Streetwise Tips for Women

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woman-being-stalked

This photo depicts every woman’s worst nightmare. You are walking alone and you think a man is following you. The hairs on your neck stand out and your heart begins to race. What should you do?

If you’re starting to feel nervous because you’re not sure what you should do, that is very natural.

If you think that this will never happen to you, you are using denial to cope with a difficult subject.

“Denial is a common tactic that substitutes deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning.” ~ Charles Temper

I was guilty of denial too. I used to lull myself into a false sense of security saying that this was probably not going to happen to me — that I don’t live in a bad neighborhood and all have to do is avoid going out at night. But later on, I did have to travel, sometimes through bad neighborhoods even at night. My rationale was no longer working. I had to find a better way to deal with that possible nightmare above — the worst case scenario.

I wish I could carry a gun, but I can’t in NYC. So I went to others who had more information about personal safety. I even took a half-day seminar entitled, “Refuse To Be A Victim.”

My strategy was to become mentally prepared for that moment when I would have to make a life and death decision. Familiarizing myself on what my options are when faced with a threatening situation has lessened my anxiety, and has made me more self-assured that I will be ready if and when that moment comes.

If a woman is attacked, she will have a rush of adrenaline, her heart certainly will be racing, and her brain may not work at it’s optimum level. She will need to quickly rely upon her wit, reflexes, instincts and the crucial mental preparations she made prior to her attack.

I did the personal safety research for myself, but I’m now going to share it with you. Please read on to find out:

1) How Not To Be Selected As A Target

2) What To Do If You Are Selected As A Target

Criminals may not have the highest IQ, but they are certainly capable of planning. Their victims are not selected randomly and will choose the person that is the easiest prey.

Awareness, Intuition, Mindset and Boundaries
Be aware of your surroundings and be suspicious of people loitering in the streets and near the entrance to your home or office. Always be suspicious. Look around you before you leave or enter any space (your car, home, office elevator or any building).

Don’t dismiss your intuition! This is your sixth sense. It may tell you not to go into a certain building or that someone may be following you. Remember the times you have ignored your intuition. Were you sorry you disregarded it?

One of the ways to not become selected as a target is to maintain a confident, alert mindset. Having your head up will give the appearance that you are not a victim, and will increase the chances that you will not be selected as a target. Pre-planning will give you the strong mindset to be able to confidently take action to stop an attack, escape from an attack and protect yourself or others.

Clearly define your personal space. Be prepared to act when someone gets too close and violates your comfort zone. The simplest action you can take is to move away, but if the person persists, you may need to run or defend yourself by making a physical response.

Using ATMs
Everyone knows you leave an ATM with cash. If you could help it, try not to go to the ATM alone. If you are driving up to an ATM, try to park as close to the ATM as possible. Don’t use outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Never use an ATM where people are loitering. If someone gets close to you while you are using an ATM, cancel the transaction, leave quickly, and find another machine.

Walking
When walking in the street, always walk in the opposite direction of traffic. A person who walks in the same direction that cars are traveling can be more easily followed and forced into a car than someone who walks against the traffic.

If you are suspicious of someone in a car, walk or run in the opposite direction from which car is traveling. In order for that car to pursue you, he would have turn his car around. Going in the opposite direction gives you valuable time. The car pursuing you may give up to find an easier target. Go to the nearest lighted store or home for help.

If you think someone is following you by foot, cross to the other side of the street, and go to the nearest open business or home.

Elevators
What do you do when the elevator opens and you have a uncomfortable feeling about the person that’s in there? DO NOT ENTER. Don’t worry about hurting that person’s feeling. Your life is more important.

What if you’re already on the elevator and a strange person enters? If you are fast, you can step off before the elevator closes. If you can’t react that fast, press several buttons for upcoming floors and leave as soon as the elevator stops.

Don’t press the STOP button! This will stop the elevator and you will be trapped inside with the threatening person. If you are being attacked on the elevator and your attacker presses the STOP button, you must pull the button back out. If he hits you for doing this, you must continue to pull the button back out. This is your chance for escape. You can’t be helped as long as you are trapped in that elevator with your attacker.

