Tag: New York City

Celebrating A Life: Joe Palazzolo

The Cary Dog Park Gang!

I met Joe Palazzolo at the dog park in Cary, North Carolina. I would take my German Shepherd, Sophie, to the park every evening after work for exercise and had been doing this for a few months, I guess, when this guy visits for the first time with his Greyhound, Silver City Lou. We started talking and a good friendship was born.

The Character that was Joe Palazzolo

Joe’s family was from Sicily and he was proud of his Sicilian heritage. His wife was Kathy and her folks were from Sweden. Joe and I soon discovered we had a good bit in common. We were both familiar with the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys and the Adirondack Park of upstate New York State. We were both red-blooded, patriotic Americans, and we both liked to shoot. Eventually it came out that I enjoyed reading military history, and Joe told me he had a book for me to read. The book was Lucky Lady by Steve Jackson, and it is the story of a legendary World War II light cruiser, the USS Santa Fe.

During the war in the Pacific, Joe’s father served on the USS Santa Fe which earned the nickname Lucky Lady when the aircraft carrier, USS Franklin, was directly hit by two Japanese 500-pound bombs. As the Franklin listed heavily, becoming perilously close to capsizing, the light cruiser’s captain brought his ship in dangerously close, bellying up alongside the carrier’s flaming hull and keeping the ship afloat until the Franklin’s crew could be rescued. It is one of the most daring rescues in U.S. naval history.

Coincidently, Joe had a twin brother named Lou. One day during the Vietnam War, they both went down to enlist in the US Navy. Their mother put her foot down and said there was no way they were both enlisting and leaving her and their young sister to fend for themselves. Since Joe was doing a little better in school, the decision was made that Lou would enlist and Joe would stay home to look after the family.

Joe drove a bus in New York City for many years and eventually retired from his bus driver’s job. Often times he drove the early morning routes, and as you can imagine, he had some tales to regale listeners with. Both Jack Klugman and Tony Randall rode his bus regularly when they were in town filming episodes of The Odd Couple. Joe told me that Jack Klugman would hop on the bus and talk and joke with the other passengers. Tony Randall always tried to disguise himself and avoided talking to folks on the bus.

During his part-time limo driver gig, Joe had some adventures as well. One night, he was driving for some high school seniors on prom night. The kids left the prom and headed to Dangerfield’s Comedy Club. The limo drivers would park and wait in the alley alongside the club. One night, Rodney Dangerfield came out a back door of the club wearing a bathrobe and slippers. Spotting the limo drivers, he walked up to Joe and bummed a cigarette. He, Joe, and the other drivers had quite a conversation while Dangerfield smoked the cigarette. Then the comedian said good night, and headed back into the club. Rodney treated the drivers like anyone else. He was just one of the guys.

After his second heart attack, Joe was retired by the bus company. They told Joe they could not afford the risk of a third heart attack while he was behind the wheel of a bus. Undaunted, Joe took a job driving a hearse for a funeral company. He joked that the dead didn’t care if he had a heart attack or not. It didn’t matter to them.

Lou, Joe’s rescued Greyhound, is a great dog. Joe even had videos of races Silver City Lou had won during his career. If I remember correctly, Lou ran in fifty-five races. I believe Lou took something like twelve first places, and a bunch of seconds and thirds. By the time I met Joe, Lou had become a pretty laid-back dog who enjoyed relaxing. Occasionally he would get up and run around the dog park with the “pack.” Even at at his advanced age, he was poetry in motion when he ran. Lou and Sophie became pretty good friends and got along great the times I visited Joe and Kathy in their home.

The birth of Pallie

One day shortly after publishing my first book, I was telling to Joe about it. He said that he wasn’t much of a reader, but he’d love to read my book. So, I brought him a signed copy of Serpents Underfoot the next time we met at the park. Joe laughed because he’d already ordered a copy from Amazon. I think he gave one to his sister or something. Anyway, after Joe had read the book, he told me how much he loved the story, especially the characters. I laughed and said, that’s because you’re such a character yourself.

