New Clear Vision


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Archive for the ‘Pat LaMarche’

Babes of Wrath

January 26, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Pat LaMarche

A Journey into the Deep-Seated Poverty of America

by Pat LaMarche

{Editor’s Note: NCV Contributor Pat LaMarche embarks on an epic journey, rekindling the spirit of Steinbeck’s fictional Joad family to explore issues of homelessness and poverty in the U.S. We’ll present Pat’s reflections from the road as she and her intrepid traveling companion continue on the journey…}

This week I started out on a 5000-mile journey through the inner city shelters, backwoods camps, and forgotten hideaways of our nation’s poorest people. I’ll meet babies, toddlers, school kids, drop outs, drug addicts, minimum wage earners, former home owners, veterans, the elderly and more. But I won’t do it alone. I’m traveling from Little Rock, Arkansas to Los Angeles and all the way back to Asheville, North Carolina with a hero friend of mine. This is my third trip traveling through the wealthiest nation and into the world of the homeless, and it’ll last a little more than a month. It’s my friend’s first trip, but she’s been on it for more than eight years. (more…)

Right Before Christmas

December 24, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Pat LaMarche, Politics

The Tenor of the Times in Verse 

by Pat LaMarche 

‘Twas right before Christmas and all through the house
The Fiscal Cliff proved Congress an unfaithful spouse
The elections were but a few weeks gone by
Leaving lame duck politicians unwilling to try
 
In a nation where children sleep without beds
And political hacks argue the sex of who weds
Stories of straight generals betraying their wives
Captures more front pages then these children’s lives.
 
Meanwhile in Pakistan amidst drones’ late night clatter
One lone college kid tweets the facts that do matter
He noted the incidence of each deadly strike
Showing the world what true terrorists are like.
 
(more…)

Changing Landscapes

November 05, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Pat LaMarche, Politics

Candidate Will Keep Running Until He Wins or Dies Trying

by Pat LaMarche

West Virginia Mountain Party’s Jesse Johnson says he’ll keep running for Governor of the Mountain State until he wins or until he dies trying. He just hopes there are still some mountains left by the time he gets his chance to govern. Johnson, 53, who declared his most recent of three campaigns for governor in August, was born in Charleston when Appalachia had roughly five hundred more mountains than it does today.

Since the late 1950s, coal mining has changed immensely. Rather than men crawling through tunnels and harvesting veins of the fossil fuel, vast amounts of ordinance is used to blow the mountains to smithereens along with every living thing that’s on them at the time of the explosion. (more…)

Fitting the Bill

October 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Pat LaMarche

An Example of Selflessness for Society to Embrace

by Pat LaMarche 

I met Bill because — well frankly — because he fit the bill. He was a recovering alcoholic who had been homeless off and on for a decade, maybe longer. Bill was a former broadcast professional turned Wall Street tycoon who shattered his own existence with addiction. He eventually cleaned up his act so entirely that he landed a job in one of the shelters he’d gone to for protection when he couldn’t protect himself. He counseled others — drawing from his own experiences — and encouraged them to live a better more productive life.

I’m fortunate to be a people person. I love being with all sorts of people and I believe everyone is equal in measure while admittedly not equal in opportunity. But Bill had it all. Looking into his face the very first time we met I was first struck by his good looks: looks that had weathered into a different but still striking kind of handsome. He was witty and smart and compassionate and I knew instantly why he had been recommended to serve on a panel to dispel society’s misconceptions about the poor. Bill wasn’t going to lie to anyone about anything. He’d stopped lying to others maybe the same moment that he’d stopped lying to himself. (more…)

A Personal Gift

September 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Family, Pat LaMarche

All the Good One Woman Could Do…

by Pat LaMarche

Waterville, Maine is a small town on the Kennebec River. About 16,000 people live there and by Maine standards they are young. You see, Maine’s got the oldest population in the country and Waterville’s per capita elderly population is lower than the state average. These young people have young people, and about 20% of those kids are living under the poverty level. One thing about poor kids — especially the children of the working poor — is that they are usually pretty hungry by the end of the day.

Poverty is directly related to food insecurity, and food insecurity among children — according to Feeding America — is responsible for “health problems, education problems, and workforce and job readiness problems.” (Their report on hunger’s negative effects on society can be read at their website.) (more…)

The Needy Rich

August 07, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Family, Pat LaMarche

Always Wanting Something to Help Them Get Ahead

by Pat LaMarche

Some guy asked me for help the other day. Considering the time I spend hanging with homeless folks that sentence likely wouldn’t surprise anyone. But this guy wasn’t homeless. In fact he’s not even poor. He’s got it “going on” with a great job and he’s well educated. He came from a good family and was sent to the finest schools. He got a great college education back in the day when I got mine. Back when all four years of private higher ed was cheaper than one year is now.

Seems his brains and good looks, comfortable station and high profile job just can’t get him what he really needs to move ahead. What can I do for a guy like that? I mean for all intents and purposes he and I are peers. In fact we even do the exact same job; we’re both talk radio hosts. We literally got our broadcasting start in the same small market, although he was a little before my time. (more…)

Cheney Gets Heart

March 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Pat LaMarche, Politics

But Too Late for Those Suffering in Iraq, and the U.S.?

by Pat LaMarche

Dick Cheney has once again beaten the odds. He’s one of very few heart transplant recipients over the age of seventy. And he’ll need his luck to continue because older patients don’t do as well post-surgery as younger folks do. It’d be a real shame if he got to use this heart even less than he used his last one.

Timing is everything. And the irony of Cheney’s heart transplant — missing the ninth anniversary of the Iraq War by only a few days — should remind us of the hearts stopped by his “shock and awe” policy in that country. An undisputed architect of the War in Iraq, he and the other hawks of the George W. Bush administration presided over the senseless killing of tens of thousands of innocents who did the U.S. no harm.

The New York Times reports that the Cheney family is grateful to the donor as well as the doctors and staff at George Washington University Hospital. Cheney and his family are no doubt appreciative that his life was saved regardless of his limited odds and advanced years. How fortunate for them that the decision was made to give him that donor’s heart. (more…)