Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either “serving” in the military or performing some other type of government-directed “community service.” Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich’s proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right.
Proponents of national service claim that young people have a moral obligation to give something back to society. But giving the government power to decide our moral obligations is an invitation to totalitarianism.
“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.”—Justice William O. Douglas
Justice in America makes less sense with each passing day.
A Michigan couple that has been raising chickens in their backyard as a source of healthy food for their family could get up to 90 days in jail for violating a local ban on backyard hens. A Kentucky prison guard who was charged with 25 counts of sexual abuse against female inmates, trafficking controlled substances, and 50 counts of official misconduct walks away with no jail time and seven years’ probation. A 53-year-old Virginia man is facing 20 years in jail for kidnapping, despite the fact that key evidence shows him to be innocent and his accuser a liar, yet the courts claim they’re unable to do anything about it. Meanwhile, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent refusal to hear the case of Jones v. U.S.,judges can now punish individuals for crimes of which they may never have been convicted or even charged.
With every ruling handed down, it becomes more apparent that we live in an age of hollow justice, with government courts, largely lacking in vision and scope, rendering narrow rulings focused on the letter of the law. This is true at all levels of the judiciary, but especially so in the highest court of the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, which is seemingly more concerned with establishing order and protecting government agents than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Sen. Robert Menendez
In its October 11 Sunday edition, the New York Times published an editorial calling for the lifting of the 45-year-old Cold War-era economic embargo against Cuba. The Times pointed out:
Over the decades, it became clear to many American policy makers that the embargo was an utter failure. But any proposal to end the embargo angered Cuban-American voters, a constituency that has had an outsize role in national elections.
Among those who got upset this time by the proposal to lift the embargo was Robert Menendez, the senior senator from New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who wrote a letter of objection to the editor.
Mendendez says that President Obama shouldn’t “waste finite diplomatic resources on a country that abuses human rights and diametrically opposes our democratic ideals, at a time when the Islamic State is waging brutal war and Russia continues to undermine all international norms through its continuing invasion of Ukraine.”
Oct 17 - RPI Chairman Ron Paul appeared on Larry King's "Politiking" program this week to discuss Ebola, Obama, foreign policy and so much more.
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Again RPI's Daniel McAdams looks at the news of the week on the Jay Taylor Show. This week Jay and Daniel look at Rep. Walter Jones and US troops in harm's way in Ebolaland, the new German intelligence claim to know who shot down the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over east Ukraine, NATO's claims that Russia is on NATO's doorstep when it was NATO expansion that has moved to Russia's border, ISIS, and more....
The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration is considering a return to the Bush-era interpretation of the UN Convention Against Torture, which is that it does not apply to torture conducted outside US borders. This would mean that those conducting what would be considered torture in the US would not be legally liable for such actions in CIA facilities or US military prisons overseas.
That is the claim of the head of German intelligence, the BND, writes German newsmagazine Der Spiegel over the weekend. On RT, RPI's Daniel McAdams remains skeptical of these supposed German claims and criticizes the secrecy and lack of transparency in the investigation...
Sometimes it takes a while for the PR folks to come up with a branding scheme for another US war.
Phony ISIS Fight and Ukraine's Gas Problems — McAdams and Taylor on Real News of Week
What is Obama's war on ISIS going to cost? Well is the US really at war with ISIS? Or is it a war for regime change in Syria? RPI Director Daniel McAdams again visits with Jay Taylor to go over the real news of the week.