Tea Cup Reads: Stay the Course Edition

This week I took some time for self-care, and it reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to write about for some time.

Making change is a long-term project. I have friends who have been Democratic activists for years, and they have told me to watch for signs of burnout and stress. I want to relay that to all of the other newly active people out there.

In a high-energy week, my goal is to do at least 3 phone calls a day, plus some website maintenance and working on the 2 pieces we publish every week. The thing I wanted to get out to everyone today is this: not every week is going to be high-energy.

When you start feeling low, you might need to aim lower for a while because you matter. We have at least 4 years of this.

OK, moving on, here are some of the best or most important pieces from my week, and I hope you also find them interesting.

Political things
First up, from the Alaska House Majority Coalition, a page with links to the newsletters from each of the members, including our very own Rep. Justin Parish! Of course, you don’t want to miss Rep. Sam Kito III, and while we’re at it, here’s Sen. Dennis Egan’s Facebook news feed too. With everything happening on a national scale, don’t forget that our greatest influence is at the State level.

Hey, speaking of the Alaska Legislature, here’s something from the New York Legislature that our folks should take a look at: a bill requiring Presidential contenders to release their tax returns if they want their names on the ballot.

Did anyone read Old Man’s War? Great book, and it’s author, John Scalzi, is a pretty decent human, too. His blog (Whatever) had a take on the beginning of the Trump years that rang true to me and underscored the need for self-care (content note: dirty words). An excerpt:

What do you think will happen?

To the extent that the Trump administration has a strategy at all, which is honestly an open question, I think it will be a hundred-day dash to gut the infrastructure of government in the hopes of overwhelming everyone who would complain — a sort of Gish Gallop of bad governance, if you will.

Jezebel (content note: language) had a piece (with a list of lawyers offering pro bono help) called Disobey Orders:

Last February, former CIA director Michael Hayden made waves when he signaled that the U.S. military would likely disobey any ludicrous directive to assassinate the families of terrorists. …

It seemed absurd, back then, that the military would refuse orders from its Commander-in-Chief. But that seems like lifetime ago, and everything is different now. Trump cannot execute his order [banning Muslim refugees] without the help of his constituents.

The good people at The Root had one of the many articles pointing out that President Trump’s Muslim ban didn’t include nations with one of his properties. What an extraordinary coincidence!

This next piece is a tough one, and I really debated whether or not to include it. Ultimately, I decided that with white supremacy trying to gain public legitimacy, I think it’s too important to omit.

Emmett Till was a black boy who died in 1955, in pain and fear, because of American racism. He was 14 years old. The excuse provided by the murderers was that he had behaved lewdly to a white woman. She has now admitted that she lied.

Till’s mother insisted on an open casket because she wanted people to see what had been done to her child, so when you look for information about him, you will see grisly photos of the body of a 14-year-old boy.

Never forget that when conservatives harken back to the good old days – those days were bad for a whole lot of people. White supremacy is not just an innocuous “celebration of European-American culture”: violence, especially against African Americans, is an inseparable part of it.

I want to end on a proactive note, so here is a useful-how to from Echo Through the Fog in the form of “How to call your reps when you have social anxiety.” I know many people struggle with phone calls, and there are some good tips here.

Some non-political things as well
And here are some non-political links. I provide these every week to honor all of us as complete human beings who deserve the freedom to enjoy our diverse lives.

Mr. Tako hates planned obsolescence as much as I do, but he really took it to the next level by repairing a track ball mouse.

Do you need need to hear about home ec and a love story? Of course you do, that’s why I’m adding it here.

Not to go all Whitney Houston (content note: autoplay) on you, but I’ve met a lot of young people recently who give me hope for a better future. Here’s a story of one college student who did something courageous and kind, for the simple reason that she could.


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