New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Common Lies

March 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson, Politics

Thoughts on People Who Are Wrong…

by David Swanson

Don’t people who are wrong annoy you?  I recently read a very interesting book called Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, by Kathryn Schulz.  Of course I read it with an eye toward figuring out how better to correct those other people who are so dangerously and aggravatingly wrong.  And of course the book ended up telling me that I myself am essentially a creature of wrongness.

But if we’re all wrong, I can live with that.  It’s being more wrong than other people that’s intolerable.  However, statistics show that most of us believe we’re more right than average, suggesting a significant if not downright dominant wrongness in our very idea of wrongness. Even worse, we’re clearly not wrong by accident or despite the best of intentions.  We go wrong for the most embarrassing of reasons — albeit reasons that might serve unrelated purposes, or which perhaps did so for distant ancestors of ours. (more…)

Echoes of Howard Zinn

November 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Politics

The More Things Change, the More We Need His Words

by David Swanson

We’re approaching three years since Howard Zinn left us, and to my ear his voice sounds louder all the time.  I expect that effect to continue for decades and centuries to come, because Zinn spoke to enduring needs.  He taught lessons that must be relearned over and over, as the temptations weighing against them are so strong.  And he taught those lessons better than anybody else.

We like to use the word “we,” and to include in it everything the Constitution pretends to include in it, notably the government.  But the government tends to act against our interests.  Multi-billionaires, by definition, act against our interest.  Zinn warned us endlessly of the danger of allowing those in power to use “we” to include us in actions we would otherwise oppose.  It’s a habit we carry over from sports to wars to economic policies, but the danger of a spectator claiming “we scored!” doesn’t rise to the same level as millions of spectators claiming “we liberated Afghanistan.”

We like to think of elections as a central, important part of civic life, and as a means of significantly impacting the future.  Zinn not only warns against that misperception with incisive historical examples, and with awareness of the value of the struggle for black voting rights in the Southern United States, but he was a part of that struggle and warned against misplaced expectations at the time. (more…)

Scared Off…

October 31, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Missy Beattie, Politics

Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?

by Missy Beattie

hi, K gave me your email. hope that’s ok. she thinks you’re terrific and that we might click: same adjectives. about me (quick sales pitch): i’m fit, fun, smart, romantic and adventuresome. i”m a trial lawyer; don’t hold that against me. love to hear from you. no worries: i’ve never been on America’s Most Wanted list. i’m currently unattached and trust K’s instincts.  i’m not a serial dater (or a serial killer for that matter….lol) so i thought i’d reach out and see if there is any interest on your part. if so, please let me know.

Let’s pretend that this sentence you’re reading right now is a mantle. Above it, the paragraph opening with “hi,” is a mirror, reflecting a glimpse of my never-dull life, an email I received some weeks ago from the dear friend of K, a person I trust.  K was playing matchmaker, certain the man who authored the words and I were perfect for one another.

Beneath the sentence you are reading now is a door to the rest of the story. (more…)

Fitting the Bill

October 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Pat LaMarche

An Example of Selflessness for Society to Embrace

by Pat LaMarche 

I met Bill because — well frankly — because he fit the bill. He was a recovering alcoholic who had been homeless off and on for a decade, maybe longer. Bill was a former broadcast professional turned Wall Street tycoon who shattered his own existence with addiction. He eventually cleaned up his act so entirely that he landed a job in one of the shelters he’d gone to for protection when he couldn’t protect himself. He counseled others — drawing from his own experiences — and encouraged them to live a better more productive life.

I’m fortunate to be a people person. I love being with all sorts of people and I believe everyone is equal in measure while admittedly not equal in opportunity. But Bill had it all. Looking into his face the very first time we met I was first struck by his good looks: looks that had weathered into a different but still striking kind of handsome. He was witty and smart and compassionate and I knew instantly why he had been recommended to serve on a panel to dispel society’s misconceptions about the poor. Bill wasn’t going to lie to anyone about anything. He’d stopped lying to others maybe the same moment that he’d stopped lying to himself. (more…)

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