I recently published a book titled, “Learn the Law in 7 Days”. I am very proud of this small handbook, coming in at just over 98 pages. This handbook gives the average citizen the ability to learn the basic ins and outs of the legal system in a way that makes sense to them.
The “law”, is what drives society. If you do not understand the legal system, it becomes impossible to navigate inside society. If you learn the rules of the game, you can either learn how to avoid certain pitfalls or you can even learn the loopholes and how to profit! Regardless of your desire, having a basic understanding of how the legal system works will give a huge leg-up in life.
I have many friends who are from foreign countries and I experienced a brief stint of homelessness. I wrote this book with these types of people in mind, but this book is truly applicable to the entire human race. While most people have little desire in learning the legal system, the poor and those who freshly arrive in this country are especially ignorant to what their rights actually are and what they can if they find themselves in a tight spot.
This book could have easily been 300-400 pages long. But, I did not want to overwhelm the reader. I wanted to give them the bare-bones in terms of legal knowledge. 98 pages isn’t that long of a book. I do my best to add in humor and other interesting “tid-bits” in order to make the book less boring and bland. I also share many stories about my own personal life and how the legal system has shaped me.
I hate most aspects of what the law is, but I respect what it tries to do for society. Sometimes you can hate something so much that you appreciate its strength. Sometimes you can love something so much, that you hate how much control it has over you. That’s how I feel about the legal system. It gives our society moments of justice and beauty, as well as moments of corruption and disgust.
In this title, I try to emphasize both the beauty and ugliness of the legal system. This book is short, sweet, somewhat entertaining, and highly useful! I pray that those who read it will be triggered to dig a bit deeper and truly develop a skill-set that can protect themselves, their friends, their families, and perhaps even spark an interest in a law related field.
Whether you are a student, bus driver, computer engineer, boxer, doctor, or a cashier working at a fast food joint, the “law” controls your life whether you like it or not. I am not saying that you must become a lawyer in order to survive in the modern world of legalities, but, having some basic knowledge on how to escape everyday legal pitfalls is extremely useful, and this book confidentially achieves that goal.
Please pick up a copy on Lulu.com or on Amazon.com. Search for “Randell Stroud”, and you will find all of my amazing books which will bestow you with infinite wisdom and practical knowledge.
The U.S. has refused to relax economic sanctions against North Korea. Moon had previously pressed for the easing of such restrictions and sought to resume stalled inter-Korean economic projects such as a joint factory park and mountain resort. U.S. President Donald Trump opposed a request by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to resume economic cooperation with North Korea at a summit on June 30, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
More than half of South Korea’s university-age students now possess a positive view toward Korean unification. That’s according to a new poll conducted by the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee. The survey was conducted in early November, canvassing more than 1,000 university students nationwide. Unification of South and North Korea present many problem beyond ideological differences.
Economic Consequences: South Korea’s GDP is many times multiplied over it’s North Korean Counterpart. The gross domestic product (GDP) of North Korea is estimated to be $40 billion in 2015, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, which has not given any updated GDPinformation since that date. In terms of GDP per capita, North Korea had a per capita GDP of $1,700. The South Korean FDP is estimated to be over 1.531 trillion USD (2017). If unification took place, the South Korean portion of the peninsula would be largely responsible for developing its Northern counterpart, although on a plus side, the North Koreans have a vast military and its own natural resources. In due time, it could supply the South Koreans with many benefits. Its a short term cost versus a long term investment.
Political Involvement: If Korea returned to its former empire of the Joseon Kingdom, who would be its ruler? Kim Jong Un or Moon , Jae-In? This would arguably be the largest hurdle. The people of both North and South Korea would have to hold a new election in order to bring in a fresh new government. Would the government be capitalist or communist in nature? Would both leaders be willing to give up their own power in order to bring about unification?
Foreign Influence: If you study the history of Korea (Joseon Kingdom), you will quickly learn that the North and South are merely consequences of the Cold War between Russia and the United States. After the end of WW2, Russia (then USSR) and the USA, divided Korean ownership into two nation states. Much like what happened in Germany and Vietnam. In a sense, the Korean struggle is a proxy war between the USA and communist Russia. Until the Korean people realize that they are essentially puppets of the old USSR and modern United States of America, they will fail to see the con-artistry that was placed upon their brethren. If the North and South unite, they will arguably be one of the most powerful nations in the world. This is contrary to the interests of China, Russia, and the United States. Many of these so called “peace-talks”, are merely for show, and the Koreans must be privy to this.
Assimilation: Once unification happens, most Koreans will defect to the south since it is more economically sound than the north. How will the economy absorb this? How will the culture be affected on a local scale? How will society integrate them? Many reports already show North Koreans being discriminated against in the southern regions due to them being far behind in terms of education and physical health. How will North Korea’s military weapons and natural resources be combined with South Korea’s military power and natural resources?
