New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Rationality Shutdown

October 11, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Economy, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Power Flows with Daunting Slowness…

by Robert C. Koehler

In an agony of stupidity, the government shuts down.

Only some of it shuts down, of course. The part that stays open is the part that’s at war. “Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status,” the President said. “The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency. Ongoing military operations, like our efforts in Afghanistan, will continue.”

As I once observed, there’s no such thing as a relaxed nation. It can shut down what it does right, if clumsily, like feeding people, educating them and helping them through difficulty, but it will only shut down its predatory sense of identity in a state of total defeat by a bigger predator. Not letting that happen is its endless obsession. (more…)

Object Permanence

September 02, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Missy Beattie, Politics

Inured to the Propaganda?

by Missy Beattie

The Empire marches on. Next stop and drop, Syria. Accomplishing missions.

The top stories on Google News this morning (Monday) are chemical weapons in Syria and Miley Cyrus’s gyrations and crotch grabbing as she performed “We Can’t Stop.” We. Can’t. Stop.

We can’t stop is the order of the day from the commander in chief whose weapon of choice is a drone. And while polling indicates most Americans oppose US military involvement in Syria, they support intervention if there’s proof of chemical weapons use. I’ve read the comment sections beneath mainstream articles to take the nation’s pulse and those chemicals are “game changers”. On and on it goes with WMD propaganda. We can’t stop till we get enough. Never enough.

I’m seeing dead people.

I’m seeing the war profiteers direct their maids to dial down the thermostats as the planet boils, dial up during the bitterly cold winter that’s predicted, unconcerned about climate change, oblivious to the poor and middle class. I’m seeing them limo their way to board a private plane to paradise while there’s still some sand left on beachfront property. (more…)

Cognitive Assonance

June 20, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

Congratulations! You’re Being Watched

by Randall Amster

With revelations (yet again) that we are all essentially being watched virtually all the time, we might expect a popular backlash against such a massive and unprecedented intrusion on privacy. Americans may differ on a plethora of political issues, but there’s a common wisdom suggesting broad agreement on core principles such as individual liberty. Alas, widespread pushback against a total surveillance society seems unlikely to emerge, and having the full scope of such a program become publicly known may only increase its acceptability.

Modern America is built on the ethos of the “reality show” — and people want to be watched. (more…)

Anti-War Blockbuster

June 04, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson, Politics

An Antidote to the Dominance of Pro-War Films

by David Swanson

There’s no end to the pro-war movies we’re subjected to: countless celebrations of bombs, guns, and torture.  They come in the form of cartoons, science fiction, historical fiction, dramas, and reenactments pre-censored by the CIA.  Movies show us the excitement without the suffering.  War in our theaters resembles almost anything else more than it resembles war.

Journalists appear in our movies too, usually as comic figures, talking-head air-heads, numskulls, and sycophants.  In this case, the depiction is much more accurate, at least of much of what passes for journalism.

But, starting in June, a remarkable anti-war/pro-journalism film will be showing — even more remarkably — in big mainstream movie theaters.  Dirty Wars (I’ve read the book and seen the movie and highly recommend both) may be one of the best educational outreach opportunities the peace movement has had in a long time.  The film, starring Jeremy Scahill, is about secretive aspects of U.S. wars: imprisonment, torture, night raids, drone kills. (more…)

Facing the Prison Problem

May 31, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Angola 3 News, Family, Politics

An Interview with Author and Former Prisoner Shawn Griffith

by Angola 3 News

If given the attention it deserves, an important new book is certain to make significant contributions to the public discussions of US Facing The Prison Problemprison policy. The author, Shawn Griffith, was released last year from Florida’s prison system at the age of 41, after spending most of his life, almost 24 years, behind bars, including seven in solitary confinement. Facing the US Prison Problem 2.3 Million Strong: An Ex-Con’s View of the Mistakes and the Solution was self-published just months after Griffith was released from what is the third largest state prison system in the US, after California and Texas.

This new book’s thoughtful analysis and chilling reflections on what author Shawn Griffith experienced while incarcerated is a remarkable illustration of why the US public must listen to the voices of current and former prisoners who have stories that only they can tell. Griffith writes that “by integrating my own personal experiences with statistics and examples from different corrections systems around the nation, I am attempting to discredit the general perception that the system is designed to enforce and protect justice for everyone. The U.S. criminal justice system is an economically and politically profitable enterprise for special interest groups in this country. The general taxpayer needs to understand how the abusive policies fostered by these groups worsen the U.S. prison problem and the debt crisis through wasted corrections expenditures.” (more…)

Hit and Stay

May 16, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Politics

New Movie Spotlights History of Nonviolent Activism

by David Swanson

The CIA has been so busy consulting on Zero Dark Thirty, not to mention funding Hamid Karzai, bribing Russians, lying about weapons, and conducting humanitarian drone murders, that it didn’t have any time at all to help out with Hit and Stay, and yet arguably the latter turned out to be the better film despite such a severe handicap.  You can check it out at http://hitandstay.com

This is a film about people taking risks to prevent killing rather than to engage in it.  The focus is on the Catonsville Nine action on May 17, 1968, 45 years ago this Friday.  That action, in which activists burned draft cards and apologized for burning papers rather than children, was preceded by the Baltimore Four action of October 27, 1967, in which four activists poured their blood on draft papers.  It was followed by countless other actions, leading right up to the Transform Plowshares action in Tennessee for which three are currently awaiting sentencing. (more…)

Organize Some More

May 15, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Angola 3 News, Current Events, Politics

Russell Shoatz Files Lawsuit Against Long-Term Solitary Confinement

by Angola 3 News

Last week, on Wednesday, May 8, lawyers for Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz filed a federal lawsuit regarding his placement in solitary confinement for over 22 consecutive years. The written complaint, directed at Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary now clockJohn Wetzel and the Superintendents of SCI-Greene, where Shoatz was last held, and SCI-Mahanoy, where he was transferred to on March 28, 2013, states that this “is an action for injunctive, declaratory and monetary relief for violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.”

Last month, when a 30-day action campaign was launched calling for Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz’s immediate release from solitary confinement, the campaign promised to file this litigation if Maroon had not been transferred into general population by the morning of May 8. On Thursday, May 9 the lawsuit was announced at a press conference was held in Pittsburgh, outside the City-County Building. (more…)