Wednesday, December 30, 2009
But still, some idiot tries to blow up a plane and our President is satisfied with a 15 minute briefing (which took place 2 hours after the incident was OVER) before heading to the gym?
Perhaps this is leadership: The daughter of one of the President's friends has "relatively minor injury" and he goes zooming lights and sirens back to the house to, perhaps, direct where to kiss the booboo, no doubt getting breathless updates along the way.
His aides are saying that the limp-wristed response to terrorism (which they don't like calling as such) is so we don't glorify the attacks and encourage other terrorists. Well, in case our President hasn't realized it, parts of the world hate America. They always will. They don't just hate former President Bush, they hate the entire United States of America, including President Obama and all that follow in that office after him. No amount of ground kissing, bowing down, or apologizing is going to change that. Therefore, heading to the gym in light of an attempted attack is the response they want.
The response they need, however is much stronger than that. One that our current governmental leadership is incapable of providing. By current leadership, I'm referring to Congress as well. And, I don't mean they don't want to provide a stronger response, I mean they can't. They possess neither the intestinal fortitude nor the spinal integrity to do so. They have money to spend, debt to drive up, political correctness to protect, and legacies to invent--on all the wrong priorities. They do so by using big force to handle small problems and using empty rhetoric to "strongly condemn" the big problems.
I, for one, can't wait for November elections. While I have to wait to vote for a new President, there are others that will need my vote before then. I want to ensure all these self-serving "leaders" have plenty of time to work on their selfish priorities.
If you have more important things to do than protect and lead, I'll hold the door open for you.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas to all!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Recently, I was making small talk with a group of church members when someone brought up the general topic of politics. I guess this person assumed, because I am Hispanic, that I held certain political beliefs. She commented that I must be pleased with the direction our country is going. With our new president, she reasoned, this should mean easier immigration, and more governmental assistance for the "less fortunate."
I simply and politely responded, "Every candidate has to earn my vote, and neither party has consistently done so. I am not pleased with either party nor the direction they are taking us."
My tone was friendly, and demeanor relaxed, but somehow, that was a conversation-killer. That wasn't really my intent, but her comments just hit a nerve.
Please don't think for a minute that just because of my race you can make certain assumptions of who I am. Don't believe that my nationality or skin color automatically means that I must believe or react (or vote) in a predictable way. That's called prejudice and assumes that I'm small-minded enough to follow any crowd that looks like me. That's not very intelligent, if you think about it.
So, I guess my message to her, and to politicians in general is: Don't assume anything when it comes to me (or anybody else for that matter). You don't know me that well.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Fifth Amendment, in part
We spend so much time training and preparing in case we ever have to defend ourselves. We research the right firearm, ammunition, and even take classes to hone our skills. We dry fire, practice the steps to firearm presentation, and improve our trigger control.
All that is excellent and necessary.
And yet, we devote little time to understanding the fundamental rights that will come to play once we encounter an investigation--whether potential self defense, or a simple speeding ticket.
People tend to forget the importance of the presumption of innocence. Sure, we've had the concept hammered into our heads. "You are innocent until proven guilty."
But, what does that truly mean?
At the very least, it means that you have no obligation to open your mouth and assist those who seek to investigate you. Taking it a step further, it means that you should not offer information at all. During questioning, the concept is often turned on its head: "If you have nothing to hide, just answer a few questions." Actually, the better concept is: "Since I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to say."
Even if you do have something to hide, the time will come later on where you can consult with an attorney and have a fighting change to defend yourself. In the meantime, keep silent.
Obstinate, stubborn, pig-headed? No, just fully aware of your rights. No need to argue with them, no need to match wits or prove intellectual superiority (you'll lose--they argue for a living). Just simply require that they prove their entire case without your assistance. After all, if they have a solid case, they don't need your help. If they don't have a solid case, they'd better get one before they deprive you of life, property, or freedom. It's not just making sure they do their job, it's making sure they respect the Constitution.
