New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Unpleasant Truths

October 17, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Victoria Law

Following Hunger Strikes, California Reconsiders Solitary Confinement

by Victoria Law

“Tell us the truth, even if it’s not pleasant,” State Assembly member Tom Ammiano told California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials, advocates, formerly incarcerated people and family members.

On Wednesday, October 9, the California legislature’s Public Safety Committee held the first of several hearings about the use of solitary confinement in California’s prisons. These hearings were prompted by a 60-day hunger strike that rocked California’s prison system this past summer.

On July 8, 2013, over 30,000 people incarcerated throughout California refused meals. Hunger strikers issued five core demands: (more…)

Strike Zone

October 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Family, Politics, Victoria Law

Hungering for Justice in the Crime-and-Punishment System

by Victoria Law

“This is what democracy looks like!” These days, when you hear those words at a protest, whether officially permitted or not, you know that the police are seconds away from pulling out their plastic handcuffs and pepper spray and getting ready to pack their paddy wagons.

On October 5th, near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, I heard that chant as the police closed in on a group of protesters attempting to breach the barricades blocking Wall Street. Knowing that arrests and violence were soon to follow, my daughter and I turned and left. We circled around to Zuccotti Park where we stayed for an hour and a half until police arrived on horseback and motor scooters and began closing the protesters in with metal barricades.

If this is what democracy looks like, at least there are numerous cameras to record the ways that the police and the city treat the 8,000 to 12,000 people exercising their democratic right to protest. (more…)

Food Sovereignty and the End of Obesity

March 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Guest Author

America’s Paradox: Getting Heavier and Growing Hungrier

by Kat Asselin, Kendra Broadwater, and Mollie Tarte

In a world of climbing food costs, media outlets are predicting the downfall of Americans increasingly subject to the diseases of obesity while concurrently talking about the epidemic of food insecurity that has only worsened in the decades since the so-called Green Revolution.

Obesity is clinically defined as a body mass index in excess of 30, but other studies and models suggest that there is genetic diversity in body types and a strong correlation with century-old dietary practices and co-evolution of human bodies and heritage cuisines. Over the past 30 years, the proportion of obese adults has climbed in most states, in some cases from less than 10% to more than 30% today.  The attention given to the ever-expanding American waistline has been impossible to ignore.

You can even see this drama unfold on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) website. (more…)

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