I have several action alerts relating to the violence in Ferguson, MO, where a police offier shot Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, on August 9, and where local police have overreacted to protestors with rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades. Amnesty International helps you tell Ferguson's Police Chief to investigate police abuses and make his officers adhere to international human rights standards. Also, both the ACLU and the Friends Committee on National Legislation help you tell Congress to keep military weapons out of the hands of local police officers. I'm not one of those folks who hates cops -- I believe, simply, that a civilized society has a duty to ensure that its law enforcement officers act in a civilized manner, and I suspect most cops would rather get to know the communities they're sworn to protect than hide behind military weapons. And personal to those who think of Michael Brown as a crook because of that convenience-store videotape: does anyone deserve to be shot to death while unarmed?
Meanwhile, the Senate will vote early next month on S.J.Res. 19, the Constitutional amendment allowing our state and federal governments to make campaign finance laws, including contribution limits, and Common Cause helps you tell your Senators to vote in the amendment's favor. I've argued against the bogus "concerns" amendment opponents have offered -- It'll silence pastors! It'll ban books! It'll allow one side to prevent the other from running ads! -- but I should also have noted that these "concerns" never materialized under the McCain-Feingold regime that Citizens United and McCutcheon have largely eviscerated. S.J.Res. 19, as reported to the Senate, has changed for the better, as Section 2 now explicitly permits governments to "distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections." So let our elites defend corporate "personhood. Let them call big money drowning out citizens' voices "freedom."