Friday, March 24, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 12


A number of things are happening that tend to bear out the sense we got last week that things were starting to heat up in the Just Third Way . . . despite the “cold snap” being experienced inside the DC Beltway (you’d think all the hot air coming off Capitol Hill would warm things up a bit, though).  That being the case, we’ll get right to it:
Can you sue a river for flood damage?
• In an interesting twist, New Zealand and India have granted the status of “person” to sacred rivers within their borders.  A person in law is something that has rights and duties.  The ostensible reason for this move is to protect the rivers by allowing them to punish people who harm them by suing them.  While this sounds very nice, it should be pointed out that rivers are not actually human beings, and are therefore not persons by nature.  The same end could have been achieved simply by passing — and enforcing — laws prohibiting harm.  It also raises the issue as to why, at a time when human beings are being stripped of personality on a massive scale through abortion, poverty, and lack of access to the means of acquiring and possessing capital, things are gaining personality.  There is also the issue as to whether, if a river can sue a human being if it is harmed (and does it have to appear in court?), can it also be sued if it causes harm?  Floods kill people, inadequate water flow can destroy crop yields, and people drown.  The river should be held responsible.
• An article on the real solution to unemployment — expanded capital ownership — has been submitted to a major European newspaper.  If accepted, the article will appear in a special May Day issue — the first of May is dedicated to “Labor” in many European countries.  .
The New Ghost Towns
• A brief article in The Washington Post noted that, with President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, “Many rural communities depend on federal grants that fund infrastructure projects and programs that benefit residents.”  Translated into common English, this means that “many rural communities” exist only because they receive federal grants, suggesting there is no reason for the community to exist other than to receive grant money.
• CESJ’s Director of Research has signed a contract for a book deal with a major Catholic publisher.  While the book will be written from a Just Third Way perspective, that will not be the book’s focus.  Instead, the Just Third Way will be a subsidiary theme, illustrating how lack of widespread capital ownership leads to political as well as economic instability.
• An advisor to the Treasurer of Australia has expressed interest in learning more about the monetary and fiscal policies of the Just Third Way.
• The Labour Party of Western Australia has been considering forming a working group to study the Just Third Way.
• The Sidney Morning Herald has scheduled an article on the Just Third Way.
• The CESJ Executive Committee held its monthly business meeting this past Monday.
William Mansfield of the Mansfield Institute has been appointed CESJ Director of Millennial Engagement.
• Norman Kurland and Dawn Brohawn will be presenting at the April 8, 2017  “Just Lead” Mansfield Institute Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
Be a Party Animal, Make Us Smile!
• Here’s the usual announcement about the Amazon Smile program, albeit moved to the bottom of the page so you don’t get tired of seeing it.  To participate in the Amazon Smile program for CESJ, go to https://smile.amazon.com/.  Next, sign in to your account.  (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.)  Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.”  If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through.  Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.
• We have had visitors from 39 different countries and 40 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and India. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,”  “1. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?” “The Byzantine Homestead Act,” “2. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?” and “The Millennial Workplace.”
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, so we’ll see it before it goes up.
#30#

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