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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Live Anyway.

OK, We Got Him. Now What?

Hey All.

Well, our friends in Boston have breathed a huge sigh of relief, and toasted the efforts of their local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in apprehending the surviving accused terrorist who attacked the marathon.  No further attacks anytime soon, we hope.

So now what happens?  The legal issues.  Will he be tried for murder under state law in Massachusetts, which does not have the death penalty?  Or will the US Attorney General charge him with capital murder, which by definition, carries the death penalty?  Will this exception to the Miranda warnings stand up in Court if challenged by the public defender?  Or will his all-too-important statements be excluded from evidence?  Or will the proper authorities realize the risk of this overconfident maneuver, wait until Tsarnaev regains consciousness, and read him his rights just as a CYA move?  Or better yet, will they deem him an enemy combatant and ship him off to Gitmo?

This is why we have police, this is why we have courts, and this is why we have at least two overlapping justice systems.  Let's leave the second guessing to the pundits and prognosticators, and trust that they'll figure it out so we don't need to deal.

But what about the rest of us?  I think we've already seen what to do next.

(1) Remember the victims and their families.  Whether it's buying a shirt to show support, running in a race to acknowledge them, or just plain posting inspirational messages on your feed, just show them that they matter more than any extremist, miscreant, or gangster.

(2) Remember that life matters, just like we all did after 9/11.  It's not a guarantee, it's a gift.  Although we all have laws and standards to live by, we also have free will.  Unfortunately, free will is sometimes used to accept hatred and anger, and to commit unspeakable acts because of them.  But it's no excuse to avoid living life just because there's a risk that someone will take it from us.  Rather, it's even more of a reason to live, and live even better.  Nobody, not the FBI, CIA, TSA, DHS, or ICE can ever stop this from happening.  But we can still live anyway, and live with greater purpose.

In fact, what better reason is there to live, than with the knowledge that our death could happen 20 years from now, or tomorrow?  I apologize in advance for the thoughts this hypo may generate, but what if you or I were lost in that bombing?  Granted, the media would grant you a brief, but sincere-sounding epitaph.  And they may take a few tearful statements from your loved ones.  But wouldn't it be better if you knew, just for yourself, that you were living life the best way you knew how, When The Hour Comes?  Wouldn't it be satisfying, at least for your loved ones if not just for you, that you died doing what you loved?  Instead of postponing it because the other daily crapola got in the way?

(3) Let Love Trump Anger.  This one I'm borrowing from a good friend of mine.  This friend has recently become a fan of this blog, and has reviewed some of my posts dealing with anger.  This friend acknowledged that anger sometimes stays with us longer than necessary, and believed that some anger stays with us permanently, no matter what we do about it.  However, this friend believed that the best possible way to keep anger at bay is to let it be trumped by love.

That doesn't mean we should all bake cookies and send them to this miscreant while the feds grill him.  It does mean that we do the same thing we did after 9/11, and use this as a chance to heal.  Act a little friendlier to total strangers, maybe -- if you're in NYC, give up your seat on the subway to someone else, and pay it forward.  Or if elsewhere, drop a quarter in someone else's parking meter.  Maybe even strike up a conversation with a total stranger at the DMV.  And even now, when at least one playoff series pits New York against Boston, taper off the anti-chowder rhetoric and show a little respect and understanding.

Smile at people.  Pay a few compliments.  Be less rigid.  Know what to sweat and what to let go -- I mean really know this.

There's no reason to forgive this Chechen extremist, whether he was brainwashed or not.  But there is a reason to live like it matters, and to enjoy life by letting our righteous anger be pre-empted by good old-fashioned happiness with life.

That's all from here -- and thanks to that friend of mine who gave me a little reminder.  :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston is Ruined, Running Might Be

Now They Made It Personal.

The Boston Marathon is a time-honored tradition.  Every year on Patriot's Day, only those who can qualify with some of the best times in the world are eligible to add another impressive time to their records.  It is a coveted race, one in which the very best in our sport take part in to celebrate this sport.  Today, this tradition was forever blackened.

Thank G-D, nobody I know who was in Boston today was hurt.  Still, there are three confirmed deaths, one of which was an 8-year old child, and many people who suffered horrific injuries.

When the Batman shooting happened in Colorado, I deemed it a comics hate crime.  Here, nobody knows who did this or why.  But was this a running hate crime?  I've had to listen to running backlash every so often around marathon time in NYC, but would anyone seriously try to damage our sport by doing this?  Is this really what happened?  Hard to say, but the next time I hear someone give me that stupid "Run, Forrest, Run," when I'm our there, I may be a lot less likely to shrug it off.

