The Vulgar Trader

Our Business is Bullshit, and Business is Booming.

There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.

—Albert Camus

CA Supreme Court: Silence May Used as Evidence of Guilt

ABC News:

Richard Tom was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter after authorities said he was speeding and slammed into another vehicle at a Redwood City intersection.

Prosecutors repeatedly told jurors during the trial that Tom’s failure to ask about the victims immediately after the crash but before police read him his so-called Miranda rights showed his guilt…

"It’s a very dangerous ruling," Zilversmit said. "If you say anything to the police, that can be used against you. Now, if you don’t say anything before you are warned of your rights, that too can be used against you.

Put simply, if you want to exercise your right to remain silent, you must explicitly state that you are invoking your 5th Amendment rights. As Talking Points writes:

The court’s decision… requires many arrestees to explicitly invoke their right to remain silent in order to benefit from that right. The only way to safely remain silent is to speak first…

[The case] does not outright destroy the right to remain silent in California, but it requires suspects to have a lawyer’s understanding of when they need to invoke the right and how they are supposed to do so in order to ensure that this right is preserved. Because few suspects are likely to have such a sophisticated understanding of the law, that means that the right will be little more than an illusion for many people trying to invoke it in California’s courts.

Police summoned to investigate fictional story about killing a dinosaur, student arrested

From Police State USA:

SUMMERVILLE, SC — Police were summoned to a high school after a boy wrote a story about using a gun to kill a dinosaur. The boy was searched, suspended from school, and subsequently handcuffed and arrested when he did not handle the interrogation calmly.

Alex Stone, 16, said he was assigned to come up with a fictional story for a creative writing assignment at Summerville High School on August 19, 2014. The brief assignment involved writing a few lines that were supposed to mimic a social media post; a “status update” drafted on paper.

Stone’s submission discussed himself and a fictitious dinosaur that lived next door to him. He wrote that he used a gun to kill the dinosaur.

“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” Stone said to NBC 12.

The mere mention of using a “gun” to “take care of business” prompted school administrators to phone police to report the suspicious narrative. The Summerville Police Department responded to the absurd call, expending taxpayer resources to investigate a boy’s imagination.

Without probable cause of a crime, police searched Stone’s personal belongings, his backpack, and his locker, presumably looking for a gun or a deceased dinosaur. They found neither.

As Stone was interrogated by police and school administrators, he insisted his writing was only make-believe; a joke. They continued to press him, and police documented his eventual reaction as “irate.” They placed the student in handcuffs and hauled him off to jail on a charge of disorderly conduct.

The entire experience could have been avoided if school staff would have accepted the narrative as the fantasy that it was intended to be, as prescribed by the assignment. Such bizarre overreactions have become something to be expected in paranoid, over-policed, government-run “schools.”

Despite the best efforts of the adults, Stone and his classmates likely took away a valuable lesson about the ugly state of freedom and justice in their country.

Apparently this is a thing.

Apparently this is a thing.

Policemen are very cynical. I know I am. I don’t trust anybody. I hate everybody. I hate y’all, too. I hate everybody. I’m into diversity – I kill everybody. I don’t care. I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I’m also a killer. I’ve killed a lot, and if I need to I’ll kill a whole bunch more. If you don’t want to get killed, don’t show up in front of me. It’s that simple.

Why, rather suddenly, is there this species imperative to connect, connect, connect – not ideologically, but electronically?

As a species, we lust so desperately to connect that we risk our very civilization on the gamble of circuitry. We don’t care that it’s desperate or that it’s a gamble. We don’t let that cross our so-called minds. We’re excited beyond measure by a massive power of connection that can be held in one’s hand. This very instrument I type on can connect to practically anything. We wipe the concurrent vulnerability from our consciousness, privately and collectively – the dangers are in plain sight, but invisible. It’s a helluva experiment. I wonder why we’re doing it.

Anyway, here’s to you and me, teetering on an edge that’s paper-thin and as wide as the head of a pin.

Picture of the year nominees anyone?

Picture of the year nominees anyone?


MAD Magazine recreates Norman Rockwell’s famous 1958 painting ‘The Runaway’

(via bootyregrit)