IMPORTANT: Committee to Investigate Russia

This is important.  A group of concerned notable Americans have formed the Committee to Investigate Russia.   Here is their statement of purpose:

Committee to Investigate Russia

The Russian Active Measures campaign aimed at the United States has been exposed. Using hacking, Twitter armies, and fake news, the Kremlin engaged in an aggressive effort to subvert the American democratic process. Now, only months into his term of office, the President and his staff are facing multiple investigations in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and by a Special Counsel for the Department of Justice.  

The Committee to Investigate Russia is a nonprofit, non-partisan resource provided to help Americans recognize and understand the gravity of Russia’s continuing attacks on our democracy. All relevant information is aggregated in one place to provide context and allow users to see the full picture of what Russia has done and will continue to do unless we start paying closer attention.

For generations, people have fought to protect democracy. Now it is our turn. 

In a video posted on the site, Morgan Freeman explains why and how our democracy is under the most serious threat in our history.

IMPORTANT: Local candidate forum, Sep 26, Northumberland High School

NAACP CANDIDATE FORUM

  • September 26, 2017
  • Northumberland High School
  • 7:00 PM

Candidates

House of Delegates

Mr. Francis Edwards

Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Richard Haynie (2nd District incumbent)

The Honorable James Long (3rd District incumbent)

School Board of Northumberland County

Ms. Mary Hooper (2nd District candidate)

The Honorable Gerald Howard (3rd District incumbent)

Rev. Carl Perez (3rd District candidate)

Indivisible Northumberland celebrates 230 years of the US Constitution

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Indivisible Northumberland observed this historic event at our meeting with a birthday cake for the Consitution, copies of the Constitution for everyone, and an inspiring reading of the Preamble by one of our members.

 

The Preamble to the Constitution is a short sentence consisting of a simple sentence with six dependent clauses inserted.  The clauses state the fundamental purposes for which the United States was founded.

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, let’s reprint the Preamble in bullet format to make very clear the six fundamental purposes of this nation.

We the People of the United States, in Order to:

  • form a more perfect Union,
  • establish Justice,
  • insure domestic Tranquility,
  • provide for the common defence,
  • promote the general Welfare, and
  • secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

There it is folks, the reason for our nation.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to judge each of our political parties, each of our political leaders, and each of our levels of government on how they are or are not living up to these fundamental purposes.

Action items, week of September 17

What to Do This Week of September 17, 2017

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

45 weeks down, 59 weeks to mid-term elections.

Many of these action items require contact with your Senator(s) or Congressional Representative(s).  Here is a link to contact information for them for those of us in Virginia and Virginia’s First Congressional District — Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D), and, Representative Rob Wittman (R).

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear, hype-free suggestions for action backed by well-considered research for Americans who care about democracy and justice. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.

Did someone send you here? Sign up to receive this weekly checklist.

I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Action: Recommit to an activism plan.

Complete the Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version).

I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Object to CBS’ 60 Minutes giving airtime to white supremacy.

Write: 60 Minutes, 555 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019-2985 (or email).

Script: Regardless of his place in history, I oppose your decision to give airtime to white supremacist, Steve Bannon. I consume media that value lives over views.

 

Action: Oppose DeVos’ dismantling protections for campus rape victims (hat tip).

Reports are that her office didn’t love all the calls last week. Too bad.

Call: US Department of Education, 800-872-5327. Be kind.

Script: Hi, I’m from [state], and concerned about Betsy DeVos’ efforts to weaken protections for survivors of sexual assault. I am calling to request keeping these protections in place. Thank you.

I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Oppose the Graham-Cassidy plan to repeal the ACA.

Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to express my opposition to the Cassidy-Graham plan to repeal the ACA. Congress needs to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it and leave millions of people without options. Thanks.

I believe in a government led by people of integrity.

Action: Advocate for two bills protecting the special counsel.

Call: Your 2 senators.

Script: Hi. I am calling because I approve of the special counsel investigation into Russia ties, and would like [name] to support two pieces of legislation that protect Robert Mueller from presidential dismissal. S. 1735 (sponsored by Sen. Graham) and S. 1741 (by Sen. Tillis). Will [name] use his/her influence to spark action on these stalled bills?

