Let the Word Go Forth,
Take a moment to spread some of these ideas around, would you?
With freedoms being eroded in small and big ways, it is good to know how others stand up for the cause of liberty. It’s also important to stay informed and know how we, or someone close to us, can do the same.
The following methods are not discussed often enough. Many people shy away from talking about them because they can be controversial. But in most cases, people are simply uninformed and don’t realize these options are available to propel the cause of liberty forward.
1) Whistleblowers: Rats or Martyrs?
What you think of whistleblowers may depend on what side of the table you’re sitting on. In this case, we’re talking about whistleblowers who, knowing full well they face serious retribution (despite whistleblower protections), dig deep for courage and publicize how the government office or crony corporation they work for is cheating, threatening, or defrauding the public.
The jailed Swiss banker who gave up his American clients’ financial information to the IRS (explaining how he helped them keep their financial dealings private and later collecting a $104 million snitching fee) didn’t blow the whistle to expand individual liberty.
However, Vincent A. Cefalu, 25-year veteran of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), blew the whistle and exposed the fiasco known as “Operation Fast and Furious.” By doing so, he put his career at risk and made things very uncomfortable for himself.
As we now know, Operation Fast and Furious allowed straw buyers to purchase guns in the U.S. and transfer them to Mexican drug cartels. The plan was to later trace and follow the breadcrumbs left by the guns backwards and catch Mexican drug criminals.
The plan backfired and blew up in their face. Over 2,000 guns were purchased, and the U.S. government-provided weapons have been involved in the killing of hundreds of innocent bystanders – guns from the operation have been found at over 170 crime scenes in both Mexico and the U.S. and these guns were even used to kill a U.S. border agent. Investigations are ongoing.
The bottom line: we may have never learned about this fiasco, and this operation may still be in existence today, if it wasn’t for brave whistleblowers willing to stick their neck on the line to seek justice and liberty for all. You can learn more about whistleblower rights and protections here: http://www.whistleblowers.org/
2) The Boycott: Effective Deterrent or Just a Bunch of Whiners Making Trouble?
A boycott can be an effective way for individuals and private enterprises to exercise the freedom of association (or exclusion for that matter).
If you disagree with the comportment of another individual, organization, enterprise, or even a country, using the silent treatment can work very well. Plus, it’s effective, non-violent, inexpensive, and it can be laser focused to deal with one specific issue without big government involvement.
In the past, boycotts played roles in sparking the move to make tuna fishing “dolphin-safe” and end apartheid in South Africa.
Recently, boycotts were used to punish big banks for laying heavy fees on their customers when millions of bank clients fled to credit unions. And the liberty movement has criticized the current presidential debates and The Commission on Presidential Debates (the private organization that handles the logistics) because they exclude other parties such as Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
Before the first debate aired, Philips Electronics and the YWCA pulled their advertising sponsorships in protest. One word of caution: boycotts based on trumped-up charges and ulterior motives are not uncommon in the internet age. Before joining any boycott, do your due diligence to make sure you are not being exploited.
3) The Jury Veto (Nullification)
“[Jury nullification is] the most practical way to stop the juggernaut police state,” said Former Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) Board Member, Tom Stahl.
A properly functioning jury system consisting of fully informed jurors can accomplish what elections don’t – provide a check on bureaucratic, legislative, and prosecutorial overreaching.
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution,” said Thomas Jefferson.
Federal prosecutors and judges seek to impose their will imperiously by sidestepping the jury system altogether and coercing defendants to accept plea deals under the threat of being overcharged and facing inordinately severe sentencing at trial.
According to the FIJA website, “the primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.”
“The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property. Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.”
Some have gone as far as saying the jury serves as the fourth branch of government, because it provides such a powerful check and balance on overreaching laws. Jury duty is a noble and effective service each of us can do to defend liberty for all.
In a recent case, a Minnesota dairy farmer charged with violating the state’s restrictions on unpasteurized (raw) milk sales was acquitted. Supporters of unpasteurized milk feel this is an important victory for consumer choice and sends a message to government to butt out of our food choices. We can see more cases like this as potential jurors become better informed. You can get more informed by visiting https://fija.org/.
4) State Nullification: State Level Civil Disobedience Using the Tenth Amendment
The federal government is too powerful, too big, and only getting bigger and bolder with its power grabs. Fortunately, our Founding Fathers had great foresight and purposefully added the Tenth Amendment into our Bill of Rights.
At the moment, about a dozen states are flexing their power and either considering or already placing important checks on ever-expanding federal power by opposing legislation such as NDAA and Obamacare. Learn how to get your state and local legislatures behind liberty by checking out https://TenthAmendmentCenter.com.
5) Help Sheriffs, Law Enforcement, and Peace Officers Stand on the Right Side of Liberty, Too…
Although it may not seem like it today with the unhealthy codependence between federal, state, and local law enforcement, there was a time when local and state officers were expected to protect their citizens from power-hungry federal agents. Today, federal agents disregard the Constitution and state laws and enter state and local jurisdictions to forcibly arrest citizens.
In the Federalist Papers, Thomas Jefferson writes to Joseph Caleb in 1816, “Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward [township] direct the interests within itself.” In other words, decentralization is the best method to ensure individual freedom.
If you have loved ones in law enforcement, don’t let them use the refrain, “I’m just doing my job” as a reason to look the other way when it comes to upholding the laws. You may want to introduce them to the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (http://www.cspoa.org/) and the Community Sheriff Project (http://www.countysheriffproject.org/) where they can gain “information and public support to carry out their duties in accordance with their Oaths of Office.”