Cooperation from Foreign countries: China, Russia, and the United States all have an economic and political stake in the Korean Peninsula. All three countries must be on board with this assimilation. By combining both Northern and Southern provinces, the peninsula could theoretically obtain vast powers that could rival China, Russia, and the United States. Just as President Moon has recently attempted to create a joint business venture with Chairman Kim in the form of a joint factor and vacation resort transcending the DMZ, American President Donald Trump, blocked such a measure stating that North Korea must agree to reduce its nuclear program even more so. We must trust South Koreans in their attempts to negotiate with North Koreans. The United States, Russia, and China must all work together by taking a step back and allowing the people of both North and South Korea to negotiate their own affairs. Sometimes, doing less is akin to doing more. President Moon and Chairman Kim must take more initiative in negotiating the sovereignty of their kinship by relying less on foreign powers; specifically Russia, China, and the United States. Nobody knows the Korean people better than those who speak the language and live in the culture of the Korean Kingdom formerly known as “Joseon”. The Koreans of both the North and South have far more to gain than the Russians, Chinese, and Americans have to lose.
My grandfather, Sargent James Edwards Watkins of the US Army, fought in the Korean war, who is now deceased, would love to see a unified Korea. Economically, politically, and socially, it would not be an easy task, however, in the spirit of freedom and liberty, I believe that perhaps after 10 or 20 years post-unification, Korea could very well become the most powerful nation in east Asian and quite possible become beacon of hope and a positive example to all countries within close proximity within the region including the South-East Asian portion.
Through localization of alliances and communications within the east and southeast regions of Asia, I believe that the Korea peninsula can become a shining example of social and economical prosperity and responsible power. Militarily, North Korea is quite capable, socially and economically, South Korea has much to offer. If both regions were to successfully reunite, I truly believe that the region could become a leader in the United Nation Security Council and perhaps replace China as one of the “P-5” nations appointed to the UN on foreign affairs. The Korean peninsula is unique in the sense of its economic and military power. Under the right circumstances, I believe that this unification could create a new force in the region that could fundamentally preserve peace, prosperity, and human rights.
The sinful karma of the Cold War must be accounted for. The sins of the past, if healed correctly could restore the former honor of Korea as it once held prior to the Japanese invasion of 1910. North Koreans and South Koreans have one thing in common, they are Koreans! They speak the same language, and have the same blood coursing through their veins. They must no longer allow themselves to continue being the consequence of the Cold War between Russia and the USA. Until both the North and South Koreans can realize that they are merely puppets to foreign forces, they will be blinded by their own selfish ambitions and never truly realize the power they are capable of as a shared race of people.
To the people of Korea, I say to you, GOOD LUCK and 감사함니다 (thank you), for listening to the words of a humble Migukin (American), who truly loves, respects, and admires the resolve of the Kingdom of Korea. Please continue to fight for the sovereignty and prosperity of your land, absence of foreign influence or manipulation. Take charge of your bloodline and reclaim what is rightfully yours! Only the Korean people can solve the problem of the Korean people. The Americans, the Russians, and the Chinese are merely hurdles to overcome. In the end, it is up to the Korean people to realize the strength and beauty of a reunited culture that will be soon known as the restored Kingdom of Korea.
This report will attempt to explain the environmental issues facing the Korean peninsula in regards to the “fine dust” or “yellow dust” phenomena which effects the health of Koreans on an annual bases for days, weeks, or even sometimes months at a time. In this report, we will discuss the history behind these environmental events, its causes, and possible solutions. “Fine Dust” or “Yellow Dust”, refer to harmful particulates found in the air stemming from the deserts of Mongolia and west China. Pollutants coming from domestic and foreign man-made sources from factories, combustion engines, methane gases, and refineries will also be considered.
“Fine Dust” or “Asian Dust” , affects much of East Asia all-year round but especially during the months of March, April, and May. The yellow tinted particulates derive from the deserts of Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan, where high-speed surface winds and severe dust storms, push sand particles into the atmosphere . These “Sand clouds” are then pushed eastward by wind currents that pass over China, North and South Korea,Japan, and Eastern Russia. On rare occasion, the particulates are carried as far as the western coast of California, affecting the air quality there to a certain degree.
In recent years, it has become a serious problem due to the increasing industrialization of China and Korea, factories and refineries spew pollutants that mix with the dust coming from the deserts of China. This combination has been causing more frequent occurrences of the fine-dust phenomena. In the last few decades the Aral Sea of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have began drying up due to the diversion of the Amu River and Syr River following a Soviet agricultural program to irrigate Central Asian deserts, mainly for cotton plantations.
