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Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Is Awesome. Show Her Some Love.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in October 2017.

 

Show some love to Maura Healey, the Democratic state attorney general of Massachusetts, who is up for re-election in 2018.

 

Healey is still in her first term, having been elected in 2014, and she is a standout. Previously, she was the Chief of the Civil Rights Division under her predecessor, and she led the state’s challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

She was a solid state AG already, but since Trump’s election, she has been a tireless defender of laws, norms, and civil rights.

 

She was among the earliest of the AGs to sign on to the lawsuit to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump promised to kill.

 

She has also been in the forefront of suing the Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education to allow Obama-era laws to take effect that would allow students who were cheated by colleges to discharge their federal loan debts.

 

Healey has also announced that she will sue Equifax over its egregious breach that compromised the personal information of roughly 143 million Americans. She is up for re-election in 2018.

 

Regardless, Healey deserves your support on social media at the very least.

 

 

See the Massachusetts Attorney General’s website:

http://www.mass.gov/ago/

 

 

See her own website:

http://www.maurahealey.com

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MauraHealeyMA

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@maura_healey

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See her page on the website of the National Association of Attorneys General:

http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag/massachusetts/maura-healey.php

 

 

Read various stories about her lawsuits against Equifax and the Department of Education, and the lawsuit in defense of DACA:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/equifax-data-breach-massachusetts-attorney-general-to-sue/

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/09/06/massachusetts-suing-daca/

http://www.wbur.org/radioboston/2017/07/06/maura-healey-devos

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Keep Up the Good Work: Pushing Back is Having an Effect

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

One of the most welcome bits of news to arise from the Trump administration was the huge and immediate resistance movement that sprung up.

This is a landing page for good news about protesting, and other push-backs that got results, and stories that show that such efforts are effective.

 

Between 3.3 million and 4.6 million people marched in the January 21 Women’s March on Washington or one of its sister marches in America, making it the largest protest in the country’s history.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/01/womens-march-protest-count/514166/

 

According to this TEDX talk, it might take as little as 3.5 percent of a country’s population to engage in successful civil resistance against a brutal dictator. In case you’re wondering: The population of the U.S. is 319 million, and 3.5 percent of that would be 11.1 million.

My Talk at TEDxBoulder: Civil Resistance and the “3.5% Rule”

 

 

Read this February 6, 2017 Vox piece that recounts the first two weeks of Trump’s term and shows how pushback from the public slowed his roll:

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/6/14473482/resistance-works-anti-trump-protests

 

The straightforwardly-titled What Calling Congress Achieves, from The New Yorker, is a heartening and nuanced look at the history of constituents calling their Congressfolk and bringing us up to the present crush of activity, and how effective it has been. (Spoiler alert: Very!)

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/what-calling-congress-achieves

 

 

 

 

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Help These Comfort Dogs Help the Victims of American Tragedies Such as The Shootings in Sandy Hook, Florida, Las Vegas, and the Boston Marathon Bombings

Help an Illinois-based Lutheran church program that supplies comfort dogs to victims of American tragedies, such as the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, the concert shooting in Las Vegas, and the Boston Marathon Bombings.

 

The Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry debuted in August 2008. The dogs help victims of tragedies by giving them something relaxing and joyful to concentrate on. In the course of playing with the dogs, victims find it easier to talk about what happened to them–an act that some survivors struggle with.

 

The team of comfort dogs features Golden Retrievers. Many are named for characters who appear in the Bible. Lutheran Church Charities states they have more than 130 trained comfort dogs helping people in 20 states.

 

The church never charges for visits from its comfort dogs. It relies on donations to underwrite the program.

 

 

Meet the dogs on the LCC K-9 roster and find their individual Facebook pages:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/meetthedogs-165459-953204.html

 

 

Donate to cover the travel expenses for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’ trip to Parkland, Florida, following the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:

https://give.idonate.com/lutheran-church-charities/lcc-k-9-comfort-dog-travel-expenses-parkland-florida?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=Twitter

 

 

Donate to the general fund for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ministry:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/give-lcc-k-9.html

 

 

See the main page for Lutheran Church Charities, which created and maintains the comfort dogs program:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org

 

 

See the LCC K-9 Crisis Response page, which features photos of events the dogs have responded to, and the people they’ve served:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/cr.html

 

 

Request a site visit from the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs:

https://lcc.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/366/responses/new

 

 

Request an emergency visit from the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs:

https://lcc.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/1148/responses/new

 

 

If you live in Northern Illinois or near Grand Island, Nebraska, you can become an apprentice comfort dog trainer:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/volunteer-k-9-apprentice.html

