New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


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…)

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…)

Doing Time for Peace

January 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, David Swanson, Family, Politics

New Book Highlights Nonviolent Heroes and Peacemakers

by David Swanson

Hundreds of Americans, young and old, are regularly going to prison, sometimes for months or years or decades, for nonviolently resisting U.S. militarism.

They block ports, ships, submarines, trains full of weapons, trucks full of weapons, and gates to military bases.  They take hammers to weapons of mass destruction, cause millions of dollars worth of damage, hang up banners, and wait to be arrested.  They cause weapons systems to be canceled, facilities to be closed, and Pentagon policies to be changed.  They educate and inspire greater resistance.

The people who do this take great risks.  U.S. courts are extremely unpredictable, and the same action can easily result in no jail time or years behind bars.  Many of these people have families, and the separation is usually painful.  But many say they could not do this without their families or without their close-knit communities of like-thinking resisters.  A support network of several people is generally needed for each resister.

More often than not, a great sacrifice is made with no apparent success in terms of governmental behavior, either immediately or even after a lengthy passage of time. Police are becoming more violent.  Sentences are growing longer, and prisons are becoming more awful. (more…)

Rust in Peace

January 03, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Winslow Myers

A New Year’s Wish to Rid the World of Nuclear Weapons

by Winslow Myers

A performative contradiction is a statement that contradicts its own assertion.  For example, the unrecorded statement “I am dead” is a performative contradiction in that the speaker is clearly alive while making the claim. There are performative contradictions not only in statements, but also in policies. The mother of them all is found in current nuclear weapons policy on the planet. Nuclear weapons cannot be rationally advanced in argument as an instrument of policy.

Why? Computer models suggest that the detonation of a remarkably small number of nuclear weapons from today’s arsenals — doesn’t matter whose — would raise enough toxic soot and ash into the atmosphere to shut down world agriculture for a decade.  In effect, such a detonation would be a death sentence for us all. All.

No less a pitiless realist than Henry Kissinger has stated that he tried to make foreign policy with these weapons and found it impossible. Henry Kissinger now works for abolition. (more…)

Put It Behind Us

December 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

New Year’s Resolutions for a More Simplified and Peaceful Life

by Jan Lundberg

To put behind us the “con$umerist relationship” that we have with nature, we can do something new that may be radically traditional. Judge for yourself whether if done widely, it might inspire to move us faster toward a paradigm of actual sustainability. Maybe it’s something like this new set of alternative New Year’s resolutions. Some of them happen to be gift options too. Let the fun and peaceful rebellion begin, starting with a solstice party.

Humans did evolve by spending many a millennium in “the Garden” — pre-civilized living without the antithesis of nature, i.e., the city. It is obvious we now need to bring back our intimate relationship with the Earth before it is too late. It this all sounds too familiar or boring, what about being a little subversive, eh? It’s simple: (more…)

Solstice Manifesto

December 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Guest Author

On the Importance of Integrating Social and Ecological Perspectives

by the ISEP Class Working Group

{Editor’s Note: This collaborative statement was produced in the context of a college class focusing on the integration of social and ecological perspectives. The depth of critical engagement with the intersecting crises in our midst, coupled with insightful visions for action and change, provide a source of hopefulness in a time of profound challenges.}

I. Why We’re Concerned

Our world’s current dysfunction is a multifaceted crisis, exemplified by a host of social and ecological problems, including racism, violence, water shortages, drought, species extinction, pollution, and many others. Upon closer examination, the roots and solutions of each of these problems have both social and ecological components, which are dependent upon and directly influence each other. (more…)

Call to Action

December 07, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Telling the Story of Climate Change

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

You probably didn’t notice, but this past week another round of major international climate talks were held in Doha, Qatar, surely one of the least “green” locations on the globe.

The mainstream press barely bothered to give a nod to what has come to be a mind-numbing ritual of bait, switch and dodge. The alternative press knew better than to look to the assembled ministers in Doha for any real news, focusing instead on the grim report released early last week by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.

The 84-page report, titled “Turn Down the Heat” and funded by that radical fringe group known as the World Bank, demonstrates that if we continue our reckless heating of the planet at the present rate, all the scenarios of which readers of this blog are well aware — sea level rise, droughts and floods leading to severe food shortages, more frequent and more severe storms, loss of biodiversity and loss of human life on a biblical scale — will come to pass. (more…)