H.R. 1599, the so-called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, passed out of the House late last week by a 270-150 margin -- short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, but should we count on a veto from President Obama, whose USDA has been an even greater friend to GMOs than Mr. Bush's was? H.R. 1599 would prevent states from labeling GMOs in food, would make FDA efforts to label GMO food more difficult, and would even allow corporations to slap the word "natural" on products with GMOs in them, and no I'm not going all semiotic on the meaning of the word "natural." Now the bill goes to the Senate, which may be anxious to pass it, to "help small farmers" or some rubbish. If small farmers rely on GMO seeds, that's because the big corporations make them, and any Senator who really cares about small farmers would do something about that state of affairs. In the meantime, both USPIRG and Food and Water Watch help you tell your Senators to reject efforts to curtail GMO labeling.
Meanwhile, S. 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (or CISA), would help corporations share huge slabs of customer data with our government. Warrant, no warrant, who cares? Warrants are so 18th century already! Of course, if our government really wanted to stop cyberattacks, it would make corporations embrace encryption, stronger passwords, and multifactor authentication, and the notion that "corporations will embrace these reforms in time" won't comfort you if a hacker steals your credit card number before then. But our government cries wolf about jihad and ISIS and demands new powers, when vacuuming up all that data won't help protect us from terrorists -- and CISA would also allow the FBI and NSA to use the data for purposes other than counterterrorism and grant immunity against lawsuits to the corporations that hand over the data. So the Bill of Rights Defense Committee helps you tell your Senators to preserve privacy, reject government spying, and vote against CISA.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Justice Department to investigate the widespread practice of trying children as adults and putting them into adult prisons, then CREDO still helps you do that. It is tempting, I suppose, to throw up your hands and say the kids just get crazier every year, until you realize that folks have always been saying that for, like, forever, and until you remember that we are, all of us, defenders of civilization, and we have a solemn duty to pass that civilization on to our descendants. I would hate to think our descendants will think it's just normal to put kids on trial as adults at a time in their lives when they're simply unable to think like adults, or put them in adult jails where they'll be abused by bigger, stronger prisoners -- all of which will make their rehabilitation a lot more difficult. Of course, future generations might also think it's normal to leave kids in front of some computer screen all day while the parents go work one of their three jobs. But preventing that is also our job as defenders of civilization.