New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Something More

October 14, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Missy Beattie, Politics

What Else Can We Do for the Cause of Freedom?

by Missy Beattie

Sunday, sister Laura and I went to a festival a block from my apartment. We walked past the vendor artists, their booths of pottery, jewelry, paintings, and metalwork, and opened our portable chairs near a stage where musicians performed. An event organizer took the mic and said someone mentioned the strangeness of having a festival when the country’s facing so many problems. She’d responded that art makes the world go ‘round.

I sat there, thinking about Herman Wallace and Alfred Woodfox. Actually, I’ve thought of little else for over a week.

Wallace spent 41 years in solitary confinement at Louisiana’s Angola prison. And so has Woodfox. For Wallace, the torture is over. Diagnosed in June with advanced liver cancer, he was freed by a federal judge on Tuesday, October 1st and died three days later at the home of a friend. (more…)

Resist These Dark Times

May 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Kathy Kelly, Politics

Advice from an Afghan Mother and Activist

by Kathy Kelly

When she was 24 years old, in 1979, Fahima Vorgetts left Afghanistan.  By reputation, she had been outspoken, even rebellious, in her opposition to injustice and oppression; and family and friends, concerned for her safety, had urged her to go abroad.  Twenty-three years later, returning for the first time to her homeland, she barely recognized war-torn streets in urban areas where she had once lived.  She saw and felt the anguish of villagers who couldn’t feed or shelter their families, and no less able to accept such unjust suffering than she’d been half her life before, Fahima decided to make it her task to help alleviate the abysmal conditions faced by ordinary Afghans living at or below the poverty line – by helping to build independent women’s enterprises wherever she could.  She trusted in the old adage that if a person is hungry it’s an even greater gift to teach the person how to fish than to only give the person fish. (more…)

A Foundation of Decency

May 06, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Economy, Robert C. Koehler

Building a Society that Protects Everyone

by Robert C. Koehler

“Everywhere near the building, the stench of death was overpowering. Men in surgical masks sprayed disinfectant in the air.” We move from tragedy to tragedy with hellish regularity.

“The scope of injuries,” Jim Yardley writes in the New York Times, “was horrifying: fractured skulls, crushed rib cages, severed livers, ruptured spleens. One survivor lost both legs. . . . A teenage girl named Sania lost her right leg. Another teenager, Anna, lost her right hand.”

This wasn’t from a bomb in Boston. It was from a collapsed building outside Dhaka, Bangladesh — another shocking sweatshop disaster, this one claiming the lives, according to the most recent count, of 385 people, with many more missing and at least 1,000 injured. Eight people, including the owner of the building, which housed five separate garment operations employing more than 3,000 people, were arrested. Workers, the Times reported, saw cracks in the walls of the building the day before it collapsed. They were told to go to work anyway. (more…)

A Tale of Two Tragedies

April 23, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

Extending Our Compassion Beyond the News of the Day

by Mike Ferner

On April 15, 29 year-old Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, 23 and Martin Richard, 8, left home to watch runners cross the finish line in the Boston Marathon.  They and their families thought they would return that day as always.  But they never did.  As the world now knows, Krystle, Lu and Martin were killed and 170 other people were shattered by bombs that day.

Also in Massachusetts, Giuseppe Cracchiola and David Frank, Sr. went to work on January 28, as did Jose Roldan the following day.  They and their families thought they would come home that night as always.  But they never did. (more…)

We Are Better Than This

April 17, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Current Events, Erin Niemela

What Will It Take to Create a World Without Violence?

by Erin Niemela

Americans will remember Monday, April 15, 2013 as a day in which unspeakable violence took the lives of three people and wounded at least 153 after bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line.  Thousands of miles away, Iraqis will remember this same Monday as a day in which violence claimed the lives of at least 31 people and over 200 injured after multiple car bombs detonated in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, and several other areas.  Afghans will remember this Monday as a day in which a ghastly roadside bomb in the Zabul province killed seven and wounded four other human beings. These are the headlines, only for this particular Monday, and we can be sure some lost lives have yet to be reported.

We are better than this. (more…)

Stop Fighting

September 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Guest Author, Kathy Kelly, Politics

‘Two Million Friends’ and a Ceasefire in Afghanistan

by Kathy Kelly and Hakim

“Stop fighting,” suggests Farzana, a brave 22 year old Afghan stage actress.

Significantly, her statement is in sharp contrast to what seems to be the democratic world’s unquestioned modus operandi of today, exemplified by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pet-phrase for Afghanistan, ‘Fight, talk and build.’

What Farzana and the Afghan Peace Volunteers are sensibly suggesting is a ceasefire.

A ceasefire, like the ceasefire called for in Kofi Annan’s Six Point Peace Plan for Syria which Farzana and the Afghan Peace Volunteers also supported, is a first step towards ending the equally sectarian war and incendiary global politicking in Afghanistan. (more…)

A Geopolitics of Compassion?

July 25, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Making Democracy a Force of History…

by Robert C. Koehler

Beyond the spectacle of the presidential race, the Washington consensus pursues business as usual. This is the season in which I wonder, with an ever-intensifying sense of urgency, what it would take to turn our political system into a democracy.

“And yet the militarization of the United States and the strengthening of the national security complex continues to accelerate,” Tom Engelhardt wrote earlier this month. “The Pentagon is, by now, a world unto itself. . . .”

And as the world’s major powers play a 21st-century version of the “Great Game” to control the resources of the world, the U.S., in contrast with China, writes David Vine, “has focused relentlessly on military might as its global trump card, dotting the planet with new bases and other forms of military power.” (more…)