You've heard me say "free" trade deals are bad for people? Well, dig this: big fossil fuel corporations have been using something called the Energy Charter Treaty -- signed in 1994, and now law in over 50 nations -- to sue governments for shutting down oil rigs and coal plants, using, you guessed it, the notorious "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" (or ISDS) system, as nefarious a corporate welfare system as has ever been devised. Big corporations have deprived world taxpayers of over $50 billion so far using the Energy Charter Treaty, but it's not all bad news: Italy has withdrawn from the pact, and several other European nations (including France) are mulling doing the same. Hence Avaaz helps you tell world governments to pull out of the Energy Charter Treaty and do their level best to stop the Treaty's spread to other nations. And why should we compensate big corporations for their fossil fuel investments as we transition to more sustainable energy? I mean, they all knew that churning the ground for oil and coal isn't sustainable, and yet they kept doing it. Doesn't the word "consequences" mean anything to anyone anymore?
Meanwhile, H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (or PRO) Act, is back; the bill would, as the title suggests, protect workers' right to organize and bargain collectively for better pay and working conditions. A mere 40 years ago, one in three American workers belonged to a union; now, thanks to a succession of alternating hostile and weak governments, that number's more like one in eight, even though unionized workers generally get better pay and a bigger voice at work, and even though polling has told us for many, many years that more than half of American workers would like to join a union. The PRO Act would give workers a lot of tools to fight for a better worklife, by stiffening penalties for employers who try to bust unions, closing loopholes in our labor laws, and allowing workers to file civil lawsuits against employers, so there's be no more reclassifying workers as "independent contractors" or "supervisors," to name two nefarious tools bosses use. So the Economic Policy Institute helps you tell your Congressfolk to support workers by passing the PRO Act.
In other news, fast food corporation McDonald's has apparently been spying on its workers in an attempt to get "strategic intelligence" on those workers who advocate for a $15/hour minimum wage. You have to wonder what they think they're going to learn! That people hate being paid in dung pellets and they're willing to organize to change that state of affairs? That folks working three jobs just to meet the bills will advocate for a position that's popular even among Republican voters? That's a whole suitcase full of no shit, Sherlock! right there -- I mean, if you need "strategic intelligence" about that, you shouldn't run a franchise, let alone a multinational corporation. Nonetheless, their efforts (which include social media surveillance, so for the 400th time don't make your posts "public," OK?) may well be breaking the law, since our laws do actually frown upon harassing workers, and if McDonald's would just pay a living wage, they wouldn't have to play Amateur Pinkerton. Hence Fight for the Future helps you wield the Big Stick of Bad PR and tell McDonald's to stop spying on its workers.
Finally, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee helps you tell incoming Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate former President Trump and his cronies. For what, your Trump votary uncle asks? Well, for perjury, bribery, obstruction of justice, violating the Hatch Act, violating campaign finance laws, and violating the emoluments clause of our Constitution, for starters -- and that's before we get to the little matter of the attempted coup he incited on January 6. Now, your more liberal uncle might well express fatigue at all of this (which no doubt comes, in part, from his sincere relief that Mr. Trump isn't President anymore) and might be willing to, as Mr. Obama used to say, look forward, not backward. But then anyone can leave a trail of slime anywhere they like and get away with it! And we need only remember how much evil crap George W. Bush got away with (like, you know, torture) while he was President to know that if we don't hold the lawless accountable, we'll have a hundred more Donald Trumps in our future. Is that the future America deserves?