First things first: 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, visiting a relative in a Florida gated community, walked to the store for Skittles and iced tea -- and was shot and killed by a "neighborhood watch leader" afraid he looked black, I mean suspicious. No, the shooter, George Zimmerman, explicitly said that he shot Mr. Martin, this after the police (to whom he reported Mr. Martin's presence) explicitly told him not to confront Mr. Martin. And nobody has arrested Mr. Zimmerman! Too many damn Americans act like they're World Sheriff and only they can set things right, and the rest of us have every right to wonder if that's because they can't set a damn thing in their own lives right. Mr. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, has begun a petition on change.org, so you can call for the police to investigate the death.
Meanwhile, did you know that Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) employees still do not enjoy even the most basic whistleblower protections? That's right -- if you're an employee of either of these two agencies and you expose corruption therein, they can fire you. Apparently, a loophole within the Whistleblowers Protection Act regards PHS and NOAA as uniformed personnel, not civilians, who would be protected under the law. You might say it seems silly to get all befuddled over a uniform -- or you might say the person who decided this was a loophole worth driving a Mack truck through should rightly have trouble sleeping. The National Whistleblowers Center helps you demand protection for PHS and NOAA employees.
Finally, you may have heard of the U.S. soldier who allegedly murdered 16 civilians in Afghanistan earlier this week, which no sentient being would cheer (though plenty of right-wingers did). A propos of this event, H.R. 780 -- which would, no, not provide a "timetable for withdrawal," but would fund only the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan -- is still out there. So Just Foreign Policy still helps you ask your House Rep to co-sponsor H.R. 780. Clear majorities have supported withdrawal from Afghanistan for years now, and in a welcome development, the "liberal" media has stopped calling this position an "extreme left" position. After all, what is the possibility that a majority of Americans are "extreme left"?