Progressives Okay Child Labor For Green Energy

Statehood for the District of Columbia? Not so fast!

Progressives Okay Child Labor For Green Energy

By: George Noga – August 23, 2020

Microtopics: In our post of 8/30/17 we presciently wrote, “Tearing down Robert E. Lee statues is the camel’s nose under the tent. Does anyone doubt where this ultimately is heading – Stone Mountain, Mount Rushmore, etc.”. . . . Those who consternate about money in politics need to remember Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. They spent a billion dollars and all they have to show for it is American Samoa. . . . . . It’s getting better all the time. The decade of the 2010s brought vast reductions in poverty, hunger and disease. Extreme poverty fell from 18% to 8%; life expectancy increased 3 years; and half the people in the world are now middle class. . . . . During this same time, the annual growth rate in Europe was 0.9% versus an historically low 2.0% in the USA. Sales (VAT) and payroll taxes in Europe are 2 to 3 times higher than in America.

Progressives for child labor: Democrats in the House recently passed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that is a gigantic pork fest. An amendment was proposed to prohibit child labor in the mining of rare earth minerals needed to fund the charging stations for the electric buses mandated by the legislation. Every Democrat on the committee voted against the amendment. When you are trying to save the earth from fossil fuel, it apparently is okay to use young children in the mines of Zambia and the Congo.

Statehood for DC – not so simple: The House voted, strictly along party lines, to grant statehood to the District of Columbia and thus guarantee 2 new Democrat senators. This is part of the progressive plan to govern in perpetuity without any checks and balances. If they gain control of government in the 2020 elections, this is sure to pass in 2021. Normally, statehood requires passage only by simple majorities in Congress and signature by the president. Unfortunately for Dems, this does not apply to DC as it violates the 23rd Amendment. Dems propose to repeal the 23rd Amendment, but that requires a 2/3 vote in Congress plus ratification by 38 states. Good luck with that.

Antifa versus John Stuart Mill: Antifa believes in shutting down all opponents – with violence if necessary. Contrast this with Mill who wrote in On Liberty: “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion. . . . . Nor is it enough that he should hear the arguments of adversaries from his own teachers . . . He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them, who defend them in earnest, and who do their utmost for them.”

MLLG government reforms: (1) Move most federal agencies out of Washington and closer to the people. Move Agriculture to Iowa, Interior to Montana, Energy to Texas, etc. (2) Require federal employees and Congress to send their children to public schools in Washington. (3) Eliminate/reform civil service to enable firing bureaucrats. (4) Make Congress and federal employees prepare their own tax returns. (5) Require Congressmen to notify the next of kin of soldiers from their district killed in battle.

Non-Renewable energy lasts forever: If something is finite, it must eventually run out. If something is renewable, it can never run out. However counter-intuitive, both the preceding statements are wrong. Markets use price signals; as prices rise, people are incentivized to curtail use, recycle, seek substitutes and find new sources. Energy and other resources are not finite in any meaningful economic sense. As time goes on and population soars, minerals are becoming more – not less – plentiful. Try as I might, I can not find even one natural resource that ever has been depleted; can you? It is possible however for renewables to run out, e.g. rivers can run dry, obviating dams.

Montana Moment: I am in Montana for the summer. While hiking among pristine mountains, streams and fields, I ran into God. I was taken aback, but summoned the temerity to ask what he was doing in Montana. He replied, “I am working from home”.

On August 30th we reflect on the 75th anniversary of Japan’s WWII surrender.
More Liberty Less Government – –

MLLG Book Review – Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger

Apocalyptic environmentalism is the dominant secular religion of elites.

MLLG Book Review

Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger

By: George Noga – August 16, 2020

This is only the second book review I have published in 13 years. For inquisitive minds, the first was The Secret Knowledge by David Mamet (still an excellent read); that post was so long ago, it is not on our website. For bracing summer reading, while sheltering from coronavirus, you can do no better than Apocalypse Never, published by Harper and available from Amazon as an e-book for $14.99. A more in-depth review published by The Wall Street Journal also is available online.

As you may infer by my posting a book review, Apocalypse Never is one of the best books I have read in years. It appeals to everyone regardless of their beliefs about climate change and the environment. Michael Shellenberger is a lifelong, unabashed green activist; nevertheless, I found myself agreeing with everything he wrote. No matter where you stand on climate/environmental issues, this book is a must read!

