New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Finding Hope in Heartbreak

June 08, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Wisdom and Understanding Are the Keys to Our Survival

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

There has been a steady beat of heart-breaking news lately from various fronts.  Did you hear that the flame retardants required by law to be sprayed on American sofas are highly toxic chemicals that continue to break down in your living room? And those sofas, by the way, if they’re the nice wood-framed ones from Ikea, are being made from irreplaceable 600-year-old trees.  When you lie on your sofa to breast-feed your baby, you’re getting a whopping dose of PCB-type chemicals, and your infant is too, since toxic chemicals pass right into breast milk.

Or maybe you caught the long article in the New York Times the other day about American zoos becoming Arks for modern-day Noahs, who have to choose which species to try to preserve and which to let go into extinction. (more…)

Ultrasounds

March 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Michael N. Nagler, Politics

Morality Is Too Important to Be Left to Politicians

by Michael N. Nagler

Coming as it did in time for International Women’s Day, the decision of legislators in Virginia, to require women seeking an abortion to undergo a vaginal probe and see ultrasound images of their unborn infants has aroused considerable outrage.  And controversy.

Some (mostly Democrats) see it as an invasion of women’s privacy, if not technically a kind of rape, while others (mostly Republicans) say, with the conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, “This law is a victory for women and their unborn children. We thank Gov. McDonnell and Virginia’s pro-life legislators for their work to ensure that women have all the facts and will no longer be kept in the dark about their pregnancies.”

I have a modest proposal that would resolve the issue.  (more…)

Love, or Peace?

March 06, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Family, Jan Lundberg

Reintegrating Humanity and All Living Things

by Jan Lundberg

Modern society has adopted romantic love as an individualistic virtue, dating back to the European age of Chivalry and its literature. As chaos and insecurity mounted in the 20th century, “love” became for many the main desired goal. When asked, those left in “peace” would say “peace would be nice too.” As peace retreated in the last 100 years, love seemed more popular.

What is love? It is a large concept, going beyond romantic love to love of family, friends, pets, music, anything — including a philosophy of loving love. Then there’s loving the planet and wanting to protect it, perhaps by honoring the goddess of the Earth (Gaia, Pachamama, Mother Earth, to give a few of her names).

However, wanting to obtain “love” or more love in one’s life, from a physical lover who also is supportive, is so common that it’s the prevalent idea of love. It is often a self-centered goal. Let’s say finding this romantic love is successful. One then wants “everlasting love” and thus a form of security. But how can “real love” be maintained if there is no peace? (more…)

All That We Are…

March 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Annie Leonard Discusses the Influence and Importance of the Commons

by Jay Walljasper

Annie Leonard is one of the most articulate, effective champions of the commons today. Her webfilm The Story of Stuff has been seen more than 15 million times by viewers. She also adapted it into a book.

Drawing on her experience investigating and organizing on environmental health and justice issues in more than 40 countries, Leonard says she’s “made it her life’s calling to blow the whistle on important issues plaguing our world.”

She deploys hard facts, common sense, witty animation and an engaging “everywoman” role as narrator to probe complex problems such as the high costs of consumerism, the influence of corporate money in our democracy, and government budget priorities.

In 2008, she founded the Story of Stuff Project, to help people get involved in making the decisions that affect their future and to create new webfilms on critical issues such as The Story of Citizens United and The Story of Bottled Water. Her most recent film, The Story of Broke, provides a riveting rebuttal to claims that America can no longer afford health and social protections. (more…)

Toward a New Dream

February 29, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Politics, Winslow Myers

Overcoming the Trance of Separation

by Winslow Myers

The biggest challenges we face all have their root cause in an artificial separation — between nations, races, religions, classes, between political parties, between humans and the living ecosystem upon which we depend for life — even between our heads and @ taosinstitute.nethearts. Such apparent separations represent a kind of global neurosis for which one antidote is what Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing” — the recognition of our deep interdependence.

The paradigm of separation narrows the possibilities of international relations down to a few false choices between appeasement and destructive competition. Iran, ignoring the difficult circumstances that brought Israel to birth, asserts that a Zionist nation has no right to exist. Israel understandably sees Iran as an existential threat. Both the U.S. and Israel are considering preemptive war. Whether the Iranians build nuclear weapons or not, it would hardly be unexpected for them to give it some thought, seeing as the U.S. and Israel between them possess thousands. Meanwhile Iran’s threat to close the Straits of Hormuz if they are attacked confirms their distance from “interbeing.” They would only shoot themselves in the foot by reducing the flow of their own oil to China. (more…)

Five Reasons to Serve

January 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Economy, Nipun Mehta

What Doing for Others Does for Ourselves

by Nipun Mehta

At the height of the dot-com boom in 1999, a few tech-savvy friends and I walked into a homeless shelter to give without any strings attached. Our motivation?  We just wanted to serve, and quickly discovered that such a practice of selfless giving is something that we all have access to, no matter who we are or what we do.

Our trip to the homeless shelter led to us building a website for them at no charge. That experiment in giving blossomed into an organization called ServiceSpace, which went on to develop and gift websites to thousands of small nonprofits. But the ripples didn’t stop there. ServiceSpace has now evolved into a remarkable incubator for dozens of projects, including an online good news portal, “Smile Cards” that spread kindness, and a gift-economy restaurant in Berkeley and rickshaw in India — all touching millions of people. (more…)

The Fate of Peace

November 11, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Politics, Winslow Myers

From Social Psychosis to Collective Sanity

by Winslow Myers

We know from the sad experience of Nazi Germany or Khmer Rouge Cambodia that it is possible for whole nations to become mentally ill, with horrendous consequences. At the time, however, the Nazis or the Khmers had no idea that they were deeply out of touch with the reality that all people are equally worthy of respect and care.

The population of the earth recently surpassed 7 billion. As we move further into the condition of global village-hood, it becomes more important than ever to assess our shared mental health. (more…)