Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Sep 20, 2009

Parents’ Nightmare with a Promising Young Life Ending in a Yale Lab

Filed under: Crime — admin @ 12:16 am

We all heard of the 9/8/09 death of Annie Le, 24-year-old Yale graduate, which happened 5 days before her planned wedding to her college boyfriend. She was found stuffed in the wall of a research center, having been suffocated to death. We might never know what exactly happened during the last moment of her life. For a parent, it doesn’t matter how a child dies because the weight of this fact is too heavy to bear.

At first, it came as a shock when it happened in an institution of such a high prestige with heavy layer of campus safety and extra “three levels of security to get into the basement of the lab building, including two swipes of a security card.” It happened even when the victim was cautious and trying to avoid becoming “yet another statistic.”

The murder reminds people of the death of Suzanne Jovin, the 21-year-old German Yale senior brutally murdered in 1998. Her death remains unsolved homicide cold case. We are not sure if this one is going to be one of the cold cases.

What can we say of these levels of security? If anything, they only provide an illusion of security, relaxing our vigilance, making people believe all is well within a secured place. I talked to my daughter, “There is absolutely no security every time you find yourself alone with another almost-a-stranger male. Do not harbor any illusion of security even with 10 levels.” Then the question still remains — how can we parents adequately prepare our children for college with violent crime like this?

1, Jul 25, 2009

Thou Shall Not Steal and The Rabbis Turned Criminals

Filed under: Crime — admin @ 12:16 am

CBS, July 23, 2009 3:58 PM, “Thou Shall Not Steal: Rabbis Masterminded Money Laundering Ring, Say Feds,” posted by Neil Katz, updated 6:26 p.m. CT, Thurs., July 23, 2009, “44 arrested in N.J. corruption probe Suspects include rabbis, mayors; probe involved black-market kidneys.” By AP., Friday, July 24, 2009; 6:40 AM, “Officials lambaste NJ corruption after 44 arrested,” by DAVID PORTER, The Associated Press.

New York Times, “44 Charged by U.S. in New Jersey Corruption Sweep, Agents led suspects from F.B.I. headquarters in Newark on Thursday. The inquiry began with questions on money laundering,” by David M. Halbfinger, 7/23/2009.

BBC news, “US corruption probe nets dozens, More than 40 people, including politicians, officials and several rabbis have been arrested in a major FBI operation in the US. Three hundred agents raided dozens of locations in New Jersey and New York as part of a 10-year probe into corruption and money laundering.”

What happened to the politicians and religious leaders? Not close enough to law or to God? Not really. To be sure, it must be large enough to catch so much national or even global attention. The disturbing part is the offenders are supposed to exemplify their own moral teachings. The fact they knowingly transgressed the force of law and the teaching of their Bible makes the transgression especially unpardonable.

How can we explain the downfall of these powerful persons? Is it because the power of money is too great to resist even to these religious leaders? If that is the case, I am shuddered at the thought that my children someday in the future might be exposed to such temptation. Then again, with my constant nagging, I am sure my children know better than getting themselves into such a huge disgrace.

1, Jun 2, 2009

Killing by Pro-Life: The Murder of A Doctor and American Extremists

Filed under: American Culture,Crime — admin @ 12:20 am

This is another glaring paradox in American culture — the claim of extreme individualism, one can do whatever one wants to, on the one hand; the actual extreme religious intolerance on the other hand. The victim, George Tiller, was “A hero committed to women in need of help,” who did abortions on “girls as young as 10, rape victims, alcoholics, drug addicts, depressed women, cases of severe foetal abnormalities, etc.” Who would want their 10-year-old girl to become a mother?

What actually happened is not any claim of pro-life but the claim for your life if you don’t listen. If you don’t live by their rule, they will terminate your life. How dreadfully absurd and perverted!

Pro-lifers had been threatened Tiller’s life all the time. He must be a rare courageous fighter not to change his career! Can’t we go by the simple rule — live and let live? Can’t we be more tolerant? Guess not.

Finally, imagine what his family has to go through now!

