New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Employing Empathy

October 13, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Winslow Myers

Moving Beyond War in the Middle East — and Everywhere

by Winslow Myers

The seemingly intractable discord between Israel and Palestine not only continues to cause enormous suffering and anxiety, but also to reverberate around the planet as a kind of symbol of all our conflicts in what we might call the post-nuclear age.

The mid-20th century superpowers were forced to admit, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis, that war at the nuclear level was self-defeating, a victory only for war itself, not for the participants.

Isn’t that ultimately true for all wars, large or small? Yet the world, including the superpowers, continues to divide along the Israeli-Palestinian fault-line, almost as if one had to have an adversary to be clear in one’s identity. The conflict has functioned as an iconic symbol of general feelings of fear or powerlessness or injustice, let alone claims to the same territory, that give rise to the best or the worst in us as we humans try to resolve our endless differences. (more…)

The Evolution Has Come

March 08, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Randall Amster

Time to Put Down the Gun

by Randall Amster

The top of the news queue a few weeks ago almost went unnoticed in its ordinariness: “Gunman shoots 4 officers inside Detroit precinct” and “Walmart shooting leaves 2 dead, 2 deputies hurt.” It was merely just another day in America, where the “right to bear arms” is bolstered by the tortuous logic that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” We’re still awaiting word of any sightings of a “well-regulated militia” being in the mix, but thus far the exercise appears to be mostly personal — and in fact, the Supreme Court in 2008 explicitly affirmed that the Second Amendment applies to individuals.

Let’s face it: America is obsessed with firearms, both domestically and in our exports and foreign policy directives alike. Guns are available on a legal or illegal basis nearly on a par with drugs in our society, which means pretty much everyone has access to them on demand. And some of the statistics are sobering, according to a 2007 Reuters article describing the U.S. as the “most armed country”: (more…)