Word on the street is, with our government only funded through December 9, big pharmaceutical corporations want to get an additional six months of monopoly power over drugs before other corporations can sell them as generics. Naturally, it'll be another hostage situation -- give me a right to more unearned money, or the government gets it! But I'm sure some folks wonder why we make big pharmaceutical corporations relinquish control over their drugs at all, since it's "their property." Of course our legal system has long recognized that property can be regulated for the common good, and it has also long mandated that no one -- not authors, not musicians, not scientists, and certainly not corporations -- should have exclusive rights to their intellectual property forever; we recognize these things because we recognize that too much control of private property by too few actors causes harm to all of us. Thus we can easily establish that too much big pharma control over the drugs it makes (usually with help from our government, and therefore with our help, I feel compelled to point out) causes harm to our society, in the form of higher drug prices impregnable to correction by the free market. Plus, you know, you don't need a book or an album to live, but you might need a drug to live. Hence Social Security Works helps you tell Congress to prevent big pharmaceutical corporations from extending their power over us.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell American and European regulators to stop the proposed Bayer/Monsanto merger, then Sum of Us still helps you do that. Why both? Because Monsanto is an American corporation and Bayer is a German corporation, and thus both our Justice Department and the European Union can essentially veto the proposed merger. Of course you already know that mergers are a bad idea, because they kill jobs, reduce competition, and jack up prices, but you may not know that a Bayer/Monsanto merger would give the resulting behemoth control over 70 percent of the world's cotton seed, as well as a quarter of the total seed market and almost a quarter of the crop-chemical market. Does that sound like a good deal for farmers -- to be forced to deal with so few seed-providers (many of whom will likely mandate, as Monsanto already does, that farmers not save seeds for replanting the following year)? No, it does not. And it also means, not incidentally, that all of Monsanto's genetically-modified seed -- seed modified not to give us healthier food, but to better withstand Monsanto's pesticides -- would continue under a new name that's not nearly as hated as Monsanto's name. So let's not let Monsanto get away with disappearing their nefarious works under a more respected corporate banner.
Finally, Columbus, OH police shot Tyre King, 13, back in mid-September; police apparently wanted to question the boy about an armed robbery involving some $10, but then, according to police testimony. he pulled out a BB gun with a laser sight that looked an awful lot like a real weapon, and thus an officer shot him to death. Yet a week later, an independent medical examiner hired by Mr. King's family said that he was "more likely than not" running away from officers at the time of his shooting. So which is it? If it's the former, we wouldn't even be talking about this, but running from a police officer is not and has never been a death-penalty offense. Sadly, local prosecutor Ron O'Brien has been unwilling to look very deeply into police shootings of local young black men, and this phenomenon, unfortunately, occurs all over America wherever prosecutors have to investigate the police officers who are vital witnesses in other cases. But if we say we must leave police officers completely alone to do their work because we're afraid they won't be able to do their work if we don't, we're being cowards -- civilized people that ensuring that police officers do the right thing by the people they're sworn to serve is hard work, but work that must be done. Hence Moms Rising helps you tell Prosecutor O'Brien to call for an independent investigation of Mr. King's death.