Opposition & Resistance Archive
Shift the Country Has Moved!
As of July 11, 2022 - Shift the Country has moved to a new Shift the Country website!
This Page Is An Archive of Opposition & Resistance Info
Posts & resources on this page are from 2016-2021. The new Shift the Country website has an updated framework. There's a new blog/newsletter on Substack here.
This page and the rest of this current website remains active for legacy and reference.
The 2020 Shift the Country Framework Paper (the 2022 approach is here) talks about how history shows us that to successfully counter emerging tyranny, a country needs active civic engagement, a solid opposition (not just a resistance), and a solid opposition agenda supported by an actual majority of voters.
Circumstances that lead to tyranny usually include some segment of the population believing that the social contract and institutions have failed. An opposition agenda that is successful needs to include updates to the social contract and institutions of the country that better serve everyone - better than they did before.
The most succcessful opposition agenda will get buy-in from an engaged majority.
The work to Shift the Country is designed to help an opposition build and advocate for an opposition agenda. Differently than what is done formally by political parties - because so many Americans are not engaged in those processes. An opposition agenda embraced by a true majority of Americans is perhaps something we've not seen for some time - and perhaps one reason why civic engagement is so low in the US that the democracy has been rated at-risk. As we're experiencing.
This page is not an opposition agenda. It is, rather, a collection of political blog posts and resources from 2016-2021 tagged "opposition & resistance" that inform, motivate, inspire, or speak to the work to Shift the Country. To the hope and effort of a true, engaged, enormous majority opposition - and its agenda. And its win.
Good luck. We need it.
You can help support this shift, talk to people about what we're doing, share it, & sign up to join in on this shift. Contributions help us get tools, stories, actions, engagement, messages, and ruckus out and amplified. To get things to go viral. To create a phenomenon. To help more people everyone engage with everything. To help more people raise an absolute ruckus. To make shift happen.
Related blog items
Related resource items
The Shift the Country white paper is the basic foundation for the 501(c)(4) organization, mission, and initial operations.
From the site: "The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community."
A Seth's Blog post about partnership, collusion, and "organizing the weaker side." Written for the example of Amazon's search for a new city for a second HQ, with interesting perspective for economic development and visions we want for our communities. Also helpful for the #opposition and #resistance.
"Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," by Jared Diamond. A TED talk is available here, and posted to videos.
"Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Homefront - or, One Woman's Solutions to Finding Abundance for Your Family while Coming to Terms with Peak Oil, Climate Change, and Hard Times," by Sharon Astyk. A Sharon Astyk blog is here. Check out this book review from homestead.org.nnHere is an excerpt from another review at The Blogging Bookworm, "Astyk's book is a reminder of the power of individuals to make a difference in the world during times of crisis. In New Orleans in 2005, it was Hurricane Katrina. Now we face... climate chaos, war, and energy depletion... People are struggling to hold on to their homes, to pay for their groceries, to know what to do next... If you are like me, this book will make you rethink your assumptions about population, about the separation of public and private, about the global impact of creating local economies. As Green Bean said in her recent review, Depletion and Abundance is both troubling and reassuring. It will make you have moments of panic and it will also make you commit to creating a just and meaningful life." The Blogging Bookworm review author says "I finished the book with a feeling not only of hope, but also with a feeling of radical responsibility."
"Stress-Free Sustainability: Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence Anyone," by Adam Hammes, an Iowa author based in Des Moines. Interview here.
"The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World," by Andrew S. Winston. See video also at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxYKO7oICiw.
"The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World," by Paul Gilding. This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint. From the author's website: "It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources. The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability."
From author Chris McGoff in Part 1 of the book: "How do some people, organizations, and coalitions thrive in uncertain times? What enables them to appear so certain and take decisive action amid ambiguity about the future?" The PRIMES website says "The PRIMES are universal patterns of group behavior that outfit you to work with any group to solve any problem - especially the big ones." The PRIMES book notes "... Here's the deal. Almost all the tame problems have been solved. We get to solve the wicked problems. Wicked problems affect a lot of peple and it takes a lot of people, all with their own agendas, to collaborate and solve them. ... The people who, amid uncertainty, successfully lead large problem-solving groups share these characteristics. First, they are clear about what they are up to and how they spend their precious time. Second, they are intentional and willing to go first. Finally, they have mastered the art of enrolling others to join them." The PRIMES website also has short videos and info about each of The PRIMES. Another core counterfear resource is Chris McGoff's TEDx Rock Creek talk on "Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk." The author's company The Clearing has done significant work on wicked problems in many counterfear focus areas.
"The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," by Naomi Klein.
