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

Help Expose Fake Abortion Clinics

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

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Marches and Protests

Find Out If Your State Is Passing Laws That Punish Protesters, and Fight Back

Find out if your state is trying to pass laws that punish protesters, and fight back.

 

The First Amendment to the Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 

That’s not stopping state legislatures from trying to pass laws that would punish protestors.

 

The laws take many forms. Some impose new penalties for protestors who block traffic. Others make “disruptive” protests a felony, which has implications for voting rights. Still others impose lighter penalties on drivers who hit protestors, a phenomenon we at OTYCD have written about before.

 

More than half of the states have considered or are considering laws that would crimp the rights of protestors.

 

Is your state one of them?

 

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) has built a U.S. Protest Law Tracker that will let you search for your state and see what it’s up to.

 

See the U.S. Protest Law Tracker:

http://www.icnl.org/usprotestlawtracker/

 

 

If your state is pursuing laws that would make it harder to stage protests, call or email your state legislators and urge them to vote no.

 

Find your state legislators, along with their contact information:

https://www.whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

 

See the homepage for the ICNL:

http://www.icnl.org

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ICNLDC/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@ICNLAlliance

 

 

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

Support the #KremlinAnnex Protests (Formerly #OccupyLafayettePark) and Start Your Own #StandOnEveryCorner Protest

Support the #KremlinAnnex protests (formerly called #OccupyLafayettePark) nightly protest in Washington, D.C., and start your own #StandOnEveryCorner protest.

Update, July 28, 2018: Last night, organizer Adam Parkhhomenko announced that going forward, the #OccupyLafayettePark protests would move to a new hashtag, #KremlinAnnex. You can find news and updates there now.

 

So, have you noticed things are coming to a head? Yeah.

 

Helsinki was the last straw for a lot of people. Those who were close enough to Lafayette Park, which is near the White House in Washington, D.C., gathered spontaneously on the night of July 16, 2018.

 

It has its own hashtag on Twitter: #OccupyLafayettePark.

 

Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko), a political advisor to Hillary Clinton, is leading an effort to sustain the Lafayette Park protests until we get real movement on Trump–he quits, Congress impeaches him or sidelines his agenda by having three Republican Senators quit caucusing with the party, etc.

 

As we prep this post, the Occupy Lafayette Park movement has finished its third consecutive night of protesting. They had a 15- member mariachi band come out around 9 pm EST to annoy the occupants of the White House.

 

Parkhomenko has arranged to accept donations to the #OccupyLafayettePark movement through ActBlue. To be clear–all we have is the ActBlue link, which lists past headliners at the nightly protests. That’s all we have as far as explanation of where the money goes and what it underwrites. If we find an org that’s supplying bottled water, food, free transportation to the protestors, etc., we’ll add it here.

 

ActBlue link for donating to the #OccupyLafayettePark protests:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/occupylafayettepark?abt=twitter

 

If you don’t live near Washington, D.C. and can’t get there anytime soon, consider starting a nightly protest near you.

 

People are Fed Up with Trump and his evil minions, and they’re not content to wait for word of big, organized protests. Not that long before Helsinki, a few folks around the country had decided to make signs and do daily protests on their lunch hour, or after dinner.

 

As people have seen other protestors’ social media posts about their own spontaneous daily actions, it’s snowballed into a movement of its own: #StandOnEveryCorner.

 

Helsinki and #OccupyLafayettePark gave it a real push. You can follow the #StandOnEveryCorner hashtag to see what others are doing.

 

The person who seems to have started it–who started standing on his local corner a few weeks before it evolved into a hashtagged movement–is Bryce Tache (@brycetache). As of July 19,  2018, he and friends and neighbors in Minneapolis, Minnesota have gathered for an hour every night in Pearl Park for 30 days straight.

 

Charlie Adler, who tweets as @48States48Days, is a good handle to follow as well. But! Don’t be content to watch. Make a sign, choose a good place to stand and a time when you can be there every day, and just do it. Invite friends and tweet pictures using the #StandOnEveryCorner hashtag.