Recently, it has been discovered that yellow dust consists of fine dust and ultrafine dust particles. Fine dust consists of fine particular matter (PM). Particles smaller than 10µm in diameter are classified as fine PM (PM10), while particles smaller than 2.5µm in diameter are classified as ultrafine PM (PM2.5). Both fine and ultrafine dust particles impose dangers to health. Fine dust particles are small enough to penetrate deep into the lung alveoli. Ultrafine dust particles are so small that after they also penetrate into the blood or lymphatic system through the lungs. Once in the bloodstream, ultrafine particles can even reach the brain or fetal organs. “– From Wikipedia with sources”
According to an article written by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, “Estimation of the effects of heavy Asian dust on respiratory function by definition type” , showed a direct correlation between respiratory problems and fine dust, especially on days with heavy particulate readings. As illustrated in the report, “Socio-Economic Costs from Yellow Dust Damages in South Korea” by Dai-Yeun Jeong, states that, “……Socio-economic Cost Estimated by Contingent Valuation Method. Kang et al. (2004) estimated the socio-economic cost assuming that yellow dust occurs an average 14 days per year. They first estimated the socio-economic cost per person, and multiplied this for the whole population and total cost. As is shown in Table 3, the cost was estimated as US$29.51 per person a year. Multiplied by total number of people in Korea an estimated cost of US$ 44.123 million results. The total socio-economic cost is then estimated as US$ 5,921.639 million when a discount rate of 7.5% is applied.”
Not only does the Asian dust epidemic affect the economy and the health of Korean citizens, but also on the marine life in the oceans surrounding the Korean peninsula. According to a study published by Sciencedaily.com — ” East Asian dust deposition impacts on marine biological productivity” December 6, 2016–” — the article states, “…Results showed that dust containing iron was the most important factor affecting phytoplankton growth and the deposition of iron via severe dust storms satisfied the increase in demand required for phytoplankton growth (115-291%), followed by nitrogen (it accounted for up to 1.7-4.0%), and phosphorus was the smallest one (it accounted for up to 0.2-0.5%).”
Now that we have a basic understanding and what factors are causing this natural disaster, compounded by man-made waste, we must now ask ourselves, “What can be done about it?”
In January of 2019, President Moon Jae-in, announced, South Korea will produce 6.2 million units of fuel cell electric vehicles and build 1,200 refilling stations across the country by 2040 as an effort to create more sustainable energy and less pollution in the nation. According to the article, “Seoul’s Answer to a Pollution Crisis: Free Public Transit” by Linda Poon, Alongside this push as part of an emergency plan announced last year by Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, the city will make public transit free during rush hours on days when the air quality index reaches above 50 and is expected to stay there for at least a day. To fund the measure, Park set aside 24.9 billion won (about $23 million USD) in December, stating that the air quality had turned into a natural disaster which warranted access to use emergency disaster relief revenue.
Last month, Thailand began deploying manned drones to spraying water into the air in an effort to clear the debris. The degree of success from these results are unknown, but I assume them to be of little value considering no public reports being issued stating any major improvements. Thai authorities announced on Jan.24, 2019, that they have arrested the operator of a website that may have falsely claimed that a woman had died as a result of a small “PM 2.5” particulate matter that experts say is one of the most dangerous constituents of air pollution because it can penetrate deep into the lungs.
Chinese industrialization is often cited as a reason for increased fine dust occurrences. Tradingeconomics.com– National Bureau of Statistics China – Show massive amount of increased industrialization from 1990-2015, where production began to level out. China’s population of 1.4 billion people is also of significance. China’s firework displays during the Lantern Festival and stagnant air over the Korean peninsula are the main culprits for the dangerously high levels of ultra-fine dust pollution in South Korea at the end of February, a Seoul City-run environment agency said on Wednesday (March 6). -“High density of ultra-fine dust continued recently because the weather condition caused air over the Korean peninsula to be stagnant and delayed diffusion of pollutants stemming within the country and from abroad,” said Mr Shin Yong-seung of the Research Institute of Public Health and Environment.” -The agency traced the chemical elements travelling from China to South Korea on two occasions – from Feb 17 to Feb 23 and from Feb 27 to Tuesday. (Source: Korea Herald)
In order to combat this issue, we must use a combination of natural, political, and technological means.
Plant based city-wide filtration via a “Green initiative” with a new city planning development project which will envelop the city rooftops and intersections with certain plants known to filter toxins in the air.
Switch Korean vehicles from combustion based to election based by the year 2040.
Pass regulations requiring manufacturers to install and maintain all filtration, boilers, and equipment in their facilities in order to reduce emissions.
Hold an east Asian convention compelling afflicted nations to take measures in combating Asian dust. Mongolia, China, Russia, South/North Korea.
