Tom Corbett Should Be Shot Out of A Cannon

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               People have told me I need to start blogging again so maybe I will do what they tell me.  A story is emerging out of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  It appears that the governor has decided to sue the NCAA for the sanctions they levied on Penn State in regards to the Jerry Sandusky Child Raping Scandal.  Governor Corbett feels that the sanctions do nothing but punish the innocent.  I’m not going to draw a timeline.  A simple Google search will provide all that information.  Let’s just say a fine, reduction of scholarships and suspension from bowl games are slaps on the wrist compared to the systematic cover up and facilitation of the actions of serial child rapist.  I’m not even going to dignify the vacation of victories with a response.

               If the NCAA goes back on what are cosmetic punishments it sets a very bad precedent.  Face it the punishment did not fit the crime.  They have killed programs for schools letting the kids that play the game wet their beaks on a multibillion dollar industry.  And it wasn’t like those kids got rich either.  You can lose your eligibility for free suits, or Playstation games.  But the view of some is that if the institution was involved in a decade and a half of a coach raping boys then the program should not be punished for the actions of people who are no longer there.  That to me sends a message that raping a kid is not so bad.  It has the air of it didn’t really undermine the honor of the game.

               What honor does the game have if we let this go unpunished?  What integrity is left in the game or any sport for that matter if we do not prioritize one of the most heinous crimes known to man?  Let’s be honest the sanctions are not that bad.  PSU got to keep it’s football programs.  The kids can still play.  Their lives go on, but no bowl games.  Who cares.  The BCS is garbage anyway.  It’s not much more than an opinion poll.  Hell if I could vote, I’d vote for Colgate every week regardless of their record.  They invented toothpaste at that school.  They deserve kudos for that.  Or the college founded by Frank Perdue.  Who doesn’t like chicken?  Look at the National Championship this year.  Notre Dame was ranked #1 and they got pummeled by Alabama, or as somebody I know said “Rudy got his ass kicked by Forrest Gump.”

               Personally I feel that anybody who sexually abuses a child should be castrated at the very least, and killed at the most.  Some people cannot be rehabilitated.  They will always have the urge to do horrible things with a child, and if they acted on these urges once they cannot ever be trusted to not act on them.  Most of these cases though are not “well it just kind of happened.”  Not sure how you can just happen to have your penis fall into a ten year old boy.  Most of these incidents are planned.  These sub-humans don’t want to get caught so they take the steps not to get found out. 

               If you haven’t figured out I hate child molesters.  Even the name doesn’t do them justice, they are child rapists.  For me this is a very personal issue.  I am survivor of sexual abuse which started at a very young age and went on for many years.  Even though it started more than four decades ago I still live with the effects of it.  It is a ghost that haunts me close to a half a century later.  But understand this worse than any abuse is when the victims are made to be victims again.  This lawsuit tells anybody who was raped by that savage that a game which makes an institution a great deal of money is more important than their childhoods.  And trust me nothing will steal a childhood faster than a grown man’s penis where it should not be.

               So for a man, a politician to file a lawsuit which he knows has no merit and will be unfounded makes a mockery of the victims and the system itself.  I guess the fact that he was attorney general at the time the first victim came forward, a former Penn State board member, and all around asshole let’s him feel he can double down on which even the most morally ambiguous person knows is horrific somehow will get him reelected.  Or maybe it’s a move to save him from a lawsuit when he gets out of office.  Maybe he thinks that by doing this it opens the door on doubt and will take some of the burden off his back as he dropped the ball.  Hey he’s a lawyer.  Their job is to stretch things and create doubt.  So I say once Tommy gets out of office that we dress him up in a sailor suit and load him into a cannon and shoot him right into Sandusky’s cell.  See if he still feels the same if he’s a victim of the most horrific event a person could go through.

In case you missed it and want to see this weeks show.

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So if you want to see my show on Monday night at 9:00 PM EST just click on the link for Pounding The Beat and you’ll be able to see my ugly mug..

Didn’t we Defeat King George III?

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Hello all. I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything here. My apologies. I will get to the reason why after I make my points. I’m heated folks, and it all stems from Facebook. I posted an link from USA Today about how activists are protesting the Mexican government’s treatment of their own illegal immigrants. It appears that the Mexico is pretty hard on their neighbors from the south when they enter the country illegally. More than 9,000 illegal immigrants have been kidnapped and held for ransom. In 10% of those police took an active part. And the argument ensued.