 

 

Meet the team who trains the comfort dogs:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/trainers.html

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/k9comfort/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@K9ComfortDogs

 

 

Shop the LCC K-9 store, which has a stuffed toy Golden Retriever and a coloring book that features the comfort dogs:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/store.html

 

 

Read a CNN story about the LCC K-9 comfort dogs’ visit to survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida:

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/health/iyw-orlando-comfort-dogs-trnd/index.html

 

 

Read an NBC Miami story on the LCC K-9 comfort dogs’ visit to MSD students in Parkland,  Florida:

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Therapy-Dogs-Help-Those-Mourning-After-Parkland-Shooting-474885453.html

 

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Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

For your own sanity’s sake, plan periodic breaks from fighting Trump and his ilk.

With so much going on, it might be tough to convince yourself to step away and rest. But you must if you want to fight Trump and the Republicans effectively. No, really. You’ve heard people say ‘This is a marathon, not a sprint’? It’s not a bunch of yap-yap. You can’t go the distance if you don’t slow down to grab some water every now and again.

You need to sit yourself down and plan these respites, and you need to commit to them. Blocking out one day a week where you disengage from the news and from social media to do something you like–be it hiking, knitting, reading, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer–put it on your calendar and don’t talk yourself out of it.

If you’re having trouble giving yourself permission to take one day off a week, then let us at OTYCD tell it to you straight:

 

“We, your friends at the One Thing You Can Do blog, are telling you, our faithful reader, to unplug and chill out completely once a week. We are giving you formal permission to do so.”

 

Print it out and tape it to your mirror, or your computer monitor, or staple it to your forehead–whatever it takes to get through to you.

If you won’t listen to OTYCD on this, follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter and subscribe to her Weekly Activism Checklist newsletter. She’s a fire-breathing evangelist for self-care.

 

Follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter:

@inspiredjen

 

Sign up for her Weekly Activism Checklist:

https://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Hofmann-463228547169366/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Believe It: You Matter.

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Never forget: You matter, and your actions matter, even when it feels like they aren’t adding up to much. You. Matter. Never give up the fight.

Waking up on November 9, 2016 was tough.

Trump will go, eventually, but you should not. Your work doesn’t end when his term does. You need to carry on and help reshape America so this sort of crazy nonsense can’t happen again.

One of the most insidious things about Putin’s attack on the 2016 election was just that–the attack on democracy itself. Never forget: Putin gains when he can destabilize liberal democracies and make them look broken and dysfunctional.

Putin is trying to teach his people that it’s fruitless to resist autocratic leaders like him. And that’s why it should give you pause when you consider that as of early April, Trump has yet to criticize Putin in any way whatsoever.

When you feel like what you’re doing to push back against Trump isn’t working, remember this:

Vladimir Putin doesn’t want you to vote.

Robert Mugabe doesn’t want you to vote.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t want you to vote.

Kim Jong-un doesn’t want you to vote.

Bashar al-Assad doesn’t want you to vote.

When you vote, or protest, or contact your members of Congress, or run for office yourself–when you pick up an oar and row the endless longboat of American democracy,  you are yelling a big, loud “fuck you” at those who are trying to scare their own people into submission.

You matter.

You are one among many, but you matter.

Never forget. Never despair. You matter.

Community Activism · Good News

Believe It: You Matter

Never forget: You matter, and your actions matter, even when it feels like they aren’t adding up to much. You. Matter. Never give up the fight.

Waking up on November 9, 2017 was tough.

Trump will go, eventually, but you should not. Your work doesn’t end when his term does. You need to carry on and help reshape America so this sort of crazy nonsense can’t happen again.

One of the most insidious things about Putin’s attack on the 2016 election was just that–the attack on democracy itself. Never forget: Putin gains when he can destabilize liberal democracies and make them look broken and dysfunctional.

Putin is trying to teach his people that it’s fruitless to resist autocratic leaders like him. And that’s why it should give you pause when you consider that as of early April, Trump has yet to criticize Putin in any way whatsoever.

When you feel like what you’re doing to push back against Trump isn’t working, remember this:

Vladimir Putin doesn’t want you to vote.

Robert Mugabe doesn’t want you to vote.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t want you to vote.

Kim Jong-un doesn’t want you to vote.

Bashar al-Assad doesn’t want you to vote.

When you vote, or protest, or contact your members of Congress, or run for office yourself–when you pick up an oar and row the endless longboat of American democracy,  you are yelling a big, loud “fuck you” at those who are trying to scare their own people into submission.

You matter.

You are one among many, but you matter.

Never forget. Never despair. You matter.