Don’t trust the police

I tell people time and time again, don’t talk to the cops. If an officer has pulled you over, or has terry stopped you, or otherwise has you detained, you two are not friends. That cop is not there to help you. Giving him more information than what is legally required of you – usually just your name and address – will only help his record look a little better when his annual review comes around.

But people don’t want to believe me. When online I can just point them to my post advising them not to talk to the cops, but I don’t have that luxury in person. It’s frustrating. Everyone believes they can talk their way out of any situation. “B-but if I just get a chance to tell my side of the story, I’ll be fine!” No, you won’t. Remember when ex-politician and current beautiful hair model Rod Blagojevich had close to two dozen charges against him? He was showboating and proclaiming about his day in court. Boy was he going to show the government what was what! And then the government put on a terrible case, failing to prove Blagojevich guilty of almost everything. Needless to say, the man didn’t take the stand – it doesn’t pay to say more than what must be said. But he was found guilty of one count: lying to the FBI. He had made the mistake of talking to agents before his lawyers could get him to shut the hell up.

Which brings me to an excellent article from the law blog Popehat:

Is there ever a situation where, by being friendly and cooperative and answering questions, you can deflect government suspicion or satisfy their concerns without charges? Yes. Very rarely, there is. And when the government comes knocking, they count on you grasping at the hope that this is one of those times. Don’t be a fool. If there’s a chance that cooperation will satisfy the authorities today, there will still be a chance in a day or a week or a month after you’ve consulted a lawyer who understands the situation. When you answer law enforcements’ questions — especially when you do it in a stressful situation like a search — you take grave risks of substantially worsening your situation.

Read the entire post and it’s obvious the given scenario is one most of us will never experience. But that isn’t the point. The most law-abiding among us is plenty likely to encounter a cop that wants to ask us questions. And most of us would probably answer everything plenty blindly. But don’t. That cop is not your friend, he doesn’t want to help you, and it will not benefit you to talk to him.

But maybe you’re worried about looking guilty. If you don’t talk, that will only raise suspicions, right? Maybe. But how many prosecutors have given the closing statement, “And so the defendant was silent when questioned. I think you know what that means. I rest my case.”?

Keep your mouth shut.

At least LePage isn’t pretending he doesn’t mean the Christian god

Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has declared August 6 to be a day of prayer and fasting:

WHEREAS, in times of trouble, even those who have been granted power by the people must turn to God in humility for wisdom, mercy and direction. In the spirit of the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, Verses 15-16, I urge a solemn gathering of prayer and fasting. As those verses admonish: “15Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly … 16 Gather

the people, consecrate the assembly… “As Jesus prayed publicly for the benefit of others in

John II :41-42, so should we express our faith in this way.

NOW, THEREFORE, I PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim

August 6th as

A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation

This is highly exclusionary and a misuse of public office. LePage cannot constitutionally use the government of Maine to endorse a day of prayer. (The fasting will be good for him and other Mainers of his girth, though.) The only positive thing that can be taken from this is that at least LePage is being honest and not pretending like he’s declaring a day for all religions. It’s pretty obvious he just means his.

And just one more thing

Peter Falk, dead at 83.

Equality in New York

Equality has passed in New York:

New York lawmakers narrowly voted to legalize same-sex marriage Friday, handing activists a breakthrough victory in the state where the gay rights movement was born.

New York will become the sixth state where gay couples can wed and the biggest by far.

“We are leaders and we join other proud states that recognize our families and the battle will now go on in other states,” said Sen. Thomas Duane, a Democrat…

The New York bill cleared the Republican-controlled state Senate on a 33-29 vote. The Democrat-led Assembly, which passed a different version last week, is expected to pass the new version with stronger religious exemptions and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who campaigned on the issue last year, has promised to sign it. Same-sex couples can begin marrying begin 30 days after that.

Good.

Violating the constitution is costly

Time and time again school boards (usually in the south) will vote to keep some religious relic alive. Whether it be the ability to lead students in prayer or keeping a pledge to God alive in a school oath, heavily Christian school boards are all too often attempting to weasel their particular cultural religion into the classroom. And, of course, the ACLU will come along and say, “Hey, that’s stupid. Knock it off or we’ll sue – and you know we’ll win.” And, of course, all too often the school will hold its ground with the backing of voters and parents who don’t understand the constitution. And once the ACLU sues and wins, there is a great financial burden placed upon the districts:

These costs can be considerable. In McCreary and Pulaski counties in Kentucky, someone got the bright idea to post the Commandments at the local courthouses back in 1999. The ACLU warned officials that they were going to get sued. County officials refused to listen (and all the voters said, “Amen!”). The ACLU sued, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where the counties lost.

The case has dragged on, and now these counties have been handed a bill for $456,881 to pay the ACLU’s legal costs. The insurance provider doesn’t cover expenses like this, so what to do? Well, McCreary County – a poverty-stricken rural community of about 17,000 residents – has been reduced to begging. The McCreary County Record reported that the county has set up an account at a local bank for donations. Judge-Executive Doug Stephens was excited because a $100 check arrived the other day. (Only $456,781 to go!)

I know these people think it’s okay to force their religion onto others, using public money to promote whatever little god happens to be fashionable right now in human history – in fact, I’m sure they think it’s downright righteous – but they have to know they’ll lose. I mean, yes, the U.S. education system isn’t very good, and yes, it’s at its worst in the south, but I honestly doubt these people are so stupid as to believe they’ll win. No, there’s something that’s fooling them:

Meanwhile, [Board member J.B.] Buckland said he and Superintendent Terry Arbogast had consulted attorneys at the Liberty Counsel. The conservative Christian legal group will represent the school board pro bono if the district faces a legal battle.

Short of calling these people outright stupid – I do not believe that they are – this is the best answer I can muster for why they would bother picking this fight. They can only be hoping against hope that they win (if they even believe that) and have no fees to pay, but it’s just so silly. There are millions of Americans who care whether or not their money gets spent endorsing religion. (If the money was being used to endorse Islam or atheism, there would be several hundred more million who cared.) There will always be a fight to first uphold pretty basic constitutional standards and second (though I think it should be first) to make sure religion stays at bay and in the churches and synagogues. I know it’s suppose to be some great thing that Jesus basically committed suicide, but these people aren’t Jesus. There’s no need to financially crucify themselves.

Tech impaired duck is an old duck

Look what happens when you ignore her

She fades away:

Amid diminishing media interest, Sarah Palin has quit her high-profile bus tour halfway through and returned to Alaska with her family, according to RealClearPolitics.

The move puts a damper on widespread speculations that Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour, which launched on Memorial Day, was a precursor to a potential White House bid for 2012. Palin never made it to her scheduled stops in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

RealClearPolitics, which originally broke the story about the bus tour, reported Wednesday on Palin’s “extended hiatus.” The remaining legs of her trip, according to Scott Conroy, are “in limbo” as “Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska.”

Jon Stewart had a recent interview on FOX Noise where his take-away point was that the media loves sensationalism. Combine that with lazy reporting and we get all this useless coverage of people like Sarah Palin. Ever since John McCain failed to vet her, her career has been about being a slightly-legitimized sort of reality show star – that legitimacy coming almost purely from the media’s unending attention.

I just hope she keeps refusing to tell reporters her schedule, or why she’s doing something, or any other detail of her itinerary. The more the quitter gets ignored, the better.