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Showing posts from 2012

My Back Pages: Thoughts At Year's End and the New Year Ahead

My Back Pages: Thoughts At Year's End and the New Year Ahead: 2013 is just over the horizon.... one day and a few hours away. Wouldn't it be nice if we, as a people, could forgo our differences and...

My Back Pages: Guns and Roses and Little John

My Back Pages: Guns and Roses and Little John: Four of my roses. (Casey, Jamie, Makenna, Taylor) We had another shooting the other day ; this one in an elementary s chool in Newtown,...

Guns and Roses and Little John

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We had another shooting the other day; this one in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. 26 innocent souls taken by a madman, a child himself, who 'Just snapped.' How many times have we heard this over the last couple of decades? Ho many times will we hear it again before we, as a caring society, come up with an answer that is acceptable to everyone?How many more innocents have to die before we say 'This is enough! We cannot tolerate this anothe second!' What really bothers me  is that , as soon as this happened, I could sit and watch the two sides gearing up for a fight. The gun enthusiasts on the one side, and the gun haters on the other. I have to tell you, I don't care about guns. I am a Marine (No such thing as a former or ex Marine). I never got a big charge out of them. When I went to target shoot, or playing the games at the carnivals, I always prided  myself with being a pretty decent shot. This comes in handy when you are defending your country. I…

My Back Pages: The Spirit Of The Season

My Back Pages: The Spirit Of The Season:   Well, I cannot believe that another year has sped past, and we are officially into the Winter Holiday Season. I have already seen or read ...

The Spirit Of The Season

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Well, I cannot believe that another year has sped past, and we are officially into the Winter Holiday Season. I have already seen or read about random good acts performed by my friends and others that make me thankful that I do know so many people now. From a police spending his own money to buy a man a pair of shoes, to a young lady that I watched grow up being given a random holiday gift from a stranger and vowing to pay it forward, to another young lady who was inspired by this and bought two new tricycles to put in the nearly empty Toys for Tots box where she works, there are so many things that really make a person feel good at this time of the year. It doesn't matter if you celebrate Chanukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza. It doesn't matte if you celebrate nothing, you cannot deny that there is a good mood that surrounds most people at this time of the year. We celebrate giving of ourselves to others less fortunate. We show family how much we appreciate them by giv…

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Thanksgiving - Part II

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Thanksgiving - Part II: Thanksgiving is our favorite Holiday. My wife and I come from different backgrounds, but the one thing that we always had in common was ou...

Thoughts On Thanksgiving - Part II

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Thanksgiving is our favorite Holiday. My wife and I come from different backgrounds, but the one thing that we always had in common was our love of this one true family holiday. It's a time for families to take a break from their sometimes hectic lives, to sit and enjoy each other's company, catch up on what has gone on this past year, and reflect on how much we truly have to be thankful for. We often complain about things that we do not have, or things that seem to irritate us all year long. That's just the natural, human thing to do. To take the time to reflect on all the good things that we do have on this day, is somehow fitting and it makes one realize that the US is a great place to call home.
  I take time on this day, in between chopping, stirring, roasting, and the frequent glasses of wine, to reflect on the Thanksgivings of my younger years. They were something to remember, because the whole Zaffino famiglia would gather at my Grandparent's home in New Rochell…

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Thanksgiving- Part I

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Thanksgiving- Part I: Thanksgiving  2008 OK, now I'm going to sound like the Old Man that I am. This is about Thanksgiving, after all, and Thanksgiving is an ...

Thoughts On Thanksgiving- Part I

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OK, now I'm going to sound like the Old Man that I am. This is about Thanksgiving, after all, and Thanksgiving is an old tradition that dates back to Abraham Lincoln. So if you get bored with old-timer stories, hang in there, because this is going somewhere, and I have something to say.
  Back when I was a young boy, Thanksgiving was a really big deal. It wasn't just Black Friday Eve, or the day that people sat in front of the Television with a plate of food, watching every mind numbing football game that your 200 - Plus television channels will bring you. It was a time to be with your family and enjoy a big meal together. It was a time to reflect on everything that you were thankful for. People got dressed for dinner. Mom and the other women of the family would start cooking and baking days in advance whatever they could, so that the family could sit and enjoy each other's company. No one worked, except for certain utility workers, and people that worked in movie theaters.…

