Another day, another emergency: some fool in the House of Representatives has attached, to a must-pass House financial services appropriations bill, language that would prevent the FCC from using any budgeted funds to enforce the net neutrality rules it proposed earlier this year. Because millions of people from across the political spectrum speaking with one voice against corporate control of the internet means, apparently, nothing to Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) (whose phone number is 202.225.2501, by the way), and because any must-pass appropriations bill can and must be taken hostage on behalf of anyone's corporate paymasters! But remember: the fight for justice isn't over until you draw your last breath, because any time you can get your government to do something good for America, you still have to keep fighting the corrupt corporate lackeys who want to take it from you. And take it they will, unless we speak out. So Free Press helps you tell your House Reps to reject any attempt to hold our government's funding hostage to corporate extremists who want to destroy net neutrality.
In other urgent matters, earlier this month the Saudi Arabian Supreme Court upheld the sentence of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi of 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, putatively for "insulting Islam" and for violating Saudi Arabian information technology laws, but actually for bringing together good Saudi citizens online to speak freely about political and religious matters. Yes, this still happens in the world, and don't think a lot of your fellow Americans wouldn't like it to happen here, too -- though, of course, they wouldn't like it to happen to them. I tell the Saudi Arabian authorities the same thing I tell right-wingers in this country afraid of being told "happy holidays!" when they're out shopping: if your faith is strong, you don't need government intervention to prevent it from being insulted. Mr. Badawi, meanwhile, isn't in very good health, but the Saudis could start lashing him again as early as tomorrow. Hence Amnesty International helps you tell the Saudi Arabian government to free Mr. Badawi immediately and stop oppressing political prisoners.
Meanwhile, the USDA is, no doubt because they're being compelled, beginning to overhaul their system for regulating genetically-modified crops, and Friends of the Earth helps you tell the USDA to enact vigorous reforms that protect the environment and protect good Americans from harm. We know where it gets us when we don't keep a vigorous watch over GMOs: we get GMOs invading organic farms (and then GMO manufacturing corporations suing said forms for "intellectual property theft" I kid you not), and we get carcinogenic pesticides sprayed on crops like they were water. I do not, incidentally, accept arguments that "we've always messed with crop genetics," for two reasons: one, we've never messed with crop genetics in a way such that we can't anticipate the outcome, and two, we've never messed with crop genetics for the sole purpose of making crops more resistant to proprietary pesticides. And the pro-GMO "science" comes mostly from the corporations making the GMOs (since they tend to throw lawyers at researchers who purchase seed and experiment on their own). Think maybe they might be a little biased?
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Obama Administration to keep corporations like Shell from drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean, then the Sierra Club still helps you do that. We know drilling in the Arctic is a bad idea because cleaning up the inevitable spill is even harder than it is in more temperate areas of the world, and also because we don't know enough about the wildlife in the region to know what awful effects drilling will have. We do know enough about the endangered bowhead whale, however, to know that the noise of drilling, ice-breaking, and seismic testing is deafening, as in literally deafening. You might well be saying, well, that's a shame, but we need to get ourselves free of Middle Eastern oil, but setting aside the many other ways we could be getting off foreign oil, you may not be considering that whales won't just use sign language if they're deaf -- they're going to lose their ability to communicate with other whales, which is life-or-death to the bowhead whale. Which makes Arctic drilling cruel as well as foolish.