New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Justice Fast

August 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Pat LaMarche, Politics

Clergy Members Take Action on Behalf of Gitmo Detainees

by Pat LaMarche

The five pillars of Islam are pilgrimage, alms giving, profession of faith, prayer and fasting. And the last Christian Beatitude promises, “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Perhaps that’s why it’s so fitting that I’ve partnered with a minister to join the Clergy Gitmo Justice Fast. Because I’m not a member of the clergy — not by a long shot — I can’t sign up on my own.

The Gitmo Clergy Fast calls on ordained clergy — of any religion — to do a water-only fast one day for one prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. There are 166 prisoners, so there needs to be 166 clergy. Even though I’m a dyed-in-the-wool confirmed agnostic, I’m still horrified by the U.S. indefinite detention of ‘terrorist suspects’ and I wanted to participate. (more…)

A Unique Struggle

August 02, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Politics

Farmworkers in Washington State Mobilize for Dignity, Rights

by Devon G. Peña

Burlington is not a very old city center and got its start in 1902 as a logging camp. Today the small town of 8,380, located in the  Skagit River watershed north of Seattle, does count with a prosperous fruit and vegetable agricultural industry. Of course, the industry relies on mostly migrant families for farm labor. This is especially the case during harvest work and strawberry crops present an opportunity for workers to seize the current condition of ‘labor scarcity’ and high demand for skilled pickers during harvest time to organize for their workplace rights. And that is exactly what has happened in the State of Washington, and not in the Yakima or Wenatchee valleys but on the western side of the Cascades where peri-urban farming is increasingly big business. (more…)

A Meaningful Future

July 31, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Bacon, Economy, Politics

What Real Immigration Reform Would Look Like

by David Bacon

Oralia Maceda, an immigrant mother from Oaxaca, asked the obvious last weekend in Fresno.  At a meeting, talking about the Senate immigration reform bill, she wanted to know why Senators would spend almost $50 billion on more border walls, yet show no interest in why people leave home to cross them.

This Congressional blindness will get worse as immigration reform moves to the House.  It condemns U.S. immigration policy to a kind of punitive venality, making rational political decisions virtually impossible.  Yet alternatives are often proposed by migrant communities themselves, and reflect a better understanding of global economics and human rights. (more…)

Opening the Box

July 24, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Angola 3 News, Culture, Politics

Sarah Shourd on Herman Wallace, California Hunger Strikers and the Horror of Solitary Confinement

by Angola 3 News

Last month, we were devastated to learn that the Angola 3’s Herman Wallace had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and that he was continuing to be held in isolation in a locked room at Hunt Correctional Center’s prison infirmary. Reflecting on his confinement while battling cancer, Herman said: “My own body has now become a tool of torture against me.”

On July 10, Amnesty International launched a campaign directed at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, calling for Herman’s immediate release on humanitarian grounds (take action here). “After decades of cruel conditions and a conviction that continues to be challenged by the courts, he should be released immediately to his family so that he can be cared for humanely during his last months,” said Amnesty USA campaigner Tessa Murphy. (more…)

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…)

Addicted to War

June 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Erin Niemela, Politics

Time for an American Awakening

by Erin Niemela

The recent NSA revelations of widespread surveillance on American citizens should be cause for intense protest.  Surely it will be, as a day of nationwide mass action to restore the Fourth Amendment has been planned for the fourth of July. But any awake American can see that PRISM is only one sock on a long line of dirty laundry. The list of U.S. government abuses and failures to protect stretches far and wide, an alphabet soup of depravity: PRISM, NDAA, CISPA, SOPA, Patriot Act, the Monsanto Protection Act, drones, secret kill lists, Guantanamo Bay, DNA tests, Abu Ghraib, Afghan Massacre, Keystone, Tar Sands, Hanford. I’m certain you’ll think of more.

While PRISM and the rest of the gang are individually sordid, when combined they are the track marks of a far more pervasive, widespread, life-wasting problem. One that has systematically attacked not just the Fourth Amendment, but also the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and 10th. No matter how hard we advocate for the Fourth Amendment now, others will fall so long as this substance burns through the veins of the Republic. (more…)

Know-Nothing Security

May 21, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

No One Is Safe in a Police State

by Robert C. Koehler

Let’s all work together to stop terrorism!

The Palm Beach County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office has a new video out urging local citizens to call them if something smells bad or seems a little weird, like, oh, a tourist is taking a picture of a bridge but there’s no one in the foreground — no spouse, no grinning kids, just . . . a bridge.

If it seems suspicious, call — because, I guess, if everyone is vigilant (“Hello, I want to report two young men carrying backpacks”) and we work with the authorities, America will be safe as pie in no time.

This program is called Community Partners Against Terrorism, though I’m tempted to call it know-nothing security — the kind based on stereotypes, unexamined fears, self-righteousness, external projections and an us-vs.-them social organization. Terrorists are bad people with inscrutable motives. All we need to know is that they’re out to get us. This is the message of the terrorism “experts,” who leverage their authority from their ability to keep us scared and vigilant. (more…)