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When you struggle with your mental health on a daily basis, it can be hard to take action on the things that matter most to you. The mental barriers anxiety creates often appear insurmountable. But sometimes, when you really need to, you can break those barriers down. This week, with encouragement from some great people on the internet, I pushed against my anxiety and made some calls to members of our government. Here’s a comic about how you can do that, too. (Resources and transcript below.)

Motivational resources:There are a lot! Here are a few I really like:

Emily Ellsworth explains why calling is the most effective way to reach your congressperson.

Sharon Wong posted a great series of tweets that helped me manage my phone anxiety and make some calls.

Kelsey is tweeting pretty much daily with advice and reminders about calling representatives. I found this tweet an especially great reminder that calls aren’t nearly as big a deal as anxiety makes them out to be.

Informational resources:There are a lot of these, as well! These three are good places to start:

Find your representative at

Find your senators at

Use the “We’re His Problem Now” scripts when calling (or write your own!)

Keep reading

I hate making phone calls.

I’m a motherfucking cockroach and I will not let my terror of phone calls stop me. Fucking fight me, cellular devices.
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Want to yell at the legislature? (By which I mean, speak very politely to the underpaid staffers on the phone.) Megavote will send you an email once a week while Congress is in session with information about how your senators and representatives voted, as well as short descriptions of upcoming votes. 
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Reposted from something I saw on Facebook

“I just called the House Oversight Committee (202-225-5074) to support the call for a bipartisan review of Trump’s financials and apparent conflicts of interest. It took me two minutes, and the woman on the phone said that they are absolutely tallying calls - the more they get, the more likely the Committee is to demand ALL of Trump’s financial information.

She said that there’s not much time left, as they are out of the office next week for Thanksgiving. And after that, they’re going to make a decision.

NOW is your chance to use what’s left of democracy to send a strong message and demand change. Please, do this ASAFP. If you get a “mailbox is full” message, call back in a minute or so - that seems to be the default when lines are busy.

That number again is (202-225-5074). Website here:

“Likes” feel nice in the short term. “Shares” get the word out. ACTUALLY CALLING ACTUALLY DOES SOMETHING.”

Yoooooo I’ve been getting their mailbox being full for a bit, so I called the Committee Chairman instead! The staffer I talked to said that they are also tallying calls and passing along messages at this time.

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee is Jason Chaffetz, from Utah.

His DC office is (202) 225-7751. The staffer I talked to was very nice.

His Utah office is (801) 851-2500.

If you want to call other members, there’s a full list of them here:

This was my script:

“Hello, I’m calling about the House Oversight Committee, their mailbox is full so I figured I’d call Congressman Chaffetz since he’s the chairperson. I want to know whether the House Oversight Committee is planning to do a bipartisan review of Trump’s financials and conflicts of interests, because I’m concerned about his business ventures and debts to foreign nations affecting our foreign policy. Do you know what the House is planning to do about this?”
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via advice on how to deal with "racist mouthy twats" has gone viral because it's good advice:





Good advice on what to do when you find yourself near a racist mouthy twat who is spouting out their crap at some unfortunate person.

NEVER engage the perpetrator. He (and it is usually he) is looking for confrontation. Instead speak to the person he is abusing. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Shake his or her hand. And just stand with them. Keep talking. About anything. Weather. Bus schedules. Football. This kind of bullying never works against a group of people having a conversation. Usually a single person travelling or a mom with a kid or maximum, two women are targeted.

Form a group of people with and around them if you can. Don’t tell them they are not alone. Just don’t let them be alone. I speak from experience. Once, I encountered a young girl wearing a hijab being abused as a terrorist by a drunk man on a train. I just went and sat beside her and started a conversation with her. After a while, the dude lost interest. I had a lovely chat with a young student from Qatar. She wanted to study literature while her dad was only prepared to pay for engineering or commerce as he wanted her to join the family business. It helped her feel safe and it expanded my horizons.

This is known in behavioral psychology as “non-complimentary behavior”; by not fueling the aggression of another person and you can flip the whole script of all their expectations, and without any footholds for their aggression (like direct provocation and confrontation/conflict) to launch into further tirades against, the aggressor can’t continue their angry scene-building. The more people who participate in script-flipping, the more successful it gets, as in this post you see with the advice to form a protective group between the bigot and their target for that very purpose.

There’s an NPR podcast called Invisibilia which goes into detail about how it works and what sort of people rely on it everyday professionally and for survival alike, in their Flipping the Script episode.


In light of the many posts I’ve already seen about people being attacked with racial and xenophobic slurs in our (ugh) president-elect’s name, it seems like a good time to reblog this post. 

If you see someone being abused or attacked, and you feel you can SAFELY do so, ignore the perpetrator and speak to the person they’re abusing. Just go stand by them, say hello, tell them you like their shirt, ask what they have planned for the day, anything to let them know they’re not alone. Even better if you can get other people to do this with you. 

Remember: talk to the person being abused; do NOT engage the bully. And stay safe, everyone.