In phase #1, I am inspired by the NASA clean air study regarding plant life. The Clean Air study found that English Ivy, The Snake Plant, the Peace Lily, and several other plants are very effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from the air—chemicals that have been linked to health effects like headaches and eye irritation. Urban areas like Seoul, and Gangnam, are full of empty rooftops which could be fitted with these plants. Sidewalks, highways, and intersections could also be equipped with plant life to filter out these toxins. The study found that a single tree could potentially filter out a 100 sq ft radius. These plants collect the dust, filter the air, and hold onto the dust, only to be washed away by a rainy day at a later time. The effects will be subtle at first, but can be dramatic as the project grows. Koreans will certainly feel the difference even by fixing these plants into their living-rooms at home.
President Moon and other leaders could potentially create a huge public works project, employing citizens to plant and maintain this project which would also create thousands of jobs of unemployed or semi-retired Koreans. Since this is an international issue, funds could be gathered via taxation, international relief funds, and by a global public announcement campaign championing for voluntary donations.
In phase#2, President Moon has already done a fantastic job in pushing for an alternative to combustion vehicles. By 2040, if Korea sees a switch from combustion to electric, particulate levels are certain to decrease by a large degree. With the rise of the Tesla corporation in the west, the practicality and popularity of this idea is growing rapidly.
In phase #3, inspectors must hold corporations to a higher standard in both China and Korea. Boiler-makers and other filtration systems that are not properly maintained have been shown to increase air pollution and reduce productivity of equipment. By not properly maintaining these facilities or by failing to upgrade outdated technologies, companies suffer economically due to equipment stagnation, and the people of China and Korea suffer environmentally and biologically.
In phase #4, we have to build a coalition that includes China, Russia, Mongolia, and both North and South Korea. By agreeing to mutual regulations, combining incomes and efforts of scientists, political sanctions and talks of aggression can be mitigated by a mutual desire to have clean air for their respective citizen to enjoy. Cross-contamination caused by neighboring countries must be addressed in a friendly dialogue in order to establish a sense of brotherhood.
This report is simplistic and indirect, but points us in the right direction. Collaborative and creative methods are a winning combination that are sure to yield results. If President Moon Jae-in, Chairman Kim Jong-Un, Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh of Mongolia, President Vladamir Putin, and President Xi Jinping, are willing to organize a coalition, Nalini-Global will volunteer it’s research efforts towards this project.
Randell D Stroud,
Human rights specialist/Paralegal
Division of Environmental Law and Conventions
P.O Box 30552, 00100
Tel: +254 20 7624011
Fax: +254 20 7624300
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Environment South Korea:
Government Complex-Sejong, 11, Doum 6-Ro, Sejong-si, 30103, Republic of Korea: E-mail address: email@example.com
(Former FBI Agent and Author of “Cybersecurity Secrets”, Scott Augenbaum, left, standing next to myself, founder of Nalini-Global, Randell Stroud.)
The internet is becoming an ever-growing force in our lives as technology rapidly expands into our everyday interactions. Apps, cell-phones, robotic automation, and wifi connections are all becoming staples in how we communicate and engage each-other on a global scale. These technologies make life easier, cost-effective, and more accessible in regards to communication than ever before. Even the poorest among us can utilize internet access with a simple library card or a low-cost data managed ISP. (Internet Service Provider).
However, with this rise in technology and convenience, also comes new opportunities for amateur and career-criminals alike to engage in scamming and/or hacking activities. Many people are aware that downloading pirated entertainment and watching adult pornographic materials are notorious for destroying cell-phones and computers around the world. Their enticing nature attracts all classes of people to consume this type of “guilty-pleasure”. Alas, you may not be aware that there are many other less obvious ways that scammers, viruses, and hackers invade our lives.
One such scam involves creating fake facebook, twitter, and internet pages used to mimic official pages. If you were to be sent an e-mail from a bank that had the same name as yours containing a web-link that brought you to a page which appeared official but was indeed a fake, could you spot the difference? That Facebook friend that you have been talking to for months, have you ever tried to video-chat with them? How do you know it’s a real person? That phone call you got from the IRS claiming you owed them 15K in back taxes and is threatening you with jail time, is it a real call, or a fake?
Many of us, especially the elderly and those who aren’t tech savvy, are especially vulnerable, but even experienced tech users can fall victim to cyber attacks. Do you travel alot? Chinese hackers have been known to target foreigners in airports by phishing their IP addresses through public Wifi connections. “When traveling, consider using a VPN.” (A technique used to hide your IP address), says Augenbaum.
Data is being shared at an astronomical rate these days. Everywhere we go on the internet, websites and apps are constantly asking for access to our GPS location, contacts, and so on. Ever wonder how programs like TLO and Spokeo get our personal information which can be bought publicly for mere dollars? It’s most likely because you agreed to it! In other cases, such as the Equifax data- breach that occurred a few years, are a result of hacking. Alternatives to Google search engines such as “Duck-Duck-Go”, are becoming more popular as internet users are becoming more aware of privacy concerns.
