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Æthelthryth the Texan

s/o Cooperating with Authorities without legal representation

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I figured we could move this over from the CPS thread. 

Seems like there are two minds here. I can't tell how it splits. One is cooperate because people are just trying to do their jobs and aren't out to get you- not to do so is being paranoid and borrowing trouble. It's a very trusting of government mindset. Other end of the spectrum is to first and foremost guard your personal rights and make the authorities do the work to get what they want. Get a warrant while I get a lawyer type of approach. 

It seems related to the theft article posted a few weeks ago where the extremely trusting residents of some CA town gave the local police station keys to their houses. I found that shocking too. You just hand your house keys over to the cops? What could possibly go wrong? I mean, it's not like CA has ever had a problem with corrupt police officers..........

All of this is in a country where according to polling in general, people claim to be distrustful of government as a whole- be it politicians, police officers, or governmental functionaries, like the CPS lady in the other thread. So I'm just trying to reconcile all of that with what I read here. Seems a bit inconsistent. 

Anyone else want to discuss? I think we can do it without being political. 

That thread also made me wonder in general- if you're that trusting of authority and you're a business owner, do you just roll over if a county official or someone walked in and said "I'd like to see your records?" I mean, personally I sort of liked when Apple stood up to the FBI and was like NOPE. Sorry- we're not breaking the encryption. I get that it was needed for a case, but I think some of those fundamental Constitutional rights far trump any individual case. Apparently many disagree. 

So where's your line? Do you "trust until a reason to distrust" when it comes to government- be it local or federal? Would you meet with the IRS without an attorney for instance? What about the FBI if they came to ask you about an employer? Just thinking of hypothetical scenarios to see where those lines are. 

I'll openly admit-  I wouldn't do a thing that involved anyone affiliated with the government whether local or federal or international in any capacity that I can think of, without one of my attorneys telling me what to do. Period. Take me to jail if you must in the meantime for refusing- just let me call my lawyer. Get a warrant. Whatever. We've given my teenager the same advice if something were to happen with the police involved- I don't care what it is. Be polite, but shut the heck up. Let them take you in, and call us. Wait until we get there with counsel. To me that is Common Sense 101. You can't take back words. Even if you didn't do anything wrong- once it's out, it's out. I just am struggling to see why anyone would risk their life, their freedom, their livelihood, or just even their reputation by not "lawyering up" so to speak. "Not having something to hide" hasn't worked out for an awful lot of people in the history of the world. Just curious as to why people are okay with that risk. 

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Also to clarify-  none of this is directed at the OP of the other thread! I am glad what you did worked out. This is just hypothetical musing on how the rest of us reacted and advised accordingly. 

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I think I have different levels of trust of different parts of the government, part of which is determined by what is at risk.

I have gotten behind on taxes before and dealt with the IRS without legal representation; it was a pretty simple matter and I didn't feel like it was likely to be worth a lawyer or anything like that.  What was at risk? Money. 

I've dealt with CPS before without legal representation, but I would never do so again, because since then I've had extended family experiences that make me more wary of CPS, honestly.  I believe most of them are doing the best job they can in difficult circumstances, but I don't trust all of them, which means I don't trust any of them.  What is at risk? My kids.  This is a much bigger risk than money.  Abuse in foster care is pervasive and very frightening, and our relatives aren't all trustworthy either, tbh (although CPS would have no obvious reason to not place the kids with them).  

The cops, hard to say.  Generally I trust them more than CPS, but I've had firsthand experience of abusive/corrupt action there too.

Overall, I don't see CPS as community servants who are helpfully protecting kids in our society from abuse.  In my limited experience, they have caused more harm than they've prevented.  I don't trust them not to cause this harm to me.

Also, as far as CPS goes, if they're investigating me, it's just me and my kids who are at risk.  It's not like the police trying to investigate a crime and use my knowledge and cooperation to find the guilty party; in a CPS investigation I am the person under investigation and my kids are the people who will suffer if something is done incorrectly.  It's like if the police were investigating a crime and you were the only possible suspect, the only one - they just weren't sure you'd committed a crime.  They're not trying to find who is responsible for a  crime, they're trying to find out if there is a crime you've committed that they can punish you for.  So cooperating really won't help anyone, any time, unless you've actually abused or neglected your kids.  If you haven't abused or neglected your kids, there is no benefit TO ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY in letting CPS into your home to investigate possible abuse or neglect (unless your legal counsel advises you differently, I guess).  You're not helping CPS solve the case, because you know you didn't do anything.  There's no case to solve.

With the police, sure, there are times the police might want to come in and talk to me and say hey, where were you last night and what did you hear or see? and if I'm innocent and I really trust them, I could help them figure out what happened and find the guilty party.  But with CPS, the only guilty party in these circumstances is you (if they're trying to come in your home).  If you're not guilty, there's nothing to cooperate about, because there's no crime.  The only worry at that point is how to best convince CPS that there is no abuse or neglect, legally speaking (because it doesn't matter how they feel unless it gives them legal opportunity to take your children).

 

I don't mind if the NSA wants to read my emails, or whatever, btw.  I'm not a terrorist or doing anything else wrong and I don't worry that the NSA is going to take my kids or prosecute me for something on a trumped-up pretext.  I do worry about this with other government agencies because I've seen it.

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I have a completely firm “Do not talk to or cooperate with police or any investigative officials”.  I am polite, but completely unhelpful. The police, in particular, demonstrate their competence by convictions, not by letting innocent people go free.  That is fundamentally at odds with my goals as an individual to have as little contact with the governing authorities as possible.

I will ask for documentation, court orders, legal representation, and say and explain nothing. Not even for a traffic stop - that’s a smile, “Hello Officer, why am I being pulled over?”, and “Okay” to everything else (or whatever non-committal answer I can give to move the situation along without giving them any of my statements for the report.  I’d rather deal with it in court than try to suss it out on the ground and risk self incriminating.

Civil servants are not there to make my life easier and help me.  Even if they are lovely people, they are not on my side and I’m not cooperating any more than legally required.

 

Here is a FANTASTIC podcast on the subject. 

http://radicalpersonalfinance.libsyn.com/webpage/2017/05/04

Edited by Arctic Mama
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My favorite article about this is here.

The thing that gets me every single time when I think I'm too hypothically crazy about all of this is that law enforcement, civil servants, etc., can be really, really polite and nice. But they are legally allowed to lie to you. They can lie their faces off in pursuit of solving their case or whatever motivation they have and face no penalty. However, you can be totally innocent of whatever they are investigating, but even if you mistake some details, you can go to jail for lying to the FBI. And the above article addresses why people who think they would never, ever lie are mistaken.

I watch LivePD a fair bit, and they way cops treat people's civil liberties all the time, when they know they are being televised, is just astounding to me. I mean, a lot of the people the cops deal with are guilty as sin, but I don't think half of what police do on that show is really ethical in terms of civil liberties. The point of the show I think is to make law enforcement look good, so that's what even funnier to me...like what they are doing is not okay, but this is supposed to be the heroic behavior (I can't think of a specific example right now, sorry) of police and sheriff's departments.

