Did you know that the United States has not signed a treaty banning cluster bombs -- and, furthermore, encourages other nations not to sign it as well? Hard to believe, Harry! If you saw the January 2012 National Geographic, then you saw plenty of photos of land mine victims from Cambodia, and you also read about how Cambodia has done a halfway decent job getting rid of them. Heartbreaking and uplifting all at once! Now, a cluster bomb is even worse than a land mine -- soldiers drop them from the sky and they eject other weapons, including land mines. And, like land mines, these damn things destroy more civilians than soldiers, oftentimes many years after the war is over. Our move to a depersonalized weapons system might save soldiers' lives, but I doubt we'll have fewer wars, and we certainly won't have fewer maimed innocents. Roots Action helps you tell Secretary of State Clinton to get with the arms reduction already.
Meanwhile, did you know you can murder a gay person in Queensland, Australia and get off the murder charge by claiming "gay panic"? That's right, you can by law claim that the fellow or lady hit on you and that this sent you into a "gay panic" and though you'll almost certainly be convicted of a lesser crime, you can get off on the murder charge. I'll bet getting off isn't a certainty -- a lot of folks who kill gays are damn incompetent at proving it wasn't just in their mind, or that anything actually happened -- but it's still galling that you can use such an unscientific defense in Queensland. (Yes, I said "unscientific" in the hopes that some troll will pastebomb some Edward J. Kempf paper in the comments. Bring it on, pimps!) Now Queensland has changed governments lately, but the new administration apparently won't push for a change in the law. So change.org helps you tell Queensland to quit with the homophobia already.
Finally, today's the day for the Senate's DISCLOSE Act vote. And the NRA has been giving the rest of us gun-rights folks a bad name by threatening Senators that they'll remember how they vote on the DISCLOSE Act. They seem very, very concerned with "unconstitutional disclosures," disclosures they were patently not concerned with in 2010, when they supported a DISCLOSE Act that exempted them. Anyway, I should also mention that I discussed the wrong DISCLOSE Act on Thursday -- S. 2219 is an earlier iteration, introduced by Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) in March, and the version he introduced in July (S. 3369) doesn't include the "Stand by Your Ad" section, for whatever reason. Shame; I liked that. Still, you can certainly call your Senators today and tell them you would like them to vote for S. 3369, or use Demand Progress's email tool. You might also tell them you don't brook any "free speech" talk. This isn't about speech. It's about money.