Mr. Augenbaum gives great advice in his book on how to protect yourself from such attacks. Creating complex passwords, using VPN, managing internet activity by scrutinizing suspicious links, and safe storage of passwords are just a few ways people can protect themselves from attack. Once your bank account is hacked or your SSN is stolen, havoc can be wreaked upon your life. The internet is a fun place to share idea, learn knowledge, and to entertain ourselves in moments of boredom. Yet, it can also be a scary place full of enticing sinful behaviors and predators of all sorts.
I would highly recommend his book to anyone who is looking to create a safer environment for themselves when distributing data and personal information. His book can be purchased by clicking the link below:
Bankruptcy is seen as a fresh start for many people.
Bankruptcy is prominently mentioned in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution provides:
The Congress shall have Power To…establish…uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States….
Bankruptcy is a necessary option for those with a high debt to income ratio. However, it does come with serious consequences. Your credit will be ruined for up to 10 years, the process will cost you atleast 1-2,000$ to file and lenders will be very weary of you. As a Bankruptcy paralegal myself, I would not recommend anyone file for bankruptcy who has less than 10,000$ of debt. Debts can be paid down, negotiated, and so forth without destroying your credit report! However, if you find yourself in the midst of a foreclosure or simply cannot see a foreseeable way to escape, then bankruptcy could be your best option. If you are thinking about this option, consider these 10 strategies.
Pass the “Means Test”: If you are single and make under $40,000 per year, you will most likely qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are married and your combined income is less than $80,000 per year, you will most likely qualify. Some couples will strategically file for separation during a bankruptcy process in order to reduce their household income, however, the bankruptcy trustee will investigate your living situation to ensure it is a legitimate separation.
Replevin Orders are often needed to recover property from a debtor, which require the creditor to take you to court. Small items such as toasters, Televisions, or any item that is worth less than $1,000 is often able to be retained if the debtor is brave enough to call the creditor’s bluff. Replevin orders cost money and time. In my years working as Bankruptcy paralegal, it is extremely rare to see any creditor file for a Replevin order on any item worth less than a grand.
Credit scores can be strengthened after bankruptcy if you obtain a secured credit card and pay it down fast after making small purchases.
Do not purposefully rack up debts on entertainment(non-essential) items and then immediately file for bankruptcy. Most debts younger than 90 days are generally scrutinized and are considered “fraudulent” debts in many bankruptcy cases.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies will save your house from being foreclosed upon, however, it will only buy you a few months. If you fail to make payments on your Chapter 13 plan, the foreclosure process starts all over again.
Chapter 7 bankruptcies will not clear out mortgages and auto loans. Expect to give back those properties after your case has completed unless you enter into a “reaffirmation agreement”.
Negotiate your reaffirmation agreement with your lawyer or better yet, try to avoid signing into one! See if the creditor will continue taking payments at the same rate as before. Oftentimes, creditors will try to get you to enter into a new agreement with higher rates to benefit themselves.
Child support is a non-dischargable debt. However, filing for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help you reorganize your child support debt and save you from getting your drivers license suspended.
Student Loans and owed Tax debt are generally considered non-dischargable. In some rare circumstances, they can be discharged.
Show up to court! If you don’t get a notice in the mail from your lawyer, call him/her! Missing your court date can cause huge delays and possibly have your case thrown out. It is imperative that before you file for bankruptcy, you save up some personal time off from your employer. The judge doesn’t care about your excuses. If you don’t show up, it takes alot work from the lawyers, paralegals, and courts to get a new court date. Your lawyer and the paralegals who assist will certainly thank you for making their job much easier!
These are just a few basic tips when it comes to filing for bankruptcy in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. If you have any additional questions. Feel free to contact me at Naliniglobalconsulting@yahoo.com
A few days ago, I got the chance to do some guest interviews on behalf of MSNBC regarding spirituality in politics. I am not sure if the interviews will air, nevertheless, it was a wake-up call for me. The experience was very empowering and thought provoking. We citizens need to take more time out of our lives to ask questions, not in anger, but out of curiosity. The word, “politician”, is a misnomer. The correct term is, “representative”, and as a representative, they represent us! And since they represent us, we need to make sure they are reflecting our values!
As a citizen-journalist, it is our job to hold these representatives accountable to our standards while maintaining dignity and poise. In fact, those who conduct journalism and interviews actually have a larger impact on politicians than protestors/demonstrators. I feel that most politicians have grown numb towards protesting as they see it so much, it often falls on deaf ears. However, to have an honest conversation about politics and what fuels the world, politicians are more likely to give a sincere opinion and address the situation with gusto!