I also happened to come across the Pot Brothers at Law 25-word script and advice (which contains vulgarity) and aside from the fact that I'm not at all interested in marijuana the principle of the thing is very interesting. Cooperation does not mean talking to authorities. You can be cooperative, polite, and respectful without talking to them about yourself. Conversely, remaining silent is not uncooperative. It may not be what they want, but it isn't uncooperative. It is just declining to do what they want in the moment.

At this point, I think if I did something wrong, broke the law, whatever and needed to fess up and repent and do my time I still would not do it without a good lawyer. I would never throw myself on the mercy of the system because of how the system treats people.

Then again, I never expect to find myself in a situation where any of this stuff is needed. But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me. 🤫

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2 minutes ago, EmseB said:

My favorite article about this is here.

The thing that gets me every single time when I think I'm too hypothically crazy about all of this is that law enforcement, civil servants, etc., can be really, really polite and nice. But they are legally allowed to lie to you. They can lie their faces off in pursuit of solving their case or whatever motivation they have and face no penalty. However, you can be totally innocent of whatever they are investigating, but even if you mistake some details, you can go to jail for lying to the FBI. And the above article addresses why people who think they would never, ever lie are mistaken.

I watch LivePD a fair bit, and they way cops treat people's civil liberties all the time, when they know they are being televised, is just astounding to me. I mean, a lot of the people the cops deal with are guilty as sin, but I don't think half of what police do on that show is really ethical in terms of civil liberties. The point of the show I think is to make law enforcement look good, so that's what even funnier to me...like what they are doing is not okay, but this is supposed to be the heroic behavior (I can't think of a specific example right now, sorry) of police and sheriff's departments.

I also happened to come across the Pot Brothers at Law 25-word script and advice (which contains vulgarity) and aside from the fact that I'm not at all interested in marijuana the principle of the thing is very interesting. Cooperation does not mean talking to authorities. You can be cooperative, polite, and respectful without talking to them about yourself. Conversely, remaining silent is not uncooperative. It may not be what they want, but it isn't uncooperative. It is just declining to do what they want in the moment.

At this point, I think if I did something wrong, broke the law, whatever and needed to fess up and repent and do my time I still would not do it without a good lawyer. I would never throw myself on the mercy of the system because of how the system treats people.

Then again, I never expect to find myself in a situation where any of this stuff is needed. But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me. 🤫

The bolded, exactly! Then you're depending on interpretation of intent and other things that are totally subjective depending on who is telling the story. 

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Quoting OP:  “Other end of the spectrum is to first and foremost guard your personal rights and make the authorities do the work to get what they want. Get a warrant while I get a lawyer type of approach. “

Theoretically, I am firmly in this camp and have very strong feelings about it.

However, if I was in a situation with CPS and felt that “not cooperating” would inflame the situation and put my kids at risk, I would do exactly as Ananda did. I hope I would be able to get wise legal counsel ahead of time, but I can’t say I always find lawyers want to calm rather than further agitate a situation from which they will then benefit greatly from. Divorce lawyers come to mind immediately.

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2 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

Quoting OP:  “Other end of the spectrum is to first and foremost guard your personal rights and make the authorities do the work to get what they want. Get a warrant while I get a lawyer type of approach. “

Theoretically, I am firmly in this camp and have very strong feelings about it.

However, if I was in a situation with CPS and felt that “not cooperating” would inflame the situation and put my kids at risk, I would do exactly as Ananda did. I hope I would be able to get wise legal counsel ahead of time, but I can’t say I always find lawyers want to calm rather than further agitate a situation from which they will then benefit greatly from. Divorce lawyers come to mind immediately.

I am still struggling to understand how it would inflame a situation I guess. I mean they might get mad- but it's not going to change the physical evidence one way or another, so I never got the link in that thread of that putting the children at risk. Maybe I'm missing something. It just seems like they either have the evidence to get the warrant, or they don't. Me cooperating shouldn't wave that one way or another. Meanwhile them getting the warrant only gives me more time to prepare. That's how I think about it. 

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Oh my word @EmseB, I clicked on the link and then rabbit trailed on the Shut Up article and now I'm 😂 😂.

When I was on Twitter I followed Pope Hat, and he's one of the few things I miss about Twitter, but I haven't read any of this. This is awesome. Thanks. I need to check out AM's podcast link too. Dh's going to wonder if we're about to have a visit from the FBI or something........

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13 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I am still struggling to understand how it would inflame a situation I guess. I mean they might get mad- but it's not going to change the physical evidence one way or another, so I never got the link in that thread of that putting the children at risk. Maybe I'm missing something. It just seems like they either have the evidence to get the warrant, or they don't. Me cooperating shouldn't wave that one way or another. Meanwhile them getting the warrant only gives me more time to prepare. That's how I think about it. 

 I think you’re probably right. Logically, what you are saying makes sense to me. But I guess I don’t really know for a fact what they can and cannot do and how much is up to the discretion of the individual social worker? I’ve followed cases over the years where parents have had their children taken or had their lives put under a microscope in ways that seem completely unjust to me.  So, I guess it would be a fear-based response arising from stories of injustice in my case.

Edited by Mom0012

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After reading this I've decided there's nothing left to talk about. I'm right. Popehat says so. 🤣

Favorite quote: 

Quote
  1. If the cops you are dealing with are inclined to shaft you for lawyering up, then they are the sort who would have shafted you one way or the other sooner or later anyway. The cops who are trying to convince you that things will go badly for you if you don't talk right now DO NOT HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART. They are trying to frighten you into talking without caring whether it is in your best interests.

Really, just SHUT UP.

 

I would LOVE to read what he has to say about the Californians giving away their house keys. 

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I'm in Australia and I think the attitudes are a little different here. If our version on CPS came knocking the only reason I'd have any thought about lawyers would be from reading US based threads on here! I just don't think that we have a culture of lawyering up in general, though we are a large country so there could be regional differences. 

I think in regards to other departments it would depend on who and what. It would mostly be a cost benefit analysis in relation to the particular incident for me, ideology would only occasionally come into it. I would not permit a search of my house without a warrant and I would get a lawyer if I was actually being charged with something or accused of a serious crime.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, AurieD said:

I'm in Australia and I think the attitudes are a little different here. If our version on CPS came knocking the only reason I'd have any thought about lawyers would be from reading US based threads on here! I just don't think that we have a culture of lawyering up in general, though we are a large country so there could be regional differences. 

I think in regards to other departments it would depend on who and what. It would mostly be a cost benefit analysis in relation to the particular incident for me, ideology would only occasionally come into it. I would not permit a search of my house without a warrant and I would get a lawyer if I was actually being charged with something or accused of a serious crime.

 

 

 

Generally speaking (& merely IMHO), many Americans do not like or trust many other Americans, especially if those other Americans are in positions of any authority. Any person who works for any level of governmental organization is assumed to have malicious intent until....well, let's just say they are assumed to have malicious intent.  It's just part of our culture & with the breakdown of our institutions, it's only made things worse.