Some of you may say, “Well maybe the staircase is better.” Keep in mind that stairwells are made to code and so therefore fireproof and even soundproof. Any cries of help will most likely not be heard. In addition, caught in the stairwell, you are automatically giving someone privacy, allowing a perpetrator valuable time and space to harm you without interruption.

Car Safety
Be alert of your surroundings and have your keys ready in your hands when you approach your car. If you are leaving a mall and there are people loitering by your car, go back to the mall and have a security guard escort you. This is one of the reasons why security guards are there. Do not hesitate to make this request. Once you get in the car, place your handbag on the floor. Putting it on the seat next to you makes you a target. As soon as you get in, don’t fix your makeup or call your friend, just lock the door and drive away.

One of the scams I heard about are how people are purposely bumping you on the highway. Once you get out to talk to the person, examine damage, or to exchange information, you are then robbed or attacked. Do not leave the car. Call police and stay inside the car. Open the window only a crack to speak to the other driver. Information can be traded by pressing cards against window. If you are afraid of the other person or if he is threatening you, get license plate number and drive away. If he gets on the hood of your car and bangs on it, drive away slowly.

You have car trouble in a strange neighborhood, and your car is inoperable and your cell phone is dead. Do not leave you car to seek help. Make a sign on any paper or cardboard. “Help. Call Police.”

Being Cautious With Purses and Wallets
Photocopy everything in your wallet and store in a safe place in the event you need to access them and have stolen documents and cards replaced.

A fanny pack or a money belt is recommended so that it can be concealed under clothing, but I don’t find either of them too useful because I carry so many things in my purse.

Law enforcement authorities recommend you keep a small amount of cash in an easily accessible pocket or purse in order to satisfy criminals who are primarily interested in cash.

You can prepare an attractive money roll with singles inside with a ten or twenty-dollar bill on the outside. This way, when a thief approaches you can throw this roll of money in one direction and you run in the opposite direction. Do not hand over the roll! Throwing the money makes the thief have to scramble after the money, allowing you time to escape.

Preparing and carrying an extra cheap wallet is another good idea. This decoy wallet should have some cash, but not contain your driver’s license, car registration, health insurance cards, employee identification, business cards or any valuable documents. No valid credit cards should be placed in this wallet. You might put some cards that come with new wallets to make this decoy wallet look realistic. Again when asked for money, this decoy wallet should be thrown several feet away.

If you are carrying a purse and the robber demands you hand it over, you can either throw the purse or empty the contents on the ground. Making the robber scramble to recover contests will give you an opportunity to escape.

Pepper Sprays
I’ve heard women given advice that they should hold keys in their hands when they are alone at night walking to their car at night. They say having the keys pointing out of their fists can be a weapon. This advice is not that great because most women lack the upper body strength and they have a tendency to paw rather than punch. Also it is very hard to hit a man if he is much taller than you.

A better option would be a self defense spray such as pepper spray. Pepper spray instantly irritates nerve endings in an attacker’s body and causes intense burning upon contact. It severely constricts the nasal passages and throat, and shuts down all but the very basic level of breathing. It also causes the attacker’s eyes to close immediately. The effects of the chemical last up to 20 minutes depending upon the concentration.

Be aware that pepper spray is not effective on a small percentage of the population so make sure you have a back up plan if the spray does not deter your attacker. The spray has a range of 3-12 feet, depending upon the brand, model and size of the container.

If your spray produces a mist, be careful that the wind is not blowing in your direction when you are spraying. Chemical sprays have a limited shelf life and they need to be replaced before the expiration date.

Remember that pepper spray is no use to you in your purse or briefcase. The best place for it is in your hand. The second best place is an outside pocket that you can reach quickly with a free hand. Once you take out the pepper spray, use it right away. Hesitating may give the attacker opportunity to take it away from you.

Pepper spray is legal in all U.S. states, but many have restrictions. Please read what those restrictions may be in your state. They are also prohibited on commercial airlines.

