Monthly Archives: March 2015

New Addition To Our Family

Introducing Montague D’Ysquith Capuano III. Monty is 14 weeks old and hails from Sherman, CT. He is a pure bred English Springer Spaniel and the son of champions. His father Champion Jesse James, won Best in Breed at Westminster. His grandfather won Best in Show. He has been such a well behaved puppy, I couldn’t be more pleased. Our family just adores him.Monty1Monty2Monty4

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They Behead Victims, Yet Cornell Would Welcome Them Anyway

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Let me tell you this. Some people JUST DON’T GET IT! ISIS cuts the heads of their victims, yet there are still people who simply refuse to call them evil. There are still people who suggest that they are “freedom fighters”. Take, for example, the Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido. In a NY Post undercover interview, Mr Scaffido said,

“The university is not going to look at different groups and say, ‘You’re not allowed to support that group because we don’t believe them’ or something like that. I think it’s just the opposite. I think the university wants the entire community to understand what’s going on in all parts of the world,”

ISIS cuts people’s heads off Mr. Scaffido. I think it’s fair to say Cornell wouldn’t be wrong in saying they don’t support them. This is the type of indoctrination our college age students are receiving. It’s sickening, it’s sad, and it’s why people like President Obama get elected. But hey, I’m just a cop.

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Feathers, Feathers Everywhere!

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Let me tell you this. Nature is truly awe inspiring! A few posts back I shared some pictures of the foxes that made a den under our front porch. In a few weeks the kits will venture out from the den and begin playing; pouncing on one another, as they did last spring. I am truly blessed to live where nature is very prominent. We have foxes, deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and a plethora of birds, and today I was about to meet a new one!

Since retiring, I’ve had the luxury of observing nature where I live for hours at a time, usually taking long strolls. Well, about two weeks ago, I decided I’d start bird watching, or birding as it is otherwise known. My son and I went to a bird store, purchased a feeder, a post, some food, and a book called “Birds of New York“. Well, my son and I have spent some quality time searching for new birds to identify as we take hikes around the island. It’s been a great way to get some exercise and spark his interest in wildlife. He’s developed a keen eye, and is simply overjoyed when he spots a bird we haven’t seen before. I highly recommend it for introducing children to nature.

I also would like to add that, for me at least, watching birds at my feeder is very relaxing. Between my son and I, we have identified black-capped chickadees, purple finches, American goldfinches, white-breasted nuthatches, tufted titmouses, and red-bellied woodpeckers to just name a few. Also, all of those types of birds are daily visitors to the bird feeder in our front yard. Believe it or not, I’ve even been able to get the chickadees to take seeds from my hands! It’s quite a feeling to have a wild bird land in your hand, move his head from side to side while he looks you in the eye, take a seed, and eat it in a nearby tree! I’ve grown quite fond of the company my feathery friends provide as they feast at my feeder and I enjoy my morning cigar. Well, this morning I identified yet another avian compatriot of New York and Long Island; the sharp-shinned hawk!

It was like any other morning on my front porch: I was enjoying a cigar, a cup of coffee, and I was watching the birds gorging on bird seed. The squirrel was sitting on the squirrel feeder, eating a peanut, then opening the lid to get another. Suddenly, the squirrel took off like a thoroughbred race horse out of the gate! He ran across the road to his tree, and ran up it like a rocket! A few birds took off, but the ones in the caged feeder (it keeps the larger, annoying birds like starlings and crows from devouring the seed) stayed put. Then it happened: out of seemingly no where, I saw a larger bird chasing a chickadee! To be more accurate, I HEARD the larger bird before I actually SAW it, it’s feathers loudly ruffling as it twisted and turned. The smaller bird zigged and zagged in and out of a few trees, the larger bird on it’s tail mimicking it’s every movement! I watched as feathers flew from both birds, and it seemed as though the larger bird was about to catch it’s prey, and then: just like that, the larger bird flew up high in a tree, it’s energy spent.

I fumbled for my binoculars, knocking my cigar off it’s perch and onto the porch floor. I scanned the tree, and observed the larger bird, hoping to later look it up in my book. It’s beak was curved, and I immediately thought it, “this must be that hawk I’ve seen gliding above.” I had seen this bird floating on the air high above several times, but by the time I found my binoculars, it had always floated away in. It had bright yellow eyes, and a golden chest. Most of it’s body was gray, except for the chest. It’s sharp claws were yellow as well, and it turned it’s head from side to side a few times, then off it went.

I immediately dove for my bird book! I searched the index for hawks, and found that there were four hawks native to New York. The first one listed was the broad-winged hawk. I looked at the picture in the book, and it didn’t look familiar. It was also listed as 14-19 inches, and that was a little too big for the one I saw. Next was Cooper’s hawk. This one could be it, but again, the size of 14-20 inches seemed too big. I looked up the next one; red-tailed hawk. I immediately disqualified this hawk since it was even larger at 19-25 inches. I anxiously checked the last hawk, the sharp-shinned hawk. “Very similar to the Cooper’s hawk, only smaller.” BINGO! That was the bird I saw!

