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My only comment on the Zimmerman case...

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Jul 14, 2013 9:40 AM
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As someone who spent a career in law enforcement I believe that my colleagues and I are a little more qualified to speak on the Zimmerman case than most. Herewith is my one and only comment on the matter:

George Zimmerman caused this chain of events. I don't know if he's a racist but I do know he's the worst kind of "neighborhood watch" person, the wannabe cop. I know that a police dispatcher suggested to him that he shouldn't follow Trayvon Martin; suggested mind you as, despite the internet hysteria to the contrary, a police dispatcher has no authority to order you to do anything. (The fact that many of the very same people suggesting he failed to follow the "orders" of the dispatcher also believe a police officer can't "order" you to do anything is another story) Zimmerman should have stayed in the vehicle and this incident doesn't happen. But it's also fair to say that during the 4 minutes Mr. Martin alluded Zimmerman he could have gone straight to his father's house and this incident doesn't happen.

What George Zimmerman did was stupid but was it criminal? A jury says no. However, a conviction of manslaughter would have been equally appropriate as an acquittal. That's how close a line I think there was here on that issue. I'd guess the jury threw out the murder charge quickly. It was a horrible overreach by the prosecution. On the manslaughter charge I'd say the jury spent the most time but didn't get to, "beyond a reasonable doubt" in their eyes. I know I wouldn't have wanted to be on that jury. Like it or not, putting your hysteria aside, the system worked. I could easily have said the same if a conviction on manslaughter came back. Rest assured those of you unsatisfied by the verdict there will be a civil rights charge by the DOJ and that is the worst travesty of justice.

The final word: I am heartbroken for the parents of Trayvon Martin. No parent should have to bury a child and they are deserving of all our sympathies. But the facts are that during the next month, while you all obsess about this verdict, dozens of young men of color will die at the hands of other young men of color. That is an outrage worthy of media attention and the likes of the Sharptons and Jacksons. An outrage that never quite gets there...

 

(Racist responses will be deleted along with any connection between us)

 

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I have no "gay" friends...

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Jun 30, 2013 7:02 PM
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Yes, you read that right. I have no gay friends. I do have some friends who happen to be gay but I'd no sooner refer to them as, "my gay friend so and so" than I would describe someone as my straight friend; or white friend; or black friend; or single friend... You get the idea. I just wanted to say, on the day of the NYC Pride Parade, that if you think a LGBT person has no right to the same privileges and to be protected by the same laws as you simply because you interpret the Bible in a particular way you're not much better than those who kill because they think the Koran tells them to. And to my friends who happen to be gay I wish you all the pride of the day....
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Our Laws, like them or not...

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Apr 22, 2013 2:20 PM
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Lord knows I hate being in a position where I'm defending the Obama Administration but already the wolves are howling at the administrations decision not to treat the remaining Boston Marathon Bomber as an "enemy combatant." Like it or not folks he is a naturalized US citizen entitled to the protection of the laws of our country. And hopefully as well subject to the penalties of that law including the death penalty as he surely deserves it. No one was screaming "enemy combatant" after the arrests in the Oklahoma Bombing in 1995. Think about this people, do you want the government deciding which of us gets to be protected by the constitution and which of us don't? Because that's exactly what you're asking be done here. The public safety exception was used regarding Miranda, rightfully so, but at some point because he is a US citizen his constitutional rights MUST apply.

Because if we've gotten to the point of selecting which citizens get those protections and which don't the terrorists have already won...

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Why?

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Apr 19, 2013 9:56 AM
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“WhyWhyWhyWhyWhyWhy...”

Such was a post on Facebook the other day by a very good friend of mine. We’re very close, she’s like a little sister, but our politics couldn’t be further apart; so much so that we usually refrain from any political discourse.

But the question or questions do need to be answered.

I watched as little of the coverage of the terrorist attack in Boston Monday as I could. Although thankfully in much smaller scope than 9-11 the images brought back painful memories I didn’t really want to relive. Of course being a retired member of the NYPD as well as an active member of both the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club and TH3 Fraternal Organization afforded me little respite as I first had to make sure my Boston brothers and sisters were okay and then had to deal with my friends checking to make sure that I was okay mentally. (For that I thank you all) I tried my best to ignore the coverage even accepting an invite from one of my club brothers to attend the Nets-Wizards game at the Barclay’s Center here in Brooklyn. The wisdom of attending a public sporting event called into question by my fiancé and with good reason. It was a bit surreal and I couldn’t actually focus much on the game especially with the suite we were in streaming FOX and CNN news.

So on to the answers, in no particular order.

Why? Because there are people in the world that hate us and our way of life and no amount of aid and nice words will ever change that.

Why? Because the very freedoms that make this the greatest country on the planet intimidate those who rule by fear and repression.

Why? Because instead of insisting that those who come to this country assimilate as millions of other immigrants have before them we have gutted our way of life to conform to theirs.

Why? Because as long as we pretend that making a healthy employable woman pay for her own contraception is a “war on women” while we ignore the killings, mutilations and rapes of women around the globe who only want the chances American women have for a safe and happy life we’re missing the point.                

Why? Because when the terrorists are Islamic extremists they are so utterly violent that the majority of Muslims remain silent or complicit in order to survive.

Why? Because four Americans were killed in Benghazi and we did nothing to prevent their deaths or bring to justice those who killed them. Instead we covered it up for an election.

Why? Because the media acts as a propaganda wing of the current US Administration covering only what the government deems reportable.

