New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


One of Us

November 08, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Corralling the Loners and Stemming the Violence

by Robert C. Koehler

Another crazed, furious loner shocks the world. This time I’m a little too close to the edge of the chaos.

I gape at the TV in disbelief: I’m supposed to fly out of Los Angeles Airport — Terminal 3, no less — that afternoon, but all I see is footage of scrambling police and snarled traffic. If I’d booked an earlier flight, I could have been sitting there when the 23-year-old gunman shot the TSA agent at the foot of the escalator, then wandered through the gate area with his rifle and his grievances.

There are worse things in life than having to reschedule a flight. I postponed my return to Chicago for two days. Now that I’m back, I’m still thinking about last week’s killer-rampage spectacle, which culminated in the wounding and arrest of the suspect, Paul Ciancia. Afterward came the media’s smattering of sound-bite psychology. (more…)

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…)

Being Somebody

October 30, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Missy Beattie

Survival in an Age of Violence

by Missy Beattie

Another school shooting. Another candlelight vigil.  On Monday, October 21st, a Nevada teacher was murdered and two 12-year-old boys were wounded. The shooter, described as a “nice kid,” killed himself at the scene.

Student Amaya Newton said, “I believe it was because I saw him getting bullied a couple of times and I think he took out his bullying.”

Another student reported that the shooter said, “You ruined my life and now I’m going to ruin yours.”

Just a few days before, Erma, Laura, and I sat in my living room, talking about 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick who jumped to her death last month after she was bullied. Guadalupe Shaw, 14, and Katelyn Roman, 12, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking.

On Shaw’s Facebook page was a post her parents and her attorneys insist is evidence of a hacked account. The Shaws maintain that their daughter would never have written, “Yes, IK (I know) I bullied REBECCA nd (and) she killed her self but IDGAF (I don’t give a fuck).”

Erma said, “I am Rebecca Sedwick.” And she cried. (more…)

To End All War…

October 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Kathy Kelly, Politics

Steps Toward Making Abolition a Reality

by David Swanson and David Hartsough, with input from George Lakey, Jan Passion, Mike Ferner, Colleen Kelly, Ruth Benn, Leah Bolger, Nathan Schneider, Hakim, Paul Chappell, Colin Archer, Kathy Kelly, et al.

If unnecessary suffering on an enormous scale is to be avoided, we must abolish war. Some 180 million people died in wars in the 20th century and, while we have not yet repeated a war on the scale of World War II, wars are not going away. Their enormous destruction continues, measured in terms of deaths, injuries, trauma, millions of people having to flee their homes, financial cost, environmental destruction, economic drain, and erosion of civil and political rights.

If humanity is going to survive, we must abolish war. Every war brings with it both massive destruction and the risk of uncontrolled escalation. We are facing a world of greater weapons proliferation, resource shortages, environmental pressures, and the largest human population the earth has seen. In such a turbulent world, we must abolish the organized violence by governments known as war, because its continuation risks our extinction.

If we abolish war, humanity can not only survive and better address the climate crisis and other dangers, but will find it far easier to prosper. The reallocation of resources away from war promises a world whose advantages are beyond easy imagination. (more…)

Driving Reform

October 10, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Devon G. Pena, Politics

Does California Legislation Signal a Shift in Immigration Policies?

by Devon G. Peña

Given the reactionary patterns of the past five years, in which states like Arizona (SB1070) and Alabama (HB54) gave us atrociously anti-immigrant laws, it is with a sigh of relief that we observe legislation signed recently by California Governor Jerry Brown that will allow people living in the state sans proper documentation to receive a permit to drive legally in California.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Governor Brown explained: “This is only the first step. When a million people without their documents drive legally with respect to the state of California, the rest of this country will have to stand up and take notice. No longer are undocumented people in the shadows, they are alive and well and respected in the state of California.” (more…)

BRICS and Sticks

October 02, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Matt Meyer, Politics

Deadly Diamonds, Violence, and the Future of South Africa’s Democracy

by Matt Meyer

As the World Economic Forum summit took place in Cape Town in early May 2013, the question of South Africa’s role on the continent and around the globe came into sharp focus. Though the remarks of Zambian Vice President Guy Scott — that South Africa is disliked among Africans for “the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States” — were uncharacteristically undiplomatic, many South Africans were forced to admit that Scott’s impression is increasingly on the mark. With South African National Defense Force (SANDF) troops deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Central African Republic, in Liberia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, the Sudan, Burundi and elsewhere, it is not surprising that some analysts — such as University KwaZulu-Natal’s Patrick Bond — call South Africa’s current position nothing short of “sub-imperialist.”

A year after the headline-making “Marikana massacre” of 34 striking mineworkers, and the publication of anti-arms trade whistleblower Terry Crawford-Browne’s damning book Eye on the Diamonds (Penguin, 2012) — which asserts that South Africa has been complicit in the marketing of “conflict” or “blood diamonds” — the question emerges: on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the end of apartheid and next year’s South African Presidential elections, what does the future hold for this symbol of continental resistance and revolution? (more…)

Revolutionary Egypt

August 23, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Matt Meyer, Politics

The Worst of Times, the Best of Times…

by Matt Meyer

There is a reason why so many internationalists have had hard times writing clearly about Egypt since the end of June 2013. There is a reason why in English the words “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” resonates so. The cultural chasms and the political complexity of Egypt’s ongoing revolutionary moments will not lend themselves easily to short statements or translated sound bites . . . but we remain distant from, declarative regarding, or dispassionate about these events at our own grave peril. Nothing less than our collective, twenty-first century understandings of such terms as “democracy,” “revolution,” and “violence/nonviolence” are being forged on the streets of Egypt today.

Events are unfolding too quickly for a report from an outsider to be of much use. But hopefully some definitional reflections, from the perspective of an independent solidarity activist/academic committed to revolutionary nonviolence and socialist/anarchist viewpoints, might provide some context for future conversation and work. (more…)