Pennsylvania residents, take note: SB 739, billed by its supporters as a "natural gas access bill," would take 60% of the state's annual fund helping good folks make their buildings more energy-efficient, and give it to people who want more natural gas. Don't take my word for it -- read the bill yourself (it's so short you can't even pass the time reading it on the toilet) and see that it does, in fact, take $15 million from loans and grants to small businesses and homeowners so they can make their offices and dwellings more energy-efficient, and re-allocate that sum to "schools, hospitals and small businesses to obtain access to natural gas." At first I thought they woke up one morning and decided they hadn't given enough handouts to the gas industry. Then I decided they wrote the bill because they didn't have a hippie to punch that day. The Sierra Club helps you tell your Pennsylvania state Senator to oppose yet more welfare handouts for gas drillers. Like most corporations, they don't need any more damn help. Small businesses and homeowners need the help -- and for them, it's a hand up, not a handout.
Meanwhile, Free Press joins the fight for a la carte cable packaging with an email that begins, "Tired of paying for crappy reality shows like America's Worst Tattoos?" "Maybe you like motocross, surfing and scary movies," it goes on. "Other people like Lifetime, HBO or VH1 Classic. Yet despite their individual preferences, cable subscribers are forced to buy hundreds of channels in a cable 'bundle' to get the few channels they actually want. Does this make any sense?" Of course, it does not, and admittedly America's Worst Tattoos doesn't sound like a concept that could sustain itself for more than one hour. (Let me guess -- it's on TLC? Why, yes, it is!) But we've got bigger fish to fry: because of bundling, we have to pay for cable news channels that prefer sensationalism to information, that spur grown men and women to yell at each other, that never disclose their guests' conflicts of interest -- and we still have to pay for them, and we won't change their behavior until we can hurt them in their pocketbook. So use the Free Press link in the first sentence. You deserve to be free from bad TV.