Why? Because when a respected reporter like Bob Woodward, a reporter that just about every current reporter alive went to journalism school wanting to be, calls out the White House for bullying him into killing a story those same reporters turn on him without a moment’s hesitation.

Why? Because we think disarming law abiding people will somehow protect us from criminals, terrorists and the violently mentally ill.

Why? Because we went around the world apologizing for things we needed to do to keep us safe and bring freedom to those oppressed.

Why indeed…






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Nero fiddled while Rome burned....

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Feb 8, 2013 5:52 AM
Wile E



Tonight we continue our series entitled, "Will a Liberal Explain Why This is Okay?" (I expect the usual crickets) During his testimony at a Congressional Hearing today Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated that on 9/11/12 events in Benghazi were unfolding as he arrived for a scheduled half hour meeting with the President. Panetta testified that about 20 minutes was spent discussing the protests in Egypt and the remaining 10 minutes on Benghazi. He said President Obama directed him to respond appropriately. Panetta said the president was generally aware of what regional assets could be deployed, but he did not request any specific information on that night.
~
“Did you have any further communications with [President Obama] that night?” Sen. Ayotte asked.
~
“No,” Panetta replied.
~
“Did he ever call you that night to say, ‘how are things going? What’s going on? Where’s the consulate?’” Ayotte followed up.
~
“No, but we were aware, as we were getting information that was taking place there, particularly when we got information that the ambassador [Chris Stevens] – his life had been lost – we were aware that that information went to the White House,” Panetta added.
~
“Did you communicate with anyone else at the White House that night?” Ayotte asked.
~
“No,” Panetta responded.
~
It's reported that the President in a previous interview stated he slept soundly that night.
~
Liberals, discuss...


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Gun Control for Dummies Part 2

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Jan 18, 2013 6:33 PM
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Another gem of a Presidential Executive Order:

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

Let's ignore the obvious that they should already be doing that. Here's the rub. New York City and other major cities make it a point of not running checks on the guns they recieve in "Buy Back" programs and take the further step of announcing that they don't. So here's a great idea. Commit a gun murder, take the weapon to your local police buy back program, get $200 bucks for the gun and the police melt it down for you. You get paid to have the police dispose of your evidence. Brilliant!

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Gun Control for Dummies

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Jan 18, 2013 6:11 PM
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Just finishing reading the President's 23 Executive Orders on Gun Control. Many were simply ordering certain federal agencies to do their jobs. Yes, it's come to that, we need to order people by Presidential decree to do the work they're paid for.

One particular order stood out however:

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

One of those categories will likely be Mexican Drug Lords and their straw gun buyers. AG Holder has already done a great job on that one hasn't he?


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The 2nd Amendment and You

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Jan 15, 2013 10:40 AM
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This is a story about the 2nd Amendment. If you're not a gun owner or perhaps don't even like guns please read it anyway because it has more to do with you than you realize. Before we go on know this. Our Founding Fathers were mortal men and therefore flawed so please, if you're planning on arguing my opinion with me, spare me the comments on all the things they may or may not have done back then that aren't acceptable today. And so here goes...

The framers of our Constitution wrote what is arguably as close to the most perfect governing document in history and then created a government around it that has no equal. It has stood the test of time for over 237 years through a civil war, a great depression, two world wars and countless other disasters both natural and man made. It is the basis of all that we have in this country and the men that wrote it and created our country with it, though flawed mortals, were as close to genius as any to ever walk the planet.

 2nd Amendment: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Simple, to the point and easy to interpret? I think so. But there are those that believe it to be ambiguous; others focus on the word "militia" and applying today's definition point out that the founders didn't mean individual gun ownership. But here is exactly where the anti-2nd Amendment crowd makes their biggest mistake, or perhaps biggest deception. Our government is a series of checks and balances. Among the duties of each, these are the most important; the Legislative passes bills; the Executive signs them into law; the Judicial exercises review over their constitutionality. In some, perhaps a majority, of cases the Judicial has to interpret what the founders intended without much guidance from their writings. This is not the case with the 2nd Amendment. What the anti-2nd Amendment crowd doesn't want you, the non-gun owner, to know is that there are literally hundreds of writings that spell out exactly what that simple sentence means.

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington

They will use smoke and mirrors to define for you what THEY want the 2nd Amendment to mean and they will ignore every sentence written by the very men who created the document, and the government it supports.

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson

They will tell you that the founders of our great country were smart enough to create document  and a government that anticipated the excesses of the elected and therefore put into place that series of checks and balances to counter such excesses but were not smart enough to think that firearms would evolve.

 "A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic,  and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace." - James Madison

They'll use the "muskets" argument, so eloquently stated by Piers Morgan and ignore the evidence that even as they were creating the Constitution and Bill of Rights firearms were already evolving. (Read about that here: http://danaloeschradio.com/refuting-the-progressive-argument-of-the-anachronistic-second-amendment/)

They will tell you that the framers only intended the "outdated theory" of a militia to be armed and they will ignore statements to the contrary.

 "I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms." - Richard Henry Lee

What is happening now, in the wake of the tragedies in Newtown, CT and Aurora, CO is a rush to judgment in which millions of responsible law abiding gun owners are being convicted without trial for a crime they didn't commit. The left is using the parents of the children killed to tug at the heartstrings of the majority of Americans who don't own a firearm, convincing you that somehow if only guns were illegal the criminal and the mentally unstable wouldn't be able to get their hands on one. Last night in my state, New York, Governor Cuomo and the spineless legislature passed a "comprehensive gun control" bill. I have not yet heard that any of the state's criminals or mentally unstable are rushing to divest themselves of their ILLEGAL weapons or 10 round magazines. This rush to pass legislation is more about Cuomo's eyes on the White House in 2016 than it has to do with anything else; don't kid yourselves.

