Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Believe It, You Matter, Part VII: Avenge Merrick Garland

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Believe It, You Matter, Part VII: Avenge Merrick Garland.

 

Sarah Jane here. (I write all the Believe It, You Matter entries.)

 

I went to as many of the big anti-Trump rallies that I could attend in 2017–the Women’s March, the Science March, the Tax March–you name it, I tried to go.

 

The signs at these protests were goddamn amazing. Going into the Science March, I realized I needed to up my sign game. I seriously thought about toting one that said:

AVENGE MERRICK GARLAND

 

Because it made me laugh. Merrick Garland is an inherently nice guy. That’s one of the big reasons why President Barack Obama nominated him for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)–everybody likes Merrick.

 

The idea of avenging the nicest, most likable federal judge who’s not yet on the Supreme Court struck me as funny. But I ultimately decided that the message wasn’t science-y enough. Instead I made a sign that said:

FIGHT TRUTH DECAY

 

…and that got many laughs and compliments.

 

Still, I keep coming back to the idea of avenging Merrick Garland.

 

Let me pause to explain who Merrick Garland is, for those who forgot or who came late to the discussion. Garland is a federal judge who Obama nominated to the SCOTUS seat that opened when Antonin Scalia unexpectedly died in February 2016.

 

As I stated above, Obama chose Garland with purpose and calculation. Garland was 63 at the time–not a young man–and he had long reaped praise from both sides of the aisle. If Garland got a hearing, he’d be chosen for the court. No question.

 

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell countered by … not giving Garland a hearing in the Senate. McConnell, who is known for his asshole moves, topped himself with this one. The New York Times summed it up well by calling it “an aggressive break with protocol.” McConnell came up with a bullshit rationale about not letting a president in his last year in office pick a SCOTUS candidate, and he self-righteously stuck to his bullshit rationale throughout.

 

You know the rest. Trump got elected, and he filled the open seat with Neil Gorsuch–an  inferior choice for SCOTUS, and a noxiously partisan one.

 

But that’s not the whole story. When Trump got elected, you and I and so many more were shocked into action. We mobilized. We organized. We stepped up. We came out. We fought back, and we haven’t stopped fighting back.

 

This is where avenging Merrick Garland comes in.

 

If the angry, alert, civically-engaged network we built after Trump’s election had existed at the time of Garland’s nomination, he’d probably be sitting on the court now. We would have rallied and called our Senators until they relented and gave the man a hearing. And if Garland had gotten a hearing, he almost certainly would have won the SCOTUS seat.

 

You can avenge Merrick Garland by staying alert, staying civically engaged, and staying ready to mobilize and petition your elected officials when they try to flout rules and norms and get away with outrages against democracy.

 

Trump will go, but you must not. Do not drift away after he leaves. Sure, let yourself rest. But we need you to come back, and we need you to keep fighting. For Merrick Garland’s sake.

 

Read about Obama’s choice of Garland, and McConnell’s refusal to hold a hearing for him:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/president-obama-to-nominate-merrick-garland-to-the-supreme-court-sources-say/2016/03/16/3bc90bc8-eb7c-11e5-a6f3-21ccdbc5f74e_story.html?utm_term=.38f29116f7b7

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/senate-obama-merrick-garland-supreme-court-nominee/482733/

https://www.npr.org/2016/03/16/470664561/mcconnell-blocking-supreme-court-nomination-about-a-principle-not-a-person

http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-supreme-court-nomination-20170131-story.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/merrick-garland-donald-trump-regulations-237052

 

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Learn About the Paradox of Tolerance

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

 

Learn about the Paradox of Tolerance, a philosophical concept that allows tolerance to survive and thrive.

 

Philosopher Karl Popper first elucidated the Paradox of Tolerance in 1945. Notice the timing there? 1945? Remember what happened in 1945, and what had happened over the six or so years leading up to it? Yeah, not an accident.

 

Here is Popper’s quote defining the Paradox of Tolerance, taken from his work The Open Society and Its Enemies:

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if e are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

“In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.”