 

If you need suggestions on choice local protest spots, pull up MoveOn’s signup site for its No One Is Above the Law protests, which would be triggered if Trump fires Mueller, Rosenstein, or makes other moves to destroy the Trump-Russia probe. Plug in your zip code and see where that protest would take place. See if it works for you. If not, do some thinking and scouting and choose a place that’s like it.

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

 

But! In scouting for a protest spot, make sure that it’s accessible to people who use wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. They should be able to get to the spot under their own power, at their own pace, and without assistance. If someone has to help them up and over a curb to get there, pick a better place.

 

Also consider bringing a few folding chairs for those who can’t stand for long periods.

 

And it’s a good idea to prep and bring a “wardrobe” of protest signs for passersby who see your #StandOnEveryCorner gathering and want to join you then and there. Make it as easy as possible for them to join.

 

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!

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs and Demand That They Say OH HELL NO to Trump’s Notion That Maybe He’ll Give Former Russia Ambassador Michael McFaul to Putin

Call your members of Congress (MoCs) and demand that they say OH HELL NO to Trump’s notion that maybe he’ll give former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, to Vladimir Putin for “questioning.”

 

Jesus Fucking Christ. Apparently we have reached the phase of the Trump presidency where we swear all the damn time. Ugh.

 

So, remember people observing what Trump said in public about the Helsinki meeting, and saying ‘Whoa, if this is what he’s saying in public, what the hell did those two talk about in private for two hours?’ We might be starting to get hints about that.

 

During the post-Helsinki press conference, Putin mentioned the notion of letting the U.S. question the 12 Russians we indicted on July 13, 2018 in exchange for letting Russian officials question Americans and America-affiliated folks who have annoyed Putin over the years.

 

He singled out by name Bill Browder, an American hedge fund manager who successfully persuaded the U.S. and several other countries to pass the Magnitsky Act, an anti-corruption measure which constrains Putin’s ability to grow and access his ill-gotten gains.

 

Browder is now a British citizen, so it would be hard for Trump to deliver him to Putin. Not so with Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Obama from 2012 to 2014. He annoyed the crap out of Putin by meeting with several of his Russian opponents and generally being in possession of a working spine.

 

Now understand this. Foreign leaders can make all the hare-brained, insulting requests they want of the U.S., and we’re sure there have been some doozies. It’s on the sitting administration and its staff to react appropriately, and know how to react appropriately.

 

The proper response to Putin’s request is ‘No, fuck you, no, and also, no, and seriously, did you get a hold of a bad batch of bathtub vodka? The fact that you’re actually asking for this makes us think there’s something wrong with your brain.’

 

But yesterday, during a press conference, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this crazy notion, and gave an answer so wrong that it belongs in the Hall of Fame for Wrong Answers (maybe that should be the Hall of Infamy for wrong answers?).

 

We’re pulling this quote from a Politico piece that we’ll link below:

 

“He [Trump] said it [Putin’s quid pro quo interview idea] was an interesting idea. He didn’t commit to anything,” Sanders said at the daily press briefing. “He wants to work with his team and determine if there’s any validity that would be helpful to the process…It was an idea they threw out.”

 

Full Politico piece:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/trump-russia-browder-mcfaul-questioning-731616

 

A complete and fully justified shitstorm followed. The White House should have thrown out the idea the Russians threw out, and done so with extreme prejudice.

 

But wait! It got worse! On July 18, 2018, the Russians made it clear that they wanted to interview former ambassador McFaul.

 

McFaul’s “crimes” are nothing more than pissing off Vladimir Putin. He pissed off Putin during the course of his duties as an ambassador, when he had diplomatic immunity.

 

Failing to bluntly and harshly dismiss the notion of giving an American ambassador to Russian prosecutors for “questioning” is deeply offensive and scary. Actually, those words aren’t quite up to the task of explaining how offensive and scary that is.

