Friday, June 29, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 26

We're tempted to call it "Roberts's Rules of Disorder." Yesterday's ruling by the United States Supreme Court — essentially a one-man decision — overturned the very basis of the U.S. Constitution. It permits either Congress or the Court to do anything it wants under the guise of a tax for not doing something! As the great constitutional scholar William Crosskey commented on similarly revolutionary actions by the Court in the 19th century in Scott v. Sandford (1857 — the Dred Scott decision) and the Slaughterhouse Cases (1873),

"This, to the present-day mind, seems an unbelievable decision; but to those familiar with the political demands of the South of the time when the decision was rendered, such a tenor in the Court's holding will not be difficult to credit. For it was exactly what the South, for a long time, had been demanding.1 (William Winslow Crosskey, Politics and the Constitution in the History of the United States. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1953, 1089.)

For "the South," substitute "Liberals," and Crosskey's statement can stand unchanged, assuming that we as a nation in some future "present-day" ever regain our sanity. We find Roberts's reasoning calls to mind the situation that prevailed in England when the Church of England was established as a branch of the government. Catholics and Dissenters were subject to heavy fines for not attending official State-sanctioned religious services if they chose, instead, to obey their consciences.

Nevertheless, there is a bright side to this. Assuming a presidential candidate realizes that anyone offering a politically and economically viable solution to "Obamacare" would pretty much be a shoo-in, Capital Homesteading and the Just Third Way are ready and waiting for him or her to adopt as a plank in a platform. And, in addition —

• The CESJ core group is even now putting the final touches on a substantial revision of the healthcare proposal from four years ago. The sole remaining mandate (to cover the "free rider" problem) has been removed, and the tax reforms and monetary and fiscal policies clarified and refined. We expect to have the paper ready for final editing by the close of business today, for "official" release on the symbolic July 4th date.

• Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, attended a reception at the residence of His Excellency Michael Collins, Ireland's ambassador to the United States, to launch "Connect Ireland," an innovative new program by the Irish government that has already demonstrated its effectiveness. A significant number of dignitaries from the local Irish-American and Irish community attended, including Keith Carney, a National Director in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Mr. Lawrence Simms, First Secretary for Economics, with whom Mike had met briefly at an AOH Virginia State Board function a while back. The ambassador's acceptance of a presentation copy of CESJ's annotated edition of William Thomas Thornton's 1848 classic, A Plea for Peasant Proprietors was particularly gracious.

• In a short introductory speech that demonstrated an inherent understanding of the act of social justice as analyzed by CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree, His Excellency stressed the need for people throughout the world to organize to rebuild the economy so as to enable everyone to engage in productive activity and be justly compensated. Other countries are closely watching the Connect Ireland program, so that its positive beginnings are a very good sign that governments are starting to shed outdated paradigms and may be prepared to listen to something new, such as Capital Homesteading and the Just Third Way. Adding the Kelso-Adler three principles of economic justice (Participation, Distribution and Social Justice) to something like the Connect Ireland program, and integrating advanced methods of finance that would (as Kelso and Adler put it) "free economic growth from the slavery of [past] savings" would make the effort truly irresistible to any company wanting to do business in Europe.

• Monica W., "Our Friend in the Real Estate Business in Cleveland," has arranged for a meeting with the Director of Research and Development for ESOP, which stands for "Empowering & Strengthening Ohio's People." To prepare them, she gave them materials on the Homeowners Equity Corporation (HEC) and Norman Kurland's bio.

• Dave Kelly and Norman Kurland met with an attorney to discuss pro bono work on the Harris Neck project.

• The CESJ monthly Executive Committee meeting, while somewhat truncated due to the press of time and other commitments, reemphasized CESJ's commitment to pushing for an opening to meet with President Obama with the goal of getting his support for demonstration models for Capital Homesteading.

• The Core Group also reaffirmed the goal of having a series of meetings with Vatican prime movers to introduce key people to the potential for change embodied in the Kelso-Adler principles of economic justice, and to recommend that the pope consider an encyclical on economic justice to clarify some of the massive confusion today.

• The Core Group also resolved to develop a growth and succession strategy for CESJ, especially in light of events that seem to make the message of the Just Third Way even more critical to economic and political recovery than ever before.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 58 different countries and 51 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, Canada, India, and Australia. People in Sweden, Cambodia, Belgium, Qatar and Syria spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Justice, I: Introduction," "Aristotle on Private Property," "CESJ's Orientation in Brief," and "Own or Be Owned: Capital Homesteading Now."

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 publications [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.

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