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Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

Follow Mike Stuchbery, an Australian-born historian in Britain, on Twitter and other venues.

Stuchbery made waves in late July by brutally schooling the editor of Infowars on the ethnic makeup of Roman Britain (Infowars guy assumed it wasn’t; Stuchbery showed him just how diverse it was).

Stuchbery has since gone on to destroy alt-right nitwits on the regular. He does not suffer fools gladly. Indeed, he’s got a talent for making fools suffer. His comments on history are worth reading regardless. Check him out.

 

Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter:

@MikeStuchbery_

 

Read and subscribe to his blogs:

https://mikestuchberydotnet.wordpress.com

http://mike-stuchbery.org

 

Contribute to his Patreon (Stuchbery promises, “I will not just take the first month’s payment and buy a pet lizard. I will tell right-wing dickheads to get fucked at every opportunity.” As of mid-September, he’s $103 shy of his $500/month goal):

https://www.patreon.com/mikestuchbery_

 

Read about how he schooled that twerp from Infowars:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/27/alt-right-commentator-gets-schooled-historian-diversity-roman/

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/british-historian-gives-alt-right-commentator-a-history-lesson

 

If you need more proof that he’s a good guy, read about how he was pushing back against school bullying in 2014:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-30222229

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Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

 

Trump has been likened to Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th-century autocrats, but his closest analog is Silvio Berlusconi, the blustering, womanizing media mogul who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2001.

 

In this November 2016 New York Times op-ed, Luigi Zingales shows us how to avoid the mistakes of Berlusconi opponents, which had the effect of prolonging his grip on power.

The key point to remember:

 

Attack what Trump does, not who he is. Yes, he’s morally bankrupt. Yes, he’s an awful human being. Yes, he’s unbelievably ignorant. Yes, his view of women is horrific. Yes, his twitter-squawkings are insane. Yes, he looks goddamn ridiculous.

 

If you need to complain about things like that, vent in a private Facebook group, or some other protected space. Empty it from your mind, then go out and shine a light on what he is doing, and explain why what he’s doing is bad.

 

You need to do it in a way that spotlights the consequences of his actions as president, and not on why Trump, the man, is repugnant. The instant you start attacking his character, you make him sympathetic. It’s not fair, but it’s what it is. The anti-Berlusconi crowd made that mistake and got seven years of his rule. Do you want eight years of Trump? Then lay off.

 

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Read About the History (Yes, History) of Accusing Protestors of Being What Some Now Call “Crisis Actors”

This OTYCD post first appeared in May 2018.

 

Read a February 2018 New York Times piece on the history–yes, the history–of accusing protestors and activists of being what some people now call “crisis actors.”

 

A particularly gross, but damnably inevitable, aspect of the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, was the claim by some that the eloquent young survivors were “crisis actors.”

 

Their accusers weren’t talking about actual crisis actors, who are people hired to play victims and survivors during realistic disaster drills. They were implying that the MSD students, who emerged from their trauma as pissed-off gun safety activists, were paid by some shadowy cabal that’s bent on destroying the Second Amendment.

 

Here’s the thing–while the term has changed, the concept behind the “crisis actor” has not. In a February 2018 piece for the New York Times, writer Niraj Chokshi shows it goes as least as far back as the years following the Civil War. Back then, black “outside agitators” were blamed for allegedly exaggerating their testimonies of the violence and discrimination they suffered, both from the Ku Klux Klan and in general.

 

In the 20th century, the nine children who bravely volunteered to integrate the public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, were accused of being paid for their trouble.

 

The piece does not discuss why some people are so determined to push the myth that people who step up and do and say difficult things have to be getting paid to do it. (That would be an interesting and worthy follow-up.) Regardless, it’s worth your time.

 

 

Read the New York Times piece on the history of the “crisis actor” accusation:

 

 

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Read “How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required)”

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Read How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required), a Politico Magazine cover story on how a small, dedicated group of Alaskans are turning their state blue.

 

The long story details how a handful of left-leaning, highly motivated young Alaskans studied the political landscape of their state and have managed to reshape it, as this passage explains:

 

“In the five years since [Jonathan] Kreiss-Tomkins’s upset victory, a most unusual thing has happened: Alaska—which elected Sarah Palin governor and has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson—has turned from red to a bluish hue of purple. Throughout the state, unknown progressives, like the kind Kreiss-Tomkins once was, have been winning. Before the elections of 2012, conservatives controlled all the major seats of power in Alaska: the governorship, both houses of the Legislature, and the mayoralty and city assembly of Anchorage, where 40 percent of the state’s 740,000 residents live; now, progressives and moderates control all of those offices but the state Senate, which has been gerrymandered beyond their control. More than half of the 40-member Alaska House of Representatives has been newly elected since 2012, most of them Democrats or independents; together with three moderate Republicans, they have remade the Democratic-independent caucus into a 22-18 majority.