What To Do When You Are Being Pulled, Attacked
What do you if someone tries to pull you into his car? If he successfully drags you into his car, you are going to be raped at the very least. If you could help it, DO NOT EVER allow someone to take you to a secondary crime scene where the perpetrator has more control, privacy, and time to assault you.

If he gets a hold of your arm, you reach and grab his thumb off your arm; it’s the weakest of all the fingers. Grab his thumb and run away. If he grabs your coat, get out of the coat. If you hold onto your coat, he will pull you and your coat into his car. You can not get into his car for any reason whatsoever.

Don’t forget to cry, “Fire! Fire! Fire” to draw attention to the incident. Most people respond to “fire” than “help” because if they don’t respond and there really is a fire, it costs them money and they could also get hurt.

Playing Your Odds
This time, the person puts a gun to your head and orders you to get into the car. Do you comply with a gun to your head? You make a quick decision and run right away. Let’s say that the criminal shoots only 50% of the time because he might want to find another victim that is more compliant. Let’s say that 25% of the time he shoots and hits the victim. And let’s add that 12.5% of the time he either seriously hurts or mortally wounds the victim. Do you like those odds? The actual statistics show that only 2% of the time does he seriously hurts or mortally wounds the victim. I would say those are better odds than for the person who can’t get away and ends up in the car.

Getting Physical
Another scenario might be that as you try to get away, he gets physical with you and you end up on the floor. What do you do? Spin yourself around and keep your feet facing him. Kick from the ground to keep him off you and yell, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” as loud you can. Punching and hitting would be less effective as we women have less upper body strength. We have more power in our legs. At this point, fleeing is the best option.

Remember that the person you are dealing with is a criminal and he will lie, threaten, cajole and make promises to get what he wants. Do NOT believe him even if you want to. So if he says, just do this and I won’t hurt you, know that he is lying to you. Women have complied in the past, thinking their lives may be spared, and sadly they thought wrong.

There are no guarantees in life, especially in crime prevention and on the subject of safety. I hope that the tips I provided will be of help.

Please feel free to comment, leave questions or share your own safety tips below.

Sources:
Street Smarts: How To Avoid Being A Victim w./ Detetive J.J. Bittenbinder, was a PBS special aired back in October of 1993. Detective J.J. Bittenbinder has been a police office in since 1971 and have interviewed thousands of witnesses and offenders. He is also the author of Tough Target: A Street-Smart Guide to Staying Safe, and is considered an authority on the subject of safety.

NRA: Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar, attended in February 2012.

Even a Beauty Addict Like Me has Her Limits

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I remember my first beauty makeover. I was about 7 or 8. My mom had a friend who had two older teenage girls. They happened to be over our apartment, and they decided to make me over for fun. They doted over me, curled my hair with a curling iron, and put make up on me. Make up was completely forbidden to me at that age, but my mom allowed it since I wasn’t going out like that. I absolutely loved it. I felt like a movie star. It would be quite a number of years before I was allowed to wear make up and even wear my hair down. (My very strict Korean mom refused to even let my hair down for many years because she thought it may me look like a wild child.) But when I did, I kind of became a beauty addict. I wanted to try everything! And I did.

Even after I got married, my obsessions with cosmetics, lotions, and fragrances continued. The only thing I stopped doing was walk around with the mud mask. One time my husband saw me walking around the house at night with the greenish mask on and he jumped. I stopped doing that beauty regimen because I wanted my husband to think I was beautiful, and freaking him out was not part of the plan.

Here’s a snapshot of like a sixth of my make up table.

My very cluttered and well-used makeup table.

My very cluttered and well-used makeup table.

And that’s after I tidied it up! It’s insane, I know. My obsession with makeup is inexplicable as is my obsession with shoes and handbags….

For Asians, having a pale face is a status symbol, so I don’t worship the sun as Americans do. It’s completely the opposite of the way Americans think. You may have noticed older Chinese ladies walking around with parasols. I have a photo of myself around 3 or 4 years old walking with my grandmother in Korea carrying an umbrella. It wasn’t raining. I was just shielding my face from the brutal sun. Over the years, as a kid when I used to come back from camp with my face perfectly bronzed, my mom used to complain I got too dark. To this day, I don’t like to tan.

