Vote with your Dollars

Start a 2020 Fund

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017, as ‘Start a 2018 Fund’.

 

Start saving two dollars a week to fund political actions that will shape the 2020 election.

 

It doesn’t have to be two dollars. You can save more if you want. If you’re struggling, find a sum you can comfortably set aside, even if it’s just a quarter.

 

If you start saving two dollars per week now, you should have about one hundred set aside when the 2020 primaries crest the horizon.

 

The point is to develop the habit of squirreling away something every week to support your political efforts. You can define ‘political efforts’ as broadly as you wish. You can draw on your stash to donate to Congressional candidates. You can give to Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or dozens of other worthy organizations that matter to you. Or you can use it as seed money for your own run for local office.

 

Budget for politics just as you’d budget for Christmas, or tithes, or a down payment on a house. Think long-term. Put away something every week, no matter how small.

 

 

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!

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

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

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Uncategorized

Help Life After Hate Help People Who Leave the Violent Far-Right

This OTYCD post originally appeared in October 2017.

 

Help Life After Hate help people who leave violent far-right extremist groups.

 

Founded in 2011, the Chicago nonprofit directly helps people who want to deradicalize and leave their old ways behind through its EXITUSA program.

 

It also runs the Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network, a squad of former violent extremists and survivors who combat the groups’ propaganda and help steer vulnerable youths away from them.

 

Note: Since we wrote the original text of this post, Samantha Bee devoted an August 2017 episode of her show to Life After Hate. It also launched a crowdfunding campaign to replace the $400,000 grant that Obama promised, but which Trump took away. Links to stories about the rescinded grant, the crowdfunding campaign, and the Samantha Bee episode have been included below.

 

 

Visit the Life After Hate website:

https://www.lifeafterhate.org

 

 

Read a Guardian story about one of its leaders, Tony McAleer, who once belonged to the White Aryan Resistance:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/life-after-hate-groups-neo-fascism-racism

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/lifeafterhate

 

 

Follow Life After Hate on Twitter:

@lifeafterhate

 

 

Donate to Life After Hate:

https://www.lifeafterhate.org/donate

 

 

See the page for the crowdfunding campaign started after the Trump administration refused to fulfill the $400,000 grant promised under Obama. As of October 14, 2017, it had raised more than $460,000 and was still accepting donations:

https://publicgood.com/org/life-after-hate-inc/campaign/help-life-after-hate-fight-on

 

 

Read stories about the episode that Samantha Bee did on Life After Hate following the Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville:

Sam Bee Looks to Aid Reformed Neo-Nazi Group Life After Hate in Wake of Charlottesville

http://time.com/money/4904718/samantha-bee-is-helping-raise-money-for-a-group-that-rehabs-white-supremacists-after-trump-cut-its-funding/

Uncategorized

Support Black-Owned Businesses

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

 

Support black-owned businesses, both in your community and across the country.

 

The Support Black Owned (SBO) website offers a search engine that will help you find black-owned businesses in your state.  Black-owned businesses are almost always small businesses of the sort that comprise the fabric of a community. When you need to buy goods and services, please check your state listing at SBO first and see if someone there can meet your needs.

 

See the SBO website (scroll to the bottom for the state links; they’re on the right):

https://www.supportblackowned.com

 

 

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

 

 

Like the SBO Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/SupportBlackOwned

 

 

Follow SBO on Twitter:

@SupportBlackOwn

 

 

Connect with SBO on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/3283815/

 

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!

Community Activism · Ethics · Health Care · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Help Expose Fake Abortion Clinics

This OTYCD post originally appeared in December 2018.

 

Help expose fake abortion clinics–facilities set up by pro-life groups that mimic abortion clinics, but attempt to pressure women out of seeking the help they need.

 

You’re going to want to sit down for this one. Fake abortion clinics have been a thing since the 1960s. Today, there are more than 4,000 of them across America while there are fewer than 800 legitimate clinics.

 

They are designed to look like medical facilities in every respect, but because they are not actual clinics, they don’t have to abide by HIPAA privacy laws. That’s right–they don’t have to safeguard any medical information that they might receive.

 

These facilities can exist and carry on with their borked mission because what they do is regarded as religious outreach, which is in turn protected by the First Amendment.

 

Activists are trying to hold fake clinics accountable by pursuing them on truth in advertising laws–making them more clearly admit that they are not abortion clinics and do not provide abortions or referrals to abortion clinics.

 

One of the ways they’re doing this is through the #ExposeFakeClinics website, which is a resource hub for those trying to spread the word about fake clinics.

 

Exposing fake clinics takes several forms. They include:

 

Liking online reviews of legitimate clinics

 

Reviewing fake clinics

 

Reporting fake clinics that engage in false advertising

 

Protesting outside of fake clinics (but scroll down for important information about this)

 

 

See the main Expose Fake Clinics webpage:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com

 

 

Learn how to spot a fake abortion clinic:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/what-is-a-cpc-2/

 

 

Learn if there are fake abortion clinics near you:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/cpc/

 

 

Take action against fake abortion clinics (note: if the fake clinic you want to protest in front of is physically near a genuine abortion clinic, check with the real one before you start work. If the real one asks you not to protest in person, please don’t):

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/take-action-1/

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Read the Expose Fake Clinics blog:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/blog/

 

 

Like Expose Fake Clinics on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/exposefakeclinics

 

Candidates · Elections · Uncategorized

See Ballotpedia’s Complete List of Everyone Who’s Running for President In 2020

This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2019. 

 

See Ballotpedia’s complete list of everyone who’s running for president in 2020.

 

A LOT of people are running for president in 2020. Most are Democrats. Not all, but most.  And more are sure to join. It’s April 2019 as we type this.

 

Anyway. If you want to track all the 2020 presidential candidate comings-and-goings, Ballotpedia is on the case.

 

It lists everyone who is running, everyone who’s thinking about running, and everyone who thought about it and decided against it.

 

See their 2020 presidential candidate tracking page here:

https://ballotpedia.org/Presidential_candidates,_2020

 

Political Charge has a tracking page as well, but it focuses on Democratic candidates. See it here:

2020 Candidates: Who’s In, Who’s Out, and Who’s in Waiting

 

See the main Ballotpedia webpage:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Read its Our History page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Our_History

 

 

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!

 

 

Read its Contact and FAQ page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Overview_and_contact_information

 

 

Subscribe to Ballotpedia’s weekly newsletter, The Federal Tap:

https://ballotpedia.org/The_Federal_Tap:_New_polls_reveal_sizable_lead_in_one_U.S._Senate_race,_tightening_margins_in_another

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like the Ballotpedia page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia/

 

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

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!