Spend 5 minutes, help save our society


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/30/spend-5-minutes-help-save-our.html


#2

I just called, and the phones are jammed, which is a good sign. Was eventually able to leave messages with my senators. Actually reached a live human at my congressman’s office, who told me that he has officially denounced trump’s anti-Muslim executive order, and introduced legislation to ban religious tests pertaining to immigration. Not that such a bill has much of a chance at the moment, but at least he’s gotten the message, and is on the right side of this one. We’ll have to see if my status-quo senators grow a backbone as well.


#3

My senator is famously terrible at answering his calls (and keeping his voicemail full) but I love the site.


#4

In all seriousness this and other tools like it should be permanently docked on your front page for all to see. Too important to have slide away into the grid of forgotten stories.


#5

I like that site in that it helps me organize my thoughts before and during the phone call. I’m scatterminded enough that just getting through to an official’s voicemail is enough to throw me off my game, thereby leaving a cryptic and probably useless message.

And let me wonder openly at the number of complicated things I can do and do well…and then wonder openly at how badly voicemail systems fuck. me. up. Hell, worked on computers in various capacities over many years, and when using voicemail of almost any kind it’s a miracle if I don’t get lost in the phone tree among useless/pointless choices (or I’m diverted off to the goodbye message garbage scow).

KILL VOICEMAIL

(except Cisco hold music, that’s the shit)


#6

Waste of time. The government is in the hands of a pack of hyenas who don’t give a damn about anything but wealth and power. You think they’re going to listen to people who don’t contribute millions to their campaign chests? Change your brand of opium - what you’re smoking now is way too strong for you.


#7

Thank you for your participation. Would it that we were all so enlightened.
/snark


#8

They only get away with stupid garbage because they know that historically the people aren’t paying attention and don’t call them on it. Most of them fear not being reelected more than they fear their corporate managers. Calls and letters do have an impact.

Maybe we needed a horror show like Trump to get us Americans off our lazy duffs and mobilize. Join the resistance!


#9

What the US needs is an equivalent to writetothem.com. In the UK we can use the site to write to our representatives, document the letter, and document the replies - so everyone sees which politicians actually reply.


#10

In case you haven’t heard this already:


#11

Hate to say it, but I think Menotyou is right. I’ve never worked for a Representative myself, but I worked as a lobbyist (nonprofit) and know enough about how the system works. Yes you can call your Rep, and if they answer the phone some staffer will surely take down your opinion, but all that rage and frustration just gets turned in to a little check mark on a sheet where the staffer records the tally. That entire tally sheet matters about 1/10th of 1% as much as a big donor’s opinion.


#12

I think that far more crucial than calling and complaining that you “don’t like” what is happening, is outlining actual consequences for those courses of action. This then factors into the equation of what they have to gain versus what they have to lose in their decisions.


#13

One of my favorite pieces on TAL! The story is extra awesome because I’d been wondering about that very thing for…a while prior to hearing the story on the radio. I’m…ah…I’m still listening to it, too. It’s got that Revenge of the Nerds auto-beat thing…yeah baby, groove! Groove!

EDIT: Also, CALL! Call those congresscritters and scream and yell if you’d like but get out a clear message first and then do the bomb track on 'em. My people were nice, though. Got through to Cummings, didn’t get through to Cardin, although I got through to him late last week about trump’s other shenanigans.


#14

Unless the consequences are “I’m withholding my donation for $10,000 until the Congressman cosponsors a bill rescinding the travel ban from muslim countries” then the consequences are unlikely to matter.


#15

Curious if you know how effective that system is in generating action?

It says here, and I have heard it repeated elsewhere, that letters or emails are not all that meaningful (probably precisely because they can be automated); calls and attendance at town hall or other in person meetings is more effective.


#16

Hardly! They need to be free, alive, and not hiding in a bunker somewhere to use that $10k - assuming their whole account doesn’t get frozen or confiscated. The point is that they can’t take their office or autonomy for granted.


#17

Wait, so you suggest threatening out representatives’ freedom and their lives? I’ve seen you call for violent revolution several times now. How many blows for freedom have you yourself struck?


#18

As is trying to demoralize the righteous.


#19

Odd. My current Zip just gives me one Rep, but no senators.


#20

If people are resigned to them being on the dole as representatives in name only, then they are betraying the public trust, and would be extremely naive to not expect consequences. Why I used freedom and survival as examples is because they are clear illustrations of why being bought out is not a workable incentive to every decision.

What I am saying - not suggesting - is that they need to be made intimately aware that their decisions have consequences, and that those can be good, bad, or neutral. When people are complaining that they have zero leverage with their own government because capital is concentrated within these same small groups of people, then they often give up and impotently complain, or hope that a sternly worded wish will persuade a corrupt official to act with equity. When these people are selling out the masses for their own greedy self-interests, it takes something they can’t ignore to have any possibility of realigning their priorities, to illustrate that it might not actually be in their own best interests. Consent to be governed is a bitch!

Reactionary violence I think is not, in itself, revolutionary. People making their own new governments is revolutionary. But when a nominally democratic government threatens its own would-be citizens, they deserve every blow returned with interest rather than concession. If a cop, TSA, or National Guard aim at you or put their hands upon you - it is straight-up assault, just like if anybody else did so. Then one is obliged to restore them to public servitude by any means necessary. That’s not revolution, that’s the every day responsibility of keeping your government under control.

That is how I live, it reflects my neighborhood policies and actions. I don’t know “how many blows for freedom” that equals. Freedom is IMO a lot easier than planning and keeping discipline.