Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Political-Action Time! (links)

Hi everyone in the USA. It's time to get political. I know modern living is not easy. Wages have not kept up with inflation and cost-of-living expenses, including housing, utilities, food and education. We have a generation of college grads mired in horrible debt. We have a huge population and not enough industry to keep us gainfully employed. Our coastal cities are slowly going underwater as ocean levels rise. And I haven't even mentioned the lunatic that was stupidly and probably illegally voted into office as our leader.

I will get to him in a moment.

Meanwhile, it's time to call your elected officials and tell them how our laws and regulations affect you and your loved ones and communities. I know, it's kind of a pain to squeeze this into your schedule, but it only takes a few moments and it's so satisfying. Sometimes calls can't get through on hot-button issues; voicemail boxes get full, people go out to lunch. Keep trying. Phone calls will be tallied by office staffers and those tallies go directly to our elected officials. They are counted. They do count. Your experiences and opinions will be counted.

Handwritten letters are also tallied. Get out your favorite pen and lovely stationery and write your missive. It's good penmanship practice for when the apocalypse comes and we're living in a dystopia where communications consist of string tied to two tin cans. Emails tend to get lost, but are better than nothing. I also use twitter and Facebook for messages of a personal nature. But phone calls to political offices are golden.

Links for political action:

Find and contact your Senators

Find and contact your House Representatives

Are you out and about? This Medium article tells you how to use nonpartisan POPVOX's simple phone app to contact your Senators during the Senate confirmation hearings for Trump's proposed cabinet. Hearings started this week, with Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for Attorney General. Here is my nonpartisan response to that: *GAG* It's not political—it's just a reflex I'm having.

Stay informed:

C-SPAN - Live broadcasts of Federal-government dealings, no commercials!

BBC News - Answers the journalistic questions: Who? What? Where? Why? with nice accents

Al Jazeeza World News - It's not all about us

NPR - News, plus streaming alternative music—still a decent combination

"19 Activists Who Are Changing America" - from The Huffington Post

"How Trump’s cabinet picks compare to Obama and Bush’s nominees" - from The Los Angeles Times

Subscribe to these fine news outlets - a free press is a crucial part of oversight and checks and balances. On a budget? Try a digital subscription:

Washington Post

New York Times

Los Angeles Times

Mother Jones

The Atlantic

The New Yorker

Help support organizations doing good work:

Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence - There are 100,000 victims of gun violence in the U.S. every year - inhumane and unacceptable

Everytown for Gun Safety - Advocating for common-sense gun laws

Planned Parenthood Action Fund - Healthcare equity for all

Center for Reproductive Rights - Legal advocacy based on Constitutional laws for reproductive freedom

Sierra Club - Protect our planet, the only one we have

The Movement for Black Lives - 50 organizations meeting the needs of black communities

National LGBTQ Task Force - Promoting civil rights for gay and transgender communities

National Immigration Law Center - Defending the rights of low-income immigratns

She Should Run - Working to get more women elected in leadership roles

American Civil Liberties Union - Protect our civil liberties

Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders cares for people in the most desperate need throughout the world; this is holy work

(Thank you to my friend Audrey Ng and to Bust Magazine for this list of good organizations)

You can do it! Don't bey shy. Use your voice - you're democracy in action!

On another note, I noticed whenever I post about Trump I seem to receive hundreds of views from Russia. Coincidence? Perhaps. But whenever I don't post about Trump, I receive zero views from Russia. That's a difference of hundreds vs. zero. So here's an experiment. Let's see what happens when I type this:

The majority of American voters do not want Trump as President, spawning the title #NotMyPresident. Some people won't even say his name with the title of "President" attached. What if we call him by his own self-described criteria? Some sample titles, based on his own words: "Pussy Grabber Trump," "Higher IQ Than You Trump," "Potential Shooter Trump," "Groveler Not Mocker Trump."

Any more? Russia, do you want to weigh in on this one?

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