S. 3515, the Protect America's Privacy Act, would curb some of the worst abuses of the FISA Amendments Act -- which, how about that, could expire at the end of the year. Thanks to the FISA Amendments Act (which then-Senator Obama supported because of "the grave threats we face" despite campaigning against warrantless wiretapping for the previous year and a half), our government can collect and store all kinds of information on foreign citizens, but our government's officials have no idea how much information they've collected and stored on Americans, which I suspect means "a lot." S. 3515 would prevent our government from "accidentally" spying on Americans or even looking at any information it collects on Americans unless it gets a warrant. CREDO helps you tell your Senators to support the Protect America's Privacy Act. Feel free to add to the text provided.
Meanwhile, the EPA continues to take comments on the question of whether it should ban diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing (i.e., "fracking") operations. Short answer: of course it should! Slightly longer answer: diesel fuel contains benzene, toluene, and other carcinogens. Slightly-longer-than-that answer: frackers pumped over 30 million gallons of diesel fuel into our water between 2005 and 2009 -- 2005 being the year that Congress gave the gas industry got all kinds of exemptions from the Clean Water Act, exemptions that might be better described as handouts. And when government keeps corporations from polluting our water, that's a hand up, not a handout -- having clean water doesn't necessarily give you an advantage over anyone else, and you still have to go out and make a good life. Penn Environment helps you tell the EPA to keep diesel out of our drinking water.
In other news, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has denied 23-year-old Paul Corby a place on their waiting list for a heart transplant because he's autistic. Seriously, is autism the new Communism? Mr. Corby can't name all 19 of his medications and carries around a doll, so he should die? Well, screw that. Change.org helps you tell HUP to cut it out with the transplant shenanigans already. We've been down this road before -- CHOP wouldn't put a developmentally-disabled two-year-old girl on a kidney transplant list back in January even though one of her relatives agreed to donate the kidney. You'll be pleased to learn that the uproar over that got CHOP to reverse its attitude toward Ms. Rivera, now 3, so we can do this, too. Really, you'd like for the people who make these decisions to meet more autistic people; then they might not fear them as much as they obviously do.