"The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell also asks the question "Are You a Connector" in this piece. More here and here on Connectors, Mavens, and Salespersons.
This LA Times book review provides an excellent summary for a book that has been getting some attention in 2016. The book review article cites the last chapter of the book as stating, "the extent to which our government and the media participate in this endemic paranoia is damaging in that, apart from doing the terrorists' job for them, which is to terrorize, it helps crowd out more serious issues the planet faces. Climate change is far less telegenic than jihad."
"We all have a hero inside of us. When a catastrophe strikes, our heroes are called upon. In the heroic improvisation practice, we practice how to be ready to put on our proverbial capes and fly. Disaster preparation training might not like sound fun... knowing how to act heroically with others is the key. What determines success when catastrophe strikes is our ability to listen, trust and act together... Potential danger requires us to know the plan of action, and chaos requires us to improvise responses to execute it. The heroic improvisation workshop puts us in a chaotic situation and gives us the felt-sense of moving into action together in a high stakes situation."
Mission Statement: "The Institute for Healing of Memories-North America seeks to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities and nations. It provides emotional and spiritual healing to people recovering from painful or traumatic experiences and offers seminars and public presentations to inform other individuals and organizations about its work. It also trains other care providers to use its methods."
What can be said? The Star Wars movie series may be the primary myth of our time. Episodes IV, V, and VI - the original series - are a foundation for finding the ways of The Force. Excellent Jedi wisdom and training from Yoda in Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI, Return of the Jedi. Episodes I, II, and III are primarily useful as back story for the more deeply curious. Star Wars for a new generation came in with Episode VII, The Force Awakens. No spoilers here, but The Force Awakens truly is a myth for our time. It brings tools we need for the world we have in front of us. The myth and the metaphor are more powerful than we think. The newest Star Wars movie to be released is as fitting a myth for our time as The Force Awakens. Rogue One is powerful and unexpected. Myths and story bring to our consience the possible and the inspiration.
I was not expecting this to be probably the most profound movie I've ever seen - well beyond something like Star Wars (all eight) meets The Matrix (the first one). Also hilarious. Awesome #Team stuff. Here's a link to the official trailer for this movie.
This is an anchorpoint for the time that is now. This story follows the classic Hero's Journey. No spoilers, but this is the key to what we need.
Myth is a powerful tool, and this movies serves as an incredibly powerful myth, parable, inspiration, and model for our time. It is unexpectedly good, and powerful on many levels... the family elements, parenting, the spiritual, life itself, the power of teamwork, leveraging creativity, vision, dreaming, realizing, and the challenge and way forward for effective problem-solving, at scale. And of course, "Everything is Awesome."
If there was one movie that represents where we can go and who we can be in this amazing time of challenge - this is it. This is how we navigate disruption, find a way forward, and counterfear. Who would have thought?
Theme song from The Lego Movie. Intro lyrics from Google Play: "Everything is awesome / Everything is cool when you're part of a team / Everything is awesome when we're living our dream / Everything is better when we stick together / Side by side, you and I gonna win forever, let's party forever / We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me, we're all working in harmony..."
"Feel so close" - Calvin Harris. "I feel so close to you right now." If you are looking for a video of community and neighbors and fun and people taking care of each other, this is hard to beat. Fantastic. I learned of this video when I friend I was rooming with at an amazing convention woke up with the lyrics in her head from a dream. We Googled it, and this came up. We should have expected nothing less.
"Changes" Lyric Video, by Longhorne Slim & The Law.
From the Walking Dead collection. Posted 9/11/2017. Lyrics here. "I'm going to get myself in fighting trim; Scope out every angle of unfair advantage..."
"One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history." Also links to environmental justice and fighting the rise of tyranny.
From their website: "Over 10,000 volunteers in every state (including Alaska and Hawaii) who have written over half a million postcards to voters in dozens of key, close elections." Excellent example of how to amplify.
From the website: "Small groups of 8-15 people can form Resilience Circles for learning, mutual aid and social action. Circles are a great way to form community, build resilience, and have fun."
"An Unlikely Hurricane Hero Takes Over Chaotic Texas Storm Shelter." News story about a man with no background or training who spontaneously led operations at a shelter during Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Excellent example of real-life Heroic Improv. As a fire chief friend says, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." Anyone can lead.
"Synergos is a global nonprofit organization that brings people together to solve complex problems of poverty. We work on issues such as health, nutrition, agriculture, and youth employment - creating opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive. Systemic change requires collaboration. Solutions to poverty are often built in silos - and therefore fail. Governments, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, marginalized communities, and other participants in systemic change must work together - not in silos - to achieve long-term solutions to poverty around the world. Synergos creates, promotes, and sustains collaborations among business, government, civil society, and marginalized communities around the world. We foster successful collaborations by building trust, designing and implementing change processes, and enhancing the effectiveness of bridging leaders and institutions. Our advantage is an approach that builds trust among partners so they can create solutions together, rather than imposing top-down solutions."
