Sanity-Saving Good News – “History of Resistance” – Edition

The kids are alright!

(Editor’s note: I don’t remember doing anything like this as a kid. I’m in awe of these young people…)

College students take classes to learn how to be philanthropists. We can also learn on-line, thanks to Warren Buffett’s sister.

“No Spencer, no KKK, no fascist USA.” University of Michigan students practiced the art of peaceful protest when Richard Spencer requested to speak on campus. (Hey, Ivanka, this is how you use the word “complicit“!) Meanwhile, 26 European countries have simply banned him.

These DACA/Dreamers went far beyond a simple march with signs in support of Dreamers.

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A teacher’s comment to a student “Go back to Mexico” had clear consequences in Austin, Texas, where students at Fulmore Middle School walked out of school chanting “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!” The teacher was placed on leave.

A grandmother mistakenly texted a teenage boy an invite to her Thanksgiving dinner. Mistake, schmistake, now the teen is a regular at her table.

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Acts of Kindness – Pass it on.

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(WaPo) “World Kindness Day is Nov. 13… it’s a day when someone might unexpectedly buy you a cup of coffee or hold a door for you. Or perhaps you’ll do that for someone else. Maybe it’s a day you’ll buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.

The idea is to be generous in thoughts and actions with the goal of collectively becoming more human. The concept of World Kindness Day came out of Japan’s Small Kindness Movement, which was founded in 1963 after the president of Tokyo University was mugged in a public place and nobody helped him. He started a movement calling for bravery in small acts of kindness that he hoped would spread through Japan. Fast-forward to 1998, when World Kindness Day was formed by the World Kindness Movement, an apolitical, nonreligious international organization.

In a world that sometimes seems increasingly unkind, we think we could all benefit from some kindness recognition.” The Washington Post asked people to submit stories about kindnesses extended to them by strangers. Here are this year’s stories. Think about what you could contribute next year!

Good news in understanding some of the differences between us.

In a new study for the European Journal of Social Psychology, 300 U.S. residents were asked their opinions on issues such as gay rights, abortion, feminism and immigration on an online survey. But before taking the survey, they were to imagine having a particular type of superpower. The type of superpower they were assigned seemed to have the ability to make a conservative answer the survey questions like a liberal. Worth a read.

While it’s still not law, let’s laugh while we prepare to remove these guys from office.

Good News in Health care!

ACA enrollment for 2017 is still exceeding 2016 numbers! Thanks to you!

Tobacco companies have been ordered to run ads admitting that they lied to consumers about the health risks they faced by smoking.

Good News in the Mueller investigation and other bits of corruption and hate.

In a win for transparency, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts.

In a related story, it turns out the Jared Kushner WAS the “very senior” transition member mentioned in Flynn’s court filing. No surprise ending here.

Donald Trump Jr. meets in closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee December 6th.

Party with the Manhattan District Attorney for Paul Manafort’s bankers and business associates as the Trump Campaign probe expands! Meanwhile, Mueller asked a federal judge to deny Paul Manafort’s request for release from house arrest, after he  wrote a draft of an op-ed with an associate tied to Russian intelligence that he intended to publish under a different name.

The president’s businesses have been ordered to retain records. The order by U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte means that twenty-three Trump businesses, including Mar-a-Lago, are compelled by law to preserve documents requested by the Maryland and D.C. attorneys general. (Cue ominous music…)

To avoid the impression of bias, Mueller dismissed a lead FBI agent this summer for expressing anti-Trump sentiments. #integrity

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured lawmakers and the public that he had dozens of officials working on creating a detailed analysis of the Republican tax plan he helped craft.. or maybe not… He either lied about actually doing the “analysis” or he’s hiding the results. Either way, the inspector general’s office is  looking into it. Time to take the money and run, Steven?

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To us older people, does this sound familiar? Staffers for Senate Republicans’ campaign arm seized information on more than 200,000 donors from the House GOP campaign committee over several months this year by breaking into its computer system.

Bad news for haters…

Lucian Wintrich, the White House correspondent for the right-wing Gateway Pundit website, was arrested Tuesday at his lecture on “It’s OK to be White” at the University of Connecticut. The arrest came after he decided to violently tackle a woman who took a paper from his podium instead of using his words like a normal human. He was invited to speak by UConn’s College Republicans, as part of the GOP’s general descent into racially-charged madness. (Editor’s note: Being the snappiest dresser in the room does not excuse you for being a monster.)

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In related news, Officials at Texas A&M University changed its campus speaker policy over a planned speech by white supremacist Richard Spencer. The university now requires external speakers to have an on-campus sponsorship, saying it would prevent fringe and hate groups from descending on the campus. Magic thinking on their part.

