The Union of Concerned Scientists helps you tell the Surgeon General of the United States to commission a report on the health effects of sugar consumption. Your folks told you sugar was bad for you, generally because it rotted your teeth, and of course they were right, but they didn't know the half of it -- scientists have since found that the liver breaks down sugar into fats, but the liver stores some of those fats (which affects long-term liver function) and pushes other fats out into the bloodstream, which hikes up your blood pressure and makes your body's tissues more resistant to insulin. Then a vicious cycle ensues, with diabetes, breathing problems, high blood pressure, and heart disease becoming ever more endemic. Sugar is, unfortunately, big business in this country -- remember when the corn lobby put out those pro-high-fructose corn syrup TV ads in early 2009? -- but getting the Surgeon General on board would be a good thing. Remember when President Reagan's Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, came out in favor of condom use in the late 1980s? That won a lot of hearts and minds, and we can do that again in our battle against the bad health effects of sugar.
Another day, another man serving a life-without-parole sentence for a non-violent drug offense -- in the case of Dana Jackson of Louisiana, selling a hundred bucks' worth of heroin to an undercover cop 15 years ago. Mr. Jackson has been a model prisoner, even helping good folks out during Hurricane Isaac, and the Louisiana Pardon Board recommended commuting Mr. Jackson's sentence five years ago. Moreover, the state actually reduced sentences for selling heroin a few years after Mr. Jackson's original sentencing, and then made those sentences retroactive a few years after that. (Louisiana does seem to be ahead of the curve in some matters.) But all these changes in the law didn't apply to people serving life sentences, which means that only Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal can set Mr. Jackson free now. Mr. Jindal will have served two terms at the end of 2015, so he's had more than enough time to consider the matter. I'd hate to think Mr. Jindal would wait until term's end to issue a pardon just in advance of a possible Presidential campaign; the time for justice is always now, so change.org helps you urge Gov. Jindal to free Dana Jackson.