Police Violence

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The phrase “Police Violence” is an oxymoron, but a real life one in America.

Police’s job is to serve and protect the community by enforcing the laws. But more and more reports are coming to the surface about police using excessive force that resulted in harms or deaths to the citizens whom they are supposed to serve.

Victims like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, and the list goes on, are  the latest headlines.  And these are the publicized cases.  What about the unreported ones across America?

When police fail to enforce the laws, something is wrong.  Either they are not doing their job, doing it poorly, or worse, doing it illegally.  Time Magazine calls it a “policing crisis” with “inequalities baked into the criminal justice system” – Black and Brown Americans are “twice as likely to die in police custody than white suspects.” 

But the problem is beyond racial.  It has to with inequality, and no one should feel at ease. As Martin Luther King, Jr eloquently put it,” injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Why would anybody under this system feel that they can trust the police?  

Don’t you think it’s time to stop the police violence and revamp our criminal justice process?

 

 

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Life & Death

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Common to celebrate life, but seldom to talk about death. People shun the idea that we’re all going to die and go on pretending it will never happen to them. The truth is that life and death are opposite ends of the same stick.  Can’t pick up one without the other. It is as certain as Benjamin Franklin on the taxes. 

What’s the point? as you may object to the thought of death. Isn’t life wonderful enough? Why do we need to focus on the unpleasant thought? Apology to answer a question with question. Why then is the fascination on the meaning of life? The quest would be futile without the backstop of death.

To wit, “Our lives only have meaning because they have end. If our lives went on forever our choices would be without ramifications, utterly without meaning; life without death is meaningless.”[source]

Not suggesting we go about our daily lives thinking about death or developing anxiety over its inevitability.  To do so would be morbid as well as counter productive.  Instead, we need to recognize the necessity of both in making the whole whole.

Just like one would not (or should not) try to run a marathon without dealing with the pain. Embrace both life and death with equal diligence, and you stand a better chance getting to the answer on the meaning of life.

How would your life be if the air is sucked out of the room at this instant?

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Tax Freedom Day

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The concept of Tax Freedom Day is how long do people have to work until they’ve earned enough money to pay all federal, state, and local taxes for the year.  Depending on locality, the day falls between late March and early May in the US.  It is an useful indicator to gauge the impact of taxes on you and your family each year.

Because the impact of the Coronavirus, the US Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for its 2020 income tax filing from April 15 to May 17, 2021. So individual taxpayer gets an additional month to file. More time to sharpen that pencil?  While most of the states followed the IRS’s lead, your state may vary

Even though I am retired, my pension still counts as an income.  So I am not exempt from filing individual income taxes.  No sirree. To that end, I filed mine this past weekend.  And my Tax Freedom day, like most others, lands somewhere in April.  But I do feel much relieved, now that is done. 

Do you suppose if one does not work, everyday is a Tax Freedom Day?

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Virtual Race?

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The term “virtual race” is strange to me.  I don’t understand it, never tried, and not sure if I will.  Certainly, virtual races have picked up steam with the Coronavirus lockdown.  It is a way for people who want to compete, and frankly, if you ask me, for the race sponsors to make money (no criticism here).

For example, the Boston Athletic Association will host its 125th Boston Marathon on 11 October 2021.  It will be an in-person race, and only 20,000 qualified runners will be able to compete.  But, the BAA is also hosting a virtual Boston Marathon the weekend before (Oct 8-10) with 70,000 entries, collecting $75 to $125 fees each.

The virtual Boston Marathon is open to all with no qualifying nor finishing time requirements. So if one ever want to claim a Boston Marathon medal, this is the race to sign up. And by the way, the $125 entries have been sold out already.

Personally, a virtual marathon would not motivate me to train.  Let alone for 20 weeks.  But for others, it’s possible that a virtual race provides just the right incentive to exercise, get in shape, or set personal record.

What are your thoughts about the virtual race?  Would you run one?

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Me Organized

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I pride myself on being organized.  Particularly when I worked as a project manager with a multi-million dollar contract.  Here are my go to resources for getting things done.  But first a word about my work environment.

I worked with a team that covered the whole gamut of operations: design, production, business, legal, contract, and logistics.  Needless to say, each specialty had its own issues and challenges.  Which made the office felt like a zoo at times.  Being organized was a necessity and not an option.