Having "Community Conversations" is one of the core of the 15 civic engagement tools that can help Shift the Country. These conversations can be online or in-person or both, & single events or a series. They can help us with solving problems & building resilience where we are - like for the pandemic - and also things like re-imagining public safety and racial justice. 9/3/2020. This video is tied to several Shift the Country tools because it relates to several of them - and it is a key tool for doing civic engagement, if not made more challenging by the pandemic. Still, there are ways to make it work, to solve community problems, to drive community agendas, and to help people help each other through.
This is on how to deliberately create tipping points - or how to deliberately make something "go viral" either online or in the real world. Creating tipping points & leveraging social networks to do it is one of the 15 Civic Engagement Tools that help us make shift happen. It's also one of the 5 parts of our strategy to Shift the Country. Our "tipping points" tool online is here. This video is on the founder's wall on Facebook here. August 6, 2020.
We've got some heavy crisis going on in the US. Kids are facing it too. How can we help them be more resilient? And why would we want to? We can all navigate the unfolding disasters and crises the more resilient we *all* are. Helping kids get there can help them "bounce back" better. It's more flexible; less brittle. Adaptability helps us succeed in crisis, and we're going to keep having crisis for the next year or several. If we can learn to roll with adversity and move through it, we'll navigate it better. Plus, nationwide kids everywhere are having to deal with massive life changes and uncertainty as schools are reopening in unprecedented and sometimes dangerous ways. Or, kids are learning virtually. Or in a combination. And it may not stay in whatever formation it's starting in. Also, some families start out with less resilience to handle all of this uncertainty, risk, and challenge than others. Are there ways to help kids be more resilient, even in more intensely challenging situations? For more on resilience, go to https://counterfear.com/build-resilience/. Kit Ward-Crixell has created and run out-of-school-time programs for kids and teens since 2007 as a youth services librarian. Vanessa Burnett is a disaster management professional since 2000, working actively on increasing disaster, community, and economic resilience in the US since 2006. She is the founder of this nonprofit, called Shift the Country. 9/4/2020.
Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan lecture based on her book "Four Perfect Pebbles" - at Bradley University, Michel Student Center, Marty Theater, Peoria, IL.
So the US President isn't willing to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Now what? We have options for everyday actions. It's more than voting, and it's more than protesting. Check this out to find out more (also we do know how to spell - major typo in the video chyron though). 9/24/20. This video was livestreamed to our Shift the Country FB Page as well.
We can counter the individualism damaging the health and well-being of this country by looking after each other. Caring about people. Celebrating community. Having compassion. Embracing humanity. Anchoring in connection and community. Doing that can help make shift happen, too. This was originally broadcast on the Shift the Country Facebook page on August 15, 2020.
A quick look at the very practical principles at work in some of the biggest emergencies in the US that you can use for action & in every day life for getting through chaos. (Addendum: the video kind of blows through a key part about making a plan & executing it, and then iterating/evolving the plan and the execution of that plan regularly as the situation, resources, & risk change. Insert all that in the middle & it's a pretty decent quick overview.) This was broadcast originally on our Shift the Country Facebook Page on August 15, 2020.
Episode 001 of FB Live and other broadcasts to come. 8/1/2020. Executive Director Vanessa Burnett and Gary Monti from the Board of Directors kick off the series with a 60-minute overview of the work planned by the new Shift the Country nonprofit. In the spirit of adaptability, the first 3 minutes is dead air as we were working out the broadcast bumps. It's a work in progress. Broadcast covers the mission, 5 principles, 5-part strategy, 15 civic engagement tools, 10 structural change areas, and context and structure behind the work - such as countering tyranny, nationalist oligarchy, and addressing a massive pandemic catastrophe.
