New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Bon Appétit

October 09, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Pat LaMarche, Politics

Food Service Workers Without Healthcare

by Pat LaMarche

This week — in the midst of the government shut down over the Affordable Care Act — the New York Times ran a number of graphs and tables that explained where the poor and those lacking health insurance live and work.

Now if you don’t like math or if you intend to eat out tonight, you might not want to read any further.

See, it turns out that cooks and waiters/waitresses make up 33% of the uninsured. That doesn’t mean that 33% of them are uninsured, it means that they make up 33% of the 48 million uninsured in the nation. Cashiers are another 19%. That means that more than half the uninsured in our nation are those people that probably just handled your food.

So now let’s draw on that high school math you learned. Remember studying exponential growth and graphing a resulting number based on what we multiplied and added to a beginning number? We used the X and Y axes to represent these points. If your head’s starting to hurt, stop thinking of numbers and picture a beautiful sky with a sliver of a moon. That moon shape is kind of what this graph will look like. It’s starts out slowly moving to the right and then sweeps upward rather quickly. (more…)

Walking Revolution

April 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Jay Walljasper

A Path to Health and Wellbeing Is Right Under Our Feet

by Jay Walljasper

The next big healthcare breakthrough — which could cut rates of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s by at least 40 percent and save Americans $100 billion a year — comes from a place you’d least expect. On your block. At the park. Everywhere.

So what’s this amazing treatment, which also happens to be easy, enjoyable and virtually free? It’s as simple as taking a walk.

“Walking is like medicine for my patients,” says Dr. Bob Sallis — a Kaiser Permanente family practitioner from Fontana, California—describing the connection between how much time his patients spend walking and their overall health. “If walking was a pill or surgical procedure, it would be on 60 Minutes.”

“Being physically active is one of the most important things people of all ages can do for their health,” explains Joan Dorn of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She notes that walking ranks #1 as Americans’ favorite physical activity, and that doing it for as little as 30 minutes is one way to achieve significant health benefits. (more…)

Assisted Humanity

April 18, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Guest Author

End of Life Doesn’t Have to be Drawn-Out and Meaningless

by Curtis Johnson

I’m spending my final days among the Monarch butterflies in Pacific Grove, CA. Their life cycle dictates that they will die here in February. They have no choice. I too will die soon.  For I have rapidly progressing ALS.  There is no cure in sight and it is 100% fatal. Yet, unlike the Monarchs, I have a legal choice as to the timing of my death, at least in the state of Washington.  That choice, however, is seriously compromised in my case.

That I have a qualified choice at all is because a few years ago compassionate, progressive liberal and libertarian voters in this state approved an initiative allowing for assisted suicide, or Death with Dignity (DWD) for individuals with terminal illnesses.  Problem is, the level of assistance is minimal. It has to be self-administered. So ‘assisted’ is a misnomer.  It renders the law completely useless for those who most need it.

In those few states, neighboring Oregon being one of them, statistics show the annual exercise of DWD to be in the low single digits.  Most people with terminal illnesses don’t consider it out of ignorance or for religious reasons. (more…)

Cheney Gets Heart

March 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Pat LaMarche, Politics

But Too Late for Those Suffering in Iraq, and the U.S.?

by Pat LaMarche

Dick Cheney has once again beaten the odds. He’s one of very few heart transplant recipients over the age of seventy. And he’ll need his luck to continue because older patients don’t do as well post-surgery as younger folks do. It’d be a real shame if he got to use this heart even less than he used his last one.

Timing is everything. And the irony of Cheney’s heart transplant — missing the ninth anniversary of the Iraq War by only a few days — should remind us of the hearts stopped by his “shock and awe” policy in that country. An undisputed architect of the War in Iraq, he and the other hawks of the George W. Bush administration presided over the senseless killing of tens of thousands of innocents who did the U.S. no harm.

The New York Times reports that the Cheney family is grateful to the donor as well as the doctors and staff at George Washington University Hospital. Cheney and his family are no doubt appreciative that his life was saved regardless of his limited odds and advanced years. How fortunate for them that the decision was made to give him that donor’s heart. (more…)