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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by gggomez View Post
    For those thinking about it but not sure because some people think ill of buskers, it is good enough for some of New York's hottest talent:

    Attachment 17864
    When I began busking more than 20 years ago I naively thought I'd be much better than the other buskers out there. I found there's all kinds of competition from entertainers of all disciplines. Some jurisdictions have a permit system, and others have an audition, but. for the most part, there aren't any barriers to doing it. Consequently there are many buskers who really aren't very good. But there are some great ones.

    Of course it's an oversimplification, but there are generally two kinds of busking. One involves attracting a crowd, doing a routine, and soliciting donations from onlookers after the performance. The other is more ambient and atmospheric, with a stream of people passing by.

    I know of a busker in Vancouver (Canada) who makes enough to buy a house in one of the most expensive cities to do so. He played what some of us used to refer to as the ultimate busking weapon - the hammer dulcimer.

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  3. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyGster View Post
    You, along with whomever made that stupid meme, haven't a clue about busking.
    Yeah. As if Batman Robin would even have that conversation. I didn't even think they were musicians.

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyGster View Post
    You, along with whomever made that stupid meme, haven't a clue about busking.

    I made my living as a busker for more than a decade. Buskers and panhandlers are sworn enemies on the street.

    If you feel it's beneath you, don't do it. But don't disparage the many great performers who are taking it to the streets, just because you're too chicken to try it yourself.
    Maybe you're not familiar with cosmic's sense of humor, Mr. 1 post. And what's your beef with panhandlers? Work it out. There's plenty of room for everyone.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyGster View Post
    You, along with whomever made that stupid meme, haven't a clue about busking.

    I made my living as a busker for more than a decade. Buskers and panhandlers are sworn enemies on the street.

    If you feel it's beneath you, don't do it. But don't disparage the many great performers who are taking it to the streets, just because you're too chicken to try it yourself.



    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol View Post
    Maybe you're not familiar with cosmic's sense of humor, Mr. 1 post. And what's your beef with panhandlers? Work it out. There's plenty of room for everyone.


    What is your opinion on busking?-pipe-man-jpg
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  6. #105

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    Can't stand those pesky buskers.


  7. #106
    I just made $60 in less than an hour busking in front of my local coffee shop! Happy Mother's Day!!


  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzpunk View Post
    Can't stand those pesky buskers.

    One of the coolest things I've ever seen!! I've got a new found respect for Jimmy Kimmel and U2.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  9. #108

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    Busk em' Danno. Busk em' all.

  10. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuitarPlayer View Post
    I just made $60 in less than an hour busking in front of my local coffee shop! Happy Mother's Day!!


    Details. We want details. What tunes did you do?

  11. #110

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    Yesterday we auditioned for the permit to play in a subway in NYC. They do it once a year I think. Kinda big event, with judges and everything... It was nice to see many familiar faces there, jazz majors from New School, MSM... So, yeah, you can talk down the busking, but in NYC many pros, or would be pros, ain't too proud to beg... Talk about artistic integrity when you have a day job, we just wanna make money

    Even got interviewed by CBS

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/perfor...in-nyc-subway/

  12. #111

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    It's pretty cool getting a license to beg...er busk. I want one.

  13. #112

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    It reminds me of how f;;ked up our society is that we have Musicians Busking to survive these days! Try that with any other profession and people would think your crazy. Musicians (not entertainers) actual accomplished ones rarely get any accolades or proper compensation for their work. Not only that but they are also forced to compete w/ the average joe who couldn't play above the 3rd fret. It's probably the only profession were actually being good doesn't help!

  14. #113

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    It is interesting to note the open source software industry in this context, where software developers often work unpaid. It's particularly interesting because software development is an industry where skills are in demand and paid well paid work is available.