Intentional or not, this was a slap in the face to our sport.  Who thinks they can desecrate the most prestigious marathon in the US, kill and hurt innocent people, and just slip away quietly?  How dare they turn an occasion to celebrate living life to the fullest into a bloodbath?

WHO THE HELL DID THIS AND WHY?!?!?!?!?!!?

I leave that to the proper authorities.  Thank G-D there were already enough of them on hand to provide security to begin with.  Thank G-D they were prepared enough to provide desperately needed first aid.  But who can be fully prepared for this?

It appears that most races will now have to beef up security anywhere near the start and finish lines of every major race.  Hell, we may even need to get so paranoid that we'll need a sharpshooter at every mile marker!

OK, that's an exaggeration, but I think most race organizers are going to have to make the proceedings less fun and care-free, thanks to these useless fools!  Movie goers and comic book fans obviously can't take their safety for granted anymore, neither can we runners or supporters of running.

Thanks a lot, whoever you are.  I hope you get found, I hope you get convicted, and I hope your life behind bars makes you sorry you were ever born!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Get Disconnected!

Disconnected?

Hey All --

Had another one of those perfect weekends, all.  Home to sleep early on Friday night, nice long run in Central Park on Saturday, out late with a friend of mine on Saturday night, and just chillin' today.

But part of this perfect weekend included a most intense movie that just premiered, called "Disconnect."  I recommend that everyone who even occasionally uses social medial to check this one out!

There are three concurrent plots involving (a) cyber-bullying; (b) identity theft; and (c) Internet porn.  I won't spoil either of these three plots, but I will say that they send the following powerful messages about protecting oneself online:

(1) Once you post, email, tweet, or FB something, it's out there and you usually CAN'T take it back.
(2) If it's in the wrong hands, it WILL be used against you.
(3) Not everyone on FB or Twitter is who they claim to be.
(4) Some people live secret lives online that are meant to remain secret.

It's only too easy to reveal personal details about our lives and our loved ones' lives.  If you choose to do so, make sure it's someone that you absolutely trust, and not a total stranger.  And even then, be careful anyway.

Make sure your browser history is automatically deleted when you close your browser, that you don't store passwords or bank account numbers, and that passwords are never stored.

Will this make the online experience somewhat less exciting?  Yes.  But it could also protect your assets, your family, your reputation, and your home!

As I've said before, just think first, and choose your words wisely (thanks again, Dad)!  Ask yourself, do I really want everyone to see me post this?  If it's only something meant for one or two people, consider using older methods of communication to get it to them.

And definitely see this movie -- it'll shock you to the core!  Of course, it helps when you see it with a friend of mine, like I did.  ;)

Night all -- Monday tomorrow!  And thanks to everyone in Russia who's been reading my Thanksgiving post from 2011!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Choose 'Em Wisely!

Choose 'Em Wisely . . . .

Hey All.

A theme I'd like to revisit is the issue of who we allow into our lives.  Yes, I've been dealing with the dark side of that aspect, namely ejecting, or better yet rejecting, those who don't deserve to be in our lives.  But what about those who've proved themselves worthy for admission?

It's always helpful to have a list of the qualities that you don't want, but once that process of elimination is over and you've thinned the ranks, what are the qualities that you do want?

Someone who makes you crack up laughing, and laughs at (most of) your jokes?  Someone who might be different from you, but makes an effort to understand, or takes an interest in, your things?  Someone who inspires you to be even more of yourself -- and I don't mean ditching the running and eating too much take-out!  Someone who you just gotta see, talk to, and be around, just because they're them?

Those are merely a few suggestions.  Some other criteria of mine -- someone who doesn't mind hearing catch-phrases repeated frequently, is open to random goofiness, and is open to sharing hopes, fears, worries, and stresses without dismissing them or minimizing them, but by just resolving them in some way instead.  Someone who is quicker to praise than to criticize, and can temper honesty with a sense of understanding and respect.

What are yours?  There can be a thousand of them or only a few, but you gotta have them.  And some you may be willing to selectively not enforce, but you better stick to your guns on most of them!  You can create your brain trust, your sounding board, your Rat Pack -- and if you're lucky, one of them might occupy a special role in your life that trumps all the rest of them.

So, without revealing the underlying reason for this post, and leaving you all to withstand the mystery and suspense, I suggest that you choose very carefully who gets to be close to you.  Not everyone can just walk right in and assume their place, you know!

G'night, all!