After some more joking around, Joe mentioned that he’d love to be a character in my next book, Montagnard, which I had just started working on. I thought, why not? So, a US Navy SEAL and good friend of my main character’s, named Pallie, was born. Joe was a perfect “model” for the part. Pallie is a tough-as-nails but fun-loving and big-hearted Sicilian-American Navy SEAL. His character is well-liked by many readers and will continue into the third book as well. Pallie, short for Palazzolo, has Joe’s personality, his sense of humor, his gruff exterior, and his kind heart. He is Joe if Joe had become a SEAL.

See you later, Joe!

Shortly after I moved back to Knoxville, Tennessee, I learned that Joe was sick and he was spending a good bit of time in the hospital. A few weeks ago, I went back to Cary to visit with Joe and some of our good friends. I am so glad I did. Just the other day, I learned that Joe lost his battle with cancer. I guess we all knew it was coming, but it is still hard. I will miss you, my friend. but I am happy you are no longer suffering. My prayers go out to Kathy, his wife, and his daughter, Lisa, who I met on my last trip, and the rest of Joe’s family.

If I know Joe, I am sure he is already spending time at a heavenly dog park with his previous Greyhound named Faster, and looking forward with great anticipation to Lou’s eventual arrival. And for my part, I look forward to talking to Joe again when Sophie and I get eventually there as well.

NY Criminals: Don’t ask, don’t tell!

“In front of emotional supporters, New York City Mayor de Blasio signed legislation Monday that will prohibit employers from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal record prior to a job offer.”

Everyone’s favorite leftist liberal nut-case mayor is at it again!  Mayor de Blasio signed a law that will make it illegal for employers to ask prospective employees about their criminal background. So, for instance, if you run a day care and you want to know if an applicant has ever done anything bad such as kidnap or molest a child … sorry!  You’re now SOL!  The new  policy is “Don’t ask … don’t tell!

I am sure this will work out so well!

de-Blasio-NRD-600-wlogo

Especially since he is already on such good terms with the New York City Police Department!  How many of you New York liberals will want to take your kids to a daycare or let a service provider into your house in New York City after this law goes into effect?

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Now that’s some real progress for you!

Lap-dogs Don’t Hunt!

Ignore this ... be a good little lapdog!
Be a Good Little Dog … drink the Cool Aid!

A catchy new phrase I heard Hallerin Hilton Hill use on the radio this morning … “Lap-dogs don’t hunt!”  I like it.  It fits so nicely in the discussion of today’s political nonsense!  A fine example of this is the drive-by American news media.  They don’t “hunt” for facts and report “real” news.  They simply sit in Obama’s lap and feed us the “approved” left-wing spin lines as news headlines!  This is how $1 trillion in new taxes gets reported by Politico as $1 trillion in new revenue!  Revenue implies some kind of sales.  Exactly what is the Obama administration selling us?  When the federal government takes more of the money I earned (either directly or an indirectly) and spends it the way that they see fit; that is not “revenue” … that is a tax.  I am not opposed to paying my “fair share” … but the federal government wastes way to much of it.  These are the same folks who are spending $1.5 million to fund a study to see why so many lesbians are fat!  Well, just maybe … it is because they eat too much!  Before the Obama administration raises taxes on me … they better clean up  their spending habits!  I do not make over $250,000 per year, but my taxes have already gone up!

Left-wing liberals want us all to become good little lap-dogs.  Liberal educators love to pay lip service to the idea of developing “critical thinking skills” in our young students today.  It sounds so catchy and impressive when they use it to try and persuade us … doesn’t it?  But what is the real truth?  Why do you need critical thinking skills?  Well, I would say,”to view the choices around you, weigh the pros and cons, and then make an intelligent decision based on that information.”  This would, however, imply that you do not need a “law” or a “ban” to force you to make the right choice.  You make the choice freely of your own volition … and then … you accept the ramifications of that choice!  That is “critical thinking” and that is “freedom.”