Now I am not here to debate Mexico’s immigration policies, or their hypocrisy in their criticism of our immigration laws. What I am here to dispute is the Constitutionality of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law. Now the law has come under much controversy as it gives law enforcement more power that it ever has to stem the flow of illegal immigration. This is the statute in case you haven’t read it:

” FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c)26″

You can see by the two words that are in bold are REASONABLE SUSPISCION for a reason. Now I am going to give you a quick lesson in law. As a police officer you are required to learn the laws of your individual state and municipality. Laws differ from state to state and from city to city. The one thing that does not differ in our 50 states and its outlying territories is the 4th Amendment of The United States Constitution which deals with search and seizure. If you are not familiar with the 4th Amendment, here it is:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon PROBABLE CAUSE, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The words I bolded in the 4th Amendment are PROBABLE CAUSE. Aside from the difference in their spellings, they have completely different meanings. Reasonable suspicion is nothing more than “I have a hunch.” As a police officer with reasonable suspicion I can say “Hey, I think that guy is up to no good.” Do you know what actions I can take as a police officer? I can go up and talk to that person. I have what is called common law right of inquiry. What this means is that I can ask you what you name is, what your address is and what you are doing in the area. Guess what, you don’t have to answer me. You can even run away from me while I am asking you these questions. Do know what burden of proof I have now even after you ran? If you said reasonable suspicion you would be correct. That’s it nothing more. I still do not have probable cause to arrest you. Probable cause means that you in my opinion as a sworn and train officer of the state believe that you probably committed a crime and I have evidence that backs up what I believe. Do you now see the difference between the two?

SB 1070 allows law enforcement officers to circumvent the Constitution in order to fight crime and coming from somebody who has actually fought crime, that is completely unacceptable. Now am I for a single second saying that illegal aliens are not a problem in this country? Nope. Am I inferring for even a moment that violent crime in the border towns by these representatives of the drug trade is acceptable? Not even for a fraction of a second. Even one murder by anybody is not an item I am comfortable with. To quote from my favorite character from my favorite show, Omar Little; the game is the game. Criminals commit crimes as cops it’s our job to catch them. Are the criminals right, nope. But does that mean that cops shouldn’t still try and catch them. Don’t think so. As a cop you need to come up with creative ways to catch crooks. You need to be innovative and stronger that the prey you are hunting. It’s nature plain and simple, only difference is in this case the strength is strength of mind.

In this argument I tried to think of an example to have people see my point. The one I came up with was this, and it’s a very real scenario. A woman who happens to be an illegal immigrant is raped. The officer at the scene obtains information that she is an illegal and she is subsequently deported. Aside from being raped she in now being victimized a second time. When the trial comes there is no witness because she has been deported. She can’t testify because she cannot be found, and subpoenas from U.S. courts have no power in Mexico. Besides why should she want to help the same court that sent her away? Now a rapist goes free. Wow, that’s a good idea now isn’t it?

You want to stop the crimes taking place in these border towns, here’s my solution. Hire 5,000 new Border Patrol and I.C.E. agents. Have them flood these high crime areas, and enforce the law. If an illegal breaks the law he gets arrested. If he is convicted he gets the maximum sentence plus one year for entering this country illegally and then subsequently deported. Post signs reflecting this at every border crossing and wherever people cross illegally. Make sure it’s neon and in English and Spanish. Even though ignorance is no excuse, we still have to make it fair.

It doesn’t matter if it is for speeding or jaywalking, a crime is a crime, and the reality is that when you are given a summons it is in lieu of an arrest. That’s right if you violate the Vehicle and Traffic Law you technically could be arrested. If a people were arrested for every single offense no matter how minor just think how crowded the system would be. That’s why cops give tickets, well that and as a revenue source for the municipality. If you rounded up every single illegal alien, don’t you think the system would be overloaded? Talk about a burden to the tax payers. But if said illegal commits a crime he’s gone. It should be just like how New York State used to enforce seatbelt infractions. You could not be pulled over solely for failure to wear your seat belt, but if you did something wrong you got a seat belt ticket. You’re illegal and you commit a crime and you are gone. And once deported do you think these people are going to stay put in Mexico? They’re going to find the closest coyote and get back to Arizona or Texas or California or wherever they were originally. That’s the game and the game is the game. If you play the game like that it’s a waste of man hours and money.