As I have ran for political office myself, I can speak from experience, that it is far more effective for constituents to engage in tactful letter writing/meetings, than to threaten me with phrases like, “I’ll never vote for you again if you don’t do this or that!”. Our ability to communicate is imperative if we are to ever advance our society as a whole. As a citizen and as a journalist, I hope that we will all hold eachother accountable while also respecting the imperfect nature that is humanity. Politicians catch a bad wrap, but they are human too! They sometimes have marital problems, alcohol problems, financial problems, ect… yet, despite all of that, I still believe that most politicians want to do a good job and want to be remembered for being on the right side of history when it comes to how they vote on bills.
My time as a journalist and as a politician, gave me the rare chance to see both sides of the fence. This is why I believe that everyone should run for office, work at a fast food restaurant, travel as much as possible, write a book, ask out someone on a date and get rejected…. until we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of those we claim to hate, we can never truly know whether or not we truly hate them or it is just a bias notion that we have been ingrained with.
Martial arts is one of the best ways to learn about different cultures, meet new people. gain physical and mental fitness, and build overall confidence.
From the years of 2001-2005, I was a very dedicated student to the system of “Shaolin-Do”, lead by the alleged Grandmaster Sin Kwang aka Sin The’. I achieved a brown sash in the system, although, my specific teacher had deviated from the system quite a bit early on in my teachings, bringing in instructors from Boxing, Muay Thai, Praying Mantis Wushu and other systems to spar and do seminars with us. My teacher was very open minded, practical and young, thus we sparred full-contact and frequently cross-trained with other martial artists. Our school was frequently scolded by the Shaolin-Do headquarters in Kentucky for not wearing Japanese gis whereas we would wear traditional Chinese outfits. We felt that we were practicing Kung Fu (wushu) not Karate.
Eventually, I had enough of Shaolin-Do and began learning Xing Yi Quan under disciples who followed Sifu Shou-yu Liang who had immigrated to the west from China. Later, I went on to cross train in many styles including Boxing, Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Wing Chun, Krav Maga and others. In 2010, I won 2nd place in a NAGA Jujitsu grappling tournament in Hillsboro, Tennessee. Looking back, if not for my open-minded Shaolin-Do instructor, I might still be trapped in the Shaolin-Do system, as I too believed that he had began to have doubts about whether or not he was practicing authentic Wushu. My instructor was a very formidable fighter, but did plenty of cross-training in other traditional and modern martial arts, however, he had been involved with Shaolin-Do since his youth, so perhaps he felt compelled to continue teaching and practicing it? I am not too sure. He did go on to later become a Muay Thai competitor.
My impression of Shaolin-Do is mixed. While the system itself does have some useful techniques, and some of the instructors are legitimately strong and somewhat capable at fighting, most of the schools I visited did very little full-contact sparring, performed their forms (Taolu) awkwardly, and participated in “closed” point-fighting tournaments. That’s right! Shaolin-Do students were encouraged to NOT compete in tournaments against non-Shaolin-Do students. Hmmm, why not? If it is the best system in the world, surely it could hold it’s own against a Kyokushin Karateka or a Taekwondo fighter.
The atmosphere within the organization was very cult-like in most of the schools I saw, which isn’t uncommon for a traditional martial arts school. As I got older, I began to visit other Wushu schools and perform in open-tournaments across the country, and the other Wushu players had never heard or seen of the “Taolu” (Kata in Japanese) that I was performing. Even the Xing-Yi-Quan (Hsing I) forms I was taught wasn’t the same or remotely close to the techniques other Wushu schools were teaching. It all appeared to be made up or atleast altered. Which is fine, however, the Shaolin-Do system presented itself as authentic Shaolin-Kung Fu, not an altered version of it.
Depositions from a lawsuit involving Shaolin-Do confirm these doubts. The lawsuit, Sin Kwang The’ vs. Jacob Rydberg, shows evidence that “Grandmaster” Sin, did in fact fabricate atleast part of Shaolin-Do’s legitimacy. (The case study can be found- HERE) Everything from the forms to the history of his own training, Grandmaster Sin’ recants many of his advertised claims and even admits to making up his own forms. Again, these revelations aren’t to say that the Shaolin-Do system doesn’t have some usefulness, because all systems of martial arts were at one point, “Just made-up”, someone had to create it! But, this isn’t my problem with the system. My problem is that it markets itself as authentic Shaolin Martial Arts when it doesn’t quite appear to be. Then again, finding authentic Wushu in the USA is difficult enough as it is. If you walk into a Kung Fu school and they aren’t familiar with terms like, “Wushu”, “Taolu”, “Sanda”, “Dan-Tien” or the school does not openly compete in Wushu tournaments not sponsored by their own system, and they are wearing Japanese uniforms, It could be a cause for concern and reason to question.
Also, there is a question of “lineage”. Grandmaster Sin’ claims that he was taught martial arts by Grandmaster Ie Chang Ming who was taught by Su Kong Tai Djin. Names that have almost no historical weight in the Martial Arts community outside of Shaolin-Do. If you mention Ip-Man or Yue-Fei, the Wushu community will instantly recognize such names. But, Su Kong Tai Djin? Who is that?
