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Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which defends the first amendment rights of military personnel against coercion by fundamentalists of all stripes.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein founded the MRFF in 2005 with the aim of combatting extremists, usually Christians, who attempt religious intimidation against military colleagues who do not share their views. It has assisted more than 50,000 active duty military, about 96 percent of whom identify as Christian. The remaining four percent comprise adherents of other faiths, or profess no faith. The MRFF has pursued legal action against the Pentagon and the Secretary of Defense on behalf of military plaintiffs who have been wronged by the actions of overly aggressive fundamentalist Christians.

The MRFF’s mission statement includes these tenets, among others:

  • No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
  • The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.

 

Visit the MRFF website:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org

 

Like MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MikeyMRFF

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@MikeyWeinstein

 

Donate to the MRFF:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/make-a-donation/

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Vote with your Dollars

Donate to the Ida B. Wells Fellowship and Support Journalists of Color

Donate to the Ida B. Wells Fellowship at the Investigative Fund and support promising journalists who are people of color.

 

Named in honor of Wells, the African-American journalist who investigated and published reports on lynching in America, the one-year fellowship provides $12,000, mentoring, and travel expenses to a reporter of color working on their first substantial investigative story.

 

One of the goals of the fellowship is to help diversify newsrooms. According to the American Society of Newsroom Editors, less than 13 percent of newsroom staffers and 10  percent of supervisors are non-white. Fewer than 10 percent of newsroom journalists have a working-class or poor background.

 

The Ida B. Wells Fellowship is offered by the Investigative Fund, which is in turn a project of The Nation Institute, which is devoted to boosting the independent press as well as advancing civil rights and social justice. The Wells fellowship is not restricted to journalists of color.

 

Read about the Ida B. Wells Fellowship:

https://www.theinvestigativefund.org/about/special-funds/ida-b-wells-fellowship/

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3990701-Ida-B-Wells-FAQ-040516.html

 

 

Donate to the Investigative Fund (specify it’s for the Ida B. Wells Fellowship):

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1441042

 

 

Learn about the Investigative Fund’s mission:

https://www.theinvestigativefund.org/about/mission/

 

 

Apply for the Ida B. Wells Fellowship for 2019:

https://nationinstitute.submittable.com/submit/71612/ida-b-wells-fellowship

 

 

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!

 

 

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Vote with your Dollars

Support Fellowships and Programs for Journalists from Poor and Low-income Backgrounds

Support fellowships and other mentoring and training programs for journalists from poor and low-income backgrounds.

 

One of the most pernicious American media biases is the bias of class. Journalists tend to be mostly white and mostly from middle-class or wealthier backgrounds. Some of the problem happens at the college level–the best J-schools are private and pricey, and too many of the best, most consequential internships are unpaid, and even if they are paid, the publications offering them are usually in New York, an excruciatingly expensive city.

 

Most talented poor would-be journalists just don’t have the money to afford the best college programs, even with scholarships, and can’t afford to work for free, or for a pittance that will be swallowed up by rent, transportation, and the costs of upgrading their wardrobes.

 

As a result, American media, and American reporting, suffers from a lack of voices who intimately understand the realities of growing up in poverty, and trying to survive in poverty.

 

When we don’t have a decent-size population of skilled folks scattered throughout newsrooms and magazine offices across the country, we suffer, because we don’t have sharp minds who can pounce and call bullshit on bullshit government initiatives, such as trying to remake SNAP (food stamps) as a Blue Apron-style monthly delivery of boxed food. (Ok, we have sharp minds calling bullshit on Twitter, but we’d be better off if some of those sharp minds had access to bigger, broader media platforms.)

 

Fortunately, there are a few programs for budding journalists from low-income backgrounds. We at OTYCD encourage you to support and donate to these programs.

 

The Economic Hardship Reporting Project is an initiative by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies. Founded by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and other books that examine poverty in America, it commissions stories which, in its words, “put a human face on financial instability.”

 

While its webpage does not explicitly describe any formal fellowships, programs, or internships for journalists from poor backgrounds, recruiting and mentoring people who have that experience is one if the EHRP’s goals. Co-editor Alissa Quart says in a July 2016 Washington Monthly piece reproduced on the organization’s website:

 

“We seek out, and mentor, journalists who are themselves from marginalized backgrounds, helping them push their stories about their communities and their families into the mainstream media.”

 

The project takes submissions online, and recruits candidates via word of mouth and through co-founder Ehrenreich. They’re also trying to find new voices from inside organizations they work with, like associations of restaurant or domestic workers.  (Classroom aides, school clerks and crossing guards, please?)

 

Sometimes it’s the money that makes the reporting possible. (The goal is to pay one dollar per word.) Other times, according to Quart, it’s helping reporters understand the codes and behaviors of journalism, which is notoriously hard to crack from the outside.

 

Often, firsthand experience with economic hardship deepens and improves the reporting, according to Quart, citing the Jezebel piece about resilience as an example. “It had a personal energy and anger that you’re not seeing normally in these kinds of pieces,” said Quart.