To handle my workload, be it email, to-do list, or my time, I relied on:

  1. Stephen Covey’s 4 quadrant of time management.  An immensely helpful system in allocating my time and priorities, for both work and life. In short, it focuses on what is “important” and schedules my time around it.  I have carried it  into my retirement.
  2. Microsoft Outlook. This was my productivity tool in coordinating between correspondences, to-do’s, and scheduling meetings.  Microsoft had a seamless interface between the Outlook and its Office Suites.  Which made it by far the gold standard in the market.

Between these two tools, I was able to take care of what is important and ditch the rest.

What are your favorite organization tips?

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Week In Review – 11 Apr 2021

How does one build trust?  Answer: one case at a time.  Simple as that may sound, real world application seems harder. Why so? You ask.  One, human relations are tricky, and it is further complicated by overabundant media channels.  It is easy to get distracted and lose our focus.

Knowing my limits, I try to keep things on the straight and narrow.  Now-a-day I am grateful for not having to wake up to some tweet storms from the White House each day.  Also am glad to see businesses getting more vocal about  sociopolitical injustice, taking on more of their corporate citizenship responsibilities.

The on-going trial of the George Floyd’s death is a wake up call to our collective conscious.  It sheds light on long standing issues of the injustice and racism in this country.  As our population demography changes, I believe more examples will surface to test our beliefs and public solidarity.

Stay safe & have a nice week.

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America’s Bill of Rights

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Watching this video makes my blood boil.  How the police treated this US Army Lieutenant for a traffic stop is just wrong.  I would not want to be in the shoes of this Army Lieutenant. 

Was the police using excessive force? Was it a hate crime? The Lieutenant is black and the officer white. 

You be the judge.

How many similar cases happen across our land each day?  In my opinion one is too many.

What’s the meaning of “to serve & protect”?

Update  – One of the officers have been fired.

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Public Trust & Solidarity Post Trump

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The Biden administration has been in charge for a little over two and a half month.  Has American public opinion in general shifted any since the Trump’s days?  Particularly, measure it against the overarching threat of the Coronavirus?

This administration has had a rough start even before it began on Day 1 with the Capital riot and the unprecedented Covid-19 casualty. The country was at a low point in public trust due to Trump’s vicious attack on the media, science, and government.

Fortunately, Mr. Biden’s team is racing against the Coronavirus achieving some promising results: with the current rate of vaccine roll out, the entire US adult population could be vaccinated by July and, fingers crossed, see our life back to normal.

But it’s not a done deal by any stretch.  Trump and his Republican minions are continuing his lie about a stolen election. Possible a fourth pandemic surge is looming.  Making the matter worse are shameful politicians such as Matt Gaetz that are breaking social norm, decency, and of course public trust.

While I don’t have the answer to the question on the public opinion, this much I do know: public solidarity can help. We can stand with the administration’s initiatives, resist the fringe social media propaganda to the contrary, and punish the crooked politicians that detract us from our common destiny.

In time, we can build back our public trust, cross the Covid-19 finish line and face other challenges beyond.

Where do you think the public opinion stand today?

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Random Meditation Thoughts

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Words have meanings.  But too many words render them meaningless.  Fewer the better. Instead, show what you mean through actions. Be it love, gratitude, or compassion. They speak louder than words.

Silence can be calming.  But a prolonged silence feels lost. Lost in thoughts, ideas, or  emptiness. Instead, detach yourself and observe the thought, idea, or void.  See them as what they are and not how you feel.

Patterns are normative.  But patterns are everywhere and in everything. Is it really necessary to have Big Data  to reveal what’s already observable?  How did we manage before?  Instead, let quality over quantity – be still and let the patterns come to you.

Got any of yours to share?

 

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Knowing My Limits

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“What would you like to be when you grow up?” is a perennial question I think about even after I retired 6 years ago.  Yes, the question is relevant because I am continuing to learn about myself, particularly after retirement.

A byproduct I have learned along the way is my limitations. Limitations like the things I tried, failed, didn’t like or didn’t care enough for them to keep pushing myself.  In other words, I am “good enough” to get by but not if my life depended on them.

For example, I do my own taxes, but I am not a CPA.  I cook, but I am not a chef.  And I run marathon, but I am not a sub-3 hour elite runner. I know my limitations and am okay with being just “good enough” in those areas. Nothing wrong there.

In fact, many of our daily life activities fall in a gray category of good enough.  No one can excel in everything.  Knowing and accepting our limitations is contentment.  Which frees us to  discover more of what we really want.

Are you relieved by knowing your limitations?

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