Michael Shellenberger is singularly qualified to write this book. He became a green activist while a teenager, raising money for the Rainforest Action Network. Time magazine named him a “Hero of the Environment”. In 2008 he won the “Green Book Award” for science writing. In 2002 he proposed the New Apollo Project, a precursor of the Green New Deal, which garnered $150 billion from the Obama Administration.

He has campaigned to promote renewable energy, stop global warming and numerous other environmental causes. His publication credits include The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post to name a few. In 2019 the UN-IPCC invited him to be an expert reviewer of its next assessment report. In January 2020 he testified before Congress about the state of climate science. In short, Shellenberger may be the most qualified person on this planet to write about environmentalism.

The final chapter in his book, False Gods for Lost Souls, is the most poignant; in that chapter, Shellenberger posits that: “Environmentalism today is the dominant secular religion of the educated, upper-middle-class elite. . . . It provides a new story about our collective and individual purpose. It designates good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains. And it does so in the language of science, which provides it legitimacy. . . . Apocalyptic environmentalism . . . has replaced God with nature. Under apocalyptic environmentalism, sin stems from our failure to adjust to nature, rather than to God.

Shellenberger goes on: “Secular people are attracted to apocalyptic environmentalism because it meets some of the same psychological and spiritual needs as Judeo-Christianity and other religions. Apocalyptic environmentalism gives people a purpose: to save the world from climate change, or some other environmental disaster. It provides people a story that casts them as heroes. . . . at the same time, apocalyptic environmentalism does all this while retaining the illusion among its adherents that they are people of science and reason, not superstition and fantasy.”

Apocalypse Never excels at blending science, research data, history of the green movement, biopics of its leaders and his personal observations from extensive travels around the globe. He masterfully fuses gripping vignettes about real people in third world countries on the front lines of the environmental crises du jour. His unbiased and incisive logic in dissecting issues at the heart of climate change is a tour de force. Make no mistake, Shellenberger remains a committed environmental advocate, but one whose ideas are worthy of respect from those on all sides of the issues.

The author concludes by offering hope – an incredibly rare commodity in these days of doom and gloom about climate change and the environment. Shellenberger demonstrates that most of the fear mongering about climate change is wrong and that there is more reason for optimism than pessimism about the environment.

Our next post August 23rd is about DC statehood and several other topics.
More Liberty Less Government – –

Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 75 Years Later

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Santayana)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 75 Years Later

By: George Noga – August 9, 2020

Today is the 75th anniversary of the US attack on Nagasaki while August 6th marked 75 years since Hiroshima. This post reexamines the justification and morality of using atomic weapons on Japan and includes top secret US war plans for the invasion of Japan declassified only a few years ago. Watch for our related post, scheduled for August 30th, commemorating the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender.

We begin with some context and perspective. The casualties for Hiroshima were 65,000 and for Nagasaki 45,000. The US bombing of Tokyo had 100,000 casualties, the allied bombing of Hamburg 50,000 and the Battle of Stalingrad 1,500,000. The battle of Dukla Pass, which few Americans know about, had 200,000 casualties. During Japan’s Rape of Nanking (China) they brutally slaughtered 300,000 civilians, triple the atomic casualties in Japan. During all of WWII, 80,000,000 people perished.

As time passes, American attitudes are changing. In 1945 Americans overwhelmingly supported use of atomic bombs; recent surveys show such support vastly diminished. Today’s progressives assert the use of atomic bombs on Japan was racist and genocidal. A few years ago US plans for the invasion of Japan (Operation Downfall) were declassified and they provide compelling evidence that, without using atomic bombs, there would have been 4 million additional casualties – 2 million Japanese, 1 million American and 1 million Chinese, as Japan’s war in China was still raging. Following are two excerpts from the Operation Downfall war plans.

  • General MacArthur estimated 1 million US casualties; his staff believed they would be much higher. In the initial stages, 1,000 Americans per hour would die.
  • Japan had over 20 million men remaining in its combat forces; for the first time in the war, Americans would be vastly outnumbered.

Were the atomic attacks on Japan justified; were they moral; were they racist; were they genocidal? The A-bombs saved at least 4 million lives, 2 million of which (by their own estimate) were Japanese. Atomic casualties represented 14 one hundredths of one percent of all WWII casualties, 7% of those at Stalingrad and were about equal to those from the conventional bombing of Tokyo. The unarmed Chinese civilians (considered subhuman by the Japanese) gruesomely and sadistically slaughtered by the Japanese during the Rape of Nanking were triple Japan’s atomic casualties.