1, Feb 24, 2009

11-Year-Old Young Killer of Two

Filed under: Crime — admin @ 9:28 am

How young a person must be before a serious offense can be committed? We are kept being bombarded with shocking news of extreme cruelties –its bizarre and abnormal nature one surpassing the other. Last weekend, I was shocked over a piece of news. “This is something that you wouldn’t even think of in your worst nightmare, that you’d have to charge an 11-year-old with homicide,” according to CNN news. It was even sadder to see the picture of the victim — a young, happy 26-year-old mother-to-be. The killing of this heavily pregnant young woman by a 11-year-old boy took place in Wampum, PA, about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, USA.

I see it as another tragedy brought about by some kind of failure on the part of the adults–both the father and the victim. The boy must have had some insurmountable problems with the dead, yet his father was too careless to ever notice something wrong in the boy.

As the adults enjoyed themselves or celebrated the arrival of a new baby, they must have ignored the needs of this young boy or even care to pay attention to him. Thus, the boy determined to get some national attention in his own way. We can trust his way, right? Wake up, adults! So sad! So stupid that it ever happened!

The adults must have grossly under-estimated the boy’s ability to solve his own problem by himself or must have failed to realize how much pain they had inflicted upon the young boy simply by their having good times with each other. They may be now punished for their ignoring the boy. Or when the father taught the boy how to shoot he failed to instill in the boy the teaching of thou-shall-not-kill together with other good virtues.

There are so many things that we parents should learn from this tragedy if we don’t want to see it happen. Yet, we parents are often too stupid to learn anything from other people’s experience. Well, time to wake up. Get smart and read my forever bona fide postings here. It’s true.

1, Jan 25, 2009

Decapitated by a Chinese Student at Virginia Tech

Filed under: Crime — admin @ 3:06 pm

“How many families are happy when how many families are sad”–a line from an old Chinese poem entered my mind on the eve before 2009 Chinese New Year. I saw the picture of the decapitated 22-year-old Chinese student, Xin Yang, from Beijing and could not wipe out the sadness from my heart. My son described the crime as “gruesome.” I cannot imagine how her parents can deal with this tragic blow right now. They just sent their daughter to Virginia Tech on January 18 of this year and learned of her death on January 21.

I may not know the reason of the murder but I can never in my life understand how such abhorring atrocity could be ever carried out. Indeed, murders like this forever perplexes the minds of thousands of kind-hearted people. This time I am more than overcome by total astonishment. I am consumed with deep fear and concern. In fact, we all should be for the safety of our daughters.

For many Chinese parents, personal safety, self-defense and self-protection have never been ranked as important as academic achievements. Since we cannot minimize the risk factors in society and cannot prevent their venturing out, we have to prepare our daughters for the adventure.

But how can we prevent unexpected event like this? I talked to my son and found myself grabbing for words, trying to warn him of anything of this kind, but failed to utter anything specific. I wish I knew better as a parent.

1, Dec 19, 2008

Greed goes before a fall–A lesson For All

Filed under: Crime,Education — admin @ 9:07 am

“Greed goes before a fall” — revised version of “Pride goes before a fall.” This is what I finally learn from Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme fraud, the largest of its kind in history. Greed, greed, greed everywhere, on the part of Madoff, and also on the part of some of those being swindled by Madoff.  It was estimated that US government might probably lose as much as $17 billion in lost tax revenue. I am sure many books will be written on this fraud and I can’t wait to read them.

In the process of this, he has succeeded in ruining many people’s lives by hoaxing away millions of dollars from them. The 70-year-old Madoff could not have broken Guinness World Records in the scale of money-swindling without an excellent teamwork of like-minded culprits. It was said that his son turned him in for “a giant Ponzi scheme.” Hopefully, this is not part of another scheme to save his sons, who have a longer road to go than a 70-year-old.

As a parent, I am more interested in the lessons that we can  draw from this economic crime. What is unfolded before us are enormous greed, irresponsibility, audacity, hard-boiled crulty, carefully engineered violation of laws, and insatiable desire for more and more until the criminal gets caught and receives what he desires in the end and go down the history as the biggest money swindler.

When we are free from hunger, disease, cold and worries, with blue sky and under a sunny day, the life is so beautiful as it is. The bottom line is anything is better than knowingly doing what is wrong and eventually, fall eternally and most disgracefully.

One last note, for ordinary folks, be very cautious and do not allow greed to take you to any big or small get-rich-quick scheme.

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