Chloe Humbert
Don't Wait for Everybody
Don’t wait for everybody before speaking up.

Don’t wait for everybody before speaking up.

Don't Wait For Everybody - Episode 001

This commentary is based on the essay: Don’t wait for everybody before speaking up. By Chloe Humbert, Aug 8 2023

Notes, Transcript, & Links:

Pluralistic ignorance From Wikipedia In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance refers to a situation in which the minority position on a given topic is wrongly perceived to be the majority position or where the majority position is wrongly perceived to be the minority position.

MSNBC (YOUTUBE) Miles Taylor’s new book warns against the dangers of a ‘next Trump’ Jul 22, 2023 I spent a lot of time talking to our nation’s democracy Scholars people like Larry Diamond at Stanford and Jonathan height at NYU people I consider sort of democracy doctors and when they parse through the data one of the really alarming things is you see that it’s not just senior Republicans who are saying one thing in private about Donald Trump and the Maga movement that it’s a disaster and a threat and then saying another thing in public that self-censorship is happening nationwide so surveys show that the majority of Americans now misrepresent their public opinions when they’re talking to other people and keep their actual opinions private now what was worrying Jonathan is the one cohort that doesn’t keep their opinions private was people on the far political extremes especially the far right so extremists are willing to tell you what they really think but the moderate majority of Americans are not and how do we overcome that self-censorship well it sounds really pedestrian it sounds like a kindergarten lesson but it’s that we just start speaking out when more people speak out it lowers the price of dissent for everyone else and really in my mind that’s the only way we can Safeguard our democracy is make sure we’re not self-censoring the truth

Commemorating Earth Day with a Little Legislative History Jonathan Coppess Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois April 22, 2022 farmdoc daily (12):55 Forged in the wake of an oil spill and by the flames of a burning river, history demarks the origins of the modern environmental on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, amid the troubles and turmoil of the Vietnam War at the end of the tumultuous 1960s.  Within the first four years of its existence, the movement achieved an unparalleled, impressive legislative and political trifecta.  The National Environmental Protection Act (1970), the Clean Air Act (1970), and the Clean Water Act (1972) were all enacted by strong, bipartisan votes across two congresses.  In addition, President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 with Congressional acquiescence.

Jane Mayer, Dark Money. The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, January 2016 “In developing regulations the EPA was directed to weigh only one concern: public health. The costs to industry were explicitly deemed irrelevant.”

American Lung Association – New Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Support Stricter Limits on Smog American Lung Association calls on Administration to reverse proposed changes to weaken the standards that protect health of all Americans. April 24, 2018 5 percent of voters support EPA enforcing its updated stricter limits on smog, with a notable 56 percent of all voters strongly supporting. Support for stricter limits on smog outweighs opposition among Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters alike. Nearly all Democrats support enforcing the stricter limits (94% support/4% oppose), independent voters support enforcing the limits by more than five-to-one (77% support/15% oppose), and more Republicans support (49%) than oppose (39%) enforcing the limits. After hearing arguments from both sides of the debate, not only do two-thirds of voters express support (66%), nearly half of voters still express strong support for enforcing these stricter standards.  Voters nationwide are broadly favorable toward the Clean Air Act (65%) and EPA (59%), as well as EPA’s efforts to enforce stricter limits on air pollution (74% support, including 48% strongly support).

Ron DeSantis Just Named PragerU an APPROVED VENDOR for Public Schools in Florida!! Jul 30, 2023  I Doubt It Podcast – Jesse Dollemore, Youtube Jesse Dollemore: “This is something we talked about a lot on this show to put in perspective the Republicans have whitewashed the history of the Civil Rights Movement absolutely. they act like everybody was on board the whole time that even during that time there was massive support and the polling does not bear that out it was very unpopular in the the thing that’s super popular and accepted now was very unpopular back then” Brittany Page: “yeah so in May to June of 1961 they did a poll where they asked if people think sit-ins at lunch counters and freedom buses or other demonstrations by Black people were will hurt or help their chances of being integrated into the South and 57 percent said it would hurt. so not supportive.” Jesse Dollemore: “a vast majority almost 60 percent said these things that are that are just lionized now universally understood as good and moving the needle were looked upon as no no no that’s the wrong way to protest. if that rings a bell it should and I hope it does because that’s the narrative we hear now with every race protest related to inequality, inequity, Black Lives Matter, police brutality it’s no no no no no don’t protest like that no oh you want to silently take a knee while the national? no no no no no that’s the wrong way to do it they never say what the right way is but it’s the same thing that was happening in the 60s no that’s the wrong way to protest. Even though those things that were the quote unquote wrong way to protest actually made a difference and got us to where we are right now.” Brittany Page: “Right and the March on Washington happened in August 1963 and Gallup did another poll in June of 1963 so before the March on Washington and they said do you think mass demonstrations by Black people are more likely to help or more likely to hurt the cause for racial equality and in June 1963 60 percent said hurt and then a year later it went up to 74 percent. it increased from 60 to 74 in one year. so people like to think back on this time and say that there was you know widespread support for Martin Luther King Jr and for these demonstrations but no there was not. No there was not.” – COINTELPRO against the Black Movement of the 1970s Government covert action against the Black Movement also continued in the 1970s. Targets ranged from community-based groups to the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika and the surviving remnants of the Black Panther Party. In Mississippi, federal and state agents attempted to discredit and disrupt the United League of Marshall County, a broad-based grassroots civil rights group struggling to stop the Klan violence. In California, a notorious paid operative for the FBI, Darthard Perry, code-named “Othello,” infiltrated and disrupted local Black groups and took personal credit for the fire that razed the Watts Writers Workshop’s multi-million dollar cultural center in Los Angeles in 1973. The Los Angeles Police Department later admitted infiltrating at least seven 1970s community groups, including the Black-led Coalition Against Police Abuse.

