Action Alerts · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Make an Appointment to Donate Blood Every Time You Hear About a New Mass Shooting

When news breaks of a new mass shooting in America, make an appointment to donate blood (if you’re eligible to do so). 

 

Because the majority of Americans are in fact sane, we are sickened when we learn of a new mass shooting. It makes us feel powerless as well (and don’t even ask about the decades, yes, decades of effort many of us have devoted, and will continue to devote, to trying to get our gun laws changed).

 

After the June 2017 shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice, we at OYTCD suggested that readers donate to the three charities that benefit from the game and also consider donating blood, even if they didn’t live in or around Washington, D.C. Blood donations drop in summer, what with vacations and the other schedule disruptions that come with the season. And Steve Scalise, the Congressman who suffered the worst injuries, definitely needed blood transfusions and continued to need them.

 

So here’s something to consider. Every time you hear about a mass shooting, consider making an appointment to donate blood at a facility near you.

 

Ok, we can almost read your mind–“But I won’t have any blood left if I do that!” If it’s too early for you to donate blood, offer to escort a friend. Or offer to volunteer at a blood donation facility. Or if you’re due to renew your driver’s license and you haven’t indicated you’re an organ donor, do that.

 

Or substitute some other bit of routine community activism that fits. Spend an hour at the library tutoring someone whose first language isn’t English. Donate peanut butter and tuna fish to a food bank. Do something to make your community better that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

 

Answer an act of random violence by making the world better. Every bit helps, however small it might seem.

 

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Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Embrace the Awkward: Learn to Handle All Sorts of Unreasonable People

Want to get better at handling uncomfortable conversations with racists, sexists, bigots, and people who don’t share your beliefs and won’t let it go? Read these Captain Awkward blog posts.

 

If you haven’t heard of this blog, you have a treat ahead of you. Plan on losing an afternoon, because you will be diving deep in the rabbit hole.

 

Captain Awkward might be–no, is–the best personal advice column out there. Better than Miss Manners. Better than Dear Abby. Better than Dear Prudence. And yes, better than Carolyn Hax (sorry, Hax).

 

Blog author Jennifer P. has written several entries and presented guest posts on how to handle encounters with sexists, racists, xenophobes, homophobic and transphobic folks, as well as people who make it their mission to stomp on your boundaries.

 

Here are some good ones to start with:

 

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage (a woman dating a man who got a Neo-Nazi tattoo way back when and hasn’t yet had it removed; a woman’s older brother is a jerk who says pro-Nazi things and her family is being dense about it):

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage.

 

 

#915: ‘All in the Family Politics’ (She is pro-choice and works for an abortion provider; her future mother-in-law is anti-choice):

#915: All In The Family Politics

 

 

#871: ‘Love and Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia’:

#871: Love & Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia

 

 

#819: ‘Ware the ‘Frozen Chosen’ (dealing with less-than-Christian-acting congregants):

#819: ‘Ware The “Frozen Chosen”

 

 

#710: ‘I Love My Volunteers (But Not the Racist Ones)’:

#710: I love my volunteers (but not the racist ones).

 

 

…and read these guest posts:

 

‘A Post-election Guide to Changing Hearts and Minds’:

Guest Post: A post-election guide to changing hearts and minds

 

‘If I Come Out to My Family, Will They Stop Making Offensive Jokes Already?’:

Guest Post! “If I come out to my family, will they stop making offensive jokes already?”

 

Also, on November 16, the Captain Awkward blog posted a link to a great Southern Poverty Law Center guide on responding to everyday bigotry:

https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate

Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Live in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, or Maine? Ask Your State Legislators to Kill, Rescind, or Defend Against a Call for a Constitutional Convention

Do you live in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, or Maine? Ask your state legislators to kill, rescind, or defend against a call for a Constitutional Convention (Con Con).

 

We at OTYCD have written about the long-term right-wing goal of calling a Con Con. The idea of a Constitutional convention isn’t inherently bad, but what its far-right advocates want to achieve IS inherently bad, and needs to be stopped.

 

The best way to stop a Con Con is to elect more Democrats to state legislatures–the entities that can put the call forward, and cancel the call as well.

 

On November 6, 2018, voters in several states did just that–they elected more Democrats. In seven states, they elected enough Democrats to flip one or both legislative chambers from red to blue.

