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Preparedness - Input Junkie
November 13th, 2016
11:49 am

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Preparedness
The subject came up of what to do because of the Trump victory.

At this point, I don't have much. I'm not panicking, and it's possible I should be much more worried than I am.

One general point-- you've got a minimum of three months before political changes.

Some reasons for less worry. A high proportion of people generally survive bad times. The worst thing you can imagine is not a good guide for prediction, usually. America has a lot of checks on political power. We know about the Nazis. That last isn't a guarantee of safety, but it was a lot easier for people to kid themselves about Germany being a civilized nation.

Guesses for preparation: build general capacity-- take care of your health, your finances, and your social network. Have cash. (The Handmaid's Tale is a nightmare, and part of it is about centralized control of money.) I realize people's resources vary a lot. You can only do what's possible. You may be able to get or give help.

The big picture: I don't trust government as much as a lot of people seem to, but I also acknowledge that it's useful. I think it's very early to be thinking about violent revolution, and things would have to be very dire for revolution to be a better bet than working on and with the system. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should be law-abiding if it looks very dangerous or debilitating. We're talking about guesswork, not bright moral distinctions.

Two Cheers for Anarchism is good about informal resistance.

Political: https://storify.com/editoremilye/i-worked-for-congress-for-six-years The short version is that a phone call (expect it to be picked up by a staffer) is the best way to get attention to members of Congress.

Discussion of how to tell when things are getting really bad:

http://ask.metafilter.com/302522/Knowing-the-warning-signs

From Making Light:
Go bags
General preparedness
First aid-- this is overwhelming, eat it one bite at a time.

I'd appreciate information about de-escalating street confrontations. I've done a little of that, mostly for myself, and my approach is so weird that I'm not sure how many other people can use it.

Please note that what I'm talking about is for relatively slow-moving confrontations and a shared language.

My underlying premise is that the most important thing is to lower the emotional intensity. My concealed premise is that there's nothing between people but dominance transactions. I believe that people mostly don't know what they want, so it's possible for the person who is more certain (in this case, that I don't want a dangerous confrontation) can take charge.

So I start calmly arguing. I'm not talking nonsense except that I apparently get so abstract that I'm incomprehensible-- if the other person says they don't understand me, I apologize and keep on going.

The point isn't what I'm saying. It's that they've been moved into a discussion.

I am not trying to shame them or change their life. I just want them to not be angry. If I can get them mildly bored this is good.

I feel faintly ill after I use this method. I think it takes a lot of repression.

I have no idea where this ability came from-- I've lived a pretty safe life.

Oh, and ask for what you do want rather than telling someone to stop what they're doing.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1086409.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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From:sodyera
Date:November 13th, 2016 06:42 pm (UTC)
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The other night I chatted up Otherdeb in re the election, and she was sharing my grand disappointment. It felt like we'd just elected Saddam Hussein, or like the Empire just took over our planet. On an effective very day issue, there's nothing we can do. But are we supposed to feel satisfied about it? I'm not. I voted for Hillary Clinton rather happily, but the game balanced out in favour of the Fascist. I suppose my life won't change all that much; just another man to call "The Man", that's all. Time to get off the wagon to hell and start exercising some practical course control. This is the universe where nothing interesting happens, and it's up to popular technology and the people themselves to change the story line.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:November 14th, 2016 12:25 am (UTC)
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Most of us are probably too small to be affected directly, if we aren't Muslims, were born in the United States, and have good documentation. Foreign travel will become risky; I've written off the possibility for the next few years. The Border Patrol and TSA will get even more abusive.

The history of people who were targeted in WWI and WWII provides clues. Knowing Arabic will be a liability. Freezing of bank accounts was a favorite tactic then. I don't know whether today's laws make it more difficult; maybe today civil forfeiture is the bigger threat. Whatever the scenario, having cash and mobility is a good thing.

Internal checkpoints will likely become more common, and they might be set up as a punitive tactic.

We can expect an economic decline from trade barriers.

I'm working, to the small extent that I can, on convincing people that it's necessary to work together in spite of differences to avoid a massive loss of liberties. Looking on the Internet, especially Twitter and Facebook, it seems people are mostly interested in denouncing anyone who isn't fully on their side, but in personal conversations I've gotten better results.
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From:olifhar
Date:November 14th, 2016 02:33 am (UTC)
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I have my eye on the road spectrum of issues, including ones that may affect me and my family, and the gamut of actions, from donating to orgs to getting to know congressional staffers to public protesting to make sure the rest of the world sees that a huge amount of Americans do not stand for the President elect's BS.

Thinking about how to improve our political and cultural discourse is really important too (maybe intellectual discourse as well). I like your suggestions for deescalating street confrontations. I plan to try to empathize and then try to persuade after listening and finding common ground. I acknowledge that many people aren't ready for that, and cutting ties or denouncing is how they feel they can move forward. So I'm just going to do what I feel is best, and that I feel I can do.

Right now I am most focused on thinking about harm mitigation. How can we prepare to protect people and populations whom the new administration will target? The 2-3 million immigrants that Trump has doubled down on deporting? The folks who are going to lose their healthcare? I may not be panicking, but I think it is right to assume that we are in a crisis, and that the crisis will worsen after the official switch in power. And even if the worst does not come to pass, I think this is a very very good opportunity to coordinate people and see where we have fallen short as a society.
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From:osewalrus
Date:November 14th, 2016 11:03 am (UTC)

On De-escalation

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Well, my techniques don't work for others either, but I'm a large man.

Depending on the situation, I will use the same method you do. A discussion in a reasonable tone. It's all about tone and not giving the person the standard response signals of flight or fight. This tends to confuse people who are expecting either resistance or fear.

Other times, in a crowd, I will loudly agree with the person harassing me. It prompts a lot of peculiar looks and makes us the center of attention. Again, people who normally look away are fascinated by my loud jovial response of things like "preach it brother! Tell everyone what scum I am!" This also prompts people to feel uncomfortable and eventually wander off.

Sometimes I will embellish this with song -- particularly Tom 'O Bedlam. I am large and the thought of my also being a little bit crazy tends to spoil people's fun. It's weird and prompts them to move off.

I rehearse these responses a lot in my head, so on the occasions when I have had to use them they flow automatically.
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From:osewalrus
Date:November 14th, 2016 11:05 am (UTC)

Re: On De-escalation

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Oh yes, and I now have set criteria for when we leave. If certain things start happening, we go. I plan to be among the people who left in 1935, not the folks who waited until it was too late.
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 14th, 2016 11:30 am (UTC)

Re: On De-escalation

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If you don't mind sharing them, what are your criteria for leaving?
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 14th, 2016 11:29 am (UTC)

Re: On De-escalation

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Do people give you a disgusted look as they leave? I've gotten that a few times.

Also, I'd forgotten I'd used the agreement method once.

A man started telling me that he liked small women because their skin was easier to cut. I just kept babbling along about how of course he wouldn't want to dull his knife blade until he left.

Notes: crowded bar-- I don't know what I would have done if there hadn't been people around. No subsequent crime wave against small women. I do contemplate the fact that I'd given up on getting help by then. And I was very disociated when I did that.

I do have a backup plan of screaming at people that they're from the CIA and its run by Martians.

Edited at 2016-11-14 11:29 am (UTC)
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