KRAMPNER, JON. Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food. Columbia University Press, 2013. Neither was Desmond impressed by the peanut butter industry’s argument that imposing a minimum of 90 percent in peanuts in peanut butter would stifle innovation. Questioning Skippy official Lee Avera during the hearings, she bridled when he said, “I feel we must not and cannot freeze America or industry at its present levels of expertise in food manufacture, because we have too much to gain on the plus side.”61Desmond’s retort: “May we not also gain very bad health, which would be on the minus side, from too much experimentation with improperly tested additives with respect to the lifetime effects?”62

BBC News US & Canada – Titan sub CEO dismissed safety warnings as ‘baseless cries’, emails show. By Rebecca Morelle, Alison Francis & Gareth Evans, June 23, 2023 Mr Rush responded that he was “tired of industry players who try to use a safety argument to stop innovation”. The tense exchange ended after OceanGate’s lawyers threatened legal action, Mr McCallum said. “I think you are potentially placing yourself and your clients in a dangerous dynamic,” he wrote to the OceanGate boss in March 2018. “In your race to Titanic you are mirroring that famous catch cry: ‘She is unsinkable'”. In the messages, Mr Rush, who was among five passengers who died when the Titan experienced what officials believe was a “catastrophic implosion” on Sunday, expresses frustration with the criticism of Titan’s safety measures. “We have heard the baseless cries of ‘you are going to kill someone’ way too often,” he wrote. “I take this as a serious personal insult.” Mr McCallum told the BBC that he repeatedly urged the company to seek certification for the Titan before using it for commercial tours. The vessel was never certified or classed.

Information Age – EU AI Act met with claims of stifled innovation – by Aaron Hurst, 30 June 2023 While particularly pressing concerns remain around generative AI pitfalls including bias and misinformation, proposed regulation of the technology threatens to compromise the EU’s standing in the global innovation race, and “technological sovereignty”, the letter says. Regulation as it stands, according to the letter, would create a “critical productivity gap” compared with the US, despite an expected mutual code of conduct in the works between the two global regions.

The Uncertain Hour – Nov 10, 2017 – The Peanut Butter Wars It’s 1959 and Ruth Desmond, the gurney-climbing, cook-from-scratch co-founder of the Federation of Homemakers was prowling the halls of the FDA, about to earn her “peanut butter grandma” namesake. She stumbled upon this unassuming, but ultimately history-changing memo. It was four little paragraphs, a proposal to regulate one of the most popular foods in the country. The government was trying to answer an existential question: how many additives can you put into a jar of peanut butter before it’s not peanut butter anymore? Trying to answer it kicked off a years-long battle that upended the, uh, peanut butter industrial complex. And honestly? Battles like this are how a lot of regulations get made in this country.

“When Does It Stop Being Peanut Butter?”: FDA Food Standards of Identity, Ruth Desmond, and the Shifting Politics of Consumer Activism, 1960s–1970s. By ANGIE M. BOYCE Technology and Culture Vol. 57, No. 1 (January 2016), pp. 54-79 (26 pages) Published By: The Johns Hopkins University Press After the food additive hearings, the group’s founders began to publish a quarterly newsletter, write letters to government officials, and attend and testify at a broad array of regulatory hearings in Washington, ranging from appropriations to product safety. Desmond pinned blame for the housewife’s uninformed status on food advertising, food industry public relations departments, lack of coverage about health risks in newspapers, and inadequate product labels. She complained that she and other Federation officers had to attend regulatory hearings in person, or read records of the proceedings in agency reading rooms to get access to information. The kind of information discussed in hearings was particularly important because it revealed expert debates about possible health risks, a huge area of importance and interest to consumers, but unavailable in other venues. A profile of Desmond in Prevention magazine scoffed at the government’s limited means of disseminating regulatory information to consumers.12 “The American housewife,” it argued, was “not complacent” or “unconcerned,” but “uninformed of the risks and hazards.”

American Journal of Public Health – LAW AND LEGISLATION – JAMES A. TOBEY, LL. B., DR. P. H. Pass the Parker Bill – 1928 ( Pass the Parker Bill-A vigorous resolution urging Congress to pass the Parker Bill for federal health coordination over the veto of the President was adopted by the Association at its 57th Annual Meeting in Chicago in October, 1928. The second session of the Seventieth Congress convenes December 3, 1928, and will adjourn March 3, 1929. The time for action is short, but there is time enough for this desirable procedure. The principles of the Parker Bill have been indorsed by the American Public Health Association every year since 1925, and Congress finally adopted the measure, somewhat amended, in May, 1928. Apparently due to the influence of General H. M. Lord, Director of the Budget, President Coolidge vetoed the bill on May 18, giving as reasons the fact that one section was considered unconstitutional and that the bill tended to ” militarize ” the U. S. Public Health Service. The palpable fallacies of these arguments have already been discussed in this department. Though the Parker Bill by the amendments lost a certain effectiveness, it is still a very important measure, especially in its provisions for allowing the detail of U. S. Public Health Service personnel to other government bureaus; in granting a commissioned status to sanitary engineers and other scientific personnel of the service; in providing for a Nurse Corps; and in setting up a national advisory health council. Sanitarians are still interested in this excellent measure and keenly desirous that it be passed now. If it is not, the bill must be reintroduced and passed all over again in the next Congress. It would be helpful if sanitarians would communicate with their United States Senators and Representatives regarding this important matter. Do it now.

