Friday, January 9, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 2

Now that the holidays are more or less officially over, things have started moving again. Part of this activity is due, no doubt, to the growing panic about the economic situation. Some of it, however, is due to untiring efforts of people like Norman Kurland, who stand ready to seize every opportunity to bring the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading to the attention of the powers-that-be. He cannot, however, do it alone. We need people like you to open doors and get Norm the opportunity to talk with "prime movers" and those who have the courage to spend their political chips on something that has the potential actually to accomplish something positive in the world. This week has had a number of events, indicating that the Just Third Way is moving forward.
• Norman Kurland, president of CESJ, one of the organizations involved in the Global Justice Movement, returned late Monday of this week from attending the funeral of Wyvetter Younge. While there, Norm carried on Wyvetter's legacy by taking the time to meet with a number of key people to ensure that Wyvetter's work doesn't die with her. Norm reported that the results of the meetings were very positive. A complete report on Wyvetter Younge's contributions to the Global Justice Movement will be forthcoming.

• On Tuesday of this week Norm had a telephone conversation with David M. Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States. The conversation was very positive, and Mr. Walker was sufficiently interested in what we were saying to give us more than twice the amount of time he had originally allotted. The results of the conversation are reported in the posting of our response letter earlier today. We urge everyone to follow up and demonstrate your approval of Mr. Walker's openness to Capital Homesteading by sending an e-mail or letter to the addresses given in the posting.

• Within a few hours of the close of the telephone conversation with Mr. Walker, we received a cc. of a letter from Brian Lenihan, TD, Minister for Finance of the Republic of Ireland, to Charlie O'Connor, TD, member of Dáil Éireann (the Irish house of representatives) for the Dublin South West constituency. The text of the brief but substantive letter runs, "Dear Charlie: I wish to acknowledge receipt of your recent letter on behalf of Mr. Norman G. Kurland, President, Centre for Economic and Social Justice. I will be in contact with you again about this matter as soon as possible." If you wish to express support for Minister Lenihan's openness and Deputy O'Connor's initiative, contact information can be found on their respective web sites, here and here, which also give postal addresses, if that is more your forte.

• On Wednesday morning, as we were preparing cover letters to accompany copies of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen to be sent to selected party leaders and ministers in Ireland, we had just finished typing the letter to go to Mr. Eamon Gilmore, head of the Irish Labor Party, when we checked our e-mail, as we do periodically throughout the day. While preparing to send the draft letters to Norm and Dawn for review as an attached file, we received an e-mail from Mr. Gilmore, a nice bit of serendipity. The very positive e-mail read, "Thank you very much indeed for your email. I am very interested in the idea of 'capital homesteading' and I will log on to the website you suggest to get more information." Mr. Lenihan and Mr. O'Connor are members of the Fianna Fail party, traditionally regarded as "conservative," while Labor is usually considered "liberal." Capital Homesteading, however, has the potential to bring together people from all parts of the political spectrum, uniting them in a solidaristic effort for the common good. If you want to express support for Mr. Gilmore's receptiveness to Capital Homesteading, contact information can be found on his web site.

• As noted, we expect to send copies of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen to selected party leaders and ministers in the Republic of Ireland. This is the result of a suggestion made by Mr. Chris O'Connor, Financial Secretary/Treasurer of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Colonel John Fitzgerald Division. If you are a citizen of the Republic or of the United Kingdom and want to send a copy to your TD or MP, the book is available on Amazon UK for £14.00 plus shipping. If you purchase and send a copy, be sure to let us know, primarily so that we can acknowledge your generosity and initiative in working to advance the Just Third Way, but also so we aren't (too) surprised if the recipient follows up by making contact with CESJ. Amazon UK also has In Defense of Human Dignity, and our new annotated edition of The Emigrant's Guide available, for £16.00 and £14.00, respectively, both of which provide useful insights on the Just Third Way.

• Richard Aleman of The Distributist Review has not yet posted the promised notice of our publication of an annotated edition of William Cobbett's The Emigrant's Guide on the Review's web site. We can't verify if he forwarded the press release on to other members of his network. A number of other Chestertonians and distributists have, however, expressed a marked enthusiasm (or at least acquiescence) for the project, notably Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society and publisher of Gilbert! magazine, and Gloria Garafulich-Grabois, managing editor of The Chesterton Review, both of whom requested review copies (which we sent . . . via media mail, in keeping with our "small expenses are beautiful" orientation, so they may be a little slow in arriving). The "Chesterbelloc Mandate" blog also posted the press release, as did Tom Laney on his "Common Sense" blog, and Roy Moore on "The Distributist Voice." Mr. Laney has had a very productive exchange with Norman Kurland via e-mail, which we'll be posting as soon as we get a round tuit. In particular, they've been discussing a Just Third Way solution to the auto makers' dilemma, something for which CESJ feels a special affinity due to Norm's work with the late Walter Reuther in the latter's "Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty." If you've posted something about the Emigrant's Guide on your blog or web site, please send us a note so we can acknowledge it, and perhaps direct a few readers your way.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 15 different countries and 25 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. On the average, people in the Republic of Ireland spend more time reading this blog than people in other countries, although Venezuela usually runs a very close second. Most of our readers, as might be expected, are in the United States, but Brazil and Venezuela also have a high number of visitors. In the United States, most of our readers seem to come from New York, with Virginia and Michigan in the place and show positions. Our posting on the "Keynesian Liquidity Trap Trap" has dropped from its "most popular posting" spot after a reign of several weeks, having been ousted by the open letter to Tom Friedman and "When Wall Street Abandoned Its Mission." Fully half of our "Top Ten" postings highlight serious problems with Keynesian economics, suggesting that people are beginning to wake up to the dangers associated with the Keynesian Free Lunch Program and the inherent illogic of trying to run an economy on the premise that you can get something for nothing or spend your way out of a deficit.
Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue."

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