Gun Control is about control. But not just control of guns but control of the people. You can sit there smug and comfortable in the thought that it "can't happen here" but I'm sure the persecuted across the world in history thought the very same thing. Our Founding Fathers had enough history behind them and foresight to do their best to insure future generations could defend themselves against all enemies even their own government should it turn on them. We are currently rushing to disarm ourselves in direct contradiction of their foresight.

It would make much more sense to tighten the laws we already have in place and to loosen the laws that make dealing with the mentally ill so difficult for law enforcement and the medical profession. According to a study in Mother Jones magazine, a liberal publication, in at least 38 of the 61 mass shootings in the last thirty years the shooters, "displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings."

"Will we address mental-health and educational-privacy laws, which instill fear of legal liability for reporting potentially violent mentally ill people to law enforcement? I doubt it." 
- Professor William Jacobson. Cornell Law School
(in comments widely reported by a number of publications)

Another idiotic form of gun control is the "gun free zone" which has become quite popular in the last few decades. All one need do is read this statement by Economist John Lott in an interview with John Fund, national affairs columnist for the National Review Online:

"With just one single exception, the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns."

You can read Mr. Fund's complete article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335739/facts-about-mass-shootings-john-fund

Lastly, this debate isn't just about the 2nd Amendment but also Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or
enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."                                                                                                                                                                      

In the South after the Civil War laws were put in place by the former Confederate States to deny certain rights to Blacks who were former slaves. Chief amongst the rights they were denied was the right to bear arms. Those laws were struck down by the creation of the 14th Amendment. (Note: the same provision was cited in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 which struck down racial segregation) I hope that swift application of the 14th Amendment prevents stricter laws from keeping firearms from the law abiding. The two cities with the highest number of gun deaths in recent years, Chicago and Washington D.C. have the strictest gun control laws in the country.

Gun owner or not, supporter of the 2nd Amendment or not; now you know the facts. Do with them what you will...

 

 

 


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Just a couple of thoughts on Newtown

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Dec 16, 2012 12:34 PM
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By now much has been said about the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut; too much probably and so I'm a little leery to jump into the fray but here goes...

Of course the rhetoric has mostly been about gun control and gun laws. Little if any blame is being affixed to the person who actually did the shooting although much will be said and uncovered in the coming weeks. So what do we know?

  • We know that despite the screaming from the left Connecticut's gun laws actually worked. Adam Lanza was unable to purchase any weapon because he did not want to wait the mandatory waiting period or submit to a background check.
  • We know that despite knowing her son was, I'll be kind, "different" his mom apparently failed to safeguard her own firearms which were stolen from her and used to kill her and so many others.
  • We know that the hypocrisy of the left is that those yelling the loudest, Michael Moore I'm talking to you, don't have to avail themselves of a firearm because they surround themselves with armed security personnel. Let that soak in a bit. Is there any of you that believe that the most popular of people in the entertainment or news fields walk around without security and that if they do those security personnel are martial arts experts and not armed?

I don't know, but I suspect we'll find out, if the gun shops where Adam Lanza tried to purchase those weapons should have raised some red flags. Hindsight is always 20/20 and in these cases the red flags may or may not have been with his counselors, his teachers, his family and his mental/physical health professionals. The dots are always easier to connect after the fact. I do know that instead of talking about taking guns away from the 80 million Americans who haven't killed anyone I'd prefer to see a top to bottom overhaul of the mental health industry. Sometime, I believe in the 1980's, some sort of expose on the conditions in mental health facilities appalled the public to the point that closing them and turning these people out into the streets seemed a better idea. All that did was allow their families, the government, and the medical establishment to turn their backs on these people. They have since become the problem of strangers and Law Enforcement personnel. A bigger problem than "gun control."

I know I join everyone of decency in saying my thoughts and prayers rest with the families...

 


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Preaching Diversity in our Entertainment...

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Dec 7, 2012 8:58 AM
Wile E.



First off, a warning. If you are ignorant of all the charitable work I do, especially with regards to our military, don't read this post. I say that not to brag but simply because if you don't know what I do this post is only going to piss you off needlessly.

For those of you still with me, read on...

Growing up in the 60's and 70's, no matter where in this country, your television choices were pretty much the same 7 VHF broadcasts stations. Three of these were the "big 3" networks, (CBS, ABC, NBC); one public broadcast network, (PBS where we got Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers) and three local stations (in NYC these were WNEW, WOR and WPIX). Programing was essentially the same:

Off air sometime after midnight. Back on about 5 or 6am with the National Anthem. Days on the networks were filled with game shows and soap operas. Around the time we came home from school we got cartoons from around 3 till 6; local news at 6; national/world news at 6:30; sitcoms at 7 till about 9, dramas till 11. Rehash of the local news at 11; late night talk shows; test pattern. (If you don't know what a test pattern is ask your parents.) On the local channels we had reruns of the same sitcoms we enjoyed on the networks a few years prior, old movies and the local sports games believe it or not. PBS was the aforementioned Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as well as a few other educational shows and some high brow stuff that I've only learned to appreciate in my latter years. At this point you might be wondering what the hell I'm talking about. Or you might not give a crap but hey, you're still reading.