American Journal of Public Health and THE NATION’S HEALTH – The Influenza Epidemic of 1928-1929 with Comparative Data for 1918-1919 * – Selwyn D. Collins – February 1930 It will be seen that since January 1, 1920, there have occurred six more or less definite epidemics. The epidemic of 1928-1929 was the most important since that of 1920. The peaks of these six epidemics occur all the way from the early part of January to the early part of May, and the peak of the pandemic of 1918-1919 occurred much earlier in the fall than was the case in 1928-1929.

Salon – Biden’s “new normal” on COVID is neither normal nor new By MARTHA LINCOLN – LORENZO SERVITJE – June 26, 2022 As only readers in their eighties or nineties will remember, Americans used to die easily and frequently from bacterial and viral infections such as pneumonia, influenza, and tuberculosis. In the late 1930s and early 1940s — just shy of the “Antibiotic Era” — these high rates of mortality from infectious disease diminished drastically, mostly due to decades’ worth of public health interventions, including improvements in sanitation and hygiene. These achievements were bolstered by the ability to treat bacterial infections with an expanding arsenal of antimicrobial drugs. In just seven years — from 1943 to 1949 —  Americans saw the age-adjusted death rate from influenza and pneumonia get cut in half, dropping from 101.7 deaths per 100,000 to 45.1 per 100,000.

Return to normalcy – From Wikipedia “Return to normalcy” was a campaign slogan used by Warren G. Harding during the 1920 United States presidential election. Harding would go on to win the election with 60.4% of the popular vote. 1920 election. In a speech delivered on May 14, 1920, Harding proclaimed that America needed “not nostrums, but normalcy”.[1] Two months later, during a homecoming speech, Harding reaffirmed his endorsement of “normal times and a return to normalcy.”[2] World War I and the Spanish flu had upended life, and Harding said that it altered the perspective of humanity. He argued that the solution was to seek normalcy by restoring life to how it was before the war.[3] Harding’s conception of normalcy for the 1920s included deregulation, civic engagement, and isolationism.[3] He rejected the idealism of Woodrow Wilson and the activism of Roosevelt, favoring the earlier isolationist policy of the United States.[4]

Statista: Number of smallpox cases recorded in the United States from 1900 to 1952 The number of smallpox cases in the United States fluctuated between 1900 and 1930, with as many as 110,000 reported cases in 1920, however the number of cases fell sharply in the 1930s, and there were no cases at all in the United States from 1950 onwards.

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee for the Study of the Future of Public Health. The Future of Public Health. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1988. 3, A History of the Public Health System. Available from: From the 1930s through the 1970s, local, state, and federal responsibilities in health continued to increase. The federal role in health also became more prominent. A strong federal government and a strong government role in ensuring social welfare were publicly supported social values of this era. From Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s through Johnson’s Great Society of the 1960s, a federal role in services affecting the health and welfare of individual citizens became well established. The federal government and state and local health agencies took on greater roles in providing and planning health services, in health promotion and health education, and in financing health services. The agencies also continued and increased activities in environmental sanitation, epidemiology, and health statistics. Federal programs in disease control, research, and epidemiology expanded throughout the mid-twentieth century. In 1930, the National Hygienic Laboratory relocated to the Washington, D.C., area and was renamed the National Institute of Health (NIH). In 1937, the Institute greatly expanded its research functions to include the study and investigation of all diseases and related conditions and the National Cancer Institute was established as the first of the research institutes focused on particular diseases or health problems. By the 1970s NIH grew to include an Institute for Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, an Institute for Child Health and Human Development, an Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, and an Institute of Mental Health, among others. In 1938, Congress passed a second venereal disease control act, which provided federal funds to states for investigation and control of venereal diseases. In 1939, the Federal Security Agency, housing the Public Health Service and national programs in education and welfare, was established. The Public Health Service also continued to expand. During World War II, the Center for Disease Control was established, and shortly thereafter, the National Center for Health Statistics. (Hanlon and Pickett, 1984) Federal programs supporting individual health services and state programs also continued to grow, both in number of health problems and types of citizens addressed. The Social Security Act was passed in 1935. One title of the act established a federal grant-in-aid program to the states for establishing and maintaining public health services and for training public health personnel.

NPR Can’t Help Falling In Love With A Vaccine: How Polio Campaign Beat Vaccine Hesitancy. May 3, 2021 By Susan Brink An army of volunteers for the March of Dimes, largely mothers, went door to door, distributing the latest information about polio and the effort to stop it; they also asked for donations. As little as a dime would help, they said. And the dimes and dollars poured in, Oshinsky says, handed to the volunteers, or inserted into cardboard displays at store checkout counters or placed in envelopes sent directly to the White House. Cases of polio may have peaked in the U.S. in 1952 with nearly 60,000 children infected. More than 3,000 died. (By comparison, roughly a year’s worth of comparable statistics for the COVID-19 pandemic reveal more than 32 million reported cases in the U.S. so far and more than 573,000 deaths.) The years-long campaign of information and donations to the polio eradication effort made anxious Americans feel they were invested in a solution, Stewart says.

Slate – The Loneliest Anti-Vaxxer. Even the popular polio shot had its haters. By Nick Keppler, Nov 26, 2021 Under the banner of his organization, Polio Prevention Inc., Miller distributed hair-raising mailers with claims like “Thousands of little white coffins will be used to bury victims of Salk’s heinous and fraudulent vaccine.” A self-made shampoo magnate, he was one of the few malcontents who publicly campaigned against the polio vaccine. His crusade shows that even during a public embrace of the polio shot that many people frustrated at COVID anti-vaxxers have held up as the ideal reaction to a new lifesaving vaccine, there was dissent, some of it as vitriolic as that you find in the corners of Twitter that swap anti-Fauci memes and Bill Gates rants—and just as weird. To Miller, “polio” was not an infectious disease. It was a state of malnutrition caused by midcentury American diets, particularly soft drinks—his mortal enemy. “Disease and malfunction do not ‘strike’ us; we build them within ourselves,” he wrote in one of his two-sided handbills.