 

 

See the EHRP’s website:

http://economichardship.org

 

 

See its About page:

https://economichardship.org/about/

 

 

See the full Washington Monthly piece on the EHRP site:

http://economichardship.org/extras-blog//fellowship-program-recruits-journalists-with-hardship-experience

 

 

Also see the Jezebel story about resilience mentioned in the quote above:

https://jezebel.com/resilience-is-futile-how-well-meaning-nonprofits-perpe-1716461384

 

 

Donate to the EHRP:

https://secure2.convio.net/ips/site/Donation2?1580.donation=form1&df_id=1580

 

 

 

Princeton University offers a summer journalism program in August for about two dozen high school American students from low-income backgrounds. 2018 will mark its 17th edition.

 

It’s a ten-day intensive seminar that includes aftercare such as mentoring and assistance with applying to colleges. It covers all the students’ expenses, including travel to and from Princeton.

 

Donate to the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program:

http://www.princeton.edu/sjp/donations/

 

 

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 · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs, Demand Justice For Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Ask Them to Pressure the White House to Do Better, Dammit

Call your Members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that they do everything in their power to deliver justice on behalf of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and ask them to pressure the White House to do better than their current piss-poor reaction.

 

On October 2, 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancé.

 

He never came out.

 

A team of Saudi assassins are accused of killing Khashoggi. We won’t repeat the details that Turkish news sources are reporting; they’re startlingly gruesome. Suffice it to say that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi leader colloquially known as MBS, saw Khashoggi and his writing as an irritant.

 

Saudi officials maintain that Khashoggi left the consulate through a back entrance, but he has not been seen since October 2. Virtually no one in the world intelligence community doubts that Khashoggi is dead, and virtually no one doubts that he was assassinated.

 

As this post is being prepared, there’s word that the Saudis might be working on a new story that acknowledges Khashoggi’s death but characterizes it as an interrogation gone wrong. Ahem.

 

Khashoggi’s alleged murder is a gross affront to all that is good and right. He wrote for the Washington Post and had deep connections to Saudi society, giving him insights that few could match. He was uniquely positioned to see the flaws of his native country, and he was uniquely equipped to name and describe those flaws. Also, he had adopted the United States as his home-in-exile. He held a green card and paid taxes.

 

Trump and his administration have done an unusually piss-poor job of reacting to the Khashoggi situation, which is saying something. While Trump promised unspecified “severe punishment” if Saudi leaders are responsible for Khashoggi’s death, he also bought the Saudis’ current spiel about Khashoggi’s fate and their role in it, and he showed that he valued the U.S.’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia more than upholding the bedrock American value of free speech. In an October 13, 2018 interview with 60 Minutes, Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said. “There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

 

See a Time magazine article that quotes Trump reacting to the Khashoggi situation:

http://time.com/5424150/trump-saudi-arabia-arms-deal/

 

Several news outlets have highlighted the fact that the Saudis give the Trumps a lot of money. Here’s a CNBC piece about Saudi patronage of Trump hotels:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/03/saudi-guests-boosted-revenue-at-trumps-new-york-hotel-reversing-drop.html

 

Here’s a Washington Post opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin about Trump family connections to the Saudis, in which she cites reports that MBS bragged that he had Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “in his pocket”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/16/whose-interests-is-trump-looking-out-for-in-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.238d5f11fa63

 

And if you’re wondering if Trump’s entanglement with the Saudis and their copious fonts of cash looks like a violation of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, read these October 17 tweets from Jonathan Ladd, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution:

 

The fact that most in the political establishment except liberal activists has decided to pretend the emoluments clause doesn’t exist and allow a president to accept massive foreign bribes puts them in a weak position to claim that the Senate and SCOTUS must always stay the same.

If you want evidence that constitutional arrangements evolve over time, and practice, for better or worse, doesnt always match the original intention, just look the the emoluments clause. It’s original intention and interpretation until 2015 was that foreign bribes were forbidden
How did we effectively repeal the emoluments clause? Through the amendment procedure in the constitution’s text (2/3 of congress + 3/4 of states)? Nope. We just decided to ignore the text and tradition.
The best procedure to enforce the emoluments clause is impeachment, but the president’s party in Congress just decided that they didn’t care about foreign bribes, Constitutional text and tradition be damned. So now that Constitutional clause is unenforced and dead.

 

Also see Charlie Pierce’s fire-breathing opinion piece in Esquire that flatly accuses Trump of violating the Constitution because his connections to Saudis and their money evidently restrained him from giving them both barrels when the Khashoggi news broke:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23872355/president-trump-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-emoluments-clause/

 

So, here’s what you can do. Call your members of Congress–your two Senators and your House Rep–and demand substantial action on Khashoggi.

 

The impeccable and exquisite Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) got there first on Twitter with calling scripts, which we’ll reproduce below. Scroll down to learn how to show your appreciation for her work.

 

Once you have made your calls, describe your experience on Twitter using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

A note on saying the Saudi journalist’s name: Kah-sho-gee is perfectly fine.

 

If your House Rep is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it is extra-important that you call. Check this link to see if he or she is a member (click the blue button at the top to pull up the Republicans and the Democrats):

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

 

If one or both of your Senators are on the chamber’s Committee on Foreign Relations, it is extra-important that you call. The full list of members is below:

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/about/membership

 

Here is Celeste Pewter’s script for House of Representatives members:

 

Here is the script for your Senators:

 

 

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.

 

You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/08/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators-2/

 

You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18

 

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

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C., October 15 LAST CHANCE Edition

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

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

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C., Oct 13-14 Edition

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

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

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C.

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

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!