“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
Not only do tyrannies present themselves to the People as the only alternative, but we as human beings tend to accept the existing order of society and our lives. Maybe this started in religion (“si dios quiere”—if God wills it—is one of the most ingrained behavioral control mechanisms in Hispanic Catholic culture) and maybe it is due to our experiences in childhood.
Religion, even in the United States, whose Constitution prohibits state sanctioning of religion, still influences culture and politics more than any other single factor. First, the US is rated as one of the most religious nations on earth, if not THE most religious. Where else does our fascination with killing or, at least, subjugating foreigners come from, if not from the Old Testament? Why do we have four times as many people in jail/prison than any other nation if not from the Biblical belief in “original sin”—that our neighbors are inherently bad? Why are up to 70% of these people, who are essentially little different from each of us, being imprisoned for “crimes” in which there is no victim (drugs, prostitution, violations of endless rules, loving the wrong person)? They are confined essentially for having “sinned” or for committing “political crimes” like not paying a court fee. Some, particularly young people, are even criminalized for just being young people, “status crimes”—which can involve prohibitions on travel, exploring forbidden sections of one’s own city, being outside after 9 PM, running away from home, associating with the “wrong” people, etc. Discrimination against people with darker skin tones, women, persons attracted to others of the same sex, members of outcast groups, etc. usually has its roots in religion or superstition.
Another human tendency toward tyranny, which is enhanced by religion, is the awarding of authority based on seniority rather than merit. Does any established religion have 12 year-old leaders (the age Jesus preached in the temple) or even 30 year-old leaders (the age Jesus was killed)? No, and the “leadership” provided by these “authorities” is usually unfettered by responsibility and accountability. Yet, these old foggies invariably demand adult-level responsibility from teens, without granting them a scintilla of authority.
This is the historic state of political leadership in the State of Nevada: tyrannical, unaccountable, irresponsible, ego-centric, fear-inspiring, authoritative, immoral, unethical, arbitrary, racist, homophobic, discriminatory, punitive, seniority-based and dismissive of even the most basic rights—even our inalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Conflated with a Federal Government, which acts with many of the worst characteristics of overbearing and tyrannical central governments throughout history, our religious and childhood constraints would seem to doom any hope of implanting freedom or meritocracy in the political culture of our State.
Fortunately, however, just as young people and dissidents are designed and even exist to rebel against tyranny, Nevada, maybe more than any other State in the Union, has produced some of the globe’s brightest flickers of freedom, independence, creativity and respect for individual rights: legalization of the “sins” of gambling, no-fault divorce, and even giving females the rights of personal decision-making (divorce, prostitution, birth control, abortion, voting). Politically, Nevada is decidedly a purple State. Now it is entering a brave new frontier of utilizing a stigmatized plant, marijuana, for medicine with full political force. It appears to be headed toward full legalization of marijuana, gay marriage, and elimination of some victimless “crimes”, all of which will reduce the prison population and move the State slightly closer to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
However, there remains even more to be done. None of these moves away from ancient authoritarianism is more important than restoring our votes, under English Common Law, of indicting public officials through the Grand Jury and of nullifying the application of unreasonable and impractical laws and punishments (dreamed up by tyrannical, corrupt and authoritarian legislators and judicial officers).
The Citizens’ Grand Jury was an outgrowth of the Magna Carta of 1016?. It was one the mechanisms by which the nobles confined the tyrannical authority of the King of England. Composed of, controlled and operated by citizens it provided the means by which citizens wronged by government officials could claim redress against, for example, policemen who enter homes without a warrant or shoot people or inspectors who demand bribes by threatening to invoke arcane and wasteful rules against homeowners. Upon hearing a complaint, the Grand Jury could direct the state prosecutor to investigate and bring charges against the government official or other violator of the complainant’s rights or contracts. The key element of this Grand Jury system is its control by the members of Grand Jury itself.
That element alone is naturally opposed by tyrants and government control freaks. So guess what has happened in the De-Constitutionalizing of the United States? It has been taken over by the prosecutors themselves and converted by the DA into a weapon which the DA uses against the People. Ordinary citizens cannot approach the Grand Jury any more in Clark County or in any County in the State of Nevada. The DA holds the key and blocks the entry of citizens—unless they are selected (not by the people, but by the political elite) to be puppets on the “Jury”. Except in the case of making a circus trial, as DA Wolfson did once, or prosecute a public official for violation of some sin or violation of rules, the DA never prosecutes public officials. The DA holds the keys to the door of the Grand Jury, disallows defendant attorneys and citizens, and prosecutes only citizens. He has made a mockery of the entire Grand Jury concept so that it has become one more instrument of oppression against you and me—the inverse of what the Grand Jury was intended to be!
The conspiracy of the government, particularly the judicial system, against the People is more widespread in its denial of the right of the jury to throw out the charges against a citizen because the law or punishment may be unjust. Jurors are instructed by judges to take for granted that the law under which one is being prosecuted is just. Judges threaten to jail jurors who violate this instruction. The Legislature and Supreme Court of the State refuse even to inform jurors that they have the right to nullify a law, even if it’s only for the purpose of the trial in which the juror has been forced to participate. Jury nullification has played a major role in eliminating some of the most egregiously evil laws imposed by government tyrants here in the US as the following illustrates: