The big news is from last week, with the United States Supreme Court decision that confused the concept of "person" even more than previously, and again sidestepped the ninth and tenth amendments to the Constitution.
In any event, in the real world outside of Wall Street and the Washington, DC Beltway, more significant events have been happening, a few of which we report here:
• There were a number of important meetings this past week, but more for their potential than for the accomplishment of any specific goal. There appears to have been a great deal of progress made in surfacing some possible door openers who can get us to a VIP who can get Mr. Obama's attention. This sounds tenuous, but this is the way things are done not just in Washington, but throughout the world. Attempting to open our own doors and going directly to potential prime movers in politics or the media (or anywhere else) is almost inevitably written off as self-promotion. We need you to open the door to contacts who can then put us in touch with the prime movers.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." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.
• Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, published several articles in The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Thematic Encyclopedia, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio Publishing, 2009. Copies of the encyclopedia can be ordered through the publisher's website, as well as from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The price for the two-volume work is $180.00 (Barnes and Noble is offering it at $144.00, the member price, to everyone for a limited time.)
• Norman Kurland has had a number of interesting discussions with a former Israeli media personality via telephone from the Middle East. We should point out that Norm is very open to interviews both on radio and television, having appeared as a guest on a number of shows. Please let us know if you can arrange an interview.
• A significant number of copies of Dr. Alamgir's new book, Notes From a Prison: Bangladesh, have been distributed. Consider purchasing a copy yourself and reviewing it for a local newspaper or magazine. As we mentioned last week, the book is available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
• Joseph Recinos returned home to Maryland briefly this week in the middle of his extended business trip in Central America, and paid us a visit at CESJ headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Joe brought us the sad news of the recent death of Alberto Martén Chavarría in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, on December 26, 2009, at the age of 100. Señor Martén is revered as the founder of Solidarism in Costa Rica in 1950. He was also the founder and first president of Grupo Acción Demócrata in 1943, and in 1947 laid the seeds of Plan de Ahorro y Capitalización, later known as "the Martén Plan," and founded the Office of Economic Coordination, serving from 1949 to 1961 as its Director General. During his tenure, he introduced concepts of worker ownership under the name "Solidarismo." Martén was a student of the work of the great Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J., evidently coming across Father Pesch's work while living in Europe in the early 1920s when his father was in the Costa Rican diplomatic service. Martén corresponded at length with Louis O. Kelso, developer of what is today known as "binary economics," presented in Central and South America as "El Tercer Camino," or "The Third Way," seeing Kelso's work as consistent with Solidarism. Dr. Martén invited Norman Kurland to Costa Rica in the early 1970s to meet with business and worker leaders involved in Solidarismo. He asked Norm to do a critique of Solidarismo to see how it could be improved by applying the principles and techniques of Kelso's binary economics. A great champion of economic justice, Señor Martén will be greatly missed.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 49 different countries and 42 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the UK, Brazil, the Philippines, and Ireland. People in China, Australia, Taiwan, Venezuela, and Malaysia spent the most average time on the blog. The "Political Animal" series and news items are the most popular postings.