Now regardless of how I feel or how you feel SB 1070 violates the U.S. Constitution. Your opinion has validity, but you cannot argue that without probable cause an arrest is not valid. If the arrest is not valid then any information I obtain while making that arrest (ie. your citizenship or lack of it) is not valid. That is called fruits of a poisonous tree. Illegal immigration is a problem and border towns of today’s West are turning into border towns of The Wild West. I will not dispute that, but what I can dispute is the legality of SB 1070. If you want this law to be valid then Arizona has to convince the rest of the country that there needs to be an Amendment to say as such, and I can’t see that happening.

So in the beginning of this entry I acknowledged that I hadn’t been doing much on here. I am guilty as charged. The reason why I have been neglecting you is that I have been putting together my own talk show on a website called www.shovio.com. The show called Pounding The Beat airs every Monday from 9:00 to 10:00 PM EST. On the show we discuss issues of crime and law enforcement. I would love to have you swing by some time and check it out. The beauty of the format is that it is completely interactive where you can actually communicate with myself and other viewers directly by the attached chat window or by calling in via your webcam. There is nothing else like it out there. So now that I have all the required items like a format and my opening sequence all finished I will be back I promise. If you have any show ideas, or would want to be on the show as a guest e-mail me at theghettoist@gmail.com. But if you are watching and want to cam in(or shove in as it’s called) all you need to do is press a button and we’re talking live on the air. I’ll even be posting episodes on here for you to check out once I work out all the tech stuff.

Shameless Plug

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Tomorrow night Thursday May 6th, please tune in to see me on The KC in 60 show.  I will be discussing the Times Square bombing and terrorism in general.  KC in 60 airs live from 7:00 to 8:00 EST on www.shovio.com , and is available on demand at www.KevinCanessa.com.

A Call to Revolution

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                Please forgive my absence.  I was actually training for a fight.  With 40 quickly approaching I have decided it would also be my last fight, so I wanted to give it my all.  I’m just not able to roll with these 20 year old kids any more.

                In this entry I am calling for revolution.  I am demanding that people take to the streets.  I am imploring that they take to TV and get their message out.  Who am I calling out?  I call out any follower of Islam.  I am talking to you if you read the Koran as your book of faith.  If you face Mecca 6 times a day and pray this is addressed to you.  What am I asking you to do?  I am asking you to come out and say “These people do not speak for me.”  Prominent Imams should go on Larry King Live and say that the Koran as inspirational as a book as it is should not be followed to the letter in this day and age.  C.A.I.R. should abandon the Al Sharpton tactics and going after companies that don’t allow head scarves.  There is a entire agency in the government that fights those fights.  C.A.I.R. should use some of their budget and go on a P.R. campaign to let us know that they are with us and not people like Faisal Shahzad.  If any of this is happening I can’t hear it.  The silence is deafening.

                 Aren’t you tired of your faith being associated with terrorism?  Am I reaching to say that the thing Muslims have become best known for is terrorism?  Now to suggest that every Muslim is a terrorist is incorrect, but to state that almost every terrorist is a Muslim is not.

                Now I cannot say that I am surprised by the tactics that are used by these people.  The book that they follow openly calls for the death of the non believers.  Surah 9:5 calls for pagans to be killed unless they are willing to convert.  Koran 5:33 tells followers to cut off the hands and feet or crucify anybody who opposes the words of The Prophet.  Am I taking these verses out of context, possibly; but so are people who are waging war against innocent people in Allah’s name.  People often take a single verse from scripture and use that as the basis for their whole philosophy.  I can think of quite a few Christians who take a few verses from Leviticus and Corinthians as the basis for their hatred of homosexuality.  Yet if they look at the deeds of Jesus, he would surely have embraced anyone; especially the people considered to be the lowest of society.

                Change comes from within.  The followers of Islam need to look within themselves and demand change within their own religion.  They need to realize that Sharia Law cannot be followed to the letter in this day and age.  You cannot beat your wife when she refuses to listen.  The God I know (and supposedly God, Allah and Yahweh are one in the same) is not going to give you 72 virgins (and some translations have it as 72 golden raisins) for dying whilst killing others.  Imagine their surprise when it’s a cup or raisins.  And the whole virgin thing…who the hell wants to tell 72 different women what you want in the sack?

                Bill Maher says that Islam is in a dark age, and you know what he is right.  A few individuals are speaking and very loudly for an entire religion.  These plots are being ordered by people who live in squalid conditions in Third World countries, really oppressive third world countries.  They beat their wives because the prophet says it is their duty.  Maybe it’s because I have always known the freedoms that America provides, but I think these people are backwards, embracing a 12th century mentality in the 21st century.  I don’t understand and I never will.

