It took one woman 10 years to see her rapist brought to justice because that's when they finally tested her rape kit. Her story is not uncommon. This week, we dive into the backlog of untested rape kits and what we as communities need to do to support, defend and protect. Next, the J20 trials continue and with 36 defendants still facing decades in jail, here are some actions and some conversations we need to have. Cheri Honkala and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign came to DC - not to ask for help - but to invite fellow poor folks to join them. And to demand the justice and human rights that have been denied to poor Americans.
In an age of Trump and trolls, it may be strange to talk about utopia. Not only has a divisive reactionary right-wing privileged minority surged to the fore, but social inequality, militarism and the climate crisis have worsened too. There does seem, however, to be one arena for hope for progressive solutions and that is in the city. Worldwide, mayors are increasingly a progressive and fearless voice advancing bold agendas on climate change, welcoming refugees and trialling new forms of democratic participation. The question remains: can these cities offer solutions that address multiple systemic crises instead of pursuing, as Greg Sharzer suggests, a “way to avoid, rather than confront capitalism” by focusing on “piecemeal reforms around the edges”? Can a group of cities really offer any fundamental solutions to a crisis created by the immense power of corporate capital?
Students are much too busy to think these days. So, when a junior comes to talk with me about the possibility of my directing their senior thesis, I ask them about their topic—and then their schedule. I explain to them that, if they really want to do a good project, they’re going to have to quit half the things they’re involved in. They look at me as if I’m crazy. “Really?! But I’ve signed up for all these interesting clubs and volunteer projects and intramural sports and. . .” I then patiently explain that, to have the real learning experience of a semester or year of independent study, they need time, a surplus of time. They need to have the extra time in their lives to get lost in the library or to take a break with a friend, to read and to daydream. In other words, they need to have the right to be lazy.
By Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism - Yves here. We so often feature stories about what is wrong, because in our view, you need to have an accurate diagnosis before you can come up with solutions. I know some people who view themselves as very liberal who believe that it is impossible to get Americans to move to more environmentally responsible lifestyles. One good contact claimed earlier this week, “No one is being honest about what it would take. You’d need to shower only once a week and give up on air conditioners, dish washers, and most use of cars.”
MPN: Is it possible that people don’t want to be happy? JT: I cannot see that happening, unless human beings have ceased to be human beings and lost their humanity. I think this is where the danger lies. We no longer are human beings, we are more and more economic animals, surviving in a market place. And our values are not in terms of us as human beings pursuing human values, in terms of our relationship with others, supporting each other; no, our values are nothing more than those as consumers. And our countries are increasingly defined, shamelessly defined, as consumer markets. But we are not consumer markets, my country is not a consumer market. My country is home of humanity, home to Buddhist people with emotional, psychological needs and with values far higher than just wanting to be able to buy more, consume more, waste more, pollute more.