This episode features an interview of activist Steve Silverman of FlexYourRights.org by Tom Woods, host of the Tom Woods Show. They discuss the principles and applications of jury nullification, when juries refuse to convict on the basis that the allegedly violated law is unjust. Purchase books on jury nullification on Amazon here.Open This Content
Editor’s Break 111 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: the terrible advice that is encouraging people in third world countries to stay and attempt to fix their governmental problems; the value in thinking of ideologies as sandboxes; what intelligence is and is not; the praiseworthiness that is the act of nullifying liberty-encroaching government laws; the contentious nature of politics; and more.Open This Content
Episode 078 welcomes Mish Ochu to the podcast to chat with Skyler about his journey to voluntaryism. Topics include: Being born and partially raised in Nigeria, the entrepreneurship of his parents, immigrating to London, his parents being pursued by the Nigerian government solely because of their wealth, immigrating to the United States and landing in Austin, Texas, private to public schools, libertarian/anarchist seeds, college years, starting a professional essay writer business to help other college students, moving to Houston, Texas, teaching himself to code, being apolitical, jury nullification, deer ass slapping, active listening, playful parenting, Stefan Molyneux, meeting his wife, getting married, having kids, and circumcision.
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This week, after reading Skyler Collins’ offering in Two Cents, I came upon a new approach to Words Poorly Used. I will gild the lily by running the words or phrases through OneLook.com, linking them, then commenting on the unusual that I encounter via that process.
“Impeachment” at OneLook
noun: a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
Pretty simple, huh? But not quite. What leaps out to me is “charging … with” not “finding … guilty of …” Was Bill Clinton found guilty? Was Dick Nixon found guilty … or even impeached?
▸ Words similar to impeachment
prosecution, recusal, ouster, disqualification, indictment, dismissal, removal, ousting, motion, accusation, recall, destitution, indicted, rebuke, accountability, reproach, negligence, arraignment, deposition, segregation, isolation, appeal, accused, accusing, accuse, carelessness, charge, isolating, challenge, defenceless, charged, continued, perjury, treason, censure, disbarment, reelection, judiciary, constitutional, senate, presidency, nullification, acquittal, election, court martial, malfeasance, bribery, congressional, appeach, impeachability, monicagate, governorship, speakership, fillibuster, congressmen, germaneness, senators, filibuster, corruption, interpellation, adjournment, constitutionalism, quo warranto, senatorial, cloture, ethics committee, misdoing, watergate scandal, lege, secession, democracy, compurgation, contempt of congress, exoneration, solons, richard milhous nixon, sedition, destabilization, legislative, chimango, investigatory, bill of attainder, democratic, arrogation, executive privilege, nolle, lustration, obstructionism, monica lewinsky, judicial activism, subpoena ad testificandum, indictments, lieutenant governorship, recusation, candidacy, pardon, prorogation, statehouse, direct examination, dissolution (see more…)
Interesting entries here are:
- prosecution — this does not always follow impeachment
- ouster — Nixon was oustered, but not impeached, while both Andrew Johnson and Clinton were acquitted.
- The same sort of observation applies to similar words such as “disqualification” and “removal.”
- There were cases of euphemism in drafting the constitutional language.
- Whether intended 0or not, all three of these episodes had many consequences, not the least of which was an equivalence to a bill of attainder.
▸ Words most associated with impeachment
For example …
▸ Popular adjectives describing impeachment
soft, presidential, parliamentary, such, possible, public, attempted, certain, successful, formal, subsequent, direct, threatened, immediate, famous, collateral, least, anti, serious, pro, regular, future, congressional, impending, terrible, near, above, grave, virtual, favored, intended, judicial, unsuccessful, actual, eventual, improper, slightest, celebrated, imminent, unusual, legislative, criminal, solemn, proposed, memorable, potential, post, mad, abortive, false, deserved, recorded, insufficient, constitutional, libellous, gross, presumptuous, partisan, implied, judge, violent, intermediate, fraudulent, prior, indirect
Got to love words like soft, serious, terrible, improper, mad, …
▸ Rhymes of impeachment
preachment, beseechment, appeachment, treatment, agreement, achievement, in agreement, disagreement, concealment, bereavement, pretreatment, vehement, maltreatment, appeasement,… mistreatment, easement, underachievement, retreatment, impeachments, uniquement, preachments, bement, aftertreatment, malheureusement, revetement, feoffment, …
Just for the fun of it.
|Input words||New word (click to hear)||Pronunciation|
Sh!ts and giggles (LOL) …
|Phrases that include impeachment: impeachment of waste, impeachment in the us, impeachment in ukraine, impeachment of bill clinton, impeachment trial of andrew johnson, more…|
- impeachment (n.)
- late 14c., enpechement “accusation, charge,” from Old French empeechement “difficulty, hindrance; (legal) impeachment,” from empeechier “to hinder, impede” (see impeach). As a judicial proceeding on charges of maladministration against a public official, from 1640s.
Isn’t “(legal) impeachment” a redundancy? Aren’t “hinder” and “impede” obvious? Oh, oh, oh! Maladministration??? Never!!!
Kilgore ForelleOpen This Content
What is a constitution? People talk about and hear about this word when debating politics or watching mainstream media. It is common knowledge that the United States is host to the U.S. Constitution and that it is the “supreme law of the land.” But what does it mean?
