Call your senators

Yes, I know it’s all stressful.  I have actually gone on a twitter/reddit freeze because I just cannot after hearing of RBG’s passing.

But I am on a lot of email lists and they are pushing as hard as they can to delay the Supreme Court nomination for as long as possible.  And we all (in the US) need to help.  We need to call our Republican AND our Democrat senators and ask them to delay the nomination until January.  This may not actually delay the nomination, but it could, and more importantly, delaying it means we’re more likely to end up with a Roberts (still too conservative, but not batshit crazy evil) than with a Kavanaugh (drunken misogynist).  It will also change the media narrative from “who is he going to pick” to “will he be allowed to pick?” Republicans need to know that they’re on notice and Democrats need to be able to point to all the calls they’re getting.  Every call is important, every call matters.  You can call during the day and talk to someone or you can wait until after hours and leave a message.  You can send in a fax.  These are all good options.

Now I’m going to quote from an email from Celeste_P with more information.

Call your Senators, and let them know that we cannot confirm a Supreme Court justice until the next Congress is in office. 

(this is to avoid a lame duck session appointment)

Right now, the balance of power in the Senate is 47 (45 Dems + 2 independents) to 53 Republicans.

So, we need FOUR GOP Senators to essentially agree they won’t move forward with any nomination. Here’s our current math:

1. Murkowksi has already said she won’t vote.

So we now need three. This can be three sitting Republicans (e.g. Romney or Collins, the latter of who has given a loophole-filled statement) OR if Mark Kelly is elected and takes his seat before the end of November – we would then need two more. Does that make sense?

But because this is all up-in-the-air math, we should: 
1. Continue calling all Senators. Full stop.
2. And please, please – stick with calling your own Senators.

I know this is so much easier said than done right now. I know we also all really want to also go yell at GOP Senators. But GOP Senators need to hear from their constituents on this, and random non-constituents calling will not help – e.g. see Susan Collins using non-constituent calls to justify her eventual Kavanaugh vote.

Because we’re also deep into the election, GOP senators will also use non-constituent calls for ads and fundraise – so let’s not inadvertently give tools to GOP candidates right now.

SCRIPT:

 

You: Hi, my name is [name], I’m calling from [zip code].

You: I’m calling to demand [SENATOR] commit to NO Senate confirmation vote until after the November election. We are 45 days out from our next general election.

Using previous SCOTUS nomination precedents including the blocked nomination of Merrick Garland, I want [Senator] to confirm they will let the next Senate take this step.

You: [Optional comments]

 

Celeste P doesn’t send out emails very often, but when she does they are extremely helpful.  Here’s a link to get on her mailing list:  https://tinyletter.com/Celeste_pewter Her twitter feed also has regular actions.

Indivisible emails more frequently, maybe once or twice a week (probably half action/half fundraising).  Sign up here:  https://indivisible.org/signup

If you’re a US citizen, let us know in the comments how you contacted your senators today!

Ask the Grumpies: Where should I donate for Activism if I only have a little money?

K asks:

If I only have say, $5,$10 or $25 right now where is the best place to donate, in this present life or death election?

I do not know the answer, but maybe someone from Grumpy Nation will.

If you are someplace in which the local elections matter and aren’t obvious (so you’re not trying to decide between two amazing options), your local elections are probably going to give the most bang for your buck.  A little money will go a long way.  And that money won’t be wasted sending you thick envelopes asking for more money (ugh).  You could also probably pick up a yard sign for someone local for $5 or $10 from your local dems office or from their campaign hq.

If you’re *not* in that situation, I’m not sure.  I’ve been doing a lot of $25 donations to close races in my state that aren’t ones I’m allowed to vote in.  There’s also a lot of small campaigns where you can donate post-card stamps and post-cards.  Or you can combine your small $ with time and write letters to voters (you provide paper, printing, envelopes, stamps) with votefwd.org or write post-cards to voters with a number of organizations (of which postcardstovoters.org is one)

There are also things you can do for free.  Call up your local dems office and/or local (or less local) indivisible office and get on their email mailing list. I find out about lots of important opportunities for giving or doing from mailing lists from a couple of Indivisible groups in nearby cities.

