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Our History… The Statues… Our Checkered Past

There’s been a lot of animosity surrounding statues lately. And in many cases rightfully so.

Christopher Columbus statues across the country are coming down or being boxed up, in a case of Philadelphia.

It is a time of reckoning about our past in this country. Symbols of oppression and hate need to come down.

But this is where I have trouble. I’m a history buff. I was a history major in college, along with journalism. I grew up going to see Civil War battlefields with my dad. I grew up amongst the remnants of the American Revolution.

Our past is spotty. There is no arguing that. I agree with taking down statues whose only reason is to remind people of white power and racism.

But I get concerned when history gets erased.

Being Jewish the Holocaust is burned into my brain at an early age. There are many who want to erase that past, but there are many reasons why we should not and cannot. But this post isn’t about that past. It’s about America’s history.

Today in the New York Times there was an excellent article about the statues coming down across the country. The author made a good point. Put many the statues in museums with documents detailing why they’re not erected outside anymore and about the history of these people. So that we can learn from the past, not erase it.

When some people in Philadelphia turned up with bats and firearms to protect a Christopher Columbus statue, we know we’ve got a problem. That’s taking your heritage way too far.

It’s a statue. If anyone knows a good Italian family, you know you can’t take that culture away from them. Nor would you want to.

Yet I’m the same breath, I struggle with taking down statues especially at historic places, like Gettysburg and other battlefields. I feel like the statues help explain what happened on these hallowed grounds. But having a Robert E. Lee statue from the 1950s in downtown Richmond is inappropriate.

Having Confederate statues in our nation’s capital building is ridiculous.

I’m not saying destroy these monuments. I’m saying put them somewhere where we can learn about the history behind the people depicted.

I guess where I stand is, take down these monuments, but preserve them so we can learn from them — our past.

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On Defunding The Police…

Where to start. I have family that are police officers and in law enforcement. To my knowledge they are upstanding and honorable. That’s why defunding the police is such a hard topic for me.

Watching how the police deal with protesters angers me. Seeing how they are dealing with the press makes me seethe in anger.

I’m a recovering reporter, who covered the police as part of my beat when I worked for a variety of newspapers. I had a good relationship with those in blue, with whom I covered. But watching the interaction across the nation between police and the public makes me wonder if it was all just a show.

Lately, I find myself, when I see a police officer somewhere interacting with the public, reaching for my phone to record. Thankfully, I have yet had a reason to pull it out. But I know it’s only a matter of time.

I really don’t know how to form an opinion about defunding the police. I think there are times when the police are needed, but many of the times when they show up first, when they should be the last to be there. There are other services that should be responding first.

We have an Iraq War veteran with mental health issues (PTSD etc.) on our street. The police have shown up numerous times to his house. Mental health providers should be the ones showing up not the police.

I know this is a ramble, and hopefully it make sense.

This is where I stand, the police departments and the culture of policing have got to reform and evolve. The mentality of shoot first, ask questions later needs to stop. Police officers need to be held accountable for their actions. End of story.

No one should be above the law, not even those sworn to protect it. Police need to be held to a higher standard.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Keep the civil please.

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I don’t know where to even begin #riots2020

I don’t even know where to begin. Covid-19 is still a real threat, but we can’t sit idle and not fight back against a police state taking hold.

The death is George Floyd is just one more example of the police being out of control.

I’m not saying that all police are bad, the majority, I hope, are good. But what we’ve seen over the last few days with the riots is that many of the police are showing their true colors.

Arresting Journalists Is NEVER Okay

Police arresting journalists who are filming them and the riots, even when the journalist identify themselves as press. This is unacceptable. Not only does it go against the 1st Amendment it goes against the Geneva Conventions.

Having been a reporter in my past profession, this treatment of the press has got to stop. But it won’t as long Trump is calling the Forth Estate the enemy. The press is not the enemy. It never was and never will be. What scares those in authority is that journalists hold them accountable, and they clearly don’t like that.

This Isn’t New

What’s happening to our country isn’t new. It’s been going on for awhile. It’s sparked up since Trump was elected and has only gotten worse.

Our country is in pain. Our country is in need of healing. The only way this can happen it’s those bad actors in authority are held accountable for their actions.

Sadly, I don’t think many of the bad actors in a place of authority caught on film are going to be held accountable for their actions.

We have a long way to go for healing. Changes are going to have to be made or we will never recover from this.

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It’s Been A While

Hey. Yea You. It’s been a while since I’ve posted over here on this site. I’ve been busy. Yea we’re all “busy.” I’ve been building out a tech site called Insights on Tech. Check it out. I’m really proud of it.