A constitution is a set of laws and regulations. Each provision, each word, is written for a reason. There is nothing cryptic about the language or provisions themselves. There might be a slight language barrier if centuries separate the past and present.
However, that would not be an issue if judges, or whoever is delegated the responsibility of interpreting the “supreme law of the land,” made decisions based on the original intent of the authors. By doing so would mean the interpreters would have to research the foundation of the authorship – in the case of the U.S. Constitution, there are several documents, such as the Federalist Papers, the constitutional convention notes, and the notes and letters during the state ratification conventions.
It can be argued that the first president of the United States violated the constitution he helped write, but his immediate successor, John Adams, routinely violated it. Every president since has violated it – from mildly like under Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge to severely like under Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.
So what is the point of having a constitution if the government believes it is okay to violate it when it suits its members?
There is no valid point.
As the nineteenth-century abolitionist, author, and anarchist Lysander Spooner, who fought the U.S. government’s postal monopoly via a successful postal service of his own, stated in his book No Treason: the Constitution of No Authority, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
In all honesty, the written, codified U.S. Constitution is pretty clear, it is not cryptic. Yet, members of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government continue to deliberately misinterpret the commerce, general welfare, necessary and proper, and supremacy clauses to mean whatever they want them to mean.
While completely ignoring much of the bill of rights, especially the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth amendments.
The violations are blatant and unapologetic. Ironically, these violations are neither conservative (conserving limited government) nor liberal (liberty with economic exceptions), nor do they preserve the rule of law.
Government advocates oppose freedom and voluntaryism because “lawlessness.” But lawlessness is a prime descriptor of government itself. Both major parties act the same way no matter which is in power, and said behavior is often pretty lawless.
The “catch-all” argument government advocates will fall back on is the social contract. There are a plethora of problems with this argument, however it should be noted that a contract can only be explicit to be legitimate, not implicit. And it is not a “social” contract if future generations are forced to abide by it.
Ironically this argument violates the principles of both conservatives and liberals. Conservatives put a lot of stock in contractual agreements, but the U.S. Constitution does not follow traditional contractual law. Liberals oppose the idea of a small group of “old white men” making decisions for the rest of the people, but that is how the U.S. Constitution was written and enacted.
Libertarians, on the other hand, argue for voluntary association.
If a constitution is anything other than a strict code of laws, despite the political beliefs of legislators, executives, and judges, then it is arbitrary. If it is arbitrary, it is subjected to be challenged – either by nullification or secession.
If a constitution is merely a loose, living document, then it is not lawful and ought to be discarded or reconsidered.
U.S. presidents, from Washington and Adams to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have vindicated Spooner’s Jeremiahs of constitutions. What is a constitution if not just a piece of paper of subjective opinions?Open This Content
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“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original column appearing most Mondays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.
A tax cheat on trial for lying on his tax return. A music pirate on trial for illegally downloading music. A pothead on trial for dealing in marijuana. A car thief on trial for boosting cars. A rapist on trial for attacking women. A murderer on trial for killing bums. What do all of these “perps” have in common besides being charged by the state for a crime? Their trials are worthy targets of jury nullification. Yes, even the latter three, and here’s why.
What is Jury Nullification?
When a jury – a group of “peers” judging the guilt or innocence of someone charged with a crime – votes to acquit not on the basis of the facts of the case, but rather on the justness of the law the defendant is being accused of breaking, they have, in effect, made that law null and void as it concerns the defendant. Hence the term jury nullification. I leave the history of the practice to Wikipedia, but suffice it to say that jury nullification has a multi-century, common law history. I consider it a beautiful thing. When one is on trial for what amounts to the breaking of an unjust law, say dealing in marijuana, or even less controversial, raw milk, the jury has it within their power to keep the alleged unjust-law breaker out of the rape factory known as prison. But what about nullifying non-unjust laws? Laws against robbery, rape, and murder, for example?
No, those are unjust, too. Why? Because they’re state laws. The state is an illegitimate authority in society as a monopolizer of law and order. It uses it’s authority to decree law, some of it compatible with property rights, most of it not, including where it gets its funds to incarcerate or execute criminals. Taxation pays for the maintenance of courts, prisons, and the hangman’s noose. But taxation is theft. Robbing others to pay for the state’s twisted notion of justice is wrong.
What’s a Voluntaryist to Do?
Jury nullification is a powerful tool to keep the state’s hands off of peaceful people, like tax cheats, music pirates, and potheads. It’s also a powerful tool to keep the state’s hands off those who would be forced to pay for the incarceration or execution of real criminals. The voluntaryist would not be acting consistent with his principles if he were to vote as a juror to send someone to be dealt with via the coercive expropriation of noncriminal others. In other words, the voluntaryist should nullify as a juror not only unjust state laws, but all state laws that are enforced through the coercion of peaceful people.
This may be the most controversial column I’ve written. Good and well, I say. Jury nullification is a worthy practice, made complete under voluntaryist insight. Nullify every illegitimate state charge and leave the real criminals to be dealt with by vigilantes and the rest of society. Murderers, rapists, and robbers are given a free pass on their provisions, paid for by the state robbing and threatening to murder everyone else. Rather than seeking justice, state departments of “justice” create more injustice that juries have it within their power to prevent.
Read more from “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective”:
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