Is Law Enforcement Going Too Far?

Police CarsWe all want to feel safe when we walk around the neighborhood; there is no question in that. We expect law enforcement to be there when something happens and to make sure that everyone remains safe. But how far should law enforcement go? Is aggressive force just a little too far? Can there be another way of taking action? Could something have been done differently?

It is these questions and more that are the first reactions when someone hears a story about someone losing their life to law enforcement.

What has been happening lately is that law enforcement has been going too far and as a result, aggressive force has unfortunately killed innocent civilians. These civilians are pleading that they cannot breathe and law enforcement is not responding to what they are saying. Instead, they are using too much force and people are dying because of it.

All family members, especially though, mothers, are affected by the loss of their love ones. They gather to seek justice and get answers as to why the officers performed the actions that they did.

Joining forces with others shows that every issue can be addressed because there are more voices. People become passionate about an issue when they see it reoccurring or it happens to themselves or a loved one. People try not to wait too long to get their voice heard because then they lose the power. Without them having the power, the issue either never gets resolved or goes on the back burner.

So the question becomes, has law enforcement gone too far in some cases?

Santa Muerte Growing Popular in Queens, New York

Santa MuerteReligion means something different for everyone. It not only gives us morals to live by, but it makes us view the world in a unique way. There are traditional religions like Catholic, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, etc, and not as traditional including Non-Denominational and in this case, Santa Muerte or Saint Death. While this is not your typical religion, it is a growing one in Queens, New York.

For many people, Santa Muerte is not very familiar and it may be difficult to understand why people would pray to the dead. Cities like Mexico and New Orleans along with New York are just a few that worship this saint.

The chapel “displays some 80 statues of various sizes of the “white child.” The largest one wears a crown and is dressed in a luxurious red gown.” When approaching the alter, people bring gifts in exchange for their petitions.

The gifts they would bring include tobacco, bread, fruits, tequila and jewelry. For a person’s petition there is a different “Santísima figure for each type of favor. The one dressed in dollar bills guarantees good earnings, the one in white grants healing, the green one offers harmony, and the red one, love. The black one is associated with outlaws and petitions for vengeance.”

The teaching behind Santa Muerte is to give something and then something will be given in return. This makes sense because ultimately in order to get anything, one has to ask first, from a religious point of view. Naturally, some prayers may longer to answer and others may not be answered at all.

Santa Muerte is celebrated in Mexico on August 15th while it is celebrated in New York on the 16th and interestingly, tattoo artists get many requests for an image of Santa Muerte.

Like any religion, it takes years of study and practice to become very devoted and understand the teaching behind it.

Evict a Person Even Though the Former One Is Dead?

Zeynep Osman 2Imagine living a great life with lots of success and not to mention money. Now imagine that your significant other suddenly passes away leaving you, the apartment. Great, right?

That may seem awesome in a way where you are left an apartment, but years later, you are on the verge of an eviction because of your late passing death. Well, there is a bigger problem. Here is what happened to one women in an apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The passing of the last imperial Ottoman Turks has now “led to a battle over the rent-controlled apartment of an Afghan princess on the Upper East Side.” To back track just a bit, in 1945, Ertogroul Osman, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, moved into the apartment and in 1994, he would have taken the throne if the empire had not been dissolved. Sadly, the empire did, and he spent the next 64 years in the same apartment until he died in 2009 while on a trip to Istanbul with his second wife, Her Imperial Highness Zeynep Osman. What’s interesting is that, Princess Zeynep’s royal family had to flee its home in Afghanistan in the 1920’s.

The building was sold in 2011 for $10.1 million to the new landlord Avi Dishi. Beyond the landlord saying to her, ‘I want you out’ and such, her memories of her home include visits from relatives, heads of state and much more. Though the problem becomes with the lease, like any other property, states all the terms and conditions. In this particular cases, the when the lease expired, the occupancy became month to month and as a result, the landlord was exercising his right to terminate the lease.

The 1970s were a time when changes to rent-control statutes happened. As a result, when it came time for the eviction notice, it was addressed to “E. Osman and G. Osman”. G. Osman was Mr. Osman’s first wife who died in 1985 and Zeynep’s lawyer’s defense, you can’t evict a dead person.

Overall, there has to be reasonable doubt to kick someone out of a residence and not even a ‘just because’ would work because it then violates the tenants right. The question here is, is this even an issue to bring up when one of the parties is already dead? The person will never be able to testify against the landlord for obvious reasons. The question really becomes is how much is this worth pursuing after so many years have already passed?