    Probably worth pointing out that some of the developers are doing this in their employers' time so are being paid. Others may be doing it for reasons of professional development - with a view to gaining skills and better employment. This of course might also be said of busking.
    Norman

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raisin d'etre View Post
    Busking is good:

    1. It gets you used to playing in front of people in public if you do not already have this experience.

    2. It is practising (running through your repertoire, rather than doing scales, etc.), and practising is good. And the audience is ever changing and their attention is fleeting, so you can keep cycling through the same play list of tunes you are working on. And nobody really cares much if things are still a little half-baked and if you make mistakes. When you get used to making mistakes and don't get bent out of shape about them, you suddenly start making fewer - the practice helps here, too.

    3. Audience expectations are low. Nobody really expects buskers to be any good, so if you are, people are generally appreciative, and sometimes generous.

    4. You get to meet potential dating partners, if you are into this. There is something about performing in public that makes people attractive. If you can sing, there are major extra points here.

    5. You get to meet other musicians, who will often stop, listen, talk, and sometimes help out with constructive criticism. You will get the occasional snide, contemptuous a$$hole musician, but these are in the minority.

    6. You get to make string and beer money, while practising. This is much better than just sitting at home practising.
    All is true. But... regarding n.6- a good spot in NYC subway may bring you around $200 in a 2-3 hours, it's a little more than just beer money, isn't it? Those are the spots people need to have a license for, otherwise you can play anywhere, AND make good money sometimes. I'm not big fan of playing on a platform though, the noise from trains is just too much.

  16. #115

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    A few years ago as an experiment the world renowned violinist, Joshua Bell, played in a subway station during prime hours for a while. Hardly anybody stopped to listen. Shows that context counts for a lot. Take a mediocre player and put him in Carnegie Hall and lots of people will eat it up with a spoon. Put a world class player in the subway station and he can hardly even pull a listener.
    Judging from the other posts though It sounds like things have improved.

    Joshua Bell is playing in the Metro again. This time, maybe you won?t pass it up. - The Washington Post

  17. #116

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    I should imagine one of the main benefits of busking is that you can practice without annoying the neighbours.

    I've thought about it, many times, but it rains too much in Northern England for me to attempt any outside busking.
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  18. #117

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    Amazing how government restricts the liberty to busk by requiring a license.

  19. #118

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    In Chicago, it has nothing to do with restricting liberty and everything with revenue.

    I'm pretty sure we'll see pay toilets soon.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Yesterday we auditioned for the permit to play in a subway in NYC. They do it once a year I think. Kinda big event, with judges and everything... It was nice to see many familiar faces there, jazz majors from New School, MSM... So, yeah, you can talk down the busking, but in NYC many pros, or would be pros, ain't too proud to beg... Talk about artistic integrity when you have a day job, we just wanna make money

    Even got interviewed by CBS

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/perfor...in-nyc-subway/
    How is that even legal? Someone is deciding who can and can't make money in a public place based on what they like.
    In NY it's not who ya know, it's who ya blow.

  21. #120

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    I'm pretty sure we'll see pay toilets soon.
    you mean now it's free?

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol View Post
    How is that even legal? Someone is deciding who can and can't make money in a public place based on what they like.
    In NY it's not who ya know, it's who ya blow.
    Not exactly true. You can busk without any permission as long as it's acoustic and nobody complains. The license you get for certain spots where you can play with amps and drums and whatever you choose. Those are the spots with most traffic and less noise. I think it's only fair, because you don't wanna some hack taking a profitable spot and blocking someone who might deserve it better. Those spots shouldn't be on the first come first serve basis IMHO.

    But I never had a license and was still able to busk, only problem if some pita cop decides to chase me out because I have a liitle amp. I hate playing subways anyway, the noise sucks. If we get a good spot though, it would be cool.

  23. #122

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    I almost get the impression from some folk's responses about busking is that they don't seem to understand that it is not wanted or tolerated in some parts of the US, so it's not even an option.

