Monday, December 29, 2014

My Back Pages:    In a few days, we will be welcoming the year 2...

My Back Pages:
   In a few days, we will be welcoming the year 2...
:    In a few days, we will be welcoming the year 2015 AD. I wonder, as people my age are wont to do, will this be a truly better year? O...

   In a few days, we will be welcoming the year 2015 AD. I wonder, as people my age are wont to do, will this be a truly better year? Or will it be more of the same? We, as a people, have the ability to really make a change, and make things better for our children and grandchildren. 
 Oh, I know, I can hear so many people saying "What can I do? Things are out of control, and I am but one person!" But, my friends, each and every one of us can start to turn things around. All it takes is to treat everyone that with whom you come in contact, with a little respect! A smile, a thank you, I have found, turns around most people. The cashier that seems to be hostile,  the server who seems to be less than caring... I have found that smiling and being nice turns the most hardened person around. Be kind and pleasant to everyone that you come in contact with, and you will be surprised at the way their actions change.
  We are in the middle of a crisis with police and the public. People seem to want to either blame police for every trouble out there, or condemn them before they actually know what has happened. Both of these reactions are wrong. I happen to be privileged to personally know several people in the Law Enforcement community. These are upstanding, hard working men and women who do their best to enforce the laws, while respecting citizens and their rights. To condemn all for the actions of a few is not only wrong, it is unconscionable! It is no different than profiling someone for their race, or religion. To say that all police are bad or corrupt is no different than saying all Italians are in the Mafia. It's no different. We need the police, regardless of what many people may think. Without the police, we would have anarchy and people killing each other in the streets. The society that we live in would break down without laws and people to enforce them.
  If we are civil to each other, and not treat people with indifference, it would be a start to a more civil society. Small steps lead to great rewards. 
  2014 has been a hard year. We have violence in the streets, and anger in our communities. We have war and atrocities across the globe. Sociopaths posing as religious zealots are once again killing and maiming their fellow humans without care. They claim to be following the will of their God, but their only goal is to instill fear into anyone that would oppose them.
  We again have those who whip up public anger to aggrandize themselves. They cloak themselves in the robes of righteousness, but they revel in the discord that comes from real or perceived wrongs. They are demigogues who thrive on the discord that comes with trouble. They don't want to find a way to make people heal. Rather, they look to build on the anger and the hatred to forward their own agendas. They don't want to help heal, they want to inflame the wounds. We have to, as a people, find a way to heal and come together so that these people do not get their way.
  I know some will think that this is a simplistic view of the world, but changes would come if we just learned to get along with each other. 
  I wish each and everyone of you a Happy and Healthy New Year. I wish for all the peace and tranquility that I so long for. Love and Peace to you all.
 John Zaffino
 Kent Lakes New York
 December 29, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Back Pages: Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men......???

My Back Pages: Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men......???:     This is the season of Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men (and Women!)..... Right! We are supposed to be charitable to our fellow human...

Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men......???

    This is the season of Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men (and Women!)..... Right! We are supposed to be charitable to our fellow humans, and spread Happiness and Good Cheer.. and that's what everyone is doing.... right? Think again, John..
   Children are slaughtered in Pakistan as retribution, by people calling themselves 'The Taliban', which loosely translates to 'Religious Students'. They walked into the school, brandishing automatic weapons and were told to 'Kill them all!'.. they pulled students out from under desks and shot them to death. 
  In Australia, an Iranian Immigrant holds hostages in a cafe for 16 hours, before police rushed in and freed most of the hostages after hearing gunshots from within. The gunman had killed two of the hostages, and he, in turn, was killed by the police. The gunman was out on bail for being an accessory in the murder of his exwife.
  In upstate New York, a woman tells police that a child she was caring for was kidnapped by masked assailants. The young boy is later found dumped in a culvert 50 yards from the trailer home in which he was staying. His 19 year old cousin, who had called the police, was arrested for strangling him to death.
 In New York City, non-violent protests turned ugly when police officers were punched and kicked. One of the assailants was a college professor. Some students, who were interviewed about the charges against their professor, lauded him for being involved. 
  Some of the protestors started chanting "What do we want? Dead Cops!" while being led by the Reverend Sharpton. A few days later, two cops are shot to death while sitting in their patrol cars on a lunch break.
 They people were protesting the failure of a Staten Island Grand Jury to indict an officer in the death of a man last Summer, after they arrested him and did nothing to help him when he told them that he could not breath. Another man was accidentally shot by a rookie cop in a darkened stairwell, and the protestors were calling for charges against that officer as well.  
 Two cops were ambushed and shot to death in Decatur Georgia......
 The list goes on and on... 
  Through this so-called 'Social Media', we keep sniping at each other. We are threatened at every turn, and yet we do nothing to try to get along. Each group blames the other, and this does nothing to solve the deep chasms that threaten to divide us all and tear down all that we have tried to build.  
 The politicians are no better. In fact, they do everything but try to unite us. They push our buttons and play us against each other to distract us by everything that refuse to do to make our lives better. Our infrastructure is crumbling, yet they do nothing to repair it. They scream about immigration reform, but again do nothing. 
 Our world threatens to implode, and no one seems to have any answers. I'm old and tired, and about done with all of this. I worry for my children and grandchildren and for all of those in the generations to come. I will not be around to see them, and I can only hope that some sanity eventually overtakes this human race. 
 I long for 'Peace On Earth, Good Will Towards Men!' but I know that I shall never see it in my time; but I wish you all Peace and Love and a better New Year.
 John Zaffino  Kent Lakes, New York
 December 21, 2014