NPR – Planet Money –  Are Doctors Overpaid? March 12, 2019 by Greg Rosalsky Most of the funding for residencies comes from the Medicare program, and Congress capped the number of residencies the program funds in 1997. “It was originally frozen as a response to lobbying from doctors who were complaining that there were too many doctors,” Baker says.

The New Yorker – How Medicare Was Made. By Julian E. Zelizer, February 15, 2015 When Medicare was first proposed, in the late nineteen-fifties, national health insurance had been a losing cause for decades. In the thirties, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had chosen not to add health care to his Social Security proposal because he believed that it would be too controversial, and would damage the prospects of other programs. Whereas most Western democracies had adopted some form of national health-care program, the United States relied on a private system that revolved, as the sociologist Paul Starr has recounted, around a sacred understanding of the doctor-patient relationship. When liberals talked about giving the government a bigger role in health care, stakeholders in the existing system always fought back, protecting their authority and autonomy by warning that Washington would sever the ties between doctors and their patients.

Erica Shenoy can “read my lips” — I don’t want to risk my health & family to see her face unmasked in person. By Chloe Humbert, on Medium, Apr 24 2023 This is a doctor who wants to make infection control decisions for people at a hospital based on, as best as I can figure out, wanting to gaze at herself in the mirror at the hospital unhindered by a mask. If Shenoy is seriously so concerned about some portion of patients who need to lip-read, or who she thinks want to see her lips, she can certainly afford a nice PAPR unit. There are also masks with a window. You don’t have to unmask and spread viruses to patients. So that line of argument is pure nonsense.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star – Pa. health care providers tell lawmakers the state’s rural hospitals are in crisis ‘Many pregnant persons in rural areas need to drive almost 40 minutes to reach a hospital that can assist them during birth,’ said Lisa Davis, director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health and Outreach. By: Cassie Miller – August 4, 2023 A study conducted by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) found that rural hospitals have struggled to fill 39% of vacant registered nurse positions. By comparison, HAP found the average vacancy rates for direct care RNs to be more than 30% statewide. Kate Slatt, vice president of Innovative Payment and Care Delivery for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said that HAP supports efforts to strengthen the education and training pipeline for those pursuing health care careers and the creation of an office within Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration to focus on “health care workforce innovation and reform,” it does not support legislative attempts to limit the staff-to-patient ratios at Pennsylvania hospitals. In late June, the House passed HB 106, also known as the “Patient Safety Act.” The bill, co-sponsored by state Reps. Thomas Mehaffie, R-Dauphin, and Kathleen Tomlinson, R-Bucks, would outline the number of patients per-nurse required in different hospital settings. Supporters of the legislation, including nurses who weathered unmanageable caseloads during the COVID-19 pandemic and the unions representing them, said the legislation protects patients and improves health care outcomes.

People’s CDC – CDC’s HICPAC needs public oversight. HICPAC’s proposed guidance will put patients and healthcare workers at even more risk. AUG 1, 2023 Meanwhile, many CDC/HICPAC committee members represent powerful hospitals around the nation. The American Hospital Association recently declared that U.S. hospitals face a “crushing” financial crisis. In a move convenient to their business interests, the CDC/HICPAC committee policies plan to create extensive flexibility for health care employers to choose prevention measures — like ventilation, patient isolation, and respiratory protection and other PPE — based on considerations about cost, staffing levels, and healthcare worker vaccination status. Throughout the COVID pandemic, healthcare workers and other frontline workers have faced disproportionate rates of death and Long COVID due to workplace exposures. The proposed changes include weaker guidance for healthcare infection control than what the CDC currently recommends.

Workplace Violence and Covid-19 in Health Care How the Hospital Industry Created an Occupational Syndemic, November 2021. National Nurses United When the Covid-19 pandemic began, despite consistent advocacy by NNU nurses9 and multiple emerging infectious disease events in recent decades, including Ebola, H1N1, MERS, and SARS, health care employers in the United States failed to prepare. Instead of protecting nurse and patient health and safety, the health care industry has seized upon the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to accelerate its restructuring aims. From locking up and rationing lifesaving personal protective equip- ment (PPE), to canceling nurse shifts while Covid units were dangerously short staffed, pushing adoption of remote monitoring and other automation technology, neglecting workplace violence prevention, to blaming nurses for workplace violence and Covid-19 infections, health care employers in the United States have consistently prioritized profits and costs over patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has had drastic impacts on the health and safety of nurses, other health care workers, and their patients.

New York State Nurses Association – Research Shows Safe Staffing Saves Lives Hospitals that staff 1:8 nurse-to-patient ratios experience five additional deaths per 1,000 patients than a 1:4 nurse-to-patient ratio (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002). The odds of patient death increases by 7% for each additional patient the nurse must take on at one time (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002).