I believe in a woman’s right to safe, affordable reproductive care.

Action: Support women who choose to abort after losing everything to natural disaster.

Donate to transportation services and clinics:

I believe in the Constitutional rights of speech, assembly, and press.

Action: Kick Russian bots and fake news off Facebook (it’s easy).

Follow this step-by-step tutorial.
Bonus: Zap more bots. Share the link above on Facebook. #StrongerTogether

 

Action: Oppose arbitrary revoking of US citizenships without due process.

Call: Your 2 senators.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling with grave concern about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s amendment to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Are you familiar with it? (if no) It will allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to revoke the citizenship of any American based solely on the suspicion of committing a “belligerent act” against the U.S. This would not require a trial of any kind, which is dangerous. I oppose any effort to violate our right to due process.

Bonus: If you are (or know someone) in South Carolina, get on the phone. Stat.

I believe free, safe, and open voting is fundamental to a thriving democracy.

 

Action: Insist on addressing Russian use of social media to create chaos.

Call: Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express my concern about Russia’s successful efforts to create chaos through social media platforms like Facebook. This strategy affected the 2016 election, but also endangers midterms in 2018. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to address this foreign aggression?

 

Action: Oppose the partisan Voter Commission’s attempts to restrict voting rights

Call: Your state’s head of elections (use the list below the map to find your state’s elections office website ).
Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP], calling to ask that [name] refuse to cooperate with the president’s Voter Commission. I am one of a growing number of Americans who oppose this commission because we don’t trust its agenda or its leader.

I believe that open borders and a path to citizenship benefit America.

 

Action: Advocate to keep DACA youth here in the US, their home.

Call: Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to support a clean Dream Act that gives permanent legal status to DACA recipients without attaching funding for a border wall. Is [name] committed to supporting S. 1615 (Senate) / H.R. 3440 (House)? Will s/he co-sponsor it?

Bonus: If you’re in AL, AR, ID, KS, LA, NE, SC, TX, or WV, call your attorney general using this script.

 

Action: Thwart the next big ICE raid.

ICE canceled massive raid plans due to hurricanes. Use their delay to act.

Share this link on social media: How to respond to an ICE raid: https://unitedwedream.org/thank-deportation-defense-card-handy-phone/

I believe in peace.

Action: Oppose warmongering (hat tip).

Call: Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express my concern about the president’s baiting of North Korea. Has [name] already publicly opposed his actions? (If no) I would like him/her to do this and to advocate for diplomatic solutions. (If yes) Will s/he co-sponsor H.R. 669 (Rep) / S. 200 (Senate)? Americans want diplomacy. Thank you.

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

 

Express condolences to the Mexican president. As your neighbors, we grieve with you for the precious lives lost in the tragic earthquake. We are sorry our president didn’t show appropriate sympathy. Please know that we in the US are praying for your people, the souls of those lost, and for recovery in your beautiful country.

Address: Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, Los Pinos, Mexico City, Mexico

Recommended reading

Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.

 

  • “The only thing white supremacists are more afraid of than people of color, queer people, and black and brown skinned immigrants. . . is you.” (Groundswell)

Good news

 

Final action

If you found this checklist useful, please spread the word!

Tweet: Simple, clear, and drama-free, @inspiredjen’s Action Checklist keeps me focused every week: goo.gl/ogmtAv

Email and Facebook: Simple, clear, and drama-free, @inspiredjen’s Action Checklist keeps me focused on positive action every week: https://goo.gl/ogmtAv

 

Weekend events in Richmond for racial justice and against white supremacists

Dear VICPP Supporter,

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy wishes to call your attention to several opportunities in Richmond this weekend for hearing about racial justice and standing in solidarity with those want to see the Commonwealth of Virginia be a place that welcomes all, no matter their race, immigration status or religious preference. We encourage you to participate in one or more events that you feel comfortable with.

As an interfaith organization, VICPP brings together people from differing faiths, cultures and backgrounds, because the basic core beliefs of our religions are remarkably similar. All share some version of the Golden Rule, and all focus on justice and compassion for others.

