New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

I Ain’t Got No Home

December 12, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Tina Lynn Evans

(Re)learning the Value of Place and Occupying a Sustainable Future

by Tina Lynn Evans

Can we truly be at home in the marketplace? What kind of place is the marketplace, anyway, and how is it related to places like our communities, our homes, and the places we love in the natural world? Has the marketplace effectively replaced these physical/mental places by becoming the great provider of all that we need? And what about virtual place? Many of us spend so much time in online “environments” that place has taken on entirely new meanings unheard of prior to the Internet age. In a time when we can be both virtually and physically present in two different places at once, does it matter how we think about place, or can we just make of it what we will — make how we see and use place fit our chosen lifestyles? (more…)

The Hope of Occupy

December 09, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Economy, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Bank and Land Occupations — It’s Not Over Yet, by a Long Shot

by Jan Lundberg

Occupy Santa Cruz has had in three days three major setbacks. Perhaps they were fruitless attempts to set back the movement.  The last one in the series, that the police moved to pull off on Dec. 7, is the eviction and dismantling of the tent city of Occupiers (and previously homeless folk) downtown at San Lorenzo Park by the river.  [Update: the tent city was partly abandoned by dark on the 7th, and the police came in after 7 AM the next day, arresting five people.] The police and their backers might think they are on a roll. This report shows this thinking would be flawed. (more…)

Occupy Your Life

November 25, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jan Hart, Politics

What Are YOU Doing to Live Well and Contribute to the Cause?

by Jan Hart

The Occupy movement is alive, credible and growing in the United States and the world. International in scope, the Occupy movement began just a few months ago in New York City, followed by San Francisco.  A few weeks later the protests had spread to 95 cities across 82 countries and over 600 communities in the U.S. Ordinary people are standing up to a system that they feel is unequal and unfair. The recent eviction at Zuccotti Park serves only to make the movement stronger. In a world where the wealthy elite, the 1 %, have all the power and control, 99 % of the people feel powerless to effect changes that would make their lives better. (more…)

Bench Strength

November 21, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Guest Author, Politics

Public Art Controversy Brought People Together for a Cause

by Kristin Anthony

{Editor’s Note: In Prescott, Arizona, a work of public art created with the participation of over a hundred community members was recently destroyed by local officials in the middle of the night. The controversy set in motion a range of reactions, including the resignation of a city council member and calls for a coherent public art policy. The originator of the art project, which was a mosaic-tiled bench, reflects on the issues and overall experience.}

During my time in Prescott, I had the opportunity to create a community bench as a senior project for Prescott College. I had seen many of these structures in Nepal where there is a deep sense of connection between people and nature.

Enthusiastic to bring this idea to the U.S., I received approval from the Parks and Recreation Department and worked with the city for many months before the bench finally came to life. After eight weeks of work we were asked to stop construction, and three weeks later the bench was torn down. (more…)

Peace Happens

November 15, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Guest Author

What if Peace Were Popular?

by Reba Parker

Some of you may be thinking that peace is too important to popularize. I would beg to differ. In the fall of 2011, Charleston Peace One Day, a non-profit located in Charleston, South Carolina took on a strategic mission to do just that. The campaign was called PEACE HAPPENS, setting forth a Call to Action asking people to “do something for peace.”   During peace week, September 14-21, 2011, over 80 groups planned their own unique initiatives for peace. Recall that Charleston is where the American Civil War started (we just celebrated our Sesquicentennial) and is currently ranked forty-second on the U.S. Index of Peace. Most would think we have a long way to go, but nothing is holding us back — except maybe old, outdated images and definitions of peace, and a bit of lingering intolerant history. (more…)

Food Fights

October 12, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Politics

Hunger Politics and the Struggle for Autonomy and Resistance

by Devon G. Peña

The political project to homogenize and control the global food system dominated by a handful of multinational corporations and powerful nation states is capitalist at its core and manifest source. This reflects the culmination of five decades of American policies that made food into political weaponry, as Harry Cleaver presciently observed way back in 1977. Food as political weaponry became official US policy during the Nixon Administration when Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, declared that food was indeed part of the toolkit of American “diplomacy.”  Butz announced this policy in 1974 with the simple statement: “Food is a weapon.” (more…)

A Cooperative Economy

September 16, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Guest Author

The Time Is Now

by Carmen Llanes

National news and political debates today are full of reasons why the “mainstream” way of American life is in big trouble. Many people are less interested in the national picture because real solutions seem so few and far between. Where is an inspiring story of victory? As it turns out, little victories are happening now. When it comes to the economy, solutions can come locally, and they don’t always make the news. We can pull ourselves out of this mess, but we have to reach close. We must grab each other at arms length and start supporting our own communities on a business level. There, we may find more solutions than we ever expected.

In fact, much of our recession can be attributed to the lack of input from workers and small businesses. Our economy has been at the mercy of too few hands over the last several decades. Now many folks are using whatever skill they have to get by in a world with fewer local jobs and many, many underemployed people. (more…)