Originally titled "Disappeared Government Disaster Docs." Original broadcast August 29, 2020. UPDATE SEPTEMBER 27, 2020: FEMA HAS RE-POSTED THESE DOCUMENTS, OR FIXED THE LINKS. Although the documents have been replaced, this video still helps explain the "big picture" for how these pieces work together for US disaster response. ORIGINAL BROADCAST: The US is in a great disruption. We've got a pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, a derecho, and governments failing citizens at every level. What were they supposed to be doing? This looks at the national framework for all of that - and at the documents that have gone missing from the FEMA website. Plus, we'll show you where the actual operational pandemic plan is - not the one disappeared by the Trump Administration at the National Security Council level, but the one in place for executive branch and national (state/local/tribal, too) action. UPDATE: a FEMA website check on 9/27/2020 indicated the documents have now been correctly linked, albeit with later versions from those posted this spring. FIOPs are now appropriately posted here: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/national-preparedness/frameworks/federal-interagency-operational-plans, with links to the Incident Annexes including the pandemic one on the same page. NOTE: The currently active operational federal level "pandemic plan" is called the Biological Incident Annex to the Response and Recovery FIOPs. The direct PDF link is here: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_incident-annex_biological.pdf. NOTE: This is the official US government "pandemic plan" - it is different than the National Security Council pandemic plan that was reportedly thrown out by the Trump Administration. This video is part of the work to Shift the Country. It's part of understanding the risk landscape, and what government is supposed to be doing - which we can advocate for. For example, like advocating for attention and analysis on the "Biological Incident Annex to the Response and Recovery FIOPs."
Reaction to reporting that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has stopped in-person election interference intelligence briefings to Congress (see MSNBC story on this subject also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQjMkrolv8o). August 30, 2020. Also discusses certain areas for civic engagement related to this news and what it means for the US.
We talk a lot about trying not to get dead. This is on some of the tough decisions that can help with the staying alive. Awkward though. Also more emotional than expected. People are good, though. It sucks that we have to consider this kind of stuff. 24 minutes. Originally published on Facebook on August 7, 2020.
The world between now & the inauguration in the US is going to be like nothing we've ever seen. It's going to take everything we've got to get through it. This is a bit of how to do that. 9/25/20.
Is the chaos & disaster in the US getting to you? What's on your mind? What info are you looking for for getting through all of this? The founder here answers questions sent from Facebook. September 3, 2020. Discussion is mostly about how to get through February 2021.
"Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk:" Chris McGoff at TEDxRockCreekPark. This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint, because it is a rare, short look at what we need to do to solve wicked problems. Also check out Chris McGoff's website and book "The PRIMES," another posted Counterfear resource. The website has videos and a summary of each of the PRIMES.
Shift the Country is a new nonprofit founded in this moment of great disruption to help people help each other through several simultaneous crises, to hold civil society and institutions together, to get voters engaged in doing all of that, and to make transformation along the way. This video is about that mission & why we're doing it. Original broadcast on our Shift the Country Facebook Page on August 6, 2020.
Video on "The Big Pivot - Whiteboard Animation," 3:12 min. Based on book by the same name, by Andrew Winston: http://www.andrewwinston.com/books/.
This TED talk by Seth Godin is one of the classics. From the video summary: In The Tribes We Lead, "Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so." Check out Seth's Godin's blog here; it's the only blog I read daily (also posted as a resource).
We're in some stuff. This one is on the 5 main parts of the risk landscape in front of us between now and February - through the election and transition of administrations. Plus - how do we survive? August 30, 2020. The 5 main parts of the risk landscape include 1) the out of control coronavirus pandemic (and complex system interruptions and related cascading effects); 2) emerging authoritarianism in the US; 3) the influence of a growing nationalist oligarchy on destabilization in the US; 4) an information war with many fronts; 5) the election and transition of power. This also gets into the 5-part Shift the Country strategy to help us get through these next months.
We're pushing massive civic engagement in the US to help us through all the crisis and chaos in front of us. What the heck is that, anyway? This video gets into that. Here's our list of 15 civic engagement tools. It's a list for now as we're writing the tools - but if something jumps out, you can start doing it now. These are for us to make shift happen where we live. This video is also on the Shift the Country FB page. September 3, 2020.
The mission here at Shift the Country is to help people help each other through several simultaneous crises, to hold civil society and its institutions together, to get voters engaged in doing all of that, and to make transformation along the way. This video is on why civic engagement is such an enormous piece of all of that. This was originally published on August 15, 2020 on the Shift the Country Facebook page.
From the TED blurb: "Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how - if we see it in time - we can prevent it."
The initiative to Shift the Country was built in the summer of 2020 for this highly unique & unprecedented moment in time. It's a whole set of wicked problems, & some were understood to be huge risks prior to this year. Our framework is set up to help people navigate the complex landscape of multiple disasters combined with active erosion of government institutions and active obstruction of response efforts. The first 48 minutes get into how magical thinking works & why it isn't helpful now. The second half gets into complex systems, a great disruption, and catastrophe and big disaster preparation in the US based on experience inside the federal systems that were supposed to be built to help with some of the current crises. This was originally broadcast on our Shift the Country Facebook Page on August 9, 2020.