New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Role Modeling

August 14, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Missy Beattie, Politics

What to Conceal, What to Show?

by Missy Beattie

I think I have a story going. My stream of consciousness is overflowing. With run-on sentences and dangling phrases. Thoughts are tumbling to the pages.

It’s every writer’s dream — a book deal with the possibility of a screenplay. But I don’t know. A friend said drop it, idle the fingers on this one. It’s lurid.

And, well, I’m a peace and justice activist. I aspire to be like Kathy Kelly. I met Kelly at a peace rally in DC and heard her speak about forgiveness. That we must forgive al-Qaeda. I think of these words often — and how often I fail.

Here’s an example, circa 199?: I was waiting, next in line, for a parking space at Baltimore’s Belvedere Square. When taillights illuminated, I hit the blinker and moved to close in. Suddenly, a white Cadillac with a large red bow on its grill shot around my Volvo, claiming the territory. As a tall, blond and tan Barbie clone in a white tennis skirt emerged from the sedan, I lowered the front passenger window. (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…)

Security with a Twist

July 15, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Missy Beattie, Politics

Neighborhood Watch Meets the Big Buddy System

by Missy Beattie

I have this feeling. I have this feeling and thought that people are gathering at water coolers, in hallways near their cubicles, and on the walking paths of their kingdoms, in the interest of country, duty, honor. You know, to scour each other’s lives. It’s not unlike the Buddy System. That other name, Insider Threat Program, sounds harsh.

So, check this out: There’s a woman who lives in my building. Occasionally, her door’s open. Not just unlocked but wide open. I’m fixated on this. And believe me, when I obsess, I cover every clue. I watch from my window when she’s outside — when she’s basking (ostensibly) in nature and checking the plantings — knowing she could be plotting, unearthing, hiding something among the greenery and behind her curious expression and amiable smile. Or is that an enigmatic expression and sly smile?

So, I lurk, examining minutiae that the less observant would miss. The way she gently touches a leaf — probably a ruse. She wants me to believe she’s kind and, yes, approachable. I almost reported her, but then I had this profound hesitation. Mainly about timing. I’m weighing options, thinking that perhaps the government eventually might offer Walmart vouchers for information. Patient I’ll be, waiting, skulking. (more…)

Beyond Secrecy

June 21, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Winslow Myers

Rebuilding Trust and Resilience

by Winslow Myers

As lowly citizens trying to understand the enormous resources poured into the national security state, it may help to examine the “meta-thinking” behind the mass mining of “meta-data” from our telephones and e-mails.

Aside from debate about whether our government may be massively violating the 4th Amendment, we need to begin with compassion. It is not hard to see how fear and political necessity are among the engines driving the growth of the secrecy bureaucracy. There are bad actors out there, and a certain alertness is required to prevent them from doing their worst. Political leaders do not get elected by advocating love for enemies.

Thus President Obama cannot say aloud that the lives of children in Pakistan or Yemen are worth as much as the lives of his own daughters. That such evasions are politically necessary is one indication that our “meta-thinking” may be inadequate. (more…)

Cognitive Assonance

June 20, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

Congratulations! You’re Being Watched

by Randall Amster

With revelations (yet again) that we are all essentially being watched virtually all the time, we might expect a popular backlash espionajeagainst such a massive and unprecedented intrusion on privacy. Americans may differ on a plethora of political issues, but there’s a common wisdom suggesting broad agreement on core principles such as individual liberty. Alas, widespread pushback against a total surveillance society seems unlikely to emerge, and having the full scope of such a program become publicly known may only increase its acceptability.

Modern America is built on the ethos of the “reality show” — and people want to be watched. (more…)