Barbara Lee’s Amendment to Repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Passed by House Appropriations Committee

According to Politico, “Congress may finally be getting fed up with war on autopilot.”

While that opener may be wildly optimistic at this point, writers Bryan Bender and Jennifer Scholtes continued:

A powerful House committee voted unexpectedly Thursday to require Congress to debate and approve U.S. military action in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other far-flung countries — in a surprise victory for a longtime Democratic critic of the nearly two-decade-old war on terrorism.

The amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee of California — one of countless she has offered in recent years — is only a modest first step in getting Congress to update the authorization of military force that lawmakers adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But Thursday’s voice vote in the GOP-controlled Appropriations Committee is a symbolic move forward.

Even Republicans with military experience embraced Lee’s defense spending bill amendment, which would repeal the 2001 authorization. They noted that the anti-terror struggle has evolved markedly since the days when U.S. troops hunted Osama bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan, yet Congress has never debated and authorized the fight against newer extremist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Members of the military “notice that we don’t have the courage to debate this and to give them the authority to go do this,” said Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who served in the Air Force and comes from a family of soldiers. “And I know that from my friends who are in the military right now.”

Continue reading at the source.

Make Friends!

World’s Top Religious Leaders Issue Rare Joint Appeal

Writes Carol Kuruvilla for the Huffington Post,

Religion is often viewed as a force that sows divisions between people. But the world’s most prominent religious leaders have come together to present a different vision of how faith can work in the world.

In a rare move, major religious leaders ― from Pope Francis to the Dalai Lama ― issued a joint appeal Wednesday asking people to follow a simple bit of advice: Make friends with people of other faiths.

“Our advice is to make friends to followers of all religions,” Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Al-Milani, one of the U.K.’s most senior Shia Muslim clerics, said in a video recording.

“Personal contact, personal friendship, then we can exchange a deeper level of experience,” the Dalai Lama said.

Continue reading at the source. Be patient – the video begins with 15 seconds of silence. For more information on the group behind the Make Friends video, visit the Elijah Interfaith Institute. – RR

All Farmers Should Be Able to Grow Hemp – Celebrate Hemp History Week, June 5 – 11

The 8th annual Hemp History Week campaign video “Breaking Ground” shares the story of Alex White Plume, Oglala Lakota hemp farmer and activist, whose hemp crop was unlawfully raided and destroyed by the DEA in 2000. Since then, he has been fighting for the right to grow hemp on tribal lands, which have been left out of current federal hemp farming legislation. Learn more about Hemp History Week, June 5-11, 2017, and sign up for updates at www.hemphistoryweek.com. This video was directed by Lauren Stansbury and produced by Movement Media and Bell Visuals for the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) © 2016

Support Sustainable Ag Solutions to Climate Change – Call Your State Senator and Assemblymember Today

Here’s an important message from CalCAN, the California Climate and Agriculture Network. Please make an investment in California’s climate change-mitigating ag programs with a phone call to your state representatives. – RR Please call your state Senator and Assemblymember: Support…

Number One or Number Two

Mr. Fish is not inclined to cut Hillary Clinton any slack, as last week she simultaneously took “absolute personal responsibility” for her loss at the ballot box to Donald J. Trump, followed moments later by her blaming both FBI Director James “Comey’s…

Time to Cut the Military Budget – Congressman John Conyers


This week, longtime civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis and more than 50 Members of Congress joined me to introduce my new resolution, H.Res. 246, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” sermon given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Riverside Church in Harlem, New York.

In the sermon, Dr. King declared his opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam. He also gave an important warning to our nation, one that still rings true today. Dr. King said: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Since I recorded this message, President Trump unilaterally decided, without approval from Congress or the United Nations, to bomb a sovereign nation. Those 59 Tomahawk missiles alone cost taxpayers more than $50 million. I will continue do to everything in my power to stop Trump from wasting our tax money bombing people abroad, when we have so much important nation-building to do right here at home. There is no question that the United States must do more to relieve the suffering of the civilians trapped in Syria’s civil war. If President Trump wants to help the Syrian people, he should start by welcoming those seeking refuge from this terrible civil war.