I sent off this note to my senators regarding a bill which will limit the data the National Weather Service provides. Here's the text of the note I wrote:
I am writing today to urge you to reject bill [S.786.IS]. The National Weather Service (NWS) must NOT be hamstrung by private corporations (Sec. 2, part b.). The National Weather Service website is a way for the NWS to provide data to the public that the NWS captures for it's primary fuctions. Making the National Weather Service filter their data to the public only serves the needs of businesses, and do not help the general public. With passage of this bill, weather information would be controlled by businesses beholden to shareholders and advertisers, with the NWS providing only the scraps that these services deem unprofitable. Moves by the current NWS administration are helping the customer interface to the weather data the NWS gathers. It's very similar to the moves the United States Post Office made in providing longer hours, automated postal kiosks, and a website. These measures only help the public to access a government provided service. Would you want to ship a package in a post office that couldn't provide customer service because they might be viewed as competeing with commercial carriers? The NWS's data is provide in the public domain, and is freely available to anyone with a computer. This bill is another attempt by corporations to legislate away our public domain; turning it into the discarded, unprofitable scraps of the body of human work. Please keep the National Weather Service on its present course by rejecting bill [S.786.IS], and keep the competition between the National Weather Service and private corporations alive.
Don't make JoDee have to come over there and smack you. She's addicted to the NWS site.