Taylor Radig went undercover at a cattle company, where she filmed workers throwing and kicking calves around, and dragging them by their legs, their tails, even their ears. Police arrested three Quanah Cattle Company workers as a result -- and then arrested her, because she didn't notify police immediately. (It's not like she was undercover or anything. It's not like you need more than one incident to establish a pattern or anything.) Lest you think Ms. Radig violated some ag-gag law that requires folks who film animal abuse to turn their film over immediately or face draconian consequences, know that Colorado ain't one of those states. Actually, legislators have tried to pass ag-gag laws in six states this year, and went 0-for-6 -- and Tennessee's Republican Governor vetoed an ag-gag bill after massive public pressure. So why is Colorado prosecuting Ms. Radig? Maybe because of pressure from big agricultural corporations? Abby Spiwak provides a petition via change.org, which helps you tell Weld County D.A. Ken Buck to drop charges against Ms. Radig.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to stop rampant media consolidation, Free Press still helps you do that. Mr. Wheeler is a former telecom lobbyist, so I have little confidence in his commitment to keeping local media in local hands, but duty remains duty -- the FCC would otherwise be split on the matter. The last few FCCs have tried to loosen media consolidation rules, but the courts have stopped their efforts; still, one sympathetic judge is all you need to set a bad precedent. And the big telecoms have gotten a little cleverer, I suppose -- they're not buying all those TV stations (over 200 changed hands last year, the most in a decade) themselves, but setting up shell corporations to buy them. I must admit I find it hard to believe that the FCC just didn't notice that. I find it much easier to believe they know the loopholes are there and don't care, since more than a few of them will follow the last FCC Chair, Julius Genachowski, into the big telecoms themselves. Still, the whole thing is embarrassing, and I wouldn't underestimate any politician's malleability while he's being embarrassed.
Finally, our government still hasn't decided whether to approve the notorious Keystone XL pipeline, so CREDO helps you tell President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, one more once, to reject the pipeline. Why? Because the corporation building the pipeline, TransCanada, has a terrible pipe safety record -- pipe safety being fairly important when you're talking about a pipeline running over heartland water tables. Because the State Department corrupted its own environmental impact evaluation process by outsourcing the report to a corporation that had done business with TransCanada in the past -- a report which concluded that since large-scale tar sands extraction is inevitable, building the pipeline wouldn't make any impact on the environment! See, most of us had assumed that the pipeline would make such extraction inevitable. Did I miss anything? Oh, right -- because scientists tell us that dredging up tar sands will pound us with greenhouse gases, making climate change a lot worse. But, sure, go ahead and believe the big corporations when they tell you rejecting it would kill jobs -- like there's just no other way on Earth to create jobs.