The Point-

With the advent of cable we now have over 200+ channels to entertain us. But they don't entertain all of us. Some channel programing will be enjoyed by certain people and not by others. Some people will understand the entertainment value of some programing and not others; much like some people will like one type of movie but not another. What really has begun to bother me, and I've been guilty of it myself, is the sanctimonious crap spewed out by people who don't particularly like one type of show over another. And it's always the same bullshit, "We have troops dying in Afghanistan and people care about (fill in the blank)" or "our country is about to plunge off the fiscal cliff and people are watching (fill in the blank)." Guess what folks. People can care about our brave troops in harms way and be concerned about the direction of our nation and still take the time to enjoy a little escapism.

I'll use my fiance as an example. Elaine was not born in the US but became a citizen several years ago. She loves the US more than many and says she wouldn't have had the opportunities she's had here back home. She's a smart woman in a high powered executive position whose work days are overfilled from stem to stern. When she gets home she likes to unwind watching Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. She's also been known to watch the train wreck known as, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." Does she do so because she doesn't care about our troops or our countries ills? You'd have a hard time convincing anyone that knows her of that. Her present job, hell her last four jobs, were significantly effected by the economy and direction of the country. At her old company she started a program that trained wounded soldiers and provided them with work stations at home so they could have productive lives with good paying jobs. So if you think she doesn't care because she likes to see who wore what on the red carpet you're barking up the wrong tree. I get it now. People can care about a million things and just want to sit and be entertained for a little bit as a way of unwinding. Just because you don't agree with their choice of entertainment doesn't cede you the moral high ground. It just shows how sanctimonious you really are.

So what got me on this rant today is the immense amount of bullshit I'm reading online from friends and associates because the entertainment media, let's re-read that folks- "entertainment media" is currently focused on Prince William and his wife Catherine's recent announcement that she's expecting. Firstly, if you don't know someone who grew up in England it's difficult to understand the fascination with the Royal Family. I get it now, but it took me a while. That said I read post after post with the usual comments. "Our troops are dying in Afghanistan and people care about Kate being pregnant?" "Our country is about to implode and the news has the Royal Family on?" Guess what? Yes, they do. We have over 4800 hours of programing a day. That's not a typo, "over 4800 hours a day." If you want to watch 24 hours of important news we have dozens upon dozens of hard news channels you can pore over. We have a Military Channel, which I watch often, as well as another few dozen documentary and historical channels. Stop condemning people who want a little "entertainment" to go along with their news.

What I find most hypocritical is that many of the people I know that were posting their anti-Royal screeds were the same ones texting me a weekend ago when my Packers were getting their butts kicked by the Giants. Were our troops suddenly out of harms way during the game? Did our countries deficit suddenly evaporate while Eli was throwing another damn touchdown pass? Not hardly. But you were being entertained for a few hours and it got your mind off the serious stuff. Don't condemn everyone else because their choices are different than yours.

And babe? I still think the Kardashians are shite...


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Election Day 2012

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Nov 5, 2012 10:51 PM
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Well Folks here it is, Election Day 2012. It seems like the campaign has been going on forever. Elaine is happy that it is almost over as she has accused me of being obsessed with the election and the media coverage of it. She's right, I have been obsessed. I honestly believe that this is the most important election in my lifetime. I'm worried about my country and the direction it is heading in. I see places like Greece and I don't think it's hyperbole to think it could happen here. Socialism doesn't work in practice although it sounds wonderful in theory.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I'm voting for Mitt Romney. I was not thrilled with the Republican field this year and I was more voting against President Obama, with whom I agree on little, than I was voting for the Republican nominee no matter who it was.

But like many, in the closing months, I went from anti-Obama to pro-Romney. I am enthusiastically voting for Governor Romney today. I will be voting for the love of my country while the President encourages his supporters to vote for revenge. Revenge against whom Mr. President? Against those who dare to disagree with you? You promised on election day in 2008 that you'd win over those of us who didn't vote for you then. Mr. President I wanted you to succeed, I wanted you to win me over. You stood at the podium and said, "And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too." But that was a lie. You came to Washington with no intention of being my President and no intention of working with anyone but those who agreed with you. It's become a mantra to blame the Republicans in Washington for your failures; to accuse them of refusing to work with you. The truth is Mr. President you came in with a "my way or the highway" attitude. "I'll work with anyone that does what I want them to" is your legacy.

What started out as a promise of a new day has turned into something ugly and mean spirited. I see in your facial expressions and body language and I hear in your words the contempt you hold for those who dare to think differently. Mitt Romney convinced me to support him; you've done nothing but prove that support is well founded.  

There are many who have worn the uniform of their country and/or community who have died in defense of the laws that make our country great.Voting is one of the most sacred things we can do in this country. Our ballots are stained with the blood of patriots who fought and died to protect that most sacred of rights. I wish, as someone who has worn a uniform that I could simply take the high road and say that no matter who you are voting for please get out and vote. But this election is too important for me to take the high road, especially when the President "of all Americans" urges his supporters to vote for revenge and one of his advisers says, "it's payback time." So I'll take the low road. If you support the President please stay home today. We've tried it your way for four years and we cannot afford four more. We'll take it from here...

 

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Open Letter to the Runners of the NYC Marathon

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Nov 3, 2012 4:22 PM
Bill & Lois Farina



Dear Marathon Runners,

Normally we love the NYC Marathon. We don't mind the road closures and other inconveniences. We are inspired by your dedication and in awe of your athleticism. We watch strangers from across this great country and countries all over the globe; we watch family members, friends, wounded warriors and others. We really do love the marathon.