My sister says doing phone-calls this year is way nicer than in previous years– people are happy to talk.  Similarly, there are texting campaigns (I’m not crazy about a lot of texting campaigns, but I do like the “get out the vote” ones).  For many of these you can either use your phone or you can use your wireless internet to actually do the contacting, so if you’re on a limited data plan for your phone you can use the internet instead.

A very simple thing you can do for free is to get your friends and acquaintances to check their voter registration to make sure they’re registered.  Ask folks about their plans to vote– if voting absentee, have they ordered a ballot yet?  Then let people know if/when early voting starts and other deadlines.  You can also call up your local electeds and tell them you are not interested in fascism.  Tell them to impeach Attorney General Barr and to make Postmaster DeJoy resign.  Ask for bipartisan legislation to protect the USPS.  Ask your governor to allow and expand ballot drop boxes.  Ask Congress to support nation-wide mail-in voting.  Demand an extension for the US Census.  And on and on (scripts for these are all available from https://5calls.org/ ).  You can also follow celeste_p on twitter for up-to-date actions.

Grumpy Nation:  Where do you think small donations are best used?  What suggestions do you have for low cost or no-cost actions?

What is your plan to vote?

#1: Will vote during the early voting period in person, likely early morning on a Wednesday during the first week and I will also drag DH with me.

#2: Lives in a state with voting by mail, and always chooses that option. It is important to get the ballot in earlier than the deadline in case of USPS delays.

#1: I will also remind students to register to vote here or request their absentee ballots NOW. I gave the student workers voter registration cards to put in the mailboxes of our majors and I will write emails on how to register and how to vote for our department chair to send out to students.

What is your plan to vote? Have you requested an absentee ballot yet? Do you know where you can turn one in? Have you checked your voter registration to make sure you’re still registered and everything is up to date?  Do you have any suggestions for getting the vote out?

What can we do to combat fascism?

I don’t know if you noticed this, but so far July has been hard-core this week in Fascism every week.  I think Trump’s people are getting worried that he’s going to lose the election and they’ve been testing the ground they’ve been laying these past three years to see how far they can push.

The first major thing is that secret Federal police have been grabbing protesters off the streets in Portland, Oregon.  They’ve been doing standard other police stuff too like throwing tear gas at peaceful protesters, and randomly beating on people including those with press passes… though unlike the usual police MO, they’ve even been attacking middle-aged white women and white dudes in Navy sweatshirts.  Which is to say, they’re not just attacking the most vulnerable– they’re pushing the limits to attack people who are normally protected.  I suspect they’ve started this in Portland rather than say, Dallas, because they can blame it on Antifa and Liberals rather than risking an actual shootout when some white conservative counter-protester gets hit in cross-fire.  Most recently they’ve backed off of Portland and protests are peaceful again, but he’s been spreading these troops to other cities as well.

Here’s a five calls script to protest authoritarian police practices.  Here’s one to block Trump’s secret police force.

The second major thing is the post office slow-down.  They don’t want us to vote by mail.  It’s that simple.  They want black and brown communities to have to stand in line for hours in unsafe conditions at even slower and more limited than usual polling sites so that many never end up being able to vote while white rural and suburban Trump supporters breeze through.  So the new head of the post office has been instituting postal slow-downs.  The senate has been refusing to give the post office relief for the extra expenses caused by corona even as they bail out large private companies.  The following two threads have more information on current Post office struggles (Celeste_Pewter also has small things you can do for your local post office to make their lives easier and safer.)  But definitely make a phone call about this– it’s nearly free.  Yes, it’s more fun to provide gifts to postal employees (they would like caddies with cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, Gatorade, etc. according to celeste P)  or to buy one of their cool pieces of merchandise (their magic kit is top notch and they have jigsaw puzzles among many other cool things), and you can definitely do that, but sometimes resistance means doing the unpleasant things too.

Here’s a 5-calls script for getting the post office help.

The third major thing is that Trump has been attacking the census.  In addition to earlier defunding and citizenship questions etc., he just signed an executive order prohibiting undocumented immigrants from being and he’s trying to get the census to end early (or technically, not allowing an extension when covid has delayed normal counting activities).

