First things first. About four weeks ago, a group of eight (seven men and one boy, aged 13) broke into a widow's house in Indonesia, accused her of adultery, and gang-raped her. But they weren't done: they also beat up the man she supposedly had an affair with, soaked them both in sewage, and then marched them over to the local cops -- who promptly protected the woman and her friend and admonished their attackers for being incomprehensible savages and usurping the function of designated law enforcement officers, right? Ah, no: they charged the woman with adultery, the punishment for which is caning, approximately nine strokes' worth, according to the province's Shari'a law. Apparently male vigilante gangs operate with impunity (or tacit encouragement) in some areas of Indonesia, going after women who wear "tight clothing" or ride motorcycles the "wrong" way. It sure sounds to me like we would all be a lot better off if these men spent a few minutes each day with their right hand, but instead they allow their rage to rule in place of a civilized society. But, this is the age of miracle and wonder, and we can embarrass and shame a society that enables such things to happen. Hence Amnesty International helps you tell Indonesian authorities to stop the caning.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers now get five paid sick days annually (in businesses with five or more employees); other municipalities have scrambled to offer some form of paid sick leave for their workers, while big corporate special interest groups have persuaded state legislatures to ban municipalities from doing that, because SOSHULIZM!!!!! But out of all the nations in the developed world, only one doesn't guarantee paid sick leave to workers. Guess who that is? That's right, we're number one! But President Obama, as usual, has the power to at least get the ball rolling; hence Democracy for America and Social Security Works join to help you tell Mr. Obama to issue an executive order mandating that all corporations who contract with our government offer paid sick leave. Mr. Obama did lately issue an executive order mandating that new federal contractors pay at least a $10.10/hour wage to their workers, and while that's no small thing, why do I suspect Mr. Obama will shrink from this task, thinking he can't rock the boat too much before midterms? His opponents never worry about sinking the boat, let alone rocking it, before an election. He ought to just do the right thing, and we ought to tell him to do it.
Finally, did you know Chobani, who makes perhaps the most popular Greek yogurt in America, uses milk from cows that eat GMO grain? How damn disappointing. While Chobani isn't USDA-certified organic, they still plaster their packaging with the word "natural," and if GMO grain finds its way into a product, in however small an amount, then it's not "natural" unless we're using a definition of "natural" so broad as to be useless. And now Chobani has secured a loan of three-quarters of a billion dollars to expand its output -- which means more GMO grain will find its way into the stomachs of the cows who provide Chobani's milk, and thus into your stomach. Chobani has said it just can't produce enough yogurt without the GMO grain in its cows' food, but genetic modification doesn't actually increase yields to any significant degree; all it does is make certain aspects of production cheaper on a large scale, which mainly serves the purpose of delivering more profits into the CEO's wallet. Still, there is-so such a thing as bad PR -- and what law of physics would prevent Chobani from using its leverage to incorporate non-GMO milk, or even organic milk, into its product? Hence Sum of Us helps you tell Chobani to stop using Frankenfoods in its products.