MedPage Today – Patients Are Dying in Emergency Department Waiting Rooms — We call on HHS and CMS to help address the issue of ED boarding. by Alexander T. Janke, MD, MHS, Jennifer Tsai, MD, Med, and Kristen Panthagani, MD, PhD February 19, 2023 But perhaps the most significant roadblock to solving ED boarding is that hospitals are financially disincentivized from fixing it. A recent commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine identified “misaligned healthcare economics” as one of the primary drivers of boarding. It is better business for hospitals to keep their medical floors near capacity, prioritize beds for surgical patients who bring in more money, and not leave a buffer of open rooms available for predictable surges of ED patients (every Monday afternoon). If more than 90% of beds are full upstairs on Sunday, hospital revenues may be optimized, but dangerous ED gridlock becomes inevitable. Despite decades of academic work demonstrating the dangers, the only standard set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on ED boarding is a recommended 4-hour maximum boarding time (we’re way past that on a good day), with no mandatory reporting requirements.

US News – ‘Patient Dumping’ Still a Problem Despite Law. Financial motivations play a strong role in hospitals providing appropriate care, new research suggests. By Gaby Galvin, April 1, 2019 The findings indicate that more than three decades after the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act took effect, lower-income patients still face unequal treatment in emergency care settings. The law requires hospitals to screen anyone who comes into their emergency department and stabilize anyone with an emergency medical condition, regardless of citizenship status, insurance status or ability to pay. The law was enacted in 1986 amid concern that hospitals were “patient dumping,” or discharging people before they’d been stabilized and denying care to poor patients with medical emergencies.

Public comments at the CDC HICPAC Meeting on June 8th 2023, Health Watch USA Lara Jirmanus MD MPH: “I’m also concerned by undue influence from large hospitals some of whose administrators sit on these committees. With hospitals in an unprecedented budget crisis and losing money canceling procedures due to covid-19 infections being detected in patients, along with the fact that liability waivers are no longer in effect. So patients who are infected with covid-19 may now more easily seek legal recourse if and when they are infected with covid-19 during medical care means that hospitals may be advocating against covid-19 infection control measures because it benefits them financially. This is a potential conflict of interest should be investigated and I would argue that employees of large hospitals should not sit on this committee.”

Sen. John McCain’s thumbs-down recalled as a ‘watershed moment’ in U.S. health care. By Stephanie Innes – The Republic | August 30, 2018 McCain’s thumbs-down gesture on the Senate floor in July 2017 — the deciding “no” vote that blocked the repeal of portions of the Affordable Care Act — was a pivotal moment for the U.S. and helped save Arizona’s Medicaid program, said Andy Slavitt, a former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama. While the “skinny repeal” amendment he voted against was a scaled-back version of prior attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, McCain’s vote was viewed by many as having a much larger effect — derailing ongoing Republican efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act and creating a major political setback for President Donald J. Trump.

JSTOR Daily – The Radical Right-Wing Housewives of 1950s California. The mobilization of housewives in 1950s California echoes through US national politics in the twenty-first century. By: Livia Gershon, April 4, 2022 Between COVID-19 mandates and arguments about critical race theory, conservative activists are making education central to their political arguments, activating a particular group of women voters. This isn’t the first wave of such activists. As historian Michelle Nickerson writes, women were a central, if often little-noticed, part of the highly influential southern California conservative movement of the 1950s and ‘60s. Some of these activists had high profiles, like Marion Miller. After marrying her husband she discovered that he was involved in counterespionage work. The couple moved to Los Angeles, and Miller eventually joined him as a volunteer spy for the FBI. She became the secretary at the Los Angeles Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, which had ties to the Communist Party. She later published her story in Reader’s Digest, and then as a memoir. But many of the women Nickerson profiles operated in a quieter way. Most of the groups she looks at weren’t explicitly for women only, but they met during the day and focused on areas like children, education, and spirituality that were understood as women’s business. They organized letter-writing campaigns, promoted right-wing literature, and threw their support behind conservative candidates. Before the 1952 election, they organized babysitter groups to make sure women had time to vote. And, by the 1960s, they helped open more than 35 conservative bookstores in the Los Angeles area.

Inside Moms for Liberty’s summit: Big money and even bigger conspiracy theories. Manufacturing terror to mobilize parents and take over your kids’ school. Written by Olivia Little. Research contributions from Madeline Peltz. Published 07/07/23 Adams presented audience members with a how-to guide on destabilizing school districts within the first 100 days of taking office, including a worksheet that he encouraged participants to fill out listing a timeline of tangible steps meant to overwhelm the opposition (the image includes my notes for his suggested actions based on the presentation). The reverse side of the handout encouraged attendees to familiarize themselves with and counter common talking points from adversaries. In order to pass controversial policies without backlash, Adams suggests that school boards bombard the district with an array of demands and changes so that the opposition can’t keep up. “These [school] boards, these majorities, they need to be meeting on multiple fronts, multiple issues,” he said. “They need to keep moving, and the idea is that the other side, the powers that be, they cannot keep up with all of it. Right? Oftentimes there will be one small thing, one thing at a time. And they can rally people around that. They can’t counter everything.”  Some of the first steps include putting school administrators “on notice that they need to cooperate with all of this” and advertising “the values” the new board is implementing when posting job ads for new teachers. The second month is defined by policies: “Start introducing policies on CRT [critical race theory], eliminating DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] offices, reviewing contracts and initiatives, eliminate student surveys.” He also suggested putting a “moratorium on new technology.”

The Guardian – Patriot Mobile, a ‘Christian conservative wireless provider’, is targeting school board elections to push its far-right agenda. by Erum Salam, Mon 5 Sep 2022 By acting as the financial backbone for the campaigns of far-right candidates for school boards, the phone company is seeking to promote its conservative agenda on issues like abortion, books and gender identity. It happens as across the US, school boards and local elections have witnessed intense fights as far-right candidates and groups have sought to win positions. “Patriot Mobile Action is engaging on the front lines of this culture war. We are independently researching candidates and advocating on behalf of those who will stand for American values and stand against leftist indoctrination, racist Critical Race Theory and the sexualization of children that is rampant in public schools,” their website says. Some key beliefs of the organization are American exceptionalism, “Critical Race Theory and Marxist policies have no place in schools or government,” and that “the United States constitution was founded on Judeo-Christian principles”.