 

In May 2018, we at OTYCD explained how to find out if your state legislature had passed a resolution in support of a Con Con, and explained how to ask your state legislators to rescind the resolution. It’s definitely doable; Nevada, Maryland, and New Mexico all rescinded in 2017.

 

In this post, we’re cross-checking the newly flipped legislatures against the map provided by the pro-Con Con people, so citizens in those states can ask their representatives to rescind a resolution or kill bills that are in progress.

 

We’ll be reproducing some language from that blog post to illustrate these points.

 

But first! If you don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are, go to the link below and plug in your address and zip code to get their names:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Also, we should start with the good news: on the pro-Con Con org’s map, states colored green have passed the resolution. None of the states that flipped one or both of their chambers on Tuesday are green on that map.

 

New York flipped its Senate properly blue at long last. New York state is also blue on the Con Con map–that means active legislation was in at least one chamber in 2018.

 

Unfortunately, the map does not identify which of the two chambers the bill is in. (Theoretically, a blue state could have bills in both.)

 

New Yorkers should call or email their state legislators, explain what a Con Con is, and explain there’s a bill in at least one of the state chambers in 2018. Say that you want that bill halted, or better yet, killed.

 

 

The newly flipped Minnesota House is in a blue state on the Con Con map (its Senate is in GOP hands). It’s not clear which of the two chambers the bill is in, but Minnesotans should call their state house rep, explain about the Con Con, and ask them to kill the bill or remain on alert to kill it.

 

New Hampshire flipped both its chambers to Democratic control on Tuesday. It’s on the pro-Con Con map as a yellow state, which means legislation has passed one chamber.

 

As with the blue states, the map does not identify which of the two chambers has passed the bill. It’s also not specified when that yellow-state chamber passed the bill; it could predate 2018. It could predate 2018 by a lot.

 

New Hampshirites should contact their state reps, explain what a Con Con is, and explain that a pro-Con Con bill has passed one chamber, but it’s not clear which, or when. Say you oppose a Con Con resolution, and that you want your state reps to vote no on any Con Con resolution bills that might arrive on their desks.

 

Maine and Colorado flipped their state senates. Both appear on the pro-Con Con map colored white, which, by inference, means there’s no legislation pending there at the moment, and the states don’t appear to be current targets of the org.

 

Even still, it’s probably worth it for Mainers and Coloradans to call their state senators, explain what a Con Con is, and explain that while the state is not currently a target, you want your reps to oppose any attempt to push the initiative. It’s the project of a far-right-wing org called COS Action. COS stands for ‘Convention of States.’

 

 

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Call Your Members of Congress · Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Continue the Work of the No One Is Above the Law Protests: Call Your MoCs to Demand Whitaker Recuse and Demand Investigation of Sessions’s Departure

Continue the work of the No One Is Above the Law protests: Call your members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that Matthew Whitaker recuse from the Mueller probe, and demand investigation of Sessions’s departure.

 

You got the call and answered it. You were out there at 5 pm local time at your No One Is Above the Law protest site. Thank you.

 

The next step is to carry on the work by calling your MoCs and demanding the following:

 

That acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from the Mueller probe; and demand investigation of the circumstances of Jeff Sessions’s exit from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

 

Whitaker is problematic on several levels, not least that an office of this level of importance requires the Senate to weigh in. Trump is evidently trying to avoid scrutiny by making him Acting AG. But, in a November 8, 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times, Neal Katyal and George Conway (Kellyanne Conway’s husband, btw), flatly assert that the move is unconstitutional.

 

Key paragraphs:

It means that Mr. Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.

Much of the commentary about Mr. Whitaker’s appointment has focused on all sorts of technical points about the Vacancies Reform Act and Justice Department succession statutes. But the flaw in the appointment of Mr. Whitaker, who was Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff at the Justice Department, runs much deeper. It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.

If you don’t believe us, then take it from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom Mr. Trump once called his “favorite” sitting justice. Last year, the Supreme Court examined the question of whether the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board had been lawfully appointed to his job without Senate confirmation. The Supreme Court held the appointment invalid on a statutory ground.

 

Full article here:

 

Even if it was legal to appoint Whitaker, he has known biases against the Mueller probe, and they are on record. Those stated biases would legally compel him to recuse.