Wouldn’t it have been immoral not to use atomic bombs to save 4 million lives and to avert the biggest bloodbath in the annals of warfare on this planet? The real genocidal racists were Japanese. Those who America (regrettably) interned during the war were treated humanely, while the Japanese committed unspeakable atrocities against the Chinese, Koreans and even American POWs. Many Americans, especially the young, ignorant of the past, are influenced by revisionist progressive claptrap.

Hopefully, this posting puts America’s use of atomic weapons in the proper context. Pass this post on to your children and grandchildren should they have any doubts about the morality of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Don’t miss our post in two weeks (August 30th) commemorating the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Japan on the USS Missouri. It analyzes the question of whether or not Japan – 75 years after the war – is deserving of redemption for its WWII atrocities?

Next on August 16th, we review Apocalypse Never, an environmental blockbuster.
More Liberty Less Government – –

Changes Afoot at MLLG – Truth and Denial in America

Mokita: Truths everyone knows but pretends don’t exist and agrees not to talk about.

Changes Afoot at MLLG
Truth and Denial in America
By: George Noga – August 2, 2020

I will get to truth and denial in America – but first news about changes at the MLLG blog. The most noticeable changes are to the format; I have made our posts easier to read by enlarging the font and adding more space between lines. All links are activated and you are one click away from emailing me, adding a name to my email list and visiting my website, including direct links to prior posts referenced within a posting. Please email me with your questions or comments and I will respond as needed.

I am grateful for your prolific forwarding of my posts, but therein lies a problem. I have had up to four generations of forwards, i.e. the original recipient forwards it to several people who then forward it to others, and so on. One reader can thus be responsible for 100 or more forwards. However, if any one of these 100 should hit the “unsubscribe” link, it is you, the original recipient, who is unsubscribed. I have addressed this with Constant Contact but there is nothing they can do. Please continue to forward, but if you stop receiving my emails, go to our website to resubscribe.

I am making one substantive change to content. My posts tend to follow a set pattern: I describe a problem or issue and marshall relevant data and logic to analyze it. I strive to present a fact-based, principled perspective you do not see elsewhere. It has worked well for the past 13 years and many of my posts will continue this approach. However, beginning in September/October you also will see a new approach that addresses the most weighty issues of our time in a less formulaic and more provocative manner. Thanks again to all my loyal readers and supporters. The best is yet to come!

Truth and Denial in America

English is a prolific language with one million words, of which 200,000 are in active use. This is far more than any other language. Yet there is no English word for a commonly understood truth that isn’t talked about. The people of Papua New Guinea have just such a word; mokita is a universally acknowledged truth that everyone pretends doesn’t exist and is never discussed. There are many mokitas in America.

Truth is no less true when it is unpopular, politically incorrect or even offensive. Realities exist despite what we want them to be, despite what PC may dictate and despite suppression. Subordination of objective reality to political diktats is a central tenet of totalitarianism and progressivism. In the end however, objective reality, unlike progressive denials, doesn’t go away when people stop believing in it.

As often is the case, Winston Churchill said it best: “The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.” Progressivism is a denial of objective reality and exists only when truth is suppressed.

Mokita is present whenever truth yields to power or fear of reprisal yields to political correctness. Anyone who utters a mokita, by speaking a known truth, is savaged by the progressive mob, not because they are wrong but because they violated a mokita.

Next week’s post is about the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima.
More Liberty Less Government – –

Election 2020 – 100 Days To Go


If the choice devolves into civilization versus anarchy, bet on civilization.


Election 2020 – 100 Days To Go

By: George Noga – July 26, 2020

The electoral waters have become muddied since my last election update on February 9th, which you may read at The coronavirus pandemic and its collateral economic damage, along with the unrest following the George Floyd tragedy, have introduced new and hard-to-fathom variables into the electoral calculus. The intensity of events we are now experiencing is unprecedented and my crystal ball is very cloudy. Nonetheless, I believe readers are due an election 2020 update – so here it is.

In the primaries, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg (remember them?) ran as leftist incendiaries. Biden won because he campaigned as a moderate who pledged normalcy. Then, against the clear wishes of Democrat primary voters, he tacked sharply left, embracing ideas from Sanders, AOC and rioters in the streets. Meanwhile, Trump picks fights with Bubba Wallace and tweets support for the confederate flag.

