New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘Jennifer Browdy’

Know No Differences

October 16, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Jennifer Browdy

Malala Yousafzai Stands Up for Us All

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

There are a couple of old saws that I was taught as a young journalist, which I continue to pass on to my media studies students now.

One is: if it bleeds, it leads.

And another: one powerful human interest story is worth a million statistics.

We saw both of these principles in action with the news of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls “one of the world’s most persuasive advocates for girls’ education.”

Everyone probably knows by now of how the Taliban viciously shot Malala in the neck as punishment for her outspoken insistence that girls should be allowed — and indeed, encouraged — to go to school, just like boys. (more…)

My Heroine, Too

September 26, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Jennifer Browdy

Hats Off to the Central Park Rape Victim

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

The gutsy 73-year-old woman who was raped by a drifter in Central Park has been on my mind since I first heard about her. The assailant has been caught, and it turns out he has a history of raping and murdering elderly women, going back to the 1980s.

The mystery is why a man like that was let out of jail.  We keep kids in prison for minor drug infractions, but we let a psycho rapist and murderer out on parole and allow him to drift across state lines without supervision?

Like so many other homeless people, he ended up drifting around in Central Park, and according to the victim, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy, he had it in for her because a couple of weeks earlier she photographed him masturbating in a lonely section of the park. (more…)

Organic Food for Thought

September 10, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

We Eat By the Grace of Nature, Not By the Grace of Monsanto

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

“Organic, schmorganic,” fumes New York Times columnist Roger Cohen sarcastically in an article entitled “The Organic Fable.”

He bases his sweeping dismissal of the organic foods movement on a new Stanford University study claiming that “fruits and vegetables labeled organic are, on average, no more nutritious than their cheaper conventional counterparts.”

Cohen does grant that “organic farming is probably better for the environment because less soil, flora and fauna are contaminated by chemicals…. So this is food that is better ecologically even if it is not better nutritionally.”

But he goes on to smear the organic movement as an elitist, pseudoscientific indulgence shot through with hype. (more…)

Parallel Universe

July 30, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

Taking the Leap into a Better World

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am straddling two banks that are rapidly moving away from each other, leaving me performing ever more of a balancing act in the middle of a rushing stream.

One foot is still hanging on to the familiar dry land on which I was born and bred: the safe, predictable world of a privileged existence within the capitalist empire, where every problem has a technological solution, all needs are met, and there is nothing really to worry about, beyond what to have for dinner, or where to go on the next vacation.

This is the world in which I am a true-blue Democrat, I pay my taxes without question, and I work hard in expectation of an eventual pleasant retirement.

But I also have a foot in quite another realm, one that is still quite foreign to most of my peers.

In this other, parallel universe, security and predictability are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as the weather turns ever more erratic, leading to food shortages and a survivalist mentality.  Clashes between unarmed protesters and heavily armed police are common, with the protests mainly concerning lack of basic food and supplies. (more…)

Love in the End Times

July 16, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

Tend to the Parts You Can Reach…

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

The political horse race in American politics has begun, with both major Presidential candidates running full-tilt but ponderously towards each other like armored knights on horseback, wielding the lances of millions of dollars’ worth of attack ads and backed up by slick, smart campaign pages.

Meanwhile, it continues to be hot, hotter and unbearably hot here in the Northeast.  It was a blessing to wake up this morning to a brief soaking rain, breaking weeks of drought.

But there is no way to fool myself into hoping that things will go back to normal, weather-wise.

As many people have been saying lately, this is the new normal.

Just as we’ve gotten used to a political climate in which it’s normal for a Presidential candidate to hide his tax returns, refuse to comment on moving his millions into off-shore tax havens, and totally repudiate everything he once stood for in order to lick the shoes of his political bosses, we’re going to have to get used to a climate that lurches from one extreme to another — from blizzards to heat waves, from floods to droughts. (more…)

Work-Life Balance

July 02, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Family, Jennifer Browdy

Not Just a Women’s Issue…

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I decided to bite my tongue and wait to see the reaction to the recent Atlantic Monthly cover story by Anne Marie Slaughter on women and the work-life balance — I knew as soon as I started reading it that it would set off a firestorm of commentary, and I have not been disappointed.

Slaughter, in case you have not been following this story, is a Princeton University professor and dean, who was drafted into the State Department by Hillary Clinton and worked there for two stressful years.  She wrote the article after returning to the snug harbor of Princeton, where, thanks to the flex time allowed by the higher ranks of academia, she is far better able to manage her professional and family commitments.

Slaughter’s main point in writing seems to be that our society needs to adapt itself better to the needs of working women. She calls for more women to get into leadership positions in business and government, and make workplace and policy changes that will make parenting and working outside the home more manageable. (more…)

Life Stories

June 22, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

Scheherazades of the 21st Century

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I have been following the progress of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development from a distance, feeling jaded about the process and the possibility of positive outcomes resulting from this gathering of diplomats and social engineers.  It’s good to see the lively and vibrant displays of people passion outside the gates of the conference, but the real question is, when will those gates come down?

At the Strategies for a New Economy conference earlier this month, veteran progressive economist Gar Alperovitz pointed to our time as the moment when enough people wake up and notice that something is wrong.

“This is a critical moment in history,” he said; “the moment when people realize something is gravely wrong and are willing to think outside the box to find solutions.”

Alperovitz suggested that we are currently in “the prehistory of a major shift,” and that now is the time for those of us who are aware of what’s happening to “lay the foundations for new institutions and new systems” that are tailored to meet the coming challenges. (more…)