Here’s a message from ipums:

We are writing to urge you to contact your Senators to approve a necessary extension of the 2020 Census.

The Census Bureau requested an extension in April to allow for non-response follow-up and delivering the data amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The White House’s abrupt request for additional funding without an extension is at odds with a full, fair, and accurate Census. This move omits historically undercounted and hard-to-count populations from the data, which will have lasting effects through congressional representation and allocation of federal funds. Read more about the Census Bureau’s plans for the extended timeline and coverage from NPR and the New York Times about the risks of an inaccurate count if the process is rushed.

Revisions to the 2020 Census timeline and budget are slated for inclusion with legislation that provides additional COVID-19 relief. The latest proposal in the Senate allocates additional 2020 Census funding, but not the extended timeline. In contrast, the House of Representative’s HR6800 bill (the HEROES Act) allows for the necessary extension.

Please contact your Senators and ask them to take up and approve HR6800 to give the Census Bureau the necessary time to do their vital work of counting everyone.

Oh, also Trump wants to delay the November election.

I googled “how to fight fascism” and limited to the last month… and there’s not really a whole lot out there.  But there are things we can do on the above issues.

  1.  Use these fivecalls scripts to protest police and secret police using violence to limit our rights to free speech and assembly.   Five calls script to protest authoritarian police practicesFive calls script to block Trump’s secret police force.
  2. Call your senator about saving the post office.  5-calls script for getting the post office help.  There are lots of other small things you can do as well, like asking your local office what they need, providing your post office worker with hand sanitizer and gatorade, buying stuff from the post office store, but while these are warm and fuzzy making and definitely worthwhile, they won’t help as much as government action will.
  3. Call your senators and ask them to take up and approve HR6800 to give the Census Bureau time to count everyone.

What suggestions do you have for fighting Fascism in the US? 

Link Love

I’ve seen some folks questioning what they can actually *do* to help, and some of the lists of things that you can do are overwhelming.  Some of them start with folks educating themselves, which while important (and will definitely help with the “first do no harm” step), doesn’t seem like enough for many people.  There are indeed, hundreds of things (or more) you can do, but you cannot do them all.  But it’s important to do SOMETHING.  Whatever it is that you have the spoons for.  Whatever you can bear.  It’s fine to start with smaller things, especially while you’re getting your bearings.  Something is better than nothing.

What are some somethings?  Well, I’m just going to post a few easy things you can do.  If you’re ready for more challenging things, you are probably also ready to figure out what needs doing in your area (google, talk to people, see what the lay of the activism landscape is).  I do believe that voting rights is part and parcel of civil rights, so some of my low-hanging fruit actions are about getting good people to vote.  Because the government is important.  If you have other suggestions, definitely put them in the comments!

Donate:  Indivisible makes it easy with one-stop shopping for a number of charities.  There are many other places to donate– bail funds, gofundmes for destroyed properties, etc.  But this is a good place to start.

Protest:  Go to a BLM protest (search for one in your area– they’re not all posted on the BLM website).  Wear your mask.  Bring masks for others if you have extra.  Bring markers and posterboard if you have them.  Bring water bottles, preferably still wrapped in plastic (there have been reports of bad people putting antifreeze in donated bottles, so you want to make clear you’re not doing that).  Bring bug spray and sunblock.  Bring hand sanitizer (preferably spray bottle) and offer it to people.  If you don’t have any of this, just bring yourself (except the mask, definitely wear a mask).  Protests are outdoors, so that’s good, but we want to minimize the spread of covid at these protests and yelling and singing are big spreaders.  Masks help a lot.  (If you are in an at-risk group for covid or living with someone who is, then support the protests in other ways, like donating to your BLM chapter or doing other actions.)  More on how to protect yourself from cnet.

Call:  Visit 5calls for suggestions, phone numbers, and scripts.  Celeste_P also is a great place for actions with scripts.  (Here’s an example of a script you can use TODAY to call your members of congress.  Here’s one if you want to advocate locally.)

Write:  postcards to voters or letters to voters:  We need to get people to turn out!