NPR – New poll shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose anti-transgender laws Apr 16, 2021. By Matt Loffman The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, says more than 30 state legislatures have proposed more than 115 bills that would limit transgender rights, from participation on sports teams to access to medical care. But two-thirds of Americans are against laws that would limit transgender rights, a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found. That opposition includes majorities of every political ideology from liberal to conservative and every age group.

Daily Beast – J6ers and Proud Boys Among Anti-LGBT Crowd Outside Glendale School Board Meeting. J6ers and Proud Boys turned up to protest outside a school board meeting in Glendale. It’s the latest in a campaign against the district’s pro-LGBT policies. By Decca Muldowney, Jun. 21, 2023 An array of far-right figures turned out to protest at a school board meeting in Glendale, California, which ended in a brawl and an arrest. Jan. 6 rioter Tony Moon attended the protest, as did fellow Capitol insurrectionist Siaka Massaquoi, and Proud-Boy affiliated Adam Keifer. The fringe far-right figures joined a group of demonstrators angry about LGBTQ+ content in Glendale’s school curriculum. Nothing LGBT-related was on the school board’s agenda on Tuesday, but a large crowd gathered with t-shirts reading “Leave Our Kids Alone.” A pro-LGBT rally planned outside the meeting was canceled at the last minute due to the organizers receiving threats. Nonetheless, a group of supporters from Queer Nation LA attended to support pro-LGBT parents inside the school board meeting.

Propublica – He Became Convinced the School Board Was Pushing “Transgender Bullshit.” He Ended Up Arrested — and Emboldened. by Nicole Carr May 20, 2023 An image of a shooting target — with two bullet holes to the head and five scattered around the chest — serves as a warning to visitors who climb the brick steps and pass the American flag to reach Eric Jensen’s front door. “If you can read this you’re in range,” the sign says. Another warning, posted near the doorbell, states: “No Solicitation. … This property charges $50 per minute to listen to any vaccine/medical advice.” He ordered that one in 2021, after mobile units offering COVID-19 vaccines began riding through his community outside Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For years, Jensen had been looking for a way to voice his many grievances, related not just to masks and vaccines but to “transgender bullshit” and library books “trying to convert kids to gay” and other perceived dangers he says his five younger children face in the public school system. (The 65-year-old retiree has four other children who are adults.) Then he found a place where he could finally be heard.

BBC – The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world. By David Robson, 13th May 2019 Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

The Guardian – It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance. By Erica Chenoweth, Wed 1 Feb 2017 This does not mean nonviolent resistance always works. Of course it does not, and short-term setbacks are common too. But long-term change never comes with submission, resignation, or despair about the inevitability and intractability of the status quo. And among the different types of dissent available (armed insurrection or combining armed and unarmed action), nonviolent resistance has historically been the most effective. Compared with armed struggle, whose romanticized allure obscures its staggering costs, nonviolent resistance has actually been the quickest, least costly, and safest way to struggle. Moreover, civil resistance is recognized as a fundamental human right under international law. Nonviolent resistance does not happen overnight or automatically. It requires an informed and prepared public, keen to the strategy and dynamics of its political power. Although nonviolent campaigns often begin with a committed and experienced core, successful ones enlarge the diversity of participants, maintain nonviolent discipline and expand the types of nonviolent actions they use.

Marcus Egnatius Rufus – Wikipedia Marcus Egnatius Rufus (d. 19 BCE in Rome) was a Roman senator and politician at the time of Augustus. In 22 BCE he served as an aedile and became very popular with the residents of Rome by setting up a private fire brigade. In contrast to earlier enterprises of this kind, which, like the fire brigade of Marcus Licinius Crassus, only worked for payment, Egnatius made the 600 slaves he financed available free of charge to fight fires. Because of the numerous fires in the city he gained great popularity and was elected praetor as early as 21 BCE without observing the usual waiting period.[1][2] In 19 BCE he stood for election as consul, but the consul Gaius Sentius Saturninus prevented this, probably at the instigation of Augustus. Egnatius was accused of conspiring against Augustus. Seneca includes him in the multiple conspiracy and assassination attempts against Augustus.[3] The Senate passed the senatus consultum ultimum, an emergency measure suspending usual procedures, for the last time we know of and Egnatius was imprisoned and executed with some of his followers.[1][4] Karl-Wilhelm Weeber claims that Augustus saw Egnatius as a political competitor who could have become dangerous to the princeps because of his popularity with the people.[5] After Egnatius’ death, Augustus set up his own fire brigade, which also consisted of 600 slaves, and later, in 7 or 6 BCE the fire brigade was enlarged, now consisting of 3,500 freedmen, the vigiles, who were divided into seven cohorts of 500 men each and made subordinate to a praefectus vigilum.[6] In about 200 CE their number was doubled to 7000 men.

Popular Mechanics: Why Heron’s Aeolipile Is One of History’s Greatest Forgotten Machines By Addison Nugent, Nov 29, 2020 Some debate has been put forth as to whether or not Heron was truly the first to invent the aeolipile. One Heron’s idols Ctesibius (285 B.C. – 222 B.C.) wrote several treatises on the science of compressed air and its use in pumps. Later, Vitruvius (c. 80 B.C. – 15 B.C.) described a device, also called the aeolipile, that consisted of a metal ball partially filled with water placed above a fire to produce steam forced out of an aperture at the top. But Vitruvius doesn’t describe any moving parts, a key distinction from Heron’s vision.