So reality struck and I’m now out of my co-working space for at least two weeks because of Covid19. I’m back to working in my basement. This time with a proper standing desk and a nice foot pad.

The kiddo is home for these two weeks and the wife is doing reduced hours at her job.

I’ll admit I’m a bit freaked out. Yes a little about the actual Covid19 virus, but more about what it’s going to do to our healthcare system, that already has issues.

I’m scared because if someone gets sick, not necessarily with Covid19 but with something else that takes them to the emergency room, how that might work. Our resources are thin at best now. Hell, doctors can’t even get gloves and masks. You’d think we’re in a 3rd World country. To be honest, I think 3rd World countries have more supplies than we do.

I don’t have to worry about my 7 yo getting it, he’ll just give us Covid19. I’m really worried about my parents and my in-laws. They are in the zone where it’s deadly.

I know I’m rambling, but I needed to get this out.

How are you doing? Let me know in the comments. We’re all in this together. Together we can get through this.

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Side Hustles Are Not Just For Desk Jockeys

So I’m starting up a side hustle. It’s in stealth-mode right now, so I’m not going to reveal anything here right now. But in doing this side hustle, I realized something… side hustles are not just for desk jockeys who have 9 to 5 jobs. Even if you’re an entrepreneur, having a side hustle is a good thing.

Side hustles are great. Exploring other opportunities is healthy and keeps you on your toes. It allows you to iterate and improve your bottom line.

If you’ve ever started a side hustle, you know that you have to figure out the balance between the main hustle and the side hustle. This is the same for when you own your main hustle. In fact it’s even more important.

Do you have a side hustle?

Image Credit: Pexels

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Waking Up

Waking up from bed is something we should all hope for every day. Because there are people who don’t. I know that was really profound (sarcasm).

But have you ever laid in bed not wanting to rise? It happens to me all the time. It’s probably because my bed is so comfortable.

Though once I rise I realize what a blessing it is that I’m up for another day.

I’m thankful for my son, though he drives me up a wall quite a bit. I’m thankful for my wife who puts up with both of us.

That alone makes waking up in the morning worth it.

The more I dive in to what’s worth waking up from slumber for, the more I realize how lucky I am. I own my own business, I have great colleagues and friends that surround me daily at Stacks, the co-working space where I hang my shingle.

What gets you up in the morning?

Photo Credit: Pexels

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Staying Sane As Life Picks Up

It’s the new year. We’re all out of the holidays and ramping back up to regular life.

With this ramp up comes the shock to our system of first quarter busyness.

It’s during these busy times that we need to take a step back and breathe. Read a few pages in a good book or meditate.

If we don’t take care of ourselves we can help others who depend on us for various reasons.

How are you doing self care this year?

Photo by Matteo Di Iorio on Unsplash

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New Year… Reflections… Already

We’re just barely into the new year, about a week, and I feel like I need to reflect already on how the year is going.

In today’s hyper-connected world life moves fast… really fast. With this in mind, I’m feeling like I need to reflect on the the first days of the new year.

  • Politically, we’re in a tinderbox. I’ll leave it there.
  • Australia is in a literal tinderbox because of climate change (I feel so bad for all those people and animals).
  • Getting work started up after a holiday seems harder than usual. It seems as though lots of people are treading water these first few days. Hopefully the first FULL week of 2020 will invigorate people to start getting down to business.
  • My goals are starting off well. Still need to implement the gym, but over all I’m doing what I need to do to be present.

I’m beginning to think I’m nuts for trying to evaluate the year so soon. But I thought I’d give it a crack.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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Glass Half Full?

The new decade is off to quite a start. If you’re not following the news you should be and I’ll leave it at that.

With all the craziness that is going on right now, you have a choice. You can choose to crawl into a hole and act like the sky is falling, which at times it certainly feels that way. You can think of the glass half empty and we’re all doomed.

Or

You can look at the craziness and see possibility. Even in the most depressing situations. Because if you’re reading this you’re still above ground and breathing air.

It’s not worth worrying and sweating stuff you have no control over. Get out there and do something and make a difference. Make an impact on something you can change.

Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash

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New Year… New Decade… What’s Different

It’s now 2020. Happy New Year, Happy New Decade.

Now that we’re done with the holidays, hooray, how are we going to make this new year, new decade different?

The typical resolutions are probably made. And you might already be breaking them. But setting up goals for the year to meet are different. These goals can be really attainable or pie-in-the-sky goals. Regardless they are goals that you want to aim for.

Ultimately you don’t want to stay on the hamster wheel and just start a new year/decade doing the same stuff without some self-evaluation.

What are you doing to make things different this year/decade? I’d love to hear them.

Photo by Crazy nana on Unsplash