  24. #123

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    I've done a Christmas Market a couple of times. The upside is you can test out stuff on people who haven't paid and who will vote for what you are doing with money. You'll learn what people like best about you when they pay. And if you get it right you can earn a lot. I knew a circus act who earnt enough in the South of France in eight weeks to live for the rest of the year - about $3-4000 a week!

    The downside is it will feel much colder than when you are just walking about and shopping - anything under about 8C feels cold when playing! And its illegal in LOADS of places and you'll get fined when caught - something that in the UK could mess up your CRB check and stop you teaching youngsters. So stay legal.

    If you are not doing it for the money but want to practice with an audience, you don't need me to tell you there are better options - schools, old people's homes, sports clubs, shopping malls, garden centres at Christmas - in fact at Christmas if you are doing carols there is an endless list - and its nearly all in the warm inside.

    Lastly it will build your confidence. There is something about busking that frightens the hell out of everyone. If you can cope with this, everything else seems easier.
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  25. #124
    Busking is an ideal platform for artistic musical expression,the donation aspect of it is but only a happy bonus,in fact it may even disturb the spiritual and artistic connection but saying that it would only be unauthentic to remove the tip hat...for additional busking information based on over thirty years of street performing check out my busking blog....buskingthrough.blogspot.com?...Thanks

  26. #125
    Great article,says it all really..I've been busking now for over thirty years and I feel its an ideal platform for artistic and spiritual expression,tip hat or not.I am now in the process of producing a blog based on my past experiences.Please check it out... buskingthrough.blogspot.com?

  27. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint thrower View Post
    Great article,says it all really..I've been busking now for over thirty years and I feel its an ideal platform for artistic and spiritual expression,tip hat or not.I am now in the process of producing a blog based on my past experiences.Please check it out... buskingthrough.blogspot.com?
    Hey! Thanks for the map! I didn't realize it was so accessible to go busking!


  28. #127
    Never done it myself. I see street musicians being exactly the same as musicians everywhere else though, sometimes they re bad, sometimes mediocre, sometimes great. I had a student once that made his living busking, traveling around the world, and he was great. Not great as a guitar player, but 100% the real thing as a musician and singer. He left for the east after a while...

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryCorby View Post
    There are some hilarious examples of world class concert violinists being ignored as buskers, so I'm not sure your audience will necessarily appreciate your effort.

    On the other hand, no less than Madeleine Peyroux, who is an astonishingly talented musician, gave up recording for three years, to go back to busking on the streets of Paris.
    Oh, I do like Madeline Peyroux!

  30. #129

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    And I've done a lot of busking. Beats doing it in your room every time. Played with tons of people, some very good, others not so but it was irrelevant. It's not always the good ones who draw the crowd.

    I used to live in Brighton, UK, and the best jazz band used to busk almost every day between gigs. The most fun guy was a one-man band, he could wow the kids and old ladies like nobody's business. He was one of those naturally funny people, to see him was to smile. He always made a ton of money and went on TV once or twice - when he wasn't in Dubai.

    Then there were the blues players, some of them had recording contracts, and the very gifted amateurs. Probably I could find quite a few on YouTube.

    The silliest one was a bloke called George. He could only strum out simple chords and knew 3 songs, etc. He used to start broke, make enough for a pint, drink it, and start again. Come the end of the day he'd be sloshed out of his mind, broke again, and go home a happy bunny :-)

  31. #130

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    I remember once a group of very drunk lads came up. One of them said 'Joo know Joleen?' so I said yes (naturally!). He shoved something in my shirt pocket and they all went off up the street so I never had to play it.

    £20 note

  32. #131

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    I've found the one-man band. He was actually a very intelligent man and a serious musician who could play guitar like a dream in private. Wrote some very good songs too. Wicked sense of humour :-)


  33. #132

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    Here is how welcome busking is in many places in US.


  34. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Here is how welcome busking is in many places in US.

    Never argue with a policeman. Just identify himself. Stupid idiot.

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Here is how welcome busking is in many places in US.