No one wants to listen to Milo Yiannopoulos in CA anymore.. He’s so toxic that his main financial benefactor Republican mega-donor Robert Mercer, who helped propel President Trump to victory — denounced him and cut ties with Milo Inc., and sold his stake in Breitbart. So he’s off to Australia to spread his special brand of joy…

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Good News in and for elections!

Preet Didbal has been elected Mayor of Yuba City, CA, becoming the first Sikh woman to hold such a position in the US.

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Jasmin Santana became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Cleveland City Council in a tight race that she won by 77 votes. So everyone, off the couch!

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A win for accountability in case against Conway for using her government position to illegally promote a candidate.

The DNC will depose Sean Spicer about his work as election communications director and efforts to suppress voting.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton raised the issue of potential voter fraud in August. but has had to walk that dog back because…facts.

Good News in the Alabama race!

Thousands of Alabamians have their voting rights restored thanks to some incredible volunteers.

Another woman has come forward to accuse Roy Moore, and she’s got a signed greeting card as evidence. This Republican lady really, really doesn’t like being called a liar.

If you missed this Jimmy Kimmel piece on Roy Moore, here it is…

Good News in LGBTQ rights!

New York City council votes to ban paid LGBTQ “conversion therapy” for kids and adults.

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A lesbian mom retains parenting rights to adoptive child in VT court case.

Barbie has a new friend. “Love Wins” indeed!

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A transgender teen challenges discrimination in North Carolina and becomes one of Teen Vogue’s “21 under 21”.

Rainbow-colored crosswalks are now a thing. They’ve been added in several U.S. cities, including Lexington, KY, Seattle; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Tucson, Ariz.; and Long Beach, Calif.

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A judge ruled that the military must start accepting transgender service members beginning January 1st.

Portland Public Schools in Maine have enacted one of the most comprehensive transgender policies in the state, covering personal pronouns, bathroom usage and other issues.

Good News for Immigrants!

Dreamers from the Seed Project disrupted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to demand permanent protection for young undocumented immigrants.

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The first Republican representative, Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla)  announced he won’t vote for an appropriations bill without reinstating DACA. #DREAMActNow #OurDream

Farmers Branch, TX city council voted Tuesday to repeal their controversial 2006 resolution that made English the official city language.

Sergio Carrillo of Rialto, a landscaper and contractor, was taken into custody outside a Home Depot.  Agents ignored Carrillo’s repeated claims that he has been a citizen of the U.S. for 20 years, and he was taken to the ICE processing center in Adelanto, where he was held for three days.  He will received $20,000 for his ordeal. According to the L.A. Times, ICE “has wrongly identified at least 2,840 United States citizens as possibly eligible for deportation, and at least 214 of them were taken into custody for some period of time.”

Good News in civil rights!

Ok, here’s an interesting one. The Rev. O’Neal Dozier, a black Florida conservative who campaigned for a number of Republican candidates, and worked as co-chairman for Rick Santorum’s campaign has finally had enough. He’s announced in an editorial Thursday that he is leaving the party because of President Donald Trump’s divisive stances on white supremacists and the protests of NFL players.

The Grammy noms are out, and in its 60 year history, this is the first time all lead artists nominated for record of the year are people of color, and all nominees for album of the year are people of color or women.

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An investigation of Charlottesville violence will lead to changes in police policy. Apparently a lot of basic mistakes were made, some of which could have lead to Heather Heyer’s death.

We can win with money too. LeBron James‘ has criticized Trump online and in the media a number of times over the last year, but his refusal to stay at his SoHo hotel has reportedly sparked a cascade of notable people and organizations also protesting Trump by finding other places to stay. The New York Times reported Thursday that the SoHo Trump is likely to change its name next month amid a downturn in occupancy because people just don’t want to give Trump money.

Good News for the Media!

The Washington Post dodged a fake news story about Roy Moore and exposed a plot by the secretive, anti-media organization, Project Veritas. This conservative “charity” uses deceptive techniques and undercover videos to expose what it calls dishonesty and corruption, and  may lose its right to raise money in New York because it did not disclose that its founder had a criminal record. 

Even the NY Times Editorial section is  recommended calling senators about the tax bill. Looks like basic Indivisible tactics to us. Welcome to the Resistance, NYT Editorial Board!

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Good News for Women!

“If you know something is happening and you fail to take action, whether you are a man or a woman — especially when you are in power — you are responsible, too.” Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

We’re starting to be believed. With sexual misconduct allegations continuing to pour in, a veteran TV host Matt Lauer and well-known radio personality Garrison Keillor, were fired. Also, two Minnesota state legislators resigned from their posts, and John Conyers stepped down from his position on the Judiciary Committee.

Thanks to Massachusetts’ Senate, House, and (Republican!) governor, the state is the first in the country to offer free birth control after Trump reversed a Obama-era regulation. #BipartisanshipAtWork

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution requiring all members and employees of the House to complete sexual harassment training every year.

