The 8 Most Important White House Petitions that Aren’t About Justin Bieber

Over 200,000 people have signed a petition to deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card — further showing how much of a joke the White House petitions page has become. However, there are some serious petitions on the page that are worth consideration. Here is a list of the 8 most important White House petitions that have nothing to do with Justin Bieber.

 

Whether you consider him a whistle-blower or a traitor, Edward Snowden has been a major thorn in the side of the government. The leaked details regarding NSA data collection and surveillance programs have been a major embarrassment to the national intelligence community and the United States government.

Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

The petition, created in June 2013, well exceeded the goal of 100,000 signatures — currently at over 150,000 — and has yet to receive a response from the White House.

 

Right now, there is a growing movement across the United States to legalize Cannabis. More states are considering legalization or decriminalization, but as long as marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law, it will remain illegal in all 50 states. It is important to remember that state law never trumps federal law and no legal precedent has been set that says drug policy is a state issue,

Cannabis should be legalized for retail sale and consumption on a federal level for all above the age of 21, and it should be taxed.

The petition was created on January 19 and has over 11,000 signatures to date. An argument can be made that the time is almost right for Congress to act on this issue and reform drug policy in the United States.

 

On June 30, 2009, Army Sergeant Bowe Robert Bergdahl was captured by a militant group allied with the Taliban called the Haqqani network while serving in the mountainous southern region of Afghanistan.

Take action to secure the release, or rescue, or Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, using all means available, including force.

As the United States looks to end the war in Afghanistan, there are many people who want to see greater efforts made to secure the freedom of Bergdahl. This petition currently has over 7,000 signatures. The petition to deport Justin Bieber has approximately 30x this number.

 

This may be a story very few people outside California know about, but is the subject of 2 major petitions on the White House page. In Glendale, California, a statue called “Comfort Women,” located in a public park just outside the city’s public library, is being decried as offensive by some and an honest look at history that needs to be preserved by others. It is a controversy that expands far beyond the borders of the United States.

comfort-women

Many historians agree that during World War II the Japanese Imperial Army conscripted comfort women — sex slaves — of Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Filipina, Indonesian, and Dutch nationalities during military conquests in the East Asia/Oceanic region. While the total number of women under Japanese captivity is unknown, historical accounts suggest that this number could be anywhere between 70,000 to as high as 200,000.

Japanese politicians have requested that the statue, which depicts a Korean woman sitting next to an empty chair, be removed from the public park. Petitioners took to the White House petitions page, calling the monument offensive to Japan and its people. The petition soon reached over 100,000 signatures.

In response, a second petition was posted on the site, demanding that the statue be protected because of its historical significance. This petition also quickly garnered over 100,000 signatures. Combined, the two petitions have over 230,000 signatures and the numbers continue to rise.

While the federal government has no authority over what is placed on public land that does not belong to it, the issue could impact the relationship between the United States and Japan to some degree. Some Japanese politicians believe there are lies about Japan’s history that are being protected by the U.S. government.

 

 

Net neutrality is not a high priority for the Obama administration, but it is a growing concern for advocates of a free and open Internet. Verizon recently won a lawsuit against the FCC, which weakened net neutrality rules and opened the door for Internet service providers to charge online companies like Amazon and Netflix more for the fastest services.

We urge the President to direct the FCC to classify ISPs as “common carriers” so that the words of the FCC chairman may be fulfilled: “I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

Do you support a free and open Internet?

 

There isn’t just one petition on the site for this, but there are many people who want to see federal and state governments recognize Muslim holidays like Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, so Muslim public employees and school children can spend the time they need to observe these important cultural traditions.

With the growing population of Muslims in the United States of America (including first, second, third, and fourth generation) we believe it is high time that Muslim holidays are recognized by schools throughout this nation. Unfortunately many Muslim families are forced to choose between their children’s education and their religious obligations. Muslim school children and staff deserve the same benefits afforded to the followers of other faiths. We call on President Obama to support this petition and advance the inclusiveness of our great nation.

Right now, the petition has over 13,000 signatures, but the number is much more when combined with other petitions of a similar nature.

 

Student loan debt is a major concern for millions of Americans. It is not just students fresh out of college, but people well into their 40s and 50s who are still paying off debt they accumulated during their time in higher education.

According to USA Today, that puts them just behind Exxon Mobile and Apple for having the most profitable 2013. The nation’s student loan debt now surpasses auto loans and credit card debt yet the government has done nothing to address these issues. America deserves better.

This petition, created on January 8,  is asking the government to make all student loan payments tax deductible in order to ease some of the financial burden on those with massive amounts of debt.