Free Radicals

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I want to start off this entry by stating that I am a fan of the show South Park.  I feel that in 14 seasons on the air the show has not missed a beat and is still one of the funniest things on television.  The pull no punches and never take the easy way out.  What is most amazing is that they produce such quality in such a short time.  Their season does not have them writing and animating months before airing.  It’s my understanding that they usually complete their episodes on Tuesday for a Wednesday airing.  Cannibal the Musical aside Matt and Trey have yet to put out anything that does not make me laugh my ass off.  Needles to say this entry will be extremely biased.

                If you have been paying attention, the two creators of South Park have recently been called out publicly by a website called revolutionmuslim.com.  They were told that should they insult the prophet Mohammed that they will probably meet a fate the same as Theo Van Gogh.  If you are not aware of the situation regarding Van Gogh, he was a Dutch film maker who was murdered by a Muslim who took extreme exception to his film Submission which addresses the treatment of women in the Muslim world.  I have seen Submission and you should too.  It’s a powerful piece of film with a strong message.  It is in English and available all over the internet.  Just a warning though, there are boobies.

                So the internet tough guys at revolutionmuslim.com have for all intensive purposes put out their own jihad against Matt and Trey because they have “insulted the prophet.”  I saw the episode and can’t really find where they insulted him.  They stated very clearly that Mohammed is the only person throughout history who is not fair game.  They followed the letter of the law(not actual laws, but the laws that some subscribe to.)  They did not in any way depict his image.  These douches obviously choose to have a literal interpretation of sharia, and not a conceptual one.  I bet they follow everything to the letter of the law, so how can they get mad for this?  Matt and Trey found a loophole.  Give them credit.

                Let’s look at these pillars of the community.  The group was started by a man named Joseph Cohen.  Yep you got that right, they were started by a self hating Jew who converted to Islam.  They follow the teachings of a man named Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical who is quoted as saying “Our way is the bullet, not the ballot.”  Good looking out “holy man.”  The same piece of crap who was convicted of soliciting the murder of Jews, Americans, Christians and Hindus.  I will give Mr. Cohen credit as he has since left the group because he felt them to be too radical.

                Now I am not here to dispute religion or God.  Personally I am a big fan of God, but not a fan of his supporters.  What I want to call into question is the way people carry out what they believe to be his will.  Man is a flawed creature, so how on earth can we really know what God’s will is?  If we do accept the believe that The Koran was written by God himself how can we know what he really meant?  The book is more than 1200 years old.  That was a long time ago.  I have trouble knowing what my wife wants most of the time and I live with her.  Also if you claim to truly know what God’s will is, having an absolute understanding of his wishes, doesn’t that make you just like God?  I’m not a religious scholar, but is that not blasphemy?  I have an idea,  if you are claiming to speak for him shouldn’t you preface your statements by saying “I’m not 100% sure but from knowing what I know, and all that I have studied, I believe in my heart that this is God’s will.  Do with it what you may.”

                While researching this blog I did go to revolutionmuslim.com but the site was down.  I did however find their blog.  These kooks do a great job of trying to convince themselves that their views are correct and without dispute, almost as if God himself wrote them.  They blame American imperialism for all the ills of the world.  The same imperialist country that gives them the freedom to be pussies from behind a keyboard.  Am I doing the same as they, sure.   But these are my feelings, beliefs and opinions.  They belong completely to me and never for a second do I say that they have the endorsement of God.  I admit whole heartedly that I have no idea what his will is.  I’m just going to try my best to be a decent person and hope when my life ends that him and I are okay.  Isn’t that the best anybody can do?

                So as of the writing of this blog, I did not see how they followed up the treatment of Mohammed.  I set my DVR for the later showing and instead of 201 I got Scrotie Mc Boogerballs.  Hopefully it will be online later and I can watch those infidel pigs and laugh my ass off.  And to the cowards at revolutionmuslim.com I have some advice for you.  If you hate this country so much buy a ticket to Iraq and behave like other “soldiers of God” have in the past.  Put down the keyboard and pick up a gun.  Walk up to the closest U.S. soldier you see with said gun and watch as he sends you to see Allah faster than you can say “Holy Shit, what the Fuck am I doing?”

Gangster or Gangsta…it’s all the same to me

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                I am Italian.  When you think of Italians, what is the one stereotype that enters everybody’s mind?  That we are all in the mob.  Well I could tell you if that were the case, the mob would be pretty damn crowded and pretty freaking powerful.  I do contend this though, if you are Italian and you live in one of the boroughs of New York City, then there is a chance you know somebody or are related to somebody who has had dealings with organized crime.  I know I sure have.

