Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Power in courtroom belongs to you

(My Clovis News Journal column for March 18, 2016)

Picture yourself on a jury, realizing that even though the defendant broke the law, the law is wrong.

Must you obey the judge's commands to consider only whether the law was broken? Or can you do more.

Actually you can, and should, do more. You have hundreds of years of legal history behind you, empowering you to do the right thing.

You should judge whether the violated law should exist, and whether the potential penalties-- even when the judge tells you to not consider them-- are too severe.

In the courtroom, all power and authority is yours.

Most judges no longer want you to know this fact. They will hide it and make you believe they are the authority. At most they are a referee, making sure the dance follows the established steps. When judges hide this law from you it is your responsibility to know it yourself. The only purpose of the courtroom is to find justice. You can't do that if someone is being prosecuted for violating a law which should not exist, or is facing a penalty out of proportion to what they did.

A jury doing the right thing and setting free the accused in spite of the State's wishes is called "jury nullification". Unjust laws in the past have evaporated because of juries refusing to punish people for breaking them.

If one person violates another-- through theft, physical attack, or trespass-- you can uphold the law he broke without guilt. These crimes are known as "mala in se" crimes; wrong because they violate life, liberty, or property.

However if you find yourself deciding the fate of a runaway slave or bootlegger, remember that the pretense of wrong in these cases lies upon someone dreaming up a law which prohibits the act. This law is counterfeit-- it imagines a "mala prohibitum" crime. "Wrong" only because it is prohibited, without an ethical foundation of respect for human rights and liberty. In other words, not wrong at all.

Of course, runaway slaves aren't quite as common as they once were-- unless you count truancy "laws". But there are a great many counterfeit "laws" being enforced. Such as all gun regulations, the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, "vice laws", licensing requirements for business and piloting a vehicle, tax laws-- most of the laws enforced today.

Stand up for what's right. Refuse to punish people for imaginary "crimes" which have no individual victim. Nullify bad "laws". For more information visit fija.org


"Fun" with statists

Ah, statists. You never know where things will go if you discuss things with them long enough. It's one good reason to not drive them away too quickly when they say bizarre and insane things. Give them more rope and see what happens.

Like these two recent examples.

First, there was the statist who said that "freedom" might be OK for others, but she needs government because she wants safety and to be free of making any decisions for herself. That's right- she openly admitted that statism is a longing for perpetual childhood. And not the kind of childhood where the child is constantly pushing the envelope, but a childhood where the child is in a sort of vegetative state and can never mature.

She did begin to waver somewhat when the discussion went further and she began to see the foolishness of her beliefs, and the contradictions, but I didn't push it too far. I hope.

Then there was the guy who is OK with government threatening people with violence to enforce "taxation" because he doesn't believe anything is objectively right or wrong.

He quibbled over definitions of "ethical" and "moral" for a while, but I finally just said that whatever words you use to describe them, "Y" is something that is accepted as "right" or "wrong" depending on the particular culture; subjective. Example: Slavery was once accepted as right by most cultures. "X" is something that is "right" or "wrong" regardless of what a particular culture accepts; objective. Example: Slavery is never right, even when it is considered right by a culture.

He kept insisting that I don't understand what "objective" and "subjective" mean. And that everything, with regard to right and wrong, is subjective.

Just to be clear, since he kept saying over and over that everything was subjective and there is no objective right or wrong, I asked him "Is it wrong to rape and murder children, or is that just a subjective idea?"

His response: "Nothing is intrinsically right or wrong. Literally, nothing. Everything is a preference."

I told him there was then nothing to discuss, and he turned into the chess-playing pigeon, knocking over the pieces, crapping on the board, and strutting around as though he won. All because he believes it means I don't understand the difference between "subjective" and "objective".

Ah, statists. We need to keep a few of them around to show how absurd their beliefs are.