John Michael Godier’s Event Horizon: Hidden History of the Ancient World with Dr. Garrett Ryan (youtube video / audio podcast) Auto-Transcript: Garrett Ryan: in the Roman World there is no industry catalyzing this development you know there are innovators like Heron of Alexandria who have obviously the skills to make machines you know the aeolipile heron steam engine is not very efficient in itself but it’s the principles are all there um for a practical steam engine he could have done it if he wanted to but he didn’t want to because there was no need for it there was no demand for it you know there are applications certainly um for things like it you know the the English famously the first steam engines are pumping out mines you know in places like the Midlands and Wales um and the Romans had their own deep mines in Spain they could have pumped out with steam engines um but they never made that particular leap because there wasn’t this culture of innovation there wasn’t this uh drive to incentivize um anything like it and so I think it was never likely that the Romans were going to make the leap to a Industrial Revolution just because um the people running Society the whole bent of the culture was towards stasis basically towards keeping things in the status quo keeping things stable and not in funding these madcap ventures and when there was no obvious goal for those Ventures John Michael Godier: that’s interesting because we might actually have an example that backs that up if you look at the fall the end or the actually the dissipation of the Western Roman Empire it continues on in some form in that you’ve got these these Visigoths and these all these groups still putting a picture of an emperor on their coinage for at least 100 years into the Dark Ages and then lo and behold you know Charlemagne comes along and you which was 800 A.D and he looks like a Roman Empire Emperor on his coins so you it seems like there’s this yearning to get back to that status quo where else do you see that in in that period Garrett Ryan: well I mean really that the whole political culture of the Middle Ages is made in the shadow of Rome and it’s hearkening back to Rome so that’s the great Exemplar you know that’s the Empire that worked the the incredible stability of the Empire until the very end stuck people’s minds

Elite Panic. Big shots have different goals than the rest of us. Politicians should be representatives, businesses shouldn’t lead, even billionaires can’t seem to buy common sense, and tech won’t save us. By Chloe Humbert, JUL 13, 2023 The people in high places and big positions will never panic over the right things –  they do elite panic. Left to their own devices, people in charge panic over the wrong things & try to fix things other than the actual crisis because they’re often more concerned with their own position within the status quo, and are more concerned about the upheaval of the status quo, than the damage that upheaval is causing.

The David Feldman Show – Donald Trump To Be Arrested AGAIN Thursday/ News August 2, 2023 Nobody likes the Republicans. What they have is rabid, rabid, voters. It doesn’t take a lot of people, it just takes committed people to fight back. So keep that in mind. Don’t waste your time talking to MAGA people. That is a waste of energy. Don’t get into flame wars with people online and argue with them and think you’re going to win, you’re not going to win. So don’t waste your time doing that.


