Monthly Archives: January 2015

Is Common Core Nothing More Than Common Trash?

Let me tell you this. I’ve heard more people trash Common Core than defend it. In fact, I’d say about 85% of the time I hear people discussing Common Core, it’s to complain. Every time I do my son’s homework with him, and it’s Common Core related, I have to admit, I’m never impressed. It’s hard to put my finger on it specifically, and I have to do some research, but I thought it was pretty surprising to read this article in the Washington Post.

What happens when the Common Core becomes less … common?

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It’s Official: Bergdahl Trade Was As Idiotic As Most Thought

Let me tell you this. SHOCKING: One of the detainees traded for suspected deserter Sgt Bergdahl Taliban is suspected of reaching out to Taliban associates in Afghanistan. Raise your hand if you are surprised. Add this to the list of “arguably moronic” things President Obama has done during his time as President. This trade was absolutely ludicrous. I’d love to hear from someone with an opposing view on this one.

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Crime Does Pay In NYC

Let me tell you this. A man menaces cops with a machete, and gets shot. He then sues the city for three million dollars, and the city just gives him $5000 to settle it. I understand that the city believes that it will cost more money in the long run going to court over this, and I won’t even dispute that. I just can not stand the premise this sets. How many people, having seen this, will now sue the city for all sorts of complete nonsense. I also don’t like it one bit on principle. alone.  I am not sure what criteria must be met for a judge to throw a case out of court, but this sure sounds like one that should have been tossed! Any lawyers out there who can let us know what the criteria is for a judge to through out a case?

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Bureaucratic Bull!

Let me tell you this. I don’t even know where to start with this one!

Police stop teens seeking snow shoveling work

So, let’s review. Two high school seniors who were off from school because of the recent blizzard, decided to earn some extra cash by shoveling snow. Someone calls the police because they see a “suspicious person” with curly blond hair and a hoodie who was walking through yards”. I guess the fact that he was carrying a snow shovel didn’t ease this person’s suspicion. The police respond, as they must, and inform the two young men that “In this borough, anyone selling goods and services door to door must apply for a license that can cost as much as $450 for permission that is valid for only 180 days.” Now, let me be the first to say, the police did nothing wrong in my view. It’s their jobs to respond to calls of “suspicious persons”. I just think part of the bigger problem here is that society has removed discretion from it’s vernacular. People no longer have the luxury of judging each situation on a case by case basis, but rather have to simply defer to “following the rules”. Additionally, I think a $450 fee to sell things door to door is yet another example of an overreaching, greedy government. Why does the government need to make money off of every single iota of entrepreneurship? What drives me INSANE is when I hear people call corporations “greedy”. Corporations are created TO MAKE MONEY. It’s what they do. It’s not greed, it’s their sole purpose. The government, on the other hand, is supposed to work for the people, not tax them to oblivion. What do you folks think?

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It Is Better To Be Safe Than Sorry… I Guess

Let me tell you this.

In 1912 The James A. Farley Post Office Building was built, and it is the main post office building in New York City. It is famous for an inscription that reads:

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

The origin of the phrase however, goes back considerably further than 1912. It was translated by a Harvard Professor, George Herbert Palmer, from an ancient Greek work of Herodotus describing the Persian system of mounted postal carriers circa 500 B.C. That inscription read:

“It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.

Fast forward to January 27, 2015 and you will find on the United States Postal Service Website a service alert informing the public that mail delivery was cancelled in the listed areas. Included was Western Nassau, where I live. My driveway had about six inches of snow, and the roads where I live have all been plowed since the early morning.

Now let me begin by saying I am not stupid. I understand completely why the Governor of NY, Andrew Cuomo, issued a “travel ban on all state and local roads in thirteen downstate counties”, my home county of Nassau included. It should be obvious that the liability of not doing so could cost the state millions in lawsuit payments should someone venture on a road and have an accident, get stranded, or one of the countless other reasons why people sue the state. I get it. I just don’t like it.

I don’t like my perception that our society is becoming weak and fragile. I don’t like my perception that our society is full of individuals who no longer take responsibility for their actions, but instead constantly seek to blame others or society as a whole. I don’t like my perception that society no longer looks to themselves, close friends, and family to solve their problems, but rather to the government. In short, I just don’t like many of the perceptions I have of our modern society.

Where is the rugged self-reliance that contributed to this country’s greatness? How many people today do you think would pack up their belongings in a car, and move somewhere that had hostile inhabitants, wild animals, extreme harsh weather and no food or shelter waiting when they arrived? I’d venture to say, not many.

What happened to the pride people used to have, not only in themselves, but in their families, their friends, and their careers? I see a society where people dress ridiculously, and act just as bad, if not worse. They have children out of wedlock without a second thought; they lie, cheat, steal, and not only from friends, but family as well. For every one competent person I see working, there are ten who can’t even perform their jobs. Gone are the days of the uniformed elevator man, who, by today’s standards, had a very menial, boring and unglamorous job, yet acted as though he was guardian of the highest dignitaries of society.

