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Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

Follow Mike Stuchbery, an Australian-born historian in Britain, on Twitter and other venues.

Stuchbery made waves in late July by brutally schooling the editor of Infowars on the ethnic makeup of Roman Britain (Infowars guy assumed it wasn’t; Stuchbery showed him just how diverse it was).

Stuchbery has since gone on to destroy alt-right nitwits on the regular. He does not suffer fools gladly. Indeed, he’s got a talent for making fools suffer. His comments on history are worth reading regardless. Check him out.

 

Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter:

@MikeStuchbery_

 

Read and subscribe to his blogs:

https://mikestuchberydotnet.wordpress.com

http://mike-stuchbery.org

 

Contribute to his Patreon (Stuchbery promises, “I will not just take the first month’s payment and buy a pet lizard. I will tell right-wing dickheads to get fucked at every opportunity.” As of mid-September, he’s $103 shy of his $500/month goal):

https://www.patreon.com/mikestuchbery_

 

Read about how he schooled that twerp from Infowars:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/27/alt-right-commentator-gets-schooled-historian-diversity-roman/

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/british-historian-gives-alt-right-commentator-a-history-lesson

 

If you need more proof that he’s a good guy, read about how he was pushing back against school bullying in 2014:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-30222229

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Join a Credit Union

This OTYCD article originally appeared in February 2018.

 

Join a credit union and leave traditional for-profit banks behind.

 

Are you sick of banks? We at OTYCD don’t blame you, and we’d like to suggest an alternative: a credit union.

 

A credit union is a non-profit member-owned cooperative. It exists to help people manage their money instead of making a profit off of them.

 

Fees tend to be lower and customer service far better than at traditional banks. Credit unions generally offer free checking accounts and do not charge you if your balance falls below a specified amount.

 

Credit unions are often more community-oriented as well, and concerned with helping, supporting, and building the local community in a wide variety of ways–offering small business loans, providing financial education, sponsoring local events, and even offering scholarships.

 

There are drawbacks to credit unions. They generally offer fewer financial products than banks do. Their ATM networks aren’t as broad as those of traditional banks, which means you might pay fees to use machines that don’t belong to the credit union (but ask about this–many credit unions reimburse a certain number of withdrawals per month). Credit unions aren’t as abundant as banks, and you might have trouble finding one near you that you can join.

 

Regardless, it’s an option worth exploring, especially if you’re fed up with the banking system and fed up with being treated like a cash cow.

 

 

Read these articles about credit unions and their pros and cons:

https://www.bankrate.com/banking/credit-unions/the-benefits-of-a-credit-union-vs-a-bank/

https://www.moneytalksnews.com/9-reasons-why-credit-union-better-than-big-bank/

Credit Unions vs. Banks: How to Decide

 

 

See MyCreditUnion.gov’s explanation of credit unions:

https://www.mycreditunion.gov/about-credit-unions/Pages/How-is-a-Credit-Union-Different-than-a-Bank.aspx

 

 

See Wikipedia’s list of credit unions in the United States and find one near you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_credit_unions_in_the_United_States

 

 

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Learn About the Paradox of Tolerance

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

 

Learn about the Paradox of Tolerance, a philosophical concept that allows tolerance to survive and thrive.

 

Philosopher Karl Popper first elucidated the Paradox of Tolerance in 1945. Notice the timing there? 1945? Remember what happened in 1945, and what had happened over the six or so years leading up to it? Yeah, not an accident.

 

Here is Popper’s quote defining the Paradox of Tolerance, taken from his work The Open Society and Its Enemies:

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if e are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

“In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.”

“We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

 

This is going to be a gross simplification of what Popper is talking about, but at its core, the paradox of tolerance means that at some point, we who uphold liberal democracy have to protect tolerance itself by practicing intolerance toward those who would destroy it if given a chance.

 

To be dead clear–we don’t practice intolerance towards those who we simply don’t like, or whose ideas we find merely distasteful. Do not go medieval on people who insist that Creed is the best band ever. People are allowed to be wrong.

 

People are NOT allowed to act on beliefs that would extinguish the life and liberty of other people. Exhibit A: The Nazis, whose worldview included killing the disabled, imprisoning (and eventually starving to death) minorities and political prisoners, and trying to wipe out all the Jewish people in the world.

 

The neo-Nazis who showed up in Charlottesville in August meant business. They were testing, trying to see just how much they could get away with now that Trump is in power. They chose a smallish college town and chose to come when college was not in session. They came armed. They chanted Nazi slogans. They carried torches. Some came dressed to look like a militia or a police force. They threatened counter-protestors. And one drove his car directly into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring 19.

