New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Good Guys Without Guns

January 14, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Erin Niemela, Family, Politics

Letter of Termination to the Second Amendment

by Erin Niemela

Dear Second Amendment,

I write this letter with compassion and empathy, because what I’m about to say may hurt your feelings. We’ve had a good run — I remember shooting beer cans off my neighbor’s porch like it was yesterday. I remember the bad times, too — weapons procured in your name have caused untold tragedies. We’ve had a long, turbulent history, so there’s no reason to delay the inevitable.  Second Amendment, you’re fired. Your services are no longer necessary. You’re just too old to do the job you were originally meant to do. Antique, ancient, out-of-date, passé, out-moded, a relic, old.

Aging isn’t really the issue here. Age normally comes with distinction, wisdom, guidance and worldly understanding, all of which should be eternally appreciated by youth worldwide. The issue is that you and your comrades at the National Rifle Association tried to pass off a “good guy with a gun” speech as the result of such wisdom. With all due respect, the only people gesticulating in fervor to a speech like that are my son and his “Yo Gabba Gabba!”-loving, 5-year-old friends. (more…)

Incompatible Aristocracy

December 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Economy, Politics

The Rich Don’t Always Win…

by David Swanson

Many of us have heard the current period referred to as a second gilded age.  Or we’ve seen the current inequality in wealth in the United States compared to that of 1929.  But we have not all given sufficient thought to what ended the first gilded age, what created greater equality, what created the reality behind that category our politicians now endlessly pretend we are all in: the middle class.  We have a sense of what went wrong at the turn of each century, but what went right in between?

This is the theme of Sam Pizzigati’s new book, The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy That Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970.  I take away three primary answers short enough to include in a brief summary. First, we taxed the riches right out from under the rich people.  Second, we empowered labor unions.  And third — and this one came first chronologically as well as logically — we developed a culture that saw it as absolutely necessary for the greater good that the rich be made poorer. (more…)

Beyond Argumentative Activism

October 05, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Are Progressives Barking Up the Wrong Tree for Social Justice?

by Jan Lundberg

The Occupy movement refreshingly broke through the corporate media’s suppression of the gaping gap between the wealth of the super rich and the rest of us. But many of the movement’s adherents seem wedded to misguided expectations, or their route is questionable. For when we mainly demand “a piece of the pie,” and it’s the same old toxic pie, does this really advance the fundamental changes needed for a just, sustainable society?

Probably not, even if we stand for totally turning around today’s warped federal spending priorities.

Moreover, meeting social justice aims would not necessarily result in an ecologically conscious culture, as argued by many social justice activists who rarely address resource limits, climate change, or the system of wage slavery. (more…)

Power of Women

August 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Economy, Politics

Having It All By Having Choices…

by Diane Lefer

When you walk into a room and fewer than 50% of the people there are women, “it should look peculiar,” said Madeline Di Nonno, executive director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “and it doesn’t.”

Marianne Williamson, in her lead-up to the upcoming November conference SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics, points out that woman make up only 16.8% of our elected representatives in Congress — a figure very close to the 17% cited by Di Nonno as the percentage of female characters we see “in the environment” in film and on TV. What’s going on here and how do we change it?

Last week, the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board observed Women’s Equality Day with Understanding Our Power, a roundtable discussion moderated by Dianne Callister, academic, theologian, and director of foundations that benefit children and mothers around the world. Di Nonno brought her expertise in media; attorney Angela Reddock spoke from her experience in labor and employment law and city politics while licensed clinical social worker Judi Miller Levy based her remarks on extensive work in the field of domestic and sexual violence. In spite of the power women clearly have and 92 years after we won the right to vote, the speakers considered why, in Di Nonno’s words, “women have stalled out.” (more…)

Art as Murder?

August 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Current Events, Michael N. Nagler

Creating a Sane Culture, One Mind at a Time

by Michael N. Nagler

“The only thing that you can control, and you must therefore control, is the imagery in your own mind.” — Epictetus

Until today I didn’t even know there was such a thing as white supremacist music.  Wade Michael Page knew; the “domestic terrorist” who killed six people at the Oak Creek Sikh temple in Wisconsin a week ago Sunday had played in a neo-Nazi band called “Definite Hate” and started one called “End Apathy” in 2005. So Page, when you think of it, has something in common with his immediate predecessor in mass murder, James Holmes, who perpetrated the Aurora, CO shooting two weeks earlier.  Despite their differences, in his case also a form of contemporary “art,” namely the Batman film, played some role in the buildup to his murderous violence. (more…)

Bigger, Not Better

August 23, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Evaggelos Vallianatos

Large Farms Are the Emperors of Rural America

by Evaggelos Vallianatos

Large farmers, with farms thousands of acres in size, have tremendous power.

You can visualize that power standing on the border of any such large farm. You see nothing but the horizon in the far distance touching the flat land. Coming as I did from Greek culture where farms are tiny, each bordering the neighboring farm with beautiful small stone walls or trees, the vast expanse of merely land without any fences or houses or trees, is always shocking. But after my bewilderment wears thin, I realize these monstrous farms produce most of America’s food.

Large farmers are the emperors of rural America. The federal government lavishes more than $20 billion of subsidies on them every year. Other long-term subsidies in water, science and technology are worth trillions. (more…)

A Geopolitics of Compassion?

July 25, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Making Democracy a Force of History…

by Robert C. Koehler

Beyond the spectacle of the presidential race, the Washington consensus pursues business as usual. This is the season in which I wonder, with an ever-intensifying sense of urgency, what it would take to turn our political system into a democracy.

“And yet the militarization of the United States and the strengthening of the national security complex continues to accelerate,” Tom Engelhardt wrote earlier this month. “The Pentagon is, by now, a world unto itself. . . .”

And as the world’s major powers play a 21st-century version of the “Great Game” to control the resources of the world, the U.S., in contrast with China, writes David Vine, “has focused relentlessly on military might as its global trump card, dotting the planet with new bases and other forms of military power.” (more…)