The other thing I’d like to see more of is people posting what they’ve been doing.  It isn’t bragging.  It isn’t virtue signaling.  It is helping others to figure out what they can do and it is helping others feel like the norm is doing something rather than the norm not being doing anything.  When you’ve done something, post it in your blog.  Tweet it on your twitter account. Tell your IRL friends.  Come here and tell us about it.  When I see people doing this, *I* get more motivated because it reminds me that I’m not alone.  Every time you let people know you acted, you cause more actions.  Don’t keep it to yourself!

Alternatively here’s captain awkward’s suggestions.

Anti-racism resources from crooked.

Here’s a list of African American personal finance bloggers (my personal favorite from this list is A Purple Life)

Ana and Stacking Pennies sum up a lot of how I’ve been feeling this past week.  And yet I let the handyman post run anyway…

Minneapolis cops sued for shooting, beating and gassing peaceful protesters.

Virginia governor to announce removal of Robert E. Lee Statue.

Self quarantine with a michelin starred chef

Why I am voting for Biden’s team (even though I’m not crazy about him)

Biden is not my first choice.  I think there are probably credible allegations.  I think he’s probably not the person he once was in terms of being mentally all there anymore.  I’m not excited about his candidacy and I really hope he picks a vice president I can get behind.

But for the next election these are my main goals.

  1. Get rid of the fascists in the Whitehouse
  2. Get rid of the racists in the Whitehouse
  3. Get back to something resembling evidence-based policy (this was further down before, but the pandemic has moved it up)
  4. Get rid of Russian spies in the Whitehouse
  5. Get rid of personal corruption in the Whitehouse, or at least get it down to much smaller levels that don’t hurt so many people

(After this there’s a much longer list, but these are the main ones that I feel pretty inflexible on that I do not think are too much to ask of anyone)

I am fairly confident that 1, 2, 3 and 5 will happen with Biden.  I think some of 4 will happen as well, but not to the extent that a Kamala Harris or an Elizabeth Warren would have cleaned house.

Having talked to some folks “in the know” earlier this primary season, I was convinced that Biden will bring back Obama’s people as staff and in appointed positions.  This is a good thing.  Agencies that have been destroyed can just be replaced rather than being rebuilt.  I’m voting for the infrastructure, not for the candidate himself.

So… I will be voting for the lesser of two evils in the Fall.  I hope you will join me.  And if Biden really does pick an awesome VP, I hope you’ll vote for the ticket, that you’ll campaign for the ticket, because of her.

Ask the grumpies: How can I help save the country when I hate talking to people and I live in Massachusetts [or substitute true blue state]

Introvert from MA asks:

I was talking with a friend and said that I feel guilty for being privileged, but after some discussion, I thought… maybe I really feel guilty for not living up to the responsibility that should come with my privilege.  I should do more political activism.  I have kind of accepted in my case phone calls just won’t happen– it gives me so much anxiety that I just avoid it.  I also honestly feel like activism in MA has very little point.  What can I do that will have an impact and doesn’t require me to get over my anxiety?  Also, I am doing fine financially but I’m not rich– so I do have some extra money, but not enough to make a huge difference in terms of donations to people.  Also, I should know this, but can you donate/volunteer to campaigns you’re not allowed to vote for?

Donate

So first, yes, if you are a US citizen you can donate to US campaigns outside your state at any level.  If you’re not a US citizen you can’t.  So if you have no time, you can donate to candidates outside your state.  If you don’t want to research *who* to vote for, SWING LEFT (link not sponsored, we just like them) is an easy place to direct dollars to– they’ve done all sorts of research on which states are flippable and will direct money accordingly.  I have done a lot of random $25 donations, basically any time something gets me riled up or I read a news story or someone I trust suggests a donation.

In terms of what else you can do to put that privilege to use in an impactful way:  It sounds to me like you are a perfect candidate for either postcards or letters.  I have done both of these.

Postcards

Postcards are used in several ways.  Currently, they have campaigns where they’re trying to get ahead of some massive voter purges in several states like Florida and Texas.  One of the things they’re doing is contacting registered democrats who have moved within-state to update their voter registration (they will followup with a pre-filled form) so that when the purge of people who don’t live at their current address (even if they’re still in the same precinct!) comes, they won’t be caught in it.  Other campaigns are reminding people to vote or asking them to vote for specific Democratic candidates.