I agree with being cautious, and in never volunteering information, but excessive amounts of energy seem to get expended on protecting oneself from any & all _______ (insert person of authority in blank) who are deemed a threat, or who have threatened anyone else in previous situations. I think this mindset contributes to more stress and a further breakdown in relationships.

I don't know how we - as a culture - can reverse the level of instant mistrust that is so common right now. It has gotten markedly worse in the last 10-20 years.

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Interesting observations after spending an hour reading PopeHat's blog: 

1) There is a subreddit where people post things for asking for legal advice! Guessing that has to be fascinating. Now I know what I can read next time I have insomnia. 

http://mimesislaw.com/fault-lines/when-i-said-shut-up-i-also-meant-online/12744

2) The FBI is really really REALLY scary and now things make a lot more sense of why everyone under the sun seem willing to sell out their mothers when the FBI gets involved in return for immunity, as apparently the FBI have an insane amount of power and people are right to be terrified about the entire organization seems like really lovely, kind and thoughtful organization with very dedicated and hardworking employees who would never ever ever overstep a boundary or engage in any tactic that might be construed as even slightly unethical, much less draconian and that they have only the best interests of US Citizens in mind. God Bless them all. 

3) Shut up. 🙂

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I guess I’m boring. Being confronted by an LEO or any other governmental official about something contentious isn’t something I have any experience with. I have no idea how I’d respond. It would totally depend on the circumstances, I suppose. It’s not something I’ve spent any time thinking about, nor do I feel the need to. I can’t say that I have any particular fear or mistrust of anyone in government or law enforcement. I recognize that there is probably a bit of privilege in that.

I was once pulled over by an officer when I hadn’t done anything wrong at all. But he was a high school friend of my brother’s and just wanted to catch up..I told him everything. 😉 

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I’m boring too. I blame knowing and being friends with more than one attorney. But I will say, we even had Shut Up training as part of work, once we were at a certain level on the Org chart. Post Enron, (or maybe before but all of that happened just after I was entering workforce) you can quite clearly go to jail if your company does something- even if you weren’t part of it, but because you should’ve known about it. You sign disclosures on that as far as accountability - so ShutUp training is a company’s due diligence to keep blabbery employees quiet so they can bring in legal. I figured more people would operate under that premise, just from corporate exposure alone, to silence being a virtue. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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I'm not sure that you'd find it really comes down to trusting in authority vs not trusting authority.

For me the difference is more like, do I believe society is a thing, or, like Ms. Thatcher, that "there is no such thing as society"?  I think the later is false, and not only that, but that a society - or conglomeration of individuals if that is your POV -  predicated legally and philosophically on that premise is bound to fail, probably catastrophically.

So while there is always the question of what is best to do in the situation at hand at that moment, which is a highly variable thing, the more universally applicable question is do I try and  behave in a way that supports a robust society, or one that undermines it.  

Edited by Bluegoat
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I will cooperate within what I know to be my constitutional rights. I will not allow law enforcement people into my home if they don't have a warrant. I've seen that go bad way too many times. I'm also going to be very careful about what I say, because everything we say can be used against us.

Official Authority Types expect me to obey the letter of the law, and I expect them to do the same.

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20 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

I'm not sure that you'd find it really comes down to trusting in authority vs not trusting authority.

For me the difference is more like, do I believe society is a thing, or, like Ms. Thatcher, that "there is no such thing as society"?  I think the later is false, and not only that, but that a society - or conglomeration of individuals if that is your POV -  predicated legally and philosophically on that premise is bound to fail, probably catastrophically.

So while there is always the question of what is best to do in the situation at hand at that moment, which is a highly variable thing, the more universally applicable question is do I try and  behave in a way that supports a robust society, or one that undermines it.  

What would you define as a robust society?

I'm not advocating to not follow the law. But in the US, the 4th Amendment is a real thing. I guess I am not understanding how abiding by that and not allowing a government official access without due process is undermining society in general? Or is obstructionist? It would be obstructionist to destroy evidence, or to refuse to answer a summons, or to commit perjury. But if you are responding legally, and denying access that was requested without proper, legally verified cause, is that really obstructionist? 

Maybe I've read too much Solzhenitsyn, but it seems a slippery slope- governments, and their officials no matter how originally well intended, seem to struggle historically at self regulation and power. 

I'm not advocating to refuse a warrant- that would only end up with me arrested and they'd still carry out the warrant. But how does asking for due process and that the authorities respect the bar that the government has set within its framework (as far as the US- I'm not sure what the equivalent would be in Canada) undermine society in general? It would seem that it's the opposite and allowing the government free rein to tread as they chose would have more of an undermining effect on society, because then there are no set rules. The player, the government, will always win that game, won't it? 

I think it would be one thing to say all police are corrupt, and to try and spread an overall vibe of mistrust and refusing cooperation as a community as a whole, versus simply expecting that police, or any government official work within the constitutional framework of that particular country when it comes to individual rights. To me, having counsel simply ensures that all parties, theoretically, are educated on the laws and are operating within the same framework. So there, it's trust, but verify, and the playing field is level. But most laypersons don't know the difference between a felony and a misdomeaner, much less the intricacies of state and federal law- but in the US, no latitude is given for ignorance. Our ignorance works in the favor of the authorities when it comes to legalities. I think in a perfect world where citizens were given the benefit of the doubt and their rights were staunchly and universally upheld you might have a different story, but it's not that world. So it would seem that asking the government to toe the line is a requirement. Because if the government isn't toeing it, the citizenry can hardly be expected to.

Maybe that's why there is the distrust here in the US that @Happy2BaMom remarks on upthread exists? Because the citizens see the government, or its representatives which effectively ARE the government, represent a double standard. Do as I say, but not as I do.......And if you can't respect your authority figures, it probably makes it that much harder to respect your fellow citizens, as it's just a society of cynicism at that point. 

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59 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

So while there is always the question of what is best to do in the situation at hand at that moment, which is a highly variable thing, the more universally applicable question is do I try and  behave in a way that supports a robust society, or one that undermines it.  

Of course I want to do my part in that regard. However, it seems that the groups with the force of law behind them are more at risk of becoming unchecked. It's most helpful to have clear lines and, for society's sake, for everyone to follow them. Civil servants are professionals, doing a job, which places the full force of our penal system behind their actions. It's a weighty thing for a police officer, for example, to be able to kill someone in the line of his work enforcing the law. 

I don't want to Godwin the thread out of the gate, so I'll just suggest reading something like The Whisperers and see how "supporting a robust society" can be taken to extremes. And that's far from the only, or most extreme, example from history. Is something like that what I'm worried about if I'm asking a CPS worker to follow the law? Not really, no. But I'm not concerned about going against the interests of myself or my children in order to make their job easier. That doesn't necessarily support a robust civil society either.

Edited by EmseB
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54 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

I'm not sure that you'd find it really comes down to trusting in authority vs not trusting authority.

