New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Civilizational Shift

May 09, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Evaggelos Vallianatos, Politics

Old-Fashioned Activism to Confront the Food Monopoly

by Evaggelos Vallianatos

In the twentieth century, American agriculture abandoned its traditions of family farming. This was no small change. Like the centuries-long enclosure movement in England whereby the landlords used the law and violence to privatize the commons and throw out of the land uncounted number of peasants, American large farmers have been using the power of the state to bring about a civilization shift in rural America.

They transformed a way of life for raising food and sustaining democratic society to a massive factory industrializing both farming and food and farmers, making rural America a colony for the extraction of profit.

This tragedy left behind millions of broken family farms, contaminated water and land, and a wounded rural America.

According to the 1884 “Transactions of the California State Agricultural Society,” “there will be too few farms and these too large. A republic cannot long survive when the lands are concentrated in the hands of a few men. Any man will fight for his home, but it takes a very brave man to fight for the privilege of working for half wages.” (more…)

The Fruit of Justice

May 02, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, David Swanson, Politics

There’s a Revolution and It’s Not Being Televised

by David Swanson

Hundreds gathered in Dallas to reject the Bush Lie Bury, and three went to jail.  I flew from Dallas to Syracuse, where hundreds protested Obama’s drone-murder program, and 32 went to jail and are still there (and will stay until trial unless bail can be raised) — some of them risk major jail time because they violated a protective order that the commander of a U.S. military base gained to protect himself from nonviolent peace activists.  Another drone protester in Missouri, Brian Terrell, is just finishing a six-month sentence.  Climate activist Tim DeChristopher just got out.  The people locked in Guantanamo are refusing to eat, and groups around the world are making plans to fast with them.  The people of Vieques, Puerto Rico, rallied on May 1st to demand that the U.S. military truly depart their island.  Big plans are being made to rally for Bradley Manning on June 1st.  This week I’m heading to the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee’s meeting in North Carolina, after which — just over in Tennessee — three courageous activists go on trial, facing major time in prison, for having entered and protested a nuclear weapons facility.

The revolution will not be televised. (more…)

Irrational Voting

November 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, David Swanson, Politics

Resisting the Tendency Toward Lesser-Evilism

by David Swanson

When I was a philosophy grad student in the ancient times at the University of Virginia, some over-smart logician pointed out to me that voting is not rational, since a single vote is never decisive. It’s all the other stuff that’s rational: appearing to have voted, applying a sticker to your bumper, registering voters, making phone calls — because all of that stuff has the potential to spread sufficiently to make a difference in the election, or perhaps in a future election or in other forms of civic engagement.

But, of course, unlike the model “persons” in philosophical or economic mental experiments, actual people tend not to be sociopaths. Pretending to vote without voting is far more work than actually voting, which — while it may be irrational — does no harm. And so, good citizens tend to vote even understanding its irrationality, and even when there are no candidates worth voting for.

Some smart friends of mine argue for a particular type of quasi-rational voting in such situations. (more…)

Scared Off…

October 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Missy Beattie, Politics

Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?

by Missy Beattie

hi, K gave me your email. hope that’s ok. she thinks you’re terrific and that we might click: same adjectives. about me (quick sales pitch): i’m fit, fun, smart, romantic and adventuresome. i”m a trial lawyer; don’t hold that against me. love to hear from you. no worries: i’ve never been on America’s Most Wanted list. i’m currently unattached and trust K’s instincts.  i’m not a serial dater (or a serial killer for that matter….lol) so i thought i’d reach out and see if there is any interest on your part. if so, please let me know.

Let’s pretend that this sentence you’re reading right now is a mantle. Above it, the paragraph opening with “hi,” is a mirror, reflecting a glimpse of my never-dull life, an email I received some weeks ago from the dear friend of K, a person I trust.  K was playing matchmaker, certain the man who authored the words and I were perfect for one another.

Beneath the sentence you are reading now is a door to the rest of the story. (more…)

Charting the Course

September 19, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

Social Awakening Depends on a Balance of Activism

by Jan Lundberg

Our tall ship inches toward Copenhagen where it will dock near Christiania, the semi-autonomous village in the Christianshavn quarter. Apart from the job of getting the engineless ship into port where we deliver 8,000 bottles of French wine, there is much for an ecological and social activist to reflect upon.

Sometimes when Nature’s energy is high on the sea, with a fury, or when we are in the tender embrace of the water, air and sun that calms and becalms us, we get a slightly new perspective on our place on the planet. I should not have to add: that place is not about money or other narrow goals.

That this crew is a tight community is food for thought. Besides the imperative of cooperation for survival, it is simply easier and more natural to operate within a collective. Yet, in that situation one still finds oneself in serious personal contemplation on one’s intentions, dreams, and grappling with vexing questions about modern living. (more…)

Power of Women

August 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Diane Lefer, Economy, Politics

Having It All By Having Choices…

by Diane Lefer

When you walk into a room and fewer than 50% of the people there are women, “it should look peculiar,” said Madeline Di Nonno, executive director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “and it doesn’t.”

Marianne Williamson, in her lead-up to the upcoming November conference SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics, points out that woman make up only 16.8% of our elected representatives in Congress — a figure very close to the 17% cited by Di Nonno as the percentage of female characters we see “in the environment” in film and on TV. What’s going on here and how do we change it?

Last week, the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board observed Women’s Equality Day with Understanding Our Power, a roundtable discussion moderated by Dianne Callister, academic, theologian, and director of foundations that benefit children and mothers around the world. Di Nonno brought her expertise in media; attorney Angela Reddock spoke from her experience in labor and employment law and city politics while licensed clinical social worker Judi Miller Levy based her remarks on extensive work in the field of domestic and sexual violence. In spite of the power women clearly have and 92 years after we won the right to vote, the speakers considered why, in Di Nonno’s words, “women have stalled out.” (more…)

Living, Loving Meaningfully

August 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Politics, Windy Cooler

The Revolution Will Not Be Anti-Social

by Windy Cooler

I have been ruminating lately on how much I am looking forward to school starting up again for Ob, my six year old son, because of how deeply I enjoy my time with other parents picking up their kids after school; how meaningful, powerful, and frankly, political, much of that time is.

Most of us are women. One is a grandfather and one is a stay at home father, married to the only woman he ever dated. We are very different people, religiously, in age, in personality, in class background and country of origin, to some extent, racially. We talk about everything and we have a huge impact on each other’s lives.

We jokingly call ourselves, after the suggestion of one of us, a poet and homeschooling mother, the “Playground Coven.” I usually write for activists, and I am doing it here, despite myself. I think of us sometimes, in that light, as a kind of Bughouse Square. (more…)