All of the above is leading up to what you’re about to witness. The above notwithstanding, even I have my limits. Take a look at one of the recent trends that has emerged in China:

Chinese beach-goers donning their 'face-kini' at a public beach in Qingdao, northeaset China's Shandong province.

Chinese beach-goers donning their ‘face-kini’ at a public beach in Qingdao, northeast China’s Shandong province.

Facekini and bodysuits come in a variety of patterns and is made for both men and women.

They come in a variety of patterns and are made for both men and women.

Oh how sweet!  They come in children sizes too.

Oh how sweet! They come in children sizes too.

The ‘Face-kini’ comes complete with a bodysuit.

The factory made cost is 15 – 25 yuan which is equivalent to $2.50 to $4.00. I suppose it could be called the natural alternative to the sunscreen lotion that most people lather on their face to protect from the sun’s rays…. It even seems to work as a repellent to bugs and jellyfish… possibly people too.

I thought Jaws was the scariest thing at the beach till I saw this.

Letting Go of Relationships

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I learned early on that friendships take time and effort. And even if I did put in the time and effort, more times than not, I was disappointed by the results. People tell me I’m too critical or too sensitive, but if there’s more negative than positive in a relationship, why bother?

I don’t need the whole world to like me. If you like me and we have things in common, fine, but if you don’t think I’m great, the sun will rise tomorrow and life will certainly go on. I’m very independent. I can do most things by myself and if I want to go do something and no one wants to go with me, I will go do it alone.

After having spent time and effort on some major friendships in the past, just to see them disintegrate after a couple of years, I’m just tired. Perhaps I could have done something to make things better, I don’t know, but those experiences were so bad, I really don’t want to try anymore. I try my best to maintain the friendships that I have, but I’m not going to go the extra mile if I see no effort coming from the other person. I have a limited amount of time and I prefer to spend that time on fruitful things, not on things or people that suck the life out of me without anything in return.

Maybe the meaning of “friend” has been watered down so much, people think that you can maintain a friendship through one holiday card a year. And there are those who feel out the boundaries to see how little they can get away with in a friendship. They do the bare minimum because they are too lazy or don’t want to make the effort. Kind of like the Al Bundy of friendships.

So if you never bothered to call to see how I was doing after my second child was born or check to see if our family was washed away by Hurricane Sandy, then we aren’t friends. Being a friend is actually caring and reaching out to see if you’re needed, not just wondering if that person is mad at you because you didn’t make the effort. But I’m grateful for the true friends that I do have. I think you know who you are because you’ve been there for me not just during the times you’ve needed or wanted something from me.

Everyone I’m sure has different views on friendships, but what would make you rethink a friendship?

My Book Club is Starting This Year!

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The last satisfying book club I was part of was nearly 13 years ago. We met once a month at a local restaurant and we decided as a group what we would read. It was really pleasant and I liked the ladies that were part of the book club. One of the ladies even arranged a baby shower for me, but as they say — all good things must come to an end….

Since then, I was part of one book club for several months. I couldn’t get comfortable in it because after 20 minutes into the book discussion, it evolved into discussions about people’s personal lives and I didn’t find their lives all that interesting. The other annoying aspect about this book club was that people were unwilling to read the books that were selected. Okay, so if no one is reading the book but me, what are we supposed to be discussing? More personal stuff? No, thank you. I felt badly about leaving because the woman leading the book club was quite literate and I liked the books she picked.

That was a handful of years ago and since then I have hemmed and hawed about starting my own club thinking it would be this huge responsibility. So I looked and looked for a book club that was already established, and I think it was mostly the locations that were bugging me. I didn’t want to trek into Manhattan, Park Slope or Astoria for a book club meeting, I have to do that for homeschooling purposes already and I didn’t want to do it for a book club. I just didn’t.

So here it is the new year, and though I have no idea where this book club is going to go, I am excited and open to new ideas. I will ask people to bring a copy of a book they would like to read and suggest for the book club, and ask for ideas on where they’d like this book club to go.