For me the difference is more like, do I believe society is a thing, or, like Ms. Thatcher, that "there is no such thing as society"?  I think the later is false, and not only that, but that a society - or conglomeration of individuals if that is your POV -  predicated legally and philosophically on that premise is bound to fail, probably catastrophically.

So while there is always the question of what is best to do in the situation at hand at that moment, which is a highly variable thing, the more universally applicable question is do I try and  behave in a way that supports a robust society, or one that undermines it.  

 

I think there are two aspects to this, for me.

The first is that in the US the 4th amendment (and for that matter, the 1st and 2nd, at least) are part of the fabric of our (semi, now)-functional society.  It is the way our social fabric does work.  We expect as little government intrusion into our lives as possible; that is the basis on which this society was founded, the idea that made it happen and sustained it through its early growth, at least.

The second is that there are some government agencies, CPS I'm looking at you, whom I do not believe always behave in a way that supports a robust society.  I don't think foster care for as many kids as are currently removed to foster care (and esp. when not placed with relatives, but even then) is good for society.  I don't think that most public schools are currently functioning in a way that supports a robust society or serves the kids they're meant to serve.  Now, it might be better if I had left my kids in these schools, encouraged them to keep acting like kids, and fought the good fight about silent lunches and structured recess and the overdiagnosis of ADHD in spring/summer birthday boys, but partially because I am American and my first responsibility is to my kids and partially because I don't think the schools are currently doing their part to serve society, I opted out.  

 

For me, in the US at least, people refusing CPS unwarranted and unnecessary entry and especially CPS not requesting/demanding/scare-mongering for it would actually make for a more robust society.  It would keep social workers from trading on their power to get access where they do not need it or warrant it, legally speaking, and people like me would be more willing to cooperate because it would feel more above-board and less mysterious.

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Another interesting PopeHat blog: 

The Privilege to Shut Up

That one made me thing back to when I worked with high risk populations. Interestingly, the hookers and crack smokers back in the day (who, to clarify,  I worked with for research, not like as a coworker)  were experts at shutting up when it came to police, and were extremely skeptical of the system as they tended to have a LOT of experience with it. I think it is worth noting that the more experience one has with the system in general, the less trusting one is of it. 

(PS- I am driving my dh and dd crazy quoting all of these interesting Pope Hat posts. So I have to post them here instead of reading them to my family- feel free to ignore me if you aren't already.) 

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I don't see everyone who is in any way affiliated with any kind of government organization as some kind of monolithic THE GOVERNMENT that's out to get me in any way possible. My local and state governments have been very helpful in a variety of ways over the years, and the federal government is so polarized and dysfunctional right now that it's hard to say how I feel about it. 

Is there systemic dysfunction in smaller governments and institutions? Of course. But I think that, on the whole, most governments do far more good than bad and I'm not going to lawyer up every time I have to have some kind of interaction with them.

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I rabbit trailed to this article on DHS being able to demand access (as in compelling you to unlock) to your smart phone or laptop records upon entry if they have reason to suspect a crime is being committed: 

http://mimesislaw.com/fault-lines/customs-unlock-phone-else/16882

I didn't know they could do that. 

One of dd's friends just finished drivers' ed and at the end a police officer came and addressed the class. One of the things he told them was that if they were involved in an accident or a traffic stop and the police officer asked them to unlock their phone they should comply to demonstrate they weren't texting or otherwise using their phones while driving (which would be illegal). My jaw dropped- I later told dd she should do no such thing. I wonder if that's another thing where it can be compelled just by suspicion? Or does that have a warrant. 

Man. I might want to go to law school after this homeschooling gig and be a white collar defense attorney like Ken White at PopeHat! This is all fascinating. And it seems like there is a never ending supply of business. 

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27 minutes ago, Mergath said:

I don't see everyone who is in any way affiliated with any kind of government organization as some kind of monolithic THE GOVERNMENT that's out to get me in any way possible. My local and state governments have been very helpful in a variety of ways over the years, and the federal government is so polarized and dysfunctional right now that it's hard to say how I feel about it. 

Is there systemic dysfunction in smaller governments and institutions? Of course. But I think that, on the whole, most governments do far more good than bad and I'm not going to lawyer up every time I have to have some kind of interaction with them.

 

Me neither, for sure. The IRS I'm happy to deal with without a lawyer, because the only consequence is monetary and I just don't care that much about money.  The police, it sort of depends, but on the whole I'm not worried.  The NSA I could care less about because I'm not a terrorist or a pedophile or doing anything untoward online and I don't think I'd be much of a target otherwise (that is to say, I'm not part of a group, ethnicity, etc. that the federal intelligence agencies might be liable to target so I'm not afraid of having things misconstrued or whatever).

CPS I do not trust as much as the above, and/or the risk is higher.

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39 minutes ago, Mergath said:

I don't see everyone who is in any way affiliated with any kind of government organization as some kind of monolithic THE GOVERNMENT that's out to get me in any way possible. My local and state governments have been very helpful in a variety of ways over the years, and the federal government is so polarized and dysfunctional right now that it's hard to say how I feel about it. 

Is there systemic dysfunction in smaller governments and institutions? Of course. But I think that, on the whole, most governments do far more good than bad and I'm not going to lawyer up every time I have to have some kind of interaction with them.

That would be an interesting thing to study, historically speaking. I am of the belief that power corrupts, in general, and I have been around enough tiny tyrants during my military service to know that it's true even on a small scale. Most people won't do anything horrible, you're right, but it only takes one person with a little power to make life pretty awful.

I think people are speaking of issues with law enforcement, or other authorities that can put you in jail, take away your kids, seize property, use lethal force, etc. I feel like it's just common sense to be aware of one's rights in those situations. I know that I have a very limited understanding of what authority police have, for example, in questioning me. I didn't know until recently they are allowed to lie or withhold information while interrogating people. And someone that works for a higher authority is going to be very well trained in interrogation techniques. I have been interrogated exactly once in my life, in a fairly low risk setting, and I have to admit it was nerve wracking. It makes you feel like you don't know what you know. I have no desire to be in a position like that again without an advocate or someone who knows the system.

Of course we're not talking about taking a lawyer to the DMV (but maybe that would speed up the line!!) or other such places. But there are a lot of places where it makes sense. Would I try to navigate an audit without a tax lawyer? Immigration proceedings without a lawyer? A criminal case or interrogation without a lawyer? Settle an estate without a lawyer? Nope. And I don't think it's irrational fear that leads me to hire one when dealing with potentially sticky legal issues.

Edited by EmseB
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My city government sent a notice out to citizens a year or two ago, asking everyone to notify them of any security cameras that we have in or outside of our home.  The request went on to state how useful it would be for the city to maintain a comprehensive database of all private security cameras so that, should a crime be committed, they would be able to look at the camera footage.  While it was a "request" it looked and was worded in a very official way, which I think would lead some to believe that they must comply--at a minimum they would be under suspicion for being "uncooperative."

If I had information from a home security camera that I thought would help lead to justice when a serious crime was committed, I would provide that information to the appropriate authorities.  (A murder occurred on my block a couple of years ago and the suspect's car showed up on the neighbor's video camera).  But, if there is a suspicion that the next door teenager came in at 11:10--breaking the curfew law, I don't want the police coming to see my video footage.  

