Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts

July 8, 2019

Morning Commute in DC

I took this photo a while back on the Metro to/from Washington, D.C. 

It combines the seemingly normal person on the way to/from work listening to music and reading the newspaper with wearing a pretty scare face mask. 

It reminds me of the horror movie, "The Purge," where people are permitted one night a year to commit crimes and murder others "legally" as a venting mechanism for social unrest and to help eliminate crime and criminals. 

Sitting across from this guy, you're not really sure if he's gonna finish reading the paper and walk off the train all nice or get up and start wiping people out left and right. 

Big cities in the U.S. can be scary places, and the mass transportation systems are one of those places where you don't always feel safe. 

Maybe a mask is just a mask until G-d forbid, one day, it isn't.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 23, 2016

Building An Appropriate Wall

Ok, let's be honest, Trump is right about the border.  

And no, I do not believe that he is fascist and evil like the social engineers in politics would like you to believe for their own motives. 

Let's face it, the border needs to be appropriately secured once and for all from illegal immigration. 

We need to support our law enforcement agents such as the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in protecting this great country. 

Why all the argument about "illegal" Immigration...it's illegal!

By all means, provide amble and robust ways for peaceful-loving people to come to this country legally, especially for family, refuge, asylum, and to escape violence, persecution, and war.  

But if someone is here illegally, then Trump is right, we need to see that valid moral law and order is reestablished and not permit violence, crime, and chaos to continue by edict, closing our eyes to it, or even tacit permission. 

Whoever calls this fascism is either a liar or possibly some sort of anarchist and dangerous to a civilized way of life, plain and simple. 

How do any of our politicians who take the oath of office and swear to uphold our constitution try to get around this?

Here are some statistics relevant to the issue of secure borders:

Human Trafficking: There are 29.8 people in the world trapped in modern slavery or 1 out of every 236!  And there are 60,000 victims reported in the United States of America.  


Deadly Terrorism: The deadly toll of Terrorism has increased 800% since 2010 with an average of 30,000 people killed annually. "More attacks are happening and they tend to be deadlier than ever."

Violent Crime and Murders:  In the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and New York, illegal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions, equating to over 7,000 of the murders. 

Economic Effects:  While undocumented workers do obviously help perform work particularly in some important lower wage jobs for us, there are also many negative economic effects of illegal aliens to consider such as undercutting wages or taking jobs from other who are legally entitled to the work. Additionally, the cost for their healthcare and education that is covered by the American people contributes to the overall staggering national debt. 

Overall, while "who we are" and want to be is a compassionate and generous people, there is no reason to circumvent the law and to let people into the country who have not duly applied and been permitted entry and stay.  

Shenanigans of "catch and release" or not to deport illegal immigrants "who don't have a criminal record"--is completely nonsensical since being illegal is criminal!

We need to secure our country from human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, murders, as well as the negative economic effects of illegal immigration, while at the same time opening our hearts and the process for vetted legal immigrants to make their way here and become productive citizens. 

We are and should be good people, but that doesn't mean we need to be stupid and irresponsible and put at risk our nation's security through unnecessarily reckless open and porous borders. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 16, 2016

Bystanders Standing By

So I was on the Metro train coming home from the office. 

I was sitting on the left side of the car (riding backwards--which I hate) 

And a lady was sitting on the right side of the train (also riding backwards)

She was stylishly dressed, but also honestly a little seductive in a short skirt, knee-high boots, and bare legs. 

There was a older man sitting across from her (facing forward and facing her). 

At one point then some really weird stuff started to go down. 

This guy gets up and starts staring at this lady--but not just the lady, specifically at her legs.

But it get worse, he turns his head sideway--this way and that--very obviously trying to look under her skirt. 

These were not kids mind-you, but grown adults--and this behavior was not only unexpected, but completely shocking.

There are lots of other people around, and it seems like no one knows what to make of this guy or even cares.

Then he inches closer, as if to get a better look, and get this--100% true--he starts to sniff at her.

It was so scary to see this guy on the train acting all perverted--obviously some sort of serious sexual predator. 

My mind starts racing into whether I should get up and be prepared to confront him, so he doesn't hurt this women, or if there is enough time, can I call for the cops.

But before anything else could unfold, the train pulls into the next station, the double doors open, and he quickly hops off. 

I turn my head to look at the women to make sure she is okay, and I see her breath out a deep-sigh of relief. 

This could've been really bad--he could've tried to attack her in broad daylight or even follow her off the train. 