With the rise of MMA and combat practicality, people are more critical of martial arts lineages and effectiveness than ever before. Because of the rise of MMA, schools and systems like Shaolin-Do have less impact on the martial arts world today, however, in smaller rural communities, Shaolin-Do is just as rampant as it ever was. Alas, in this information age, I don’t blame the business marketing strategies of Shaolin-Do or Sin Kwang. It is up to the consumer to research the product he/she is willing to support. I did my research and wasn’t convinced, thus I left the system. Perhaps you will find a different answer.
If you are a teenager in a small town, and have no access to any other martial art or boxing gym, and Shaolin-Do is your only option, if the teacher is open-minded, it could be a decent introduction into martial arts and you may fall in love with the system. However, you owe it to yourself to explore others systems and styles before dedicating your life to something that you later find out wasn’t what you thought it was. This rings true for any style or system. But, if you are happy with your training, feel free to stick to “Shaolin-Do”, but just know that this system does come with some “fine print” and disclaimers to consider.
Martial Arts and Boxing are very important aspects to my life and personal history. In my high school years, I went to a tough school, and Shaolin-Do was an escape-outlet for me. I owe it a lot, and thankfully my teacher was a young-strong guy who encouraged me to cross-train in other styles and had me spar full-contact often. However, if I had to go back and do those years over again, I would have trained elsewhere. I would have sought out a legit boxing gym, Wing Chun school, Krav Maga, or dedicated more time towards traditional Xing Yi Quan. Eventually, I began to focus most of my efforts on Boxing, Wing Chun, and Xing Yi Quan, but I wish I had done so much earlier.
Ethics are both personal and administrative. Your personal ethics may be one thing, whereas the ethics you are required to follow under the guidelines set forth by the American Nursing Association or by the National Paralegal Association, may conflict with your own morality Nevertheless, you have a duty to follow such ethics parameters if you want to keep your job and avoid being sued for malpractice or violating confidentiality provisions.
While this article focuses on paralegal and medical professionals, many of these principles are also highly relevant within any situation where you are handling someone’s private information. Here are my top 11 ways to avoid violating professional ethics guidelines:
1. Study- If you are a nurse, study the ANA handbook. If you are a paralegal, study the NPA‘s handbook regarding ethics. Also, study the individual company policies provided to you once hired by a company provided to you at orientation. What you don’t know can get you killed!
2. Don’t Gossip: Clients are going to approach you with all sorts of embarrassing stories about their lives. Medical conditions, legal issues, stories of infidelity, infertility, and other stomach turning scenarios will be common place in any area of client relations. You must handle these scenarios with care. If you wouldn’t want it to be shared with the public, then its safe to assume that your client wouldn’t either. Practice empathy, and put yourself in their shoes.
3. Be mindful of eavesdropping: When speaking to a client on the phone or in person, be sure that these conversations are done so in a quiet, secure, and private area. If these conversations are accidentally heard by a third party, it could result in negative consequences.
4. Secure documents: Any paperwork relating to company secrets or client information shouldn’t lay around openly for passerbyers to see. Such documents should also be shredded, not crumpled up in a trash bin. Identity thieves and spies are everywhere. Do not make their jobs easier by mishandling documents.
5. Do not administer actions without permission: Unless you are directed by a licensed doctor or lawyer, nurses and paralegals are NOT allowed to give a personalized diagnosis, legal advice, or administer treatment. Nurses and Paralegals must also refrain from taking action when the client does not consent. Paralegals and nurses are “foot-soldiers”. We are to operate mostly by direct command, and rarely act independently, and even when we do, we are highly monitored.
6. Avoid the media: Addressing the media in regards to a client or the company you work for without authorization is a big NO-NO. You run the risk of defamation, releasing company trade-secrets, and other legal consequences.
7. Don’t be an accomplice: If you see your supervising Doctor or attorney doing something highly unethical or illegal, you have the right to speak up and file a report with the authorities. Do not become an accomplice to illegal activity.
8. Think twice before becoming a rouge: Becoming a whistleblower or acting on your own because it “feels right”, could make you go down in history as a brave hero and save lives, however, it will not be without consequences. Acting outside of your assigned role, even if it saves a life could still cost you your job or open you up for a malpractice lawsuit or legal sanctions. Before you try to become the next Edward Snowden, remember, there will be consequences.
9. Stay up to date: Ethics guidelines are subject to change. Most nurses and paralegals are required or encouraged to attend furthering education courses or “refresher courses”. These could serve you well so that you do not fall out of the loop for current industry standards.