I also did not like the tone this notice set as far as who and what I should be fearful of.  I don't want to live in a world where I am so suspicious of everyone and worried about what my neighbors may be doing that I volunteer to provide law enforcement with 24/7 surveillance. 

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For me, I think it's not a harsh line between cooperate or don't. If someone called CPS on me, you'd better believe I'd find the name of a lawyer stat so that I'd have it on hand the second things went south. And I'd want to record conversations. Plus I'd take notes myself after everything. I wouldn't have any innate trust. But also, for the sake of expediency, I'd probably cooperate. Because that's what's going to get things cleared up the fastest. And while I'm suspicious, I also know that I don't really have anything to hide. And I know that I'm privileged enough to be in a category of people who isn't going to under suspicion so much. I'm white, middle class, Christian background but secular, married, present as straight... I mean, I don't have as much to worry about as a lot of people might. If we were living in poverty or if I were divorced or Muslim or not white or a lot of other more vulnerable categories of parent, I think I'd be (rightfully) more cautious. Another point in my favor is that my kids are older now and they're both neurotypical. So I don't have anything to fear there. Plus, my vague familiarity with CPS here says to me that the whole thing is likely to work out okay. If I lived somewhere where CPS was overzealous a lot, then maybe I'd be more worried as well. So many elements of context.

The government does many fine things for me and mine. The government also makes plenty of mistakes. I think it's a good thing that CPS exists. But that doesn't mean they don't screw up - under-protecting some kids, going after some families that did nothing wrong. It's not a monolithic thing.

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24 minutes ago, moonflower said:

 

Me neither, for sure. The IRS I'm happy to deal with without a lawyer, because the only consequence is monetary and I just don't care that much about money.  The police, it sort of depends, but on the whole I'm not worried.  The NSA I could care less about because I'm not a terrorist or a pedophile or doing anything untoward online and I don't think I'd be much of a target otherwise (that is to say, I'm not part of a group, ethnicity, etc. that the federal intelligence agencies might be liable to target so I'm not afraid of having things misconstrued or whatever).

CPS I do not trust as much as the above, and/or the risk is higher.

The IRS can put you in jail though- if they perceive that you were doing something they could say was cheating, even if that wasn’t your intent- bam. Jail. I have much respect and fear surrounding the IRS. They’ve managed to put people in jail the FBI couldn’t get on other charges, and that’s impressive because the FBI has some insane conviction rate. Like 97% or something crazy. Which means you, as the defendant have a 3% or less chance of not being convicted. How balanced does that sound???

But they rate #1 on my List of Scary Federal Agencies. Well maybe #2 after learning about the really AWESOME people of the FBI! 

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37 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I rabbit trailed to this article on DHS being able to demand access (as in compelling you to unlock) to your smart phone or laptop records upon entry if they have reason to suspect a crime is being committed: 

http://mimesislaw.com/fault-lines/customs-unlock-phone-else/16882

I didn't know they could do that. 

One of dd's friends just finished drivers' ed and at the end a police officer came and addressed the class. One of the things he told them was that if they were involved in an accident or a traffic stop and the police officer asked them to unlock their phone they should comply to demonstrate they weren't texting or otherwise using their phones while driving (which would be illegal). My jaw dropped- I later told dd she should do no such thing. I wonder if that's another thing where it can be compelled just by suspicion? Or does that have a warrant. 

Man. I might want to go to law school after this homeschooling gig and be a white collar defense attorney like Ken White at PopeHat! This is all fascinating. And it seems like there is a never ending supply of business. 

 

They can request access and seize the device.  If you are a US citizen they can detain you for a reasonable period of time but cannot deny you entry.

If someone is not on their phone at the time of an accident, it is in their best interest to comply, as they will be able to resolve matters with their insurance more quickly with a completed police report.  If the police believe you were distracted due to your phone (and you were), they will be able to easily get a warrant for your phone and for your activity on your phone from your service provider.  They generally cannot force you to comply at the scene (what the police can/can't do as far as compliance/assistance with accessing a device is still being litigated) but they can seize the device as evidence.

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1 minute ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

The IRS can put you in jail though- if they perceive that you were doing something they could say was cheating, even if that wasn’t your intent- bam. Jail. I have much respect and fear surrounding the IRS. They’ve managed to put people in jail the FBI couldn’t get on other charges, and that’s impressive because the FBI has some insane conviction rate. Like 97% or something crazy. Which means you, as the defendant have a 3% or less chance of not being convicted. How balanced does that sound???

But they rate #1 on my List of Scary Federal Agencies. Well maybe #2 after learning about the really AWESOME people of the FBI! 

Actually the IRS must show "willful evasion" to have any shot at getting a conviction. There is a clear cut difference between mistakes and evasion.  If the IRS is pursuing criminal charges against someone for tax evasion (which they rarely do), then it's a pretty good bet they have the goods.

The FBI conviction rate is also a factor of what they choose to pursue.

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5 minutes ago, Farrar said:

For me, I think it's not a harsh line between cooperate or don't. If someone called CPS on me, you'd better believe I'd find the name of a lawyer stat so that I'd have it on hand the second things went south. And I'd want to record conversations. Plus I'd take notes myself after everything. I wouldn't have any innate trust. But also, for the sake of expediency, I'd probably cooperate. Because that's what's going to get things cleared up the fastest. And while I'm suspicious, I also know that I don't really have anything to hide. And I know that I'm privileged enough to be in a category of people who isn't going to under suspicion so much. I'm white, middle class, Christian background but secular, married, present as straight... I mean, I don't have as much to worry about as a lot of people might. If we were living in poverty or if I were divorced or Muslim or not white or a lot of other more vulnerable categories of parent, I think I'd be (rightfully) more cautious. Another point in my favor is that my kids are older now and they're both neurotypical. So I don't have anything to fear there. Plus, my vague familiarity with CPS here says to me that the whole thing is likely to work out okay. If I lived somewhere where CPS was overzealous a lot, then maybe I'd be more worried as well. So many elements of context.

The government does many fine things for me and mine. The government also makes plenty of mistakes. I think it's a good thing that CPS exists. But that doesn't mean they don't screw up - under-protecting some kids, going after some families that did nothing wrong. It's not a monolithic thing.

My thing would be is I am not sure I am intelligent enough to know when things were going south- to be able to end it. Like that would be too late for me. I worry that be the time I realize that, the damage would be done and it’s really, really hard to undue that damage. It’s impossle to take back words. So if someone has a cool head and confidence in their situation and responses I can see braving it, but for me- I do not have the level of belief in my brain function that something that could be misconstrued wouldn’t escape my mouth. I mean like here- I write things all the time that come out wrong. Nervous with someone who could take my kids or my freedom? I just need to stick to paying someone who will tell me when to shut up to give the best odds possible. 