 

The only silver lining to this–and it was a brightly polished one–is that Americans who had been dismissive or skeptical of what the white supremacists and neo-Nazis had been on about snapped to attention after Trump made his comments offering the bad guys aid and comfort. The next big scheduled protest after Charlottesville happened in Boston on August 19. About 20 neo-Nazis and white supremacists showed up; at least 20,000, and by some reports, as many as 40,000 counter-protesters came out to meet them.

 

That is what should have happened, and that is what did happen. Keep showing up to oppose them. Keep being non-violent. Keep calling them out. And yes, let them feel the full force of their terrible choices. If you stand up in public and embrace fascism, Nazism, and racism, you should suffer social stigma. Period. Full stop.

 

So, yes, be intolerant of the intolerant. Be bigoted towards the bigots. But stay nonviolent. Chant. Play instruments with comedy value, like bagpipes, tubas, and kazoos. But don’t go raring to punch Nazis. That’s what they want–they want you to hit back, they want you to hit first. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

 

If the neo-Nazi clown show comes to your town, show up. Turn out in hordes, in swarms, in droves. Show them that their ideas suck and we ain’t having it. But let them have their dumb little meeting and let them come and go unmolested. And never, never give them what they want.

 

Read Popper’s quote on the Paradox of Tolerance GoodReads:

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/25998-the-so-called-paradox-of-freedom-is-the-argument-that-freedom

 

See a cartoon on the Paradox of Tolerance that went viral:

 

Read The Careful, Pragmatic Case Against Punching Nazis in New York magazine:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/the-careful-pragmatic-case-against-punching-nazis.html

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Uncategorized

Let Cindy Otis Teach You to Avoid Being Overwhelmed and Stay Focused

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

Let Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst and author, teach you how to avoid being overwhelmed and stay focused in a world where everything seems to be on fire.

 

Otis published an amazing thread on Twitter on June 28, 2018. Read it, save it, memorize it. We’ve reproduced it here, with the emojis removed. Scroll down for more info on Otis.

 

Today seems like the right time to do a thread I’ve been thinking about for a while on how to handle the seemingly never-ending deluge of depressing and disturbing news. My tips are based on my time as a CIA military analyst in which I dealt daily with disturbing content.

 

There are several risks to being overloaded with disturbing/negative content.  [We are replacing her emoji checks with numbers.] 1. Complacency – becoming so used to the deluge that it all starts to seem normal. 2. Paralysis – that is, being so overwhelmed, you can’t figure out what to do/how to move forward.

 

3. Crisis perspective – you get trapped in the Breaking News cycle where everything seems like a potentially world-ending crisis to you. 4. Depression/PTSD – you don’t have to be on the frontline of a war have either/both. Disturbing content is absolutely a trigger.

 

There are also serious physical consequences to living a negative content overloaded life. I had a colleague who didn’t know he had stage 4 brain cancer because the symptoms were the same as our very stressful careers–exhaustion, random fevers, stress, and dizziness.

 

So, what do you do? First, I strongly urge you not to ignore the news/current events. Ignorance is one reason we have this society. It won’t make the problems go away & contributes nothing to their solving. Now that that’s established, here’s how to make it easier to handle:

 

[Numbers from here forward are from Otis.] 1. TAKE ACTION. Volunteer for a food pantry, canvass for a political candidate, donate to a NGO, visit a sick friend. Seriously. Service of some kind in your community lets you be part of SOLUTIONS. You will see RESULTS when otherwise you’d feel helpless.

 

2. Conversely, for those who may take tip #1 to the extreme–know that you alone can’t save the world. Accept your limits. You aren’t a 7/11. You can’t always be open. At the end of every day when I reached my limit, I silently told myself, “I’ve done what I can today.”

 

(Note: Repeating that to myself did not stop me from feeling like I could have done more most days. But it was important to tell myself anyway because I am human. We are human. It’s good we *feel* things.)

 

3. RESEARCH BEFORE PANICKING. Easier said than done, but everything will seem like crisis/earth-ending if you don’t know what has/hasn’t happened before. If it has happened before, it’s can be hugely comforting to know how it was resolved and/or what might happen next.

 

4. GET UP & MOVE. Put the phone away, turn off the TV, log out of Twitter. Go for a walk, sit outside, get some coffee, call a friend. CIA is full of ppl walking the building with a colleague/friend. There’s a reason. Our brains & bodies need breaks from stressful content.

 

5. SET RULES. Because of my work at CIA, I had a rule–I only read fiction at home. I had enough reality at work. In the civilian world, I set blocks of time each day where I turn everything off–no news or social media. Let yourself recharge so you can keep fighting later.

