Required Reading

Is the FBI Corrupt?

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Your DGB for today is to read about bias inside the FBI.

Are we talking about Lisa Page and Peter Strzok?

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/13/watch-stephen-colbert-re-enact-fbi-agent-peter-strzoks-insane-congressional-hearing/

Nuh-uh. You see, the hearings the House Judiciary Committee held today, in which Strzok’s testimony caused a congressional uproar, were an extension of the misinformation campaigns we saw extensively during the 2016 presidential election. If you undermine the institutions you use to your own corrupt benefit, you can head off any public mess by first accusing the other side of the same misconduct. You follow? Basically, there’s a good bit of evidence that the FBI worked against Hillary Clinton’s interests during 2016. If the GOP undermines the credibility of the FBI now, they can scream “fake news, corrupt institution” as soon as they’re culpable. We aren’t falling for this.

The following thread from Seth Abramson details a complex conspiracy (yes, there are conspiracies everywhere - this is our world now) involving an outlet called True Pundit. You may need to read through the thread a few times. We at DGB definitely did, as this is some crazy spy novel nonsense.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/939432544008921088.html

Combat Trey Gowdy with his unconvincing human skinsuit and all of his congressional grandstanding by arming yourself with knowledge.

 

Who’s Independence?

Your DGB for today is to read Frederick Douglass’ famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.”

On Independence Day every year, Americans celebrate the United States freedom from Great Britain and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

It’s important to note that the Declaration of Independence did not mean freedom for all. Our nation continued to enslave people for almost 100 years and that is why we ask you to read this speech today. http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/

We continue to live in trying times that leave us questioning our patriotism and we ask that you continue to fight for the country that you want.

 

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?

“I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages…

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

 

Dirty, Shameful Money

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Your DGB for today is to understand who is profiting from child detention centers.

The following article is a long read, but a critical one, tying the contractors incarcerating children to the banks behind them. Make no mistake, there is big money in private detention facilities, with CEOs of firms making close to a million dollars a year on internment camps. There is value in learning the names of such contractors, as they are not widely known, and also in understanding the role of common household name banks assisting them, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Be sure to read all the way to the graphic showing the web of money, including exact amounts.

https://news.littlesis.org/2018/06/21/who-is-profiting-from-incarcerating-immigrant-families/

One of the important actions you can take, if you use one of these major banks, is to move your money to a local bank or credit union. Switching banks is a huge pain in the ass, but so is being part of a structure of government that forces three year-old kidnapped children to appear alone in immigration court.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/child-immigrants-us-court-border-family-migrant-immigration-trump-latest-melania-a8422101.html

 

 

Who We Are

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Your DGB for today is to learn about America’s history of forcibly dividing families of color. The horrific new Trump administration “zero tolerance” immigration policy has resulted in criminalizing immigrants fleeing violence and seeking asylum at our border, with roughly 2,000 frightened kids being removed from their families by force or trickery and placed in detention centers.

When reading commentary on these actions, you may have seen the sentiment, “This is not who we are!” You may have even said it yourself. Unfortunately, this is not true. America has a long history of cruelly separating children and babies of color from their parents. This sobering WaPo piece describes the policy as it was enacted during the years of chattel slavery, and later, as Native American children were forced into Orwellian boarding schools.

As a country, we cannot effectively stop or prevent these human rights abuses from happening if we don’t acknowledge what has come before. If the awful Trump administration policy is in part “who we are,” it is also true that “who we are” can be a country that learns from the past and insists on doing better.

 

Marlon Bundo 2020

Your DGB for today is troll Mike Pence and support the LGBTQ+ community at the same time.

Our veep is no friend of LGBTQ+ folk, so when he came out with a cute kid’s book about his family’s bunny, some people saw a perfect opportunity. The team over at John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight created an alternative version. Their delightful picture book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, shows Marlon falling in love with another boy bunny and the two of them hopping off into the sunset together. Not only is the message lovely and inclusive, but 100% of the proceeds of this book will be donated to two terrific causes, The Trevor Project and AIDS United. Even Mike Pence’s daughter has bought a copy of this version of Marlon’s story and as of this morning, this Marlon Bundo book is #3 on the Amazon charts, which we hope is giving *someone* in Washington a bit of indigestion.

Today we’re asking you to order a copy for yourself, your kids’, or your grandkids’ Easter baskets, or your school library. Alternatively, you could donate directly to the great organizations this book’s sales go to support. Add the cherry on the top of this Resistance sundae and tweet, instagram, or facebook your action and be sure to tag @VP when you do.

 

#NeverAgain and #BlackLivesMatter

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Your DGB for today is to read this article in Teen Vogue and take the message to heart.

All of us here at DGB are mothers of school-age kids. Events like Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland keep us up at night, contemplating bulletproof backpacks, homeschooling, and/or moving to Australia. We’ve been so impressed by the student-led #NeverAgain movement. Anything that gives the NRA heartburn and panic attacks pleases us greatly.

But it’s also true that Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, et al are not the first kids to protest gun violence. Black teens have been working their butts off on this issue as part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which should come as no surprise when Black teenagers have been paying for white supremacy and gun culture with their dead bodies. Their contributions didn’t light a fire in the public consciousness like the work of the Parkland kids, and it should have.

