Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Join the Network for Public Education and Combat Betsy DeVos’s Agenda

Want to resist the democracy-destroying agenda of Department of Education head Betsy DeVos? Join the Network for Public Education.

Founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch, a historian of education and author of numerous books, including Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform and The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, it aims to protect and defend the nation’s public school system from the forces that would destroy it.

 

Visit the Network for Public Education’s web page:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org

 

See its agenda:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/about-npe/our-positive-agenda/

 

Join its grassroots network (scroll down to find your state):

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/grassroots-education-network-3/

 

Review its Toolkit that explains school privatization, and why it’s a problem:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/9121-2/

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/networkforpubliced/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@Network4PubEd

 

Donate to the Network for Public Education:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/about-npe/donate/

Marches and Protests

Keep Going to Protests. They Piss Trump Off.

Keep going to protests. Seeing big crowds arrayed against him annoys the everloving crap out of Trump.

Protests cost time and money. Making signs, transportation, parking, seasonal weather gear–it all adds up. And it can be tough and anxiety-provoking to join a big crowd in a public place in a major city.

Keep doing it. It works. And think about joining the planning or fundraising committees of future protests.

In late April, Vox did a piece called 4 rules for making a protest work, according to experts. The link to the full story is below, but here’s a key passage:

 

The longer and louder a protest persists, the more likely the government is to take action.

Daniel Q. Gillion, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Political Power of Protest, has focused his career on figuring out whether a protest can make a real change. “The answer is that it does,” he says.

But it’s not that easy. Conservatives can point to the current mass gatherings and smear them as fringe — unruly mobs of political correctness gone wild. A “protest can embolden politicians to stay the course, and conservative politicians like Trump might be emboldened,” said Gillion.

For a protest to spur change, he finds, it has to become unignorable.

In his studies of decades’ worth of minority activism, Gillion has identified several factors that are key to upping a protest’s salience and, in turn, making real political change.

They include:

  • Whether the protest lasts longer than a day
  • If there are more than 100 people involved
  • If police were present
  • If political organizations were attached to the protest
  • If there were arrests, injuries, or reports of property damage
  • Whether a death occurred

 

Obviously, we’ll all want to continue to avoid the last two on that list, but please continue to come out to protest, and look for protests that fit the first four criteria. We at OTYCD will continue to alert you to nationwide protests of note.

 

Also, here’s a Politico article from around the same time that shows that the protests get under Trump’s onion-thin skin:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/donald-trump-protesters-237303

 

And here is the full article from Vox:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/31/14430584/protest-trump-strategies-experts

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Ethics · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Never Stop Demanding That Congress Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia and His Violations of the Constitution

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

See the blog below.

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

 

Trump has been likened to Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th-century autocrats, but his closest analog is Silvio Berlusconi, the blustering, womanizing media mogul who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2001.

In this November 2016 New York Times op-ed, Luigi Zingales shows us how to avoid the mistakes of Berlusconi opponents, which had the effect of prolonging his grip on power.

The key point to remember:

Attack what Trump does, not who he is. Yes, he’s morally bankrupt. Yes, he’s an awful human being. Yes, he’s unbelievably ignorant. Yes, his view of women is horrific. Yes, his twitter-squawkings are insane. Yes, he looks goddamn ridiculous.

If you need to complain about things like that, vent in a private Facebook group, or some other protected space. Empty it from your mind, then go out and shine a light on what he is doing, and explain why what he’s doing is bad.

You need to do it in a way that spotlights the consequences of his actions as president, and not on why Trump, the man, is repugnant. The instant you start attacking his character, you make him sympathetic. It’s not fair, but it’s what it is. The anti-Berlusconi crowd made that mistake and got seven years of his rule. Do you want eight years of Trump? Then lay off.

 

 

Community Activism · Escape Your Bubble · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Commit Now to Put Any Tax Benefits You Might Get from the GOP Tax Bill to Fighting Its Effects

If the GOP tax bill passes, will you benefit from it in the form of lower taxes? Commit now to put any extra money to the work of fighting its effects.

Yes, the GOP tax bill rewards the rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Not too terribly many people who read this will belong to the group who will benefit if it becomes law.

Still. If you are one of those people, think about how you will use that money for good, and use it to fight the ill effects of the bill.

The bill treats waived graduate school tuition as taxable income. Fight this by talking to your alma mater, or a favorite public or private university, about how you can help relieve the burden the bill imposes on grad students. In particular, do what you can to assist grad students from marginalized communities, who will be hit hardest.

The bill removes a tax credit that employers received if they hired veterans. Look around your community, see which organizations are serving veterans and helping them find jobs, and see about pointing your gains in that direction.

The bill removes a tax credit for teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms. Find the neediest public school in your community and commit to underwriting those perpetual costs.

The variants are endless, but we should also mention yet again that in addition to what you choose to do, you should also support and elect candidates who will change the laws, fix the flaws, and help the people who will be hurt by the GOP tax bill.