But not this year. There are parts of the city, mostly where many of you from out of town are likely staying, that give the appearance of business as usual. Those areas, Upper Manhattan for one, do look normal on the surface. You'd have to have a really keen eye to notice any difference from your previous marathon visits. You won't notice little things like the work being done at places like Lenox Hill Hospital as they struggle to get enough doctors, nurses and other staff in to handle the patients they've accepted from closed facilities such as Bellevue and New York University Hospital. You won't see the look of fatigue on the faces of the NYPD Traffic Agents as they move traffic along nor the same fatigue on the faces of cops; firemen; utility workers and so many others as they work yet another 12+ hour tour.

What you won't see, unless you read a newspaper or watch TV, is the devastation in places like Staten Island where your race begins. On the island rescue & recovery workers are still finding bodies. You won't see the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens where some 120 homes were burnt to the ground. In Upper Manhattan you won't see the long lines at the few gas stations with fuel nor the frayed nerves and desperation of those searching for food, fuel and shelter. Shelter, another interesting item. In a widely circulated news story yesterday a Staten Island motel owner refused to tell people left homeless by the hurricane that they had to vacate their rooms for marathoners with reservations but he is in the minority. Many other reports tell of people told to leave in order to accommodate some of your fellow runners. How does that make you feel?

Here's an idea. Don't run, but if you're already here do something else instead. Put your marathon number plate on your coat and find some volunteer work to do. Help us as we try to dig out from this tragedy. People will see you alongside them and know that you put them, and their city, above a sporting event that you trained all year to participate in. Do that, and I promise you that me and my fellow NY'ers will be on the sidelines cheering you on louder than ever in 2013.

 



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Michael Bloomberg-King of New York

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Nov 2, 2012 10:23 AM
No Comments

NYC Marathon: As his second term neared an end, his last because of term limits, Michael Bloomberg decided that no one could do his job better than he. He then embarked on a campaign to temporarily remove those limits and allow him a third term. The NYC Council, facing their own term mortality supported the Mayor, not because they agreed with him but because it gave them all an additional term. In undoing what voters in New York City decided years before a decent man named Bill Thompson found himself running against a well entrenched incumbent.

 Mr. Thompson nearly beat the Mayor in a close election but emboldened by his third term Mayor Michael Bloomberg became "Nanny Bloomberg" railing against such important things as 32 oz. sodas and salty food. Much like the thought that the overwhelming amount of NY'ers were wrong when they voted in term limits the Mayor has decided that on a whole host of things he knows better than the people of this city or at least that his thoughts and ideas are more important than theirs.

And so we come to the NYC Marathon. His Highness has decided that the show must go on despite the devastation all around. A majority of marathoners that are already here are most likely living in the safety of the cocoon of Upper Manhattan, an area relatively untouched by Hurricane Sandy. They don't realize the hubris involved in allowing desperately needed city resources to be diverted to the marathon for an entire weekend. The photo of two tractor-trailer sized electrical generators on the cover of today's New York Post that are being used to provide power for the marathon tents in Central Park didn't help that image. (Nor did the headline accompanying the photo, "Abuse of Power." Gotta love the NY Post) Several Facebook pages have cropped up, the most popular of these "Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon" had over 25,000 "likes" this morning. Hopefully, common sense will prevail but given the history of this mayor, don't count on it.

https://www.facebook.com/CancelThe2012NycMarathon?ref=ts&fref=ts

Mayor Bloomberg endorses President Obama, most of us yawn. In one of the most calculated endorsements in political history NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama for another term. Surprising? No, not really but interesting because of his reason and his timing. Bloomberg claims that President Obama is best suited to address climate change. Yes, really, that's what he said. The President who promised to "lower the rising seas" and has watched many of his green energy initiatives ride into the sunset of bankruptcy is best suited to ya know, "lower the rising seas" and initiate green energy policies. Funny if it wasn't so tragic. As for the timing Bloomberg's last minute endorsement carries little downside for him. It's too late to actively campaign for the President, especially with the devastation here in New York City and of course the NYC Marathon. Obama wins and Bloomberg is in favor with the administration, perhaps for the new idea of a "Secretary of Business?" Obama loses no one will really remember the last minute endorsement. In the midst of one of the mayor's hurricane press conferences the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker gleefully tweeted, " Forget Romney/Obama. I'm betting lots are thinking President Bloomberg this morning." Ummm, not if you live here Kathleen.


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My better late than never endorsement

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Oct 28, 2012 11:25 PM
No Comments


It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008. I did not like his stand on many issues and I did not care for the people that he surrounded himself with. That said however I did get caught up in the post-election euphoria of our first African-American President. I thought it was a defining moment in our history and I hoped he would prove me wrong for not voting for him. When some said, "I hope he fails" I chastised them. I told them I hoped he was the best President we'd ever had because our country was in bad shape and if he was I'd gladly vote for him in 2012.

Sadly, President Obama has been worse than I ever imagined.

I watched the primary debates and I was totally disappointed at the Republican field. I kept hoping one candidate would show me they could not only beat President Obama but actually do something to change the direction our country is headed. When it became apparent that Mitt Romney would be the nominee I resigned myself to voting once again "against" the other candidate rather than "for" my candidate. Sometimes thats how politics is.

