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Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

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Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Health Care · Public Education · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Students for Changes, an Advocacy Group Started by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Support Students for Changes, a nonprofit advocacy group started by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the deadly shooting on February 14, 2018.

 

Cofounded by three survivors of the attack that killed 17 of their peers and teachers, Students for Changes focuses on three things: gun safety, mental health, and school safety. The ultimate goal is to create a world where deadly school shootings are memories and not ever-present threats.

 

 

The pinned tweet on its Twitter page as of early March 2018 stated:

This Nonprofit Organization is started and led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas students. We’ve made this for the express purpose of connecting and consolidating the efforts of students nationwide to change our current policies and societal notions.

 

 

During the same period, its Twitter feed thanked Delta Airlines for rescinding the group discount it had offered to National Rifle Association (NRA) members, thanked Kroger, Walmart, and L.L. Bean for raising their minimum customer age for gun sales to 21, and promised to keep fighting after the Florida state senate passed, then quickly revoked, a two-year ban on the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

 

 

The founders intend this to be a student-led movement, and they encourage the creation of chapters in schools across America. As of March 4, 2018, SSC is filing to become a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

 

 

Visit the Students for Changes webpage:

https://www.studentsforchanges.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!

 

 

Donate to Students for Changes:

https://www.studentsforchanges.org/copy-of-make-a-donation

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/studentsforchanges/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@students4c

Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and Typically Republican Voters Who Plan to Vote for Democrats In 2018

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 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.

 

Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and typically Republican voters who plan to vote for Democrats in 2018.

 

We live in weird times. We have a manifestly unfit person sitting in the Oval Office. The second that Trump finished the oath of office on Inauguration Day 2017, his business entanglements put him in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, making him impeachable.

 

Still more evidence for impeachment has piled up since then, but the Republican-controlled Congress hasn’t started to begin to consider thinking about bestirring itself to do its job and remove Trump from office.

 

Once upon a time, Republicans did the right thing and threatened President Richard Nixon with impeachment over the Watergate scandal, prompting him to resign. Today, tribalism is stopping the Republicans from doing the right thing with Donald Trump. It’s shameful. History will judge them harshly for it, and so will voters.

 

Some Alabamians who normally vote Republican realized that staying home would not be enough during the December 2017 special election for Senate. Some–admittedly a minority–went to the polls and voted Democrat for the first time in their lives to do their bit to stop Republican Roy Moore from winning.

 

People across the country who don’t normally vote for Democrats are coming to the same conclusion that Republicans in Alabama did. They’re watching Trump’s antics, and watching Congress do nothing, and realizing they have to act by voting for candidates who will do what their party will not.

 

They’re starting to speak up publicly as well. Consider this March 2018 piece from The Atlantic, by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, of Lawfare, who both describe themselves as “true independents”. Bluntly titled Boycott the Republican Party, it counsels Americans to methodically vote for Democrats to send a message to the GOP in hopes of getting it to straighten up and fly right (pun not intended):

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

Key quote:

“So we arrive at a syllogism:

(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

If the syllogism holds, then the most-important tasks in U.S. politics right now are to change the Republicans’ trajectory and to deprive them of power in the meantime. In our two-party system, the surest way to accomplish these things is to support the other party, in every race from president to dogcatcher. The goal is to make the Republican Party answerable at every level, exacting a political price so stinging as to force the party back into the democratic fold.”

 

On June 7, 2018, the Washington Post reported on a poll that shows that around a quarter of Republicans favor candidates who will act as a check on Trump.

Here’s the piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

And here’s the key passage:

“Perhaps the most interesting part of this poll, though, is that more than a quarter of Republicans want candidates who will act as a check on Trump. On net, Republicans were 11 points more likely to say that they would be turned off by a candidate acting as a check on Trump, but it’s still the case that 27 percent would be encouraged to vote for a candidate willing to check Trump. That even as Republicans support candidates who support Trump on policy issues. By more than 60 percentage points, Republicans are more likely to support candidates that stand with Trump on taxes and immigration. But they’re nearly split on candidates who stand up to Trump generally.”