“We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

 

This is going to be a gross simplification of what Popper is talking about, but at its core, the paradox of tolerance means that at some point, we who uphold liberal democracy have to protect tolerance itself by practicing intolerance toward those who would destroy it if given a chance.

 

To be dead clear–we don’t practice intolerance towards those who we simply don’t like, or whose ideas we find merely distasteful. Do not go medieval on people who insist that Creed is the best band ever. People are allowed to be wrong.

 

People are NOT allowed to act on beliefs that would extinguish the life and liberty of other people. Exhibit A: The Nazis, whose worldview included killing the disabled, imprisoning (and eventually starving to death) minorities and political prisoners, and trying to wipe out all the Jewish people in the world.

 

The neo-Nazis who showed up in Charlottesville in August meant business. They were testing, trying to see just how much they could get away with now that Trump is in power. They chose a smallish college town and chose to come when college was not in session. They came armed. They chanted Nazi slogans. They carried torches. Some came dressed to look like a militia or a police force. They threatened counter-protestors. And one drove his car directly into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring 19.

 

The only silver lining to this–and it was a brightly polished one–is that Americans who had been dismissive or skeptical of what the white supremacists and neo-Nazis had been on about snapped to attention after Trump made his comments offering the bad guys aid and comfort. The next big scheduled protest after Charlottesville happened in Boston on August 19. About 20 neo-Nazis and white supremacists showed up; at least 20,000, and by some reports, as many as 40,000 counter-protesters came out to meet them.

 

That is what should have happened, and that is what did happen. Keep showing up to oppose them. Keep being non-violent. Keep calling them out. And yes, let them feel the full force of their terrible choices. If you stand up in public and embrace fascism, Nazism, and racism, you should suffer social stigma. Period. Full stop.

 

So, yes, be intolerant of the intolerant. Be bigoted towards the bigots. But stay nonviolent. Chant. Play instruments with comedy value, like bagpipes, tubas, and kazoos. But don’t go raring to punch Nazis. That’s what they want–they want you to hit back, they want you to hit first. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

 

If the neo-Nazi clown show comes to your town, show up. Turn out in hordes, in swarms, in droves. Show them that their ideas suck and we ain’t having it. But let them have their dumb little meeting and let them come and go unmolested. And never, never give them what they want.

 

Read Popper’s quote on the Paradox of Tolerance GoodReads:

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/25998-the-so-called-paradox-of-freedom-is-the-argument-that-freedom

 

See a cartoon on the Paradox of Tolerance that went viral:

 

Read The Careful, Pragmatic Case Against Punching Nazis in New York magazine:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/the-careful-pragmatic-case-against-punching-nazis.html

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

Help Expose Fake Abortion Clinics

This OTYCD post originally appeared in December 2018.

 

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

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Democrat Maxine Waters for Re-Election to A House Seat in California’s 43rd Congressional District (GOOD UPDATE July 2019)

Update July 2019: Okay, you’ve long since figured this out, given her fierce and unrelenting work against Trump, but we at OTYCD feel it’s important to lace the feed with good updates wherever possible.

 

Democrat Maxine Waters won re-election in 2018.

 

She’s more than worthy of inclusion in your 2020 Core Four. Please keep her in mind.

 

Update, June 9, 2018: Waters came first in her district’s top-two primary on June 5, winning more than 71 percent of the vote. We congratulate Waters and encourage you to support her re-election campaign.

 

Support Democrat Maxine Waters, who’s running for re-election to a House of Representatives seat in California’s 43rd Congressional District.

 

Initially, we at OTYCD were not going to devote a post to Maxine Waters and her re-election campaign. We can only write so many posts about 2018 candidates–we could fill the whole queue with ‘support this person’ stories–and for that reason, we tend to favor challengers, not well-established incumbents.

 

What changed our collective minds? Assholes are gunning for Waters, explicitly, openly, and overtly, and they have been for a long while now.

 

A full roster of professionally awful people have teamed up to support an individual Republican aiming to take her down (we won’t dignify him by typing his name). Think of the worst, most repulsive Trumpistas you can, and yep, they’re almost certainly on the anti-Waters bandwagon and actively raising money to defeat her.