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I have a friend who was recently asked by police if they could ask him some question about an incident involving another person.  My friend was not involved in the incident and was not being accused of anything.  He didn't even know much about the incident, but thought the person in question was innocent of any wrong doing.  He thought he was helping, cooperating, and probably benefitting this other person.  My friend was shocked when he found out later, that the entire conversation he had with the police had been taped without his knowledge.  He was not even the person under suspicion but he felt that his rights had been violated by the police and said he will not talk again to police without consulting a lawyer first.  

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Just now, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

My thing would be is I am not sure I am intelligent enough to know when things were going south- to be able to end it. Like that would be too late for me. I worry that be the time I realize that, the damage would be done and it’s really, really hard to undue that damage. It’s impossle to take back words. So if someone has a cool head and confidence in their situation and responses I can see braving it, but for me- I do not have the level of belief in my brain function that something that could be misconstrued wouldn’t escape my mouth. I mean like here- I write things all the time that come out wrong. Nervous with someone who could take my kids or my freedom? I just need to stick to paying someone who will tell me when to shut up to give the best odds possible. 

That makes sense. I'm just thinking there's nothing I could say that could be that wrong. Like, I can't even imagine what they could ask that an honest answer, even poorly worded, could get me in trouble at this point. Now, when my kids were little, I was much more worried about this. I mean, I let them play alone at the park, one of my boys slept in the bed with me a really long time, they were sometimes not all that smart sounding when talking to people - especially when quizzed out of nowhere. So some of this is the privilege of having teens who I'm sure would be like, why are you questioning our parents, we're obviously fine.

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After reading Popehat and law stuff all night I’m realizing there’s all sorts of things I could say wrong. At least to the Feds. I hope to never meet the Feds. (No offense Feds! I’m sure you’re awesome!) 

That one law he keeps referring to though- that can get anyone on a felony- that’s scary. 

https://www.popehat.com/2011/12/01/reminder-oh-wont-you-please-shut-up/

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1001

Side note- I know this will vary by state. But once someone told me that in CPS cases, the state doesn’t have to provide representation to the parents, as with a criminal case where you would receive a court appointed attorney. I wonder if that’s true? 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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2 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

After reading Popehat and law stuff all night I’m realizing there’s all sorts of things I could say wrong. At least to the Feds. I hope to never meet the Fed. (No offense Feds! I’m sure you’re awesome!) 

That one law he keeps referring to though- that can get anyone on a felony- that’s scary. 

https://www.popehat.com/2011/12/01/reminder-oh-wont-you-please-shut-up/

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1001

Side note- I know this will vary by state. But once someone told me that in CPS cases, the state doesn’t have to provide representation to the parents, as with a criminal case where you would receive a court appointed attorney. I wonder if that’s true? 

As you're saying though, these are federal laws, not state (or, in my case, not-a-state) ones. Federal law isn't concerned about how you raise your kids. They'll even leave it to the state if you murder them. I guess if you trafficked them, they'd care. But that's the degree of going south this investigation would have to hit.

I'm not saying that I haven't read any of the horror stories about families and CPS. I totally have. But these stories are fairly rare. And some of the horror stories we hear in homeschool circles are... ahem... not as horrible as all that. Because sometimes there's a heck of a lot more to it than the homeschool family would like to admit to. I mean, don't joke with CPS. If you make a "I'm not molesting/hitting my kids" joke, it'll go over about as well as a "there's a bomb on the plane" joke while waiting in a TSA line or a "something bad should happen to the president" joke while standing outside the White House. Don't.

But CPS is not like a criminal investigation like in the popehat post. Prosecutors are running those types of investigations. Their job is to convict people. CPS's job is to clear their cases. Unlike prosecutors, who are going to advance if they convict more people, they're not incentivized to find more abuse. Their job is to protect kids. That's it. If they go in there, decide you're not hurting your kids, then the fastest way for them to clear the case is to do the absolute minimum. That's a really different situation than a prosecutor looking into insider trading at a large company. Or even a cop investigating the report of a crime. In those situations, the case doesn't get cleared until someone gets in trouble and goes to jail or gets arrested. For CPS, it's cleared if they say you're safe.

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An interesting subject to ponder for me. 

When Polly Klaas was abducted and killed, we lived in the area and I was appalled at what later was revealed to be incompetence on the part of LEOs. I was quite upset and didn't say much about police procedures in general for years to anyone lest I say too much. Many years later I saw a documentary on the case and while I still was appalled, I realized that those two LEOs have to live with their decision for the rest of their lives. Some rules have changed since then as well. 

These days, I work frequently with LEOs (mostly probation officers but it could be anybody really) and I do know that most of them work long hours, have a (mostly) thankless task and I see the people behind the title which seems to make a difference for me. Granted, they are not coming after me so the situation is different. 

If I got tangled up in some legal mess, I'd call the experts - the attorneys. I wonder if I was acquainted with attorneys instead of LEOs, would I think differently about LEOs? I do believe the "shut up" rule is always good when in doubt.

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6 hours ago, AurieD said:

I'm in Australia and I think the attitudes are a little different here. If our version on CPS came knocking the only reason I'd have any thought about lawyers would be from reading US based threads on here! I just don't think that we have a culture of lawyering up in general, though we are a large country so there could be regional differences. 

I think in regards to other departments it would depend on who and what. It would mostly be a cost benefit analysis in relation to the particular incident for me, ideology would only occasionally come into it. I would not permit a search of my house without a warrant and I would get a lawyer if I was actually being charged with something or accused of a serious crime.

 

 

NZ too.  I would possibly take a support person to a meeting as a witness is a useful thing.

To me not co-operating with the police etc indicates guilt.  People whose families have long histories of illegal behaviour teach their kids not to trust the police normal law abiding people help when they can.  This doesn't extend to letting police carry out random searches, handing over my keys, answering irrelevant personal questions or going alone somewhere with the police unless under arrest but it does mean answering relevant questions and generally being helpful.

 

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6 hours ago, Liz CA said:

An interesting subject to ponder for me. 

When Polly Klaas was abducted and killed, we lived in the area and I was appalled at what later was revealed to be incompetence on the part of LEOs. I was quite upset and didn't say much about police procedures in general for years to anyone lest I say too much. Many years later I saw a documentary on the case and while I still was appalled, I realized that those two LEOs have to live with their decision for the rest of their lives. Some rules have changed since then as well. 

These days, I work frequently with LEOs (mostly probation officers but it could be anybody really) and I do know that most of them work long hours, have a (mostly) thankless task and I see the people behind the title which seems to make a difference for me. Granted, they are not coming after me so the situation is different. 

If I got tangled up in some legal mess, I'd call the experts - the attorneys. I wonder if I was acquainted with attorneys instead of LEOs, would I think differently about LEOs? I do believe the "shut up" rule is always good when in doubt.

One of my closest friends is a defense attorney- I think it’s changed the way she thinks about everyone- police and regular people. 

She actually went to seminary at Pepperdine a few years into private practice- I think it’s helped her cope tbh. When you mention the LEOs have to live with their decision it reminds me of something she talks about sometimes. She talks about the weight of the responsibility on some of these cases as a lawyer and how much it weighs on her- that someone’s freedom hinges on how she does her job. She told dd not to go into it when she was interested in being a lawyer. Now she talks about quitting and go get a PhD in physics, but she hasn’t so far. 