                My Mafia pedigree starts at the very beginning of La Cosa Nostra.  As a kid growing up my grandfather would tell me tales of his uncle, a man named Joe Adonis.  If you have never heard the name, Adonis was one of the founders of The National Crime Syndicate (the precursor to Cosa Nostra.)  The man’s list of misdeeds is long and distinguished.  Eventually deported along with his close friend Luck Luciano, Adonis lived a life of luxury in Milan but died of a heart attack when he was taken by Italian police for an interrogation.  My grandfather would regale me with tales of how his family led by his uncle Joey A ran Brooklyn, even roughing up Al Capone during his Brooklyn days.  Now as a kid I fell in love with these stories.  But as an adult I am not sure how involved in the mob my grandfather was, but I still have fond memories of the stories.  I know that he was not lying about his relation to Adonis though.

                As I grew up on the South Shore of Staten Island I began to notice more and more mob influence.  There was the guy who lived down the street who spent every sunny day washing his Coupe De’Ville.  Yes there was a red plastic horn and Vanillaroma air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror.  That car was MINT!.  The guy wore track suits with wife beaters under them.  The outfit was finished with loafers and gold chains with a big gold Christ’s Head on the end.  The guy never went to a job like everybody else on my street, and his house was the only one I had ever seen that had its own security cameras.

                High school saw headlines like Godfather whacked outside Sparks steakhouse.  ”Hey his name was Castellano.  I wonder if he was related to that guy in my math class who lives in a mansion on Todt Hill and has his own tennis court.  Hey where is that guy who was in my math class, he hasn’t been in school since that Don guy was shot?”  Another incident involved a body being found in the basement of Paul’s Sweet Shop in New Dorp.  “Didn’t my friend Franks parents own that place?”  The body was a of a man who took was reported to have shot at John Gotti on a Queen’s street.  There was an investigation and the police were looking for another guy who was in my English class sophomore year.  The same guy who’s father was alleged to own The infamous Ravenite Social Club.  It was the same guy who accused me of disrespecting him after I called him out in a bar for punching a girl in the bathroom because she wouldn’t blow him.  It was the same guy who would get 3 to 10 and have to pay back $14.1 million for a real estate scam that had he and his (biological) family members selling properties they really didn’t own. Real stand up guy huh?

                On Staten Island, the mob was everywhere.  I’d get calls from my cousin telling me he had just come from a BBQ on Lambert’s Lane.  He was in the backyard of a guy named Sammy The Bull.  He described it as sick and also told me that he was told not to eat all the smoked mozzarella as Mr. Gravano would get pissed.  Time eventually told what would happen when Sammy The Bull got pissed.  My cousin wasn’t a gangster, he was a stock broker; but he followed the mob like I followed The Giants.  If there were an Alphonse Persico trading card he would have surely had it.

                When I left Shaolin, I moved to the other mob haven, Howard Beach Queens.  It wasn’t planned, but sometimes life lays a path for you.  While I was there, I made friends with a woman.  She would tell me it probably wasn’t best to talk to her if I was a cop, that her family was pretty well known and not for good things.  Now in my life I had known people who talked up their families and this woman would not reveal who her family was.  I had no evidence of her O.C. (that’s Organized Crime and not Orange County)connection.  She had an Irish last name so I knew she wasn’t one of the Gottis.   Eventually she revealed to me that there was a character in a movie based on her father.  I’m not going to say which one but let’s just say I used to wonder if money from a heist of a certain German airline was still in her house.  Still can’t figure it out…Jeeze, just IMDB Robert DeNiro.

                Last week I was talking to my friend Joaquin “Jack” Garcia.  Jack’s a big guy 6’4″ 390lbs but he’s one of the nicest, most likeable humble people you will meet.  We were comparing notes about gangsters we knew in common.  Haven’t heard of Jack?  He was born in Cuba and since coming to this country he has become a New York Times bestselling author, and Benicio DelToro has signed on the play him in a movie.  Not sure how they will handle the size difference things.  He also has his own show on www.shovio.com with New York radio legend Valerie Smaldone.  Oh and by the way, Jack also has the distinction of the only FBI agent to ever be offered to be a made man.  Silly gangsters, Jack’s not even Italian. You might be saying well Joe Pistone did the same thing as Donnie Brasco, but the truth was (and not by any means am I diminishing what Pistone did) they were expecting it now making Jack’s job even harder.  

