Category Archives: The Issues

Grief in the Age of Facebook

Posted above is an article about how we deal these days with social media outlets and people close to us passing away. Ironically, the same day i was told to read this article for my Writing 105 class, it just happened to be the anniversary of the passing of my friend Lily Rushton who died of a brain tumor 2 years ago. Today, in memoriam, many people i know who were very close to Lily decided to post as their status “I miss u Lily”, or “RIP Lily” in order to maintain their memory of her and save her a place in their hearts. A few others liked those statuses to show their feelings as well.

This being something i have experienced in my own life and something that i know happens all around as well, it really is clear how social media like twitter and Facebook really play a major aspect in how we do things, including saying goodbye or remembering those who we have lost. I find it a completely appropriate way to memorialize someone you miss. I also appreciate the way Facebook now “Memorializes” someones Facebook page so that you can still write on their wall and see what other people are saying about them as well. All and all there is not much we can do to remember those we have lost and saying something on their Facebook is the least someone can do.




The image below shows what a women’s foot looks like if it were x-rayed inside of an extremely high heeled shoe. All i have to say about this is why! Why would women ever purposely put themselves in such an uncomfortable situation? There is no way anyone could enjoy having their foot like this for an extended period of time. It honestly make no sense to me. This raw image of the x-rayed foot really shows the audience it is trying to reach what is going on “behind the scenes” in some way. When i look at women in high heels now i might think of them in a different way. I might say, heres someone who, for some reason, will purposely put themselves in a painful situation just for the sake of looking good or fashion.

However, in some ways i understand. People try however they can to look their best and if you are willing to spend the next day icing your feet after a night in heels, good for you. I like what this image does and how it engages the me to think. And reminds me how much it must stink to be a girl…

Open Letter to Raymond Kelly…

Dear Commissioner Kelly:

I am sure you are extremely busy and for that, first off I would like to thank you for reading this. As we both very well know, there is a lot going on in New York right now. The Occupy Wall Street riots have spread and are now taking place all across the city. Now, as a New Yorker I am interested in what’s going on in my city and I am very concerned. The way the New York Police Department has dealt with the Occupy Wall Street rallies has been unacceptable. I do not believe this is your fault directly but I would like to ask you a few questions about what could be done to resolve the issues going on.

It does not matter whether or not you or I agree with what the protesters are rallying for but they have a right to fight for their cause without the threat of the authorities stopping them unjustly. Since the start of these rallies last month there have been countless police abuse of power occurrences. One of the most infamous being the case of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna and the various pepper-spraying incidents. It is very clear that the NYPD has a bit of an issue dealing with demonstrators without over reacting. From what I have read and researched, so far, no punishment has been awarded to D.I. Bologna. Why is this the case? Do you believe what he did was wrong or extreme?  Now I know you are extremely protective of your city and I am not trying to attack you, but I hope you can see that we are not fighting terrorists in this battle. These are just people. New Yorkers, who want a reason why they are forced to live like they do. They should not be punished the way they are being punished for that.

As a family member of multiple NYPD officers I know that it is not all of the NYPD that is responsible for the injustices against the protesters. There are for certain decent, and honest cops on the street right now who have been dealing with the rallies in the appropriate way. However, all I ask of you Commissioner, is that you seek out the officers who have done the City and its people wrong and apply the proper punishment to them. I trust you will do what you know to be the right thing.

I only have the best intentions for New York and the people who inhabit and which I am sure is the same for you. So all I ask is that you consider changing the way you deal with rallies and demonstrations from a more extreme to a more overseeing bystander approach and that you end up dealing with the officers responsible for any and all injustices against New Yorkers and tourists. Thank you once again Commissioner Kelly, for your time and attention.


Harris Baum


My Letter to Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner of the NYPD

My goal is to write a truthful and accurate letter to the Commissioner of the New York Police Department, Raymond W. Kelly about how his forces are treating the peaceful protesters all around New York City. It all started with the “Occupy Wall Street” protests that began about a month ago. The “99%”, as they call themselves, rallied on New York City’s Wall Street, the heart of global finance, to protest “1%”. The “1%” are the people they believe are the cause of all the trouble in the financial market right now. The “99%” are all the other people in America who can’t afford to pay their rent, buy groceries, and pay for an education because of the small amount of people in the “1%”.


When the rally started they were peaceful. Thousands gathered in lower Manhattan to protest the ideas they believed to be injustices. At some point however, the New York Police department arrived to break it up. At some point, videos came out showing how the police were dealing with the peaceful protesters. Things they were doing to un-armed men and women who were just there to support their cause. Since then their have been many more protests from Wall Street to Times Square and every time more and more videos and stories have come out of it about police brutality and injustices.


I am planing 0n writing to the head of the NYPD, Raymond Kelly to ask him if he has addressed these issues with his forces. If so, why it has continued to occur and if not, what does he plan on doing about it. I am hoping to receive some sort of letter back either answering these questions or saying why he has been unable to make a difference and stop the things happening in New York.


Here are a few links to videos of things cops are doing all around New York…


On September 17th, an occupation began on Wall Street in lower Manhattan to protest all the injustices they believed the government and financial companies were making. This has become the new focus of the local and cable news stations. The different outlet all have their personal takes on the subject but all can most likely agree that the way the city of New York and the New York Police Department is reacting is unacceptable. Now, as a New Yorker I have experienced how the NYPD usually reacts in situations like this and never have I seen anything like what the videos and news channels are showing us. I think the man who has said it best so far has been John Stewart from the Daily Show (based in New York, as well).

John is usually known as being pretty “lefty” on the political spectrum but he is never one sided. If anyone makes a dumb remark or makes a point that is completely ridicules, on either side, democrat or republican, he is there to call them out and make his own point. I am usually one to agree with Stewart and the Daily show. I would consider myself slightly on the left and not one for B.S. either. In regards to the riots, John said, “Yes, (A group of young people singing and dancing about Democracy on the streets of New York) is what democracy looks like but it is also what Bonaroo looks like. Stewart is saying how a lot of the people protesting might not be there because they really agree with the issues but because it might be the “cool” thing to do right now in Manhattan. Now if I were home, I would most likely be there right now. The things that the people rioting are fighting for are directly related to our everyday lives such as social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, which can deal with all aspects of the United States. I am shocked that I haven’t seen a bigger out cry among students here honestly. This is a big issue, which I would think everyone should (would) be concerned of.

See John Stewart’s segment on the Daily Show last Thursday to see more information and humor on the subject.