Avaaz helps you tell the Russian government to stop Chechnya's crackdown on gay men. Chechen officials have kidnapped some 100 gay men out of their homes, detained them in secret, tortured them with beatings and electric shocks, and in some cases even outed them to their families and overtly encouraged "honor killings." All pretty damn disgusting, to say the least, and yet you can't help but wonder if these Chechen officials are trying to tell us something about themselves. Meanwhile, staffers from the newspaper that exposed the crackdown have received death threats, a Chechen minister called the whole thing an "April Fool's Joke," and a spokeshack for the Chechen President said the paper's report had to be false because there are no gay folks in Russia. Said Chechen President later accused his attackers of perpetrating a "massive information attack" -- perhaps he meant "disinformation attack," or perhaps he got it right the first time. In any case, his words sure do have the sweet smell of Ms. Conway's "alternative facts," don't they?
Meanwhile, as Congress mulls whether to require warrants for cellphone searches at the border, the Trump Administration's Department of Homeland (sic) Security (sic) is mulling forcing some travelers to surrender the passwords to their social media accounts when they enter the country. Of course that's a privacy violation no one should tolerate, but DHS may want to consider whether making travelers surrender their passwords will prod the more unscrupulous among them -- you know, the ones they're trying to catch -- to simply start using different social media accounts away from DHS's prying eyes. DHS might also want to consider that collecting all these passwords sure does look like a way to hack into travelers' social media accounts and plant evidence -- a matter about which governments should be especially sensitive! -- or the possibility that other countries might demand our social media passwords upon entering their country. So Fly Don't Spy helps you tell DHS Secretary John Kelly to reject this "passwords, please" plan.
Finally, H.R. 1776/S. 771, the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act, would (as its title suggests) help good Americans get the drugs they need more affordably. Among many other things, the bill would let Medicare negotiate its own drug prices, would allow the reimportation of cheaper, safe drugs, and would impose taxes on corporations that indulge in the kind of price spikes we saw with Daraprim and EpiPen in recent years. I'm actually not particularly crazy about Sec. 405, which would prevent big pharmaceutical corporations from taking tax deductions on their advertising -- spending money on advertising is an expense, whether you approve of it or not, and I'd prefer simply banning drug advertising from television altogether, a step Democrats are certainly too timid to take. Still, the Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act is a fairly comprehensive bill that (short of something really terrific, like H.R. 676, the Medicare-for-All bill) will do a considerable amount of good. Hence CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to support more affordable drugs for Americans by supporting H.R. 1776/S. 771.