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what resembles the grave but isn’t by Anne Boyer. What it feels like to resist, and resist, and resist.

Next Steps. I went to an amazingly well-organized and supportive gathering of Jews for Resistance, and this is a website they (already!) made offering next steps in Portland and online.

Safety Pin Box from @RissaoftheWay and @LeslieMac. Women of Color say, if you're going to wear a safety pin, support us financially and with your actions.

Resistance Manual, a project by StayWoke. Open Source list of ways to resist.
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Google Quietly Removes “Fake News” Language From Its Advertising Policy by Brennan Suen & Tyler Cherry
Google says no no no we're still against fake news, but continues to allow verified fake news sites to use AdSense.

We fight for Rep. John Lewis because he has fought for us by Melissa McEwan on ShareBlue, telling it like it is as always.
Critics of those who are taking up space in solidarity with Rep. John Lewis are levying charges of reflexive partisanship. But we are not fighting for him merely because we are Democrats; we are Democrats because people like him have fought for us.
I am so relieved and grateful that we have a leader like Rep. John Lewis stepping forward, and I see the irony that a Black man might work harder than anyone else to save our asses yet again.

The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear by Adam Gopnik. Music is protest.
And so the inability, so far, of Donald Trump to get any significant musicians from any of those traditions, rock or country or blues or Broadway, to sing at his Inauguration is not a small comic detail but a significant reflection of this moment in history. It reminds us of just how aberrant Trump and Trumpism is.

ETA: Human Rights Group Portrays U.S. as Major Threat, Citing Trump by Mark Landler. Nothing we didn't know, but it's good to see a major organization saying it out loud.
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The Truth About Obamacare and How It Solves the Suffering of the Insured by Kurt Eichenwald

Leaving aside for a brief moment the suffering and earlier deaths of people without health insurance, leaving them uninsured hurts everyone else, too.
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Four homeless people die of exposure in Portland in first 10 days of 2017 by Lauren Dake.
Four homeless people have died of exposure on the streets of Portland, Oregon, in the first 10 days of 2017, a toll that has horrified the city and focused attention on its housing crisis.

“Any loss of life is unacceptable,” the newly inaugurated Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, said. “This is a wealthy nation and we’re a prosperous and progressive community.”

Read recently (on Twitter I think) that before Reagan, homelessness was rare. Yeah, there are a lot more people in the world, and a lot of economic chaos under the bridge. But think about that. Within my memory. Rare.

We Americans are failing our people so hard. And it's an intentional pillaging and subjugating. For money, for power, treating people as less-than, closing any route to meet basic needs, no matter how hard they/we work.
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New study finds 45,000 deaths annually linked to lack of health coverage by David Cecere, Cambridge Health Alliance

Evil. Repealing the ACA is pure evil. It does need improvement. We need single payer. We need to get the health insurance companies out of the loop because they're sucking money out without providing any benefit. But, just taking the ACA away and letting us go back to the previous untenable situation, with added gotcha that lots of people got diagnosed with something while pre-existing conditions *didn't* prevent you from ever getting care again, that's evil.

People are easier to control if they're sick, or bankrupt, or dying. People don't vote, don't go through the steps now needed to get an id to vote, if they're too busy trying to get themselves or their loved ones needed medicine, or figuring out how to cope without it.

I'm "lucky" - my health issues aren't helped by western medicine anyway. But I would like to know I'll get the care I need if I get in a bike crash, or I do get an illness that needs treatment. I do have issues that western medicine could help with, but they're not covered by insurance, so I've never pursued them very far. Imagine if healthcare were focused on health, and care, rather than profits for third parties.

This whole mess is racist as fuck, too. Not even getting into the layers of Black people getting worse care and systemically having less money, but destroying ObamaCare because Heaven forbid a Black man get credit for the amazing outcomes he achieved.
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Catharine Eastman's satirical The Crayola Project is well worth reading.

A newly-minted President is eager to increase America's nuclear arsenal. The rest of the government aren't so keen on the idea. Hijinks ensue.

I like how this story makes room for positive outcomes in the midst of ill intent.
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Tikun Olam means "repair the world." It's especially apt in this case, but I'm going to use it as my general label for the actions I'm taking to make the world a better place. I've set aside $100/month to donate to a political, human rights, or service cause I want to support. This is in addition to whatever tax-deductible donations I would usually make, since these won't be tax-deductible in general.

Via Sara Taylor Woods on Twitter, a couple of ways to support Jews in Whitefish, Montana, where there is an open-carry white supremacist rally planned.

Donate to the Montana Human Rights Network
Pledge an amount per minute that the white supremacists march or make a general donation.

I did a web search on the Montana Human Rights Network, and the only negative press I found was a letter to the editor clearly from a white supremacist. Which counts as a recommendation in my book. I pledged $1/minute up to $100, and they didn't ask for payment information up front. If the march doesn't happen for some reason, I plan to make a donation anyway, but I like tying it to the march in a positive way.