There has been an unambiguous change since my last update. In February Trump was favored; in an election held today, he would be an underdog. However, the election is exactly 100 days and 100 news cycles away and far from over. I must dutifully remind readers that Carter led Reagan well into October; Dukakis led Bush by nearly 20 points and no one gave Trump much of a chance right up until 9:00 PM on election day.

In my analysis, one data point stands out above the others: real people casting real votes in real elections counts far more than polls or pundits. In 2016, the UK Brexit election (per Bill Clinton) foretold Hillary’s defeat. Every recent major election, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and the UK, resulted in defeats for the liberal side. In particular, the UK election looms large and may foreshadow our own election.

Parallels between the UK Labour Party and the US Democrat Party are undeniable. In the December 2019 UK election, the British working class revolted, rocking the UK to its foundation. Labour lost seats it had held for over 100 years; no polls or pundits saw it coming. People everywhere have similar desires. Voters in Northern England and the Midlands are no different than voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. They all want economic security but they also desperately crave cultural security.

It could come down to a choice between civilization and anarchy

In my prior analysis, I wrote the African-American vote was a mega wild card with the potential to transform American politics. Polls had Trump’s approval rating with blacks in the mid 30% range and I was prepared to call the election for Trump based solely on that metric. Today, how the black vote ultimately will shake out is not knowable.

In addition to the strong anti-liberal momentum from recent elections (especially in the UK) and the final denouement of the black and Latino vote, other factors exerting the most influence on the election, in rough order of importance, are as follows.

  1. Performance in the debates (Biden is not likely to debate)
  2. The pace of economic and jobs recovery
  3. The coronavirus situation
  4. Biden gaffes and episodes of incoherence
  5. The results of the Durham investigation

It has come to this. The incumbent is self-centered, braggadocious and repulses many independent voters with his boorish behavior. Nonetheless, he has an impressive record of accomplishments. The challenger is a serial plagiarist and career politician with nothing to show for 45 years of public office. He secured the nomination as a moderate but now embraces the most radical policies of his party’s firebrands and says he will be a transformational president. And by the way, he appears to be non compos mentis.

Biden is ahead but the election is 100 days away – an eternity in politics. I am not sure how relevant the usual analysis and metrics will be in this election. It could come down to voters having to choose between civilization and anarchy. If that happens, I would bet on civilization. MLLG will publish another election update in October.

Our next post on August 2nd, announces significant changes to our blog.
More Liberty Less Government – –

Independence Day 2020

Where can we go once progressives have raided, ravaged and ruined all the red states? 

Independence Day 2020

By: George Noga – July 4, 2020

           We have updated MLLG’s highly popular Fourth of July posting; it is inspired by the movie Independence Day, in which extraterrestrials, having despoiled their home planet, invade Earth with the objective of stripping it of all its resources, rendering it uninhabitable and then moving on to do the same to other worlds.

            An alien race plundering planets, leaving them dead, failing to learn from it and then replicating such behavior on other pristine worlds repulsed everyone who saw the movie. Yet, this same behavior pattern is being aped today by progressives.

         Progressives have pillaged and plundered blue states for over half a century. Their failed governance is characterized by sky-high taxes, mindless regulation, gun control, broken schools, senseless bureaucracy, mandatory unionization, high living cost, rampant crime, political corruption, massive debt, unfunded liabilities, sanctuary for criminal illegal aliens, crumbling infrastructure and homelessness including public drugs and filth. They even refuse to maintain law and order, elevate rioters and looters above law-abiding citizens, defund the police and release dangerous criminals without bail. They pit one group against another based on income, age, gender and race.

Will the last person out of Illinois please turn off the lights?

        When life becomes too toxic, people flee these dystopian wastelands for red states with lower taxes, less crime, fewer regulations, less bureaucracy, right-to-work laws, lower living costs, balanced budgets, modern infrastructure, better schools, gun rights, little homelessness, good public health, detention of criminal illegal aliens, law and order including bail for dangerous criminals. Life in red states is freer and more humanistic; citizens are treated as adults and are not pitted one against the other.

         Progressives, who move to red state America by the millions, love life in their new home; none ever return to their blue state snake pits. However, most transplanted liberals continue to vote for the same pernicious, destructive policies that laid waste to their home states, turning them into the hell holes they desperately fled. Inexplicably, most of them don’t make the connection between the policies that doomed their home states and the vastly different red state policies that attracted them.

