Community Activism · Ethics · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Read There Is No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love

Read There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

 

TINGCFT might seem like a not-quite-on-topic choice for a political blog, but bear with us. It’s a great textbook on how to have awkward conversations, how to listen, and how not to be a jerk–skills that are ever more precious and valuable in the time of Trump.

 

McDowell is the genius behind a series of greeting cards that you’d actually want to send to someone who’s going through hell but still has a sense of humor. Crowe holds a doctorate in social welfare, and founded Help Each Other Out, which teaches people how to avoid being the person who ghosts or says and does unhelpful things when bad stuff happens to friends and family.

 

The whole book is a gem, but in particular, it goes over how to help people in the grip of illness, fertility issues, divorce, unemployment, and grief.

 

Some general takeaways:

 

It’s better to do something than nothing. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is doing something.

Remember it’s about them, not you. Don’t make their problem about you.

Listen.

Your kindness is your credential.

The person who needs help may not respond to your overture the way you’d expect. Don’t hold that against them, and don’t let their response deter you from helping others.

 

 

Buy There Is No Good Card for This at great independent book stores such as The Strand or Powell’s:

http://www.strandbooks.com/index.cfm

http://www.powells.com/book/there-is-no-good-card-for-this-9780062469991/1-5

 

 

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Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Embrace the Awkward: Learn to Handle All Sorts of Unreasonable People

Want to get better at handling uncomfortable conversations with racists, sexists, bigots, and people who don’t share your beliefs and won’t let it go? Read these Captain Awkward blog posts.

 

If you haven’t heard of this blog, you have a treat ahead of you. Plan on losing an afternoon, because you will be diving deep in the rabbit hole.

 

Captain Awkward might be–no, is–the best personal advice column out there. Better than Miss Manners. Better than Dear Abby. Better than Dear Prudence. And yes, better than Carolyn Hax (sorry, Hax).

 

Blog author Jennifer P. has written several entries and presented guest posts on how to handle encounters with sexists, racists, xenophobes, homophobic and transphobic folks, as well as people who make it their mission to stomp on your boundaries.

 

Here are some good ones to start with:

 

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage (a woman dating a man who got a Neo-Nazi tattoo way back when and hasn’t yet had it removed; a woman’s older brother is a jerk who says pro-Nazi things and her family is being dense about it):

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage.

 

 

#915: ‘All in the Family Politics’ (She is pro-choice and works for an abortion provider; her future mother-in-law is anti-choice):

#915: All In The Family Politics

 

 

#871: ‘Love and Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia’:

#871: Love & Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia

 

 

#819: ‘Ware the ‘Frozen Chosen’ (dealing with less-than-Christian-acting congregants):

#819: ‘Ware The “Frozen Chosen”

 

 

#710: ‘I Love My Volunteers (But Not the Racist Ones)’:

#710: I love my volunteers (but not the racist ones).

 

 

…and read these guest posts:

 

‘A Post-election Guide to Changing Hearts and Minds’:

Guest Post: A post-election guide to changing hearts and minds

 

‘If I Come Out to My Family, Will They Stop Making Offensive Jokes Already?’:

Guest Post! “If I come out to my family, will they stop making offensive jokes already?”

 

Also, on November 16, the Captain Awkward blog posted a link to a great Southern Poverty Law Center guide on responding to everyday bigotry:

https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections

Learn If You Live In A Pivot County

Check these Ballotpedia links and see if you live in a Pivot County–an area that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

 

Ballotpedia, a website that comprehensively covers candidates and races at the local, state, and federal levels in America, has identified 206 “pivot counties” in 34 states.

 

On average, Obama won these counties with an average margin of victory of 12.23 percent in 2008 and 8.22 percent in 2012 before Trump won them with an average margin of victory of 11.43 in 2016.

 

Are any of these counties near you?

 

The Obama-Obama-Trump voting pattern indicates areas that could tilt back toward the Democrats in 2018 and later elections.

 

Ballotpedia notes that 19 states with a Democratic or Independent sitting senator running for re-election in 2018 have at least one Pivot County within their borders.

 

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!

