As you know, President Obama commuted the sentences of 22 folks in jail for non-violent drug offenses a week ago, and now Drug Policy Alliance helps you ask Mr. Obama to release more. 22 down, several hundred thousand to go could be the headline, and while I expect Mr. Obama to utilize his power to pardon good folks or reduce their sentences sparingly, I don't expect him to use it that sparingly. And being "tough on crime," especially tough on drug users, hasn't exactly curbed drug use in America -- which you'd expect if you thought about it, since drugs tend to be addictive, and addictions tend to overrule your exercise of your free will -- and plenty of folks are in jail for crimes that now get considerably shorter sentences; some of them have been in long enough that they would have already served a sentence had they received it several years later. If we want to curb drug abuse in America, and we do, we should concentrate on helping people deal master their addictions rather than just throwing them in jail. Just throwing them in jail doesn't help anyone but the private prison industry.
Meanwhile, large organic chicken and egg producers have been giving a synthetic hormone called methionine to their chickens while still calling their products "organic." They've convinced our government that their chickens need the supplement in order to stay healthy -- but their chickens would get enough of it if they were actually raised outside in pastures, and eating a more natural diet of grass, worms, and insects. So why aren't they outside? Probably because the larger producers realized they couldn't get bigger, and deliver profits upward to executives more efficiently, unless they caged up their chickens indoors and shot them with synthetic methionine. But why preserve the "right" of corporations to get as big as they want -- versus preserving organic standards and consumer safety? The National Organic Standards Board will review the five-year exemption for synthetic methionine at the end of this month, and the Organic Consumers Association helps you tell the NOSB to let the synthetic methionine exemption lapse. Deadline for comments, unfortunately, is today.
Finally, CREDO helps you tell the Department of Labor to investigate working conditions in fast-food corporations. A recent Hart Research Associates study tells us that nearly 80% of fast food workers have suffered burns on the job, with a majority of them suffering multiple burns, and a third of these workers said their managers told them to soothe their injuries with some sort of condiment -- you know, like mustard, ketchup, or mayonnaise. You may be tempted to say that working around a grill puts you at risk of getting burned, but if that many people get burned, then employers obviously aren't doing enough about it. Probably having a first-aid kit around (which, surprise, a lot of fast-food joints don't even have on hand) would help matters; probably ending slavish devotion to the Culture of Efficiency, which makes everyone rush around like headless chickens, would help matters, too. McDonald's, for its part, makes the noises you'd expect, plus the ZOMG AN ACTIVIST GROUP IZ BEHIND TEH COMPLAINTZ!!!!, which assertion, as you know from being able to employ fundamental logic, does not by itself disprove the complaints.