 

Spencer Ackerman did a better job of capturing that in his July 18, 2018 piece for The Daily Beast in which he quotes a sitting, anonymous U.S. diplomat as being “at a fucking loss” over the administration’s failure to defend sub-basic boundaries. The quote appeared in the story’s headline.

 

When diplomats are dropping F-bombs while speaking on the record to the press (albeit anonymously), things are bad. Defcon-level bad.

 

Full article is here:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-officials-at-a-fucking-loss-over-latest-russia-sell-out

 

Because this development is just that offensive and scary, here are a few more tweets from sober-minded folks who are full-throatedly sounding the alarm.

 

Tom Nichols, Republican and author of The Death of Expertise:

This is horrifying. There can be only one announcement: That Putin can go piss up a rope. The President must stand by – a former ambassador of the United States. This is not a partisan issue, this a threat against a fellow citizen from an enemy regime.

The *instant* answer should have been: “The President told Putin that he cannot deflect from his own corruption and abuses of his people by threatening US citizens, and that we will consider any further mention of as a threat to the safety of an American diplomat.”

No. You are not overreacting. The entire country should be aware of this. If Putin can single out , he can single out anyone. The President’s job is to protect us, not to even *consider* handing any of us over to an enemy government.

 

Trial lawyer Max Kennerly:

Republicans in Congress need to draw a red line for Trump by telling him that any degree of ‘cooperation’ with persecution of would be impeachable. This includes & . They would’ve said the same to Obama if he’d offered selling out an ambassador.

 

CNN commentator and conservative Amanda Carpenter:

Please imagine if Obama’s Press Sec said there would be an “announcement” about turning over a US Ambassador, that Russia despises, over to Russia for questioning. Republicans would be rightfully furious. This cannot stand. This isn’t a partisan issue. Support your countrymen.

 

Susan Rice, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a former national security advisor under President Obama tweeted:

Beyond outrageous. Amb. McFaul served our country honorably and with full diplomatic immunity. If the White House cannot defend and protect our diplomats, like our service members, they are serving a hostile foreign power not the American people.

 

And Jeb Bush, brother and son of past presidents and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, tweeted:

Not dismissing this absurd request out of hand is an extraordinary sign of weakness by an American president.

 

Want more? Check out #ProtectMcFaul on Twitter.

 

So! You won’t be surprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) got there first with a script about McFaul.

 

As always, first check your MoCs’ social media feeds and see if they’ve said something yet about this. If they have, it’s an expression of outrage and horror and a pledge to act–no one is defending this and no one would try, it’s that thoroughly bad. If they’ve said something, thank them.

 

Then carry on with the call, using this script as a jumping-off point.

 

Yes, we grant that McFaul is unlikely to be handed over to Putin. But this is the sort of madness that demands an instant, firm, loud, harsh, primal NO GODDAMNIT NO.

 

Scroll down for ways to support Celeste Pewter and her work.

 

Here are additional ways to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded

script above.

 

You can follow her on Twitter:

@Celeste_Pewter

 

You can call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tweet about your experience using

the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can check out The Road to 2018, an organization she’s involved with that defends

and promotes vulnerable Democratic Senators. See our post on it:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/02/25/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators/

 

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 or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Call Your MoCs and Leave No Doubt In Their Minds About How You Feel About Trump’s Press Conference in Helsinki

Call your MoCs and leave no doubt in their minds–none whatsoever–how you feel about Trump’s treasonous performance in Helsinki.

 

Holy shit. I mean, holy shit. HOLY SHIT.

 

Everyone was braced for the Helsinki meeting to be bad. But, HOLY SHIT.

 

HO

 

LEE

 

SHIT

 

!

 

Yeah, it’s every bit as bad as it looked and sounded and seemed. And yet, it’s hard to find the words to describe what we all saw.