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I would not allow CPS in my home without a warrant.  One of my former SIL was a CPS worker and she is flat damn crazy.  I can not believe the things that came out of her mouth.  She also had the peronality to enjoy her power and make families lives miserable and really get off on that.  

It can depend where you live too, our county is notorious for keeping their jobs alive by this.  My dh worked with a lady and the school called CPS on her because her daughter said my mom yelled at me this morning. LOL  OH boy!  Luckily the parents were divorced so the kids went to Dad's for 2 weeks while mom went to classes to learn how to be a parent.  She did this to avoid a long drawn out case.  We knew a child ad litum lawyer and she said this is very common in our county.  

Our police are constantly looking for employees. The advertise and hold recruitment fairs a lot so I wonder if they are really getting quality candidates.  Our probation officers are a private company, so you have to pay them when you get on probation in addition to your fine.  I see no incentive for them to speed up anyone's probation.  Our county jail is also priviized.  All of these makes me even more distrustful of LEO.   There are lots of articles and studies out there about how many people have spent time in jail or prison.  It is a a staggering number. 

 

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After following the latest state legislators (IL, IA, CA) proposed homeschooling bills on FB, I can't believe there are so many homeschoolers that are just fine with states legally forcing all homeschooling families to invite CPS into their home. No probable cause or complaint necessary. Simply written in as a requirement of homeschooling. Every time I bring up that legislation to dh, he shoots it down saying it will never happen. Homeschoolers will  fight it and scare them off...and he's right. But why do they continually bring up the same bills year after year? I have to believe there is some motive there.

Those conversations have prepared me in case we do have CPS knocking on our door for bogus reasons. We don't let them in without a warrant and find the name of a lawyer. I know my instinct will be to be compliant and let them in and just want to get it all over with because I don't have anything to hide, but I also understand that is not the point. They shouldn't be able to enter our home without a warrant. Period. It's my right to defend myself and I shouldn't give up my rights simply to make things easy for the government. 

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9 hours ago, Bootsie said:

My city government sent a notice out to citizens a year or two ago, asking everyone to notify them of any security cameras that we have in or outside of our home.  The request went on to state how useful it would be for the city to maintain a comprehensive database of all private security cameras so that, should a crime be committed, they would be able to look at the camera footage.  While it was a "request" it looked and was worded in a very official way, which I think would lead some to believe that they must comply--at a minimum they would be under suspicion for being "uncooperative."

If I had information from a home security camera that I thought would help lead to justice when a serious crime was committed, I would provide that information to the appropriate authorities.  (A murder occurred on my block a couple of years ago and the suspect's car showed up on the neighbor's video camera).  But, if there is a suspicion that the next door teenager came in at 11:10--breaking the curfew law, I don't want the police coming to see my video footage.  

I also did not like the tone this notice set as far as who and what I should be fearful of.  I don't want to live in a world where I am so suspicious of everyone and worried about what my neighbors may be doing that I volunteer to provide law enforcement with 24/7 surveillance. 

We've received a similar letter. It unsettled me to be honest. We don't have cameras--yet. But they're in our near future. If something happens near our home, sure I'll share footage if it shows anything helpful. While I understand why the city might want that info, I'm not registering what is essentially nobody's damn business. I'm already  creeped out by the surveillence society in which we live. And I'm not out there doing anything illegal or immoral.

ETA: When people don't feel trusted by the powers that be, is it any wonder they don't trust those powers in return?

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2 minutes ago, Plum Crazy said:

After following the latest state legislators (IL, IA, CA) proposed homeschooling bills on FB, I can't believe there are so many homeschoolers that are just fine with states legally forcing all homeschooling families to invite CPS into their home. No probable cause or complaint necessary. Simply written in as a requirement of homeschooling. Every time I bring up that legislation to dh, he shoots it down saying it will never happen. Homeschoolers will  fight it and scare them off...and he's right. But why do they continually bring up the same bills year after year? I have to believe there is some motive there.

Those conversations have prepared me in case we do have CPS knocking on our door for bogus reasons. We don't let them in without a warrant and find the name of a lawyer. I know my instinct will be to be compliant and let them in and just want to get it all over with because I don't have anything to hide, but I also understand that is not the point. They shouldn't be able to enter our home without a warrant. Period. It's my right to defend myself and I shouldn't give up my rights simply to make things easy for the government. 

They will until they don't though.......that's where I worry about complacency. I mean, we still have people here who have bee homeschooling since the 90's I think? So that's when the legality issue was still being fought in court. In TX it was illegal until 94. I know to younger people that was ages ago, but to me that wasn't long ago at all!! But I think as we get further away from the concept that you could indeed be taken to court, or even arrested for homeschooling, and that people in fact WERE-  the less you will see people fight. It takes a lot of money to fight this stuff in court, so as the donations/support recedes I can't see how it won't impact it. I've said it before and I'll say it again- complacency is a bitch. A very lulling one. 

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1 minute ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

They will until they don't though.......that's where I worry about complacency. I mean, we still have people here who have bee homeschooling since the 90's I think? So that's when the legality issue was still being fought in court. In TX it was illegal until 94. I know to younger people that was ages ago, but to me that wasn't long ago at all!! But I think as we get further away from the concept that you could indeed be taken to court, or even arrested for homeschooling, and that people in fact WERE-  the less you will see people fight. It takes a lot of money to fight this stuff in court, so as the donations/support recedes I can't see how it won't impact it. I've said it before and I'll say it again- complacency is a bitch. A very lulling one. 

That's what I tell him. : )

I have to believe that if news got out that states are writing into law that they can enter your home if you homeschool it would freak out every parent. If they pass it in the name of saving one child, then it's possible the next step would be to inspect all homes with kids of all ages to prevent abuse. Or they could inspect to ensure guns are locked up in the name of preventing school shootings.

I have thought that they can make homeschooling so uncomfortable that fence-sitting homeschoolers will want to send their kids to public school.  

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14 hours ago, EmseB said:

My favorite article about this is here.

The thing that gets me every single time when I think I'm too hypothically crazy about all of this is that law enforcement, civil servants, etc., can be really, really polite and nice. But they are legally allowed to lie to you. They can lie their faces off in pursuit of solving their case or whatever motivation they have and face no penalty. However, you can be totally innocent of whatever they are investigating, but even if you mistake some details, you can go to jail for lying to the FBI. And the above article addresses why people who think they would never, ever lie are mistaken.

I watch LivePD a fair bit, and they way cops treat people's civil liberties all the time, when they know they are being televised, is just astounding to me. I mean, a lot of the people the cops deal with are guilty as sin, but I don't think half of what police do on that show is really ethical in terms of civil liberties. The point of the show I think is to make law enforcement look good, so that's what even funnier to me...like what they are doing is not okay, but this is supposed to be the heroic behavior (I can't think of a specific example right now, sorry) of police and sheriff's departments.