But all that has changed. In the last two months Mitt Romney has not only proven to me that he can indeed win but that he's the right man for the job. I live in New York State and my vote for Mitt Romney won't effect the election in any meaningful way. My liberal state will go for Obama in a big way. I'll vote for two reasons. Firstly my vote will count in the local election in my home county where my State Assemblywoman and US Congresswoman are Republicans in tight races. But just as importantly, I am enthusiastically supporting Mitt Romney.

I'm Steve Mona and I approved this message...

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Making a big election about small things, oh and racism.

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Oct 26, 2012 12:52 PM
Wile E.



"If you don't have any fresh ideas, use stale tactics to scare people, -- if you don't have a record to run on, paint your opponent as someone people should run from. Make a big election about small things," Barack Obama 2008.

In 2008 candidate Barack Obama wasn't suggesting that these things be done, he was pointing them out as an accusation about what his opponents were doing. However, in 2012, President Barack Obama is following that strategy to the letter. Instead of real solutions to our problems we have Big Bird, binders and horses & bayonets. With no record to run on the President tried to paint his opponent as a vulture and a vampire. That facade came crashing down at the first debate and he's been in free fall ever since. Now today the Democrats and their mainstream media enablers are all up in arms over an allegedly racist statement by former NH Governor and Romney adviser John Sununu. While being interviewed by Piers Morgan the Governor suggested that race had something to do with Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama.  But what the Governor didn't say is much more important than what he did say. Governor Sununu did not say, "Powell is supporting him because he's black." What he did say was, “When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or he’s got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama,” Sununu said, adding, “I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.” Much more importantly however is what Colin Powell himself said about his endorsement of Mr. Obama in 2008.Said Mr. Powell, "I didn't endorse him simply because he was black. I felt this was, you know, something to take into consideration... And I spoke at length with John McCain about his campaign and I watched Mr. Obama and his campaign. And at the end, I cannot say I was totally colorblind.  But at the end, I convinced myself, based on the facts as I saw it, that he was the better choice for this time in our nation’s history." Powell also added, "And I think he won not just because he was black, although that influenced most African-Americans and a lot of people. I think he won basically because he convinced the American people that he was the right candidate for the times.” When most polls show the President receiving over 90% of the African-American vote it would be naive to suggest that race doesn't factor in to that equation. Much more interesting to me is the historical context. In 1960 John F. Kennedy received over 80% of the Irish-Catholic vote. For the 50 plus years since no one has ever disputed the fact that a good portion of that vote was based on his ethnicity and religion but to suggest that a person of color factors that in to their support of the President is racism.

I'll leave you with this. Speaking on the subject of unemployment in the Black community (14.1%, Black teenage unemployment 37.9%) Representative. Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from Missouri and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in 2011, “If (former President) Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House.” As recently as September 2012 Mr. Cleaver said, "As the chair of the Black Caucus, I’ve got to tell you, we are always hesitant to criticize the president. With 14 percent (black) unemployment, if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House… The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”

Hmmmmm...

 




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Memorial Day 2012

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
May 24, 2012 4:49 PM
David Lewis


Ladies and Gentlemen my annual pilgrimage to Washington DC for Memorial Day Weekend is about to begin. I will be joining 400+ of my Nam Knights Brothers and their Ladies for what NK Keebler has dubbed, "Tears & Beers" as we remember our fallen servicemen and women and we celebrate our Brotherhood and the Freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifice.
Over 400,000 bikers will visit the memorials, place wreaths and ride in the largest motorcycle rally for POW-MIA awareness and Veterans issues.

For too many Memorial Day is simply the "unofficial start of summer," a weekend of sales and barbeques. If you can't take a moment to honor the sacrifice of those who provide you with the very freedoms you enjoy then I submit that you are unworthy of what they have given you. What will you do this weekend to honor them?


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From the archives April 2010

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
May 4, 2012 7:02 AM
MOM



I wrote the following story in April of 2010 and shared it with just a few people that knew my friends Bill and Frank. I'd been thinking about them recently and thought I'd share this.

They had a memorial service for Frank Marino and Bill McIntyre on April 27th at The Player’s Club on Gramercy Park. “They” are theatre people, both from on the stage and behind it. Some had names I recognized, others faces but they all had one thing in common, a love for Bill and Frank. They are the people that enrich our lives in so many ways, many of them without anywhere near the compensation they deserve. They were funny and poignant; sad and loving. They told stories of days gone by and small acts of kindness; of friendship and loss, success and failure; life and death. But I digress…

Frank Marino and Bill McIntyre were theatre people too; Frank a stage manager and Bill an actor. They were my next door neighbors up in Greenwood Lake and they were a couple, spending over fifty years together. I met them in July of 2006 when Elaine and I moved into the old house next door. I remember the real estate agent, when she told us about the people that lived around us, leaning in and whispering, “there’s an old gay couple at 43 but they’re very nice.” I chuckled, wondering why whispering was at all necessary. When we first met Bill and Frank I’m quite sure they didn’t know what to make of us; Elaine with her English accent and corporate clothes and me with my tattoos and motorcycles. I found out at the memorial service that they too were told how nice we were; I’m not sure if the person that told them that whispered it as well. During the first week we lived there I was looking around the quite overgrown yard and noticed a path between the two properties. I saw Frank next door and inquired about the path. He told me that he and Bill had been friendly with a previous owner and spent a lot of time at our new home. I remarked that I’d best clear the path and Frank smiled. A few days later as Elaine and I returned home from a shopping trip we saw an ambulance in their driveway. We slowed, saw no one about we could ask questions of and pulled in front of our house. I kept glancing over; I’d not yet settled in to being a retired cop just yet. Elaine looked at me and said, “well go on, you won’t settle down until you know.” I walked over to find that Frank had fallen off a ladder and landed atop a glass table shattering it and cutting his leg badly. I helped the ambulance driver carry him up the very steep walkway and gave Bill my number asking him to call me from the hospital to let me know what was going on. Although I barely knew either of them at the time I was already being drawn in to their circle of friends. You could not help but like them.