 

And since we at OTYCD drafted and queued this piece, more longtime GOP supporters have publicly defected and called for others to join them.

 

Steve Schmidt, a high-ranking GOP strategist who helped elect George W. Bush, worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign in California, quit the party. On June 19, 2018, he tweeted (and it’s now his pinned tweet):

29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.

 

Read stories on Schmidt quitting the Republican Party:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/veteran-republican-strategist-steve-schmidt-renounces-gop/2018/06/20/7bcf53fe-74c7-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.872cc10a5f60

https://www.yahoo.com/news/steve-schmidt-helped-run-republican-212844307.html

 

 

On June 22, 2018, prominent conservative George Will, who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1977, put out a blunt column installment in the Washington Post titled Vote Against the GOP This November.

 

He hasn’t decided he likes the Democrats. He doesn’t, and he won’t. His call to vote Democrat this fall is intended as the corrective Trump needs, and which the GOP-controlled Congress has been too feckless to give. Here’s the final paragraph from the piece:

 

“In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.”

 

 

Read Will’s full column:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/vote-against-the-gop-this-november/2018/06/22/a6378306-7575-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?utm_term=.97ccad43bccf

 

 

This is where you come in.

 

If you know someone who doesn’t normally vote for Democrats, but who gets that they must in 2018 in order to right the GOP and provide a check on Trump, you need to be welcoming and gracious toward them.

 

In other words, don’t be an asshole, and be extra-careful not to come off as an asshole to these people.

 

Don’t assume they’ve gone all liberal and progressive because they’re going to vote for Democrats this fall. They haven’t.

 

Respect the fact that these folks wouldn’t vote this way under normal circumstances.

 

Respect the fact that they think differently about politics than you, and respect the fact that they’re doing what needs to be done for the sake of our country, and our democracy.

 

Also, keep your interactions pleasant and fun. Don’t bring up politics unless they do, and if they do bring up politics, let them lead the conversation. Be supportive. Commiserate.

 

After Labor Day, start talking about plans to go to the polls together. Offer a ride. Offer to have lunch or buy a drink after you both vote. If it makes sense, offer child care or offer to cover a shift for your friend if it will help them reach the polls on November 6, 2018.

 

Also, do not say “Thank you”. Seriously. It’s not appropriate because it could be read as insulting.

 

Think about it–should you get a cookie for stepping up and blocking a wannabe dictator from destroying our democracy? No, it’s the right thing to do. If someone has decided it’s time to cast a punitive vote against their home party, they would definitely be offended at the notion that they deserve praise for doing it.

 

Instead, you can say, “I look forward to the days when we can go back to disagreeing with each other.”

 

If you want to show lasting gratitude to those who don’t normally vote for Democrats, but are doing so to send a message to the GOP, you can do this:

 

You can promise to listen to them.

 

Not just now, in the breach, but going forward, too.

 

Listening to them does not mean agreeing with them. It does mean making a good-faith effort to hear out those who don’t share your view of politics, and trying to understand them.

 

 

Here, again is the March 2018 piece from The Atlantic that urges Republicans to boycott the GOP and vote for Democrats:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

 

And here, again, is the June 2018 Washington Post story on the poll on what sort of candidates Americans are likely to support in the midterms. In addition to 25 percent of Republicans favoring candidates who would provide a check on Trump, the story says that voters, in general, were 25 percentage points more likely to vote for a candidate who promised to push back against the president:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

 

Read December 2017 stories from Newsweek and the Washington Post on how Republican affiliation has fallen by five points since Trump was elected:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-scaring-voters-republican-affiliation-dips-year-election-poll-730604

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/11/a-lot-of-americans-spent-2017-bailing-on-the-republican-party/?utm_term=.d6e51e7a9cc0

 

 

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Community Activism · Save These Tools · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Remember to Donate to Food Banks During the Summer Months, When Schools Are Closed

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Remember to make a point of donating to your local food banks during the summer months, when schools are closed.

