New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Too Many Deaths

January 04, 2017 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Laura L. Finley, Politics

Jurors Should Say No to Executing Dylann Roof

by Laura L. Finley

It is clear that 2016 was a challenging year, as is not-so-subtly displayed by John Oliver’s “F*ck 2016” and the subsequent meme of the same name. As I reflect on the many things I would like to see improved in 2017, I am thinking about both immediate and long-term goals. One of my dreams in the long-term is an end to the death penalty in the US. In the short term, however, my hope for January is that the jury that sentences Dylann Roof chooses life over another death.

Roof was found guilty of the June 17, 2015 murder of nine African-Americans parishioners engaged in a Bible study group at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. After sitting through their prayer service, Roof gunned down Reverend Clementa Pinckney and the other members with his .45 caliber Glock pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets. His murder spree was considered a hate crime based on his frequent visits to the websites of racial hate groups and publications on his own website, where he was pictured posing with symbols of white supremacy and neo-Nazism and which featured a manifesto declaring his hatred of black people. Roof also had a list of potential targets, predominantly black churches. If he is sentenced to death, Roof would join only three others who have received federal death sentences in the past half century, and would be the only person to have been so sentenced since 2003. More recently, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a federal death sentence for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. (more…)

Paying It Forward

April 23, 2014 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Missy Beattie

Thoughts on ‘Authentic Carbon Trading’

by Missy Beattie

Recently, I read an article about the aging population, specifically, those who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and the burden placed on families, society, and health care.  As always, I looked at reader reactions. A man said he’s saving for the likelihood of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, long-term care in a facility, so his children won’t have to bear the responsibility. I agree with the person who said she’d take her own life if diagnosed with a mind-robbing, progressive condition. You know, go while the going is good.

We, the Sisterhood, Laura, Erma, and I, discuss end times. Our own.

I have it on the best authority that I am not depressed. (more…)

Spoiler Alert

November 21, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Missy Beattie

Reality Is No Stranger to Fiction

by Missy Beattie

Laura and Erma had a solution for my anxiety. “We’re calling a moratorium on reading news articles after dinner. Start The Walking Dead.”

Pillow-propped in bed, I’ve watched the series on my laptop, via Netflix.

In two frenzied installments, I zipped through Season 1, saying, “Just a little more,” and I’d click another episode as soon as the previous ended, seduced by each cliffhanger ending. I finished Season 2 and then 3, ahead of Laura and Erma.

I had a couple of panic attack symptoms, racing heart for one, and had to talk myself down with, “This isn’t real.” I was without discretion. Because this horror story is frightfully entertaining. Plus, it is plump with metaphors. If you’ve seen The Walking Dead, now in its 4th season, you know this — all those existential questions of morality. (more…)

Suspending Disbelief

November 06, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson

‘God Made Me an Atheist…’

by David Swanson

Peter Boghossian’s A Manual for Creating Atheists is a curious and ultimately very valuable book.

It’s curious because it doesn’t make much of a case — or at least not the sort of case I would have liked — for why we should create atheists.

It’s valuable because, if you believe we’d be better off with more atheists, this is a remarkable tool for accomplishing that goal.

I don’t view sloppy thinking as a great evil in itself.  It doesn’t offend me the way hunger and lack of medicine and Hellfire missiles offend me.  So, I look for the argument — which I think can be made — that sloppy thinking has serious results, or that belief in a god leads to a lack of responsibility, or that belief in eternal life diminishes efforts to improve real lives.  This book does not focus on those arguments.

Boghossian points to abstinence-only sex-ed, bans on same-sex marriage, teaching Creationism, corporal punishment in schools, and other offenses in the United States, as well as pointing to various more-severe abuses by the Taliban, as the undesirable results of theism.  But, with the possible exception of Creationism, these things could continue without theism or be ended while maintaining theism. (more…)

The Needs of Others

July 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Family, Missy Beattie

What We Get in Exchange for Having to Die

by Missy Beattie

I ran out of my kingdom this morning, past businesses and houses with flowering lawns. Hearing music, I felt that ancient call of divinity and watched a perfect American family (wife, husband, son, and daughter) enter a place of worship, a sanctuary for some, a Sunday morning coming down or comeuppance for others, and usually, for me, real estate seldom noticed. I wondered what my mother would say, that quick-witted little woman who made pronouncements about proper church attire, if I heeded the sound of music and wandered in, wearing New Balance and spandex.

I ran on, continuing to think about my mother. The choice she made to stop medical screenings after Daddy died. Her decision to starve rather than endure weekly blood transfusions. I was at home in Kentucky during her last days.

As I write, sister Laura’s on her way to Kentucky. I haven’t been there since Mother died. I don’t know why I can’t go. I tell my siblings we should gather somewhere. (more…)

Letting Murderers Go Free

May 22, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Laura L. Finley, Politics

Take Action to Help End the Death Penalty

by Laura L. Finley

Breaking News: In Florida, a murderer has made public his plans to kill three individuals in the next six weeks. If all goes according to his plan, Elmer Carroll will die on May 29th, William Van Poyk will die on June 12th, and Marshal Gore will die on June 24th. And what is more, this murderer has admitted that he has killed before; in fact, he killed three people in 2012 alone.  Clearly this man is a serial killer who has killed and plans to keep doing so.

If this perpetrator were an average person like us, these highly publicized murder plans would be the subject of mass public outrage and the focus of tremendous law enforcement attention. A manhunt would be under way to catch the “evildoer.” Once apprehended, prosecutors would spare nothing to win the case and see this bloodthirsty felon held accountable for his crimes.

But, of course, the perpetrator is not like us. He is Florida Governor Rick Scott, and he has vowed to deplete Florida’s death row as quickly as possible. (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…)