Generally with Postcards to Voters (not sponsored, though we’ve given them money), you sign up to write some number of postcards– they recommend 5 when you’re starting out (I usually request 20 and then DH and I each do 10).  Then you text “hi” to Abby the bot (they’ll give you its number) and it will ask you what campaign you want to write postcards for.  Then they send you a link and an email to a page with instructions (including a script) and however many addresses you requested.  You are expected to mail your postcards within three days (so only request as many as you will be able to do– you can request again if you want).

You provide the postcards and the postage.  Currently the US postal service only has two options for postcard stamps– you can get shell coral reef stamps (not sponsored) to put on your own postcards, or you can buy pre-stamped postcards (not sponsored) from the post office with pretty stamp designs (usually flowers or birds).  For post-cards you have a ton of options.  The cheapest options are to get 100 packs from Amazon that say VOTE on them.  This set (amazon link) used to be the cheapest, and the designs are solid.  There’s a blank strip on the front that I like because you can put reminders about early voting dates or a webpage for the candidate on that part.  The one small problem is that you have to be careful with what kind of pen you use on that strip because it will smudge with some pens if you don’t let the ink dry first.  This other set (amazon link) is currently the cheapest per-card, but I haven’t used it yet.  People give it good reviews!  Post cards for voters has a ton of more expensive (and higher quality) options that are just adorable, but I will warn you that you will end up writing more if you choose one of their who/what/when etc. options like this cute one with owls (amazon link).  Options that limit what you can write on the picture side are likely to be less overwhelming, even if they’re not as cute.  All of these postcard sets on amazon have pictures of people’s actual post-cards from postcards to voters, so you can see what they tend to look like when they’re complete.  If you’d rather print your own postcards, they provide a number of great templates (not sponsored).

You do not put your full name (I sign with my first, but I’ve been at parties where people sign with a made-up first name, and sometimes DH doesn’t sign at all), and you don’t know the name of the person you’re sending to.  They give you a list of suggestions for who to address it to, and I’ve settled on VIP Voter because it nicely balances a short salutation (good for my wrist) and not sounding stupid.

You can mail these by taking them to a mailbox, the post-office, or just leaving them in your mailbox for your regular mail carrier to pick up.  I usually drop them off at the post-office on my way to work.

Letters

Another option is to send letters with vote forward.  These tend to be general letters not for any specific candidate sent to registered democrats reminding people to vote.  You will have people’s names and addresses.  Generally you’re writing by hand Dear Ms/Mr/etc. LASTNAME and signing and possibly filling in some other bit of information by hand, but the rest of the stuff is printed out.  Then you hand address the letters, using a PO Box return address that they give you.

You can request addresses at any time.  You use your own paper and envelopes and stamps and can choose any stamps you want.  The post office has put me on their philatelist mailing list.  Now I want all the stamps.  Currently they have SESAME STREET(!) (not sponsored)

Then you hold onto the letters until the time to send them… which is currently OCTOBER 27th for reminding people about the general election.  Personally I’m going to focus on postcards until this summer, but I will definitely be doing letters closer to the time period.  I may buy more stamps before then though.

Texting

If you’re ok with texting, Indivisible has a Texting team that you can join.  I personally hate GETTING texts from political campaigns, so I was a bit leery about joining up, BUT they have a 4 prong texting program for the candidates they’re targeting.  The first two texts sound AWFUL as an introvert– they’re “listening” and “persuading”.  But my sister convinced me to sign up to do “let people know that early voting has started” and “GOTV”.   We’ll see how those go… I’m a little intimidated about it.  Also, all the texting is done from your computer, not your phone and they won’t have your own phone number.  I’m not entirely sure how to get connected with this (it all seemed super secret when I was invited), but here’s their web form that I didn’t use.

Grumpy Nation:  Are you doing any of the above?  Do you have other suggestions for ways to get involved?