                Having grown up with the mob’s influence around me never really tempted me to enter that life.  I had what I considered a healthy admiration, but never an envy.  Gangsters to me were kind of like characters in fiction.  They weren’t real people.  They existed in real life, but their lives were not real.  They did things that were bad, horrible even.  They violated commandments and laws.  Maybe my sense of morality was too strong?  Maybe it was that when I played cops and robbers I always chose the cop?  Maybe my family connection to law enforcement was too strong?

                To look at the family I consider the opposite of my own I looked at the 60 Minutes interview of John Gotti Jr. that took place last Sunday.  I viewed the video with the intention of hating Junior.  He’s a notorious asshole and his claims that he’s left the mob behind were about as believable to me as The Octomom’s saying she just wants to be a normal mom.  But while watching something struck a chord with me.  He was talking about how he idolized his father and how he wanted to live up to the legend that was his dad.  Now my father did not make headlines like John Gotti Sr. did, but there was more than one occasion that I would see my father ride up on horseback.  His NYPD Mounted Unit uniform absolutely perfect.  His leather good polished with a shine that would rival shoes polished by Tommy DeVito.  His gold sergeant’s chevrons and gold band on his helmet stood out from the rest of his troops.  He was just a sergeant at the time, but to a twelve year old kid, he might as well been a general.  When you turn on the television and your father is leading the St. Patrick’s Day Parade down 5th Avenue and you’re not the least bit Irish, it sets a pretty lofty goal to reach.

                I did identify with Junior a bit, but there is no way I can let him off the hook.  He blames his choice of careers on the fact that he grew up in Howard Beach and that was the way the streets were.  Really Junior?  The streets of Howard Beach?  The streets of Howard Beach are some of the quietest in the whole city.  It’s also one of the first neighborhoods plowed when the snow hits the ground.  Howard Beach might be really close to East New York, but geography is the only similarity those two neighborhoods share.  Any turmoil in that neighborhood was caused by punks like you and Fat Nick Minucci.  The neighborhood is not without its charm though.  New Park Pizzeria (or Last Stop Pizzeria as I like to call it for its role in the 1986 racially motivated homicide) makes an awesome slice, one of the best I ever had.

                Junior and pretty much all gangsters share one trait in common, they are all sociopaths.  The chemistry of their brains allow them to do what normal people are not able to do, act as if heinous actions against others are okay, just because it’s their own will.  It doesn’t matter what color you are either.  Crip or Blood, Latin King, or MS-13, they’re all sociopaths and all cowards as well.  it doesn’t take much to run  with a crew of twenty knuckleheads who have the same mindset.  Try walking on your own some time.  The fact of the matter is the only people these entities provide protection to their members only from themselves.

                I have to admit I find it disturbing when people let young men in urban areas off the hook for their actions.  I often hear that dealing drugs and gangs are the only way out of the ghetto.  It’s the only way they will make money, that’s why they join.  Yeah well Italians have the same option but the overwhelming majority don’t follow in that path.  What happened to hard work?  What happened to find out what you are good at and exploiting that to the fullest?  That’s how you make money, not by swearing an oath of loyalty and having your finger pricked, not by putting on a certain color bandana.  That’s what I believe and that’s what I will tell my son should he ever seek an career in unethical pursuits.  Gangstas and gangsters cost the good people of New York and the U.S. billions of dollars every year.  Whether it’s for the salary of extra beat cop who has to walk along Pennsylvania Avenue because of increased shootings, or all the money that is paid in extortion at business who have to pass the cost on to you, or it could be for the extra money that is built into construction and waste removal by somebody who’s picture in on a blackboard in a government biulding with the word CAPO above it; it’s not about black or white it’s about green.  

                Well that’s it.  I am done with my underworld name dropping.  The reality is that I am not proud to know any of those people with the exception of Jack.  The man has heart and balls bigger than most of us can only imagine.  And if you take nothing else from this entry…don’t join a gang or the mafia.

Legalize it Already!

