Our President has deployed unnamed and unmarked federal officers to certain American cities in order to "contain" "violence" that has been over for weeks and at least partly the work of obvious agents provocateurs -- and the officers sent to "contain" the violence have, of course, restarted the violence. Oh, and they abduct people off the streets and detain them without charge. Pretty un-American, eh? But we are not powerless in these times, though our President would like us to feel that way, hence today we get on the phone with our Reps and Senators and tell them we support three amendments to various appropriations bills. One would make anyone carrying out a "law enforcement action" funded by the Department of Defense to identify themselves and their agency. Another would zero out Commerce/State/Justice funding for any more "responses" to "looting" or "rioting" without a written request from the state or locality, plus it'd also force identification of any officers sent for that purpose. And a third would zero out DHS funding for the above-described "responses." So use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or the bottom, if you're on a cellphone), and good hunting.
In a completely related note, Stop the Patriot Act helps you tell your Congressfolk to repeal the notorious USA PATRIOT Act that has dramatically expanded surveillance on American citizens. Yeah, our President's deployment of federal officers who act like they're in a dictatorship and not America does remind us that concentrated spying power is noxious anywhere, especially in our government. As it happens, today marks the four-month anniversary of the expiration of the bill's surveillance powers -- after our President threatened to veto it, no less, possibly because of his belief that our government used it to spy on him and/or his compadres -- and our NSA has maintained for years that it doesn't actually need all the spying powers the PATRIOT Act gives it. Which would make sense, since the more information you have, the more you have to sift through. You'd still like to see our government indulge in less adventurism abroad, but let's prevent our government from indulging in adventurism at home.
Finally, if you've used services like Ancestry and 23 and Me to discover more about your family heritage -- and, hey, I've been tempted myself! -- you may not know that these services can buy, sell, and trade the DNA info you give them without your knowing or your consent. Hence Consumer Reports helps you tell our government to enact the most vigorous DNA privacy standards possible. These would include: requiring corporations to get explicit permission from customers before sharing any DNA info with other corporations; securing DNA data from unauthorized access (i.e., hackers); prohibiting the use of DNA data for insurance underwriting purposes; and preventing corporations from charging customers for any of these things, since that, you know, prevents some folks from guarding their personal info, and everyone should be able to do that. Personal to those who would say well just don't use the service then: why must a useful service come with unacceptable risks? Because the "free market" says so? It ain't a "free" market unless we're all free.