Please spread the word, if you know of any bibliophiles that might be interested and live in or near Brooklyn. Going forward, depending upon the outcome of the first meeting, it will be meeting once a month. The location will only be revealed to folks who message me either on Facebook or Twitter.

Till then happy reading….

Happiness in the New Year

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Another year has come and gone. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting older (and hopefully wiser) because I don’t get giddy with excitement anymore about Christmas or New Year’s Day. I think I stayed up once to watch the New Year’s ball drop in Times Square and the experience was enough to last a life time.

I went out earlier today and brought back some bagels and scallion cream cheese. I like eating poppy seed bagels in the comfort and privacy of my own home because no one has yet invented poppy seeds that won’t imbed themselves into every space between your teeth. I asked my wonderful husband to make coffee (men are usually better at making coffee than women) and picked up my latest issue of Elle and got engrossed reading Ali Wentworth’s article on her blepharoplasty. It’s a fancy word for the surgical procedure of lifting the eyes. She included before and after photos. She claims she is not a vain person, but her baggy eyes were a cause for concern since her twenties and she finally decided to do something about it. Judging by the after-photo, the procedure was well-worth the time and $7,000.

Ali-Wentworth.montage

Why did she do it? She wanted to look more youthful, and she realized it would also make her happier.

I had no idea who Ali Wentworth was so I looked her up and she is a comedienne, actress, author and wife to George Stephanopoulos! Why the exclamation mark? Because for decades, I thought he was single and possibly gay….

Anyway reading Ali Wentworth’s experience about her plastic surgery and how happy she was with the results, got me to thinking about the things that make me happy.

My family makes me happy. Being with them and watching and raising my kids makes me happy. More things that make me happy: cooking, eating, reading, writing, playing piano, trying new things, making things with my hands, and accomplishing things. What doesn’t make me happy: wasting time and being around self-centered people.

How could I be happier? Doing more of the things I like doing. I think I might possibly cook less and focus my time reading and writing more. As much as I absolutely enjoy preparing fantastic elaborate meals AND eating them, I need to focus that energy on possibly a new project. I’ll talk more about it once I get started and it looks like it’s actually going somewhere.

So expect to see more of my blog. I am aiming to blog at least once a week. It may be this kind of stream of conscience blog and less politically oriented. Did I hear some sighs of relief?

And I want to get back into reading more and I’m going to give myself a goal of 24 books this coming year. So look for more frequent postings on Goodreads.

I hope that didn’t sound like resolutions. I never do resolutions. On that note, Happy New Year to everyone and welcome the year of the Black Snake….

How Not to Get Scammed Into Buying a Hurricane Sandy Car

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I was listening to the “Car Doctor Ron Ananian” on WOR Radio, the other day and he was explaining that cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy would be “flooding” the market. A reconditioned car that has been previously flooded will seem fine, may run well for a few months, but then over time electrical systems and computer modules will show the results of corrosion and fail, and you will see more and more problems and it will become a money pit.

How are these cars being resold?

The insurance companies totals these flood-damaged cars, pays the insured, and “brands” the title on these cars indicating the type of loss (Salvage, Rebuilt Wreck, Flood Victim), and takes ownership of the vehicles. These vehicles are taken to insurance auctions. Usually the buyers are legitimate businesses like body shops and car dealers. But some are unscrupulous vehicle rebuilders that also own “chop shops.”

These vehicle rebuilders will buy these flood-damaged cars with high end names (Lexus, Mercedes, Cadillac) at the lowest possible prices and then have them rebuilt as cheaply as possible. Then these cars are resold in the auction circuit. Their modus operandi is to sell them in places as far as possible from the hurricane so as not to raise any suspicions from the dealer or the retail customer. The victims are the dealers and retail customers who didn’t run a title check through a reputable service like Car Fax or AutoCheck.

So you think all you have to do avoid the problem is to do a title check? Wrong. I found out from the Car Doctor that there are some disreputable businesses who will pick up these cars at the insurance auction, have them cheaply reconditioned, take them over state lines where they are re-registered over and over, eventually the insurance brand is removed or washed from title. That’s where the term “title washing” comes from. Once a clean title is issued, the car will be sold in the auction circuit under false pretenses.

