Congress has come back to work; please feel free to boo, and when you're done, you may want to tell them how you feel about Mr. Obama's wish to attack Syria, using action tools from the Center for Constitutional Rights, Avaaz, and the People's Email Network. Now I was just looking around on the internet, as I do occasionally, and I saw that Secretary Kerry announced the release of videos from the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria. Then I clicked through to the Senate Intelligence Committee website hosting the videos, and saw this note: "Each of these 13 videos explicitly claim to show victims of a chemical or poison gas attack." So the videos "claim" to show victims of a chemical attack, and don't even assert, apparently, that you'll be able to blame the Syrian government for this attack -- wow, how Bush-league. (I also don't know why they said "explicitly," but maybe I'm just piling on.)
Meanwhile, Eritrea has been an independent nation for 20 years now, but it has a long way to go on its journey to self-sufficiency and freedom -- it has, apparently, built a vast underground network of torture centers and has "disappeared" over 10,000 good citizens, including journalists and members of religious organizations. Eritrea does, as a point of law, imprison those who don't practice one of the nation's four "registered" religions -- which exclude non-Sunni Muslim denominations and, since 2002, most Christian denominations as well -- while Reporters Without Borders has ranked Eritrea dead last among world nations in media freedom, right behind North Korea. But most people don't know much about Eritrea, and surely Eritrea wouldn't want the first thing everyone learns about it to be that it treats its dissenters so horribly, right? So Amnesty International helps you tell the Eritrean President to end the torture and detention in Eritrea.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the USDA not to outsource its chicken inspection functions to the very poultry processing corporations who are making the chicken, then Food and Watch Watch helps you do that. In other news, federal prisons plan to turn over all the cell keys to the prisoners, and banking regulators are going to let banks ensure their derivatives don't crash the economy. OK, that second one's real, but no less absurd than the others. Seriously, who lets food-processing corporations police themselves? The most corporation-friendly Department of Agriculture we've ever had, of course. No, Mr. Obama's USDA is worse than Mr. Bush's -- why, even Tha Bush Mobb couldn't stomach continuing a similar self-inspection program for chicken makers, and for good reason: no inspectors will find the pus and feces and blood and bile on birds if they have to look at three birds per second.