- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2000

'Touch their hearts'

"The award-winning author and Oscar winner John Irving received an honorary membership … from the National Abortion Federation, in recognition of his long-standing commitment to safe, legal abortion for women and the sensitive portrayal of abortion in 'The Cider House Rules.' 'One of our goals at NAF is to humanize both the women who choose abortion and the dedicated health care professionals who provide them with care," said Vicki Saporta, executive director of the National Abortion Federation. 'Through his work and his advocacy on behalf of a woman's right to choose, John Irving has contributed to this mission.'

"Saporta continued, ' "The Cider House Rules" has had a tremendous impact on millions of people around the world, including the men and women who have dedicated their lives to providing safe abortion care to women. In order to open peoples' minds you must touch their hearts, and John Irving has a rare gift for accomplishing both.' …

"The incoming Board President of NAF, Dr. Maureen Paul, related her experience of being denied an abortion prior to Roe vs. Wade and the disastrous effects that decision had on her life at that time. Dr. Paul, an abortion provider in Boston, Mass., recounted, 'As a young women, I was denied an abortion and was forced to carry a pregnancy against my will. That is why I became an abortion provider. Every time I perform an abortion for a women who makes that choice, I know I am helping her realize life and aspirations.' "

from a Monday news release from the National Abortion Federation

Communist labor

"New tactics, strategy and a new fighting spirit has emerged in our labor movement… .

"Communists … played important roles in this victory. It helped lay the basis for victory of the reform forces in the AFL-CIO.

"Since the victory of the Sweeney reform forces in the AFL-CIO, our labor movement has moved toward class-struggle policies… .

"The barriers to Communist participation are coming down, if not already gone! … Nothing showed this fact more than the unanimous vote at the 1998 AFL-CIO National Convention in Pittsburgh to get rid of the anti-Communist clause in the AFL-CIO constitution.

"Communists are being welcomed whenever and wherever labor has opened battle. This is because we bring a plus, an experience, a more far reaching outlook, a fighting dedication to the cause… .

"It is this policy that puts in place a program of coordinating in an organized way, the concentration of Communist cadre and resources on the most strategically placed union forces to lead the entire labor movement and, thus, the whole working class."

Bruce Bostick, writing on "Principled unity the road to victory," posted at the Communist Party USA Web site, www.cpusa.org

Hollywood and Tibet

"Perhaps the poor box office returns had something to do with the fact that Americans found it unpalatable to have to mix their old escapist dreams of Tibet with the grisly reality of Chinese rule in that land … Of all the 'blank' places on the map that Hollywood had ever filled in, the blank space of Tibet … had proved less fertile when it came to mapping the present-day dreams of global audiences. The stats on both pictures made this clear enough. 'Kundun' … performed dismally at the box office. Costing $35 million … it took in less than $6 million during its four-month run, putting it well below Hollywood's blockbuster radar.

" 'Seven Years in Tibet,' which cost approximately $65 million, did not gross $38 million in its four-month run. Not surprisingly, while books on Tibet and Buddhism continue to proliferate, Tibetan Buddhist centers continue to multiply and the Dalai Lama continues to draw large and enthusiastic crowds wherever he goes … as the millennium arrived, no Hollywood studio was rushing to situate its next big-budget virtual-reality production somewhere beyond the Himalayas."

Orville Schell in his new book, "Virtual Tibet"

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