What are you doing?

This past weekend we saw thousands of protestors and volunteers, commit their time and energy in fighting the injustice that is Trump’s executive order on immigration. Maybe you participated. Maybe not. In any case. Now is a time of action.

As you may remember, the first goal from my recent plan to live in a post-truth world is:

1. Understand and articulate the things about which I care most so that I know where to focus my energy.

Before this self-awareness, I would churn from issue to issue, outrage to outrage until I either tired or spun out into an online tirade against some internet troll, who was immune to truth and logic anyway. I needed better tactics.

You may also remember that the issues I identified—those things I care about most—turned out to be pretty basic:

  • Ensuring Equal Human Rights for All
  • Protecting the Environment
  • Reforming Campaign Finance and Improving Elections

Even so, there is still a long way from those broad statements, to concrete actions I could take daily/weekly. That’s where I turned to the internet for help. They have action plans covered. Here are the ways I am going to turn my (over)informed outrage passion into progress and deeds. I encourage you to do the same.


For those who really just want directed actions, there are a few options to get email “to-do” lists each week. Be forewarned, you’re going to have to call people to be most effective. I was surprised to learn that conservative activists out-call progressives 4:1. This needs to change. Choose one, or sign up for them all. Action is what is called for today.

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Goodbye, America. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Jena and I are leaving the country tonight and won’t return until the middle of November*. By that time, a new President will have been chosen by the people of this country and we can finally move on from this nightmarish campaign that started years ago.**

I have faith in the people of this country despite some of the recent ugliness we have seen at rallies or in the streets, that they will not follow the historic election of the first black President, with a man who treats women, minorities, the disabled, veterans, the families of veterans, and everyday people, the way Donald Trump does.

People say Trump, speaks his mind, tells it like it is, and isn’t politically correct. Not accounting for the childish way he acts and speaks, he also lies more than any politician.  Look at the fact checking of a “typical politician” and you can see that they tell half-truths and outright lies about half the time. Compare that with Trump who can only manage to tell the truth or mostly the truth 15% of the time. How can anyone believe anything from him? He is not trustworthy.

This is not an election between two similar candidates despite how the press may treat it. This is an election between a man who would be extremely dangerous for all of us and a highly qualified person who has spent the majority of her life in the service of others***. Don’t fall for the false equivalence in the way these two candidates are presented. The media is failing us all.

Let me say repeat how dangerous Trump is. Electing Donald Trump would endanger us all fiscally, emotionally, and physically.

So what we need from everyone is simple. Don’t fuck this up. Send a message by voting—whether in a “blue state” or a “red state” or a “battleground state” or even overseas—and clearly declare that the types of attitudes and behaviors exhibited by Trump and his most fervent  supporters are not acceptable in the USA and that we, as a nation, are better than that.

Trump won’t win the election, but he shouldn’t even get 10% of the vote. Don’t be one of the people who cast a vote for this small, angry man. History will not judge you kindly.****

Kia ora.

*We’re headed to New Zealand and Australia. Our gracious friends Luke and Jenny are watching our cats and our house while we are gone. We’ll post more on this as we go.
**We’re voting by mail
***You won’t see any such list like that about Trump as he is only interested in making money and putting his name on things.
****Neither will I. In fact, if you are a friend or family member that cares so little for yourself and for your country that you would cast a vote for this man, then I do not want to know about it. Seriously. Do not tell me. I won’t respect you and I sorta need that for our relationship to continue.

Active Nonconformists Together Insisting on Free Association and Speech to Confront Injustice and State Tyranny

This is the best name/acronym for a group, ever. ANTI-FASCIST. (the blurb about this Minneapolis-based group is just “below the fold” on the linked page. And this is possibly one of the *best* quotes from a government official ever:

“What the ANTI-FASCISTs don’t understand is that free speech is fine as long as you don’t do it in public,” said a representative of Homeland Security. “We’re waging a War on Terror, and freedom of speech just isn’t what it used to be. Fences, tear gas, and paddy wagons are important tools for preventing terrorism. Show me a picture of protesters with access to convention delegates and the media, and I’ll show you free speech that’s completely out of control.”

Sorry, I meant one of the saddest.

We will come out of this thing with our flag held high

Feel like slinging around racial slurs? Wondering exactly what people mean when they say Arab? Generally ignorant about many of the world’s cultures? Try this guide to Arab Americans to learn more and not be ignorant about your fellow citizens or most of the other innocent Arab peoples of the world. [from kottke.org]

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I am usually fiercely anti-nationalistic but in times like this I think that the people of the U.S. need something to rally around. I feel that the following tribute to our generosity and goodwill is warranted.

A Canadian radio broadcast [real audio] is being circulated in email circles yesterday and today in which Gordon Sinclair (a Canadian) delivered one of the greatest tributes to the U.S. that it has received in its 200+ year history. Though most of the emails being sent around seem to imply that this was a current broadcast, in actuality it was given at the end of the Vietnam War in 1973. Gordon Sinclair later died in 1984. I thank him for this little shot in the arm to our spirits (mine at least). Read more about this broadcast.

— — —

I disagree with sentiments that things ought not resume as normal. Case in point, the NFL is considering canceling this weekend’s games. The NFL Player’s Association is calling for the games to be cancelled or postponed. I think the games should go on, not because I am a big football fan but because I believe it would be bad for the nation if we continue to “give in” to the fears the terrorists are trying to instill. The more we cower the greater their victory is. The more we play right into their hands. We should stand up and say we are not afraid. We cannot (nor could ever) forget what has happened but we must heal and get beyond this anger and need for revenge. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” – Mohandas Ghandi

After reading this last paragraph again, I am feeling really guilty. I have felt like “moving on” in most capacities since early yesterday – far too early after such a tragedy. I think it is my way of coping – think about something else – everything is fine. If I think about this too much I fear I may break down.

— — —

What are you doing!?! – You want to spread fear and terror, too? You want to be just like those responsible for this tragedy?! What is wrong with you!? Spreading hatred against Muslims of the world isn’t going to benefit anyone. Help make the world a safer place not one filled with more anger, violence, and terror!


I just bought a chicken.

I wanted to buy a heifer or a pig, but my accountant advised against it. Maybe next year. What am I talking about? A great site set up to allow you to purchase livestock and other goods that help families around the world to subsist and survive: Heifer.org Buy a pig for $150 or whole arc full of animals for just $5000, plus, it’s all tax deductible (since it *is* about that time). I plan on doing this every year. All contributions go directly to the families in need, as all administrative costs are covered using alternate methods of funding.


Dumb laws

Here’s a new waste of time for you: dumblaws.com.

Among the dumbest laws:

  • It is illegal in Alabama to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
  • Boogers may not be flicked into the wind. (also in Alabama)
  • Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses in California (whatever that means)
  • There also seems to be a few too many cheese-related laws in Wisconsin.
  • It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun in New York.
  • Also in New York – A license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.

The dumbest laws I could find in Minnesota’s books were:

  • A person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his head.
  • It is illegal to sleep naked.
  • All men driving motorcycles must wear shirts.
  • Oral sex is prohibited.
  • All bathtubs must have feet.

There are even some city-specific laws:

Red cars can not drive down Lake Street

St. Cloud
Hamburgers may not be eaten on Sundays.

You’re not allowed to park your elephant on Main Street.

And no, I am not kidding. If you want even more dumb fun, check out dumbwarnings.com.