If our “liberal educators” actually tought “critical thinking skills” there would be no need for laws banning “big gulp” soft drinks or ear buds.  Nanny Bloomberg, like Barack Obama, thinks he knows what’s best for you!  So, in his mind … you really and truly do not need critical thinking skills at all; and by extension …  freedom of choice should, therefore, be benevolently taken away!  Folks, this is … simply put …  totalitarianism!!  Without choices … there is no Freedom!

They say one thing publicly  … but behind closed doors, they really do something else!  Obama does this repeatedly … over and over … ad nauseum!  Cool Aid drinkers don’t care about it!  Low knowledge voters don’t know about it!  Liberal elitists embrace it!

Here is a PRIME EXAMPLE:  Publicly … liberals loudly proclaim for all to hear,”Our children need to develop critical thinking skills!”   This gets them elected!  But once they are in office you actually get,”Americans aren’t smart enough to make decisions for themselves … so we are banning “64-0unce soda pops, ear buds, and magazines that hold over 8 rounds!”  Folks, if someone hands you a 55-gallon diet coke and a straw … and you actually drink it … you deserve exactly what you get … and you do not then, now, or ever … have the right to take away my freedom of choice because you drank it!

I think this is also why the NEA has led the charge in dumbing down our educational system while fighting tooth and nail against charter schools, school vouchers programs, home schooling, or anything that would allow parents to get their children out of their left-wing brainwashing mills and into a real school where “critical thinking” is actually taught!  You know, a school where it is not illegal to say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the National Anthem, or teach evolution while at the same time … horror of horrors … mention God!!   A school where reading, writing, and arithmetic take a little more precedence than socialist brainwashing, exploring alternative life-styles, providing morning-after pills, or learning the proper technique for putting a condom on a banana!

Nanny Bloomberg intends to spend lots of time fighting the ruling that halted his “soda pop” ban; because after all, New York City has no other really pressing concerns.  It is much more important to waste a lot of taxpayer money on “soda pop” judicial proceedings,  than to spend more time trying to end serious problems like, oh, say, gangs, rapes, drugs, and violence in New York City!  Oh Wait … my bad … New York City doesn’t have THOSE problems because they have those really strict gun laws!  I forgot!!  Anyway, we should a be good little “lap-dogs” and live our lives according to Bloomberg’s, or Obama’s, commands.  And maybe Bloomberg can really do some good for New Yorker’s … he could ban rape!

Yes indeed!  Good little lap-dogs dote so on their masters,! They are so happy with the little scraps of  food they receive from the table, and squirm with pure glee when they receive that little “pat on the head.”  We should all be good little lap dogs …  because good little lap-dogs would never wonder:

  • Why the U.S. Marines have no money for training because of Sequestration, but the Dept of Homeland Security has an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition!
  • Why the White House is closed to school children’s tours, but Obama can sell presidential access for $500,000 a visit?
  • Why the administration can spend $1.5 million of my tax dollars to “learn” why so many lesbians are fat … and then say, with a straight face, they need to raise taxes?
  • Why the Royal Family cost British taxpayers about $60 million for expenses last year, while the Obama family cost American tax payers $1.4 billion for expenses?
  • Where was Obama “really,” … when Americans,  including a U.S. Ambassador, were being murdered during an Al Qaeda terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya?
  • Where are all the millions in tax dollars Obama gave to his “bundling buddies” in the so-called “green energy” stimulus scandal?  Still in their grubby little  “bankrupt” pockets?
  • Why “waterboarding” captured terrorists to stop future terrorist attacks is horrific, but using drones to assassinate Americans on Obama’s personal hit list is fine and dandy?
  • How idiots like Congresswoman Diane Feinstein (who thinks it is legal to hunt humans … but is oh so very concerned with how many shots you actually get to kill them) can even get elected?
  • Why such a win-win for the U.S. economy (jobs, friendly neighbor oil supplier, tax revenue) as the Key Stone Pipeline is still being blocked by Obama?
  • Why Eric Holder is STILL in office after the ATF provided Mexican Drug Lords with  more than 100 “assault weapons” that were used to commit brutal crimes including the murder of American Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and 16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010.
  • Why Obama shielded Eric Holder behind “executive privilege” even though neither Obama nor Holder “knew anything about it?”