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                I want to start off by saying that I am not a pot smoker.  Have I smoked pot in my life…HELL YEAH!  I started experimenting in my early teens.  Then at age 15 I saw my best friend lying in a coffin having been hit by a Staten Island Rapid Transit train while walking the tracks high.  I decided I had best lay off the chiba for a bit.  Then I became a cop and it’s a big no no to partake.  It’s a lose your job kind of no no.  Then once I retired I was hanging out at a restaurant with my crazy ex wife when the manager locked the doors.  He handed me a cigarette.  I told him I didn’t smoke.  He told me it was marijuana.  I lit it up and let’s just say I didn’t feel right for the next three days.  Damn shit got stronger.  Isn’t science amazing?  Fast forward a few years and I have decided that weed is not for me.  If given the choice, I will reach for a smooth, caramel colored glass of Bourbon any day of the week.  But I am a big believer that marijuana should be legalized, and this is coming from somebody who has actively fought the war on drugs .

                There are arguments on both sides, but I have to admit that the arguments against, have some trouble holding water.  People smoke pot.  It’s a fact.  There is a market for it.  The government is missing out on an amazing opportunity to make some easy money.  Now I probably won’t bring anything new to the argument.  It’s a battle that has been waged over and over again.  But let me ask this though, isn’t it about time a politician actually comes out and says they are in favor of marijuana law reform?  Can’t somebody with a progressive mindset say they are in favor of legalization and not come off like a kook?  And most important they would have to be a Republican (which is highly unlikely) or a Democrat.  Ralph Nader ensured us that a third party candidate is not viable on any national platform.  Besides, the Marijuana Reform party basically holds the same credibility as the Communist Party.

                At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, my theory is that there are too many powerful forces at work to prevent this and even if there was a candidate who came out with a platform of legalization it would be too easy to paint a picture of that person as a hippie, and we know that there are two types of people who hate hippies…Eric Cartman, and true blooded Americans.

                If it were legalized there would be entities with lots to lose.  The pharmaceutical companies for one would lose out on big bucks.  People reach for the pill of the month to cure anxiety, depression, compulsive behavior.  There is strong evidence that in certain cases weed cures those ailments.  There is also strong evidence that it can cause those conditions as well.  My theory is that for some people it is very good, for others their body chemistry is just not suited to be smokers.   I have a friend who suffers from bi-polar disorder and he takes 30 separate pills a day.  He said none of them give him the same positive effects as lighting up a big fat spliff.

                I also can’t see liquor companies being too happy about the allowance of weed.  Some folks not wanting to violate the law would reach for a boll as opposed to a bottle.  I’m thinking tobacco companies won’t be too happy about it either as when you really think about it, there is only so much smoke you can put into your body in a single day.  The stuff can be grown pretty much anywhere and under many different environments, and it’s just plain aggressive.  There is a reason they call it weed.

                Now I am by no means saying to lift the prohibition and let the inmates run the asylum, by no means.  We do a pretty good job of regulating alcohol production, we can do the same with pot.  You can’t just grow it, you would need a permit to grow and sell it.  In addition there would be a hefty tax on it.  People are willing to shell out $40 for a good bottle of wine, what about $40 for some quality hydro?  If we look at things objectively we are willing to pay close to a trillion dollars to bail out corrupt financial institutions who acted unethically but yet we turn up our noses at a revenue stream that many people want.  If put to a popular vote, I bet marijuana law reform passes a hell of a lot easier than any one on gay marriage.

                Now we all know what will happen the second it’s legal and available.  People are going to act like assholes.  It’s a fact that when given too much freedom Americans act like assholes.  People would be abusing the stuff just because they can.  There would be an increase of accidents initially.  People would show up to work high as opposed to hung over.  You wouldn’t be able to find a frozen pizza or a copy of Pink Floyd The Wall anywhere.  Once the novelty of finally being allowed to smoke is gone we just might settle down and behave like human beings.  It’s not a quick process, but then again when is real change ever quick?

                 I know I am not the only law enforcement officer (current or past) who shares this belief.  I do know that most that I know felt weed collars were a big of a waste of time and money.  I mean you have to compare US crime statistics to Amsterdam.  They are 1/10 of what they are here.  How can you deny that?  Look at one of the most legendary crime figures in the country, Al Capone.  Would he have been the same folk hero if had it not been for prohibition?

                Like I stated earlier, I am not brining any new arguments to the table.  I am fully aware of this; but I feel it bears stating.  Hell I am not even a smoker.  If it were legal, I admit I will probably partake just to have a lost weekend some time.  It’s like a vacation without ever leaving home.  Don’t worry I’ll send the baby to grandma’s.  Unfortunately I can’t see any of the old white men in power pulling the ripcord on a hemp parachute any time soon.  They just have too much to lose in the wallet and reputation department.

