Friday, July 18, 2014

My Back Pages: War and Peace

My Back Pages: War and Peace: War... I cannot remember a day without it, and I will be 68 years old in October. If we are not directly involved, we are supporting one fac...

War and Peace

War... I cannot remember a day without it, and I will be 68 years old in October. If we are not directly involved, we are supporting one faction or another in some part of the world. Countries go to war over land, over religion, over perceived slights.. just the damnedest things. Young men and women get slaughtered and maimed in the wars, while old men (and women!) use them as pawns in the games of power. It has been like this since the beginning of time, and I fear that it will always  be like this, as long as there are humans on this planet. 
  We war not only over religion, but over different sects in the same religions. We war over borders, or to prove who is the biggest and baddest in the world. Who is the most powerful, or who will determine how the rest of the world will live. We war because some little wannabe Cossack wants to bring back a system and an empire that collapsed under it's own weight. We war because people resent one another because of religious differences. We war over energy, political differences, ethnic hatred, and for reasons no one can even fathom. It's a sickness with we humans. We just cannot seem to get along. 
  The carry over of our war-like society goes right to our streets. How can we expect our young people to respect life and live peacefully when those who set the rules  set the example of sending young men and women out to kill each other for their purposes? We bemoan the killing on our streets, when this is only a reflection of what is happening out in the larger world between people that should be brothers and sisters. Because of this, the slaughter of our young people continues at home and abroad.
  Fanatics slaughter people as a way to terrorize others into bending to their will. They bring down plane loads of innocents, who have nothing to do with their grievances, just to strike terror into the hearts of all that would oppose them. They crash planeloads of innocents into buildings because they want to bring the body count ever higher in the name of their twisted interpretation of God.
 Why can't we have a society where, instead of leaders rattling sabers and trying to show the world who is the most powerful, they vie to see who is the most peaceful, and who can do more to make the lives of the people that they represent, better? Why can we not really show that we are a 'humanitarian' race? 
  We will never know peace as long as we have people who claim to be 'Leaders' constantly rattling sabers and thumping their chests. We will never have peace until we learn, as a people, to accept each others differences. Until we do, we will forever be warring with each other, and this is a sad, sad thing for the entire human race.
  One more thing.... why is it that many, though not all.... many, who are always calling for war on this one or that one,  are the same ones that, when they should have served, took the cowardly way out and refused to serve... finding ways, most of them dishonorable, to avoid serving and going to war, when people like myself, and many who were sacrificed on the field of battle, served without question? It just boggles my mind.
  I wish for you all a peaceful future. I hope that my grandchildren will live to see a time without war. This is my wish for all. 
 Love and Peace 
John Zaffino, July 18, 2014
Kent Lakes, NY

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Back Pages: Independence Day, and My Independence....

My Back Pages: Independence Day, and My Independence....: The Fourth Of July..... our Independence Day! It has so many meanings to me. The founders of this country were brilliant men. They had a v...

Independence Day, and My Independence....

The Fourth Of July..... our Independence Day! It has so many meanings to me. The founders of this country were brilliant men. They had a vision that endures to the this day, despite the best efforts of varied politicians and justices to change that vision.. to divert it.... to dilute it. This is a Democratic Republic... a Democracy, of the People, by the People, and for the People, as father Abraham said, despite the efforts of some politicians and radicals who wish to convince us that we are not a democracy. 
 Perhaps they should have told GW Bush that. He envisioned spreading Democracy to the the Middle East. It was a flawed effort, but he did it with good intentions, with poor advice. It is important that we all remember that we are a nation founded on democratic principles. 
  I love this country, and the ideals that it was founded on. I love the fact that it not only guarantees freedom of religion, it guarantees freedom of choice. It disturbs me that some politicians, and some judges, fail to remember that we have these freedoms. We can worship however we please, or not at all, if that is our belief. There are those that would force their beliefs on everyone. What makes them any different than the radicals who are terrorizing the world from their religious bastions? What makes them any different, if they would enforce their beliefs on everyone?
  I celebrate my ability to have independent thoughts, and the freedom to express them without the fear of being arrested or persecuted. I celebrate my freedom of speech. This does not mean that I have the ability to call for someone to be hurt. We must always remember that words have consequences. It means that I am free to disagree with the government, without fear of reprisal.
  I celebrate my right to make a choice about who will lead this country. Who will represent me in the government, and who will be in charge of making and enforcing the laws of the town, state, and country that I live in. By the same token, I celebrate the freedom to civilly disagree with these same elected officials, and to work to have them replaced if I do not like the job that they are doing. I love the fact that we do not advocate violence to overthrow those who we do not agree with. This would be anarchy, and would be the death knell of our Republic.
  I would remind those who scream about rights being taken away, to just look and see the rights that are being REALLY being taken away. There are those who would take away freedom of religious choice. Some of them are the same people who scream about having their second amendment rights taken away. Smoke and mirrors, friends. They use this to distract you from the rights that they want to take away from you. 
  We, as Americans, must stand strong, and not allow ANY rights to be taken away, or diminished. We must support each other, and the right to be individuals who have our own Independence. If we do not, then we have failed the Grand Experiment. 
  On this Independence Day, I ask all of you who know me, to support each other, and to stand up for the rights as outlined in the Constitution. Don't let special interests change what this nation has always stood for... Freedom, and Independence from those who would tell you how to think and how to worship, or not to worship, if that is your choice. If you are a good person, that is all that matters.
  Happy Fourth, everyone! Remember what it means. Defend what the founders envisioned. Love and Peace to All....
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes, NY
 July 1, 2014