Our House passed H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act, on Saturday after convening a rare August session; the bill would roll back the many changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made to U.S. Postal Service operations, and would prevent him from making any more changes -- particularly those that result, and have resulted, in mail delivery delays -- until we get COVID-19 under control. Now's a good time to call your Senators and tell them to pass the Delivering for America Act. What reasonable objection they could have I could not say -- surely they wouldn't say it's "not Congress's place" to tell the Postmaster General how to run our Post Office? I hope not, but these are, as they say, interesting times; used to be folks would say outlandish things to get attention and then apologize to get more attention, but now they just say outlandish things and then say more outlandish things to get double the attention. I suppose our Senators could point to our President's threatened veto, but Congress can override vetoes, so really, they have no excuses.
Meanwhile, our Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) has lately contracted with Clearview AI for facial recognition technology, which we know tends to do a bad job of telling folks of color apart and thus get some 60-year naturalized citizen deported one day (if it hasn't happened already!). But Sens. Markey (D-MA) and Merkley (D-OR) have introduced S. 3284, the Ethical Use of Facial Recognition Act, which would ban the use of facial recognition technology until further legislation mandated by the bill establishes sound legal boundaries for its use. So few Americans seem to understand the whole concept of boundaries anymore -- folks tend to act like every issue in life is either-or; we can either have facial recognition technology or IMMIGRANTZ CRIMEZ RAMPAGEZ!!!!!! Of course, we can manage technological advancement so that it doesn't cause us harm; this is, in fact, one of the crucial challenges of maintaining a civilization. I know, how old-fashioned of me. Anyway, Ban Facial Recognition helps you tell your Congressfolk to ban facial recognition technology until such time as we can actually use it for good.
In other news, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to prevent big pharma corporations from profiteering off any new COVID-19 vaccine, then Moms Rising still helps you do that. Too many Americans (our President included) think of things like randomized double-blind tests as "bureaucracy." They're not -- they're how we get good science that actually helps people. Of course, for a big pharma corporation, the need to get a vaccine right -- which is to say, a vaccine that works, and without life-threatening side effects -- impedes the insane drive to profits. If we lived in a sane, moral, and decent society, big pharma corporations that made billions of dollars from rushed, bad vaccines would withdraw in deserved shame and humiliation, but in this sick, immoral, and decadent society, these same corporations assume they have a "right" to get away with it. Making us a sane, moral, and decent society has, admittedly, been a crap-ton of work, but if we can keep big pharma corporations from profiteering off pandemic vaccines, we will make that work easier.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 2491/S. 1311, the Roadless Area Conservation Act, then Environmental Action still helps you do that. The Roadless Area Conservation Act would (deep breath) tell our Administration that they can't actually just ignore the Roadless Rule in promoting development in federal lands (sigh). It's a shame we have to do that, but these are bold thinkers in this Administration. Wait, my attempt to make "bold" into a cuss word during Tha Bush Mobb years didn't take hold ? Well, we can't all have six-figure promotional budgets. Anyway, our Administration wants to (I'm paraphrasing here) ignore the Roadless Rule, but legally, mainly so they can drill in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, the world's biggest intact temperate rainforest, where the trees are centuries (or millenia!) old and some of the animals there can't be found anywhere else. But yeah, let's churn yet another national park into fuel that'll just get burned up and pollute our air and water. That's real conservative of these fools.