Kung Fu and Love

Kung Fu and Love
A great gift for Valentine's day or Chinese New Year

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jury Duty

On Monday I was selected for Jury duty and participated as a juror in a two day trial, which ended today, Wednesday. I have a lot to say about it but I am still processing it. So I won't be sharing it just yet even though I am allowed to talk about it now. The truth is my conscious is bothering me. I set a man free who I believe to be guilty. At the same time I suppose would be bothered if the opposite was true.

Mostly it has highlighted the many problems with our entire system (not just the court system) as a whole. And the solution is actually something I would go back to from my College days when I studied criminal justice and took a class, "When Cultures Clash" which dealt with the intersection of Native American and Anglo law.

Not to say that all the tribes laws were the same or that they didn't also have to adapt to modern times. But the principal of finding a solution that mends the community makes more sense than over punishing or simply letting someone go free even when faced with a massive amount of evidence indicating guilt... but not going beyond a "reasonable" doubt.


Although jurists are not supposed to consider sentencing in that instance at all, the truth is that it was definitely a factor in the case even making it to trial in the first place.

We pride ourselves in having roots in the common law of Middle Aged England, and having updated our laws in the 80's before the internet was as developed as it now is. I suppose we can consider it a part of our history and culture.

But what I learned mostly is... never assume you have no chance, because I would have assumed this guy had no chance and in the end I voted Not Guilty, against my conscience. I can only hope that he does not go out and resume crime... and that he especially doesn't do so in Chinatown, which is not where the crime was committed but where he was picked up. And that he does not rob anyone Chinese indeed the person who was robbed or who had an incident happen to was not Chinese but was also a small business owner who had troubles with the English Language. The case became about putting HIM on trial.


I learned that truly there is nothing in our laws and court systems to prevent one from going around robbing people so long as those people are of a certain type. They must have problems with English, and they must be foreign. This is a rule that I have known since childhood, as my father and all of his friends were constantly robbed every time they visited us in the high rises in Castle Square.

I learned that the City has changed because in the past these cases would not even go to court.

I learned that the city has changed because its residents no longer all know the tricks of the trade of robbery. How to discard a knife, how to walk calmly after running briefly when encountering people, or how to size someone up in a glance and know how they would move and thus be able to identify them from a distance or on camera by those movements.


I suppose these are good things.


And indeed whoever did the robbing, showed restraint, as he did not kill the old man, as many many Chinese have been killed while being robbed in Chinatown and again whose cases never went to court.


Unless of course the cutting of pants was meant to be the old robbers trick of stabbing one in the inner thigh, which has major arteries but also in a court of law is difficult to prove intent to murder.

The worse Karma would be if I were robbed and stabbed by this man I had set free, but I was against 11 other jurors. And indeed I had doubts because the prosecution failed to show certain evidence that they had lost or simply forgotten to provide through proper questioning. (given the nature of the case, I would assume this was for practice and the ADAs were most likely extremely green.)

  The best case scenario is that the man has learned his lesson with this close shave with jail, and will instead.

I also learned that though I said that having worked for the DA's office I could still be impartial, if I was  defense attorney I would NEVER allow someone from the DA's office on the jury. It is not that that work clouds ones judgement. The problem is that between that, and my experience growing up in the projects and doing Crime Watch in Chinatown and teaching Kung Fu in the inner city where I make contacts with many people on both sides of the law, that I am able to see through bullshit.

But the defense still won.

My logic is that to call my doubts unreasonable while 11 others seem to think the doubts were reasonable is to say that 11 other seemingly reasonable people were anything but. I find more and more that my perspective is in the minority. I was surprised because I was sure I was going to be the only juror who had doubts at all...


Mostly I realize that it is really not the law that governs what people do. If one were to take a knife and rob people who did not have a strong command over the English language, one can do so with impunity. You will not get caught, and if you do, you will not get convicted, no matter what type of evidence there is.

There is also simply no point in even bothering to call the police unless someone dies.

The most well meaning police really can do nothing to help you. They cannot prevent the crime, and upon catching the perpetrators, they will b unable to prove anything or the prosecutors will inevitably mess up a little which to jurors used to television will seem so incredibly unprofessional that they will acquit.

And yes I was part of that today even though I know better.

But sure I was relying on the testimony of the victim. And my doubts.... expanded to be just reasonable enough when seeing that eleven other jurors seemed to be so filled with doubt.

I think it will be difficult to sleep tonight, in fact I see that I have already been writing into the next morning.

I hope this guy takes his second chance and use it for good. That is the only thing that will enable me to sleep.


Friday, June 30, 2017

New mural

New mural near Hyde Square. Check out the artists @problak @marka_27  @donrimx on Instagram 

"The days are just packed"

After a fun time folding things at Showa we went to the pond and the kids have been playing with sand and so is for hours.  


Even this morning we went to the library and then to the park where we played with sticks and rocks and grass that was dry. I vaguely know what they are  playing, but I mostly keep out  of the way and allow their imaginations to run free.
This is the best. The Calvin and Hobbes like dream world I had always wished for as a child.... collecting acorns under the oak trees in Castle Square.... a sad comparison really to this wonderful park.
Perhaps New Jersey will be even better though as the yard is so big.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sun tea

Every morning, for a while now, I have been making tea in the microwave. My glass and tea pot is a mason jar. I am th only tea drinker in the house so there is no point in making too much at a time.

Later in the day I would make sun tea. It occurred to me if I made the tea for the next morning  the day before, I wouldn't have to use the microwave. And maybe tea in the morning once is good enough for the day. I will just drink water for tyhe rest of the day.

Of  course the tea Isn't hot... and I don't think u will want to continue doing this in the winter....but this will be my summer morning ritual.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Origin of stories and behaviors

On the way to the park Jonah gave me the inside scoop on some of his behaviors. He had these cute songs and sayings. One was a song he had made for me. A personal theme song. The baba song. He would also go up to me and his mommy and say, "parents!" In a cute way which I thought he had invented.

Today he confessed that he was not copies rheae exactly, buyt he had adapted them from other songs and behaviors he had seen on the Disney channel he had watched at a friend's house years ago.

Noah of course adapts everything for stuff that has been put into his head on way or another. But he doesn't know where the  origin if tyge behavior comes from.

I saw on Bill Nye that so can  now do this with painting and provably other forms of art. 

Probably we do not do much more than this. A good deal of content that we create is based in other prtevious content. A place where we, "got the idea."

The question is whether we know this is ty e case and whether we know from whence said ideas came.

Good ideas can come from anywhere really. But if you only ever expose yourself to a certain diet of ingredients.....you probably limit the adaptations that you can create.

(Pictured above is Jonah at the park... next to a great tree, which inspired an even greater tree in the land of Aravel...depicted I short stories in "
Kung Fu and the invisible hand" who h you can purchase in Amazon books. I believe I also uploaded a rough draft of "Aravel" in a Google doc on my literary blog, which can be viewed for free.