I don’t just seem like I’m perfect on the internet: Why being a crab in a bucket is really not the way to help your self-esteem

Grumpy Readers,

I am amazing. I truly am.  I have achieved more than I ever could have dreamed of as a child.  I try to make the world a better place.  I am continually living and growing and working and doing what I can to make my utility curve hit my budget constraint, wherever that is at the time.

YOU are amazing too.  I mean, assuming you don’t post racist memes or put kids in cages or donate to anti-LGBT causes because you don’t want people who are different to be happy.  (One would think that would be a pretty low bar, but hey, it’s 2020 and Trump is president.)  But there are other things about you that make you amazing, not just the absence of being a horrible person (horrible people sometimes hate-read, but they don’t tend to stick around, so we’re fairly confident in assuming you’re not one of them– if you are, maybe stop being horrible?).

Think on some of the ways in which you are amazing for a moment, and while you do it, pretend that the patriarchy doesn’t exist so when you start on the, “but..” part after the amazing part just shut that down and end it with a period.  There are so many ways– and they are all valid (unless they include hurting vulnerable people).

There’s research that shows that people are, on average, happier when they’re off Facebook, and that the reason they’re happier is because they’re not comparing themselves to other people as much.  But something hidden in that research is that it’s only true on average, and only true for a certain kind of people.  Some people are VERY affected by comparing themselves to others and some people are not affected at all.  And that difference has to do with personality traits, not things like income or types of friends (probably– there’s still more research to be done in this area).

I strongly believe that this need that some people have to feel better than others, high on the relative scale of worth rather than just high in terms of levels is one of the reasons that we have so many social ills today.  Some people are racist because they want to feel better than a group of people no matter how terrible things are for them.  They are sexist for the same reason.  They want to keep the poor from eating because people not like them are undeserving and shouldn’t eat.  Or from marrying because they themselves are not lgbt.  Or from being included because they consider themselves to be an exclusive sort of prosperity-gospel Christian and others are non-Christian.  From this viewpoint, there’s only so much awesome to go around and they need to keep other people from having it, particularly people who are different.

But that doesn’t have to be how it works.  Awesome grows more awesome.  Making the world a better place creates more benefits for everyone, except people who get off on being bigots.

And you, grumpy readers, are not those people.

You know that if you focus on relative awesomeness there will always be someone who appears to be better in one aspect or another.  That can’t be a healthy measure of one’s own worth.  It’s much better to plant your own garden and focus on your wants and your goals.  The argument that everybody has problems they’re hiding so you should feel good about yourself is a good way to keep people down.  The only way to win that game is to not care if other people don’t have problems, and instead to focus on yourself and make comparisons to yourself.  Learn from other people– don’t pull them down.

Grumpy nation, when someone on the internet or in real life seems pretty awesome, that doesn’t mean they have inner demons or a horrible family life or etc. etc. etc. that they’re just keeping hidden.  Maybe they’re just pretty awesome.  And maybe if you want to be like them, you can learn from what they do.  And if you don’t want to be like them, you can be secure in that choice.  Sometimes people have instagrammable holiday decorations because that’s what they value, and maybe that’s not what you value.

Where people end up is a combination of so many factors– structural advantages, luck, effort, preferences, and so on.  We can work to reduce structural disadvantages.  We can remember the importance of luck.  We can change our effort level, or remember why we don’t actually care enough to do so and be mindful of the things we do care about.  What we don’t need to do is pull someone down because they have something we wish we had.

So I’m not going to say that it only seems like I have a charmed life but in reality there’s things going on behind the scenes… because really there’s not.  Each day I think of my blessings with astonishment.  As a child, I never actually believed my life could be this comfortable.  Or maybe you don’t value the things I value and value other things and that’s fine too (assuming you don’t value bigotry– then that’s not fine)!  Remember that when someone else brings perfect Christmas cookies, you get to eat the cookies without having put forth any effort to make them.  And that’s much better than feeling threatened by someone else’s perfection.

In this New Year, if I have any hopes for the grumpy readership, it is that you will think upon how you can use your awesomeness to make the world a better place.  Because there are people with so many disadvantages who are under attack because bad people feel threatened by them.  We have the privilege and the power to fight.  Let’s make 2020 a year of action.