 

How about we should start with the transcript and the video of the press conference, assuming you can bear to watch. It comes care of Boing Boing:

https://boingboing.net/2018/07/16/trump-putin-helsinki.html

 

 

Here’s a selection of reactions on Twitter:

 

John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan), director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017:

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

 

 

Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson), Republican strategist and author of the upcoming Everything Trump Touches Dies:

He’s bad at being President. He’s bad at being a patriot. He’s bad at being an America. He’s owned. He might as well be wearing a dog collar and looking up at Putin for Donnie Snacks.

Putin is to Donald Trump as Donald Trump is to a single-celled life form. He’s played Trump like a fiddle. This is a disaster for America.

I’m starting to think the pee tape isn’t just real, but it’s spectacular.

If you needed any other evidence that this President is completely owned, you just got it.

Let me tell you, if Barack Obama had said the crap Trump said today there would already be 10, 000 hypercaustic elected Republican press releases, Facebook posts, and tweets. There would be a hundred calls for impeachment by close of business today.

Press secretary for a pro-Trump Senator: “FML. Can I come play for Team America now?”

 

 

Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom), Republican and author of The Death of Expertise:

This is worse than I expected. And my expectations were already rock bottom.

Holy crap. This is an abomination.

Putin is completely in command of this situation. He’s basically told Trump to go piss up a rope about the GRU guys [he means the 12 Russians who were indicted on July 13, 2018]. (“You want investigations? Sure. I’ll look into it. Give me Bill Browder.”) Trump, meanwhile, is babbling “no collusion.”

I dare any of Trump’s enablers and apologists to defend what we just saw.

I expect nothing from the House. But other GOPers who don’t oppose this are dead to me. This could be what finally drives me out of the party — I’m sure to the relief of the Putin Bloc who will stay. If you @ me about quitting, I’ll block you. I don’t need your advice on that.

 

 

Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES), a high-ranking Republican who worked for past presidential campaigns, and who recently left the party:

No American President has ever disgraced himself, the Presidency and the United Stated like Trump did today. The video will endure as a monument to stupidity, arrogance and idiocy throughout the ages. Trump beclowned himself and made the world much more dangerous. What a fool.

 

 

Ethics expert Walter Shaub (@WaltShaub):

Literal collusion caught on video today: “[I]n refusing to acknowledge the plain facts about Russia’s behavior, while trashing his own country’s justice system, Mr. Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power.” [Then he linked to this Washington Post story:]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-just-put-russia-first/2018/07/16/8391f9aa-8914-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html?utm_term=.efed2afa8562

 

 

Sally Yates (@SallyQYates), who tried to alert the administration about the dangers Michael Flynn posed and got fired in early 2017 for her trouble:

Our President today not only chose a tyrant over his own Intel community, he chose Russia’s interests over the country he is sworn to protect. All Americans should raise their voices. Let the world know what we stand for.

 

 

Maria Spinella (@mariaspinella) of CNN:

Chuck Hagel to his former colleagues on “now is the time…now is the time the congress of the United States must step up and step into this…this is serious”

 

 

Michael Cohen (@speechboy71), columnist for the Boston Globe:

That was a treasonous performance. Any Republican who doesn’t immediately condemn Trump’s words – and begin the process of impeachment – is complicit

Every journalist in America needs to have their hair on fire over what just happened in Helsinki. This is a grave political crisis.

 

 

Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta), senior correspondent at Business Insider:

It’s not a summit, it’s a crime scene.

 

 

Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore), editor-at-large for MacLeans:

Trump is in Air Force One right now, it’s only 9pm Helsinki time. He is likely watching the reaction. An almost universal condemnation, even among GOP politicians. Even he must realize he has stumbled into uncharted territory. How will he react?

 

 

Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) of Crooked Media:

This is just a really sad day for the United States.

 

 

With the exception of ailing Arizona Senator John McCain (his statement is the pinned tweet on the @SenJohnMcCain Twitter page), sitting GOP Congressfolk have been way too mealy-mouthed about this. So mealy-mouthed that it’s not worth including any of their responses here (though McCain’s is good and it’s a shame he can’t do more, but he has a particularly nasty brain cancer, so…)

 

By the time you see this post you may well have already called your MoCs.

