In the film version of the musical play (technically an operetta) 1776 (1972), the John Adams character (played by William Daniels on both stage and screen) opens the show by declaiming, "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress." He then goes on to say,
"For ten years King George and his parliament have gulled, cullied, and diddled these colonies with their illegal taxes: Stamp Acts, Townsend Acts, Sugar Acts, Tea Acts . . . and when we have dared to stand up like men they have stopped our trade, seized our ships, blockaded our ports, burned our towns, and spilled our blood — and still this Congress refuses to grant any of my proposals on independence even so much as the courtesy of open debate! Good God, what in the hell are you waiting for?"
The Congress then launches into a musical debate on the merits or lack thereof of opening a window, with the increasingly loud argument between the "Too Hot" and "Too Many Flies" blocs punctuated with demands that John Adams sit down and shut up, e.g., "John, you're a bore, we've heard this before," and so on.
Pretty much the only difference between this semi-fictional account of Adams's plaint against the inaction of Congress and ours against today's prime movers and academics is that the debate between the "Too Hot Not to Open a Window" faction and the "There're Too Many Flies" bunch at least had some relevance and connection with reality. The "Austerity v. Stimulus" adherents of today, being stuck in the slavery of past savings that locks an economy into pendulum swings between capitalism and socialism until it finally settles into the Servile State, are not even that much in touch with the real world . . . and still this Congress refuses to grant our proposals on Capital Homesteading even so much as the courtesy of open debate! Instead, let's waste our time by using the coercive power of government to promote gay marriage, contraception, and so on. They claim to have heard the Just Third Way position before, but not one of them can state it with even marginal accuracy.
Well, if they won't do anything, the least we can do is remind them of it, and perhaps shame them into action with our efforts:
• Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, has been appointed the new "Coordinator" of the Irish Special Interest Group of American Mensa. "SIGs" are informal groups within Mensa that pursue areas of common interest since Mensa as a whole has no opinions and takes no stand on anything other than a general agreement that it's probably good to have a high IQ. Sometimes. The Irish SIG is the oldest such group in Mensa, having been formed in 1977/78.
• A series of four articles on the Just Third Way as a possible sound basis for reviving the global economy has been submitted to Inside the Vatican magazine.
• An article based on the recent "Keynesian Cargo Cult" series on this blog, "Keynesian Economics: Science or Religion? Keynesianism and Catholic Social Teaching," has been accepted by Social Justice Review. The article should appear in the next couple of months. Social Justice Review is the official journal of the Central Bureau of the Catholic Central Union of America in St. Louis, Missouri.
• In the press of business following a series of events (the CESJ annual celebration, the Rally at the Federal Reserve, the ESOP Association Conference, and other things), the CESJ executive committee meeting this past week was confined purely to routine business matters. The executive committee will be reevaluating its time commitments and procedures to increase more effective participation without increasing the use of scarce resources devoted to such matters.
• Reverend Virgil Wood, an associate of Martin Luther King, Jr., has undertaken an effort to organize interfaith support for the Just Third Way at the highest levels. He helped initiate contact with a key individual in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Follow-up will to continue to get the most out of this project.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 55 different countries and 53 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, the UK, India, and Australia. People in Mexico, the Philippines, Egypt, France, and the United States spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Aristotle on Private Property," News from the Network from April 20, 2012, "The Global Debt Crisis I: What is the Problem?" and "The Crimes of Mitt Romney."
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.