    There seems to be a lot of these types of videos on Youtube. I am a bit surprised some don't make the US news.

    I guess the focus is on other types of police confrontations. You know how the press is...they pick and choose. These days I guess they are more worried about airline confrontations.

  36. #135

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    You don't talk to a police in a blatantly disrespectful manner or any kind of manner that demonstrates disrespect for the law. You have a problem, take it to a judge or jury. That's call "law and order". Disregard for police/law is becoming an ugly precedent. There is going to be a problem when you mouth off the cops, and there should be.
    "If I don't practice for a day, I know it... for two days, the critics know it... three days, the public knows it." -- Louis Armstrong

  37. #136

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    I call it the "try something, pig" attitude. It's actually quite cowardly, if you think about it. In Chicago, I actually see people being more rude to officers than they would be to a stranger, because they know "the world is watching" (and a stranger might put you in your place a lot quicker)
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  38. #137

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    Busking is very common here in São Paulo - Brasil and I do a lot with my band. A lot of people around here doesn't know Swing and Trad Jazz, it's always a surprise for them.
    We don't get much money on the streets, but some wedding, birthday's party and events that we played was from people that saw we playing on the street.
    Last edited by clebergf; 05-10-2017 at 07:40 PM.

  39. #138

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Here is how welcome busking is in many places in US.

    Once again, I'm finding the point is being missed, so it must be my fault...did I post this to show how poorly this fellow responded to the police???...or did I post this to show the problems you might encounter by just pulling out your guitar and playing some places? It might take your brain to figure out my motive..so I apologize.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 05-10-2017 at 07:40 PM.

  40. #139

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    Citizens have no duty to be nice to the police. If a cop can't handle disrespect from the public, he needs to find another job. It comes with the territory, and is to be expected. And the more cops over-react to this, the less they are respected. That should be obvious. I've known a lot of cops, several of them relatives, and I find it difficult to like anyone who would ever want to be a policeman. They tend, in the main, to be arrogant and self-centered. Most people don't want to be policemen, and it takes a certain personality profile to want to be one. Plus, in the past few years cops seem to be terrified of everyone they stop, and over-reaction is almost guaranteed by that combination. It seems like an unstoppable downward spiral, the more cops abuse citizens the less respect they get, and the less respect they get the harder their attitude becomes, and it just gets worse and worse. In the end, iMO, if you put on a badge and a gun, you must be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. If you can't handle verbal abuse, don't put on the damned badge in the first place.

  41. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinguit View Post
    I've been thinking about it not so much for the money but just to get out there and play with this band I've been asked to join. Their in it for the money. Is busking something any of you have considered, whether just for the money or just to advertise your skills. Is it a respectable venture? Or is it something only unemployed or underemployed musicians do?
    I've done it -- unemployed and underemployed.

    For me it was a much more fearful thing than a straight gig -- more requests that show up immediately on the bottom line (cause they don't tip if you don't play it for whatever reason), no set list. But I've done it, and it isn't that bad. The best take with myself and a percussionist was about a hundred bucks and a quarter-ounce of chocolate thai a few hours before a Dead show at Ventura County Fairgrounds. For a 17-year-old idjit, not bad.

  42. #141

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    I once busked in Barcelona with a few band mates when I was on tour in Barcelona over 20 years ago.. it was quite fun and earned quite a bit a money until the cops kicked us out..

    I feel it is a shame for buskers to get hassled by the police, it is not like they are begging for money, the buskers are giving away some art (depending on the busker)... and if the people like it, then fine... I can understand if it is noise pollution. The buskers need to be sensitive to their surroundings. However, I think some cops like to break them up just because they can.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  43. #142

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    I remember some places I've lived. Bagpipes in Brighton was pretty irritating. And in Scotland there was this African guy who screamed, moaned, and thumped randomly on this very loud drum. That was unbelievably awful. Maybe he thought we'd assume it was some kind of interesting cultural music. Personally I just think he was just trying to get some money in. Neither of them was moved on as far as I know.