I read the description, and the book said it was a common backyard hawk that often swooped in on birds eating at feeders. Such a sneak! I have to say, it was pretty amazing to watch the encounter, and it felt good observing the bird for a minute then looking it up in the bird book. I am happy that the hawk didn’t catch the chickadee, but hey, that’s nature. I’m sure the hawk spends a lot less time hungry than the fox does, since it has not only an ample supply of prey, but also the means to catch it. It made me think how it must feel to be in the wild, one minute enjoying a fine meal of easily obtained seed, and the next fleeing for your life with your predator not inches away! Watching all that energy being spent trying to catch food made me hungry, so I went inside and dined on a delicious piece of veal. I didn’t even have to catch it! But hey, I’m just a cop.

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***UPDATE: When I got home this evening, the fox had just caught and killed a squirrel.

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When Thugs Become Martyrs And Cops Are Vilified

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Let me tell you this. That is the helmet of the 32 year old police officer who was shot in the cheek at a protest over the Michael Brown incident. Michael Brown was a thug, a criminal, and a goon. It really is as simple as that. Police Officer Darren Wilson, the officer who’s encounter with him has become infamous, was just another police officer doing his job. Had Officer Wilson not defended himself in the matter in which he did, he very well could have end up shot, just like the officer who’s helmet is pictured about. What has erupted in the wake of the encounter between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson is nothing short of sheer lunacy because the actions of Officer Wilson were completely justified. In fact, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice’s investigation of Officer Wilson concluded:

“Witness accounts suggesting that Brown was standing still with his hands raised in an unambiguous signal of surrender when Wilson shot Brown are inconsistent with the physical evidence, are otherwise not credible because of internal inconsistencies, or are not credible because of inconsistencies with other credible evidence. In contrast, Wilson’s account of Brown’s actions, if true, would establish that the shootings were not objectively unreasonable under the relevant Constitutional standards governing an officer’s use of deadly force. Multiple credible witnesses corroborate virtually every material aspect of Wilson’s account and are consistent with the physical evidence.”

So, what in God’s name are people protesting about in Michael Brown’s name? The problem is thugs are being held up as martyrs, and police officers are being painted as maniacal assassins, out to kill African Americans without cause. I am not here to debate whether or not African Americans are profiled and unjustly targeted for persecution by police. Whether or not that is the case, and I strongly believe it is not, it really is irrelevant in the Michael Brown case. Michael Brown was not unjustly targeted for slaying by the police, he attacked a police officer. For that reason, and that reason alone, he was shot and subsequently killed. What were the actions of the two police officers that were shot in the early morning of March 12, 2015? They were protecting the public and simply doing their jobs, yet according to protesters, Michael Brown is the hero and the police have become the villains.

Immediately following the shooting of the two officers, a voice can be heard saying, “Acknowledgement nine months ago would’ve kept that from happenin’!” Acknowledgment of what? What is this person saying? Criminals are to be given free reign to do as they please? Police should allow them do whatever they wish, including assaulting police? If the sentiment expressed in that moment of horror was unique to the animal who said, it wouldn’t be so scary, but it’s not! That sentiment was just one single protester, but it seems to echo the thoughts of everyone there. What is wrong with people? How can they be so ignorant, so callous, so imperceptive? It boggles my mind just thinking about it!

Then I think back to the actions of President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder, and I can understand why people are protesting: they feel justified. Prior to the release of the DOJ’s investigation, President Obama was quick to speak of the death of Michael Brown, calling it “heartbreaking”. Those were his words regarding a man who savagely attacked a police officer. Where were his words of support for Officer Wilson? Officer Wilson who sustained injuries at the hands of Michael Brown. Officer Wilson who was put into the horrific position of deciding whether or not to take another human being’s life. What about Officer Wilson Mr President? Nothing, not a word of support for the police officer. When you fail to support Officer Wilson Mr President, you fail to support the men and women all across the country who put on their uniforms each and every day to protect and to  serve the nation, and those very protesters.

Attorney General Holder was likewise quick to call for action. In his statement he said, “The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review.” Well Mr Holder, you’ve conducted your “fulsome review”, and what were the results? Officer Wilson’s actions and subsequent shooting of Michael Brown were all justified. Where is your show of support for him? There is none. Not only do you fail to vindicate Officer Wilson, you state the Department of Justice is prepared’ to dismantle Ferguson Police Dept. if ‘necessary’. Well, let me just say that I agree with the NY Post’s assessment that said report is BOGUS!

