The Sierra Club helps you tell the government of Ecuador to conduct a full and fair investigation into the death of Shuar indigenous leader/environmental activist José Tendetza days before a U.N. Climate Conference. Mine workers found Mr. Tendetza's body in the Zamora River in early December; they found his body tied up, meaning their government could not declare his death an accident or a suicide without facing some ridicule. Ecuador's Minister of the Interior nonetheless declared that Mr. Tendetza had been "strangled" to death, despite evidence of worse torture, and some eight days afterward, police raided Mr. Tendetza's home in an apparent attempt to prove he had stockpiled arms there. Why the hurry to prove that case, one wonders? No doubt some of you are asking, why bother telling a government that obviously allowed or even caused an activist's death to fairly investigate that death? It's certainly a reasonable question. And the answer is: because that's what we expect of a civilized nation, any civilized nation, and we do not grade civilizations on a curve.
If you missed previous action alerts telling the Saudi Arabian embassy to do what it can to stop the imprisonment and public torture of Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, then Amnesty International still helps you do that. Sadly, the Saudi government continues to imprison Mr. Badawi for 10 years and 1,000 lashes, to be delivered in sets of 50 on Fridays, in public. We'll, that'll learn people who start blogs to discuss religious and political issues in Saudi Arabia! Officially, of course, Mr. Badawi's government convicted him of "insulting Islam," and setting aside whether discussing politics and religion itself constitutes an "insult" to "Islam," or whether any civilized nation should ever criminalize "insults" to various religions, or whether Mr. Badawi's punishment violates international proscriptions against torture: what is the matter with people that they can't even handle insults anymore? No amount of money or power, it seems, can help folks overcome the ugly sin of pride. And Mammon is surely pride's servant.
Finally, the new Congress may be Republican-controlled, but the vast majority of Americans still want their federal government to hike the minimum wage, so Moms Rising helps you tell Congress, again, to raise the minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour now, as you know, and no matter how many right-wing pundits talk about when the minimum wage was only $2/hour and it never hurt them, the fact remains that the federal minimum wage would have to be over $10/hour now just to have the same buying power it had in 1969. A little thing called inflation happened between then and now, you see. And no a minimum wage hike will not result in a death spiral of unemployment, or else we'd be seeing that in Seatac, Washington, where the minimum wage is now $15/hour -- instead of what we're actually seeing, which is the opposite. When people who have to spend money have more money to spend, it creates more demand for services and products, which creates more jobs. Our leaders seem so ignorant of that, it's like their livelihood depends on it.