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NEW: The IRS "Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft" describes what tax-related identity theft is, how it happens, and what to do about it. It also links to a list of state tax agencies' websites.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

"Greenpeace ranks 17 leading consumer electronics companies based on sustainability"

New York Times op-ed on climate change provides a number of positive actions, but says by far the most effective thing an individual can do is fulfill their transportation needs in a fuel-efficient vehicle. United States drivers have a disproportionate effect on global warming, due to the number of miles driven and poor average miles per gallon of its cars, but have a wide variety of new vehicle options that do much better.

Google Transparency Report: check on safe browsing status of a website

The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment Network of investors working on public policy and education on such things as divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in more sustainable energy.

What's Green with Betsy "Simple Steps That Make a Difference" to help the environment

U.S. Department of Labor's List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor

Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for help enforcing laws that protect consumers, monitoring financial markets, understanding mortgage disclosure laws, researching consumer behavior, etc.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: "Tracking the positive and negative impacts of over 5100 companies worldwide"

Featured products and services

Be cautious about ceramic cookware, such as crockpots

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says 15% of ceramics tested have lead and/or cadmium contamination. "Emphasis should be placed on those items designed to hold liquid foods."

See also: npr.org report

Tech companies Tesla, Blue Apron, and Amazon accused of working conditions that sacrifice worker well-being for profit

Tesla was accused of racism, "excessive mandatory overtime", and constant pressure to work faster. "In 2015, Blue Apron appeared to violate a litany of OSHA regulations, ranging from wiring to chemical storage", which it claims to have quickly rectified. Amazon warehouse employees say hours are long, breaks few, and fulfillment demands high.

Basic web design, maintenance, writing and editing by Hilde Jones, founder of ResponsibleConsumer.net. Initial consultation free. Usual fee $30 per hour; special circumstances may be negotiated. Photography, artwork, sound recordings not in public domain to be supplied by client or outsourced.

Good and Cheap food: a cookbook developed to meet nutritional needs for people on food stamps, but with great ideas for all budgets. Emphasizes fruits and vegetables, innovative variations, and frugality that allows for a bit of luxury along with a lot of fun and great eating. The entire book is free online. To enlarge text, hold down the ctrl key while pressing the plus key.

Green America's National Green Pages: Special offers on green gifts

Animal-friendly products and companies: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals "Proggy" award recipients.

Games, dolls, puppets from Taraluna: Socially responsible toys, gifts for children


Paintings and prints by Marlene Bell

Special Report: Torture

Ending Torture in Municipalities

Here is encouraging new information on an anti-torture resolution by the City of Chicago. The resolution was passed by the City Council in January 2012 following a petition drive by the Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT) that vastly exceeded its original goal. "Much of the impetus to pass the resolution resulted from the accumulated outrage that many in Chicago felt regarding the Chicago police's torture of black men."

In an article by Sister Benita Coffey in the Chicago Tribune, she states that torture "degrades victims, perpetrators, and, yes, even those who stand in silence while they know it is happening." So that good people will not have to stand in silence, ICAT has produced a guide for others to get an anti-torture resolution passed in their own city.

State Secrets Privilege Invoked in Dismissal of 2010 Rendition for Torture Case

2010 Sept. 8 New York Times editorial says the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a sharply divided decision, dismissed a lawsuit alleging five men had been sent to other countries by the Bush administration to be tortured. Grounds for dismissal were "that even discussing the matter in court would violate the state secrets privilege". The Justice Department under President Obama argued in the case that the Bush policy should be continued. The minority in the decision "point[ed] out that the plaintiffs were never even given a chance to make their case in court using nonsecret evidence....All too often in the past, the judges pointed out, secrecy privileges have been used to avoid embarrassing the government, not to protect real secrets."

Guantanamo Hearings

2007 March 9 BBC article on hearings on 14 Guantanamo defendants transfered from secret CIA prisons says there are no reporters or defense lawyers at the hearings, which may consider evidence obtained by force.

China has a program of forced labor for prisoners, which the government says is aimed at reforming prisoners through "re-education". Former prisoners say the program is aimed at enforcing totalitarian control through political propaganda and allowing no time for independent thinking. Controversy exists over how many prison-produced products are sold as exports. Human rights groups mainly object to the fact that people can be held in labor camps for up to four years based on vague charges by police, without trials or access to lawyers, and there are many reports of torture. Reform efforts are hindered by lack of access by independent monitors; even the International Red Cross is not allowed to visit the facilities.

Torture in U.S. Prisons

2009 January 26 United Nations review of U.S. interrogation techniques

2006 May 5 BBC News report says Amnesty International submitted a report to the U.N. Committee that said actions of the U.S. betrayed its words regarding torture.

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