Gate-crashers to take Fifth if subpoenaed
I am aware of statements made by certain members on the Committee on Homeland Security in which premature conclusions concerning my criminal liability have been made. ... The current circumstances warrant invocation of my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination."
Good for you.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Coincidence? No, just receiving and following good advice. Work on your image, no matter how damaged, after your hide is saved from possible criminal charges.
Even then, you still keep in mind, "Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law."
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
As have a few other people, I have been following the story of Tiger Woods and his low-speed, single vehicle accident. I would guess, however, that my reasons for following this story are different than most other people’s reasons. You see, while some people are trying to get as much information as they can regarding the incident, I’m hoping very little new information is found. I guess that’s the attorney in me.
I wrote about this some time ago when Michael Phelps was pictured supposedly partaking of herbal pharmaceuticals. I wrote it then and I'll write it again, remember how Hollywood treats this moment. What is the first thing officers tell those who are arrested? “You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, etc …” It would serve you well to remember that. Note also, that you do not have to be under arrest for your statements to get you in trouble. Even off the cuff comments can incriminate you. Never speak with the police without the advice and presence of an attorney. Nothing good for you will ever come of it. Remember that the police do not have the authority to offer you any kind of deal in exchange for what you say. They are, however, able to “put in a good word” for you, whatever that means. Usually, not much.
The 5th Amendment gives you the right to refuse to add fuel to the fire that will be used to grill you. Understand that the police are focused on investigating the incident and arriving at a justifiable conclusion. You cannot view anything you say as simply an attempt to carry on a friendly, cooperative conversation. Whether it is an interview, an interrogation, or a just-talk-to-us-you-have-nothing-to-hide-because-you-did-nothing-wrong moment, your answers will be used to develop/justify their conclusions, regardless of your intent. I’m not saying the police will be dishonest or underhanded, but just note that their motivation will be different than yours.
Those who know me or who I am blessed to count as regular readers will know that I have tremendous respect for police officers. My advice is not meant as a slight to officers at all. In fact, it’s really just an invitation to slow down. What’s the hurry? Why do you need to speak with the police right this minute? What harm is there in invoking your right to remain silent and waiting until you have an attorney present to walk you through the process? In law school, we used the phrase, “You can’t unring the bell.” Once the statement is made, you cannot take it back. Better to be advised by someone who knows the ropes before you “ring the bell.”
Anyway, back to Mr. Woods. Based on the information received so far, the only cooperating witnesses to the incident appeared on the scene once the initial accident was over. The witness with the most accurate account of what happened—Mr. Woods—is not speaking. He’s cancelled meeting with investigators, and also cancelled public appearances. By all accounts, Mr. Woods has received and heeded the best advice possible—remain silent.
This is not obstruction of justice. There is a very real possibility that anything Mr. Woods says will be used to prosecute him. Therefore, he has a right, as we all do, to put the state to its burden. If the state has a charge to prove, let them do so without the help of the accused. This is not a subversion of justice, nor is it a perk due him because of his money or status. It’s a Constitutional right. One we all possess.
Sure, answering our questions will make us feel better. It will sell more newspapers and advertising time. It will fulfill our “need to know.” It is good public relations. News media will rake him over the coals for not taking control of this situation. They will criticize him for it. They’re upset because they are deprived of the opportunity to tell all. They are not happy because they are forced to print rumor and speculation (though they will gladly do so anyway).
Pay them no mind. For him to speak now could provide evidence against Mr. Woods himself. Out of his own mouth.
Right now, it looks like the battle between public relations and the attorney is being won by the attorney. That’s the way it should be. He could possibly be facing charges for this incident. There may be civil issues to sort out as well. That is better done behind closed doors until the time is right. His future is worth more than my curiosity.
See here, as well, for my personal experience as well as some advice from my law school professor. Warning: he talks fast.