You may have heard that the Internet Society (or ISOC) plans to sell the Public Interest Registry (or PIR) -- a database containing the names of all .org domains -- to Ethos Capital, a hedge fund management corporation. That should send off alarms, but the results could be even worse than a hedge fund deliberately mismanaging a database in order to extract its value, or even making prices for .org domains go up-up-up: as Mitch Stoltz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes in this very useful primer, selling something of public utility to a private corporation raises a buttload of questions. For example, would authoritarian regimes (ahem!) pay off Ethos to help shut down pesky .orgs that detail those regimes' crimes? Would Ethos cut back on domain name management such that some .orgs that provide lifesaving services can't do it anymore? Luckily, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN) has to approve the sale, hence Save .ORG helps you tell ICANN to reject the proposed sale of .org names to a private corporation.
Meanwhile, our EPA wants to weaken rules that prevent power plants from polluting toxic filth into our clean water, because our Administration hates good regulations with a passion bordering on madness. If our EPA gets its way, we'll have more mercury, more lead, and more arsenic in our water, not to mention more dead animals and higher water bills for good Americans -- all so we can hand out more corporate welfare to the dying coal industry. Seriously, the coal industry is dying -- even Murray Energy declared bankruptcy filed for bankruptcy shortly before Halloween -- and it's dying partly because gas is considerably cheaper and partly because renewable energy is starting to achieve cost parity with coal. As Paul O'Neill might say, it's the genius of civilization. But all this Administration cares about is enriching the few remaining coal executives, and they're willing to be objectively pro-pollution in order to achieve this goal. Hence the Sierra Club helps you tell our EPA to protect our clean water by scuttling its plans to weaken its own regulations.
In other news, it ain't just health care costs and college costs that have skyrocketed over the years -- it's child care costs, too, with a Freddie Mac study finding those costs going up almost 50% over the last quarter-century, and that means a lot in a world where single parents have to juggle working and parenting and two-parent households typically have two paychecks. You may even know someone who gives over their entire paycheck to child care! But H.R. 1364/S. 568, the Child Care for Working Families Act, would (among other good works!) mandate that child care could never cost more than 7% of a family's income, and would also ensure that poor working families can get good child care. Because they're people, too! And also because when we invest in child care, we invest in our future. That's as true when we invest in the poor, because (regardless of what many right-wingers still think) talent crosses lines of race and class. Hence Moms Rising helps you tell your Congressfolk to give working families the help they need by passing the Child Care for Working Families Act.
Finally, as you may have heard, the Virginia state legislature passed the Equal Rights Amendment, making it the 38th state to have done so. Of course, the original ERA had an expiration date that has long passed, but H.J.Res. 79 would eliminate that date, which means the Equal Rights Amendment could become the law of the land, as it has always deserved to be. Yes, I know, a few of those original 38 states repealed their passage of the ERA, but playing such games of take-backsies may not even pass Constitutional muster, so People for the American Way helps you tell your Congressfolk to support equal rights in America by passing H.J.Res. 79. And yes, I can also imagine our Supreme Court (particularly now that it has two younger fresher right-wingers on it!) saying that passing H.J.Res. 79 with anything less than a two-thirds majority would trample on the will of the Congress that passed it, since some Congressfolk surely wouldn't have voted for the ERA without the expiration date. But one might reasonably wonder why we would be more anxious to scrutinize such matters when women's rights are at stake.