I also happened to come across the Pot Brothers at Law 25-word script and advice (which contains vulgarity) and aside from the fact that I'm not at all interested in marijuana the principle of the thing is very interesting. Cooperation does not mean talking to authorities. You can be cooperative, polite, and respectful without talking to them about yourself. Conversely, remaining silent is not uncooperative. It may not be what they want, but it isn't uncooperative. It is just declining to do what they want in the moment.

At this point, I think if I did something wrong, broke the law, whatever and needed to fess up and repent and do my time I still would not do it without a good lawyer. I would never throw myself on the mercy of the system because of how the system treats people.

Then again, I never expect to find myself in a situation where any of this stuff is needed. But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me. 🤫

General examples from Live PD that stick out in my mind:

The "we're all friends here" attitude, and the statements of by LEO of "you be honest with me and I'll be honest with you, I'll be straight with you, be able to help you out...But if you lie, then you broke that trust and I can't help you." This is usually in situations of drugs in a car or on a person. " Tell me what you have before I search you/your car. "

I think if someone has needles on their person or in their car, yes they should tell. Or like open fentanyl patches or something just by touching can harm the LEO, then they should tell. Other wise, zip it.

I like LivePD...except for the drug situations. 

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The government is always trying to get people to let them overstep.

I get it.  It’s convenient.

But as an American I do believe that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, so I won’t help enable them to do that.

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The thing that gets me is the "allowed to lie" part.   So, even if they SAY they are just trying to close the case, are they really?   Sometimes, maybe often, they are.  But, how can you tell?   

With CPS, the story that sticks out in my mind is from a former boss.   She had studied to be CPS, and was or a bit.   She was really really bothered by one case where the kid was being used as an ashtray.   She was expressing her emotions to an old-timer who said, "You get used to it."   She said to herself, "I don't want to" and quit.    So, it sticks in my mind, that those that stay are those that Have Gotten Used To It.   

On the other hand, I'd cooperate with the police in our small town.  Them, I know and trust.  So, I sort of understand the key-thing, while still being horrified by it.  

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14 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

What would you define as a robust society?

I'm not advocating to not follow the law. But in the US, the 4th Amendment is a real thing. I guess I am not understanding how abiding by that and not allowing a government official access without due process is undermining society in general? Or is obstructionist? It would be obstructionist to destroy evidence, or to refuse to answer a summons, or to commit perjury. But if you are responding legally, and denying access that was requested without proper, legally verified cause, is that really obstructionist? 

Maybe I've read too much Solzhenitsyn, but it seems a slippery slope- governments, and their officials no matter how originally well intended, seem to struggle historically at self regulation and power. 

I'm not advocating to refuse a warrant- that would only end up with me arrested and they'd still carry out the warrant. But how does asking for due process and that the authorities respect the bar that the government has set within its framework (as far as the US- I'm not sure what the equivalent would be in Canada) undermine society in general? It would seem that it's the opposite and allowing the government free rein to tread as they chose would have more of an undermining effect on society, because then there are no set rules. The player, the government, will always win that game, won't it? 

I think it would be one thing to say all police are corrupt, and to try and spread an overall vibe of mistrust and refusing cooperation as a community as a whole, versus simply expecting that police, or any government official work within the constitutional framework of that particular country when it comes to individual rights. To me, having counsel simply ensures that all parties, theoretically, are educated on the laws and are operating within the same framework. So there, it's trust, but verify, and the playing field is level. But most laypersons don't know the difference between a felony and a misdomeaner, much less the intricacies of state and federal law- but in the US, no latitude is given for ignorance. Our ignorance works in the favor of the authorities when it comes to legalities. I think in a perfect world where citizens were given the benefit of the doubt and their rights were staunchly and universally upheld you might have a different story, but it's not that world. So it would seem that asking the government to toe the line is a requirement. Because if the government isn't toeing it, the citizenry can hardly be expected to.

Maybe that's why there is the distrust here in the US that @Happy2BaMom remarks on upthread exists? Because the citizens see the government, or its representatives which effectively ARE the government, represent a double standard. Do as I say, but not as I do.......And if you can't respect your authority figures, it probably makes it that much harder to respect your fellow citizens, as it's just a society of cynicism at that point. 

 

I suppose a robust society is one with a stable social fabric where most people have their needs met.

I think there is a lot of conflation going on between somehow giving up constitutional rights, by behaving in a way that is helpful.  For one thing, not being allowed to go about searching people's homes, cars, or bodies is not just an American thing.  In fact, American law isn't necessarily as protective on these things as some other places.

But maybe more importantly, people can both be polite and helpful, and also not "give up" their rights.  If I have a member of the police, Tax people, children's services, come to my house, and I ask them in, or even if they ask to come in, it is not giving up my legal right to say no because I do that.  Those things can and often do exist together in a society.  Sometimes it is important to choose to press the point.  

It's this idea that people should always distrust each other, and the authorities, do the minimum required by law, that seems to be the distinctively American characteristic.  You see it in this kind of discussion, in discussions about vaccination, about gun rights.  THat's the part that undermines a robust society, not the laws so much. 

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Well, while reading in the other thread, I almost replied about this topic but a) I didn’t have time and b) I didn’t want to hijack. I know that if a social worker ever came to my door, it would not even enter my head that I should refuse without a warrant and a lawyer. Maybe I’m terribly naive, but I cannot imagine anything about my home, my kids or even something dumb a kid might have said, raising suspicions that we’re abusing and neglecting any child. I still have foam bumpers on my fireplace hearth, lol, in case a little niece or nephew trips and hits the brick hearth while visiting. 

Some of it agrees with @Farrar, in that now, my youngest is fourteen, so it’s moot. But even when they were little, there just wasn’t anything questionable enough that any social worker would want to look for more. I can’t think of a reason why I would want to bar entry and give the impression there’s something to hide, until I spend money securing a lawyer or HSLDA emergency membership. I don’t see any risk whatsoever in letting a social worker come in the door. My kids are clean, health, educated and have suitable beds, bathing facilities, food, heat and clothing. My house is filled with evidence we are learning every day. 

So...🤷🏻‍♀️ In general, I lean philosophically Libertarian, and I used to be in favor of little homeschool oversight, but, having seen that abused, even in a state with moderate regs, I no longer think that way on the subject. If it means the authorities can more easily find the families who have children wallowing in feces and who are the size of a ten year old despite being 19, then come in my house once in a blue moon. I can’t seem to care about giving up that sliver of privacy which may not even ever be at issue. 

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I ran across these videos last night on the PopeHat rabbit trails (this blog to be precise: http://notapottedplant.blogspot.com/2010/02/antonin-scalia-judicial-policymaker.html?m=1) and thought some of you might be interested. I haven't finished watching them yet - I'm still on part one, which is given by a law professor who talks very, very quickly, and now has me thoroughly convinced that we all break laws every single day and have no idea. It seems pretty much impossible NOT to break laws in the course of everyday life given the vastness of the legal code. Part two is given by a police officer. 

Don't Talk to Cops, Part 1

Don't Talk to Cops, Part 2

 

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