The funny thing was that I didn't see anyone say or do anything about it or even pay attention to the potentially dangerous situation unfolding that was obvious. 

The people were all around, but the bystanders were just that "standing (idly) by" and in no way seemed to pay any notice or they just didn't want to get involved--it was like complete apathy. 

I hope for everyone's sake--that people really do care and pay attention when there is danger about--and that it's not just everyone for themselves.  

We are much stronger together, than when everyone is apathetic or just looking out for themselves. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2016

Turn, Press, Pull -- Gonna Get Ya

So as I go around town, I see more and more of these industrial-type control panels. 

The problem is that they are stupidly in the open and unprotected or otherwise easily defeated.  

While probably not a serious threat of any sort, this one apparently is a unit to control some fans in an underground garage open to the public. 

You see the knobs you can just turn.

And one with a yellow warning sticker above it.

As if that will keep someone with bad intentions from messing with it. 

You also see the red and yellow lights...hey. let's see if we can make those flash on, off, on.

Panel 13, nicely numbered for us--let's look for 1 to 12 and maybe 14+.

It just continues to amaze me that in the age of 9/11 and all the terrorism (and crime) out there that many people still seem so lackadaisical when it comes to basic security. 

Anyone in the habit of leaving doors and gates open, windows unlocked, grounds unmonitored, computers and smart phones without password protection, data unencrypted and not backed up, even borders relatively wide open, and so on. 

Of course, we love our freedom and conveniences.

We want to forget bad experiences.

Could we be too trusting at times?

Maybe we don't even believe anymore that the threats out there are impactful or real.

But for our adversaries it could just be as simple as finding the right open "opportunity" and that's our bad. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 16, 2015

DC Is Not NYC

This is a funny sticker on the streets of Washington, D.C.

It says, "This is not New York."

And it advertises a website called StuckInDC.com.

"Formed by a few friends who've probably lived in the capital long enough, but lack the wherewithal to move elsewhere."

Having come from NYC, I can empathize in many ways. 

The DC metro area is great if you are interested in working in some very cool jobs for the Federal government, and it has a fairly nice lifestyle for families here (clean and green). 

While not as exciting as NYC (it doesn't have the vibe), it's also not as dirty, congested, or generally dangerous (in DC, there are lots of gun-totting federal agents everywhere).

If you yearn for someplace nicer to live, maybe Florida for the Caribbean climate, beautiful nature, slower lifestyle, and fun atmosphere or then again, there is always the awesome Holy Land!

For now stuck in DC, after retirement who knows. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 1, 2015

Good Can (And Will) Overcome Evil


Beautiful video showing that good can overcome evil. 

Next video is where the woman (empowered) takes down the would be attackers herself--with a big time, well-deserved smackdown!

Where on the right track. ;-)
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May 5, 2015

Freak Accidents, Illnesses, And Events

Dave Goldberg, the CEO of Survey Monkey (and the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook), died suddenly in a freakish accident falling off a treadmill and hitting his head. 

Poof...dead at age 47!

Unfortunately, we hear all the time about these type of tragic occurrences to people.

And of course tragedy knows no bounds--so while sh*t happens everyday to people from all walks of life, we tend to pay more attention when it's someone we know and love or when it's splashed wildly in the news about fabulously successful people we admire and follow. 

- Entertainer, Michael Jackson (50) dead from drug intoxication after suffering cardiac arrest.

- Actor, Robin Williams (63) dead by hanging suicide. 

- Singer, John Lennon (40) shot in the back by someone he had autographed an album for.

- Martial Artist, Bruce Lee (33) died on a movie set from a cerebral edema.

- Model, Marilyn Monroe (33) dead by drug overdose.

- President, John F. Kennedy (46) dead by assassination.

Whether by a plane crash or car accident, drowning or fire, poison or electrocution, a criminal or animal attackterrorism, war, or natural disaster, a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, through suicide, punishment, or mercy killing...regardless of the probabilities and statistics, many people never make it all the way to "a ripe old age." 

We feel bad, shake our heads, say a few words of sympathy perhaps, when we hear of these lives cut short.

But like the TV shows, Six Feet Under (HBO) or 1000 Ways To Die (Spike)--there are a near endless number of horrible ways to go--and they can take you at literally any time.

While we can't stop living and just sit around worrying all the time about all the bad things that can happen, we do need to remember that anything can happen at any time (and these things are not so freakish after all)--no one is beyond the Angel of Death, no one should be arrogant, and we should make the most of every single moment that G-d lovingly grants to us.  ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Military Health)
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November 4, 2014

Stop Sexual Assault

Saw this poster coming off the Metro today in Washington D.C. 