Very good advice.

Hey, what a coincidence seeing this post again… because I just had the opportunity to put this advice into practice. It works. Middle-aged white dude screaming at a little old hispanic grandpa on the subway in NYC. I was pretty frightened and I just got home and I’m still shaking a little, but I made myself do it because clearly no one else around me would.

Again: it’s scary, but it works. IT WORKS. PROTECT YOUR NEIGHBORS.
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I couldn’t sleep but wasn’t feeling well enough to run this morning, so I lay in bed thinking about this until I decided to write it down. My degrees aren’t in history (though they do concern the study of it) and my formal studies in the second world war aren’t extensive, but my informal studies are. I’ve spent a long time studying the factors that went into Hitler’s rise to power in specific and what happened once he was in power.

So if America is intending to go down that road, I thought I’d write a little bit about what we can expect to see next, in the hopes that people will recognize when and where they can act to stop it. People ask how Germans couldn’t know what was happening and where they were going; well, we have their road map, so we certainly have no excuse.

(There is a readmore below. If it’s not working for you, I can’t help; your best bet is to get off mobile or change browsers.)

Keep reading

Some of this is stuff people know, and some isn’t. WALL OF TEXT incoming, soz!

Talk to friends and family who voted for Trump; most of them didn’t know about the Putin connection, etc. (the media didn’t do an awesome job covering this, or the alt-right support. A lot of voters just didn’t like Hillary for various reasons or always vote Republican for various reasons.) Using words that belittle them will not win friends and influence people, and you kinda want to do the latter.

Points to make:

1. This is NOT about Hillary or blaming anyone for whichever third party candidate they voted for, or name-calling. This is largely about someone meaning what they said while running not just as rhetoric. Trump wasn’t just “saying those things to get votes,” or “Oh well, he didn’t mean all that stuff.”

Realize that voters are influenced by the internet and (varying) media sources and echo chambers exist; voters saw two (well, more than two) differing perspectives prior to the election and on an ongoing basis on social media:

2. Emphasize when something is unpatriotic/unconstitutional/goes against our Bill of Rights. and KNOW YOUR BILL OF RIGHTS:

(Assembly, petitions, free speech, etc.)

3. Say something when a government decision does not honor American values of fairness and freedom for all. Talk to your friends and family and share it. (Check your facts first! Use legitimate news sources viewed as neutral by people who do not normally agree with your politics: They can dismiss Daily Kos and Salon because of “bias.” Use THEIR trusted news sources, too!)

Likewise, when a conservative politician like Lindsay Graham calls for preserving the filibuster or wants to investigate the Russian impact on the election, both GOOD THINGS, share this. Share Glenn Beck’s stuff (somehow, he woke up.) Look for more people and stories like these, from retired generals and others. Thank the mainstream media when they cover stories that expose hinky behavior by this incoming administration.

4. Use “view all recent” on Facebook and talk to your Uncle Fred with whom you normally disagree and politely engage with him about your concerns, not just your echo chamber who likes all of your posts. He does not see you if you do not interact, because of Facebook’s algorithm. He does not hear you if you don’t speak his language. See #4 for language.

5. Call your congressional representatives when you observe something that is unconstitutional or abnormal happening. Here is a list of things to look at, for example: You are a voter and they represent you. Most elected officials are actually pretty invested in the Constitution and not being on the wrong side of history. Again: “This is unpatriotic.” “This violates the Constitution.” “This violates the Geneva Convention.” “This is not what America is about.” “This is un-American.” “This puts our country at risk.” …these are words to use, along with facts, because you know your Constitution and Bill of Rights. For example, I engaged with an older veteran recently who was very, “Oh, shhh, respect the results of the election, Trump won,” and I showed him what Trump had said about targeting the families of terrorists - wives and kids. This is against the Geneva Convention, and if we throw that out the window, we are putting our captured troops at risk. He. Was. Horrified. And he is now following different news sources. Engaging with people 1-1 WORKS.

6. USE imagery that speaks to people about these things. Also, if you look at the Red Feed in the WSJ link above, you’ll see that protesters are being framed as violent sore loser Millennial hipsters. Counter this with positive, true stories about peaceful protests, constitutional freedom of speech and facts about economic issues/what Trump’s plans will do to the economy, the danger of the US not working together with NATO and our traditional allies, and the like.

7. Think. WWCAD: What Would Captain America Do? He’d defend the Constitution, is what he’d do. And he’d punch Hitler in the face.

A great addition of some concrete actions you can take, thanks Foxy!

And as with my list of actions to take, this list assumes you are capable of these – if you aren’t, for whatever reason, this is not meant to guilt you into it. This is meant for people who can take action but aren’t sure how to.
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reordered some medication

called City Council about Boston being a “sanctuary city” and talked to a staff member about what rights undocumented immigrants have here

went rock climbing and successfully did a circuit of tiny handholds

failed to do any really successful climbs after that but I had fun and that’s the most important part


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February 2017

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