Happy New Year!

What is at least one way in which are you awesome?  (Warning:  NO but/although/even though/etc. allowed.  Just put a period without a disclaimer.)  What are your hopes for helping the world in this New Year?  What are some suggestions for what we can do?

A few thoughts

You grow up learning about WWII and you wonder what you would have done if you had been in Germany as the Nazis come to power. Especially if you were a white skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed non-Jewish (thus privileged) kid. What would you do to stop the rise to power? What would you do when they started rounding people up and sending them to camps. And later, would you help people escape? Would you flee the country? Would you turn people in? How would you balance fear and your moral compass. Would you break unjust laws? Would you convince yourself that you were just following orders and obeying the law, or would you risk your freedom, your life, your family?

We’re not in the latter stage yet. But we do have concentration camps. The government is rounding up people. The conditions in the camps, even for children, are appalling. What can we do?

Turns out it is hard to do anything.

You try to do more within the system. But it seems like the system doesn’t care. It doesn’t respond.

(So many people give up. They do less. They stop protesting. Things are getting worse, but they don’t realize how much faster things would have gotten worse without those protests, calls, letters, canvassing.)

(note the date on this tweet)

But still, you try to do more within the system. It still seems like the system doesn’t care. It still seems like doesn’t respond to your individual efforts. It only responds to group efforts.

You can’t ignore injustices. You can’t ignore atrocities. Because if you ignore things, if you don’t do things, there is no group.

But it’s not just you. Each person does their bit. It’s the group effort that makes things happen.

You can’t do it alone, but if enough people do it alone, you have a group.

And if the group is large enough, it can’t be ignored.

Do something to fight US concentration camps — make it so we can’t be ignored.

Children’s lives and well-being depend on us speaking out and doing something.

Call (or fax)

Donate

Shame

Protest

Ask the grumpies: Where to find hope

Leah asks:

How do you find hope in the world? In general, I suppose, and also specifically right now.

I am finding hope in the state of Texas, of all places.  Beto didn’t win, but his coattails caused enough of a change in the state legislature that the bathroom bill didn’t get discussed much less voted on (last legislature it almost passed), they didn’t vote on a draconian heartbeat bill punishing women unlike the rest of the south and much of the Midwest, and although an anti-voter bill (SB9) passed the senate it died in calendars in the house.  Activism– all those people campaigning for Beto– caused change.  That gives me hope that the more we do, the more we fight evil, the more terrible policies we will keep from happening.  In places that are already limiting the right to vote, those of us with privilege need to fight with and for those without.

I also find hope in how (relatively) quickly the perception of LGBTQ people is changing for the better, and how there are more and more LGBT rights are being legislated, and are being discussed as obvious.  Matt Baume is a source of joy and inspiration.  What he reports on is not always happy (see:  military bans), but he does a great job of providing historical context and hope for the future… along with a nice dose of humor.  (I am enjoying his book on the road to LGBTQ marriage, Defining Marriage.)

I find hope that the majority of people still believe that women should have the right do control their own bodies and that we should not treat minorities poorly because of the color of their skin of their ancestry.  (In fact, being “pro-life” aka forced birth right now is not something people want to admit in polite company.  They frown at us as we protest, but they don’t say anything.)  We still want to be good people.  We still want to do the right thing.  Even in the face of Bond villains.  And yes, in the short term it’s not been enough, but without the resistance things would have been far worse– they’ve tried to make things much worse and had to back-off.

I find hope and inspiration in Wandering Scientist’s weekly actions.  And in swingleft and indivisible and racies texas and the ACLU.  And the spirit of the resistance.  The ability to slog through even when things seem to be getting worse.

Doctors without borders recently sent me a totebag and a note that I should be finding hope in how much better the developing world is getting in terms of disease, which is true and is something that John Green finds hope in.  I still did not send them money because any nonprofit that wastes money sending me a totebag unasked for is not one I want to encourage. (John Green also finds hope in third tier English soccer, which… me not so much.)

So, although it is trite, I find hope in actions and in the actions of others.  Viva la resistance.  (*French —> Spanish intentional.)

Where do you find hope?