As we go forward in this moment where there seems to be a spark of hope that change may come, let’s not forget who we have to thank, listen to, and partner with. Any conversation about gun violence must wrestle with issues of racism and policing, in addition to mental illness, the gun lobby, etc.

We have hope for the future, because all these kids are the fierce leaders we need. We just wish it hadn’t come at such a high price to them.

 

Articles About Articles of Impeachment

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Your DGB for this weekend is to share an impeachment piece with your circle.

We aren’t even getting into the original crimes Trump is trying to sweep under a very expensive rug. We’ll leave that to Mueller. There’s plenty of evidence publicly available to impeach on Obstruction of Justice alone.  Is talk of impeachment preliminary? Maybe. We’ve been daydreaming about it since the beginning of The Dark Time, but DGB staff consumes a lot of political media. Not everyone in your circle of family and friends has the time or the disregard for their own sanity necessary to keep up to date on political news. Some aren’t even exposed to any narratives beyond whatever Hillary probably just did. We need to plant the seed of removal from office because we will get there eventually and no one should be surprised when it happens. Depending upon your audience, they may be more receptive to either this New York Times piece or this Daily Caller article.

 

Share Their Stories

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Your DGB for today is simple- we just want you to share the stories of Dreamers. We’ll tackle contacting congress to pass a clean DACA bill next week.

We have called recipients of DACA Dreamers since its inception in 2012, and many Americans abruptly stopped calling them Dreamers, oh… at about 7:30 in the morning on January 21st when Mitch McConnell tweeted this: https://twitter.com/SenateMajLdr/status/955098436138762240 and the GOP started using Dreamers as their pawns for the government shut down and many started calling them illegals. Some republicans have even been posting memes suggesting things, like we need to make a choice between taking care of our vets or taking care of “illegals,” completely ignoring the fact that there are Dreamers serving in the military.

We want you to share these stories. Share the stories of Zion Dirgantara, an immigrant from Indonesia, who missed his first day of school in America, at the age of 12, because of 9/11, and later “enrolled in a Pentagon program, Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI)— an initiative designed to exchange fast-tracked citizenship for crucial medical and language skills among foreign-born recruits,” because he “realized there was evil in this world, and you have to fight for what is right.” I mean… how much more patriotic do these republicans want Dreamers to be? Should he have been wearing a flag button up shirt while saying it?

By sharing the stories of DACA recipients, we can disprove the Trump administration’s ignorant and just goddamn ridiculous propaganda that these kids are dangerous members of MS13 gangs. You can find tons of stories here: https://www.fwd.us/dacastories Their site even has super easy buttons to just click and post directly to your facebook page so if you’ve been “blessed” with conservative family members who just don’t seem to get it, no matter how many times you talk to them about it, you can just post DACA stories on the hour, every hour, or have it coincide with every one of their MAGA posts. We don’t care what your posting strategy is, just do it. The fact of the matter is, these are people’s lives at stake here. Families are at risk of being torn apart and republicans have lost their ability to see the humanity in Dreamers, let alone themselves. Let’s flood our news feeds and twitter feeds with stories about America’s best and brightest and pray that one story will touch the cold, dark recesses of calcified hearts.

 

Strange Fruit

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Your DGB for this weekend is to check out the Strange Fruit series by Joel Christian Gill.

For adults and children alike, these graphic novels (Volume 2 was just released) are a compilation of Black History stories you’ve probably never heard, delivered in a very cool, genre-defying format.

Volume 1 can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Fruit-Uncelebrated-Narratives-History/dp/1938486293

Volume 2 here: https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Fruit-Uncelebrated-Narratives-History/dp/1938486579

Please also consider donating a copy or two to your local school or library as an alternative to the white-narrated American History commonly accessible.

 

 

SPLC December Review

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Your DGB for this weekend is to read the Southern Poverty Law Center’s tracking of hate in the White House during last month.

https://www.splcenter.org/hate-in-the-white-house-december

SPLC has been doing the arduous work of compiling all the instances of extremism in Trump’s White House, any one of which would have been front-page news back before The Incident, as we now refer to the 2016 election. Now, most of these objectively alarming news items are buried among What He Tweeted, but each one is important. Yes, they’re hard to stomach, but you have the weekend to digest the poison in small doses. We have to stay vigilant in our assertion that none of this *waves arms frantically* is normal.

 

Just the Facts

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Your DGB for today is to load up on some information so you’re ready for a gun debate.

In the wake of the weekend shooting in Las Vegas or as we in the United States have begun calling it, Groundhog Day, opportunities to discuss gun control will be all around you. We want you to be ready to join this exchange in a meaningful way. And before you say “But DGB, no one ever changes their mind in an Internet debate!” let us warn you that the staff at DGB actually met on a debate forum and during our various tenures participating have seen and experienced many opinions shift and evolve. But you need to bring the facts and the sources if you want to defeat the lies that circulate rampantly about gun regulation.

