New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


The Homeless Bach

February 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Pat LaMarche

‘Can Anyone Spare a Pair of Bootstraps?’

by Pat LaMarche

In June of 2009 PBS predicted that — according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness — “The recession will force 1.5 million more people into homelessness over the next two years.” That was 1.5 million MORE people. That makes best estimates for the number of homeless people in the U.S. anywhere from three to five million. The same PBS story says that 1.5 million of the overall total are children.

These numbers are so large that it’s difficult to imagine the typical homeless person. Because homelessness is at such epidemic proportions, there is nothing typical about the conditions, circumstances, or character of the homeless.

So rather than try and imagine the entire spectrum — from aging military veteran to colicky new born — let’s just talk about one of these newer homeless folks.

Allow me to introduce a man who became homeless as a result of our nation’s economic downturn. He’s one of those million and a half extra folks added to the already existing crowd experiencing chronic homelessness. Only recently and unexpectedly, this gent found that he couldn’t keep his bills paid and a roof over his head for the first time in his life. (more…)

Compassionate Identification

January 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Winslow Myers

Overcoming Our Fears of, and Averting War with, Iran

by Winslow Myers

U.S. behavior long ago provided one causal context for our unease about the presumed nuclear aspirations of the Islamic Republic of Iran: the U.S. and Britain messed with Iran’s last authentically democratic election in 1953, fearing communist influence and the nationalization of oil.

Fast forward past the hostage crisis of 1979-81 to the present. The dynamic remains pretty much as it was sixty years ago: strategic jockeying for oil and natural gas, raw exercise of military competitiveness, and now the understandable impulse to acquire nuclear weapons on the part of nations fearing superpower dominance. Iranian leaders were quick to note that Saddam and Khaddafy were vulnerable because the U.S. and friends didn’t have to be concerned about nuclear retaliation (though Messrs. Bush and Blair were all too happy to use Saddam’s presumed nukes as a convenient casus belli). (more…)

Overcoming Fear

July 01, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Economy, Family, Jan Hart

Finding Peace and Sustainability from the Front Row Seats

by Jan Hart

“To live now as human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”Howard Zinn

We live in fearful times. Parker Palmer, a Quaker educator says:

“Fear is the air we breathe. We subscribe to religions that exploit our dread of death. We do business in an economy of fear driven by consumer worries about keeping up with the neighbors. And we practice a politics of fear in which candidates are elected by playing on voter’s anxieties about race and class. And we continue to ‘collaborate with these structures because they promise to protect us against one of the deepest fears at the heart of being human — the fear of … a win-lose conflict in which we could lose something of ourselves.” (more…)