Hundreds in New York City marched with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to demand that Wendy’s do their part to end sexual violence against women farmworkers. #BootTheBraids.

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Good News for religious people!

American Muslims and Jews stand together for a nation free of bigotry and hate.

The evangelical Christians who can somehow back Donald Trump and Roy Moore are not as monolithic a force as they appear. There are people speaking up.

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Good News in maintaining a sense of humor…

Merriam Webster has voted “complicit” 2017’s Word of the Year. Ivanka Trump is involved…

Donald Trump’s empty chair stunt backfires hilariously.

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Merry Christmas” to all those who have trouble estimating crowd size.

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Billy Bush has a HYOOOGE problem with Trump’s attempts at revisionist history of that fateful misogynistic bus tour.

President Trump’s motorcade was greeted in New York City on Saturday by a large group of protestors chanting “lock him up” and “traitor.” A video posted to Twitter shows the crowd of protestors as Trump’s motorcade passes by in Manhattan.

Good News for workers!

Fight for $15 organizer  unionized  by joining the United Media Guild.

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Reuters employees in the News Guild of New York union won raises in a new contract.

news guild  Instacart, the same-day grocery delivery service startup, faces a labor dispute from workers over wages that allegedly can fall as low as $1 per hour. Workers plan to sign up for shifts and then decline orders in a “no delivery day” strike.

The California Supreme Court upheld a law that allows California to impose labor contracts through binding arbitration for farm workers whose unions and employers cannot agree on a contract, helping maintain the power of farm worker unions by ensuring contracts that guarantee pay, hours and other terms that could otherwise be decided by employers.

Good News in the world of guns…

A expert in firearms, Army Veteran Charles Clymer writes an explainer about why   the average untrained armed citizenry can’t keep us safe from shooters. Read his full piece here.

In a win for gun safety advocates, the Supreme Court will not hear cases challenging Maryland’s assault weapon ban or Florida’s open-carry ban.

San Diego’s semi-annual gun buyback was so popular last Saturday, that 164 guns later, police ran through their $25,000 dollars in gift cards.

Good news for the Environment!

This is a hard one with Trump opening up 95% of Bears Ears and 50% of Escalante for polluting activities. However, let’s take what good news we have and celebrate it.

Salt Lake City did us all proud. Locals prepped for his visit

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Close-up view in case you couldn’t tell the letters were people

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A sizable crowd showed up on Saturday...

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And of course, there was some democracy going on during Trump’s visit…

In other environmental news, a unique type of garter snake has returned to an area rehabilitated by a local conservation program.

The Nature Conservancy establishes 300k acres of grasslands in Colorado.

Scientist document wild birds “talking” with humans for the first time.

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Project Noah’s mission is to identify animals through osteology and welcomes the input of citizen scientists everywhere. Weird and interesting, hikers and people who spend time in the wilds should take a look at this.

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Citizen scientists were instrumental for helping to produce a 22-year-long study on the endangered whale shark.

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Take a moment to send out some thanks this week.

#1. Thank Sen. Elizabeth Warren for holding Steve Mnuchin accountable for his overstated tax claims. Asking the Treasury Department’s inspector general to investigate whether there’s a secret analysis–or none at all–will shed light. In the chaos of the tax plan process, your tenacity, clear thinking, and analysis are very much appreciated. 

#2. Thank Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for being the only Republican senator interested in math. Your ‘no’ vote on the GOP tax bill was courageous and consistent with the party’s traditional concern for fiscal responsibility. Thank you for standing your ground. Name, State, Party

#3. Thank Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) for questioning the president’s unqualified judicial appointments. I am deeply concerned about the trend of inappropriate appointments. Because you are under pressure to approve the president’s picks, I want to thank you sincerely for your courage. I appreciate your commitment to selecting appointments that will serve justice and the American people.

#4. Tell the nonpartisan CBO that we appreciate their work continuing to provide independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues and cost estimates for proposed legislation at the insane speed of the GOP’s changes. And being brave enough to say the Emperor has no clothes…  Read more here.

#5 We’d like to take a moment to honor the Navajo Code Talkers for their service to our country during WWII by sending thank you notes to the Navajo Code Talkers Museum and Veterans’ Center.

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(Today’s column, as always, thanks to Alyson & Stephanie at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, What Went Right, Rogan’s List, Jen Hofmann, Calvin’s List and the vast, weird and wonderful internet…at least until Dec. 14th)

P.S. – Our towns are on fire tonight. Santa Paula, Ventura, Ojai…a hard, dry wind is pushing flames down the grass-covered hillsides and we’re writing this with animal carriers and photo albums stacked by our door. Friends have already lost their homes, chased out from the complete darkness of a power outage into bright orange smoke.. Beyond words…

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