Month: June 2017

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

Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know

We’ve written quite recently about FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s plan to dismantle Net Neutrality principles and end the open internet as we know it, a tremendously valuable potential gift to Pai’s former employer, Verizon, and other wireless, telecom, and cable…