New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Preventable Violence

November 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Family, Laura L. Finley

Taking Responsibility for Helping Those in Need

by Laura L. Finley

In the last two weeks over a four-day period, 14 adults and seven children from four different states were killed in domestic violence-related murders.  In Texas, police said a man with a long criminal history and a substance abuse problem went on a murder spree on October 26, killing his mother in the home he shared with her, then an aunt and three others. On October 28, police officer Christopher Robinson shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and her firefighter boyfriend near Baltimore, Maryland. Robinson then committed suicide. In New York City, a relative hacked to pieces a mother and her four young children. Bryan Sweatt, who called 911 and told the operator he was “stressed out,” broke into his girlfriend’s home in Greenwood, South Carolina, where he duct-taped her then shot and killed her and four others, including two children, before killing himself.

In the U.S, an estimated 1,300 people are killed each year from domestic violence. This is nine women each week.  According to Futures Without Violence, in 2011, 1,707 women were murdered by men, and, of them, 1,509 were by people they knew. Over half of the homicides involved guns. (more…)

Not in Vain

December 23, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Family, Jennifer Browdy

American Mothers Must Unite Against the Culture of Violence

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

A couple of weeks ago, when I heard that my 14-year-old son and his friend had been playing with the other boy’s air-soft pistols by shooting each other at close range, I saw red.

“But it just stings like a bee-sting, Mom,” my son protested.  “It just leaves a welt.  Why are you getting so upset?”

At the time, I wasn’t sure why I was getting so upset — after all, these were only toy guns.

My answer to my son was that a “bullet” could ricochet and end up hitting him in the eye, which is true and a rational explanation for why I flatly forbid him to engage in that kind of behavior any more with those guns. (more…)

Universal Responsibility

December 22, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Winslow Myers

“O that there were some virtue in my tears . . .” — Shakespeare

by Winslow Myers 

One of the Dalai Lama’s first principles is something he calls “universal responsibility.” However quick we are to place His Holiness on a saintly pedestal, it is only because the threshold of our own responsibility sometimes seems so very low — especially at this moment of reflection upon the massacre of the innocents in Newtown.

From a tearful President on down through the powerful talk radio demagogues to ordinary citizens, we all bear a share of responsibility for the climate of violence that is the context for the tragedy in Newton. I’m as responsible as anyone because I haven’t yet written my representative concerning my strong feelings about gun control. Great Britain endured 58 firearm murders in 2011, while America had 8,775. Great Britain banned modern handguns altogether in 1997 and studies show a slow but steady decrease in crimes involving handguns in the UK ever since. (more…)

Giving Back to the Future

November 22, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Ecology, Randall Amster

Making Peace with Generations Yet to Come

by Randall Amster

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night; he was alive as you and me — although that’s not saying much anymore. Maybe it’s a dose of 2012 cynicism creeping in, but it’s hard to shake the escalating feeling that we’re here merely on borrowed time. The strangest part of this sensation is that if one said it openly even just a few short years ago, it may have seemed irrational and alarmist; now, with empirical observations and the grim predictions of most credible scientists firmly in hand, it seems more irrational not to hold the view that the paradigm in which we’ve been living is rapidly approaching its prophesied closure point.

This does not, of course, relieve us of the obligation to get up every day and keep trying to promote the values of peace and justice in our lives, communities, bioregions, and the larger world. The apocalypse is perhaps the ultimate “off day,” but that doesn’t mean it’s also a day off. (more…)

Just Doing My Job?

October 25, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Erin Niemela, Politics

NYPD ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Practices Spotlighted in New Documentary

by Erin Niemela 

“I will break your f**king arm off right now,” a New York police officer shouts. “You want me to smack you?” warns another. The exclusive audio is shocking and the first of its kind. It is the only known audio evidence of a NYPD stop-and-frisk in progress, recently released in the documentary The Hunted and the Hated: An Inside Look at the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy. The audio captures the experience of Alvin, a Harlem teen, who the police claim is being stopped for “being a f**king mutt.” For New York communities of color, the recording represents an every day experience, and it will undoubtedly fuel the stop-and-frisk controversy that has been brewing for several years.  Clearly, the aggressive and even violently intimidating behavior of some NYPD officers cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. Of course, not everyone agrees. The back story only exacerbates the conflict. (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…)

Hot Topic

July 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Robert C. Koehler

Finding the Courage to Address Climate Change

by Robert C. Koehler

The heat backs up across the country, causing drought, wildfires, a mega-storm on the East Coast. More than 4,000 “hottest day” records have been shattered in the U.S. in the past month.

“The ecological ego matures,” Theodore Roszak wrote 20 years ago in The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology, “toward a sense of ethical responsibility to the planet that is as vividly experienced as our ethical responsibility to other people. It seeks to weave that responsibility into the fabric of social relations and political decisions.”

Social change of real value is slow-going indeed. How do we manifest responsibility to the planet? A serious consensus is building across the globe that doing so is crucial, that the weather extremes of recent years are no less than global warming in action, the result of centuries of unbridled, industrial-age irresponsibility toward the planet, and something fundamental has to change in how we live our lives and sustain ourselves, but our leadership, certainly in this country, seems incapable of addressing an issue of such complexity. (more…)