“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

HR 5882

This is worth getting angry about: 

Congress is set to approve HR 5882, a bill that would essentially block bulk access to legislative information. This would make it more difficult for Congress to release information about itself online and would undermine citizen-created sites like GovTrackOpenCongress and Washington Watch that make it easy for you to read and track bills and legislation. (If you’re wondering just how useful it is to have broad access to this info, consider that the successful citizen response to Internet censorship bills SOPA and PIPA occurred because people were able to read and share the original bill text from sites like these.)
Why is this happening? Because Congress doesn’t understand technology as well as you do, and therefore doesn’t appreciate the role of tech in providing public access to information. The best way to set the record straight is to tell them.
If you have a second, please call your Congressional rep and speak up. You can find your rep using this link or, if you’re ready to go, call 202-224-3121. Some helpful talking points are included below. You can also use this tool by our friends at GovTrack to write your rep a letter. Over 380 people have written in so far with more writing every hour. If you care about open data, make sure you’re one of them.
Feeling motivated? Tweet @SpeakerBoehner and @NancyPelosi with #FreeTHOMAS and let them know how you really feel about HR 5882. 
If we work together, we can push this back.

Talking Points
1. HR 5882 undermines my right to make use of legislative information and should be changed. The public should have unrestricted access to congressional information, and that includes making it available in bulk. 
2. HR 5882 would freeze any efforts to open up legislative information. It creates an unaccountable secret "task force" to study the issue. But without any deadline, it may never report back. This has happened before, and unless you act, it will happen again.
3. When Congress amends HR 5882, it should require bulk access to THOMAS information no later than 120 days after the enactment. It should also create an advisory group of people inside and outside the government to discuss how to improve THOMAS.
4. Bulk access to legislative information is uncontroversial, inexpensive, and common practice across the government. The concerns raised in the report accompanying HR 5882 either have already been addressed or are not relevant.
5. The THOMAS website was created in a matter of months when the Speaker of the House decided it was a priority. While times have changed, giving legislative information to the American people is still a priority. It's time to modernize THOMAS by giving the public bulk access now.




Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic     Image and video hosting by TinyPic