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Great interview! She discusses the necessity of the agency, why people are opposed to it, and the response to those oppositions.

Part 1

The Daily Show - Exclusive - Elizabeth Warren Extended Interview Pt. 1
Elizabeth Warren, the leader spearheading the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be on The Daily Show tonight with Jon Stewart. Don't miss it.

‘Will I Get In Trouble If…’

I get this question every once in awhile. A distressed person comes to me with a scenario, usually resulting from their own actions, and will ask if s/he will 'get in trouble.' What people need to understand that legally speaking, there is no such thing as getting in trouble. There are simply two categories: prosecution and being sued. If you committed a crime, then there is potential for being prosecuted by the State. Then again, the State does not go after all claims as its resources are limited. If it's something small and no one is looking to press charges, then you're most likely okay. A lawsuit is when another party sues you. You don't have to be in the right to sue someone as initiating a lawsuit is actually pretty easy so being sued in and of itself doesn't mean you've done something wrong. In any case, again, people's time and resources are limited so again, if the act is small and inconsequential, then there isn't a need to fear a lawsuit.

This explanation tends to make people feel better. 'Getting in [legal] trouble' is such a broad concept and can sound scary. When you break down the concepts and understand them as they are, it makes the fear a bit smaller. Now if you do find yourself in a lawsuit or being prosecuted with the State, then contacting an attorney is a good idea
*drum roll please*... The Atlantic published an article on the 10 Most Fraud-Ridden States. My home-state, Florida, came in second. Interesting facts such as:

  • Of the 27 categories, fraud related to identity theft, debt collection, Internet services, and lotteries were the most prevalent.
  • Consumers reported losing more than $1.7 billion in those complaints. The average amount lost was $594.
  • 'Eighty-six percent of the consumers who reported a fraud-related complaint also reported an amount paid,' according to the report. In other words, the other 14% of Americans victimized were not sure what it cost them.
When I hear these types of questions, I'm not sure if I want to laugh hysterically or be shocked that some Americans actually believe this is an issue.

On Sunday night, CNN aired Soledad O'Brien's documentary Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door. It followed the story of a community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that was trying to build a mosque, but met with much hate (and a lawsuit) against their plan by locals. One fear that was expressed was that allowing Muslims to build mosques will eventually lead to the rise of Sharia Law taking over the country (ie, 'creeping'). (How one leads to the other, I'm not exactly sure.)

Professor Noah Feldman, legal scholar at Harvard Law School, was briefly interviewed regarding this issue. He stated that America has nothing to fear because the US Constitution is designed to prevent such a takeover. While that statement is correct, what is missing from the dialogue is the following: that Sharia Law has no desire to take over America. US Muslims are happy under the laws of the United States (minus some of that discrimination, but we're working on that, right?). There is no movement or conspiracy to bring Sharia Law over the law of the United States. Period.

Further, I would urge everyone to learn what Sharia Law is. It is in fact a very rich and deep legal system with various opinions on a wide variety of issues. It is not a ...