"It's on all of us to stop sexual assault."

It reminded me of this article I read in the DailyMail about this father of a 14-year girl in India that was raped in her home by a medical supply salesman. 

The young girl was raped and impregnated by a 45-year old man who boasted that he was "too well-connected" to ever be prosecuted. 

After some time passed, the father invited the rapist to dinner!

The rapist came. 

The father overcame the rapist, and repeatedly burned the man's genitals with hot thongs.

The rapist died.

This one rapist will certainly not be doing this again. 

While blatant violation of the law and vigilantism is not okay, the poster is right that we need to "stop sexual assault."

Statistics in this country are that 20% of college women are sexually assaulted before they graduate. 

Unacceptable!

Laws protecting women (and men) from sexual assault need to be strengthened, penalties stiffened, and we all need to be on the lookout for inappropriate behavior and speedily report this to law enforcement.

And no one should be above the law and basic morality. 

"It's on us."  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 7, 2014

Handbag All Alone

I took this photo of this neglected bag in Starbucks today.

Someone just left their handbag on a chair and went off to line up for coffee with their significant others.

I'm not sure they needed to save the table given that the place was fairly empty this morning.

However, it did strike me that this bag was all alone, far from pretty much anyone, and no one was watching it!

Also, not only was this handbag left unattended, it was also completely open at the top, sort of inviting double trouble. 

As you can see, no one else seems to be paying much attention...so if someone wanted, I think this large, full handbag could've been a crime statistic in a moment. 

Trust is nice, but this handbag is crying out for company. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 5, 2014

Respect NOT Rape

BBC reports that already by age 20, 1 in 10 girls have been raped or secually assaulted. 

That equates to 120 MILLION girls globally. 

Many are then brutally murdered and shamed as we have been reading about, now with all too much frequency, in India for example, with young women being raped, killed, and then hung from trees etc. 

What is wrong with this world???

Women are our mothers, wives, and daughters--they are often amongst the most compassionate and caring of us.

This is how we treat them?

Unfortunately, rape and abuse is also a crime against many young boys. 

It is time to take a serious ethical pause and stop the violence against our children and against other adults. 

The screams and scars of those abused hang in the air as an indictment against those committing the crime as well as those that do nothing to speak out. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 8, 2014

Free Behind Bars

Fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal about going to mock prison to get away from the stresses of life.

Ok, so you know your working too hard, when your only escape is to lock yourself up and throw away the key for a few days. 

In South Korea, where they work 18% more than on average (2090 hours per year vs. 1765)--their is a great need to get away from it all.

There where life satisfaction rates a 4.3 out of 10, which is 34% lower than the average (of 6.6), putting yourself in prison is a quality of life thing. 

A two-night stay in the makeshift prison for extreme relaxation costs $146--and there you can meditate to your hearts delight. 

You can also attend "spiritual classes" and participate in "healing plays."

Normally smartphones wouldn't be allowed, but people freak out without them, so they get to check them once a day while on the inside. 

Being locked behind bars is a punishment in most places, but here its time to think, reflect, and get back to yourself--most of all you don't have to go to work on those days. 

It's funny, but one of the hardest things is generally for people just to stop and think--really stop and think--it's much easier to drown ourselves in endless activity and never have to deal with what's going on inside.

When we stop to let our thoughts catch up, to deal with our anxieties and fears, to confront ourselves and all the mistakes we make, and to let ourselves feel what can be an tidal wave of pent up feelings--that is a freedom that few can bear to make. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 8, 2013

Rape Crisis Nation

I've been wanting to capture this in a photo for some time. 

I took this picture from a moving Metro train and one with incredibly dirty windows at that. 

It is the phone number for a 24-hour rape crisis hotline.

Underneath the phone number is a picture of a hand picking up a telephone to call. 

It is written as graffiti on the wall facing the train tracks. 

And around it are radio towers, telephone polls, what looks like transformers, and a barbed wire fence.

It is quite an ominous setting for the ad placement. 

To me, rape is one of the most horrendous and brutal crimes. 

Ironically, it physically and emotionally violates a person through the very means that most people make love and life. 

My first exposure to rape was in the opening scene to the movie Death Wish, where Charles Bronson's wife and daughter are brutalized--I saw this movie as a little boy and it left a huge imprint on me. 

Over the course of my life, I have known people who have been both raped and molested and it changed them forever. 

