los Angeles Times
June 7, 1998

To begin to grasp the full import and direction of the changes occurring in China today, visit the Beijing Yanhua Petrochemical Co. at a sprawling complex about an hour’s drive from China’s capital city.

Yanhua, a subsidiary of a government-owned chemical enterprise, was created last year to expand output of ethylene, a basic material for plastics, and of butadiene styrene rubber, a material for tires. Read more “Asian Miracle II; CHINA; A Difficult Journey to a New Economy”

Pasadena Pushes Ideas Out of Labs, Into Start-Ups

By James Flanigan
Los Angeles Times
March 5, 2001

In these uncertain times, venture capital investors still look with favor on Pasadena, attracted by the “hard science” work at Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Huntington Medical Research Institute, the nearby City of Hope and other institutions.

As a result, Pasadena and neighboring communities are budding hotbeds of new companies pursuing discoveries in biotechnology, optical electronics and computer and material sciences. Some 100 Pasadena companies are in high-technology businesses, local officials estimate. Read more “Pasadena Pushes Ideas Out of Labs, Into Start-Ups”

Nanotechnology — Small Things for Big Changes

By James Flanigan
Los Angeles Times
November 23, 2003

The Next Big Thing is very small. Exactly one-billionth of a Thing.

That is a nano, and nanotechnology is the thing you’ll being hearing a lot about in coming years. The science of working at atomic dimensions to engineer materials and machines out of individual molecules will transform industry and medicine. Read more “Nanotechnology — Small Things for Big Changes”

Immigrants Benefit U.S. Economy Now as Ever

By James Flanigan
Los Angeles Times
July 3, 2005

The Fourth of July weekend seems like a good time to examine some of the heat and rhetoric lately surrounding one of the basic building blocks of our society: immigration.

There is widespread concern that too many immigrants are coming in and, worse, that waves of unskilled workers will form a permanent underclass and change the historic dynamic of American society. Read more “Immigrants Benefit U.S. Economy Now as Ever”