Monday, November 23

Humanitarian Intervention and Present-Day (2009) Darfur

I wanted to take a printout of this to a speech in the city. The speech was calling the current situation in Darfur a "genocide" and hoping to "raise awareness" of it. After reading works like this by Richard Seymour, I agree w/ him 1) that it's not and 2) that it's likely to make things worse for people in Sudan to call it one.

But I knew I should come home and spend time w/ my family, not go to that speech.

But...I also felt like...that's probably at least 100 people who're going to hear the speaker's point of view, and if I don't go and get my 30-second point in during Q&A, only the 1 or 2 of those 100 attendees I e-mail over the next couple of days will hear this point of view.

But then I remembered that in my dawdling, trying to stay geographically closer, I'd forgotten all about a promise I'd made to help my neighbors w/ stuff "this afternoon." And it was dark!

So I had an answer--1 or 2 people it is on the Darfur thing.

I'm writing about this here also to hold myself accountable and force myself to have the guts to do the "conversation w/ 1 or 2 people" thing at all, now that my opportunity to set out anonymous printouts on random tables is gone and I could just run away from real, heart-to-heart conversations.

Feel free to comment in a week and ask, "So, didya do it?"

Wednesday, November 18

Warning: Rail Public Transit Is A Major Lever For The Rich To Get Upper Middle Class People To Help Them Gentrify Cities

Ho-lee crap.

It's the same. Thing.

"Transportation general manager Bob Boutilier said...
"The corridors are not up for debate"

-Karen Kleiss,

Not up for debate.

Just like ours in the early 2000's.

They were up for debate for a while (the early 1990's).


Once the "developers" of the world pushed and pushed and pushed to always be trusted as "correct" about land use nation-wide, and once St. Paul government officials placed all decision-making value on statements like this:

"...developer David Kent of Strathearn Heights said the LRT expansion will promote ... redevelopment .... '(this proposal) would spur my industry.'"
(emphasis mine)
-Karen Kleiss,

Then (2000's) the routing was no longer "up for debate."

Light rail was going to be routed down an already-developed street, no matter what the working-class people who had envisioned its "development" and done the developing thought.

This Edmonton case makes clear that rail transit is a MAJOR vehicle for "push the poor folks out of the city, because now rich folks consider the city fun and to have amenities and we want to turn every corner of it into a place that can maybe make money off somewhat-rich folks for other rich folks for a little while before it goes bust trying."

Just wanna let folks in other cities know that they might wanna consider "rail" a hot word for their neighborhoods before it's too late for them, like it's probably too late for folks in St. Paul.

If "folks" = you, please remember: You've got a LOT of upper-middle-class people aligned against you right now.

You've got a population that is as susceptible to phrases that make them think "green," true or not, as much of America has been susceptible to phrases that make them think "terrorism," true or not.

ALL it takes for the wealthy to align these people on their side is the general statements that "trains cause less pollution per person than buses" and "trains' high speed from one end to the other (due to not stopping every block) attract people to mass transit who otherwise would have driven."

Attracting those people to the side of considering the well-being of poorer people currently taking public transit and currently living & working along big streets is a big-ass uphill battle that will take all the time you can get.

(To justice-minded Minnesotans: I hope I'll see you at North Minneapolis ("Bottineau") light rail alignment/routing meetings! Sorry I can't find a link--I read about them in a newsletter on public transit but can't seem to find archives online.)

Don't Let University Avenue's Current Businesses Get Ruined By Upper-Class Developers!

"Business owners are concerned that construction, increased property taxes, and a significant loss of street parking along University Avenue, will wipe out a thriving Southeast Asian-American business community."
-David Seitz, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Wednesday, November 4

We Really Need To Up Our Efforts Changing Our Culture


Because here are obviously huge-ass problems with jumping in violently, like that you might kill the boy.

THAT is why "just beat up sexual assaulters" is NOT a good default response from society to the existence of sexual assault.


"Stop people from wanting to do things that are sexual assault" is a BETTER default reponse from society to the existence of sexual assault.

Here are good examples of things that're wrong right now that we could non-violently reduce sexual assault incidents by fixing:

Harriet Jacobs wrote at Figitivus:

What I mean to say is:

The way men and women interact on a daily basis is the way they interact when rape occurs. The social dynamics we see at play between men and women are the same social dynamics that cause men to feel rape is okay, and women to feel they have no right to object. And if you accept those social interactions as normal and appropriate in your day to day life, there is absolutely no reason you should be shocked that rape occurs without screaming, without fighting, without bruising, without provocation, and without prosecution. Behavior exists on a continuum. Rape doesn’t inhabit its own little corner of the world, where everything is suddenly all different now. The behavior you accept today is the behavior that becomes rape tomorrow. And you very well might accept it then, too.

Aaminah Hernandez wrote on FlipFloppingJoy comments:
consent is a good starting point, in so far as “man, did you ASK her and did she give you a clear yes” but we know there’s still lots of room in that. much better to get to the radical “man, why do you even feel compelled to get off by doing that to a woman?”. let’s address why men WANT to do certain things that are hurtful to women, regardless of whether or not women will “let” you do it. that’s not the point. the point is where does the inclination to dominate a woman come from and why is that what makes you “feel like a man”?
and yes, i know that opens up a can of worms on the BDSM issue and policing what people get off on, and questionning women’s right to consent to things just because we find them abhorrant. but i think that’s NOT what we are talking about here. ... i think we’re talking about a whole different matter which is men being able to be men, confident in their masculinity, sexually expressive, without it resting on degradation and pain to women (or other men for that matter).

Especially us people w/ time on our hands--let's CHANGE that "daily basis" and that "day to day life" and that basis for boy's and men's masculinity and sexual expressiveness for the boys whose lives we influence. NOW. WIDESPREAD. INTENSE.

Because this boy didn't deserve to die for what he did to the female friend he was traveling with.

"Deserve" isn't even the right word for how I would feel about one punch in response to what he was doing to his friend.

I think he DID deserve a culture / cultures that would, throughout it / them, SUPPORT non-violent lifestyles.

I'll get more active in anti-violence work.

The rest of our boys and girls who are still alive deserve it, and to make what people "deserve" happen, someone's gotta do it.
(Lots of someones. But I'll start w/ me.)

Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"