Countable

by Beth on November 21, 2016

Stina Leicht gave me a heads up about an app that makes it easy to find out what bills are currently up for a vote, and sends email to your representatives.

Check out Countable. It’s free.

Everything I’ve heard says that calling representatives is much more effective than emailing them; but apparently most email still gets through. I’m all for multiple channels of contact.

Even if you never use the email function, though, Countable is chock full of useful information that will make your calls and printed letters timely and accurate.

 

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Let’s Talk About Journalism

by Beth on November 16, 2016

The top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets.” No wonder we’re living in a post-truth society.

Today, my action was to subscribe to Mother Jones, one of many outlets working hard to explore and report issues. Their private prison investigation alone is plenty of reason to subscribe, but their coverage is generally very thorough and interesting. They rely heavily on reader donations and subscriptions. A subscription, for both print and digital, is $12.00.

But I can’t just subscribe. I have to put in the work of reading the articles, learning from them, and sharing. It’s no use supporting intelligent journalism if I’m not going to read it.

Time to go read.

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Nasty Woman

by Beth on November 15, 2016

Today’s small step is an easy one. I ordered Nasty Woman perfume from BPAL. This is a limited edition fragrance, so if you’re interested, grab it now. Proceeds are divided between two excellent organizations: Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood.

Yeah, I could have done this right after the debate; better late than never.

Worth checking out:

Useful info, whether you still need a minute or are ready to fuck shit up: http://www.holyfucktheelection.com/

“In case of emergency, do not break glass. Ask the glass politely to break itself. If it doesn’t break, then you weren’t doing it right.”

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Oppose Steve Bannon

by Beth on November 14, 2016

President-Elect Trump has selected neo-Nazi Steve Bannon as his Chief Strategist. This is a terrible idea. In an administration full of terrible ideas, this is one of the worst. So today’s tiny step was to call my elected representatives and ask them to oppose Steve Bannon’s appointment. My representatives are all Republicans.

This is, roughly, the script I used:

I am a constituent calling to let [name] know about my concerns about the Trump presidency.

I know [name] will be working closely with the Trump administration, so I am relying on [name] to use his influence with the Trump administration to ensure that President-Elect Trump works for all Americans.

I am concened that the appointment of  Steve Bannon signals a fascist direction. He is endorsed by David Duke and is openly racist, misogynistic, and a neo-nazi. Steve Bannon does not represent my values. He does not represent Utah’s values. And I hope [name] will make it clear that Steve Bannon does not represent his values, either.

Senator Hatch and Representative Chaffetz’s offices were polite and friendly. Senator Lee’s office corrected my assumption that Senator Lee will be working with Trump; Senator Lee, it seems, repeatedly called for Trump to step down and shares my concerns.

It was quick, easy, and painless to call. Maybe you’d like to call your representatives?

I’ve also signed the Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-Bannon petition.

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Who’s Driving the Bus, Anyway?

by Beth on November 13, 2016

Before I can contact my elected officials, I need to know who they are. Turns out, there are a lot of ’em. Today’s tiny step: collect all the contact information for my various elected officials.

Here are the links I found to help you compile your own list.

Commoncause.org makes it easy to get a list of elected officials: just enter your zip code. It tells me my US Senators, my US Representative, and my state Senator and Representative. It includes links to their sites for more information.

How to contact your state governor.

Don’t forget your county government. Enter your zip code, get a list of your county elected officials and links for more information.

Find your city government. This information is much less centralized, so I don’t have a handy link for you, but it should be very easy to find.

Got all that information? Good. We’re going to need it.

Once you’ve got all the information, read this storify to find out how to contact your representatives the most effectively.

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Chop Wood, Carry Water

November 12, 2016

The old Zen proverb. Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. Turns out enlightenment and the fascist apocalypse have that much in common.  And there’s a hell of a lot of wood that needs chopping now. There are a thousand ways to resist: protest, write to elected officials, support organizations […]

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Books Read, 2014 Edition

January 1, 2015

This year’s goal was 150 books. Well, we moved this year, and it feels like I spent all year either packing or adjusting. Still, I managed 60 books. Uniformly by white authors, except the times I intentionally sought out books by people of color; more books by women than by men; and predominantly pleasure reading. […]

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Hello, 2014!

December 31, 2013

I have big plans for you. 1. Significant Shimmer Shenanigans. We’re releasing Issue 18 (guest edited by Ann VanderMeer) in January; plus we have some enormous plans for 2014. Stay tuned… 2. Write all the things. Especially the novel, but also a bunch of short fiction. No Really This Time I Mean It. For Serious. […]

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Books Read, 2013

December 31, 2013

I could do a Year In Review, but instead I’ll just say: I read some books this year. In addition to these books, I discarded a handful of books that I was not enjoying at all, and have another 20 or 30 or 50 that I’ve started but not yet finished. This looks like a […]

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Donations for Philippines Disaster Relief: The Results!

November 12, 2013

Yesterday, you fine folks donated $185 to Typhoon Haiyan relief organizations. Today, I rounded up to $200 and made my own donation. Between us, that’s almost $400, helping suffering people in the Philippines. Thank you very much for an excellent birthday!

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