Over the next couple of years I got to know them a bit. I was starting to write and Bill’s advice to me was never work with puppets. (Another story all together.) Frank told me tales of backstage at the theatre. I remember him telling me how a minor player in the play Grease would give him fits because he couldn’t even make it to the theatre on time. Frank was quite sure at the time that this young man named John Travolta would never make it in the business. There were calls to run over and let the dog out when they were stuck somewhere and times when I had to tinker with their old Audi to get it started.

They’d always tell me I rescued them but the truth was I learned so much from them that they added to my life in a way no one else could. Now and then Bill would bake me a cake as a thank you; almond and coconut and horribly delicious to the point I’d eat way too much of it.

I’d always considered myself open minded and counted in my life friends of all kinds. Anyone that knew me well enough wouldn’t think it at all odd for me to befriend this elderly gay couple. I invited them over when we had barbeques and my friends liked them as much as we did. As open minded as I was I never really understood the whole same sex marriage issue. What was the big deal? If you could register as domestic partners, as one can do in New York State, why did they have to get married?

I couldn’t see the point. That is until one day in 2008 when we received an announcement card in the mail. It featured a photo of Bill and Frank in 1958 on one side and a photo of them from 2008 on the other. The card announced their 50th Anniversary. I stared at the card and had an epiphany. Why shouldn’t they be married? These two men stayed together 50 years, way more than most “regular” couples I know. They would both say they spent that time with the wrong man, half kidding as they surely experienced the same trials and tribulations as any other couple, but they stayed together nonetheless. I told Elaine of this revelation and in her best understated way simply said, “love is love right?” Yes it sure was. I walked over to Frank and Bill’s, half to congratulate them, half to confess my stupidity and subsequent enlightenment. Little did I know at the time that I would soon see firsthand how not being married could become a problem.

Frank passed away of a heart attack on March 24, 2009. Bill wasn’t recognized as next of kin by the state of New Jersey, which is where Frank died but thankfully the NYPD officer who made the notification didn’t quite care what the state of New Jersey thought. There would be nightmares involving the house, the cars, just about everything they owned despite the presence of a will. In his moment of grief Bill didn’t deserve to be treated like a stranger to the man he spent more than half his life with. It is a sickening statement that in the midst of the Tiger Woods and Jess James’ of our world same sex marriage is somehow the end of civilization as we know it.

I did what I could to help, certainly not as much as Ellen, Bob and countless other friends who came to Bill’s aid. Each time I got a frantic call I did what I could to calm him down and fixed what I could fix. Bill apologized for being a pain, which he wasn’t. When I finally got him to stop apologizing he replaced it with thanking me profusely. I told him to stop, that I was doing what I knew he would do for me; that he was my friend and thanks were not necessary. One day, after I’d taken care of some minor thing there was a pregnant pause in our phone conversation. Finally, Bill spoke up.

Steve?

Yes Bill?

Fuck you.

I laughed intently. “Fuck you” would become Bill’s thank you. I heard it often and laughed out loud each time. I tried to call at least weekly, I thought of him often and hoped that he was okay. When the house looked like it might be sold I brought his VW Beetle onto my property to store it and started it weekly when the weather got cold. When the battery died I bought a new one and I had the car inspected when it was due. It wasn’t at all an inconvenience. It was simply what one does for a friend.

Bill died on March 19, 2010 almost a year to the day of Frank’s passing. The Beetle is still sitting in my driveway and I still think of Bill, and Frank, often. My life is richer for having known them, however briefly.

They had a memorial service for Bill and Frank on April 27th. They treated me as if I knew them; they let me say a few words about my friends Bill and Frank, about their friends.

Thank you Ellen and the rest of the crew for letting me be a part of saying goodbye to two remarkable men. And to Bill and Frank? Fuck you both.



 

 



 





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Lights, Camera, Action!

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Apr 16, 2012 1:04 PM
No Comments



According to widely varying estimates the Television and Film Industry pumps a gazillion dollars into the New York City economy. You really have to take the numbers at faith because I haven't heard anyone in city hall that has ever offered to show any sort of proof that was at all reliable. But that's really not the issue for some of us. Does the industry put dollars in the city's coffers? Of course it does. In addition many of the back scenes people, some lucky enough to have an on-screen credit; some not, are local folks who work, play and spend money and pay taxes here. Also, you have to admit there is a lot of prestige attached to being a film and television favorite locale.

The argument however, for those of us that live in areas like Dumbo in Brooklyn becomes, how much is too much and how can the neighborhood benefit more in terms of capital for inconvenience.