I hadn’t heard of “title washing” before so I was totally shocked when I heard that this was going on.

So how can you or I avoid getting scammed?

How can people detect that a reconditioned car was in a flood?

One way you can avoid getting a flood-damaged car is to hire a professional to do a pre-purchase inspection who knows what clues to look for. He will do an electrical test and can ascertain if any of the circuits are damaged. If you don’t have trustworthy mechanic, Alliance Inspection Management (AiM) can provide that service. It is now in the process of inspecting hundreds of Sandy vehicles. Another company that does this type of pre-purchase inspection is inspectmyride.com.

The car may have water damage if you see water lines in the engine compartment, door jamb and the trunk. Another place to check is the wheel well for the spare tire. Look for water lines and/or rust. Look for green crust-like substance in the electrical plugs and junction. Look under the seat and check for rust where the seats are mounted to the floor. Also check to see if the carpet is either loose or wrinkly. The carpet may be sloppily put back in place after car was repaired. An experienced technician would look under seats and dashboard for silt or mud — another sign that the car was in a flood.

An experienced technician would also check to see if the equipment in the car matches what it’s supposed to come with. If it doesn’t come with specified engine or a set of equipment for that specific model, you should question why. Could be a sign that the car was rebuilt.

Other signs that the car was submerged under water: milky engine oil, milky power steering fluid, and automatic transmission fluid that looks has strawberry milkshake color.

According to the Car Doctor Ron Ananian, cars and car parts damaged by Katrina were in circulation for several years after that weather catastrophe. Caveat Emptor.

Sources:
http://autos.aol.com/article/how-to-avoid-flood-damaged-cars/
http://carbuyingtipsguide.com/car-buying-tips/used-car-buying-tips-beware-hurricane-sandy-damaged-cars
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimhenry/2012/10/31/following-hurricane-sandy-heres-how-to-avoid-buying-a-flood-damaged-car-dont-get-soaked/

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Funny or Racist?

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Caroline Wozniacki impersonates curvaceous Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams by stuffing towels in her bra and shorts during an exhibition match with Maria Sharapova. Whether you find this humorous or not is based on individual taste, but some observers are calling it racist:

On a Tumblr blog post, someone wrote, 'This isn’t “harmless fun” as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.'

Another blogger says: 'It may have been done in “jest,” but I love how people can can turn a black woman’s body and sexuality into a caricature. However, we should not have the autonomy to celebrate any successes of our own.'

Femininisting.com writes: 'Given the history and current-day context of racialized standards of beauty, and the hypersexualization of people of color, when a white woman makes fun of a black women’s body, especially in a way that hypersexualizes her and draws on the stereotype of black women’s big butts, it’s racist.'

Source: Daily Mail

Hmmm…. Did I miss something? How is this impersonation racist? I don’t think she was impersonating all black women. What if she was impersonating Simona Halep, tennis player from Romania before she underwent mastopexy to reduce her bust size to 34C from 34DD? Would that be racist too?

What if I, as a Korean-American impersonated Kim Khardashian, should it be characterized as racist?

Feel free to comment below or send me a tweet. My Twitter handle is @Cady_Stanton.

Someone Falls on the Subway Tracks — What Would You Do?

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What a horrifying photo. It’s the photo of a Korean man, Ki Suk Han, in the subway tracks seconds before he is fatally struck by an oncoming subway. The photographer decided to take this photo instead of at least attempting to help. R. Umar Abbasi, later explained to the press that he tried to alert the train conductor with the flash of his camera, but he couldn’t have helped the man and he was also afraid to approach because the perpetrator was running toward him.

According to Curtis Sliwa, Founder of The Guardian Angels, the platform was full of people and no one attempted to help the Korean man in the track even as he tried to pull himself up. It was 22 seconds between the time when the man was pushed into the tracks by the homeless man and when the subway struck him. Sliwa contends that there was plenty of time for people to have helped him back on the platform. Either people were too horrified or were afraid to help.