 

 

See Ballotpedia’s list of the 206 Pivot Counties:

https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_Pivot_Counties_-_the_206_counties_that_voted_Obama-Obama-Trump

 

 

Here are the list of counties by state:

https://ballotpedia.org/Pivot_Counties_by_state

 

 

Here’s how the Pivot Counties overlap with Congressional districts (this is the entry that notes that 19 incumbent Democratic or Independent Senators come from states that have at least one Pivot County):

https://ballotpedia.org/Pivot_Counties:_How_the_206_Obama-Obama-Trump_counties_intersect_with_Congressional_districts

 

 

Learn about the Pivot Counties’ historic voting patterns:

https://ballotpedia.org/Pivot_Counties:_Looking_at_the_historical_voting_patterns_of_the_206_Obama-Obama-Trump_counties_from_1964-2016

 

 

See the Ballotpedia home page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia ($18 corresponds to the cost of a single article):

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like Ballotpedia on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia?ref=br_tf

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Support, and Learn From, Repairers of the Breach

Support, and learn from, Repairers of the Breach, a nonprofit ecumenical organization that has had great success with pushing back against ultra-conservatism and its ill effects.

 

Repairers of the Breach is a North Carolina-based organization helmed by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Under his leadership it created the Moral Monday protests in 2013, weekly actions at the North Carolina state legislature that drew attention to a new social justice issue each week.

 

Repairers of the Breach and its leader, Rev. Barber, is building a contemporary version of the movement that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led five decades ago. It targets the ills of racism, poverty, and extreme militarism with a clear, progressive moral vision.

 

The ideas and the passion of Barber and the Repairers of the Breach needs to spread farther and wider. Please read their literature, learn from their events, and support their work in whatever way you can.

 

Visit the Repairers of the Breach website:

http://www.breachrepairers.org

 

Read its blog:

http://www.breachrepairers.org/blog/

 

Subscribe to the Repairers of the Breach email list:

http://www.breachrepairers.org/subscribe/

 

Donate to Repairers of the Breach:

http://www.breachrepairers.org/donate/

 

Like its Facebook page and learn about upcoming events, some of which are streamed:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/breachrepairers/events/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@BRepairers

 

Purchase Barber’s books, Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation and The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear, via Powell’s:

http://www.powells.com/book/forward-together-a-moral-message-for-the-nation-9780827244948/62-0

http://www.powells.com/book/third-reconstruction-9780807007419/62-0

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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Support the American Constitution Society, the Progressive Counterpart to the Federalist Society

Support the American Constitution Society (ACS), the progressive counterpart to the right-wing Federalist Society.

 

You might have heard of the Federalist Society. Founded in 1982, it’s a rightward-tilting organization that promotes and fosters like-minded judges.

 

In recent years it has become the de facto selector of Supreme Court candidates and other federal judges by Republicans. John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch all have ties to the Federalist Society.

 

You might be wondering if there’s a progressive counterpart to the Federalist Society. Why yes, yes there is.

 

The American Constitution Society (ACS), founded in 2001, was deliberately designed to serve as a counterweight to the Federalist Society.

 

Being younger than that group, it’s not as far along in its evolution, but it is building a network of progressive-minded lawyers who will defend, per its purpose, “individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law.”

 

See its website:

https://www.acslaw.org

 

 

Read its blog:

https://www.acslaw.org/acsblog

 

 

Find an ACS chapter near you:

https://www.acslaw.org/chapters

 

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!

 

Like the ACS on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/acslaw/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@acslaw

 

 

Donate to the ACS:

https://donate.acslaw.org/donate?campaign=homepage

 

 

Read a 2008 New York Times piece on the ACS:

 

Read about the rise and the doings of the Federalist Society:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/how_the_federalist_society_became_the_de_facto_selector_of_republican_supreme.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/03/23/grilling-gorsuch-and-fearing-the-federalist-society/?utm_term=.81e8b9c2b091

 

 

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Check out All the President’s Profiting, a Project of OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics

Visit and bookmark All the President’s Profiting, a truly astonishing project by OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

The Founding Fathers were pretty damn clear–they didn’t like the idea of the president using the office for personal gain. Most Americans agree. The notion that Trump might be profiting from serving as president rankles anyone who isn’t a fully marinated member of Cult 45.

 

OpenSecrets.org, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CPR), has tracked payment records to assemble a startling picture of how Trump might be reaping personal gains from his rarified position.

 

Titled All the President’s Profiting, it contains 657 entries that detail payments to Trump properties; payments from Trump-related committees; payments from the Republican Party, its candidates, officials, and leadership PACs; and also payments from Democrats.

 

 

See All the President’s Profiting:

https://www.opensecrets.org/trump/trump-properties?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tw-trump-properties-121417

 

 

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!

 

 

Visit the OpenSecrets.org “About” page:

https://www.opensecrets.org/about/

 

 

Donate to the work of OpenSecrets.org and the CPR:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16#nav

 

 

Like OpenSecrets.org on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/OpenSecrets/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@OpenSecretsDC