New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Beautiful Hearts

April 24, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Pat LaMarche

For Half the Cost of War, We Could Educate Instead

by Pat LaMarche

One hot August night in 2008, high school senior Alex Motiuk went to his parents and said, “Mom, Dad, there’s something I want to talk to you about,” Leo Motiuk explained with a smile. “As parents of a young son you just wonder what that’s all going to be about.”

18-year-old Alex was worried about a friend from school. Alex feared that she was in trouble, that her life was about to change forever and not for the better. His Blair Academy schoolmate, Shamila Kohestani, had been sent back to her native Afghanistan and would not be able to return to the United States for college. Kohestani, captain of the Afghan girls’ soccer team, had been offered a scholarship at Blair, but at the end of the school year she went home with no prospects for college. (more…)

Women, Healing, Autonomy

April 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Guest Author

Reclaiming Our Bodies Means Restoring Indigenous Wellness Practices

by Lorena Hernández and Vanessa García

As Mexicanas living in a Western society, it has become very easy for us to observe and realize that women are increasingly losing autonomy over their bodies. Coming from a culture of women that take pride over understanding and healing their own bodies, we have seen a movement away from this ideal.  Presently, we see ourselves and other women succumbing to the Western medicinal and governmental bodily regulations without any resistance.

Recent bills in action have made us wonder, “What is going on with society?” The proposed House Bill 206 in New Mexico “would charge a rape victim who ends her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for tampering with evidence.”(1) This outrageous proposal not only attempts to reduce the seriousness of the emotional trauma caused by rape, but it also undermines the rights of women and the freedom to do lo que se les de la gana (whatever they want), with their own body. How did it become acceptable for the government to mandate corporal regulations? How did we lose autonomy over our own bodies? To fully understand this issue, we need to take a look at the evolution of healing and medicine in Mexican and Mexican-American culture. (more…)

One Billion Rising

February 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Family

V-Day Panel Seeks to End Violence Against Women and Girls

by Diane Lefer

“One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

That was the statement sent out by the One Billion Rising campaign urging women around the world to dance in the streets on February 14 and demand an end to violence against women and girls.

While “Break the Chain,” the campaign’s music video, screened in the background, three dozen women and a few men in the meeting room of the Los Angeles chapter, National Council of Jewish Women got up and danced before settling down to the serious business of a panel on teen dating violence. (more…)

Reinventing Valentine’s Day

February 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Rob Okun

Recognizing Men’s Roles in Working to Prevent Violence

by Rob Okun

For me, Valentine’s Day is a teachable moment more than a holiday. It’s a perfect time to promote healthy relationships more than romantic gifts and candlelight dinners. Don’t get me wrong. I like a sweet evening out with my honey as much as anybody. I just have a hard time being dreamy-eyed if I’m simultaneously turning a blind eye to the outbreak of domestic and sexual violence still plaguing us. It’s a disorder very difficult to treat.

Domestic and sexual abuse strains have long been resistant to vaccines of chocolate, champagne, diamond brooches, and bouquets of flowers. This year, though, there’s a potent new injection available — One Billion Rising! It carries no live yeast, and was not developed in a pharmaceutical laboratory. It came out of the cauldron of change playwright-activist Eve Ensler (“The Vagina Monologues”) and her cohort at Vday.org devised as a prescription for peace and vitality. It’s one the World Health Organization would be wise to consider including in its protocols. (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…)

Care Work

December 14, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Family, Politics, Victoria Law

Rediscovering the Power and Utility of Selma James

by Victoria Law 

In 2002, when my daughter was a toddler, I joined a fledgling group called M*A*M*A (Mothers’ Association for Militant Action). We were mothers who felt pushed out of political organizing because we came with children and the additional needs that children bring. selma_james_sexraceclassWe attempted to challenge the idea that once a woman becomes a mother, she can no longer be politically involved. We quickly realized that, in order for us to organize, we needed childcare for our very young (and, in one case, developmentally delayed) children.

Our requests for childcare were usually dismissed. When we brought our children to meetings and events, we were given the evil eye, if not verbally chastised, when our children made noise. Now, ten years later, childcare is still not the norm although it is offered at certain conferences and events. (more…)

The Beloved Community

November 29, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Randall Amster, Windy Cooler

Strengthening the Ties that Bind in an Era of Alienation

by Randall Amster and Windy Cooler

As we move into the winter of 2012, the days are getting shorter and the sociopolitical realities put before us seem, in some ways, to be darkening by the minute. How is it that we do not know how to live in the world, in those ways that have sustained and advanced the human experiment for eons? Today we have reactionary, regressive policies masking as “progress,” replacing the reciprocal bonds of authentic community with the wafer-thin ties of social networking and, in the process, turning our alienation and dysfunction into a nouveau spectacle. During the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, for example, a reporter for the Jerusalem Post actually asked residents in fear for their children’s lives if anyone could give an interview about how the shrieking sirens were affecting pets. It is so taboo to speak of what really matters with the people who matter that we have to be encouraged to do so. (more…)