10. Pledge your loyalty to your client: Your job is to be an advocate for your client and an assistant to your superior. Embrace this role fully! If you think an alternative remedy is in order, express this to your supervising Doctor or Attorney. Do this away from the client in order to protect the honor of your supervisor as to not undermine him. Also, do not conspire or speak with any outside forces who may work against the interests of your client and/or employer. You are being paid for such loyalty. Any actions you take which could be interpreted as being “disloyal” to either the client or your employer, could result in termination or a lawsuit.
11. Swallow your pride: Paralegals and Nurses should take great care in picking a field or concentrated area that lines up with their conscious. If you cannot fathom defending a murderer or thief, you may want to stay away from criminal law and try bankruptcy law instead. You can also ask to be removed from certain cases or refuse to work with certain clients who make you feel uncomfortable. However, regardless of how hard you try to manage your career, you will ultimately be forced to take actions that go against your own personal beliefs. It’s the nature of any business and something all employees must learn to accept. Do your best to minimize such circumstances but also learn how to justify such actions if absolutely necessary. Those who fail to rationalize their jobs will fall victim to alcoholism and other unhealthy coping methods if they do not learn how to cope naturally. Legal and medical professionals will benefit greatly from having a support system in friends and family.
The philosophy and administrative guidelines that govern the idea of “ethics” can get very complicated. If you are unsure about whether or not you may be violating your company’s standards of ethics, it never hurts to ask!
Many of my past pursuits have been dedicated towards bringing gender equality towards men in the family law courts. However, being consistent in my belief that both genders face unique forms of discrimination, I feel that the “Essure” birth control product is sacrificing the health of our female population for the sake of profiteering on behalf of companies like Bayer and the doctors who accept their payments to push their dangerous products.
A CNN analysis shows that from August 2013 through December 2017, Bayer Pharmaceuticals paid 11,850 doctors $2.5 million related to Essure. Bayer recently announced it would pull the device off the market.
While all forms of birth control, aside from abstinence, involve a certain level of risk regarding side-effects, permanent forms of birth control like “Essure” pose the most risk. It is a procedure that involves implanting sharp metal coils into the Fallopian tubes from a woman’s cervix which causes scar tissue, ultimately leading towards a blockage that will block sperm entry. The procedure sounds good in theory, but the risk for infections and the sharp coils damaging surrounding tissues are severe.
I have personally spoken to and surveyed hundreds of women over the last few weeks , some who were just in their early 20s, who have had to undergo hysterectomies, and in many cases claim they were not told that the procedure was permanent nor potentially dangerous. Hormonal birth control pills increase a woman’s chance of developing blood clots or suffering a heart attack, however, such risks can be greatly minimized by avoiding smoking and heavy drinking. When it comes to implantable devices like Essure, lifestyle choices have little effect on whether or not the patient will develop problems later on down the line. Hair-loss, heavy bleeding, and death are possible side-effects of this device.
This situation is far too familiar in our health-care system. Huge pharmaceutical companies suppressing natural medicines like cannabis or other forms of complimentary medicine, so that they can issue out their lobbying money towards hospitals in order to turn a profit. We are talking about a woman’s reproductive organ here! Stories like these go to show us that the action of sex should only be carried out if the subject is participating with a potential long-term mate. Regardless of the methods used, there is also a 1% chance rate of failure.
We forget that the biological function of sexual activity is for reproduction, not for mere entertainment. If you are a patient looking into reducing unwanted pregnancies yet still want intimacy, there are many other safer alternatives than to elect to permanently disfigure your body. The same goes for men. Cutting and litigating tubes and veins in your body just so you can have sex without the possibility of pregnancy seems far too dangerous in my mind. This is further evidence of why we need better sex education in our schools. We need broader discussions on the emotional, spiritual, and financial ramifications of sexual activity.
Regardless of how one might feel about birth control methods, we should all agree that this dangerous device be taken off the market. Sacrificing the health of our mothers, daughters, and sisters just so a major pharmaceutical company can make millions, just isn’t worth it. And shame on the doctors and the educational institutions who train them to ignore alternative medicine. Atleast in the UK, doctors are trained to be open towards alternative therapies like “Imagery” , “Acupuncture”, and herbal therapy.
The USA tends to operate as usual. If there is no profit margin for them, then they aren’t interested in the potential benefits. They are more concerned with treating their pocket books instead of their patients. The AMA (American Medical Association) artificially controls the amount of doctors we have in circulation, their wages, and their prescribing conduct. Hospitals won’t even disclose the prices of their services to non-insured patients! So much for a free-market system of trade! Instead, the medical industry operates on secrecy and veils to hide their misconduct.
A local newspaper has mentioned me as being one of only 12 politicians/candidates in the state of Tennessee who has publicly pledged to support term limits in the 2018 election cycle. The dangers of nepotism and favortism found within career politicians is far too great to ignore. I vow to the voters and to political reform globally, that this needs to be the new norm.