        Progressives aren’t the only ones mimicking Earth-invading aliens. Muslims are deserting their home countries in droves to immigrate to western democracies. They flee their noxious homelands so they can speak, vote, live and worship in liberty and build a better life for their children. Incomprehensibly, they copy the plundering aliens and attempt to turn their new homes into replicas of the entropic rats’ nests they fled including Sharia law, genital mutilation, honor killings and subjugation of women.

          Puerto Ricans, mimicking space aliens, progressives and Muslims, also are bent on denuding their home world and then fleeing to Florida. There are 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the US while only 3 million remain in Puerto Rico. You guessed it; most continue to vote for the same failed policies that depredated their troubled island. The same is true of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

       It’s impossible to distinguish between planet-destroying, marauding aliens of Independence Day and progressives, Muslims and Puerto Ricans. They each have despoiled and gutted their own worlds and have moved on to loot new worlds.

       There is one critical distinction: the aliens of Independence Dayafter destroying Earth, moved on to other planets. Where do we go after progressives have raided, ravaged, robbed, razed, ravished, ransacked, rifled and ruined all the red states?


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Next on July 12th, in a MLLG first, we publish a post by a guest blogger. 
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Why Business Succeeds

Business succeeds because its risks, rewards and incentives are aligned with human nature.


Why Business Succeeds

By: George Noga – June 28, 2020

           This post is a companion to the one last week entitled “Why Government Fails“. If you missed it, go to our website In that post, we revealed seven reasons why government fails. This week we explain why business succeeds.

          Business succeeds because it excels at aligning risks, rewards and incentives with human nature – unchanged since men walked on two feet. The imperative to make a profit creates urgency, focuses attention and summons great exertion because success confers wealth and status while failure has immediate and unpleasant consequences. As a result, business attracts motivated, hard working, talented, non risk-averse people whose bias favors action over inertia. Business closely aligns personal incentives with the goals of the business such that they nearly are one and the same.

           Business is based on markets, in which knowledge flows from the bottom up and confers valuable information about consumer choices and preferences along with prices. All transactions are voluntary, non-coercive and mutually beneficial; that explains why both parties to a market-based transaction always say “thank you“.

          In business, one solitary person can literally improve the daily lives of billions of people as did Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton and Walt Disney to name a few. One driven entrepreneur can change the whole world. Moreover, businesses are able to tightly manage world-wide trillion dollar enterprises and prevent most waste, fraud, abuse and corruption through strong governance and independent audits.

Why Government Fails While Business Succeeds

       At all its levels, always and everywhere, government fails for many reasons; foremost among them is that its risks, rewards and incentives are misaligned with, and often even diametrically opposed to, human nature. Politicians and bureaucrats respond to incentives that reward them even when they are contrary to the public interest.

         Government is top down, command and control and coercive; it ignores consumer preferences. Rather than forming mutually beneficial relationships, it creates winners and losers. It divides people by race, age, income and gender.

        Government brings us TSA, Madoff, USPS, failed public schools, OSHA, Medicaid, IRS and public sector unions. People are fleeing as fast as they can from dysfunctional states like Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey and from cities such as Baltimore, Newark, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago.

        Government failure is systemic, structural and incapable of reform; nonetheless,  some government is necessary because it is preferable to anarchy. The only possible remedy is to reduce its overall size and scope to the absolute minimum.

Our next post is on July 4th and celebrates Independence Day.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Why Government Always Fails

Government failure is structural and systemic; it is utterly incapable of reform.


Why Government Always Fails

By: George Noga – June 21, 2020

          This post explains why government at all levels invariably fails. Next week, our companion posting shows why business succeeds. Sentient people know government fails at everything it attempts, but they often don’t understand why.

          We provide many reasons infra for government failure, but first we must explain the nature of its failure. The causes of government failure are systemic and structural; they are deeply rooted and incapable of reform. Its most common symptoms, waste, fraud, abuse and corruption are organic and cannot be eliminated; it is futile to try.

         Changing political parties, appointing different bureaucrats, increasing oversight by Congress, forming elite study commissions or hiring more inspectors general will have no effect. Government failure can’t be eliminated, but there is one, and only one, way it can be reduced. That solution is revealed at the end of this post – stay tuned.