 

Not all of these newcomer state legislators are typical progressives—’the NPR-listening liberals hunt, fish or camp here,’ says Joelle Hall, political director of the Alaska AFL-CIO—but in defeating more conservative candidates, they accomplished something that didn’t happen anywhere else in November 2016: In a state that went for Trump by 15 points, they flipped a red legislative chamber to blue…

 

…Their emerging coalition has been a boon for the Democratic Party, of course, but what’s remarkable is how little of this transformation has depended on the party. To the extent that the Democratic Party has helped in its own revival—and in transforming Alaska from deep red to a blue-ish purple—it was in part by getting out of the way. As progressives across the country try to pry Republicans out of power, they have important lessons to learn from a state where they are wrongly thought to have no power at all.”

 

It’s worth setting aside 15 minutes or more to read the whole story and mull it over. Then  read it again and think about whether and how its lessons apply to your state.

 

A few tactics jump out: the Alaskans sometimes ran Independents in areas where progressives could win if they didn’t have a “D” next to their names; they actively recruited candidates for office rather than waiting for them to volunteer themselves; and they created Ship Creek Group, an entity that provided support, key staff, and campaign advice, which made it easier for reluctant recruits to say yes.

 

Read How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required):

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/12/how-to-turn-red-state-blue-purple-alaska-politics-2018-216304

 

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Learn to Help Friends and Family Who Want to Do More Than Register to Vote

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018.

 

Learn to help friends and family who want to do more than just register to vote.

 

Sarah Jane here. We at OTYCD have encouraged you to talk to friends and family about voting, and make it as easy and as painless as possible for them to register, learn where their polling place is, and plot how they will physically get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

 

But what if they ask you about doing more than that? What if they’re excited, or concerned, or both about the direction the country is threatening to take, and they want to go beyond making sure they themselves are registered to vote?

 

May we humbly suggest you send them to this very blog?

 

 

Start by sending them to our page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do (we cheated, there’s actually four):

https://onethingyoucando.com/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do/

 

 

Also suggest they read the third entry in the Believe It: You Matter series, The Parable of Eating Less Meat. It’s about how activism is not a competition, and everything counts.

If you went from doing nothing to doing something, and you do that something consistently, you win. Doesn’t matter how big or small the something is.

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

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/16/believe-it-you-matter-part-iii-the-parable-of-eating-less-meat/

 

 

And if you want to suggest that they subscribe to the blog, we won’t stop you.

 

 

Also encourage them to visit postcardstovoters.org and volunteer to write Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards, using their own supplies.

 

Of all the things I (Sarah Jane) have done to push back against Trump since November 2016, writing postcards to voters has been the most satisfying.

 

I can write postcards anytime Tony the Democrat and friends have a campaign going, which is almost always. (The few times when they’re between campaigns, I prep postcards for future campaigns by decorating them with rubber stamps.)

 

Writing postcards to voters doesn’t require knocking on doors, calling people, or otherwise approaching strangers, which is terrifying to an introvert like me.

 

Let’s be clear, though. I do all that stuff, too, and I recommend it, but writing postcards to voters is something I can do whenever I want, for as long as I want, and I can set it aside if need be. I call it my civic knitting–each postcard is a stitch that strengthens democracy.

 

Also? New research shows that hand-writing postcards to voters is just as effective at getting out the vote as canvassing (physically knocking on doors), and sometimes more effective.

 

For more, see this June 22, 2018 piece from Blue Virginia called The Mighty Pen Prevails: In the Digital Age, Handwritten Voter Contact Is a Powerful Secret Weapon:

https://bluevirginia.us/2018/06/the-mighty-pen-prevails-in-the-digital-age-handwritten-voter-contact-is-a-powerful-secret-weapon

 

 

If your friends and family are open to supporting candidates, point them to the OTYCD post on the Core Four Strategy:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Helping eager friends and family learn who’s running for election and re-election in 2018 and find candidates to support is pretty next-level, but if you have the time and energy to do it, we at OTYCD encourage you to follow through.

 

 

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Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.

 

The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.

 

Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.

 

Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.

 

 

Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.

 

 

Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollaback-bystander-intervention-digital-training-tickets-33624094572

 

 

Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8L8vf0joWhQZE9WZHNtSnMxWk0/view

 

 

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See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/our-work/trainings-workshops/

 

 

For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/max_heros_last_words_tell_ever.html

 

 

And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/02/after_portland_bystander_intervention_training_is_more_important_than_ever.html

 

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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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