New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Dear Graduates

May 23, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

If I Had Been Asked to Speak at Your Commencement…

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

This is what I would have said:

It’s become a cliché to say that every day is the first day of the rest of your life, and yet like most clichés this one holds truth to it.

When you walk down that aisle today holding your B.A. diploma, achieving a goal which you have worked towards for many years, you will be stepping into your adulthood with all the rights and privileges, but also all the responsibilities that this maturity brings.

The year 2012, long prophesied as a time of great change and transition, is not an easy time to be reaching adulthood.

I don’t have to tell you that times are tough economically, or that our planetary environment is facing its own severe shifts due to anthropogenic global heating.  You have probably heard tell of a “sixth great extinction event” on the horizon, if climate change projections continue unabated on their current course, causing the heating and acidification of the oceans and resulting drought, floods, and violent storms on land. (more…)

Help Wanted

May 14, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

Immediate Action Needed on Climate Change

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

Now if only President Obama could show the same leadership on climate change as he has just demonstrated on the divisive same- sex-marriage issue.

The same narrow-minded interests that made same-sex marriage such a boogeyman for the President are also controlling the GOP-dominated boardrooms of Big Oil, from Mr. Cheney on down.

These people seem to be motivated by one thing only: the bottom line.  And they seem to be able to think only as far as a quarter or two ahead.

They don’t see that they are driving us as fast as possible over a cliff from which there will be no recovery.  Or maybe they see, but just don’t care.

It was with great appreciation that I opened up The New York Times Opinion pages last week and saw the indefatigable James Hansen offering the lead op-ed, once more displaying his vision and leadership in 1) insisting that the comfortable NYT readers pay attention to the imminent and grave threat of climate change, and 2) offering a practical solution for bringing about the swift change of course we need to avert disaster. (more…)

A Mother’s Day Manifesto

May 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Family, Windy Cooler

Promoting Personal and Communal Responsibility

by Windy Cooler

“Bite this stick,” the doctor might have said as we birthed our children a hundred years ago. The grunting,  whimpering, sobbing, pleading, sweating, stinking, bleeding nudity of motherhood channeled into that sweet gag, silent, as the towels mount to soak up all of the  nasty animal we are as we labor with the promise of life. Bite this stick.

To date, my most popular blog entry (Of Mice and Moms), is one in which I refuse the bite the stick. It is  vaguely about Mother’s Day and it is, honestly, the kind of screaming that does not produce life. Birth is a channeling of the pain, down, not up into the air,  pushing through it, sinking, a kind of focus that for all the animal smell, is what is truly animal. But the response from other mothers, and even fathers,  people in general, to my scream was huge.  I was a little taken aback. We are angry. We are sad. (more…)

Preamble to Peace

March 14, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson, Politics

The Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities

by David Swanson

PREAMBLE

Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not self-enforcing,

Whereas statement of the inherent dignity and of the equal and supposedly inalienable rights of all members of the human family achieves little without a struggle against greed, injustice, tyranny, and war,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights could not have resulted in the barbarous acts that have outraged the conscience of humankind without the cowardice, laziness, apathy, and blind obedience of well-meaning but unengaged spectators,

Whereas proclaiming as the highest aspiration of the common people the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want doesn’t actually produce such a world,

Whereas nonviolent rebellion against tyranny and oppression must be a first resort rather than a last, and must be our constant companion into the future if justice and peace are to be achieved and maintained, (more…)

Up in Arms

February 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Jennifer Browdy, Politics

Taking Responsibility for the Violence

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

I have to admit that I was not paying much attention to the bombardment of the city of Homs, Syria — now in its 25th day — before the deaths of two Western journalists there last week.

@ instaputz.blogspot.comThat is completely typical of me as a Western observer sitting comfortably at my desk, far from the tumult and terror of war.

I sat complacently at my desk during the bombardments of Sarajevo in the 1990s, and Baghdad in 2003-4.  I was hardly aware of what was going on in Rwanda during the genocide there in 1994.  Glimmers of awareness come and go about the current violence in the Congo, or in Burma.

For the most part, I go about my business like any animal would, focusing on what’s in front of me.  As long as my belly is full and my personal security is not threatened, I can give a big yawn at the evening news, and go peacefully to sleep. (more…)

The Good Word

February 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Family, Walt Anderson

Taking Stock and Investing in Shares

by Walt Anderson

Am I allowed to postdate a New Year’s Resolution?

Taking stock.  No, I am not talking about financial matters — something much more important actually.  The arrival of 2012 reminds me to reflect upon my life, not on transient accomplishments or on political or social disappointments.  Few of those things are lasting, scarcely more significant in my life than the taste of yesterday’s breakfast.  What was it that I ate, anyway?

What should be important is what I chose to share with others.  My vow this year — one that is much more realistic than how many pounds I will lose, how often I intend to work out, or what yard work I may or may not get to — is to open myself to greater sharing. (more…)

Corporations Are Not People

October 17, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Michael N. Nagler, Politics, Stephanie N. Van Hook

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident…

by Michael N. Nagler and Stephanie N. Van Hook

When is a person not a person? Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PSR) recently answered this absurd question with the obvious and embarrassing answer: when it’s a corporation. According to PSR’s statement, in case anyone is confused, a human being

“is a complex organism with capacities for joy and pain, reflection, and the compassionate appreciation of others. Mature persons are expected to display reasoned judgment, and are personally responsible for their own actions (our emphasis).  Human beings live, breath, think, experience emotions, and internalize values such as empathy and caring for others. Like all sentient beings, they suffer, and die.”

Corporations possess none of these functions, which make being human sacred, valuable and worthy of dignity. As the Occupy movements grow in remarkably inspiring ways, they have a unique opportunity to raise the human image from the slander and propaganda of the corporate media — where our capacity for consumption defines us and our desire for wealth drives us — to a more promising, and far more accurate conception of what makes us truly human: our capacity for nonviolence, motivated by our most precious desire for freedom. As Gandhi put it, “Non-violence is the law of the humans…” (more…)