Reasons for Government Failure

Opposed to Human Nature: A principal reason for its failure is that government is unalterably opposed to human nature, which is unchanged since we lived in trees. Humans are hardwired to advance their self interest and to respond to incentives. All the incentives in government are misaligned and contrary to the public interest. This also explains why socialism never has worked outside of a family, clan or tribe.

Public Sector Economics: This is more an explanation than a reason. It explains, inter alia, why government prefers borrowing over taxation, why taxes are opaque and why failed government programs continue to exist – and even to expand. Politicians and bureaucrats are responding to incentives, but ones that reward them, not the public. And politicians’ biggest (and likely only) incentive is to get reelected.

Failure to Attract Talented, Motivated People: Risks and rewards of government work do not attract highly talented, motivated and hard-working people. Government work tends to attract those who are risk averse and prefer inertia over action. Why would being a bureaucrat appeal to anyone who is capable of succeeding in business?

Not Market Based: Markets gather knowledge from the bottom up based on consumer choices and preferences; all transactions are non-coercive and benefit both parties. Instead of mutually beneficial relationships created by markets, government is top down, highly coercive, ignores consumer preferences and creates winners and losers.

One Person Can’t Make a Difference: Try to name one bureaucrat who transformed government for the better. You can’t because none exists. There are no bureaucratic equivalents of Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos and there never can be. Such people would never go into government and if they did, they would soon quit in frustration.

Lowest Common Denominator: Politicians succeed most often when they appeal to our basest instincts, or lowest common denominator – instead of to the better angels of our nature. That explains why they divide people by race, gender, age and income and pursue policies they know are detrimental to those whom they represent.

Too Big to Manage: There is no way 537 politicians can manage a $4 trillion budget. Few of them have the necessary private sector experience; most serve only a few years and they have wildly different ideas about what should be done. Moreover, they are not held accountable for their (mis)management of government spending.

         Government failure, with its embedded waste, fraud, abuse and corruption, has been with us since George Washington’s administration. It never can be eliminated. There is only one way it can be reduced and that is to shrink the overall size and scope of government. That’s one reason our mantra is: more liberty and less government!

Our next post on June 28th explains why business succeeds.
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Conscientious Acquittal a/k/a Jury Nullification

A majority is one person with courage.

Conscientious Acquittal a/k/a Jury Nullification

By: George Noga – June 17, 2020

      In America, the right of a juror to vote conscience is enshrined in our founding documents. Jury trial is the only right mentioned in both the Constitution and Bill of Rights and more words are devoted to it than any other right. The founders intended to put citizens at the very heart of the criminal justice system. Plea bargains, unknown at our founding, now account for over 95% of all criminal cases. Following are but ten situations where a juror may choose to exercise conscientious acquittal.

  1. The accused never intended to commit a crime
  2. An honest citizen acting in good faith violated vague or unknown laws
  3. Victimless crimes
  4. Crimes where the probable or minimum sentence is out of proportion
  5. Laws that should not exist
  6. Disagreement with the way the law is being applied or selectively enforced
  7. Abuse by police or prosecutors or charges that are political in nature
  8. Overzealous enforcement, reliance on paid informants or profiling
  9. Instances where justice would not be served by a conviction
  10. Matters of morals or conscience

Closing Speech to the Jury in a Case Crying Out for Nullification 

       Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: Under our Constitution and common law you are sovereign. You can vote to acquit my client for any reason or for no reason and never be held to account or to explain. You have absolute power to ignore your juror’s oath and the judge’s instructions. This is a sacred right with a lengthy and honorable provenance and is intended for cases like this that cry out for conscientious acquittal.

      The Constitution provides 5 sources that have veto power before a law can punish an accused; you are familiar with 4 of them: (1) house of representatives; (2) senate; (3) president; and (4) judiciary. This jury is the fifth and final source of veto power. Even if a law is passed by both houses of congress, signed by the president and upheld by the judiciary, it will not stand if juries such as this one refuse to convict under it. This is consistent with our Constitution and repeated Supreme Court rulings and is as understood by our founding fathers. John Adams said, “It is not only a juror’s right, but his duty to find the verdict based on his own judgment and conscience.”

     The right to jury nullification goes back over 1,000 years. In 1670 William Penn was tried in London for preaching Quakerism. The judge wanted Penn convicted but the jury refused. The judge jailed the jury for four days without food or toilet facilities, but they still refused to convict. Ultimately, England’s highest court ruled that a juror’s right to reject law and vote conscience is traceable to Magna Carta signed in 1215 and even further back many centuries to Anglo-Saxon customs and practices.