Yes!  Be a good little lap-dog and simply ignore the massive volume of dirty deals, influence peddling, shadow-government Czars, lawlessness, scandals, imperial decrees, and outright violations of the Constitution perpetrated by the Obama administration!

Way too many Cool Aid drinkers are willing close their eyes, sit, beg, get patted on the head, rollover, and trade their freedom and American heritage for a few scraps from the Obama/Bloomberg table!  Well sorry folks … not me!

Unless concerned Americans take action, the Obama administration, left-wing democrats, and certain RINOs intend to continue operating a corrupt, self-serving, greedy, bloated  government … regardless of the law, the U.S. Constitution , or the will of the American taxpayers!  Liberty, Freedom, and the greatest nation on earth will be fundamentally transformed into a pseudo-communist state with the progressive/leftist elites in charge of us all!

And that is why they want … your guns.

Obama Works Tirelessly 3.5 Years to Destroy America!

Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New Jersey
Image via Wikipedia

Well, we learned how Obama is going to fund his jobs (and I use the term loosely) act!  Higher taxes!!  Half a trillion dollars worth! Of course, in his jobs speech it was going to be fully funded by cutting spending  … who would have thunk!  And, his taxes are on single earners making over $200,000, and couple and small business owners making $250,000 per year.  Like this is wealthy?  Maybe it is in East Tennessee, but it is middle-income in Los Angeles, New York City, and Connecticut!   And the extra taxing of small private-sector business owners who create 70% of the real job growth, and funneling that money through the federal bureaucracy (making sure their pensions and benefits are safe) and sending the rest out the back door to give temporary jobs to union (NEA) workers who support Obama’s political agenda is corrupt Chicago political machine politics at its best!!

But … hey … for three and one half years, Obama has been tirelessly working; doing what needs to be done to fundamentally transform this great county into a shadow of its former self … a giant, centrally mismanaged, self-loathing, apologetic, socialist nanny state that Michele Obama can be proud of.

Truthfully, if Obama had worked tirelessly at what he has been “actually” doing … we would be in deeper shit than we are now!  Fortunately, he and Michele have mostly been living it up like royalty; jet setting around in separate jets, taking extravagant tax payer funded vacations, playing endless rounds of golf, redistributing tax payer money to their cronies, and attending lavish fund-raisers.

So why do we need to fund still more “shovel ready” construction jobs on roads, bridges, and schools?  Isn’t that what the last “porkulus” package was supposed to do?  Oh yeah … I forgot … that $1 trillion went to …. ummm  …. ummm … can anybody tell me? 

Oh yeah!  To fund green energy projects like Solyndra.

 (OBAMA MAY 26, 2010: It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future).

Well, the owners of Solyndra have a “brighter and more prosperous future.”  That is for sure.  Somebody got the $535 million Obama gave them just before they closed their doors!  Anybody hear anything about that from the liberal, drive-by media?

Yep! Simply another reason we don’t need the federal government handling American job growth.  We need to take the handcuffs like excessive regulation, the Obamacare abomination, and ever soaring taxes off the backs of small business owners  and let them expand their businesses and hire people!  Small businesses create jobs that do not need the federal government to steal money from medicare, social security, and tax payers to fund!  I know … it’s so hard to grasp the concept;  especially when your real agenda is simply increasing government power or if you are a useful idiot who can’t think past the progressive-liberal brainwashing that our public school system has forced down our kids throats for the past 30 years or more!

Sorry folks, it is not the federal government’s job to give your kid a musical instrument so he can play in the school band … that is the parents job!  It is not the federal government’s job to remodel schools in local communities, that is the local government’s job.   It is not the federal government’s job to tell you what to eat, think, read, listen to, play, watch, say, drive, ride, or otherwise do!  That is your job!  Be a man (or a woman … don’t want to be sexist here!). Make your choices … succeed or fail … but accept the responsibility for your choices … good or bad!  You can always try again.  That is freedom!  That is liberty!  And … that, my friends, is what America was once all about! 

