New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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World Social Justice Day

February 20, 2014 By: NCVeditor Category: Brian J. Trautman, Politics

A Reminder of Our Moral and Civic Responsibility

by Brian J. Trautman

In one of his most famous writings, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said of injustice, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” In other words, the very existence of injustice has implications for us all. Thus, we each have a responsibility to actively challenge unjust power structures wherever they should surface. According to the United Nations, “the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have never been more relevant than they are today.” Structural injustices are pervasive in the United States, perhaps more than in any other Western industrialized nation. They include record levels of economic inequality and mass incarceration and attempts to slash entitlement programs, restrict women’s reproductive rights, and erode voting rights. Globally, injustice exists more frequently in other forms, such as poverty, hunger, worker exploitation, sex trafficking, resource privatization, and severe restrictions on women’s and gay rights. In every corner of the world people’s rights and dignity are under constant assault by different forces. (more…)

A Christmas Story

December 20, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Family, Pat LaMarche

What Would Mary Do?

by Pat LaMarche

The Black Friday numbers came in a week or so ago. Shopping’s down, spending’s down and the per capita expenditures are down. Retail spin-doctors cite a whole host of reasons the numbers might be headed south. Nestled in among the, “Gee Virginia, don’t depend on Santa Claus,” rallying cries is the supposition that it might just be because — according to the National Retail Federation — “consumers report they expect to have tight budgets this year, despite a recovering economy.”

Tight budgets? I’ll say.

An April 2013, My Budget 360 report entitled, “US Household income continues to fall in midst of recovery,” states that over the past five years or “since the recession started, household income is down 7.3 percent.” And the cost of living over the same period went up about the same. Heck, according to Bloomberg News, the cost of living went up 2.3 percentin 2012 alone. So as resources get ever dearer and purchases outstrip consumers’ grasp, it’s likely more and more people in the United States will find it difficult to play Santa at all this year. (more…)

Buy Nothing Day

November 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Guest Author

Examining the Issue of Over-Consumption

from Wikipedia

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. In North America, Buy Nothing Day is held the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving (November 29, 2013; November 28, 2014; November 27, 2015); elsewhere, it is held the following day, which is the last Saturday in November. Buy Nothing Day was founded in Vancouver by artist Ted Dave and subsequently promoted by Adbusters magazine, based in Canada.

The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Canada in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called “Black Friday,” which is one of the ten busiest shopping days in the United States. In 2000, advertisements by Adbusters promoting Buy Nothing Day were denied advertising time by almost all major television networks except for CNN. Soon, campaigns started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria,Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway. Participation now includes more than 65 nations. (more…)

No Glory in War

November 11, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Guest Author, Politics

Reflections on the Day from a Veteran

by Andrew Larkin

I am a veteran — of the Vietnam era, as are my friends and my brothers.  My father, uncles, and an aunt were veterans of World War II.  A great uncle was stationed on a battleship during World War I.  A great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, an immigrant in an Illinois regiment who suffered the rest of his life from his bullet wound.

Veterans Day on November 11 was formerly Armistice Day, celebrating the end of the Great War.  But it has turned from a celebration of peace to a celebration of the false glory of war.

War damages everything associated with it, not only the sailors and soldiers but the civilians including the children, not only the body but the mind and the spirit.  Glorification of war becomes support for more war, for accepting the easy violence of war instead of the difficult peaceful resolution of human problems. (more…)

Tales from the Vault

October 31, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Matt Meyer, Politics

Occupy Halloween

by Matt Meyer

{Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on New Clear Vision in October 2011.}

For everyone who wants to support the inspiring and growing “Occupy Wall Street,” “Occupy Together,” and “Occupy the Hood” movements but is feeling too busy, too scared, too overwhelmed, too young or too old (even too middle-aged!), too tired, too cautious, too far away from the center of the action, too involved with work or parenting or just trying to survive; for everyone: a simple suggestion…

THIS HALLOWEEN, WEAR A “V” MASK

For Victory & Peace, For Vigilance Against Injustice, For a Vision of a New & Better Tomorrow. (more…)

Addicted to War

June 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Erin Niemela, Politics

Time for an American Awakening

by Erin Niemela

The recent NSA revelations of widespread surveillance on American citizens should be cause for intense protest.  Surely it will be, as a day of nationwide mass action to restore the Fourth Amendment has been planned for the fourth of July. But any awake American can see that PRISM is only one sock on a long line of dirty laundry. The list of U.S. government abuses and failures to protect stretches far and wide, an alphabet soup of depravity: PRISM, NDAA, CISPA, SOPA, Patriot Act, the Monsanto Protection Act, drones, secret kill lists, Guantanamo Bay, DNA tests, Abu Ghraib, Afghan Massacre, Keystone, Tar Sands, Hanford. I’m certain you’ll think of more.

While PRISM and the rest of the gang are individually sordid, when combined they are the track marks of a far more pervasive, widespread, life-wasting problem. One that has systematically attacked not just the Fourth Amendment, but also the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and 10th. No matter how hard we advocate for the Fourth Amendment now, others will fall so long as this substance burns through the veins of the Republic. (more…)

Memorializations

May 27, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Randall Amster

Keeping War Between Iraq and a Hard Place

by Randall Amster

It has to be difficult these days being a purveyor of militarism and saber-rattling warmongering. Oh sure, the pay is still good and the work looks steady for the foreseeable future — plus the perquisites of power seem relatively intact. But the shine has definitely come off the enterprise, leaving one to wonder what will become of the true diehards who are too slow and stodgy to change with the coming global tide.

At least since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, there has been a notable diminution of the appetite for war, at least among “the people” if not yet those ostensibly in power to represent said people. From the tragic absurdity of WMD and “Mission Accomplished” to the calamitous realities of Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, the Iraq War has finally given the lie to the already-tattered mythos of the “good war.” (more…)