There was also info about donating to help cover the increased security cost. I'm posting it here in case that's something people want to do. I find that, as sadly necessary as guards are, that's not where I want to focus my financial energy.
Glacier Jewish Community Security Grant
Secure Community Network
c/o JFNA
PO Box 157
NY, NY 10268
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Last year's word was ease. I'm pleased with how that went. )

Overall, there's still a sense of, who am I to deserve ease. Which is interesting to observe. Yeah, being aware of privilege is good, and this is one I'd like to distribute more widely. I think we all deserve and need times of ease to balance times of effort. Ease, as in slack, makes room for unexpected demands and events. It allows more presence, more kindness, fewer exhausted displays of temper. It gives us extra resources to help others when they need it. I want to keep ease in my life.

Personally, 2016 was a pretty good year for me. Politically, not so much! I spent the month of November in a state of physical terror, reading a lot of blog posts and hoping the electoral college would take action on the country's behalf. Which it didn't. I'm still hoping against hope for a reprieve, an intervention, a turning toward a more inclusive, rational, and functional US government. I plan to be part of that turning-toward as best I can.

The word that consistently comes for 2017 is "solace." Wikipedia says, "[P]sychological comfort given to someone who has suffered severe, upsetting loss, such as the death of a loved one. It is typically provided by expressing shared regret for that loss and highlighting the hope for positive events in the future." I have suffered a severe, upsetting loss of democracy in this country, joining those who had already suffered those losses under racism. I want to both offer and receive solace.

Like ease, solace is something I don't think I deserve but do need myself and want more people to have. It feels too vague, not active enough. At the same time, I think connection and community are the linchpins of resistance to the incoming administration, and solace helps create those.
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A Trump Christmas Carol by Roz Kaveney, Laurie Penny, John Scalzi, and Jo Walton. So well done!

Seattle’s Franz Wassermann, 96, remembers the Nazis, and warns of chilling parallels today by Jerry Large.
“I was born in Munich, Germany, in 1920. I lived there during the rise of the Nazi Party and left for the U.S.A. in 1938." ... “We can hope that our government of checks and balances will be more resistant than the Weimar Republic was. Don’t count on it.”

Listen Listen Listen Listen Listen!!!!
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Rewind the Red Planet - a museum exhibit quality compilation of information about Mars that you can view right in your browser. So cool!
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Now, America, You Know How Chileans Felt by Ariel Dorfman
Those who vote in the United States should not have to suffer what those of us who voted in Chile had to go through. Nothing warrants that citizens anywhere should have their destiny manipulated by forces outside the land they inhabit.

How to bump Holocaust deniers off Google’s top spot? Pay Google by Carole Cadwalladr
Here's the link from the previous article to this one. My grandparents, German Jews, barely escaped the Holocaust in the late 1930s and went to the only place that let them in - Chile. When Pinochet took power (with the CIA's help), my relatives scattered again, back to Germany, to Israel, to the United States, fleeing another dictator. Hey, Google, so much for "Don't be evil."

Trump, Putin, and the Pipelines to Nowhere by Alex Steffen
I've been saying that the rich folks were making sure to get theirs at the expense of the rest of us in the face of climate change, but this makes it concrete and clear. DIVEST YOUR INVESTMENTS IN OIL!

Life in ObamaCare's Dead Zone by Inara Verzemnieks.
The Republicans have already caused a lot of harm to a lot of people by refusing to extend Medicaid to people with slightly more income. Many people don't make enough to qualify for help with Affordable Care Act premiums and definitely can't afford them without help. This is a clear, powerful, heartbreaking article.
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Women's Strike Dec 12 2016 and in Portland, Women & Allies Strike Out and Protest PDX Dec 12 (Facebook link). Part of the point is to publicize a petition to the Electors of the Electoral College to make Hillary Clinton President. (ObDisclosure: I haven't signed that because I have Opinions about petitions, but I did send them all email via

I'm participating in the strike by not running the errands I planned to run today. Not buying cat food. Not mailing packages. Not making copies of sheet music for my singing group. Not making my bank deposit. It's a very small yawp, but it's something.

Of course, I'm going to catch up by doing all those things tomorrow, so I'm not sure what the net effect is. I'm also visualizing software companies with 5-10% women in their engineering departments. If the women didn't show up, I'm imagining that at least some men would be relieved, pleased, comfortable, maybe even without noticing why. I worry that we're giving (some)(many) men exactly what they want when we step back.

What I am doing today: Well, writing this post. Working on image resolutions for the ebook of Presence After Trauma, which is productive work, but no one sees most of it once the thing is finally done. It's amazing how many hours it takes to make something look right in a way that doesn't call attention to itself. I may bake gluten-free muffins. I'd love to just sit and read, but probably I will do at least some productive things. I'm washing my sheets. It's hard to stop doing "women's work," since I value orderly space.

I also have dinner out scheduled with a friend, so I suppose that's strike breaking, but at least it's at the end of the day. I thought about cooking for her, but I'm not sure I could accommodate her dietary needs.