     Conscientious acquittal has a long, glorious history in America. The Salem witch trials ended only after 52 straight acquittals or hung juries. Juries refused to enforce the Navigation Acts in the 1760s causing England to restrict jury trials. Northern juries in the 1850s acquitted abolitionists charged under the Fugitive Slave Laws. Nullification speeded the end of prohibition. Juries acquitted protesters during the Vietnam War and refused to convict those charged with consensual sex under sodomy laws. In 2012 an Iowa jury acquitted trespassing occupy members peacefully protesting at the statehouse. Immediately thereafter, 15 others similarly accused demanded jury trials.

     Your duty as jurors goes well beyond determining facts and includes a duty to prevent injustice. This case cries out for conscientious acquittal. Use your independent life experience, concept of justice, wisdom and beliefs; do not mindlessly follow the judge, other jurors or a flawed law. You can and must hang a jury, by yourself if necessary if your conscience so dictates. You must resist pressure from other jurors to compromise. Ignore the cost of a retrial; it is your right and your duty.

       Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, history shines on courageous juries. Remember what your valiant ancestors did for peaceable Quakers, accused witches, fugitive slaves, war protestors and persecuted gays and then do your duty as a sovereign jury. By doing so, other juries will follow suit; even one solitary American citizen voting his/her conscience can bring about justice for 325 million countrymen.

        Finally, always remember that a majority is one person with courage!

Next on June 21st, we explain why governments fail.  
More Liberty Less Government  –  –

Police Reform in America

MLLG’s plan for reforming the police in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy


Police Reform in America

By: George Noga – June 14, 2020

This is a special posting; the one originally scheduled has been moved to Wednesday. MLLG previously has written about policing; you may view these posts on our website: On 9/25/16 we posted Crisis of Confidence in Police and on 3/12/17 we posted Restoring Confidence in Police. Those posts still are valid.

There are cris de coeur to abolish or defund the police in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy. Major reform is indeed necessary; police have transmogrified into threatening figures, particularly to minorities, the underclass and the young. They wall themselves off from the communities they serve. They have an us-versus-them attitude, which is part of a culture that dictates they protect each other over serving the public.

MLLG Plan for Police Reform

Privatize the police: Communities can hire private for profit security firms. Such firms would hire the good officers from former police departments. The competition would increase the quality of law enforcement and it would be easy for the security firms to fire any officers who misbehave or who rack up citizen complaints.

Abolish qualified immunity: Currently police and government officials have qualified immunity and can’t be held legally accountable when they violate citizen rights – even in the most egregious manner. This must be ended.

Reform/Abolish LEOBOR: Many states have enacted a Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights which gives police many rights, privileges and protections not enjoyed by ordinary citizens. LEOBOR makes it incredibly difficult to hold police accountable.

Eliminate police unions: Unions make it virtually impossible to fire a rogue police officer. Even ones who are fired for gross misconduct usually are quietly reinstated months later with full back pay. Progressive politicians get princely contributions and backing from public unions. It is highly doubtful politicians’ social justice concerns will overcome their addiction to the torrent of union money and votes.

Self evaluation: Following Vietnam, the military was in shambles. Like police today, they were poorly perceived by the public. They did a critical self examination and transformed themselves into a highly trusted institution. Police need to do the same.

West Point for police: We should establish a national police academy to increase professionalism. Many states now require more training for beauticians than for police.

Embrace citizen review boards: All jurisdictions should have non political police review boards composed of a cross section of citizens. Police should embrace such boards and use them to learn from the community and to build trust.

Clean up their act: Police must stop conduct that undermines public confidence. They must end asset forfeitures and policing for profit. Use SWAT teams and military style equipment only when absolutely necessary. Quit telephone solicitations which are unprofessional and grate on the public. Stop the practice of testilying, i.e. police perjury. Don’t link advancement to money or arrests. Finally, improve the atmospherics by eliminating garish uniform decorations befitting the potentate of a banana republic.

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Implementation of the plan outlined above would go a long way to transforming the police into a trusted institution. It is all perfectly logical. But it would be wise not to expect too much in the way of reform as that is the nature of politics. Alas, there will be much sound and fury signifying nothing and, in the end, little will have changed.


Watch for our next post on Wednesday about conscientious acquittal.

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