 

But Whitaker says he has no intention to recuse:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-acting-attorney-general-matt-whitaker-has-no-intention-of-recusing-from-russia-probe-associates-say/2018/11/08/a5bc8d90-e370-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.7c669d2b9229

 

As for the Sessions thing–the reason we need to ask for an examination of his exit is it appears to be a firing, but we need to clarify what happened. A firing requires elevating Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to the role Sessions left. The wording of his resignation letter indicates he did not leave of his own volition–ergo, he was fired.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), as always, is on top of it. What follows are her scripts for calling your House Rep and your Senators. Scroll down for word on how you can show your appreciation for Pewter.

 

Before you call, check Celeste’s Twitter feed, in case she’s issued updated scripts. Also, check the social media feeds of your MoCs, to see if they’ve made a statement on either matter. If they have, mention it in your calls.

 

Also! Before you call, check to see if your House Rep or one or both Senators are on their chamber’s Judiciary Committees. If they are, it’s extra-important for you to call.

 

Senate members listed here:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

 

House members listed here:

https://judiciary.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

Lastly–why it’s important to call. Going into the streets to protest is important and necessary. Backing those protests up with specific demands for your representatives makes for a one-two punch.

 

Here is the script for your House rep:

 

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Attend the No One Is Above The Law Protest Near You Thursday November 8, 5 pm Your Time

Attend the No One Is Above the Law protest near you, taking place Thursday, November 8, at 5 pm your time (local time).

 

So, we at OTYCD wrote about the if-then protest in the past, when MoveOn.org and friends started planning it.

 

We also urged you to visit the site and write down the details for your local No One Is Above the Law protest site in case a triggering event sends people stampeding toward the site from all over the Internet and the web page goes down.

 

Welp. On Wednesday November 7, with the midterm results not even a day old (and some still trickling in), Trump compelled Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and installed an Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, who had been Sessions’s chief of staff.

 

Read articles on the slo-mo modern spin on the Saturday Night Massacre here (and click these words if you need a refresher on the original Saturday Night Massacre):

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns-at-trumps-request/2018/11/07/d1b7a214-e144-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.89b91e4aee90

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-the-midterms-over-mueller-faces-key-decisions-in-russia-investigation/2018/11/07/7ef2765a-e151-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.6490220bf6eb

 

 

You can question whether any of this is legal. You can question whether Trump can put Whitaker, who is not Senate-confirmed, into the Acting AG role. You can question whether Whitaker has to recuse himself, given that he is on record as opposing the Mueller investigation, and has made comments about muffling it by starving it of funds.

 

Rampant attack on our democracy? Yep. All that nonsensical fuckery was more than enough for the team behind the No One Is Above the Law if-then protest to pull the trigger on the event.

 

If you haven’t checked out the web page, please do so now, and find out where your nearest protest site is. Note the address down on paper. Google it and plot how you can get there and where you can park. As of November 7, 2018, the page reflected more than 900 events scheduled:

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

 

You’ll also notice that the organizers didn’t quite follow the standing plan. They chose to set it for 5 pm local time to give folks more time to prepare.

 

We’re now going to reproduce the bit from the page that appears after the logistics:

 

THEN WHAT?

Good question!

These events are only the first step. Our goal with these actions is to create an opportunity for anyone outraged by Trump’s abuse of power to engage immediately in voicing their concern. Together, we will communicate unmistakably that this is not okay and that this act to undermine democracy is not going to be allowed to become a new normal.

But that’s only the first step, and it’s far from the last one.

Congress is the only body with the constitutional power and responsibility to hold a president politically accountable for major violations of the public trust like this. And “we, the people” are their backstop and source of legitimate power.

And what people do next to force Congress to act is up to them!

Certainly, everyone at an event should also call their member of Congress to demand action. And everyone is encouraged to communicate that demand directly at congressional offices.

Beyond that, it’s up to you! It’s a good idea to discuss possible scenarios in advance with the hosts of your event or with your friends to develop other nonviolent ways you would like to compel actions from Congress.