Happy 237th Birthday Marine Corps....Thoughts On Veteran's Day, 2012

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 As I sit here on the day before the birthday of my beloved Marine Corps, and two days before Veteran's Day, I am wondering what on earth can I possibly write about this year? Our Greatest Generation continues to slowly pass into history, the work that they did to save America and the world from the horrors of Nazism/Fascism, and the unfinished war in Korea and the blood that they shed to keep the South free, all seem like a story that someone has written. A terrible fiction that could not have happened. After all, how could anyone throw themselves directly into the mouth of hell, certain death all around them,  their friends being blown to bits: and yet,somehow, they managed to prevail and take down Fortress Europe and defeat the Axis there. The forces in the Pacific sacrificed themselves on island after island, from Guadalcanal, through Iwo Jima, to Okinawa, they threw themselves at an entrenched enemy force who's soul purpose was to enslave the people of Asia and the Pacifi…

Labor Day 2012

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Labor Day, 2012
On this Labor Day, 2012, I am appalled as a Union Member and a retired Chief Steward for Verizon after reading Mr. Romney’s ‘5 Point Plan’ for jobs. In it, he blames organized labor for the malaise that has hit the American economy. He blames organized labor for the movement of jobs to foreign countries. He says, in veiled terms that the American Labor Movement has become too greedy. He says that there are too many regulations that chase businesses overseas to countries like China and Indonesia. How dare the American worker demand a living wage? How dare they demand that working conditions be safely regulated, so that we can keep on the job accidents to a minimum? How dare the American worker ask for health care coverage for them and their families. Why, if they would just accept a lower standard of living, lower safety standards, and risk going without any health coverage, the economy would instantly improve, and America would get rolling again! This is like blaming th…

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Independence and the 2012 Election

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Independence and the 2012 Election: I’m glad to be an American with a choice of who I can vote for. No matter how stupid someone else might think that my choice is, no matter h...

Thoughts On Independence and the 2012 Election

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I’m glad to be an American with a choice of who I can vote for. No matter how stupid someone else might think that my choice is, no matter how stupid I might think that their choice is, we can still make our choice known. I’ve heard people say, and I’ve said myself, that the founders must be rolling over in their graves over the nasty way that these campaigns are run these days, and the mistrust and lack of cooperation there is between the parties involved, but that would just not be true. The truth is, the states battled with each other over independence and whether to totally break from the British Empire, or to continue be a subject of the British Crown, but with a greater say. The declaration almost did not happen. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware were still holding out from signing such a radical document. There were many maneuvers between the colonies, but the reluctant colonies did come around, and the document was signed on July 4th, 1776. This would …

My Back Pages: Aunt Mary, My Registration, and The Town Of Pelham...

My Back Pages: Aunt Mary, My Registration, and The Town Of Pelham...: I left my house and realized that I had left my phone behind. I asked Sheryl to run it down to me on her way out. After I left, I still had ...

Aunt Mary, My Registration, and The Town Of Pelham

I left my house and realized that I had left my phone behind. I asked Sheryl to run it down to me on her way out. After I left, I still had this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. Driving down to Mount Vernon, I noticed that New York State has now purchased a fleet of smaller, unmarked, SUVs for the purpose of traffic code enforcement. This is just to let all who travel the highways of New York State, these SUV's are very nondescript and that the way that they are being placed on the highways makes them look even more like a regular citizen's vehicle. Anyway, not far from where I got on, there was very large, reddish brown coyote on the shoulder, much bigger than the coyotes that I am now so used to seeing in the area.
 All the way down to Mount Vernon, I kept having this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. I just couldn't shake it. I pulled up to my Aunt's Apartment house and called her. While I was waiting for her, I checked and rechecked eve…

Verizon Showing It's True Colors Again. (And they ain't red, white, and blue)

You've got to hand it to Verizon. For chutzpah, they manage to exceed every other greedy corporation out there. Today, they have announced a rate increase for all FiOS subscribers. They are increasing the download speeds for some, while increasing the rates that subscribers will pay. Here is the new rate table.

