New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Unarmed Empowerment

January 11, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Robert C. Koehler

Establishing a New Consciousness About Gun Violence

by Robert C. Koehler

“But my instinct was that if someone is shooting at you, it is generally better to shoot back than to cower and pray.”

This is the hidden argument for guns as America’s primary peacekeepers — that the debate comes down to gun ownership vs. helplessness.

Jeffrey Goldberg’s 7,000-word essay, “The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control),” which ran in the December issue of The Atlantic — just prior to the Newtown killings — came down, for me, to the above sentence.

He made a number of quasi-reasonable points, the main one being that there are 300 million guns in America right now and it’s simply too late for gun control to be effective: “Only the naive think that legislation will prevent more than a modest number of the criminally minded, and the mentally deranged, from acquiring a gun in a country absolutely inundated with weapons.” (more…)

Saying ‘No’ to Militarism

February 24, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Rejecting the Pervasive Culture of War

by Robert C. Koehler

No mail on Saturday, maybe, but small-town police get armored personnel carriers?

Let’s take a moment — in the context of these bitter times, and President Obama’s recent austerity budget proposal — to celebrate the questions the residents of Keene, N.H., are asking their city council about the kind of world we’re creating.

First of all, the grotesque insult of “austerity” in the shadow of limitless military spending is destroying our national sanity. And the proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, mental health services, environmental cleanup, National Parks programs and even, yeah, Saturday mail delivery are miniscule compared to the unmet social needs we haven’t yet begun to address in this country, in education, renewable energy and so much more. But we’re spending with reckless abandon to arm ourselves and our allies and provoke our enemies, and sometimes arm them as well, creating the sort of world no one (almost no one) wants: a world of endless war. (more…)

Government for Whom?

December 20, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Politics, Robert Reich

Taking Money Out of Politics and Restoring the ‘Public Option’ of Democracy

by Robert Reich

The defining political issue of 2012 won’t be the government’s size. It will be who government is for.

Americans have never much liked government. After all, the nation was conceived in a revolution against government.

But the surge of cynicism now engulfing America isn’t about government’s size. The cynicism comes from a growing perception that government isn’t working for average people. It’s for big business, Wall Street, and the very rich instead.

In a recent Pew Foundation poll, 77 percent of respondents said too much power is in the hands of a few rich people and corporations. (more…)

The Weapons-Free Dividend

August 11, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Lawrence Wittner, Politics

How to Save a Quarter Trillion Dollars

by Lawrence Wittner

In the midst of the current stampede to slash federal spending, Congress might want to take a look at two unnecessary (and dangerous) “national security” programs that, if cut, would save the U.S. over a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade.

The first of these is the Obama administration’s plan to spend at least $185 billion in the next ten years to “modernize” the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons arsenal.  At present, the U.S. government possesses approximately 8,500 nuclear warheads, and it is hard to imagine that this country would be safer from attack if it built more nuclear weapons or “improved” those it already possesses.

Indeed, President Barack Obama has declared — both on the 2008 campaign trail and as president — that he is committed to building a world without nuclear weapons. (more…)