First things first: Jeramie Kenyon of Huntsville, AL has started a petition on Change.org with which you can tell our government to help her friend Sayed (no last name given, for reasons which will become obvious), who has interpreted for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan for six years and has applied for a Special Immigrant Visa, come to the United States. Whatever we may think of the "war on terror," Sayed helped our war effort in Afghanistan for the best of reasons: he lived under the repressive Taliban regime there, and wanted to help his country change for the better. Sayed has apparently saved countless lived and survived two IED attacks himself, despite getting seriously injured each time -- but, as you might imagine, he is unable to return home, lest Taliban marauders kill his family, as they have threatened to do. And with American soldiers finally leaving after 15 years, soon he's going to be out of a job. I never said we might as well stick out these wars since we were already there, because that's hostage reasoning. But we owe it to those folks who've helped us that we should help them escape oppression.
And now, here's a novel petition from CREDO, one which helps you tell President Obama and the Justice Department to prosecute ExxonMobil for its decades-long campaign to deceive the American public about the seriousness of climate change. Turns out there's precedent for such a prosecution: our government prosecuted tobacco corporations under the RICO (or Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations) Act, and that prosecution revealed that the tobacco corporations knew all about the deleterious health effects of their products, but lied about it. Likewise, we know that ExxonMobil not only knew fossil-fuel pollution is a main cause of climate change, but actually helped scientists learn about climate change during the late '70s and early '80s. Does that make this a slam-dunk case? Not by itself, no -- Exxon's leadership has changed enough over the years that I suppose they could defeat a suit by claiming their ignorance is just that. Still, I certainly think there's enough here to start an investigation. Jim Inhofe won't like it, but he doesn't get all the say around here.