 

If you sat there unable to do much more than absorb and pick your jaw up off the floor, well, your window to call is open. And hey, this is bad enough that it’s worth calling again  about.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) was quicker on the draw than us. We are reproducing her sample script, which encourages you to ask your members of Congress (MoCs) to do more than issue sternly worded statements.

 

A few points we at OTYCD want to add:

 

Before you call, check the social media feeds for each of your MoCs to see what they’ve said about Helsinki. Be ready to quote what you like or don’t like. If one of your MoCs hasn’t said anything yet, point that out and ask when they will.

 

Call all three of your MoCs about this, but remember–House members and Senators have different powers, some of which don’t overlap.

 

Sure, be more passionate and forceful than what you see here but please, don’t actually yell, and don’t use abusive language. It’s July. Odds are interns are answering the phones. They’re just as pissed as you are. If you think you’re going to lose it, write down what you want to say and rehearse it until you can say it while keeping control.

 

Notice that Pewter does not use the I-word in this script. This is wise, because we’d need 67 Senators to succeed with an impeachment effort, and even now, it’s unclear if we’d have that.

 

When you call your Senators, you can urge them to urge GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance the bill that protects Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He’s been sitting on it. He never should have sat on it. Time to tell him to quit that shit, and to add protections for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, too.

 

Charlie Pierce of Esquire suggested it’s time for at least three GOP Senators to stop caucusing with their party, to underline how serious this is. Key quote:

Three Republican senators moving across the aisle shuts everything down. It defangs Mitch McConnell. It would take considerable political courage for Sasse to do this, since he still has political ambitions, but Bob Corker and Jeff Flake both have announced their retirements, and they both have been quite critical about the administration’s antics. Those two literally have nothing to lose. Again, if there’s another constitutional method by which immediately to throw the brakes on the crazy train, I’m wide open to hearing it.

Full article is here:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a22165304/donald-trump-press-conference-vladimir-putin-renegade-presidency/

 

If you are represented in the Senate by Corker, Flake, Sasse, Murkowski, Collins, McCain, or Graham, it’s worth asking them to do this.

 

If you have GOP Senators, it’s still worth it. Even if there’s no chance they’ll step away, the fact that constituents are calling to ask for it shows them how serious this is and how angry people are.

 

Lastly, there were spontaneous protests last night at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., and there will be another there tonight (July 17, 2018) at 7 pm EST. If you live in or near the city, please consider going.

 

Here’s the script. Scroll down for ways to support Celeste Pewter and her work.

 

 

 

Here are additional ways to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above.

 

You can follow her on Twitter:

@Celeste_Pewter

 

You can call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tweet about your experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can check out The Road to 2018, an organization she’s involved with that defends and promotes vulnerable Democratic Senators. See our post on it:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/02/25/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators/

 

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 or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Uncategorized

Save This Twitter Thread and Read It When Things Seem Grim

Save this Twitter thread and read it when things seem grim.

 

I’m just going to get right to it. This thread was tweeted on June 27, 2018 by @burnlittlelight. You need to read it and save it for when you need to read it again.

 

We are not fucked. We are not doomed. What we are is at war. So get in on the war effort. Join up, support the troops, all of those old cliches. I Want You. This is a paradigm-breaking time that will define the world for generations. We don’t give up. We fight for all our lives.

 

Yes, we are in the jaws of the wolf now. It is useless to pretend otherwise and everyone going about business as usual is being deeply foolish. But it isn’t over. It isn’t done. It is not done until every one of us is cold in the ground and not even then. We fight, loves.

 

Some of you are new at long odds and unfair fights. Some of you are new at losing. Some of you are new at life as you know it going fundamentally off the rails. Listen to those of us who have lost and failed and died and survived: it isn’t over for as long as you insist it isn’t.

