"Imagine if Facebook, Google and Twitter built a privacy-killing surveillance machine to help the federal government spy on us," the latest missive from Free Press begins. I don't think I've explained CISPA better than that. Free Press goes on to remind us that the law currently forbids Facebook, Google, and Twitter from sharing your personal information with our government unless our government gets a warrant, and that the law currently allows you to sue Facebook, Google, and Twitter if they violate your online privacy. Guess what two things will no longer be true if CISPA passes? That's right -- Google could send your emails and search history, Twitter could send your physical location, Facebook could send your photos and status updates, all to our government, all without a warrant. And CISPA would give the big telecom corporations immunity from prosecution if they assert they made an honest mistake in sending your government all your personal data. So Free Press helps you tell your House Reps to reject CISPA.
Meanwhile, Congress is working on another Farm Bill, but why wait to do good works? H.R. 1414, the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, wouldn't end the nefarious corn subsidies that keep junk food cheap in this country, but it would direct more of our government's efforts toward sustainably- and locally-produced healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, and it would help folks use their food stamps at farmers' markets and other places where you stand a chance of getting good food. Railing at people for spending their food stamps on Pepsi and chips doesn't do us or them any good -- people don't do that because they're stupid or lazy; they do that because our government has completely distorted the market with corn subsidies. If the price of apples had stayed exactly the same for three decades, as the price of a two-liter bottle of Coke and Pepsi has done, folks would eat a lot more apples. So the Union of Concerned Scientists helps you tell your Congressfolk to support healthier food.
Finally, with yesterday's tax deadline an irresistible news hook, I've a slew of tax-related action alerts for you. CREDO helps you tell your House Rep to co-sponsor the Inclusive Prosperity Act, which Rep. Ellison (D-MN) plans to introduce this week; the bill would tax stock deals at 0.5% (not "five percent," and not "fifty percent," "liberal" media) and other financial instruments somewhat less. I'd flip that script and tax derivatives more than simple stock trades, but any such tax would discourage the lightning-fast computerized Wall Street trading that doesn't really do any work, and the bill would also exempt households with income under $75,000. (I'd even be happy to raise that exemption somewhat, to be honest.) Meanwhile, Daily Kos helps you tell Congress and Mr. Obama to close the corporate tax loopholes that allow corporations to stow some $32 trillion offshore. $32 trillion in hidden money won't create any jobs here, but putting that money under threat of confiscation might, finally, induce some CEOs to use it to create some jobs. Hell, they might even build some factories.