Unfortunately there are times today when that message gets lost and we have to stand up for what we believe in. We have posted on the VICPP website some best practices for taking action using a faith-based strategy.

Events begin this evening with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Grace Street near Capitol Square. “We invite people from all walks of life to gather with us,” said Bishop Susan Goff of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Saturday will start with a prayer and “intention setting” service coordinated by Rev. Lacette Cross at Temple Beth-El, 3330 Grove Ave., at 6:30 a.m. I know this service will set a peaceful tone for the rest of the day.

Then VICPP, First Unitarian Universalist and the Richmond Peace Education Center are co-sponsoring a rally at the new Maggie Walker statue (at Broad and Adams streets) starting at 8:45 a.m. “The rally with celebrate our rich diversity as a city,” says Lana Heath de Martinez, VICPP’s Welcoming All Coordinator. Participants will then walk to Monument Avenue but will avoid direct contact with any white supremacists who plan to rally at the Lee Statue

Another of the events we want to invite you to is actually happening twice. My good friend Dr. Nancy MacLean, a Duke University history professor whom I know from my Chicago days, will be leading two “teach-ins” based on her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Nancy’s book has many Virginia connections, so this should be a very thoughtful complement to the other events of the day. You are asked to register if you plan to attend. The teach-ins will be held at 10 a.m. at Unitarian Community Church of Glen Allen, 11105 Cauthorne Rd., Glen Allen, 23059; RSVP here; or at 3 p.m. at First Congregational Christian United Church of Christ, 4310 Courthouse Rd., Chesterfield, 23832; RSVP here.

There will also be an “Intercultural Summit” Saturday morning at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church starting at 11:30 a.m. led by Bishop Shannon Johnson and Bishop Goff. This event costs $15 and will include lunch. Register here.

And a diverse coalition of organizations are sponsoring an afternoon event called Building a Just Richmond at the Math/Science Center, 2401 Hartman St., at 1 p.m. “Following a plenary with speakers and a panel, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from several facilitated workshops designed to build skills to advance a just Richmond.”

Finally, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1627 Monument Ave. will be open tomorrow as a safe space from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A different area congregation will lead worship every hour.

We are not expecting any of the craziness we saw in Charlottesville  – thank goodness. We do believe the variety of education, worship and public events offer a range of ways people can learn more about racism and stand up for a diverse and welcoming Virginia. Please join us at when you can.

As you know, VICPP has become a center to which people turn for information and guidance. With a small staff, we have felt stretched a little thin this week. Please accept our forgiveness if we’ve not returned your call or email in this busy and challenging time.

Please visit our website to contribute or sign up for our email list, and pass our information on to those in your faith community who would also support our mission.

With peace and justice,

Kim Bobo

Executive Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Meetings this week!!!

Don’t forget our two meetings coming up this week:

Thursday, September 14

  • 7:00 PM
  • Northumberland Public Library
  • Joe Schlatter will talk about:  Russia; Russia and the 2016 election; Trump and Russia

Sunday, September 17

  • 3:00 PM
  • Northumberland Public Library
  • Constitution Day.
  • Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution September 17, 1787.
  • We will have a birthday cake for the Constitution as well as a reading of the Preamble.

Action items for this week, Sep 11 – 16

I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Oppose DeVos’ dismantling protections for campus rape victims.

Call: Department of Education, 800-872-5327.

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP], and I’m concerned about Betsy DeVos’ efforts to dismantle Title IX (nine) which would weaken protections for survivors of sexual assault. I am calling to request keeping these protections in place. Thank you.

 

Action: Oppose efforts to weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Call: Your Representative).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], and I am calling to express my concern about possible changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act. H.B. 620 would restrict litigation rights, allow businesses to delay accessibility compliance, and make disabled people responsible for reporting non-compliance. I want [name] to advocate for civil rights and vote no when this bill comes up for a vote in the House.

 

Action: Support victims of rape by advocating for better police training.

Write: Your chief of police or sheriff.

