Firedoglake helps you tell American Governors to stop sending their states' prisoners to out-of-state private prisons. I presume Governors do this because of overcrowding, but we can deal with overcrowding in other ways. We could, for example, focus on rehabilitating drug addicts rather than merely imprisoning them; certainly we could stop locking up small-time non-violent drug users on absurd mandatory minimum sentences. Shipping prisoners to private prisons could be a worthwhile option in isolated instances -- if our state governments were ensuring private prisons delivered good service to begin with. They're not, or else private prisons wouldn't charge exorbitant rates for prisoner phone calls, for example. That's exactly the kind of thing a corporation does when no one's fulfilling their oversight duty. And note that I said "in isolated instances" -- shipping prisoners across the country keeps them away from their loved ones, which hurts their chances at rehabilitation. Yes, I still believe in rehabilitation. A certain Someone may have taught me a little about that.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's HB 1565 would amend the state's 1937 Clean Streams Law to read that "(t)he use or installation of riparian buffers and riparian forest buffers shall not be required." Required for what, you ask? Well, first, what's a riparian buffer? A riparian buffer is, essentially, a strip of forest planted around a stream to protect it from pollution -- whether that pollution comes from development or agriculture. These buffers do wind up filtering out many of the pesticides and sentiments that threaten the health of streams and the wildlife living in those streams; they also require rather little maintenance after they're put in, and they also shade the water, reduce flood damage, produce alternative crops, and increase the value of the land. So why would anyone want to make such buffers "optional"? What superior water management method has eclipsed it? The answers are, respectively, "because developers want the land" and "none." Hence the Sierra Club helps you tell your Pennsylvania state Rep to reject HB 1565, and keep our streams clean.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to stop the flow of military weapons to local police forces, then Roots Action still helps you do that. We haven't forgotten, I trust, the show of excessive force from the Ferguson (MO) police department against those peacefully protesting the shooting of Michael Brown, but we also don't presume that police officers really want to hide behind all that Transformerama -- we imagine most police want to do a good job, and that they must earn the trust of the communities they serve to do so. But if the Pentagon keeps handing out billions of dollars in war weapons to local police departments, then our police departments will slip back into old habits, just like you or I would in similar circumstances. Thankfully, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) has introduced the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which would slow the flow of heavy artillery like armored vehicles, high-calibre automatic weapons, and armed drones to our police departments. How will police protect themselves, you ask? By getting to know the communities they serve, just like in the old days.