 

Sometimes you lose a battle. Sometimes it looks really ugly ahead and all the choices involve steep prices and deep losses. But you fight anyway. You make some room for grief and anger and despair and then you get back up and you do whatever it takes until it’s not so bad.

 

I know it’s scary. I know it’s bad. There is no longer a way through this that doesn’t cost us, that doesn’t involve more losses, that doesn’t mean trauma. But there are ways through this nonetheless. Nothing is over until we let it be over. We need you. We need everyone in this.

 

Genocide is already in progress. Thousands of lives have already been harmed. We fight now to prevent it from getting exponentially worse. From inside and outside, we fight to stop a runaway global superpower from exerting fascism around the world. No use pretending otherwise.

 

My family survived pogroms and the Bataan Death March and occupation after occupation and I will be goddamned if we call it quits because we’ve lost some battles. We do not get to quit. No cowardice, no appeasement, no surrender. Because the hope is in us and what we do now.

 

Take a moment to feel it. Make room for the fear so it doesn’t surprise you, stop you, at the wrong time. And then recognize that this ends when we make it end, change your assumptions about your life, and get in the fight with whatever skills, resources, and gifts you have.

 

Don’t you dare declare defeat before it’s over. Some roads have closed and some battles have been lost and no, it’s not a fair fight, and no, none of this will be easy. So it’s time to be more than we have ever been before. It’s time to grow and to rise. We’re at war. So fight.

 

 

We are the spark. And hope survives while we survive, and the fight goes on while we fight it. Keep breathing. Look after your neighbor. Get fed, get free, and help each other to be brave, in this world that requires so much courage. Time to grab on and bend the arc of history.

 

 

Follow that writer on Twitter:

@burnlittlelight

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Call Your Senators and Demand They Enforce the McConnell Standard for Nominating Supreme Court Justices

Call your Senators and demand that they enforce the McConnell Standard for nominating Supreme Court Justices.

 

You have no doubt heard the news about Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

 

You are no doubt unsurprised that Team Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress have stated intentions to push the SCOTUS nomination through in the fall.

 

You are no doubt aware of why this is an utterly bullshit move. Senator Mitch McConnell refused to allow a hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the seat left open by the February 2016 death of Antonin Scalia. McConnell made the ridiculous claim that it was improper to consider a nomination in an election year.

 

McConnell successfully kept the seat open until well after the election. The new administration chose a ridiculously hard-right judge who has wreaked more than his share of havoc already.

 

We can fight this, and we will fight this.

 

Step one is calling your Senators (just your Senators, because only Senators hear and vote on SCOTUS nominations) and demanding that McConnell follow the precedent that he himself set out.

 

If nominating Merrick Garland 237 days before an election was too close for McConnell’s comfort, we should certainly hold off considering a replacement for Justice Kennedy, who announced his retirement just 132 days before the 2018 elections.

 

Also consider that since the first day of his term of office, polls have shown that Trump has never had positive public approval numbers–never, not once, not even for one lousy day.

 

Add to this the fact that Trump is actively under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and could well be charged with obstruction of justice.

 

The case for waiting now is far, far stronger than the case for waiting in 2016.

 

And! You will no doubt be entirely unsurprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (follow her on Twitter at @Celeste_Pewter) has a script for this (scroll down to learn more ways to support her work):

 

 

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has endorsed upholding the McConnell Standard:

http://thehill.com/homenews/394492-feinstein-senate-should-follow-mcconnell-standard-wait-to-vote-on-supreme-court

 

 

Here also are a few articles to get you up to speed on the counterarguments the

GOP is trying to push (spoiler alert! Their counterarguments are nonsensical crap):

 

 

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/mar/17/context-biden-rule-supreme-court-nominations/

 

 

If you want to do more, look to the OTYCD post that happened to go up the

very day that Kennedy announced his retirement.

 

 

It’s about countering Trump’s strategy for the midterms by supporting vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senators.

