NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, helps you tell President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to resolve the ongoing clusterfrack in Iraq through peaceful means. "Peaceful means" excludes air strikes, by the way. War hawks may lament that the American people don't have the stomach to put boots on the ground in Iraq, but that recommends us, frankly, and who among those war hawks would ever have clean drawers if we deployed them to Iraq? (They certainly wouldn't have clean drawers with Halliburton doing their laundry, amirite?) So what are "peaceful means"? Oh, gosh, just what are the alternatives to bombing the stuffing out of everything? Well, just for starters, how about working with the U.N. and NGOs to get humanitarian aid to the oppressed populations of Iraq? Or negotiating with all the region's nations, not just the ones we like, for a political solution? More guns and more bombs ain't gonna do the job, though -- just so happens that ISIS is inflicting its pain on good Iraqis with, guess what, American weapons stolen (or, perhaps, "stolen") from the Iraqi government. I sure hope that wasn't part of the plan.
Meanwhile, the EPA has proposed updating rules aiming to protect farmworkers from pesticide exposure -- which sickens thousands of them annually -- and CREDO helps you tell the EPA to protect farmworkers with the most vigorous rules possible. Specifically, you'll ask the EPA to provide more access to personal protective equipment for farmers, to mandate more safety training, to restrict farmworkers from pesticide-treated fields until they're safe, and to enact a minimum age of 16 for farmworkers. That last item, believe it or not, would be a first -- farmworkers are, sad to say, the red-headed stepchildren of the American workforce, partly due to their exclusion from the National Labor Relations Act. The big agricultural corporations -- who have already cowed the EPA into rubber-stamping harmful pesticides -- oppose further restrictions, of course, but let them defend their position. Let them argue that safety training harms workers, or that respiratory masks just make workers uppity, or that kids under 16 learn character from ingesting carcinogens. Hell, let them explain how their alleged "right to farm" trumps farm workers' real right not to be poisoned by their work.
Finally, a change.org petition helps you petition Attorney General Eric Holder for clemency for one Roderick "Rudd" Walker, currently serving life in prison for conspiracy to sell LSD. You have no need to act because of your shared admiration for the Grateful Dead or jewelry-makers, for while no one disputes that LSD is yet another drug that you shouldn't abuse lest you find yourself unable to function in society, a judge sentenced Mr. Walker to life in prison without parole for conspiracy to sell LSD. Hardly a drug kingpin actively depriving other folks of their freedom, he wasn't even caught with any LSD on him, and got put behind bars almost entirely on the testimony of others who were themselves trying to ratchet down their own jail time, which all sounds like a big bowl of CYA to me. Giving this man life in prison without parole (and he's already served 12 years of that sentence) is like trying to kill an ant with a sledgehammer, and then missing the ant. Mr. Walker may be yet another victim of the mandatory minimum sentence, but as a non-violent drug offender, he may yet receive clemency from the Obama Administration. But only if we say something.