This was my soundtrack my last night in Kuala Lumpor. Heard it on the radio and then the next day had a adventure leaving - essentially the longest 12-12-12 probably experienced by any human on earth. Thanks to Hammam Radwan, the Egyptian-Malaysian for tracking it and giving us all a safe ride home. Enjoy...
According to a release from Mayor Bloomberg NYC recorded its lowest murder and shooting rates since stats have been recorded.
I remember the bad old days of the late 80's and early 90's when it seemed that at any moment a stray bullet could come take your life as you watched television.
Is it police officers that contribute to the lowest shootings and murders ever in NYC or is it the people in the City who make better decisions about how to deal with conflict?
What other factors are leading to the decline that are not "law&order" related?
When can we talk about those factors and put some of the "win" into the hearts of the citizens of the City instead of us simply thinking it was government in and of itself that produced these results?
Another question is that you always hear from the older generation about how different it was "back in the day". My mother tells stories of a Crown Heights where the whole neighborhood knew who you and your family was. My generation is now of age to raise children and send them off to school in the City, etc. We are doing so in a much safer city. However, when we were children it was downright dangerous -- more dangerous than ever - has anyone ever really told our story? Perhaps we, who grew up in NYC during its most volatile era, are the most impressive and resilient generation the City has ever seen?
My Third Grade Class Picture from P.S. 307
Here are some interesting statistical comparisons they shared on the press release:
Comparable murder statistics date back to 1963 when the city recorded 548 homicides. The most murders New York City recorded in a single year was 2,245 murders in 1990 – an average of six murders a day. Today, New York City averages closer to one murder a day – even though the city’s population has grown by roughly a million people since 1990.
Guns remained the leading cause of murder in New York City again this year. Of the 414 homicides so far this year, 237 were by firearms. This is 61 fewer gun related murders than last year, adecrease of 20 percent. In 2001, there were 371 gun related murders, 36 percent more than this year.
With the decrease in murder, New York’s murder rate has fallen to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 residents. New York City has a far lower murder rate than other major American cities. For example:
If New York City had the same murder rate as Washington DC, New York City would have a total of 1,100 murdered this year.
If New York City had Chicago’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of more than 1,400 murders this year.
If New York City had Philadelphia’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of more than 1,700 murders this year.
If New York City had Baltimore’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of more than 2,870 murders this year.
If New York City had Detroit’s murder rate, New York City would have a total of nearly 4,400 murders this year.
According to data from the latest Uniform Crime Report, released in October 2012, New York City remains the safest big city in the United States. New York City recorded the lowest Index Crime rate among the twenty five largest U.S. cities.
I have been thinking, as most of us have, a lot about my son and the world in which he is being raised in. So far he is being sheltered from a lot of the reality. At some point we have to filter the bad stuff so that he starts to understand it and therefore gets a real understanding of his relationship to this place, this country, and this time in history - and his role in all of it? He will determine that.
I appreciate Dr. Jackson's words here, and particularly the poem he shares in this video as it relates to this personal journey but also made me reflect on my son's journey.
Violence is a disease. Violence is learned behavior and can be unlearned.
When black males commit violent crimes the media goes up in arms about the trouble with black males. We are labeled as a menace to society. For generations this has been true. In reality, with 50% unemployment in some areas, gang violence and other sad indicators suggest there truly is a black male problem.
Similarly, when Muslims kill people in acts of violence then Islam, as a religion, and Muslims, as a people are blamed universally. Muslims are the problem. Islam is intrinsically at fault. The hard reality for most of us Muslims is to realize that we DO have a problem with extremism.
When white males conduct mass shootings as they have become so famous for since Columbine, the world claims that these were isolated incidents and that these white males simply have a case of mental illness. When will white people, mothers, families, fathers, communities, have a serious conversation with itself? Why is it that mostly white males walk into schools and other places and shoot and kill and there is not a white male problem?
This was the sixth mass shooting in our nation in 2012. It is time for gun owners, NRA members, and white males to have a moment and figure out what the hell is going on and decide what they are going to do to stop the killing.
Violence is a disease. Violence is learned behavior and can be unlearned.
I spent a fair amount of time in Malaysia interacting with some very intelligent people. The country is humming with activity and energy. There might not have been a better time to visit this Island nation than when I went - with the right mix of political and marketplace freedoms expanding...
Just before leaving Malaysia Fazil, (future PM of Malaysia?) insisted that I finally give in and have Durian - some strange fruit that is, well, disgusting, and an acquired taste that people insist is something someone MUST do when visiting Malaysia...
Jovan Belcher is a name that you may have never heard of before. He was a 25 years old, the father of an infant child and a linebacker in the NFL. He played, and earned, his spot on the field and made 1.9MM a year. He was a college graduate, from the University of Maine with a degree in childhood development, and by every measure he was a success.
So what would make him shoot the mother of his infant child and then go to the Chiefs facility and shoot himself in front of his coach and general manager?
There is no way to know what strange and toxic brew was mixing underneath the surface of his life. By all accounts from everyone who was close to him this was completely out of character. There was no warning, and there is no explanation.
( Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
This brings to question something we call a game. Today, there will be many other players hitting the field and pretending to play a game. Clearly this is not a game. When you watch your favorite teams play today you should remember the late Mr. Belcher and know that all is not how it seems in the National Football League.
As a former football player I feel a deep sense of sadness hearing this story. I hope that all attention focuses on their little daughter. She is now parentless but she should never be without direction and love. She should never have to know the personal pain that caused her mother and father to abandon her*
Jovan Belcher is a name you should only have heard of when he did something so amazing on the field that he play would command your attention. Maybe that is part of the problem. Maybe Mr. Belcher needed a whole lot more people paying attention to the man and less to the football player.
*A comment was made on facebook about this comment from a woman that I went to elementary, middle, and part of high school with, she said:
" read your article, and i am a big fan of your writing, the one thing i question in this piece is the reference to their infant daughter being abandoned by by her father and mother, is it fair to say her mother abandoned her? it seems that even though all the facts are not yet known, that it was Jovan that took her life and robbing their daughter of both of her parents."
Right now, as I travel in Malaysia, these are some impressions of my arrival.
I am staying with a brother who goes by ZAIN HD -- he is incredibly gracious with incredible adab. He is described as an idea generator and flashmob master in Malaysia. Zain allowed me to sleep in his hammock and the view I had is below as well. I heard the rain, the Call to Prayer, and saw the sun rise from this incredible perch.
I walked around the neighborhood and noticed some things. I saw that the sewers in this part of town are open air, simply trenches, that convey water. I noticed something that was the case in Jordan + the UAE -- eggs not being sold in the refrigerated section but on a shelf. My mother in law keeps eggs on the counter and they are fine - are us westerners unduly paranoid here?
Also, I have to confim this but the final picture is of what I believe is Palm oil.
plantations accounted for roughly 57% of Indonesiaʼs deforestation from 2000 to
2010. Together, Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia supply about 87% of the
worldʼs palm oil. Palm oil is used for
food and the production of biodiesel.
Note: If you have never read my blog before I will tell you a little bit about it. I focus on three areas: where the soles of my feet take me, the voices of those who have very few outlets, contextualizing trending ideas + topics.
Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns this is the next one on the list. My wife read it in like a day and a half, i read a little slower but it is already going fast, so far it is painful but i like the writing.
Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin: A Novel what i am reading right now, such an amazing book and a great fiction offering to start a new decade by devouring. It was the first thing i read this morning and last night before i went to bed. it is a book of souls.