Don’t wait for everybody before speaking up. We need to urge the people who already agree with us to speak up and then we might find that we’re actually in the majority after all. Pluralistic ignorance refers to the phenomenon where people holding very popular views mistakenly believe their viewpoint is weird. when in reality most people already agree with them, they just don’t know it. And this is a big problem in America right now, where surveys show a majority of people misrepresent their views in public or keep their true opinions private. You can’t just assume that most people believe something. Historically, change has come driven by a small portion of people dedicated to action who are the first to speak up and push things along. And then later, after the fact, there’s more broad support. The environmental movement mobilized about 10% of Americans who participated in various local demonstrations around the country for the first Earth Day in 1970. Even in the midst of the turmoil of war protests, this movement pressured on environmental issues and so Nixon, yes Nixon, passed a quote unparalleled impressive legislative and political trifecta unquote later in 1970. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and it was directed to focus on public health effects when developing the regulations. The EPA was specifically instructed to not consider at all the cost to industry in their regulatory decisions. In 2018, 48 years later, a nationwide poll showed 74% support the EPA, the Clean Air Act, and stricter limits on air pollution. The civil rights movement was sadly quite unpopular at the time, and yet it’s long been considered fringe to be openly against the Civil Rights Act. Conservatives often make it sound like everybody was on board the whole time, and there was lots of support for Martin Luther King Jr. broadly, when that was just not the case at the time. Even government agencies during that time were trying to disrupt the civil rights movement, infiltrating even social organizations and causing disruption in community groups. I think most would agree peanut butter should be made out of peanuts. but at one point in the past manufacturers started making peanut butter with many additives and fillers and the industry even argued that making it mostly out of actual peanuts would supposedly stifle innovation in peanut butter if that sounds ridiculously familiar Stopping innovation is the same claim Stockton Rush used against safety protocols for his dubious and now imploded submarine where he died on that hill or more specifically in a watery depth next to another spectacular arrogance related maritime disaster and the automated generated linguistics industry popularly referred to as AI has also used claims of stifled innovation to argue against privacy and safety regulations in the EU Ruth Desmond, an ordinary quote housewife and concerned citizen, rightly was more concerned with wholesome nutrition and safety so she organized some people and became known as the peanut butter grandma for her valiant push for a regulation for peanut butter to be made out of peanuts. Her group went on to publish a quarterly newsletter to organize letter campaigns to government officials on more issues because Ruth Desmond knew that it wasn’t that people were complacent or unconcerned it was that they weren’t getting the information they needed to make a fuss and she meant to change that and she did. When more people are informed, more people speak up. In 1928, James A. Tobey wrote in the American Journal of Public Health and urged people to write their representatives and senators to support a public health science bill that was being countered with reactionary mischaracterizations and Tobey said quote It would be helpful if sanitarians would communicate with their United States senators and representatives regarding this important matter. Do it now, unquote. This was taking place after the 1918 influenza pandemic, but there were more surges of flu throughout the 1920s, as well as the spread of other preventable infectious diseases like tuberculosis. Interested people moved things forward and pressured for the prioritization of health and safety. and so public health advanced to a point where flu epidemics and a lot of infections became a thing of the past by 1950 including smallpox Warren G. Harding ran for president in 1920 with quote return to normalcy unquote as his slogan but there were as many as 110,000 reported cases of smallpox in the United States that year then cases fell in the 1930s and disappeared by 1950 During that time, research, epidemiology, and disease control measures expanded greatly because, quote, from Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s through Johnson’s Great Society of the 1960s, a federal role in services affected the health and welfare of individual citizens became well-established, unquote. This was because the sanitarians and others communicated with their representatives. The polio campaign in the US was successful because of a concerted effort to do a door-to-door campaign that started before the vaccine was even available. The idea that vaccination was just a default and that everybody easily got on board back then is a nostalgic fantasy. It took work by some people to make that happen. The propaganda resisting public health was as toxic and bonkers as what spreads perhaps just more prolifically today on social media. Back then some even blamed paralysis from polio on Americans who made inferior dietary choices. Sound familiar? Some people made sure we countered that and had a proper vaccine drive. There was indeed resistance to the polio elimination campaign and it was overcome. Medicare is popular today, yes, even among conservatives who look forward to getting it when they turn 65, and many would be in deep trouble without it. But Medicare, the health care funding which seniors now reply upon, and which funds most doctor training residency slots, had its detractors. The arguments about something interfering with the doctor-patient relationship were made against Medicare, and were later made against the ACA too. and the same arguments are made against a national single payer policy as well. Strangely, that same argument, grave warnings about something coming between patients and doctors, is being used by anti-mask hospital executives to argue against providing PPE in healthcare settings to prevent hospital-acquired infectious disease. The healthcare industry simply won’t find solutions to any of these problems, whether it be understaffing, healthcare-acquired infections, healthcare worker safety, ethical staff-to-patient ratios, ED boarding, or patient dumping. When executive salaries and the corporate bottom line depend on them not finding solutions, What comes between doctors and patients is not government nor masks. It’s the corporations and their financial interests. People know this, and when nurses’ unions and patient advocate groups stand up for what’s right, we all win. Medicare and Medicaid exist, and the attempts to repeal ACA’s protection of people with pre-existing conditions were derailed. The adversaries of public health have never held back when in the minority. Conservative housewives in the 1950s predated the right-wing moms groups of today. And a right-wing phone company has pushed their own candidates onto a couple of school boards in Texas. But most of these right-wing agitators do not have a majority behind them. They just don’t let that stop them from pushing and shouting and showing up. They organize whoever is willing to write dozens of letters to your democratic representatives and show up at other people’s school board meetings. In some awful cases they incite people to violence or threatening actions, which may be their undoing since non-violent campaigns appear to not only be twice as effective than violence but that it just takes 3.5% of the population actively participating in a nonviolent campaign to bring about major changes. It doesn’t always work but it can start with just a small dedicated few and of course it won’t happen if nobody tries. If something is desirable it seems it will come to pass just with enough pressure but not until then. Ancient Rome had some pretty impressive infrastructure, but at the time of Marcus Ignatius Rufus in 19 BCE, there were no fire departments. The only security forces of any type were the private guards of the rich. Ordinary Romans wanted these services because fires were quite common. But when Ignatius Rufus organized a fire brigade in his city, the Emperor Augustus was against it. And when Ignatius Rufus ran for council, Augustus disapproved. Some scholars say because he knew the fire department policy was so popular it could make Ignatius Rufus politically unbeatable. So Augustus blocked his candidacy which led to people protesting. Ignatius Rufus was labeled a conspirator and executed. Later Augustus set up the same type of fire brigade that Ignatius Rufus had made anyway. Maybe we can’t know for sure what people were thinking back then, but of course we don’t ask in retrospect, why did people want fire departments? We know why people wanted firefighters to come when something is burning down. It’s common sense now. Now it is common sense. Yet, for some reason, the simple social good hadn’t been implemented before this, and the elites of the time somehow were even deliberately delaying it. This isn’t the only example of the Roman Empire seemingly standing directly in the way of infrastructure progress. The Romans ignored developing the steam engine too. Even though the technology was there as far back as 285 BC possibly, but at least as far back as Heron in 62 AD. Romans in charge who had wealth that could have been invested in steam engine development just weren’t interested in that kind of thing. They were invested in maintaining the status quo. So much for innovation. Sensing a pattern? The consistent thing throughout the years is that elites don’t seem to worry enough about real danger. Elites typically panic about the wrong things because they prioritize stability of the status quo. Everything is impossible or unpopular until a few people say, hey, wait a minute, we should do this, and then press for it until others get on board. We can have a better world without convincing the whole world first. Don’t listen to doomsayers who say it can’t happen or won’t or that nobody cares. And don’t waste your time arguing and drawing attention to contrarians and flame wars. It just doesn’t go anywhere. It just takes a few. We don’t need to wait for most people to agree with us. We just need those who do to speak out and push forward. Most of us want the same things we want than most of us realize. but we can’t set it and forget it because the people who cycle into power always start prioritizing the status quo and the interests of other elites so ordinary people have to keep pushing. Voila. That’s how it is, so we keep going. Write your reps. Do it now.

Chloe Humbert
Don't Wait for Everybody
A podcast encouraging political speech.