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Help John Oliver Keep Up The Great Work By Subscribing to HBO

Support the work of John Oliver and his team at Last Week Tonight by subscribing to Home Box Office (HBO) and telling HBO that you signed on specifically to get his show.

Comedian John Oliver, alumnus of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, has done powerful and impressive work before and since the election of Donald Trump. If we manage to save net neutrality, he and his #GoFCCYourself campaign will deserve a big slice of the credit.

While the 2016 presidential campaign was still live, Oliver called attention to the madness of the presidential primary process and asked us to reserve February 2, 2018, as the day to ask our legislators to fix it. (Yes, we will write a post to remind you of that, but there’s no harm in marking your calendars if you haven’t already.)

He’s aimed his guns at income inequality, payday loans, the rank injustices of the prison system, student debt, civil asset forfeiture, and dozens of other vital issues.

You’ve learned a lot from him, admit it. So forgive us for asking, but do you watch his segments for free online, or do you subscribe to HBO?

If you don’t, well, it’s past time for you to subscribe to HBO. And when you do, please go out of your way to tell HBO that you signed up specifically because it runs Last Week Tonight, and you want Oliver and his team to carry on with their good work.

 

Sign up for HBO, with or without cable:

http://www.hbo.com/order/get-hbo.html

 

Once you’ve done that, contact HBO and tell them you subscribed expressly to support John Oliver and Last Week Tonight:

http://www.hbo.com/about/contact-us.html

 

Follow Last Week Tonight on Twitter:

@LastWeekTonight

 

Like the show on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LastWeekTonight

 

Follow John Oliver on Twitter:

@iamjohnoliver

 

Read about Last Week Tonight‘s #GoFCCYourself campaign and how effective it’s been:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2017/05/09/john-oliver-may-have-helped-spur-150000-comments-fcc-net-neutrality/101480100/

http://deadline.com/2017/05/john-oliver-donald-trump-fcc-net-neutrality-ajit-pai-1202086601/

https://news.fastcompany.com/to-support-net-neutrality-john-oliver-just-helped-crash-the-fccs-website-again-4036955

http://theweek.com/speedreads/697291/john-oliver-sounds-warning-siren-net-neutrality-summoning-internet-horde-that-saved-before

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-net-neutrality-john-oliver-20170508-htmlstory.html

 

Read about how the efforts of John Oliver and Last Week Tonight have boosted other worthy anti-Trump and pro-democracy causes:

http://www.poynter.org/2016/propublica-is-seeing-a-surge-in-donations-after-john-olivers-trump-segment/439254/

http://lastnighton.com/2016/11/15/john-olivers-last-week-tonight-trump-segment-spurs-donation-increase/

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your House Rep · Ethics · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Stand Ready to Defend the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), Which Might Come Under Attack

Stand ready to defend the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) from renewed assault by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and members of the House of Representatives.

One of the first things that the House of Representatives did in 2017 was attempt to kill the OCE, an independent ethics office created in 2008 in the wake of scandals that sent three MoCs to jail. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican house rep from Virginia, led the effort to neuter the office in a closed-door meeting on January 2.

An immediate outcry ensued. It was overshadowed by Trump jumping in to defend the OCE, and news reports gave him most of the credit for its survival. In truth, that response was the first real blow struck by the infant Resistance movement, who were alerted by news articles and the alarms sounded by watchdog groups.

Goodlatte, Speaker Ryan, and their ilk calculated that they would succeed because the OCE is seen as an annoyance by MoCs from both sides of the aisle. The sudden, sharp outcry convinced them to leave the office alone and try to “reform” it at “a future date.”

We thought that House Republicans might renew their attack under the cover of summer, hoping we’d be distracted by the general news slowdown and by our vacations. Mitch McConnell’s delay of recess for the Senate put paid to that. The house recessed on time and did not attack the OCE. But it is still vulnerable.

We at OTYCD are asking you to stand ready to defend the OCE and its valuable work.

Right now, you can call your house rep and speak up in favor of the OCE.

Sample script: “Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am from (town, zip code) and I am calling to speak up in favor of the Office of Congressional Ethics and its valuable work. You might recall that House Rep Bob Goodlatte led an effort to kill the OCE in early January, when the house came back into session following the holiday recess. The ensuing outcry forced Goodlatte and friends to abandon their efforts, but they said they would try again at a future time. I am concerned that they might be ready to aim their guns at the OCE again. I want to urge you to resist any efforts to kill or cripple the office. Thank you for listening.”

You can also like the OCE’s web page:

https://www.facebook.com/OfficeofCongressionalEthics/

And follow the OCE on Twitter:

@CongressEthics

Read about the January efforts by members of the House of Representatives to kill or cripple the OCE:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/office-of-congressional-ethics-what-does-it-do-233128

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/house-gop-votes-to-gut-independent-congressional-ethics-office

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/house-republicans-vote-eviscerate-office-congressional-ethics/

Also see articles that mention Trump’s tweet about the OCE, and articles that question whether he should get the credit for saving it:

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-01-03/house-gop-votes-to-gut-independent-ethics-office

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-trump-ethics-20170103-story.html