Many people constantly look to assign blame for their own actions. Contacting a lawyer to initiate a lawsuit has become as commonplace as a family going to church once was. While it is fair to say that the accountability forced by fear of lawsuits has made the country safer in many regards, it has also made for a society that is in constant fear of getting sued. I remember cutting my foot on glass at a hotel pool once when I was young. Apparently some teenagers where drinking beer the night before and a bottle had been broken poolside. My younger brother and I were in the pool before it was officially open, and I cut my foot jumping into the pool. The owner of the hotel apologized profusely. He paid for a doctor to remove the glass, and gave us a room for free for the remainder of our stay. My grandfather, who had taken my brother and I on the vacation, was very grateful, and that was the end of it. What do you think would most likely happen today if a 10 year old cut his foot on glass from a broken beer bottle at a hotel pool?

Finally, I just don’t like the sense of entitlement people seem to have these days. Everyone seems to want something from the government, either not comprehending that something from the government isn’t “free”, or simply not caring that it isn’t. It is my belief that a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” as Abe Lincoln said, should strive to do things that benefit all of society, not individuals. Because when individuals begin to look to their government for basic needs, they tend to stop trying to provide for themselves.

I understand the notion of “better safe than sorry”. I am just not certain that society isn’t becoming “too safe” and that “we’ll be sorry” because of it.

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Last Roll Call

Let me tell you this.

While I officially retired on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, today at 1345 hrs (that’s 1:45 PM for non-military time folks) I will stand my “Last Roll Call” as a Port Authority Police Officer. It will be bittersweet.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with how most police departments work, a roll call is generally held fifteen minutes prior to an officer’s work shift. So the roll call for officers working from 2-10 PM would be at 1:45 PM. Officers stand in a line facing the patrol sergeant and tour commander, most often a lieutenant. The sergeant and the lieutenant face the line of officers, and the sergeant reads each officer’s name. The officer usually says “Present”, or “Here”, and then the sergeant will give the officer his or her assigned post for the day. After attendance has been taken and the post assignments given out, the sergeant will then read important information from the “roll call clipboard”. This information varies greatly. It can be the delightful news of an officer’s wife giving birth, the mundane announcement of some new procedure being implemented, or the tragic death notification of a fellow officer. The mood of roll call, often dictated by this information, can range from lighthearted and humorous, to very serious and grave. It is a fundamental part of most police officers careers, and it establishes a sense of camaraderie, routine, and a procedure for divulging information. Today will be the last time I stand in uniform at a roll call.

For the past twenty-one years, I have had the honor and privilege to wear the uniform of the Port Authority Police Department. During the course of a career spanning just over two decades, my duties have varied. I have guarded a Fabergé egg, and yes it was gorgeous. I have protected dignitaries such as President GW Bush, President Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, and a Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, just to name a few. I have rendered aid to injured and sick people in need, performing CPR numerous times. I have responded to hundreds of car accidents, been involved in more than a few high speed chases, directed traffic more times than I count, and have spent countless hours on patrol, doing my part to keep the community safe. I have handled pounds of narcotics, inventoried property from suicide victims, and deposited thousands of confiscated drug dollars. I, along with all the members of my department, had to deal with the events of September 11, 2001 on a personal level unimaginable by most people. All things considered, I like to think I’ve had a good run.

I would like to thank my fellow police officers: I couldn’t have done my job without your help. I would like to thank my supervisors: when it was good, it was inspirational. Finally, I would like to thank the Port Authority of NY & NJ: you have generously given me a career I can look back on with pride. No agency is perfect, and the Port Authority is no exception, but they have provided for me and my family, and for that I am eternally grateful. Over twenty years ago, a young man in his twenties, with no real plan for his life, happened to take a police test. He passed that test, and became a police officer. He has never been, nor will he ever be, the same since.

Police Officer Capuano, present for the final time.

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Passionate Does Not Mean Close-minded

Let me tell you this.

My first “official” post. Where does one begin? Well, let me start by saying thank you for coming to my new website. I realize that I am but one of millions, and I appreciate that you have taken the interest to come see what I have to say.

Those of you who know me, know that I am very passionate about my beliefs. I try very hard not to comment about things I am do not know much about, but the flip side of that is when I do comment about something I know about, I may come across as close-minded. I assure you I am not close minded. Passionate does not mean close-minded. Passionate means deep-rooted. Passionate means well researched. Passionate means well thought out. Simply because I have invested time in formulating my position, does mean I am not willing to hear an opposing view. It does mean that the onus is on you to convince me that your view is the better way of looking at things. If you can’t do that, don’t get frustrated, angry with me, or simple disengage. Think, profoundly, about what I have said. Ponder on your position. Then decide if perhaps what I am saying may be correct, or if you want to do a little more research.

The world is too polarized today. People have become too intolerant of opposing views, and it appears as though many are not interested in listening anymore. This is not a good thing. When people discredit what others have to say simply because it is not concurrent with their way of thinking, they limit their ability to learn. Education, learning, involves hearing all sides of a position unbiasedly, weighing all facts, all opinions, and then deciding for yourself what you believe is most accurate. That is not possible when you refuse to entertain something you may not like to hear.

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