First off, for those of you that subscribe to my blog but don't know what "Dumbo" is, a quick education. Roughly bordered by the Brooklyn Bridge to the south and Bridge Street to the north Dumbo, an acronym for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" is a former industrial area along the Brooklyn waterfront that features late 1890's commercial buildings, cobblestone streets complete with old freight car tracks and stunning views of Manhattan. It's also the place I call home. Home for many of us are old loft apartments in buildings that once housed such industries as coffee, soap, shoes and cardboard boxes. It's a dynamic and interesting area that was not exactly the nicest place to be when I first joined the NYPD. Because of its old school appearance we get a lot more movie and television projects than other areas although the city does claim it's not any more than most. (Last week 7 separate projects were filming on the same day so I find the city's comment a bit dubious)

Back though to the argument of how much is too much and how can we, the individual nabes, benefit financially. We can't, plain and simple. The city is not going to work out any formula that carves up the pie with any equity. Why? Two reasons, first off they'd have to really come up with a legitimate formula for how much is actually being contributed and secondly there would be a hue and cry from the areas that almost never have any filming, least of all the big budget projects.

So if what I'm saying is true, what to do? That's easy; simply ask that the studios and other industry entities act like good neighbors. Sort of like Steiner Studios. Steiner is the studio for HBO'S mega hit "Boardwalk Empire" who, along with all the companies involved in the production, really know how to do it right. Partly because Steiner is housed in the adjacent former Brooklyn Navy Yard and mostly because the streets of Dumbo fit right in to the show's 30's time period, filming for the show in Dumbo occurs often and yet causes very little disruption. Why you might ask? Because the people involved are good neighbors. They never take more parking than they need; if they realize they need less they release spots. Actors and other staff are vanned to the locations requiring even less parking. They are quiet when they can be and meticulously clean. (I even noticed a can this morning placed in front of the warehouse they often use marked "butts" for discarding cigarettes.) When they leave you'd be hard pressed to see any indication they were here, which is often. They are personable and accommodating and don't at all act like they "own the place." If every film project had their acumen people might complain less.

Who am I kidding? This is New York City. Complaining here is an art form.

That's a wrap...

 

To learn more about Dumbo visit dumbonyc.com






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Fear and Loathing of the Girl in the Blue Honda Civic...

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Apr 8, 2012 10:42 PM
Slider



This is an open letter to the young girl driving the blue Honda Civic on Forest Avenue in Bergen County, NJ today.

Young lady, you scared me. You didn't do anything "to" me to elicit that reaction and it might seem strange that a middle aged tattooed biker would be scared of a girl of perhaps 18 but strange as it may sound, it's true. You probably didn't really notice me riding my bike behind you but I noticed you. I watched you in your side view mirror as you continually looked down while driving and texted on your phone. I sat for a few extra seconds at each traffic light behind you as it changed to green and you didn't notice because your phone was more important. I prayed for your sake, and the sake of some poor unsuspecting person, that you'd look up and not miss one of the red ones. I didn't dare pass you because I felt safer behind you where I could protect myself from your foolish behavior. I was afraid to be alongside you for fear you might suddenly turn into me. I didn't want to be in front of you because I was afraid I wouldn't be far enough ahead to shield myself if you looked down at the wrong moment. I was thankful that you weren't heading in the opposite direction where you could turn left in front of me and tell the police that you, "didn't see the bike" after I'd t-boned you and died. That's what happened to my friend Wolf and so many others and I didn't want to be next. I thought of pulling alongside you at a red light and talking to you but I knew you'd either lie and tell me that you were only texting while stopped or perhaps just tell me to mind my own business. You see though young lady, it is my business, and that of everyone you put in harm's way because you can't stop texting while hurtling down the road behind 2+ tons of metal. I was trying to enjoy a crisp spring day riding my motorcycle but you scared me and I've thought of little else the rest of the day. You scared me because I have a granddaughter and another on the way. You scared me because I have two great sons and the love of a wonderful woman. You scared me because I have family and friends whom I love dearly. You scared me because I don't want my mother to have to bury one of her children. You scared me because I don't want to die like so many of my friends. You scared me because I don't want you to have to tell the police, "I didn't see the bike" and live with the fact that you didn't because a text message was more important.

I turned left onto Route 4 and you went straight and for a moment I breathed a sigh of relief. For a moment. But then I thought of how many more people you might put in harm's way. I thought of how many of the vehicles around me were doing the very same thing that you were doing. I thought of those things and little else the rest of my ride home. And I was scared...



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POTUS, SCOTUS and just plain "Us"

Posted by: Steve Mona
Last Update
Apr 8, 2012 1:15 PM
Chris



For those of you not following the health care hearings at the US Supreme Court you're missing a fascinating view of how our government works and how much we didn't know about the law. Case in point: Some of the most highly touted provisions of the law such as the rule allowing some adult children to access their parents' policies are in theory fully funded by forcing folks who might not purchase health insurance now to do so. Plainly said, if you force a healthy 25 year old to purchase health insurance, something he likely wouldn't do because of his age and health until he's older or until he has a job that provides it, the money he's paying for something he doesn't need goes towards funding other people's health care. Anyone that cares to debate that thought with me do so with this in mind, it was the Administration's lawyer, Solicitor General Don Verrilli that confirmed exactly that during the last two days of testimony. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg compared that to the Social Security Act in which people are forced to pay into a retirement plan noting that the Social Security Act was challenged and deemed constitutional. That comparison is suspect however as the ACA forces people to fund things they may never use; substance abuse treatment as one example.

None of this of course was based in any fact since the Office of Management and Budget has basically thrown out all the Administration's monetary figures and now says that the act will cost much more than the "budget neutral" stance stated by the White House.

I won't predict how this is going to play out, but if the individual mandate remains in place we will have started down a very slippery slope indeed...







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Steve (NK Slider) Mona

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