The Council for a Livable World helps you tell President Obama to provide more funding for nuclear security and nonproliferation programs. Why? Because his last three budgets have cut funding for these programs that (among other things) help collect loose nuclear materials so that terrorists and rogue states don't get it first. And unlike a lot of defense spending, these programs don't actually cost a lot -- which you already figured out, right? A new weapon or weapon delivery system costs lots more money than paying people to make sure the world is safe from loose nukes. The latter item doesn't make big defense contractor CEOs rich, but it does make the world a safer place. And, until lately, nonproliferation was a fairly bipartisan cause -- but of 26 Senators who lately signed a letter urging Mr. Obama to restore these funding cuts, only two, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, were Republicans, and maybe Mr. Graham only signed it to be ornery. But the widespread abandonment of reason in this hyperpartisan age is no reason to stop doing the right thing.
Meanwhile, I passed along an action alert a while back asking the Girl Scouts to stop partnering with Mattel, the makers of the ubiquitous Barbie doll, since Barbie dolls, as you know, seem a bit incongruous with the Girl Scouts' stated goal of "build(ing) girls of courage, confidence, and character," but unfortunately the "synergy" between them continues, as Daisies and Brownies can now get a Barbie patch (how's that for branding?), and Girl Scouts can now visit at least two GSUSA web pages and be further branded. If this seems like nitpicking, remember: courage, confidence, and character. Barbie was just in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and British researchers found in 2005 that young girls exposed to Barbie dolls had a worse body images than young girls who didn't. That's character and confidence, respectively; now how about promoting the courage to be who you really want to be, rather than letting corporate advertising set false limits? The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood helps you tell the Girl Scouts of America to disassociate themselves from Mattel and Barbie.