New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Piece of Mind

October 23, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Missy Beattie

Reflections on Disturbance, Disorder, and Daily Coping

by Missy Beattie

My name’s Missy and I’m a piñata of anxieties. This is what I’d say if I were in a support group.

Yes, I’m thinking still of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. Over the weekend, I received an email from Hans at Angola 3 News. He’d read my article about Wallace and Woodfox. When I checked Tuesday’s email, I had another from him with photos from Wallace’s memorial and a link to this site. Among the images is a picture of a mural and banner on a bike path, a bike path just a few blocks from my apartment. Mid-morning, I ran in place in front of the banner, staring at these words: HERMAN WALLACE R.I.P. FREE ALBERT WOODFOX.

Last week, I sat in my doctor’s office and told her about Wallace and Woodfox. Wallace’s words in the hours before he died, “I am free, I am free.” Told her Woodfox was allowed to say goodbye to Wallace, who was freed by a federal judge, but then Woodfox was returned to solitary confinement. Has been in solitary confinement for 41 years. In other words, tortured. (more…)

Beacon of Shame

August 07, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Missy Beattie, Politics

Coping with Injustice in the ‘Land of Liberty’

by Missy Beattie

Warning: My circuits are overloaded, breakers tripping. There will be interruptions in the flow of this piece…

I ran. I ran and saw in the distance a child with a prosthetic leg — metal from her knee to her shoe. As I neared, I could see that the area above the bend was also artificial. I felt bad, passing her, my legs moving without an ache or pain. And I thought of war, the children whose limbs have been blown useless or off by US imperialism.

Home, I checked Google News. The top item — Anthony Wiener, his aide, and her apology for calling a former campaign intern a slut and a bitch.

Tripping backward to the other day: I was online, awaiting the Bradley Manning verdict. (His commander-in-chief declared him guilty before he was charged.) After hearing the verdict, I listened to Jeremy Scahill rip the mainstream media for lite coverage. Scahill said the couple that crashed the state dinner at the White House received more MSM attention than the court martial of Bradley Manning. (more…)

World Peace Breaks Out!

April 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

What’s So Funny About It, Anyway?

from Wireless Services

(AI) — Amid rising tensions and escalating violence, well, everywhere, the Union of Global Hegemons (UGH) announced today that a deal has been reached in principle to abolish war and deploy the vast resources consumed by it for the purpose of establishing world peace.

“We used to talk about providing ‘guns and butter’ as part of our plan for world domination,” said UGH spokesperson Hugh Mennism, “but now we’ll be melting it all down in short order. So everyone will get a World Peace souvenir commemorative key chain, and a tub of delectable non-GMO popcorn to boot!”

The announcement was met with mixed reaction around the world. The entity formerly known as NATO released a statement calling the peace plan “unproductive and naive,” and warned against the pitfalls of appeasement. “We must continue to fight among ourselves in order to win,” the statement read. “To do otherwise is to capitulate to the forces of compassion that have caused the dangerous predicament in which we find ourselves today.” (more…)

Catching the Drift

February 06, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Ecology, Randall Amster

Can We Avoid Getting Swept Up in the Winds of Disenchantment?

by Randall Amster

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the news cycle, as if it actually represents reality and merits our continuous attention. But it’s largely a “bad news” cycle that we’re talking about, and in consuming
it one can hardly avoid the conclusion that “the sky is falling” — a notion that’s coupled with a hegemonic “unless” that asserts “the end” can be averted only through more devices of the war-austerity-exploitation sort. Simply put, the mainstream media cultivates a dualistic ethos of despair/fear and resignation/capitulation that is difficult to resist, and yet is one that must be resisted if we are to retain the capacity to imagine a better world and work toward its realization.

I struggle with this dilemma on a daily basis. To unplug from the incessant negativism of the news crawl is to fall “out of the loop” in short order and to be lost in the myriad conversations of our lives that devolve upon “hot topic” and “currently trending” references. It also makes it difficult to comment on said news in order to offer analysis, critique, or even points of reference that will resonate for readers outside the avowed Luddites in our midst. Thus, in order to be relevant, it seems as if we need to be at least conversant with the “devil’s in the details” quality that makes up the news of the day. (more…)

In with the New…

January 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Current Events

Reflections on Two Years (and Counting) of New Clear Vision

With the passage of another year, we are provided with an opportunity to reflect on what was and project toward what might be. Undoubtedly, for most of the planet’s inhabitants, 2012 will be remembered as a year where the stakes got higher and the cause for alarm grew louder.

Around the world, we are seeing mass movements for change, yet also mass complacency as the issues before us grow more complex and the elite decision-makers more remote in their processes and politics.

Here at New Clear Vision, we try to help make sense of these tidings by bringing forth incisive analysis of the news of the day, all wrapped with our usual penchant for highlighting solution-oriented perspectives and cultivating a sense of grounded optimism for the future. We are under no illusions that the road ahead will be easy, nor that hopefulness alone will somehow turn things around. Rather, we take the view that positive change is more likely to occur when people are motivated toward something instead of being in retreat or apathy. (more…)

Joel Olson, 1967-2012

March 30, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Joel Olson, Politics

Mourning the Loss of a Colleague, Comrade, and Friend

We are deeply saddened by the loss of esteemed activist, writer, scholar, and NCV Contributor Joel Olson, who passed away while on sabbatical in Europe.

Joel was Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he specialized in political theory. A noted expert on racial politics and extremist ideologies, he was the author of The Abolition of White Democracy (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) as well as numerous articles and reviews. Joel was working on a second book, entitled American Zealot: Fanaticism and Democracy in the United States, at the time of his death.

During the 1990s Joel was involved with the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation and later went on to form Bring the Ruckus! He was a well-known figure in the anti-racist and pro-immigrant movements in Arizona, working with grassroots groups including Copwatch and the Repeal Coalition. (more…)

From Terrorism to Nonviolence

January 18, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

An ex-Weather Underground Radical on the Tucson Shootings

by Mark Rudd

In 1970, when I was 22 years old — the same age as Tucson gunman Jared Loughner — I was a founder of the Weather Underground, an offshoot of the antiwar group Students for a Democratic Society. At that time, having fashioned myself “an agent of necessity,” I was willing to kill or be killed for some romantic notion of “the revolution.” So it’s not that difficult for me to imagine what might have been in the mind of someone like Loughner, who perhaps acted (as I did) in the misguided belief that it was up to him to do what needed to be done.

By the winter of 1970, the members of the Weather Underground had gone over the edge. A small group of us in New York City, charged with “taking the struggle to a higher level,” was planning a bombing at Fort Dix, New Jersey, which was then an army basic training center. Three pipe bombs filled with dynamite and larded with nails were to be left at a noncommissioned officers’ dance to remind our fellow Americans of the millions of tons of bombs our country had been dropping on the Vietnamese for five straight years. (more…)