Too Many Accidents Are Not Being Prevented

Sierra Exif JPEGWith people becoming more aware of what is around them, many are now taking action instead of just talking about it. They are being proactive instead of reactive. They are seeing that something can be done because even with simple tasks are now becoming almost forgetful for some people. Being in a rush has become such a norm these days that people are less likely to slow down and take a moment to see if they have everything.

The issue here is that busy parents are accidently leaving their kids in the hot car while they run to do errands. As a result, the children are dying due to a lack of oxygen and with the windows rolled up, the car gets much hotter.

While protecting the identity of the person, a teen has started a mission to bring more awareness to parents of when they leave their child in the car. The product is called “Hot Seat”. The “Hot Seat” is designed and placed underneath the cover of the car seat and has a sensor on it. The sensor is activated when simultaneously, the “sensor perceives any pressure, and key fob and sensor are more than 40 feet away from each other.”

Naturally with the digital age, there is also an app for the cell phone as well as an alarm that can be attached somewhere outside the vehicle. The alarm outside of the vehicle allows not only the parent to be aware of a child in the car, but also anyone that can pass by and could save a life.

The more people are aware of certain issues, hopefully, more accidents will be prevented.

College, Everyone Should Have the Opportunity to Attend

Graduation mortar on top of booksIt is unfortunate that with the amount of information available to us, that there is a gap in education and many people cannot get it because of one main factor, money. With the rise of housing cost, inflation on goods and services, there is simply not enough money to go around. But fortunately, there are programs today to alleviate this problem. Yet, it does not go unnoticed that this is a problem and money should not stop someone from getting a proper education.

One program in particular is the Upward Bound. In short, the mission of the program is for “Upward Bound — founded as an experimental program in 1964 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty with a goal of helping students from low-income families get a college education.”

Today, the program has allowed for influential people like “Oprah Winfrey, actresses Viola Davis and Angela Bassett, ABC News correspondent John Quinones, and Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile,” to go through the program.

For any program to be successful, planning has to be well thought out and how to accommodate so many people. Upward Bound holds the local program at college campuses either after-school or weekend sessions.

Getting an education should not be a burden to anyone that wants to attend. Scholarships and grants provide some solution to the problem if money is an issue. With so many influential people and programs to offer solutions, why are so many people struggling and not being able to get the education that they need? What is holding them back? What is the world holding back that could provide for these families? The truth is, we may never know, but can work towards finding a better solution.

Computer Science and Women?

computer scienceIn this ever changing world, industries need to predict what is going to happen in less time than say, a few decades ago. The change from print to digital was slow at first, but now it seems like the way to go to get information. Yes, there are some ‘old’ ways that people are still do things, yet, it does not mean that the ‘new’ is correct either.

Take for example, the computer science industry. When people think of this industry, naturally computers and men come to mind first. Why is that? Well, men do dominate this industry over women and obviously, the industry involves working with computers. Though working with this industry requires a lot of tedious work. It involves coding; fixing the inner workings of a computer, like hardware, software, spyware and the list goes on and on.

With gender neutrality and equality on the rise, there now becomes a push to get women into computer science and technology companies are trying to make that happen.

Google launched a campaign called “Made with Code”. The narrator of the video told girls that, “when you learn to code, you can assemble anything that you see missing”. Girls were given simple coding lessons on how to choreograph dances or design fabrics using the software offered by female techies in the video.

Additionally, Google is partnering with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that launched in 2012. The nonprofit, “runs summer coding institutes for girls”.

Without going into statistics and trends, it is important to see that companies are making user-friendly programs for girls to understand and hopefully be inspired to get into the computer science industry. However, like anything else in the world, it is ultimately up to the person about what they like and don’t like. There should not be a societal divide in anything, but there is. Many people, however, can appreciate the push that companies are making to get girls into the computer science industry.

Your Pet Can No Longer Get A Tattoo in NY

PetsIs it animal cruelty or showing your pet that you love them? Some acts that you do to your pet may seem completely normal, but to some they may be uncomfortable. Dressing dogs up, for example, is a fashion statement among many pet owners. Other owners may have a small house for them to sleep in as opposed to a simple doggy bed.

Having a pet does bring its unique challenges. In this case, they would have their dog tattooed or pierced. It sounds almost unreal, but people do it for all kinds of reasons.

