Friday, August 15, 2014

News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 32


The Big News this week is the CESJ core group’s trip to Cleveland, Ohio.  A great deal of work was done on this trip.  The schedule was so full that both sightseeing tours were cancelled, no visits or calls were made to friends and family, but the results were well worth it.  The only downside was that somebody forgot to set up a meeting with Drew Carey to discuss how much better Cleveland could rock under the Just Third Way:

• On Friday of last week, August 8, 2014, CESJ President Dr. Norman G. Kurland and CESJ Fellow Astrid Uytterhaegen met with Alpha Condé, the president of Guinea, a small but key country on the west coast of Africa, and later with the president’s planner.  Some important concepts were introduced to Mr. Condé, and he expressed great interest in learning more about the potential of the Just Third Way to guide his country to a more just and humane future in which all Guineans can participate.  Also present were H.E. Mamady Conde, Guinea’s new ambassador to the United States, and H.E. Mamadi Touré, Guinea’s delegate to the United Nations, as well as a faculty member from Georgetown University.

On Monday of this week members of the CESJ core group, Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of CESJ, Dawn K. Brohawn, CESJ Director of Communications, Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research, Astrid Uytterhaegen, Fellow, traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, for a series of meetings arranged by Monica Woodman, who is coordinating the formation of a Cleveland CESJ chapter, and Commander Rob Woodman, Monica’s brother, who a while back was the “point man” in the effort to have the officers and seamen of the Oglebay-Norton line purchase the vessels.  As many of our readers might recall, the workers were outbid by another group, which had to sell the vessels itself a few years later to a Belgian company, and left Cleveland in 2008 after more than a century and a half in the city.  The Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank on November 10, 1975, during a storm on the Great Lakes, was the flagship of Oglebay-Norton’s Columbia Transportation fleet. An informal dinner party was held at the Pearl of the Orient restaurant in Cleveland on Monday evening.  Kudos is due to Monica, who worked long and hard to arrange the trip and events.

• On Tuesday, the Dixon family of Ashtabula, Ohio, contributed several pounds of high quality vegetables, approximately two bushels, from their personal garden to CESJ.  Some of the vegetables went into the lunch prepared by Monica Woodman for the group that day, while the bulk was brought to Arlington to use in the daily luncheons provided for staff, volunteers, and guests, and will be featured in the CESJ Executive Committee meeting scheduled for Monday, August 18, 2014.  The Dixon garden is a model of intensive micro-farming, and is extraordinarily productive.  Commander Woodman has vowed to work to duplicate the effort in the Spring of next year after he returns to Maine.

• Also on Tuesday, the CESJ core group and members of the CESJ Cleveland chapter in formation met at St. Columba’s Church with Father Begin, the outgoing pastor, and Dr. Torma of Walsh University.  The meeting was very positive and very productive for an introductory meeting.  Dr. Torma was left with a great deal of material to reflect on, while Father Begin renewed his intention to focus on CESJ after he retires and settles in to his new life.

• Tuesday night the CESJ group ate at Merwin’s Wharf on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland.  During the first part of the gathering, before a storm came up and the group moved inside off the terrace, the Buffalo, an ore carrier, passed very close to the restaurant.  Commander Woodman, who had served on the Buffalo, got the attention of the captain and crew, and the ship saluted the CESJ group, to the mystification of the other restaurant patrons.

• Early on Wednesday morning the CESJ group met with faculty and staff of the Boler School of Business of John Carroll University.  This meeting also went very well, although somewhat limited in scope due to time constraints and the nature of introductory meetings.  CESJ hopes to sponsor talks with students and faculty at John Carroll, following up on last year’s very positive meeting with Father Thomas Schubeck, S.J., who expressed great interest in the research CESJ has been carrying out involving the work of the later solidarists, as students of Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J., are called.

• Late morning on Wednesday, Monica Woodman took members of the CESJ core group through sections of East Cleveland.  An initial quick assessment is that the area might be a good place to apply the “Citizens Land Bank” concept developed for East St. Louis, Illinois, but that halted when Wyvetter Younge, the Illinois State Representative who had championed the project, and who shepherded the initial legislation through the Illinois House, 114-0, died. Funding for a feasibility study could be obtained from local foundations, and possibly carried out with assistance from local universities.  Then, financing for the actual community development in which all residents can participate as owners could potentially be obtained from local commercial banks by discounting eligible paper at the commercial bank, collateralized with capital credit insurance and reinsurance, and then rediscounted at the Cleveland Federal Reserve.

• On Wednesday afternoon, the CESJ group met for lunch at Monica Woodman’s house, and later met with Mr. Robert B. Jaquay, Executive Director of the George Gund Foundation, in another introductory meeting.  The meeting was very friendly, and Mr. Jaquay was introduced to a number of new concepts.  Significantly, one of the concepts was that of “future savings,” a concept promoted by Dr. Harold G. Moulton in his book, The Formation of Capital (1935).  Moulton was president of the Brookings Institution from 1928 to 1965, and the Gund Foundation recently made a $300,000 grant to Brookings.  Commander Woodman, who arranged the meeting, will also be arranging follow-up.

• On Wednesday evening, members of the CESJ core group from Washington, D.C., and members and friends of the CESJ Cleveland chapter in formation met for a pasta dinner at the home of Denise Roznovsky.  An informal songfest followed dinner.  A brief chapter meeting was held afterwards, during which short reports of, and reactions to the various meetings were presented.

• Deacon Joseph Gorini, CESJ Counselor, co-founder with fellow CESJ Counselor Father John Trigilio of Evangelization Enterprises, Inc., has been sending out packages of CESJ material to key laity and clergy in the Catholic Church.  The immediate goal is to participate in the Synod on the Family, which is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in September 2015.  Over the long-term, the goal is to clarify concepts of economic and social justice that, due to many factors, have become confused in the modern world, a situation that affects people of all faiths and philosophies.  Deacon Joe is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (CCC), while Father Trigilio is president of the organization, as well as a radio and television host on EWTN, the Catholic cable network.  Deacon Joe recently introduced a resolution at the CCC convocation this past July to develop a formal relationship between the CCC and CESJ.

• CESJ will be following up with CESJ Counselor Father Edward Krause, C.S.C., Ph.D., son of the University of Notre Dame’s famed Athletic Director Edward “Moose” Krause, who is scheduled to return soon from the annual meeting of the Central Bureau of the Catholic Central Union of America in St. Louis.  Father Krause will be reporting on the reaction to a proposal to raise funds for the CCUA to complete, publish, and market a book with the working title, What Happened to Distributive Justice?, a study of key events and shifts in thought in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that have resulted in widespread misunderstanding of the natural law and its application in the principles of economic and social justice.

The Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, where CESJ Counselor Dr. Michael Naughton heads the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, invites applications for the Barbara and David Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics to begin Fall, 2015.  The mission of the Koch Chair is to institutionalize and advance the role of Business Ethics in the educational programs of the University of St. Thomas through teaching, research, faculty development, and curriculum development.  This appears to be consistent with CESJ’s “Justice University” proposal, which has been discussed with staff and faculty at a number of colleges and universities, and for which funding is currently being sought.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 43 different countries and 47 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week were  “Church, State, and Humanity, III: A Fundamental Change in the Idea of the State,” “Church, State, and Humanity, IV: A Fundamental Change in the Idea of Religion,” “The State is God, God is the State, Part V,” “The Purpose of Production,” and “News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 30” (containing the week before last’s press release about Father Trigilio and Deacon Gorini joining the CESJ Board of Counselors.)

Those are the happenings for this week, at least those 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.

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