I found these rape statistics online, and even though rape is down 60% since 1993, 1 out of every 6 women in this country experiences a rape or attempted rape at some point.

Also, it means that 20 years ago, the percentage was about 26% or 1 out 4.

The Atlantic-2 years ago--reported similar numbers with 18.3% of women who were raped or where rape was attempted. 

Honestly, I think the numbers may even be higher, since so many cases go unreported, and according to the American Medical Association is one of the most unreported crimes. 

The numbers are outrageously high for a western, modern, civilized country or any nation!

What is even more shocking is that the U.S. is listed as the 6th highest country for reported rape. 

Perhaps a large part of this is because we report more frequently in this country, but also maybe because we are more free and affluent and thereby, people are able to partake of vices such as alcohol and drugs, which are associated with sexual violence. 

Rape is a horrific act and in medieval times, the crime of rape was often punished with castration or even death.

In Death Wish, Bronson became a semi-crazed vigilante and sought out his own form justice.

Today, in real life, we provide the victims a hotline number to call and the rapists--if they even get reported--and caught, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced--may get some time or not, who really knows, but we should all care. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 14, 2012

Children, Our Future

20 children dead today in school shooting. 

Completely unacceptable!

We need better psychiatric screening, more treatment options, and safer schools.

How can we expect children to excel, when they can't even feel safe. 

Safeguard our children, protect our future.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Massimo Valiani, Source Quote: ABC News article comment by Quinn, and Mashup by Andy Blumenthal)

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August 26, 2012

WATERgate



These were pictures of some water sculptures that I took at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. 

The waterfalls remind me more of the landscaping around Floridian high-rises or the water flumes at Walt Disney parks than of what you normally see around town, here. 

I liked these aesthetically and think we generally need more integration of nature and art into our urban (and often sterile) environment.

A little more green, a little more clean, and a lot little less crime and congestion--and don't forget a decent climate--those were some of the things that I look for in attractive places to live and to work. 

While no place is perfect, having grown up on the upper west side in Manhattan and then Riverdale (in the Bronx) and now in the D.C. area, let's just say that there are differences all around us. ;-)

Then again, as my father always taught me, you can live anywhere--if you have your health, family, and a good job. 

He's right, a place is just a place--and it's the people and love between them that makes it great. 

So water sculptures aside, give me a real home, and that's the best place in the world that I want to be.

(Source photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 1, 2012

App Provides Push-Button Emergency Help

Crimepush
An important new free iPhone/Android App called CrimePush hit the market today.

It allows you or a loved one at the push of a button to report a crime.  

Once you download the app, you can store your name, phone number, and address (so it's there in case something G-d forbid happens).

Further, you can set the App to report crimes with your information or anonymously and with or without your GPS location. 

Then you have a screen that provides you with 9 options for the various types of crime or emergency:

- Theft
- Threat
- Altercation
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical
- Accident
- Vandalism
- Drugs
- Harassment


Click on theft, as an example, the date and time are pre-populated for you, and you have a free text area to describe the incident, and the options to add a photo, video, or audio.

Then simply hit the "push" button to submit to the authorities. 

My understanding is that more enhancements to the CrimePush App are in the works such as the ability to shake your phone to activate CrimePush, so the police can find you quickly through GPS. 

CrimePush has the potential to help a lot of people and ultimately actually help to reduce crime by having people report instead of ignore, and provide information to the authorities faster, more accurately, and more comprehensively using the various multimedia options to capture the crime and the criminals.

(Source Photo: here)

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March 9, 2011

Protect Yourself

I received this in an email today, and I thought this was worth sharing.
Obviously, I can't tell you what the "right" thing to do is in any particular situation, but this is perhaps some valuable tips:

"Take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or a loved one's life.

In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation...

This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, everyone you know.

After reading these 9 [actually 10] crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about.

It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do:
The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide.
If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,

DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM.

Toss it away from you...

Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.

RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3.
If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy..

The driver won't see you, but everybody else will.

This has saved lives.

4.
Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!)

The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.

AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE..

If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF,

Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF!

Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car.

Your Air Bag will save you.

If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it.

As soon as the car crashes bail out and run.

It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A
few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.

Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side...If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6.
ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.

Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.

(This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7.
If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control,

ALWAYS RUN!

The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ.

RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8.
As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic:

STOP

It may get you raped, or killed.

Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point:

Someone just told me that her friend heard
a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird...The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door...'

The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.

The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.'

He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby...He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

10.
Water scam!

If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full ball so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.
Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors!

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