The Joke is not so Funny Anymore

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                Sorry it’s been so long since my last entry.  I came down with a severe case of writer’s baby.  If you have never heard of the condition, it occurs when you sit down on your couch, pick up your laptop and formulate two coherent sentences.   As soon as you start the third one a toddler is grabbing you by your index finger and leading you to the kitchen to show you how he took everything out of your silverware drawer and put it in the garbage pail.  He is so incredibly helpful.

                So I wanted to write about an incredibly historic day in one of everybody’s least favorite urban neighborhoods.  Yesterday Sharpe James was sent home from The FCI Petersburg Low.  Never heard of it, well you can see a lovely photo of it on the Federal Bureau of Prison’s website.  If you’re not from these parts you might not know the name of Sharpe James.  James was the mayor of Newark, New Jersey  who was indicted on 25 criminal charges ranging from mail fraud (never fuck with the mail,) wire fraud and conspiracy.  He was convicted on five and sentenced to 27 months.  The man was legendary in The NYC metro area.  He was mayor for 20 years.  In addition he was also a state senator of New Jersey for ten of those years.    Wait a second, hold the phone.  He  held two elected posts at the same time?  Hmm, I’m thinking I might be able to hold two elected posts at the same time.  The first being P.T.A. president, while at the same time being the North East Chairman of The Justin Bieber Fan Club.  Not the mayor for the 65th largest city in the country, and a senator for an entire district as well.  If we look at James’ laundry list indiscretions we see a modern day Boss Tweed without the cool middle name of Marcy, oh and without the results as well.  Tweed was corrupt, maybe the most corrupt but in between stealing millions he did accomplish a good deed or two.

                So with James now out (and finishing out his term in a half way house) if he ever goes back to the scene of his crimes he will see a very different Newark than the one he sucked dry.  Newark had always been a joke of a city.  It is the largest city in the metro area that is not one of the five boroughs.  From as long as I can remember it has always been straight up ghetto, but a second rate one at that.  Nobody swelled with pride to say they were” representin Brick City.”  Not like you would if you were from Jamaica, or Brownsville which had the nickname of A Square Mile of Death.  When you hailed from East New York, you could brag that the Seven Five Precinct had more murders than most of the cities in America.  Growing up, the joke was that Newark was so crappy that even the airport didn’t want to be there.  This stems from the fact that Newark Liberty Airport is actually in Elizabeth, New Jersey and not Newark.

                Then all of a sudden something changed.  The laughter just stopped.  Well actually it wasn’t sudden, but I remember waking up one day and saying to myself “Is Newark a respectable city now?”  The fact of the matter is that Newark will never be confused with the Upper West Side, but you cannot deny that the place has made huge strides to becoming a place where people don’t have to cower in shame when they say they come from it.  If you have to put your finger on what the biggest factor for that change it’s pretty obvious that it all falls on the lap of one man, Cory Booker.

                Now when I say that Cory Booker is responsible for the turnaround I should really say that it falls on the backs of Booker and the men and women who serve under him.  But what I can pin squarely on the shoulders of Booker is that he allowed those people to do their respective jobs.  I’ve seen firsthand what a mayor can actively do to reduce crime.  I was hired as a police officer under David Dinkins.  Whenever the shit hit the fan we were told that angry mobs just need to vent.  Really?  A group of heated up idiots taking to the streets to behave lawlessly is an entity that should be allowed to exist?  Is it any wonder that Dinkins held the distinction of being the mayor who had the highest murder rates on his watch.  This is not  joke, just look at videos of The Crown Heights Riots.  Under St. Rudy (I’m not a fan, but you can’t argue with his results) the amount of murders dropped to the lowest levels in forty years.  Booker seems to have charted a course for the same results.

                Newark hit a milestone last week by going thirty eight consecutive days with without a single murder.  Now this is just plain amazing.  Cory Booker and his cops have managed to not have anybody killed intentionally by another person for more than a month.  But at the same time I think about it, is it that big of an accomplishment to not kill?  I’ve gone 39 years without killing, using this logic shouldn’t the media be covering my every step then?  I’m not a bible scholar, nor am I that religious but I wholeheartedly understand the commandment Thou Shall Not Kill.   There are times I’d like to violate it, but I don’t.

                So I would like to congratulate Mayor Booker and the entire Newark Police Department for reaching their milestone. I mean they do have a former brilliant NYPD guy in Garry McCarthy at the helm calling the shots.   Most of all I would like to congratulate the citizens of Newark, New Jersey for behaving like human beings for a short period of time.  Stay Classy Newark, Stay Classy!