 

If Democrats are to take control of the Senate–which will, admittedly, be tough–we need to defend all Senators who are up for re-election and we need to win at least two more seats besides.

 

Celeste Pewter was all over this ages ago, with The Road to 2018, which was created to defend the incumbent Senators who need it most.

 

She’s recommending an iteration of the Core Four strategy–pick at least one Democratic incumbent Senator and one Democratic challenger for a Senate seat, and devote yourself to them. Give them money. Volunteer. Canvass. Phone-bank. And recruit friends and family to do the same.

 

If you missed the OTYCD post for June 27, 2018, see it now:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/27/combat-trumps-2018-midterms-strategy-by-defending-vulnerable-democratic-senate-incumbents/

 

 

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!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above:

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you

can support her in other ways.

 

 

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the

experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs and Demand That Team Trump Make Reuniting Migrant Families Their Top Priority. Also Urge Your Electeds to Keep Resisting

Call your MoCs and demand that Team Trump make reuniting the 2,000-odd migrant children with their families their top priority. Job one, dammit. And keep urging your electeds to resist this fucked-up family separation policy, which is nowhere near dead yet, regardless of what Team Trump wants you to think.

 

You are well aware that Team Trump tried to push an insanely harsh and utterly indefensible policy of breaking up migrant families at the southern border of the United States. Since they started enforcing their sick new policy, more than 2,000 kids have been parted from their parents, and some have been sent more than 1,000 miles away from where they entered the country.

 

 

Trump tried to take the heat off himself by signing an executive order that would supposedly keep the families together. What it actually does is flout an existing protocol that stops the government from detaining families with minor children for more than 20 days. What Team Trump evidently wants is the power to hold migrant families indefinitely, which, no. Just, no.

Read a June 19 Washington Post Fact Checker piece that explains the Flores ruling, which imposes the 20-day limit (you have to scroll down to the bullet point that begins, ‘A 1997 consent decree…’:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/06/19/the-facts-about-trumps-policy-of-separating-families-at-the-border/?utm_term=.78645d55795a

 

 

Anyway. Trump lashed out soon after signing the EO by pulling a ridiculous stunt showcasing who he called “Angel Families”–survivors of people who were killed by immigrants, evidently in an attempt to bolster his notion that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes.

If you really want to know more about this Angel Families event, read this June 22, 2018 Washington Post piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-pushes-back-against-border-separation-furor/2018/06/22/b699334e-7650-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.41e3473b9823

 

 

This flies in the face of what we know. Undocumented immigrants actually commit fewer crimes than native-born citizens. When you think about it, it makes sense–they can’t afford to make even one tiny mistake for fear of being deported.

Read a June 19, 2018 Washington Post piece on the matter:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/two-charts-demolish-the-notion-that-immigrants-here-illegally-commit-more-crime/?utm_term=.b74ce2594a6f

 

 

The larger point here: More than 2,000 kids are still without their parents, and Team Trump is not giving the matter the concern it deserves. Reuniting the kids with their parents should be Job One right now. That’s not how they’re acting.

 

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said the afflicted families won’t be reunited anytime soon, according to this June 20, 2018 Washington Post story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/9459ac54-7502-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.70b223ea4b33

 

 

Another good Washington Post story, which will continue to be updated, attempts to track where the immigrant kids might have gone:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/migrant-child-shelters/?utm_term=.f8a810ec6cc5

 

 

With Team Trump fumbling things again, it’s left to orgs such as the Texas Civil Rights Project and RAICES TEXAS to fix what they broke. Here’s another Washington Post story from June 21 that describes the ongoing effort and mentions TCRP:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/the-chaotic-effort-to-reunite-immigrant-parents-with-their-separated-kids/2018/06/21/325cceb2-7563-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.ee4b17686905

 

 

Also stepping up are at least two genetic testing companies that are donating DNA testing kits to help match immigrant parents and kids, according to this June 22, 2018 piece in the National Review:

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/23andme-myheritage-offer-help-immigrant-families/

 

 

And other news is putting the lie to the notion that Team Trump will stop separating parents and kids. It appears that the Department of Defense is preparing to receive and hold as many as 20,000 immigrant kids on military bases in the months to come. See this June 21 Washington Post story for more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/06/21/pentagon-asked-to-make-room-for-20000-migrant-children-on-military-bases/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.054a80fa0acc

 

 

So, where do you come in?

