Do not talk to the police (important advice in New America)

Summary: Today’s post is a change of focus. Instead of discussing the evolution of the-America-that-once-was into New America (#NewAmerica), let’s talk about how to cope in it. What should you do when questioned by the police? You have identified yourself, and now the questions begin…

Clombo, played by Peter Falk

Colombo is not a real detective, & they don’t behave like him.



  1. Important advice when on the streets of New America
  2. One reason we’ve vulnerable: we’re all criminals
  3. Fear the security services: they’re well-armed & eager to use violence
  4. A historical note
  5. For More Information
  6. Hollywood teaches us to love the security services


(1)  Important advice for life in New America

The evolution of the-America-that-once-was into NewAmerica has changed almost every aspect of our society. But one aspect more than most. “Law enforcement” agencies become the security services. Less responsive to the public, serving shadowy masters, larger and better funded, more focused on political concerns than crime, far better armed, and more willing (even eager) to use force.

Here is some advice on dealing with them, a presentation by James Duane (professor at Regent Law School and former defense attorney) explaining why you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police in a criminal matter without your attorney present (transcript here):



(2)  One reason we’ve vulnerable: we’re all criminals

The Founders warned us:


Community policing in New America


It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

— James Madison, The Federalist Papers #62

Madison’s fears have come true. See “Counting Regulations: An Overview of Rulemaking, Types of Federal Regulations, and Pages in the Federal Register“, Maeve P. Carey, Congressional Research Service, 1 May 2013 — Excerpt:

… the number of final rules published each year is generally in the range of 2,500 – 4,500 … The Federal Register provides documentation of the government’s regulatory and other actions, and some scholars, commentators, and public officials have used the total number of Federal Register pages each year as a measure for the total amount of regulatory activity.

CRS Rules Graph

Some articles about the million-regulation New America:

  1. Rough justice in America“, The Economist, 22 July 2010 — “Too many laws, too many prisoners. Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little”
  2. One nation, under too many laws“, Philip K. Howard, Washington Post, 12 December 2010
  3. Way Too Many Criminal Laws, Lawyers Tell Congress“, Blog of the Legal Times, 14 June 2013

(3)  Fear the security services: well-armed & eager to use violence

It’s no longer inner city minorities that need fear violence from the security police.  During the past two decades they have become much better armed, and much more willing to use violence.

  1. Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, Radley Balko, CATO White Paper. 17 July 2006
  2. Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, Radley Baldo (2006)
  3. Weaponizing the Body Politic”  Nick Turse, TomDispatch, 4 March 2012
  4. Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces , Radley Balko (2013)
  5. See Radley Balko’s articles at Reason and the Huffington Post about militarized police, especially SWAT teams.

(4)  A historical note

A common rebuttal received when pointing to social trends is “such things are not new”. It’s a daft reply, but an effective means to minimize the cognitive dissonance of acknowledging unpleasant truths. Almost nothing is new in history. Such as New America, which is a growth (perhaps cancerous) of traits deeply rooted in American history. Such as the law enforcement agencies, with their long history of defending us from minor or even imaginary threats — and reformers:

  1. union organizers
  2. civil rights activists
  3. peace movements
  4. satanic cults
  5. communists (even in the 1960s, when perhaps half of Party members wee FBI)
  6. fake child abuse “discovered” through recovered memories (which brough Janet Remo to fame & power)
  7. government-manufactured terrorist threats

Danger: Police in Area

(5)  For More Information

(a)  See all posts about…

  1. Guns and gun rights
  2. Reforming America, paths to political change

(b)  About police, law enforcement, and the security services:

  1. How to Fund an American Police State (aka Weaponizing the Body Politic), 5 March 2012 — Militarizing the police
  2. We are alone in the defense of the Republic, 5 July 2012
  3. Do not talk to the police (important advice in New America), 4 August 2013
  4. Look at the protests in Wisconsin to see how America has changed, 31 August 2013
  5. Murder by police. If these incidents do not anger us, then what will?, 19 January 2014
  6. Why America has militarized its police and crushes protests, 16 August 2014
  7. Police grow more powerful; the Republic slides another step into darkness. Can cellphone cameras save us?, 28 August 2014
  8. The shame of Alaska: vast wealth, but little spent to protect its people, 15 September 2014

(6)  Hollywood teaches us to love the security services






5 thoughts on “Do not talk to the police (important advice in New America)

  1. Rune

    I guess your spell checker does not like the name Radley Balko, as he is credited three times, all by wrong name, in the above.

    He does marvellous work for civil liberties, so good that I have been following his blog for years before the move to HuffPost, even if I vehemently disagree with the rest of his libertarian ideology. On his writings on crime and law-enforcement we can agree.


    1. Fabius Maximus Post author

      Thanks for flagging that! Fixed!

      Good point about spell checkers. As people like me (ie, bad spelling and proofing skills, writing under time pressure) become dependent on them, errors they do not catch (like names) become more likley to slip though.


    2. fish

      Agree completely about Mr. Balko! I’ve “enjoyed” (although it’s tough to enjoy writing by a guy who had “Radley’s Nut Punch Fridays” as an honorific due to his posts regarding police misconduct directed towards innocent dogs) his work for a long time!


  2. Thomas More

    Your mention of “government-manufactured terrorist threats” seems particularly prescient, because essentially all of the so-called “terror plots” intercepted by the FBI have been entrapment situations confected by the FBI with materials supplied by the FBI to gullible marginal figures who are in many cases mentally deficient or mentally ill.

    See the Rolling Stone article “How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing ‘Terrorists’ – and Letting Bad Guys Off the Hook” by RIck Perlsteinç15 May 2013.

    The “dirty bomber” Padilla offers a case in point. Padilla never had any radiological materials. He never assembled a bomb. All he did was talk. The charges against Padilla fell apart until the government finally backpedaled and charged with conspiracy, the catch-all charge that any prosecutor can get a conviction on. (Conspiring to commit an infraction is a felony. If two people conspire to jaywalk, the conspiracy charge is a felony — and conspiracy is the only charge in which hearsay evidence is permitted.)

    “Perhaps the most significant advantage of a prosecutor’s decision to charge several defendants with conspiracy is that he may invoke special procedural rules that apply only to conspiracy cases. The major prosecutorial advantages of conspiracy are that it enables the prosecution to join all the conspirators for trial and to use out-of-court statements of each conspirator against all the others.”

    Source: “Conspiracy – Procedural Rules,” online American law and legal reference library.

    Google “terror trial U.S. courts” and you’ll discover that almost all the American trials of terrorists have fallen apart. Charges get thrown out by judges, mistrials get declared, the government withdraws charges and suddenly decides to charge the defendant with new offenses when the government’s case collapses…the plain fact of the matter is that secret laws and secret trials with secret evidence and secret charges are necessary for the government’s terror prosuctions because in most cases these terror investigations are so badly botched, producing so little usable evidence which so often fails to support the basic claims made by government prosecutors that when these kinds of post-9/11 terror trials come into open civilian court, the charges are often thrown out or dismissed by the judges.

    What’s really disturbing is the way this kind of security-force entrapment is now percolating down to lower criminal levels. See, for example, “Undercover Cops Seduce High School Students and Entrap Them into Selling Weed.” A 25-year-old undercover police officer enrolls in high schools, gets an 18-year-old honors student to fall in love with her, then asks the student to get her marijuana — and arrests him when he gets it for her.

    How long before a commenter on this website suggests “we need radical change in America” and FM agrees, only to be arrested on a conspiracy charge because the commenter was a DHS agent…?


  3. Pingback: Why You Do Not Want to Volunteer Information To The Police # 1 - Exploring the News

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