When I look at the photo of the man trying to get onto the platform, it appears to me that a few strong helping hands could have saved the man’s life. I wonder what I might have been able to do if I was on the platform. Would I have pleaded with other people to help the fallen man? I don’t think I would have been able to pull the man to safety by myself, but I don’t think I could have stood there doing nothing.

I go on the subways and lots of times with my children, and I fear that someone may push us on the tracks. I always make sure that we move a safe distance away from the tracks when the train approaches, but I’ve never considered the possibility of what I might do if someone else happens to fall in. It’s different than offering a seat to an elderly person or a pregnant woman. It’s a decision you have to make in a split second and at the same time you may be risking your own life if you decide to help.

When I was in high school, I remember waiting on the platform for the train to arrive so I could go back home. Being a clumsy teenager, my backpack dropped into the tracks. As I stood there wondering if I should just abandon the bag, a fellow high school student jumped into the tracks and retrieved the bag for me. Not exactly a life or death situation, but it was nice that someone was willing to do that me.

I heard some people took photos and videos after the Korean man was struck and killed. Why? These people have no respect for the dead.

What would you have done if you were on the platform?

Poverty: Part 3 — Fiscal Cliff: Obama Welfare Policy

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Re-examine the welfare solution for poverty. The very first step is to re-institute the real definition of “poverty.” It is “no home-no heat- no food.” That’s poverty.

The Progressives have corrupted the meaning for several reasons, not the least of which is to maximize the vote from recipients of various bogus programs…such as food stamps.

Let’s take a look at three groups included in the poverty statistics.

The working poor are aiding by the Earned Income Tax Credits, of Republican provenance.

There is the bogus category created by the progressives, the “having-not-quite-as-much” poor… many of whom have more accoutrements than the folks supporting them:

“When you walk into the bathroom of the average American home you are a witness to history. It has taken centuries for the toilet and tub to end up in the same room. Those two conveniences, plus shower, washbowl, and running water are a grander collection of comfort and ease than even kings knew before the 20th century.” (Readers Digest) Could any competent person claim that pre-twentieth-century kings be called impoverished? Of course not. So, an American today matches the “comfort and ease” that kings once wished for! That includes every American who, happily falls outside of the “no home-no heat-no food” definition.

Since 89% of the “poor” own a microwave, they have a home.

And the “helpless poor.” Not any amount of monetary aid given will help these poor souls. Case in point: Jeffrey Hillman, the homeless man given new shoes by NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo. Hillman is neither homeless, nor is he scamming the system. “According to the Department of Homeless Services, Hillman has an apartment, paid for through a combination of Section 8 vouchers, Social Security disability and veterans benefits. The housing comes with a wide array of services, including drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.”

One should ask why the Progressives, e.g., Obama has made it his effort to increase those taking from the government?

“…the dramatically larger increase also suggests that part
of the program’s growth is due to conscious policy choices by this administration to ease eligibility rules and expand caseloads…income limits for eligibility have risen twice as fast as inflation since 2007
and are now roughly 10 percent higher than they were when Obama took office.” Casey Mulligan, “The Sharp Increase in the Food Stamps Program,” Economix,

Absorb the information above? Good…here’s the math that
goes with it…and would end the fiscal crisis:

“Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure. In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. (Policy Analysis by Cato Institute)

So…90% of the spending is not spent on “poverty.”
The fiscal problem is the Progressive ideology.

Ode to My Beloved Twinkies

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Couldn’t believe my wicked ears when I heard you weren’t coming back
I saw you a decade ago dressed in yellow and wrapped in cellophane pack
You were content, so sure of yourself, oozing self-confidence and white cream
You were everything that I had hoped for and everything that I had dreamed

But then I forgot about you and took for granted that you’d always be there
Time flew with a wink of an eye and all of sudden I’m living a nightmare
I went frantically looking for you in the usual corner and designated place
But all the racks were bare, leaving only haunted memories and empty space

I will miss you greatly my cloyingly sweet, tooth decaying yellow treat
Along with your friends that made my gastronomic childhood complete
I will miss how every bite of you would make my teeth ache in pain
You were my steady source of sugar in a lonely empty subway train

Goodbye Twinkie. Parting is such sweet sorrow.