New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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Fascinating Hypocrisy

July 08, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Missy Beattie, Politics

Like Love Notes from a Charlatan…

by Missy Beattie

I should unsubscribe to Organizing for Action (OFA) — a group supporting the election of Democrats, but I won’t, because I’m mining data from the obscenely insincere. The emails open with a clever ploy, use of the familiar, my given name. It’s almost intimate. Some are signed “Barack”. Here’s one, minus a few sentences:

Missy –

My administration is taking steps to cut carbon pollution, prepare our nation for the unavoidable impact of climate change, and put America’s best and brightest to work to solve this issue on a global scale.

One thing we know is we’ll face a well-organized and well-financed opposition by the special interests that profit from keeping things the way they are — and there are members of Congress who fundamentally deny the science on this issue.

I need to know you’ll fight alongside me. Say you will. [Subliminal, using the title of a love song.] (more…)

America’s Future

December 05, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Roberto Rodriguez

War and Peace in the 21st Century

by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez

Despite the political rhetoric, America is not defined by its division into red and blue states, but by its addiction to imperialism, exceptionalism and a military budget that positions it as The United States of War.

In the United States, Arizona has come to represent many things; a super-magnet for the ignorant, the backward and the insane; a home to racial supremacists and xenophobes and, most of all, a laboratory for hate legislation.

And yet its real political function nowadays is that of a convenient political distraction.

Truth is, Arizona is but a mirror of the rest of the nation. It is what permits Americans to point the finger at this desolate state, allowing them to feel superior because it represents what America isn’t. (more…)

Now What?

November 09, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

An America Yet to Be Born…

by Robert C. Koehler

Legalization of pot (in Colorado and Washington state), a big hurray for gay marriage (in Maine), lots of progressive women in the Senate, and resounding defeat for the champions of “legitimate rape” (Akin, Mourdock) — oh my! Election Day 2012 went better than I thought it would.

And Barack Obama, the designated Lesser Evil, clobbered Mitt Romney in the swing states, despite Republican efforts to keep likely Democrats from voting there. I went to bed last night feeling an irrational joy, an enormous inner cry of relief, that the neocons and right-wing crazies were held at bay for four more years.

Now what?

In the dawn’s early light, the joy is ebbing. Last night’s victory high is wearing off, especially as I read the banal analyses and balanced blather in the mainstream media and realize that all the crucial issues that were off the table during the election season — drone assassination, the military budget, climate change, corporate hegemony, GOP vote suppression tactics — are still off the table. Not that I’m surprised or anything, but it reminds me that the presidential election is mostly spectacle.

As Laura Flanders said on election night on Democracy Now!, “The only thing that has ever brought about change in this country is social movements.” (more…)

Spontaneous Reflection

May 03, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Harry Targ, Politics

How Do We Build Our Movements?

by Harry Targ 

Over the last fourteen months we have observed Arab Spring, the Wisconsin uprising, labor ferment throughout the American Heartland, and the formation of Dream Coalitions. In addition Occupy Movements last fall spread like wild fire all across the country and with the arrival of spring are resuming. Most recently anti-racist mobilizations have occurred in response to the execution of Troy Davis and the murder of Trayvon Martin.

In response, socialist and progressive organizations, single issue groups, political party activists, and visible pundits have called for or organized rallies, marches, conferences and other mobilizations in Washington D.C., Chicago, New York and elsewhere. Grassroots activists, motivated by a passion for change, and sometimes a sense of desperation, are on the move. While these are exciting times for progressives and lifetime organizers, it makes sense to take a deep breath, reflect on the concrete situations of struggle we face, and to ask ourselves how best to channel (and preserve) our energies and resources. (more…)

Volunteer Spirit

April 30, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper, Politics

Implementing Strong Pro-Commons Policies

by Jay Walljasper

The Tea Party, libertarians and other so-called conservatives devoted to slashing all government spending not related to the military, prisons and highways have an easy answer when asked what happens to people whose lives and livelihoods depend on public programs. They point to volunteerism — the tradition of people taking care of each other which has sustained human civilization for millennia.

It’s a compelling idea, which evokes the spirit of the commons (the growing movement to protect and expand the whole sphere of cultural and economic assets belonging to all of us together). Volunteers working largely outside the realm of government — neighborhood organizations, fire brigades, blood banks and other civic initiatives — are obvious examples of commons-based sharing and caring.

So that means Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney qualify as commoners (people working to improve the state of our commons)? Even with their adamant skepticism about Medicare, environmental regulations and campaign finance limits? (more…)