Every once in a while a person or an organization sends me an email asking me to sign a petition. I can't remember the last time I signed a petition, even for a cause I believed in (usually ending government effort X, Y, or Z). I hate to sound callous, but I'd be better off to smack my head against the wall and mail the group $1. Example:

It is difficult to face, but we are all connected to acts of torture.

You - your action, your good word - are powerful tools to stop the torture being committed in our names by our government.

Today, I'd like you to do two things in our campaign to stop torture:
* Sign our petition demanding that President Bush tell the truth about U.S. acts of torture reported since he declared the "war on terror" in 2001.
* Take a look at the video we created that illustrates how we are all connected to acts of torture.

Our campaign against torture has gained momentum. In December, the anti-torture bill passed through Congress, reaffirming the prohibition on the use of torture and inhumane treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. However, this victory did not come without new challenges. In signing the bill, President Bush issued a "signing statement" in which he asserted that he could waive the ban on torture and inhumane treatment when he deemed it necessary. The President has also signed legislation that, for the first time in U.S. history, allows evidence extracted through torture to be used in military proceedings. This is unacceptable.

Over 35,000 others have already called on President Bush to:
* tell the truth about U.S. acts of torture reported since he declared the "war on terror" in 2001.
* demand accountability for these crimes.
* ensure that torture in our names never happens again.
Join us and demand the truth.
Click here.

Yes, stop torture. See, over 35,000 others that nobody cares about have also signed the petition. Do you think Bush reads petitions? Does anybody except people who already agree with the signers? (As a bonus, watch the video? How will that change anything?)

(There are exceptional cases in which signing something could be useful. If you're a famous economist signing a group letter for a newspaper, for instance. I also recall in the not-to-distant past when Hans Hoppe was in trouble with UNLV—frankly I'd be surprised if the petition had a big impact in the school's decision makers, but I'm sure it was comforting to Hoppe himself. The extra encouragement almost certainly helped. But both of these are non-standard signing efforts.)

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Yes, I know what you are

Yes, I know what you are talking about. I used to be a big AI fan myself because they used to go around trying to get horrible dictators, like Saddam Hussein to let people out of jail who were often being tortured for peaceful political dissent. Since I thought the purpose of government was to support and help its citizens, not bully and torture them, I supported Amnesty International, as you apparently supported freedom of expression for Prof. Hoppe.

Now AI has a different mission. They found out that rich, America hating liberals really don’t care about poor, peaceful political dissenters who get jailed and tortured by dictators in foreign countries. They only get outraged and loosen their wallets if Amnesty International blames the United States for jailing and torturing some not so peaceful foreigners who are apparently planning to do something rather unpleasant to America and other infidels.

I sign petetions if I care

I sign petetions if I care enough, but I pretty much know they're not going to do any good. Some guys on campus were collecting signatures for a stay of execution for tookie williams. I don't know why they were collecting signatures in washington for a california execution, but I signed it just for the hell of it, though it obviously didn't do any good.

welp, this is the day i stop

welp, this is the day i stop reading your blog....give me a break...I used to think you were intelligent