Here’s what groups will be asking Congress to do:

 

CONGRESSIONAL ASKS

  1. Demand members of Congress protect the special counsel’s office, including preserving its files and staff and ensuring it receives the full cooperation of all federal government law enforcement assets.
  2. Demand the creation of a modern-day version of the Senate Select Watergate Committee to investigate all matters involved in the Russia scandals and Trump’s abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
  3. Demand bipartisan hearings in the House Judiciary Committee on obstruction of justice and abuse of power.
    • Some groups will call these the first steps to impeachment hearings; others will not.
    • Impeaching Donald Trump is not a demand shared by all partner organizations. Nor is supporting impeachment a prerequisite to attend these events. But it is a view welcome at events, and you can definitely bring a poster calling for it if that’s your view. We can all be for the three things above if some of us are also for additional things, such as impeachment.
…So this might be a one-off, and it might not be.
Another suggestion from us at OTYCD: After you look up and note your own protest
location, look it up for friends and family who might approach you for help, or those
who you want to approach, in the spirit of making it as easy as possible for them to join.
You might want to go as far as giving them easy-to-follow driving directions and parking
tips.
If you can, offer a car-pool ride to other interested protesters. If you cannot or do not
want to go, but can offer child-care services, that definitely helps, too.
If you can’t go and can’t help others go, follow and boost these hashtags:
#NoOneIsAboveTheLaw
#TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw
#whitakermustrecuse
During the course of the day, watch the Twitter feed of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter).
She is prepping call scripts as we draft this blog post, and she’ll be on top of relevant
breaking news.
Also watch the feeds of Ben Wikler (@BenWikler) and Anna Galland (@annagalland),
both of MoveOn. They will have news about the nationwide protests and other things
you’ll want to know.
Sorry it’s come to this, folks. Sorry it comes so soon after the conclusion of the multi-
month saga that was the lead-up to the 2018 midterms, which took so much out of so
many of us.
We thought we could rest. Hell, most of us planned on taking at least one goddamn
day off. Wednesday. Joke’s on us. (Fuck that guy. Seriously, fuck that guy.)
But we gotta muster. We gotta. We gotta show up in big honking numbers, just like
we did on Tuesday.
Democracy needs us again. It’s just that kind of week. (If you’re not already keeping a
journal, now’s the time to start. Your kids, grandkids, nieblings, and grandnieblings will
want to know what this time was like, and they will want to know what you did to push
back.)
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Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

VOTE. HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY VOTE. TODAY IS THE DAY. THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE HERE.

The time has come.

 

It’s worth all caps.

 

VOTE. HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY VOTE. TODAY IS THE DAY. THE MIDTERMS ARE HERE!

 

Know also: Some Democrats will lose some races. We at OTYCD would be delighted if every Democrat wins every race everywhere, but come on, that’s not gonna happen.

 

Know also: Trump, notoriously, has done nothing to secure America’s voting infrastructure against onslaughts from Russian cyber-attacks.

 

Whatever happens, stay strong, stay realistic, and stay here and carry on the fight.

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Get Out There and Support the Work of #TheLastWeekend

This OTYCD post originally ran on July 28, 2018. We’re reposting it today, tomorrow, and November 5 as a reminder to get out there and do the work of supporting #TheLastWeekend however you can.

 

Get your calendar NOW RIGHT NOW and block off Saturday, November 3 through Tuesday, November 6 to support The Last Weekend, a coordinated push to defend and save our democracy.

 

Sounds a bit histrionic, we admit, but with the fallout from the July 16, 2018 Helsinki conference and the continued failure of the GOP-controlled Congress to do anything substantial about it, it’s clear that democracy in America is under threat.

 

You need to wipe your calendar in the days leading up to the midterms and devote yourself to The Last Weekend.

 

It’s an effort backed by every org you like — Swing Left, Flippable, Sister District, Moveon,  Indivisible, Resistbot, Wall-of-Us, you name it.

 

Its goal is to encourage everyone to talk to fellow potential voters. From the homepage:

 

Study after study shows that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day (Saturday, November 3rd–Tuesday, November 6th).

 

You’ve done a lot. You’re doing a lot. Can you rearrange your life to do this in early November? Please?

 

 

See the homepage for The Last Weekend:

https://thelastweekend.org

 

 

Read a Political Charge post that supports The Last Weekend:

The Last Weekend: A Call to Action We Can All Support

 

 

Also watch the hashtag #TheLastWeekend on Twitter.

 

 

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