ETA: Cleaning leaf muck off the bike and lubing the chain accomplished, while it's dry and 47F out. In a skirt (see: going out to dinner later), wearing vinyl gloves, to be properly girly about it. Glad I thought to do that before it goes back down to freezing for a while.
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A young woman, 20-something, bright, said more people get cancer recently because evolution tends toward entropy. I said, uh, no, bad mutations get eliminated over time, and she said well, the Bible says we used to live so much longer, and I said, I like my woo and science kept separate, and also the Bible and science. The Bible is not historical! And she said we'll have to agree to disagree on that, and I was sputtering internally for a good half hour.

She attended public schools in a small town in Oregon, not religious school as I would have guessed. I've run into this wall with her before, where she thought she could assert something as fact because she felt like it, or change the meaning of a word, and now I see the underpinnings. I can see that I know so much more than she does (about how to *think*!), and she can't, and she's asserting her view as valid. Microcosm of our political situation. Reality bats last...

I did mention the dinosaur feathers in amber. (So cool!)

I wonder if in twenty years or so she'll be sadder and wiser, or if she'll continue to be hermetically sealed against actual thought. She can't *learn* with her current framework!
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You can post and email a letter to our Electoral College electors here:

This is the letter I posted (also see below). Note that I had to send the email myself to the email addresses they provided. I went ahead and did that, and immediately got a few dispiriting auto-responder replies. But, I did something, put my small "yawp!" out into the universe for a result I desperately want.

Speaking of yawps, I also donated to this GoFundMe, recommended by a friend who knows the people involved, to help acupuncturists travel to Standing Rock to help out there. Send Us Back to Standing Rock. They are still planning to go back, despite the Army Corps of Engineers pausing the pipeline, since some people will still stay in camps, and it looks like the area still needs defending!

Dear Electors )
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As you move through difficult, triggering events in the present, bring along all the healing tools you have learned over time.
Withstand Ongoing Trauma

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

I'm working on formatting the ebook version of Presence After Trauma. It should be available by the end of the year. The print version is available from Powell's, Amazon, and directly from me.

Signal app
I installed the free Signal app on my phone, which easily encrypts text messages and phone calls for privacy. You can use it to contact me at my same number. Regular texts and phone calls still work, of course.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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I donated. Even if it doesn't change the election outcome, it makes me feel better that someone is DOING something.
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The Election, Lao Tzu, a Cup of Water by Ursula K. Le Guin
I will try never to use the metaphor of war where it doesn’t belong, because I think it has come to shape our thinking and dominate our minds so that we tend to see the destructive force of aggression as the only way to meet any challenge. I want to find a better way.

Rebel Well: A Starter Survival Guide To A Trumped America by Heather Corinna and s.e. smith at Scarleteen

Marissa Lingen suggests searching on "muslim center your_city your_state" (without the quotes) to find organizations to support.
I found Muslim Community Center of Portland not too far from me.

On the less uplifting side, here's a report from the Portland protests this evening. Arresting protest organizers for no good reason.

Donald Trump was right: THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED. In his favour.
Voter suppression in action: The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program checked for "duplicate voters" by first and last name, without even middle name or Jr/Sr or birthdate, so they took way more people off the rolls than Trump's margin of victory in those states. Mostly Black/brown people of course.

Also, [personal profile] tim has put together a couple of longer linkspams: week one, week two.

I think it all feels unreal because it's just too big and awful, and we're still seeing it from the outside as it bears down on us.
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I wrote this up for someone I know, so I'm posting it here too.

One piece of advice I've seen recently is for trans people to get a current US Passport, because there are laws currently in effect that let a physician state that the person has had "appropriate treatment" rather than specifically requiring surgery, etc. Then they'll have ID in the up-to-date name & gender, which will make other things easier.

$110 (standard fee) + $25 (execution fee) + $60 (expedited - optional, but recommended in the current political situation) + $15 (passport photo at Walgreens or wherever).

Federal passport information
Updating gender:
Applying in person:
Passport Acceptance Facility search:

They'll need a doctor who would write a statement that they've had appropriate treatment. This is an example.

They'll also need a legal name change. *

Name Change Info
Legal Aid Services of Oregon:

The following is specific to Multnomah County, Portland, OR. Look up your county online.
Name change for a minor child:
Name change for an adult:

* According to this website, maybe you can get an updated passport with an affidavit, rather than a legal name change.
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My US passport expires in mid-2017, so I'm renewing it now. I expect the passport office to be swamped soon, if it isn't already. The regular processing fee is $110. You have to send your current passport with the application.

Things I would not have thought about two weeks ago while renewing my passport:
  • The regular processing time is currently 4-5 weeks. Should I spend an additional $60 to expedite it to make absolutely sure it comes back to me before the inauguration on Jan 20?
  • No, I don't need my passport right now, I'll leave the expedited processing for people who need it.
  • I wonder if I'll get my passport back, and how long it will take.
  • I wonder if I will really regret this decision.

I am deeply afraid.
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We the People ask President Obama to immediately appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court

I signed this, and I don't usually sign petitions. Grasping at straws, but this seems like a good one. Oddly only 2000-ish signatures so far - I would expect it to be flooded by many more hopeful straw-graspers.
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