 

 

First, if you haven’t committed to a Families Belong Together protest near you on Saturday, June 30, 2018, do that. More are being added all the time:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/20/join-a-families-belong-together-protest-on-saturday-june-30-2018/

 

 

Second, consider giving to an organization that’s helping immigrant families. Below is a link to a fuller post OTYCD did on these orgs, but here are shortcuts to donation links for…

 

The Texas Civil Rights Project:

https://texascivilrightsproject.org/donate/

 

…and RAICES TEXAS’s immigrant bond fund:

 

And here’s the full OTYCD post on orgs helping immigrants at the border:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/17/fight-back-against-trumps-policy-of-separating-migrant-families-at-the-border-resources-gathered-by-activist-alida-garcia/

 

 

Third, if you haven’t yet called your MoCs to support Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act (S.3036), do that. Remember, though, that all 47 Democratic Senators and both Independents have signed on. No Republicans have. Thank or berate your Senators accordingly when you call:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/18/call-your-senators-to-support-the-keep-families-together-act-s-3036/

Once you’ve done that, then tell your MoCs that you want the government to prioritize reuniting immigrant families. Tell them that’s more important than stopping immigrants and asylum seekers who are trying to cross the border. Tell them you want the government to divert resources as needed to make this happen, and tell them nothing else should happen, border-wise, until EVERY kid is back with his or her parents.

 

 

And while you are still on the phone with your Senators, use this Celeste Pewter script to talk about Trump’s EO, updating it accordingly (he signed the thing on Wednesday June 20):

 

 

Here’s Celeste Pewter’s script on the EO for your House Rep. Again, update accordingly:

And here are general talking points to hold in mind about the EO, also from Celeste
Pewter:

If you’re up for making more calls after that, here’s a script to use with your state’s
governor (also from Celeste Pewter; scroll down for info on how to support her work).
Before you call, though, you should check your governor’s social media feeds to see if he
or she has already done something to fight back. If they have, thank them:

Then call your state Attorney General and ask him or her to join a lawsuit against the Trump administration to force it to reunite immigrant parents and children (but, again, check your AG’s social media feeds first. If the AG is already on board, say thanks):

 

And you can ask your mayor, your city council, etc., to publicly condemn Team Trump’s family separation policy:

 

 

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!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded scripts above:

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you

can support her in other ways.

 

 

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the

experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees

Join a Families Belong Together Protest on Saturday, June 30, 2018

Join a Families Belong Together protest near you on Saturday, June 30, 2018.

 

So! Since the Families Belong Together events on Thursday, June 14, 2018, we’ve learned more about the effects of Team Trump’s policy of separating families at the border.

 

It’s bad. And as of the morning of June 19, there’s still a lot we don’t know, such as where the girls, toddlers, and babies.

 

If you had to miss the initial round of Families Belong Together events (understandable, since they were on a weekday and were short-notice), here’s your chance.

 

MoveOn.org, a large, 20-year-old progressive advocacy organization, is coordinating the events.

 

To find an event near you, type your zip code into this link:

https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/?action_id=265126845&akid=.37631507.geQWu-&ar=1&rd=1

 

Many events are listed and more are being added. If there isn’t one close enough to you, check the link daily for updates. You can also volunteer to plan an event.

 

In addition, you can check MoveOn.org’s News page:

https://front.moveon.org/blog/

 

Also, follow MoveOn.org (@MoveOn) and Ben Wikler (@benwikler) on Twitter. Wikler is the Washington, D.C. director of MoveOn.org.

 

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!