 

6. AVOID DARK HOLES. (I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about that.) It’s easy to get sucked into the swirl of bad news. You watch a gruesome YouTube video and the next one is all queued up to play right after it. Focus on one issue at a time. Deal w/ it before moving on.

 

7. YOU NEED FUN. When there is suffering, war, despair, etc. around you, it’s easy to feel guilty when you have fun, feel happy, have a good meal with friends. You NEED these things. You will be better able to do good in the world if you let yourself have these things.

 

8. TALK TO SOMEONE. Often, we curl inward socially when overwhelmed w/ negative content. It’s a means of protection. One of the great things at CIA was that everyone else knew what you were going through. Whether it’s therapy or talking to your person, talking helps.

 

None of this is easy. I got burned out a lot in my career & many days recently, I’ve felt overloaded by the barrage. I’m sure you have too. But you and I can’t check out. We can’t give up & we need to stay engaged, but we can’t do that if we get overloaded. Keep going.

 

Shout out to who forces me to get out of the house when I start sounding especially doom and gloom!

 

 

Otis posted a follow-up thread on June 29, 2018:

 

Wow. I woke up this morning to find my thread went viral & my inbox was full of messages from ppl. My biggest takeaway from it is that we’re all struggling right now. So, I’ve got a few quick things you can do RIGHT NOW to help survive whatever news dump we’ll get today:

 

1. Read this article by that includes tips from me on how to read the news like an intelligence analyst. It gets at my tip from earlier on doing research before panicking and talks about how to actually do that research. Knowledge = POWER.

(Here is the link she referenced:) http://www.realclearlife.com/media/6-rules-thinking-like-cia-analyst-beat-fake-news/

 

2. Schedule the time you’re planning to unplug today. Write it down so it is more likely to happen. Will you take a walk? Call a friend to talk about anything but the news? Take a power nap? Bake some cookies? Watch your fave trash TV show? Whatever it is, DO IT.

 

3. Look at who you follow on social media. Do you only follow people who perpetuate the crisis mentality? If so, add in some practical folks who provide actionable ways forward and context you need to know. is a must for Americans worried about politics.

 

4. Tell yourself as many times as you need to hear it today — YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU CAN DO THIS. WE NEED YOU WITH US. Take care, all.

 

 

Follow Cindy Otis on Twitter:

@CindyOtis_

 

 

Visit Otis’s website:

http://www.cindyotis.com

 

 

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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Subscribe to Wall-of-Us and Fight Trump

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

 

Subscribe to Wall-of-Us, which offers a weekly collection of actions to push back against Trump.

 

Encouraging greater activism is the goal of Wall-of-Us, which says on its home page, “He promised a wall. He will be stopped by a wall of us.”

 

Every Sunday it sends out four actions that you can take over the course of the coming week. Some are timely, some are long term. All provide food for thought and fuel for concrete action.

 

See the Wall-of-Us home page:

https://www.wall-of-us.org

 

See Brick by Brick, its victory page:

https://www.wall-of-us.org/brick-by-brick/

 

Subscribe to Wall-of-Us:

https://www.wall-of-us.org/subscribe/

 

Donate to Wall-of-Us:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/wall-of-us?refcode=nav

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/1beautifulwall/

 

Follow Wall-of-Us on Twitter:

@1beautifulwall

 

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!

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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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Attend a Lights for Liberty Protest Near You on Friday, July 12

Attend a Lights for Liberty protest near you on Friday, July 12.

 

The protest’s full name is Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps. Events that draw attention to the crisis created by the camps and by the Trump administration’s policies are planned across America and the world.

 

Because these protests are vigils, most events will take place at night, and many will take place near facilities that are holding migrants.

 

Events are being added all the time. We’re dropping the direct link to the event list here but will repeat it below.

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

If you can go, please consider inviting friends and family to come with you. You have power, and now is the time to use it.

 

If you can’t go, and you have experience with caring for children, consider offering to babysit for other protestors.

 

You can also boost #LightsforLiberty on social media, buy Lights for Liberty merch, and donate to the organizers.

 

Main website for Lights for Liberty:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org

 

List of Lights for Liberty local events:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

Link to the form through which you can create your own Lights for Liberty event (please scroll down; please remember to obtain any permissions or permits you might need; and please choose an area that’s accessible to the disabled):

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents

 

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!

 

Donate to Lights for Liberty:

https://www.lightsforliberty.org/donate-index-impact

 

Purchase Lights for Liberty merch:

https://shop.spreadshirt.com/lights-for-liberty/

 

Like the Lights for Liberty Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/lights4liberty/

 

Follow Lights for Liberty on Twitter:

@Lights4Liberty