Word on the street is that the Minerals Council of Australia has actually been mulling whether to outlaw campaigns aimed at persuading folks from divesting in coal corporations! And that could happen here, you know: Stanford's student union has persuaded the University to divest from coal corporations, and Our Glorious Elites can't have that, now, can they? So the moment where Our Glorious Elites start telling us that divestment equals terrorism (or, at least, "dangerous and unlawful civil disobedience") seems, finally, to be here. But you have to wonder how alleged free marketeers can support putting people in jail for trying to get banks and other corporations to divest from fossil fuel producers. These campaigns might fail, or they might succeed, but isn't that "the genius of civilization," as Paul O'Neill might say? Or is freedom only for the people with the most money and to hell the rest of us? The Sierra Club helps you tell Australian Prime Minister Abbott (and other Cabinet minsters) to reject this effort to restrict the right of protest. No reasonable person advocates blowing up coal power plants -- but no reasonable person should equate a divestment campaign with "terrorism," either.
Meanwhile, apparently over 10,000 kids under five last year got sick eating those little pods of laundry detergent you get at laundromat dispensers. (If you're thinking, for some reason, that 10,000 isn't a very big number, here's some statistical perspective: we also suffered approximately 10,000 gun-related homicides in 2011.) The pods look almost exactly like candy -- whose brilliant idea was that? -- and they're sold largely in see-through packages so that kids can see the pods look almost exactly like candy. But they'll do worse to a kid than any candy can do -- outcomes include lethargy, vomiting, internal chemical burns, and loss of breathing to the point where kids need to be put on a respirator. Is that the price kids should pay for mistaking something poisonous for a piece of candy? Need I add that the folks most likely to use laundry pods are poorer folk who can't afford a house with its own washer and dryer? Hence Consumers Union helps you tell detergent-manufacturing corporations to stop making laundry detergent pods look appetizing, put a bittering agent in them so kids spit them out, and to package them more securely. None of that is too much to ask, except of someone with an accountant's mind. But no society would be so foolish as to let accountants run everything, right?
Finally, CREDO helps you tell Congress to pass H.R. 4608 and repeal the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (or AUMF). Let the record show that Congress passed the original AUMF on September 14, 2001, or a mere three days after 9.11 and well before we knew very much of what had happened on that day; the bill authorizes "the President...to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." "(H)e determines" -- well, that was a big weapon to hand the Executive, wasn't it? And Presidents have used the AUMF to do all manner of evil, including Guantánamo Bay military tribunals (which the U.S. Supreme Court stopped in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld) and the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program, both unforgivable offenses against our nation, our citizenry, and our heritage. And here we are, thirteen years later, with our government still threatening our freedoms in the name of the "war on terror" even though Mr. bin Laden is dead and we've pulled most of our troops out of Iraq and will do so soon in Afghanistan. But fear must not rule us, or fear will tear us apart. Indeed, it already has torn many of our countryfolk apart.