H.R. 2822, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016, is yet another appropriations bill that the corporatists in Congress have used to take the will of the American people hostage. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say the electorate did not return both Houses of Congress to Republicans out of a deeply-held desire to defund new climate change standards, cut money for protecting endangered species, or keep EPA staffing levels so low they can't do the work the people have charged them with doing, yet H.R. 2822 would accomplish all of that nonetheless. Please, Lord, let one of these morons utter the phrase "we're doing this for our constituents," so that the world will know that a great number of our House Reps think that the big polluting corporations that threw nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars around in 2014 are their "constituents," versus whom you or I would say their constituents are, i.e., the residents of their districts. Friends of the Earth helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject H.R. 2822 and to protect our air, water, and climate.
Meanwhile, Becky Bass of Monroe, NC, has begun a petition on Change.org that helps you tell the state of North Carolina to mandate that special education classrooms, therapy rooms, and resource rooms all equip themselves with cameras that can record audio as well as video. Why? Because children who are non-verbal (like her daughter, who has apparently come home with bruises) aren't able to tell their parents what happened to them at school. As with the police-wearing-body-cameras debate, we will hear, from both left and right, that putting cameras in schoolrooms is a lot like Big Brother. Well, not exactly -- the state putting cameras in your bedroom would be rather like Big Brother, as would the state putting cameras in private corporate offices. Putting cameras in the rooms where public servants serve us is rather more like our right as taxpayers. And if allowing the reactionary legislature of North Carolina to look less reactionary is the price we must pay to do justice here, I'm willing to pay it.