Script: I am a resident of [town] writing to advocate for victims of rape in our community. New research shows that rape victims’ memories are impaired by trauma, leading police to mistrust and discredit their accounts. Fortunately, training is available for law enforcement to conduct effective questioning that leads to justice. Certified courses are available at no cost from End Violence Against Women International. To better serve and protect, I would like your department to offer this training for the benefit of officers, rape victims, and our community. I look forward to your response on this important issue.

Bonus: Edit and submit this message as a Letter to the Editor in your local paper.

 

I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Oppose the new plan to repeal the ACA (it’s ba-aack!).

Call: Your 2 senators.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my opposition to the Cassidy-Graham ACA repeal plan. Congress needs to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it and leave millions of people without options. Thanks.

 

I believe free, safe, and open voting is fundamental to a thriving democracy.

Action: Advocate for the US Census to support fair representation and elections.

Call or write the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (202) 225-6030

2418 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515

Rep. Elijah Cummings (202) 225-4741

2163 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515

Script: Hi, my name is [name], and I’m concerned about the lack of permanent leadership at the Census Bureau and inadequate testing in preparation for the 2020 Census. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to support census leadership and success in his role on the House Oversight Committee? (If not, ask for follow up.)

 

I believe in a quality education for America’s youth.

Action: School is back in session. Help equip classrooms with small donations.

Visit: https://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html.

This site is essentially a GoFundMe for America’s classrooms. A few dollars goes far!

 

I believe that open borders and a path to citizenship benefit America.

Action: Advocate for the economic benefits of DACA this week.

Call: Your Representative and two Senators.

Script: If DACA is repealed, [state] will lose $[lookup amount]. Congress has several options to prevent this from happening. Can I count on [name] to support the Dream Act S.1615 (Senate) -OR- American Hope Act H.R. 3591 and Bridge Act H.R. 496 (House)? (pause) Thank you.

 

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for refusing a blue slip to oppose the nomination of conservative Justice Stras to the 8th Circuit Court. This is a powerful procedural move and helps hold Republicans accountable. Thank you for your creative leadership!

Address: 309 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

 

Thank 5 state governors for theirbipartisan cooperation. I appreciate your calling on Congress to stabilize the health insurance exchanges and continue subsidies for poorer Americans. I admire your cooperation, leadership, and foresight.

Addresses: Govs. Charlie Baker (R-MA), Bill Haslam (R-TN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Steve Bullock (D-MT), and Gary Herbert (R-UT).

 

Thanks, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), for your bipartisan message that gerrymandering is a threat to Democracy. I appreciate your advocating for the US Supreme Court to uphold the lower Federal Court’s decision that redistricting in WI violated our Constitution.

Address (J.M.): 2201 E. Camelback Rd, Ste. 115, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Address: (S.W.): 170 Westminster St., Ste. 200, Providence, RI 02903

 

Recommended reading

Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.

 

  • The president chose the Democrats’ debt ceiling proposal over Republicans’ counter-offer. Everyone is baffled (BBC, NYT, WaPo).

  • How Russia is infiltrating our social media and what to do about it (Slate).

  • How to talk to the working white class (Slate).

 

Good news

 

Meeting: Sunday, August 20

Indivisible Northumberland will meet Sunday, August 20, 3:00 PM, at the home of Sandy and Dick Saxer.

The address is 308 Reed Avenue in Reedville, which is behind Festival Halle.

From 360, bear left onto Fleeton Rd, then right onto Reed Avenue.  We suggest parking at Festival Halle or beside the American Legion Hall since the ditches along the road are quite steep.

PLEASE BYOB AND A SNACK TO SHARE.

Action items for this week

Here’s a list of action items for this week.

Here’s a link to contact information for our Congressional representatives.

I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Support bipartisan cooperation to repair ACA.

Call: Or write your Congressional representatives

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP] and wanting [name] to know how relieved I am that the Senate’s efforts to repeal the ACA failed. I support quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans and would like to see [name] lead collaborative, bipartisan discussions on improving the ACA so that it works for everyone. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to foster this?

 

I believe in a government led by people of integrity.

Action: Meet your Congressional representatives in person this month — that is, IF your representatives meet with people.

Call: Or write your Congressional representatives

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [town] calling to find out when [name] is holding a town hall meeting near me during August recess.