 

Nothing annoys a Trumpista more than a powerful black woman, and Waters annoys them all the more because she calls out lousy Republican behavior effectively and successfully, time and time again.

 

But that Republican twerp who we don’t care to name is not the only Republican who will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. There are four others as well.

 

True, Waters is not facing Democratic opposition, and the Cook Political Report rates California’s 43rd Congressional District as Solid Democrat, but hey, you know the score. Since November 2016, you’ve helped out any number of special elections and state elections that Democratic candidates were not supposed to win.

 

Is she going to be OK? Is she going to win re-election? Yeah, probably. She beat that Republican twerp three to one in 2016. That said, he hadn’t bat-signaled the troll army then. The minute you think Waters will do fine with what she has is the minute when she might need your help.

 

Auntie Maxine needs us. Let’s help her out.

 

 

Visit Maxine Waters’s campaign website:

https://maxinewatersforcongress.com

 

 

Also see her Congressional website:

https://waters.house.gov

 

 

Add Maxine Waters to your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/22/choose-your-fabulous-four-for-2018/

 

 

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 Waters’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/maxine-waters-2

 

 

Right around here is the point in the tail-end resources where we’d drop a link to merch if we had one. We’re trying to find an online store that sells ‘Reclaiming My Time’ products with the proceeds funding Waters’s campaign. If you know of one, please go to the About & Subscribe page and email us the info.

 

 

Like Maxine Waters on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MaxineWaters/

 

 

Follow Maxine Waters on Twitter:

@MaxineWaters

 

 

Of course, Maxine Waters is on Luvvie’s list of black women running for elected office in 2018. See our post on this invaluable reference:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/01/13/look-over-luvvies-list-of-black-women-who-are-running-for-office-and-support-them/

 

 

Read a November 27, 2017 Los Angeles Times piece that covers how pro-Trump folk are deliberately and explicitly targeting Maxine Waters for defeat in 2018:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-waters-gop-challenger-20171027-story.html

 

 

Read about how Waters’s late July 2017 remark during a Congressional meeting about “reclaiming my time” went viral on the scale of “nevertheless she persisted”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/08/01/reclaiming-my-time-is-bigger-than-maxine-waters/?utm_term=.b1c676d118e5

https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/31/16070822/reclaiming-my-time-maxine-waters-mnuchin-meme

 

 

Learn how Maxine Waters became Auntie Maxine, hero of the Resistance:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/darrensands/how-auntie-maxine-became-a-meme-and-the-hero-of-the-anti?utm_term=.ngqeW26L3A#.bj0q7o30aB

Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

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:

 

 

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!

 

 

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

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Support Immigrants and Refugees

Help RAICES Texas Fight to Get Migrants and Their Families Out of Detention

Help RAICES Texas fight to get migrants and their families out of detention along the southern border of the United States.

 

Babies are still in cages.

 

We wish we didn’t have to write that sentence, but we must, because it’s true.

 

RAICES Texas came to prominence in mid-2018 when the horrors of what the Trump administration was doing to migrant families–separating parents from kids pretty much because they could, in hopes that would scare them from coming north–became public.

 

The spotlight has moved to other ongoing Trump administration horrors and betrayals, but its treatment of migrants continues to be a scandal and a shame.

 

RAICES Texas is carrying on the fight. It’s a 33-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has evolved into the largest provider of legal services to immigrants in Texas. They have a team of more than 130 lawyers who defend migrants in court, educate them about their rights, and even help them obtain abortion care.

 

 

See the RAICES Texas website:

https://www.raicestexas.org/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Donate to RAICES Texas:

https://www.raicestexas.org/donate/donate-in-honor-or-memory-of-someone-you-love/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

See its Resources page:

https://www.raicestexas.org/resources/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

See its Services page:

https://www.raicestexas.org/services/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

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!

 

 

Sign up for its email newsletter:

https://www.raicestexas.org/email-newsletter/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

If you live close enough and have the skills needed, volunteer for RAICES:

https://www.raicestexas.org/volunteer/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Follow RAICES on Twitter:

@RAICESTEXAS