Nullification, Freedom and Resuscitation: “The Outstretched Hand”

I’ve noticed the Corbett Report video below posted in lots of places and have even had it sent to me by email; however, this morning is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down to watch it. This valuable discussion covers Thomas Jefferson’s idea of “nullification,” including the 10th Amendment, which allows states to have a “last resort ‘No'” to federal, tyrannical encroachment.

I haven’t finished watching the video yet, so I don’t know if they also get into the right of jury nullification — another way to give the old heave ho to tyranny by refusing to convict someone for breaking an unjust law. [Update: they don’t, but you can find out more about jury nullification here.] The NDAA, of course, denies people, including Americans, the right to a jury of their peers, which is why state and local nullification has become so important.

With no one to enforce tyranny, the tyrants will become ever more isolated and obvious, as people s-l-o-w-l-y (but surely?!) begin to grab a clue. Freedom is available, for those who recognize it, value it, and demand it. As Ben Franklin supposedly said while exiting the Constitutional Convention, “[You have] a republic, if you can keep it.”

Few noticed when the republic flatlined in December 2011. Will resuscitation work? That depends on how much life and pulse we’re willing to breathe into it. I’m reading Starhawk’s novel, “The Fifth Sacred Thing,” and last night a quote really jumped out at me. I will write a separate post on the novel, because it’s excellent so far, but here’s the passage that expresses my own hope of resuscitation:

[Speaking at a Seder dinner in which the participants compare their imminent-invasion-by-a-police-state situation to the story of the slaves leaving Egypt] …

“‘I have been in Egypt,’ [Bird] said. They all turned to look at him. ‘And yeah, my own hands and arms and mind and magic got me out. But it wasn’t just me. And it wasn’t just the collective strength, because that seemed pretty damn far away at the time, and the people I was with — even together, we didn’t have much in the way of strength. So I can’t tell you what it was. It wasn’t an old guy with a beard, and it wasn’t a big lady in the sky. But when I was trapped there, something did reach for me.’

“‘How do we invoke that,’ Holybear asked quietly, ‘Where do we put in our order for divine intervention? Because without it, if it’s only our arms and hands, however united, frankly, I don’t think we’re going to win this one.’

“‘I’m not talking about winning and losing,’ Bird said. ‘I’m not even talking about getting free or getting caught or living or dying, really. I’m trying to say that this, this livingness we’re all in and of, has something in it that reaches for freedom. Maybe that quality isn’t first or most central. It could be just like a single thin thread buried in a whole carpet. But it’s there. The outstretched hand is there. If you reach for it, it’ll grab you back.'” (Starhawk, “The Fifth Sacred Thing,” page 215)

There are many ways of reaching towards “the outstretched hand.” Nullification offers a non-violent, legally and historically legitimate option. Watch, learn and integrate. We chose to be here at this precarious and important time in human evolution.

“Tell me, what will you do with your one wild life?” ~Mary Oliver

Even though I believe we have way more than one life, this one, right now, is important. So tell me, what will you do with this one wild life?

Corbett Report

Published on Dec 13, 2013

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=8413

Hardly a week goes by that we aren’t faced with some new outrageous piece of legislation from the increasingly tyrannical government. But once these bills have been passed, what can we actually do about them? What if stopping this legislation was as simple as saying “no”? Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore the nullification solution, a long-repressed piece of political history that offers us a way out.

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