Bonus: Visit https://www.indivisibleguide.com/ for guidance on how to make the most of attending this event.

 

I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Stand with Charlottesville.

 

Action: Oppose taxpayer-funded abuse of peaceful people (hat tips).

Call: Your House member

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP]. I know we’re in recess, but I’m calling ahead about the budget negotiations coming up next month. Specifically, I’m deeply concerned about what I’m reading about ICE raids, detention center conditions, border patrol abuses, and deporting peaceful, vulnerable people to dangerous cities. Our treatment of immigrants amounts to sanctioned, taxpayer-funded abuse. Please let [name] know that I want him/her to cut funding to the deportation machine, and vote no on any bill that funds this abusive system. Will [name] commit to this? (pause) I want a respectful path to citizenship for our country’s 11 million undocumented people. Thanks.

 

Action: If the new indy film Whose Streets? is playing near you, go see it (click Get Tickets for locations).

 

I believe in a woman’s right to reproductive care.

Action: Oppose cutting care for women, teens, and minority and low-income women.

Call: Or write your House member.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling to ask [name] to reject tax cuts for millionaires at the expense of women’s health. I’m concerned that the house budget bill would bar women, teens, minorities, and low-income families from accessing lifesaving screenings and family planning support. We can’t limit women’s access to care just to enrich America’s wealthy few. Can you tell me how [name] plans to defend women in the budget?

 

I believe free, safe, and open voting is fundamental to a thriving democracy.

Action: Think 2018. Advocate for elections that are free of foreign hacking.

Call: Or write your Congressional representatives

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and concerned about a second foreign hacking in the next election cycle. I would like [name] to co-sponsor H.R. 1562, the SAFE Act, which makes elections more secure. Can I count on his/her support for this bill?


Bonus: Tweet committee chairs and ranking members: Visualize our 2018 #midterms free of Russian hacking. Keep H.R. 1562 moving, @BarbaraComstock @RepLipinski @GreggHarper @RepBrady.

 

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Mayor Rahm Emanuelfor preventing Chicago police from serving in immigration enforcement and for filing suit against threats to withhold public safety grants from sanctuary cities. Thank you for your leadership and for making Chicago a city that welcomes all people.

Address: City Hall, 121 N.La Salle St., Chicago, IL 60602

 

Thank Mayor Toni Harp for affirming that New Haven respects people no matter where they come from — and for offering sanctuary to asylum seekers like Marco Reyes Alvarez. Your courage and leadership help your city live up to its name. Thank you.

Address:165 Church Street, New Haven, CT, 06510

Recommended Reading

The Myth of American Innocence (The Guardian).

Sleeping Near a Forest Fire (Jen Hofmann).

 

Good news

 

If you found this checklist useful, please spread the word!

Tweet: Here are six easy things to do for Week 2 of August recess: https://goo.gl/UVMnc8

Email and Facebook: Here are six easy things to do during August recess: https://goo.gl/UVMnc8

 

Whose Heritage??? Public symbols, Confederate statues, and the myth of the Lost Cause

This article is one of the most important recently written about the issues of the Confederate statues.  What sets this article apart is that it hits head-on the myth of the “Lost Cause” — the idea that the Civil War was not about slavery and that the South was home to genteel aristocrats.

 

Whose Heritage:  Public Symbols of the Confederacy

Despite the well-documented history of the Civil War, legions of Southerners still cling to the myth of the Lost Cause as a noble endeavor fought to defend the region’s honor and its ability to govern itself in the face of Northern aggression. This deeply rooted but false narrative is the result of many decades of revisionism in the lore and even textbooks of the South that sought to create a more acceptable version of the region’s past. The Confederate monuments and other symbols that dot the South are very much a part of that effort.

As a consequence of the national reflection that began in Charleston, the myths and revisionist history surrounding the Confederacy may be losing their grip in the South.

Yet, for the most part, the symbols remain.

The effort to remove them is about more than symbolism. It’s about starting a conversation about the values and beliefs shared by a community.

It’s about understanding our history as a nation.

Read the full article; pay special attention to the chart showing dates when most Confederate statues were erected.