So today we would like you to check out Armed With Reason here: http://www.armedwithreason.com because they have pulled together some powerful arguments and information to help you win your next gun debate. They have assembled a source list that will have even the most articulate ammosexual begging for mercy: http://www.armedwithreason.com/gun-study-database/.

Grab back and arm yourself with the facts.

 

Be as Smart as a Ninth Grader

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Your DGB for today is to subscribe to Wake Up To Politics, the daily email newsletter from progressive policy prodigy, Gabe Fleisher.

Think back to high school...what were you doing in the mornings? Admit it, you were hitting the snooze button ten times. Or maybe you had an early sports practice. But you probably weren’t composing a highly detailed, timely, and well-written summary of the previous day’s politics. High school student Gabe Fleisher does, though. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/style/gabe-fleisher-wake-up-to-politics-newsletter.html?_r=0

He’s been writing a daily newsletter since he was… wait for it… EIGHT YEARS OLD. This kid is amazing. He’s a high school freshman and he has a blue check on Twitter.

So cut through the junk on facebook and twitter, and sign up for the Wake Up to Politics. It’s a great way to get good, solid news and support interest in progressive politics in young people.

Your new morning routine: Read your WUTP newsletter, do your Daily Grab Back, and smile knowing that you’re educated, active, and doing your part.

 

Armchair Psychology

Your DGB for today is to delve into what, exactly, is wrong with Trump.

An actual diagnosis remains elusive, but there has been much speculation surrounding Trump’s mental fitness to serve as president or even just a functioning adult.

Since 1973, mental health professionals had adhered to the Goldwater Rule, discouraging diagnosis of public figures they aren’t treating, which was probably a generally good idea until the 2016 election cycle, when experts began speaking out for the safety of the country. Psychology Today now has a Trump page: https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/president-donald-trump featuring such theories as Trump is a Four Year Old

In addition to the above, you’ll read this Atlantic article from last year, written by Dan P. McAdams, professor of psychology at Northwestern University. Yes, it’s okay to shed a few tears that not enough people listened back then. Dan probably does.

Some days, we at DGB don’t give a crap why Trump does what he does. Other times, our brains crave explanation, as it means we might be able to predict and to tailor our resistance response accordingly. Today, we indulge.

 

History Lesson

Your DGB for today is to read a history book or even just a history article. No, really, that’s it.

You already know more than 45, but you owe it to yourself and society to preserve that knowledge. We all need to know history, you know, so it doesn’t repeat itself and all that jazz. You should know, for example, that Andrew Jackson died before the Civil War, owned slaves, AND he’s responsible for the Trail of Tears. You should also know that Frederick Douglass died in 1895, and isn’t a real up-and-comer.

Need some ideas? Check out our links below to get your history on, and be sure to tell us some of your favorite history books. We’ll be reviewing different media occasionally, starting next week and would love all your suggestions.

 

For kids, K-8:

http://www.the-best-childrens-books.org/American-History-books.html

 

For adults:

http://www.randomhousebooks.com/lists/list-for-history-buffs/

 

http://whytoread.com/world-history-books-everyone-must-read/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/290.Best_Non_fiction_American_History_Books

 

http://io9.gizmodo.com/10-books-that-will-change-how-you-see-history-1687648942

 

Stop Commenting on People’s Bodies

Your DGB for today is to help stop society’s running commentary on the human body.

Have you been a victim or perpetrator of the old gaffe where one person assumes that a woman is pregnant and then turns out to be wrong? The heart of those terribly awkward exchanges is the notion that it’s totally cool to turn an observation regarding someone’s body into speech. It’s actually rude, can be very hurtful, and contributes to toxic notions about food/eating, weight, and beauty. That example is an obvious one but it’s still not okay, even in other instances. What if your coworker looks thinner and you want to compliment them? Nope. You may have no idea why they have lost weight or even that they actually wanted to. What if you notice that someone looks tired and you want to say something in solidarity? Just don’t. You can express sympathy or empathy without making people feel self-conscious.

We encourage you to read a couple of articles or blog posts about this topic and make a commitment to being a kinder, more sensitive person. Some suggestions below:

 

https://medium.com/@Jacqui_84/stop-commenting-on-peoples-bodies-it-s-rude-ec11d02a3db8

 

http://thoughtcatalog.com/francesca-saunders/2014/01/on-body-image-why-we-need-to-stop-commenting-on-size/

 

 

Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press

Your DGB for today is to support the mission of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) and read some not-for-profit news.

Recently we asked the folks at the RCFP what we at Daily Grab Back could do to support their organization and/or mission of preserving freedom of the press. They made two requests: one, that we promote subscribing to actual newspapers, both local and national (DONE!), and two, that we encourage readership of non-profit news agencies. They even gave us a handy resource for finding awesome material from the Institute for Non-Profit News.

Over 120 different organizations from across the country have gathered on Institute for Nonprofit News, with familiar names like Mother Jones and The Marshall Project, and lesser known publications like The War Horse (investigative journalism focusing on the Department of Defense, Department of VA and US Armed Forces) and Tiny Spark (reports on philanthropy, international aid and development).

It’s terrifying, amazing, and necessary to be more informed than most of the White House Staff (and the president), so click, filter, scroll and click again to find a new way to stay informed.