New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Frozen Prairie

February 25, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Brian Terrell, Community, Family, Politics

Letter from a Drone Protester’s Jail

by Brian Terrell

Greetings from the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, South Dakota!  As of this writing, I am two months into a six month sentence imposed due to my protest of war crimes committed by remote control from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri against the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Betsy accompanied me here to Yankton on November 29, and that evening the Emmaus House Catholic Worker community, Beth Preheim, Michael Sprong and Dagmar Hoxie, hosted an evening of music, good food and good company to see me off.  Activists from around the Midwest attended, including some sisters from the Benedictine monastery here.

In the morning after a great breakfast and Gospel prayer, Betsy and Dagmar and Michael, along with Renee Espeland and Elton Davis, Catholic Workers from Des Moines, and Jerry Ebner, a Catholic Worker from Omaha, walked a “last mile” with me to the gate of the prison where I expect to remain until the end of May. (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…)

America’s Future

December 05, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Roberto Rodriguez

War and Peace in the 21st Century

by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez

Despite the political rhetoric, America is not defined by its division into red and blue states, but by its addiction to imperialism, exceptionalism and a military budget that positions it as The United States of War.

In the United States, Arizona has come to represent many things; a super-magnet for the ignorant, the backward and the insane; a home to racial supremacists and xenophobes and, most of all, a laboratory for hate legislation.

And yet its real political function nowadays is that of a convenient political distraction.

Truth is, Arizona is but a mirror of the rest of the nation. It is what permits Americans to point the finger at this desolate state, allowing them to feel superior because it represents what America isn’t. (more…)

Citizen Diplomacy

October 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, David Swanson, Politics

Can It Still Save Us?

by David Swanson

For as long as there’s been a United States of America, its private citizens have done some of its best diplomacy.  In 1798 Dr. George Logan eased tensions between France and this country.  He got a law named for him, criminalizing such services, but nobody’s ever been prosecuted under it — probably because the crime prosecuted would itself be the act of crime prevention.

One of my favorite cases, recounted in When the World Outlawed War, involved James Shotwell, who worked for the Carnegie Endowment for Peace (created by Andrew Carnegie to work exclusively on abolishing war, and currently working on everything but).

In 1927, Shotwell drafted a public statement for the Foreign Minister of France proposing to the United States the creation of a treaty criminalizing war.  When few took notice, Shotwell’s colleague Nicholas Murray Butler wrote a response to the Foreign Minister in the New York Times.  These two ventriloquists’ public diplomacy resulted in a treaty banning war to which the United States, France, and 79 other nations are party today. (Ssh! Don’t tell them.) (more…)