By Ron Paul
Last week the governor of Texas ignited a media firestorm for his remarks involving the idea of secession. He did not call for Texas to secede from the United States. He merely pointed out that the federal government was treading heavily on the sovereignty of the states and that this can not continue indefinitely without a breaking point.
The reaction to Governor Perry’s statements has been nothing short of hysterical. He has been called treasonous for making this obvious point and opening up a discussion. I am not calling for secession either, however there is nothing wrong with a healthy and open discussion of this issue.
America was born from an act of secession. When King George’s rule trampled on the rights of the colonies, we successfully seceded from England. It took a war, but we were well within our rights. We applauded when former soviet states seceded from the USSR and declared their sovereignty. And hopefully the United States will eventually secede from the United Nations. We pay most of the bills of the UN, yet do not have the commensurate votes, so someday we will wake up and realize that membership, for these and other reasons, does not serve our interests.
On a personal level, contracts you enter into can be terminated if one side unilaterally changes the terms. If a credit card company jacks up your interest rate, you have every right to fulfill your obligations and close the account. Imagine if you were forced to stay with a credit card company forever no matter what just because you previously signed up! The principle of self-determination applies to political unions as well.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do!
The last refuge of freedom — our great experiment– has turned its back on the very thing that made this country great–our Constitution. Where the “rule of law” was once king, we see everywhere its desecration. What then can the people actually do about it? One word: Nullify.
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1789 letter to Thomas Paine
Jury nullification is an act by a jury through its verdict to make an official rule, especially a statute, void in the context of a particular case. In other words, it is the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her. This is done when the individuals serving on a jury, either by reason of their conscious or moral grounding believe that a law is immoral or that a sentence is unjust. As the 12th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Harlan F. Stone put it, “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” Jury nullification is thus a means for the people to express opposition to an unconstitutional, immoral or unjust legislative enactment.
Hat tip: RAW STORY
Wednesday March 4, 2009
Election observers already distrustful of the electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold will have more reason to be wary now.
“Following three months of investigation, California’s secretary of state has released a report examining why a voting system made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly known as Diebold Election Systems) lost about 200 ballots in Humboldt County during the November presidential election,” Kim Zetter reports for Wired.
Zetter continues, “But the most startling information in the state’s 13-page report (.pdf) is not about why the system lost votes, which Threat Level previously covered in detail, but that some versions of Diebold’s vote tabulation system, known as the Global Election Management System (GEMS), include a button that allows someone to delete audit logs from the system.”
As for the missing ballots, Wayne Hanson at govtech.com notes that the report indicates a “Deck Zero software error — which can delete the first group of optically scanned ballots under certain circumstances — caused 197 ballots to be inadvertently deleted from Humboldt County’s initial results in the November 4, 2008, General Election. The results were corrected when the error was discovered.”
At Brad Blog, John Gideon observes, “The report is amazing in that it reveals why our voting systems are failing. The issues with the GEMS software go much deeper than just the fact that the system may lose votes. The state also found readily apparent violations of the federal voting system standards. These violations seem to have been ignored by federal test labs, by the National Assoc. of State Election Directors (NASED), and their consultants who qualified the voting system for use, and by-passed CA Secretaries of State and their consultants.”
Wired’s Zetter notes, “The California report states that the ‘clear’ button, along with other problems with the auditing logs as well as the software flaw that caused the system to lose votes in Humboldt County (see below for more information on that flaw), should have been red flags to the testing laboratories that certified the system and should have been sufficient to ‘fail’ the system and prevent it from being used in any federal election.”