 

Students who receive free and reduced-price school meals can suffer during the summer, when their schools close. Their schools are often their most reliable source of nutritious meals. While many communities have programs that feed children under 18 during the summer, not all do.

 

It’s almost a cliche to volunteer at soup kitchens and food banks during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but summer is when the need can be keenest.

 

Food donations are always welcome at food banks, but donations of money are even more effective. Also ask your food bank if they accept donations of diapers, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products, which cannot be purchased with food stamps.

 

 

Find your nearest food bank:

http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

 

 

Donate to the AmpleHarvest.org food pantry network:

http://ampleharvest.org/donate-m1/

 

 

Find the nearest summer meals program in your community:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

 

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Volunteer At a Rape Crisis Center or Sexual Assault Hotline

Volunteer at a rape crisis center or a sexual assault hotline.

 

Even before he was elected, Donald Trump caused dark memories to surface in the minds of victims of rape and sexual assault.

 

Since his election, things have been just as intense. The #MeToo movement has forced the downfall of prominent abusers such as Harvey Weinstein and encouraged victims who suffered at the hands of other high-profile men to speak out and seek justice.

 

The news about Rob Porter, who was employed by the White House and finally ousted once domestic abuse allegations came to light, added to the intensity.

 

Calls to rape crisis centers have spiked since late 2016 and remain high. If you can volunteer with a rape crisis center or a sexual abuse hotline, please consider it.

 

The best known is the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its National Sexual Assault Hotline takes calls around the clock and connects people with support services nearest to them. It also helps those who contact them online. To date, RAINN has assisted more than 2.5 million people.

 

If you can’t volunteer at a rape crisis center or a sexual assault hotline, consider donating   to RAINN or a RAINN partner crisis center in your area. You can also follow RAINN and local organizations on social media and spread awareness of their efforts.

 

 

Volunteer for RAINN’s online hotline:

https://www.rainn.org/articles/volunteer-national-sexual-assault-hotline

 

 

Volunteer with a RAINN partner crisis center near you:

https://volopps.rainn.org

 

 

If you are a sexual assault or rape victim who needs help, call the RAINN hotline:

800.656.4673

 

 

Those needing support can also access Rainn’s online hotline in English:

https://hotline.rainn.org/online/

 

…and Spanish:

https://rainn.org/es

 

 

If you are a sexual assault or rape victim serving in the military, you can contact the Department of Defense (DOD) Safe Helpline, also run by RAINN (scroll down for the full list of resources):

https://safehelpline.org/about

 

 

Donate to RAINN:

https://rainn.org/impact-your-gift-rainn

 

 

Like RAINN on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RAINN01/

 

 

Follow RAINN on Twitter:

@RAINN

 

 

Read a November 2017 Washington Post article on the rise in calls to rape crisis centers as a result of Trump’s Access Hollywood tape, the #MeToo movement, and similar events:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/calls-to-rape-crisis-centers-are-surging-amid-the-outpouring-of-sexual-assault-allegations/2017/11/22/3d0bec6a-ce12-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.6b57e3bd3614

Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Thank You Actions

Learn How to Help Military Families Thanks to Operation We Are Here

Learn how to help military families through the Operation We Are Here homepage–a detailed collection of resources for military families and those who want to show support.

 

Operation We Are Here is a gratifyingly broad and comprehensive collection of resources for military families, veterans, and people who want to ease their burden. It includes links and info on programs you’ve heard about and several you haven’t.

 

Its Toolkit page, which is aimed at people who want to help the enlisted, their families, and veterans, provides information about programs such as Free Cakes for Kids, which ensures that low-income military families with children don’t have to choose between spending their limited funds on a birthday cake or a birthday gift.

 

It also mentions Cleaning for Heroes, a nonprofit that provides free house-cleaning services to disabled or elderly veterans; several programs that train service animals for vets and the military; ways for lawyers to donate their legal services; a list of businesses run by veterans and military spouses; programs that help the military community vote; and a metric ton of programs that distribute used items–musical instruments, DVDs, cell phones, clothes, board games and video games, you name it–to military folk.