Yet, being able to do this freely is not expected to stay around much longer. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. The law was passed by the New York Senate and Assembly that will ban people from having their pets tattooed or pierced.

The issue was first introduced in 2011 by Assembly member, Linda Rosenthal, but was brought up again this year after a Brooklyn tattoo artist posted a controversial photo on Instagram of his pet pit bull.

People may feel that this is a medical necessity, but it is not and animal rights groups are pleased that the issue is being addressed. Animals are creatures that help us in a time of need or bring us joy, yet are being banned from places like the circus. Similarly, there are exotic animals living right here in New York City. In the end, animal issues are always going to have two sides of every story.

So is this right or should pet owners be allowed to show their pet and others some kind of affection through tattoos and piercings?

Banning Live Animals at the Circus?

circusWhen you think of a circus, what comes to mind? The trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists, clowns, the trainer, and of course live animals are some of the few things that come to mind. Yet, if you miss one of the components to the circus, what happens?

One thing that you will not be seeing very soon at circuses in Mexico City, Mexico is the use of live animals. Would this ban still make a circus, a circus? Most would argue that it would be and others would that a circus is not a circus without the animals.

Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera of Mexico City, Mexico, is the one that has to sign off on the bill before it becomes law. According to other news sources, the law was approved and “prohibits the use of live wild or domestic animals during the staging of circus performances.” Further, the Federal District Legislative Assembly has already approved the Law on the Staging of Public Shows.

Interestingly, the law only bans the use of wild animals in circus, but not in dolphin shows, theater shows, among others, and any other show that has animals. In this case, the law would prohibit the circuses from presenting, selling or using live animals as prizes.

The essence of a circus comes from who performs in it. After all, it is about tricks, acrobats, and suspense. Without key players involved, what would the act be considered? A play or something else?

It appears to be that the government is trying to take away something that yes, is potentially dangerous, but what makes a circus unique. Banning the live animals from the circus would ruin the fun, excitement and overall originality of what a circus is all about.

Immigration

ImmigrationImmigrating to a new country where many people don’t know the language, the culture or history can be very scary and not to mention, a complicated process. People are immigrating for a better life, provide for their family, or in some cases, to start fresh again. Most may think that the experience coming to America is a dream, while others have not had the same experience.

So who is immigrating to America? Well, everyone really; from all walks of life. Arguably, young people speak out on these issues the most.

With new immigration laws, coming to America is not as easy as it used to be. There are many documents that have to be filled out and the timing to come and not to mention, making sure that the person or people get to where they want to go.

The last thing for anyone who is immigrating to America is to find out that they are dropped off at another destination other than the one intended. The family may not be familiar with the customs or ways of living and now to be dropped off somewhere without any assistance, can be frightening.

Could being dropped off at the wrong location be avoided? Most likely it could be. However, what to take into consideration is that there are so many immigrants coming to America that it is hard to know if everything is going to run smoothly. Those who have family members here already may have it a little easier because someone can guide them to where they need to go. Others may have no one here and have to navigate a country that they may not know a whole lot about.

Regardless, immigrants should look back at their experience and remember why they came to this country in the first place. Each person has their own story to tell and reason for coming. That is what makes that person’s story so unique and is told for many years to come.

Immigration, sadly, is still an issue.

Cyber Bullying in a Positive Light

cyber-bullyingToo many of us are guilty of judging people way too quickly. It is natural for people to do this and we are human, but too much hurt can go a little too far. Insults can vary among people and some take it extremely personal, almost to the point of believing that the statements are true about them even if they are not.

Others take a much different approach and use the hateful comments to their advantage like Elizabeth “Lizzie” Velasquez, or known as “The Ugliest Woman in the World.”

Since the internet has gone vastly viral than 10 years ago, cyber bullying has become such an issue, certain sites are being blocked in schools and parents are becoming more aware and monitoring their children’s activity online. In Velasquez’s case, she took the cyber bullying, turned it into something positive by speaking out into the media so that people can hear her story.

Velasquez’s syndrome is very rare where she has 0 percent body fat on her no matter how much she eats. After overcoming a decade of learning how to love her skin and body, Velasquez is a motivational speaker, author and now has a documentary in the works about her story called “The Lizzie Project”. According to news sources, the project is “a call for anyone who wants to unite and make the online world a more positive place.”

It is unfortunate that some cyber bullying will not end, but the greater impact would be that both the kids and adults take action. Educating both children and adults about cyber bullying starts the cycle for positive use while online and without role models, children will not see the positive impacts the person makes on other people.