Finally, many American’s are waking up and catching on to  the progressive-liberal elites that are tirelessly working to turn America into a nation of mindless morons (sheeple) that they can control and thus reap the benefits as the “benevolent American aristocracy.”   And, as more Americans awaken … Obama’s poll numbers continue to drop.  Perhaps that is why he recently blocked the deportation of 300,000 illegal aliens … he may need them as voters in November 2012!

Justice or Vengance

David gegen Goliath
Image via Wikipedia

This Sunday also just happened to be September 11,2011 and the 10th anniversary of the attack on the world trade center in New York City.  In church I listened to a sermon by Reverend Joe Minarik that talked about forgiveness versus vengeance.  It was a well thought out sermon and I did enjoy listening to it, and it is often very true that some people mistake revenge for justice.  We all need to find forgiveness in our hearts for those people who have offended us … or how can we expect God to forgive us? 

How does that translate to September 11, 2011 and the actions this government took to punish the perpetrators of that heinous attack?  Did the U.S. seek revenge or justice.  Does forgiveness mean there is no consequences for evil actions?  Can we forgive those who do us wrong and still expect justice?

Consequences are sometimes necessary for us to learn … and I would say it was justice that most Americans sought after 9/11.  Not revenge!  Revenge would have been the indiscriminate murder of 3000 muslim innocent men, women, and children.  That did not happen.  Though we can argue about whether what we did was the right thing, anyone of sound mind and intellect should be able to accept that it was measured, restrained, and that every attempt was made to only go after Al Qaeda associates and their supporters.  We did not Nuke the Middle East.  I think my thoughts on Iraq should be clear from earlier posts, and yes, even Obama stated that Afghanistan was the “right war to be fighting” to achieve justice for the victims of the World Trade Center bombing.

Sometimes I get the feeling that some people do not mistake vengeance for justice, but instead they mistake justice for vengeance.  “vengeance is mine … saith the Lord” is often quoted by certain Christians as an exhortation to stand by and  to do nothing when horrific acts or events are playing out.   To me, Jesus’s lesson of “turning the other cheek” is not an admonition to go meekly to the slaughter … it is the defiant act of a warrior.  It clearly says, “that slap didn’t faze me … would you like to go for the other cheek as well!”  I have never bought into the Marvin Milktoast version of Jesus Christ.  Marvin Milktoast could not have survived 40 days in the desert,  run the money-changers out of the temple, faced down Satan and demons, or endured the suffering Jesus endured during his crucifixion.  Jesus was a warrior … like David or Sampson …a warrior for God … with a keen understanding of where and when not to use force or violence.

God gave us as sense of right and wrong, a free will, and a thinking mind!  The belief that “divine intervention” is the only biblically correct means to stop the evil acts of others is simply a cop-out and an excuse to avoid personal responsibility.  I am reminded of a story about a pious man sitting on his roof as the flood waters rose about him.  A truck came by and his neighbors shouted for him to climb in;  they were headed for higher ground.  He refused their help, saying that he had faith God would rescue him.  The water kept rising.  A boat came by and the rescuers hailed the man.  Again the man refused rescue saying that he was waiting for God to come and save him.  Still the water kept rising.  A helicopter flew overhead and tried to lift the man to safety.   Again the man refused, yelling that God would save him. The water continued to rise.  Sometime later the man stood at the Pearly Gates and Peter opened them to let him in.  The pious man, his faith shaken and feeling somewhat miffed, asked Peter why in Heaven’s Name God had not come and rescued him?  Why did God let him drown?  Peter looked at the man and said, “Sorry. God was sort of busy that day.  However, he did manage to find the time to send you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter.  Why did you not jump on one of those?

While violence is and should always be the last resort, the fact is that if only evil men are willing to use violence, only evil men will win.  Here are a few quotes I like:

“An unwillingness to deal forcibly with violence does not equate to moral rectitude!”

~ Mary Malmros

“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it!”

~ Pericles

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!”

~ Edmund Burke