 

There’s an entire section of the site devoted to books of interest to the military community and its supporters, with subsections on PTSD, marriage, caregiving, veteran employment, and loss and grief.

 

And there’s a sidebar on the right of the webpage with seemingly acres of resources.

 

A note: The Operation We Are Here webpage is the project of a non-denominational Christian ministry, but the individual resources listed may or may not reflect the same Christian beliefs.

 

 

See the Operation We Are Here webpage:

http://www.operationwearehere.com/index.html

 

 

See its ‘About Me’ page, which includes a ‘Statement of Faith’:

http://www.operationwearehere.com/AboutUs.html

 

 

See its ‘Toolkit for Military Supporters’:

http://www.operationwearehere.com/Toolkit.html

 

 

See its ‘Book List for the Military Community and Supporters’:

http://www.operationwearehere.com/BookLists.html

 

 

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!

 

 

Follow Operation We Are Here on Twitter:

@OpWeAreHere

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/OperationWeAreHere

Community Activism · Health Care · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Learn to Use a Tourniquet, and Carry One With You, Just In Case

Learn to use a tourniquet, and carry one with you, just in case.

 

Former Senator and full-time Republican fool Rick Santorum was deservedly smothered under a heap of scorn in March 2018 after suggesting that students should learn cardio-pulminary resuscitation (CPR) in case they found themselves and their friends under attack in a school shooting.

 

Several doctors slammed Santorum for obvious idiocy, but Jo Buyske, executive director of the American Board of Surgery, summed it up best in a tweet that said, “Mr. Santorum, CPR doesn’t work if all the blood is on the ground.”

 

Santorum’s underlying impulse wasn’t wrong. Knowing what to do in a borked situation can help you get through it. He just reached for the wrong solution.

 

The best way to stop all the blood from pooling on the ground is to apply a tourniquet. It’s a temporary solution that stops a victim from bleeding out before medical help can arrive.

 

Granted, a tourniquet can be as useless as CPR when a victim has been shot multiple times by an assailant wielding an AR-15. But someone who’s been wounded in an arm or a leg could live to tell the tale if someone ties on a tourniquet in time.

 

Applying a tourniquet is a skill that needs to be learned. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make things worse.

 

First, you need to purchase a tourniquet. The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) is well-regarded, as is the SOF Tactical Tourniquet-Wide (SOFTT-W). Both are available through Rescue Essentials.

 

 

The CAT:

https://www.rescue-essentials.com/combat-application-tourniquet-c-a-t-tactical-black-gen-7/

 

 

The SOFTT-W:

https://www.rescue-essentials.com/softt-w-generation-4-tourniquet/

 

 

Then you need to learn how to apply a tourniquet. Here’s a page from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) website, written by Dr. David R. King, who tended to victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing:

https://giving.massgeneral.org/tourniquet-use-instructions/

 

 

You can also review the instructions offered by Stop the Bleeding, a government-sponsored awareness campaign launched in 2015 to encourage everyday people to teach themselves how to handle a bleeding emergency before medical help arrives:

https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed

 

 

If you have a bit more to spend, you might consider a Concealed Carry Trauma Kit, which contains a tourniquet as well as a pair of gloves and a hemostatic agent–a substance that stops bleeding. The kit is designed to fit in a back pocket (hence the reference to ‘concealed carry’).

https://www.rescue-essentials.com/concealed-carry-trauma-kit/

 

 

Read about Rick Santorum making a damn fool of himself and getting flayed by doctors who know better:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/03/26/doctors-assure-rick-santorum-learning-cpr-wont-save-mass-shooting-victims/?utm_term=.0e9c26efa749

https://www.thedailybeast.com/doctors-slam-rick-santorum-for-suggesting-kids-learn-cpr-instead-of-protesting

 

 

Also, read an October 2017 WBUR interview with a volunteer from Stop the Bleeding on the power of the tourniquet:

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/10/18/tourniquet-blood-loss

 

 

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