    But there have been some extremely skilled players on the street too, no question there.

  44. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    And in Scotland there was this African guy who screamed, moaned, and thumped randomly on this very loud drum. That was unbelievably awful.
    Perhaps the deal was you pay him to stop?

  45. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Perhaps the deal was you pay him to stop?
    Oh, trust me, that joke was on everybody's lips!

  46. #145

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    Actually there was a good busker today playing near where I work. He played trombone and did 'Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me' complete with 'growling' effects, then he played 'Ornithology', to my amazement. Did a good job too, so I paid him.

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Citizens have no duty to be nice to the police. If a cop can't handle disrespect from the public, he needs to find another job. It comes with the territory, and is to be expected. And the more cops over-react to this, the less they are respected. That should be obvious. I've known a lot of cops, several of them relatives, and I find it difficult to like anyone who would ever want to be a policeman. They tend, in the main, to be arrogant and self-centered. Most people don't want to be policemen, and it takes a certain personality profile to want to be one. Plus, in the past few years cops seem to be terrified of everyone they stop, and over-reaction is almost guaranteed by that combination. It seems like an unstoppable downward spiral, the more cops abuse citizens the less respect they get, and the less respect they get the harder their attitude becomes, and it just gets worse and worse. In the end, iMO, if you put on a badge and a gun, you must be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. If you can't handle verbal abuse, don't put on the damned badge in the first place.
    "The cops don't need you and man they expect the same": Bob Dylan; Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues .

    Just give them free coffee and donuts from the donut shop and all's cool.
    Last edited by mrcee; 05-16-2017 at 12:49 AM.

  48. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Never argue with a policeman. Just identify himself. Stupid idiot.
    He might have been taking advice from the ACLU about his 'rights' when dealing with LE. No offense to the ACLU.
    The one right you have is the right to remain silent. I don't know the exact laws. You might have an obligation to identity yourself but you're best off not saying anything else.
    Your have the right to remain silent. This kid was being tricky.

    Don't try to talk your way out of anything with LE. They already have their mind made up when they start asking questions.
    What was this guy trying to prove?
    One time long ago we were coming from an outdoor rock concert. One car loaded with people and plenty of weed. We get pulled over and they start searching. They bust one guy for a pipe or something. they were asking us to indentify ourselves, etc...
    One guy refused to say anything. Wouldn't say a word. We were yelling at him, dude just tell them your name.
    Nothing.
    The cops ride away with their bust.
    The guy who wouldn't say anything spits out a massive bag of weed. We thought, oh, OK. Fire it up.
    It was funny but not for the guy who got busted.


  49. #148

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    Don't get tricky with the cops. They're just guys doing a job. Whether or not a person is politically in agreement with them is secondary.
    You probably don't have to do more than identify yourself and if they start asking a lot of questions about where you've been and the name of your girlfriend I suppose a guy at that point could calmly say something like "With all due respect to law enforcement officer I'd prefer not to answer all of these questions. This isn't North Korea." And I believe that LE does have the right in most if not all states to take a person into custody for 72 hours just for suspicion. Not sure about that though. And I wouldn't think that it would be an option they would regularly exercise without good reason. I rarely get pulled over. I look like a younger Clint Eastwood and drive a fairly new pickup truck with Texas plates but I get stopped every once in a while for something like a burnt out taillight. I'm always polite and if they want to ask where I'm going (every year or so I make a road trip from TX to Cali and might be out in West TX at 2 AM so that's a reasonable question) or what I do for a living I'll chat with them in a relaxed manner for a minute or two. I've got nothing to hide. The prison system is full of hot heads that get attitudinal with any kind of authority figure. Just like snarky guys on the forum that get bellicose. They're just looking for trouble. In this world you usually get what you give.

  50. #149

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    It's certainly in your best interests to be polite with the police. But you don't have a constitutional duty to do so, although some cops seem to believe that you do.

  51. #150

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