New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
Subscribe

Driving Reform

October 10, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Devon G. Pena, Politics

Does California Legislation Signal a Shift in Immigration Policies?

by Devon G. Peña

Given the reactionary patterns of the past five years, in which states like Arizona (SB1070) and Alabama (HB54) gave us atrociously anti-immigrant laws, it is with a sigh of relief that we observe legislation signed recently by California Governor Jerry Brown that will allow people living in the state sans proper documentation to receive a permit to drive legally in California.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Governor Brown explained: “This is only the first step. When a million people without their documents drive legally with respect to the state of California, the rest of this country will have to stand up and take notice. No longer are undocumented people in the shadows, they are alive and well and respected in the state of California.” (more…)

Demilitarize the Border

July 09, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Devon G. Pena, Politics

Demonstrations Move for Humane Immigration Policies

by Devon G. Peña

On June 27th, the United States Senate approved an amendment to the evolving comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill. The amendment dramatically expands enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border creating what Senator John McCain proudly announced as the greatest border militarization since the Fall of the Berlin Wall.The Arizona Senator did not appear to notice the contradictory irony underlying his statement: The Berlin Wall was finally brought down by people seeking peace and reunification, ending militarization; the Tortilla Curtain keeps going up, promoting conflict and disunity. Does this mean that the human fence consisting of 40,000 border patrol agents is analogous to the East German military border patrol and the Stasi secret police? How is this an accomplishment worthy of a civilized nation? (more…)

Grief Without Borders

April 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

This Is the Way the World Must Change…

by Robert C. Koehler

“She had a great sense of humor and freckles and red hair that brought her right to her Irish roots.”

She was “a dream daughter.”

I have a daughter, so maybe that’s why these words cut so deep.

This was a dad’s description of a young woman, Krystle Campbell, who was one of the three people killed in the Monday bombings at the Boston Marathon, with well over a hundred wounded, some critically. The bomb went off in the final stretch of the race — which had been dedicated to the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., four months earlier.

My God. Now another wound has opened in the social fabric. Another enormous question tears at our hearts. Once again we ask: Why? (more…)

Guns and the Ecology of Fear

January 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Devon G. Pena, Politics

Challenging the Symbolic Politics of Hate

by Devon G. Peña

The ongoing debate on gun violence is certainly long overdue. As it unfolds within the mainstream media, it also strikes me as a discourse filled with revealing blind spots and shameful silences.

Blind spots and silences in the gun control debate

Let me start with some of the blind spots: Largely absent in this discussion is the fact that the majority of victims of gun violence are poor or persons of color. It is seldom noted that young black men are constantly under assault every time they step out, especially in any state like Florida with a “stand your ground” statute. It is seldom mentioned that young black and Latino males are already targeted by white men who can concoct any unfounded allegation of “feeling threatened” to justify shooting these young men.

It does not help matters that many of these killings are at the hands of the police. Silence surrounds the problem of police violence against people of color yet it has long been endemic. Proposals to put armed guards and police in schools will certainly not make the parents of black or brown students feel any safer since many school authorities have been sued and held in contempt for blatant racial profiling and harassment of students of color. (more…)

The Hemlock Debt

December 06, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Evaggelos Vallianatos

Greece Struggles With a Financial and Ecological Tsunami

by Evaggelos Vallianatos

When in 2008 the “too big to fail” Western banks brought misery and near collapse in the economies and societies of Europe and America, the same banks hit Greece with a ton of bricks.

Greece is a small country that has no control of its currency. Second, the Greek and foreign elites of Europe and America that control both the euro, the currency of Greece and the countries of the European Union, and the giant banks, decided to shock Greece in order to make the country a pliant customer.

Since Greece can’t pay back the banks, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and America’s International Monetary Fund, known as troika, intervened to make certain the borrowers got their money back. The troika pays the borrowers and then lends Greece more money at high interest rates. (more…)

Reflections on Israel

June 20, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

Nonviolence, the Peace Process, and Future Directions

by Michael Walzer

(Editor’s Note: This week on NCV, as part of a thematic series, we are featuring articles focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and attendant issues, hoping to stimulate a dialogue and suggest potential ways forward.)

I have been coming to Israel every year for the past thirty years, and I spend most of my time here talking about politics. But I don’t understand what’s been going on recently, in Jerusalem and in Washington, beginning with Obama’s big speech. It wasn’t the reference to the 1967 borders that was new in this speech but rather the proposal to deal now with borders and security and postpone all questions about Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. This makes sense to Israeli leftists, my friends here, who think that it’s to Israel’s advantage to get out of the territories — indeed, that withdrawal is an urgent necessity, and more so for the Jews than for the Arabs. (more…)

Solidarity on the Border

June 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Bacon, Economy, Politics

Cooperative Efforts Link U.S.-Mexico Labor Movements

by David Bacon

The growth of cross-border solidarity today is taking place at a time when U.S. penetration of Mexico is growing — economically, politically, and even militarily.  While the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has it’s own special characteristics, it is also part of a global system of production, distribution, and consumption.  It is not just a bilateral relationship.

Jobs go from the U.S. and Canada to Mexico in order to cut labor costs.  But from Mexico those same jobs go China or Bangladesh or dozens of other countries, where labor costs are even lower.  As important, the threat to move those jobs, experienced by workers in the U.S. from the 1970s onwards, are now common in Mexico.  Those threats force concessions on wages. In Sony’s huge Nuevo Laredo factory, for instance, that threat was used to make workers agree to an indefinite temporary employment status, even though Mexican law prohibited it. (more…)