Standard 15/5Mbps service: (Was $54.99/mo) now up $10 to $64.99
50/25Mbps service: (Was $74.99/mo for 25/25Mbps) remains $74.99
75/35Mbps service: (New offer) $84.99
150/65Mbps service: (Was $94.99/mo for 50/20Mbps) remains $94.99
300/65Mbps service: (Was $199.99/mo for 150/35Mbps) now $204.99

For some subscribers, this means paying $10.00 a month for no increase in speed., and for the top tiered speed, you will go to $204.00 a month. Poor Verizon. It seems that it just cannot get by on the record profits that they are already raking in, they need to stick it to the consumer more. This, on top of cutting more jobs in the US, and shipping more jobs overseas, and the recently…

My Back Pages: Memorial Day, 2012

My Back Pages: Memorial Day, 2012:    Once, they filled our world, these giants among men and women. They were our mothers, our fathers, our aunts, uncles, neighbors. They nev...

Memorial Day, 2012

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Once, they filled our world, these giants among men and women. They were our mothers, our fathers, our aunts, uncles, neighbors. They never claimed to be heroes. They never claimed to be anything more than what they believed that they were: Americans. We were raised so closely to them that we saw them with their everyday faults. Going to normal jobs, trying to make enough money to raise a houseful  of children. They were born either during, or directly after the ‘Great War: The War To End All Wars’. They toddled through the Roaring Twenties. They suffered through the  Great Depression. They watched the  war clouds gather over Europe and erupt into the horror of the European Theatre, and were surprised and shocked when America was so brutally attacked at Pearl Harbor. One thing that is crystal clear to me: The term "The Greatest Generation" is the only one that could be given those who lived and died in those years. They came through the Great Depression and made due with …

My Back Pages: Mother's Day 2012

My Back Pages: Mother's Day 2012: If I close my eyes and listen carefully, I can still hear the echoes of their voices: our children, now grown for these many years that have...

Mother's Day 2012

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If I close my eyes and listen carefully, I can still hear the echoes of their voices: our children, now grown for these many years that have expanded into decades. In there, in the middle of the chaotic laughter and arguing, I can hear my wife, Sheryl, trying to bring some kind of order to this madness. It was never easy for her.. she was trying to seamlessly blend two families that knew each other, but were not related by blood. What made it worse is that the other set of 'Parents' did everything that they could to make things as difficult as possible. We had two 8 year olds, a boy and a girl, and two 4 year olds, a girl and a boy. They had played together from when they were very little. Now, they were being forged into brothers and sisters. In the middle of this chaos was my 25 year old girlfriend, soon to be my wife. By shear force of her own personality, she managed to fashion us all into a semblance of a family. The kids were so well behaved when she took them shopping t…

My Back Pages: My View

My Back Pages: My View: Well, here we are in the thick of another Presidential campaign, and the haters have been at it since the beginning of the last one. They ...

My View

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Well, here we are in the thick of another Presidential campaign, and the haters have been at it since the beginning of the last one. They don't seem to want to stick to any legitimate issues; they would rather throw whatever nasty, despicable lie they can find out there to see what they can get others to believe. "He wasn't born here!" (A lie!) He's not a Christian (A lie and, even if he wasn't, so what?) He hates America... what? Do you even hear yourselves, or don't you care about how ignorant you sound? I don't care if you don't like the man's politics or not, but throwing hateful and ignorant statements out there just makes you look bad. If you don't like where he stands on the political spectrum, fine. Go after him on the issues, if you even can, at this point. I didn't hear this kind of crap when President Bush was spending us into debt. Or when Cheney said that he didn't give a damn about what the American people wanted. Tha…

Politics and Religion

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If there is one thing that the current political campaigns have showed us, it's that religious intolerance is alive and well in this country, and, in fact,  in every part of the globe. Demonstrations in Afghanistan over the, according to US military officials, accidental burning of the Quran. Shouts in the streets of "Death To America". The kidnapping and murder of different people in the middle east and other regions for not being the same religion as the people that they are trying to educate. Back here in the US, fundamentalists groups who preach intolerance against anyone that does not follow their path to heaven, or whatever their concept of religious salvation is. I myself have been "De-friended" here on facebook because I have spoken out against intolerance by people whom I respect and love, and even a member of my own family for 'Bashing Christianity'. It has been hurtful to me, but if I cannot speak my mind when I perceive intolerance, then I r…

SIGN THE PETITION...

My Blog is blacked out in solidarity with the protest against the senate and house bills that would censor what we see on the web. Tell Congress WE WILL NOT STAND BY AND LET YOU TAKE AWAY THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION ON THE WEB! SIGN THE PETITION...:

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