Most police officers don’t consider themselves heroes, they just want to do their jobs. They just want to enforce the laws that society has entrusted them to uphold. Those two officers shot the other morning, and the thousands of police officers throughout this country, are not the enemy. The enemy are those people who assault, shoot and assassinate police officers. Those who encourage such behavior are not decent human beings either. No decent human being would condone such egregious behavior. There have been calls for police to “stop policing African American communities” and to “let African Americans police themselves since they hate police so much”. Such statements are just as nonsensical as the notion that African Americans are targeted for assassinations by police. There are millions of good, law abiding African Americans in the United States, who deserve the same protection as everyone else, and denying them that protection is out of order. We have to start holding INDIVIDUALS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, and stop blaming everyone else, especially the police, for the results of ruthless, lawless behavior. The people protesting in the name of Michael Brown really should find a better martyr. But hey, I’m just a cop.

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Feel Like Sayin’ Foxy, Foxy Foxy Lady!

Yesterday morning, I came outside my front porch, and saw tiny footprints in the snow on the porch.

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So of course, I walked to the end of the porch, where the ramp was….

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And sure enough, a little place under the ramp had been dug out.

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Last spring, a pair of foxes made a den and had kits. Two to be exact.

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They were absolutely adorable! One was a little nervous, and the other was very brazen. I used to look for them every morning. Well, the two foxes that made their den this winter under the ramp were staying close to the house this morning. I took a picture of the both of them, and they ran away.

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Then about five minutes later, one came out from my backyard, and poked it’s head in front of my car.

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Foxes truly are magnificent looking animals, and the pictures don’t due them justice. Prior to their arrival, there were a lot of mice, and even some rats around our neighborhood, but after these guys came to town, we haven’t seen a mouse or a rat anywhere. I’m happy to share our home with these beautiful creatures, and I appreciate the rodent removal service they provide. I can’t wait to see the kits this spring!

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Sticks And Stone May Break Your Bones, But Words, And Different Opinions, Will Never Harm You

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Let me tell you this. I created a Facebook page for Imjustacop.com, and today I received my first vitriolic comment. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and frankly, I am a bit surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Someone who had previously liked the post in question came to my defense, but sadly was only slightly less caustic. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am certainly grateful that someone supported me, I am just saddened at the lack of civility between people of different ideologies.

It has never been more apparent that the divide between the left and the right seems to grow wider each and every day. As I’ve said before, just because someone is extremely passionate about their beliefs, does not mean he can’t be civil. I am very passionate, and sometimes people take that as a sign of close mindedness, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I love to hear opposing views, because it is only through the open and free exchange of thoughts, opinions, and different perspectives that one can truly educate oneself. If you exclusively converse and interact with people of like minds, you limit your intake of knowledge. The problem is it appears people have become so very intolerant of opposing views, and that isn’t good. The internet is infamous for such behavior.

I frequent many political websites, and I am an avid reader of comments, and I see it all the time: people spewing venom at others for no other reason than simply because those people hold opposing views. It’s on both political sides too, no side is innocent. What is to be gained by behaving so childish? When you stoop to the level of someone behaving like a cretin, you demean yourself. Whenever a person distracts from the point at hand, and resorts to attacking someone personally, he weakens his position. If you disagree, and can’t seem to prove your point, why not just say, “Let’s agree to disagree?” I completely understand how the Internet can embolden people. Sitting at one’s computer, typing a response rather than looking someone in the eye face to face, creates a false bravado in many people. I call it “Internet muscles” and people who bully others online “Internet tough guys”. People feel secure sitting behind a monitor, a security easily lost when debating in person. But while the Internet certainly can induce rude behavior, such behavior is hardly unique to the Internet.

I realize the frustration of not being able to convince someone of what you believe to be the stronger position, but what I don’t understand is the frequent animosity that follows. The United States was founded on liberty and the right to free speech. Liberty gives us the right to hold an opinion, and free speech grants us the right to speak said opinion without fear of reprisal. Yet that notion has become lost on so many people. I believe that political correctness plays no small part in this.

Political correctness smothers that liberty, and it gags free speech. People now give priority to feelings rather than the founding principles of our country, and that, in my view, is wrong. I believe it does more harm than good. I am all for politeness and proper social etiquette, but when all is said and done, I am a very strong advocate of the old children’s rhyme “sticks and bones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” It very well may be that in protecting society’s feelings for so long, we have weakened its tolerance, and hence when someone’s feelings get hurt by an opposing view, they lash out. People hold their tongues in fear of offending someone, and that appears to have removed society’s ability to simply disagree.

I certainly don’t have the answer. I wish I did. I can’t stand the fact that people can’t seem to rationally debate. I don’t like that politics has become so stagnated by obstruction, and that neither side tries much for diplomacy. Politicians don’t debate anymore, they repudiate one another. I am all for grandstanding, and I am guilty of it myself. Catchy headlines and coming on strong usually has the effect of grabbing people’s attention, and motivating them to engage in dialogue. But once that dialogue is initiated, normal social etiquette should be followed. Bitter rants, angry raves and heated rancor have no place in a debate. If society can’t tolerate a simple difference of opinion, how can it ever expect to persevere? So the next time someone “pisses you off” because you can’t seem to get your point across to them, try to take the high road. Try to remain magnanimous. It will increase your chance of success, certainly more than calling him an idiot. But hey, I’m just a cop.

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