Friday, December 4, 2015

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Aging

My Back Pages: Thoughts On Aging: Aging! There is no such thing as aging gracefully. We age like we learned to walk... with many pitfalls, bruises, and staggering around. Som...

Thoughts On Aging

Aging! There is no such thing as aging gracefully. We age like we learned to walk... with many pitfalls, bruises, and staggering around. Sometimes, we seem to forget where we are.. or who we are. We don't forget, but it seems this way to our families. You can't walk as well as you used to. You struggle for words when trying to make a point. People who once thought of you as intelligent, now think of you as a little odd. Members of your family nod their heads when you try to make a point, but you catch them exchanging glances with each other when they think that you are not looking. 
  All of this saddens me. I feel as bright and relevant as I did when I was in my twenties. The difference being, I now know what the hell I am talking about.
  I am a thoughtful man. I am not one who jumps to a conclusion without thoroughly researching what I am talking about. However, I feel that everything that I say these days is either ignored, or taken with a grain of salt. Getting older sucks.
  The physicality of it is even worse. I used to walk all over the place. Sheryl and I went to the city in the late '90s, and I walked the whole day, actually enjoyed it. Now, I'm lucky if I can walk around a store. My knees are shot. My back has been shot for years, despite two surgeries, and I seem to always be in pain. I do not take any drugs to alleviate my pain.. just the occasional Aleve, and, at night, a few glasses of wine. It's okay.. i've learned to tolerate it.
 The worst is that I am going deaf. The hearing in my left ear is just about gone, and I have had tinitus in both ears for decades. This is because the 19 year old version of me worked around jet aircraft and thought that not wearing ear protection was the right thing to do. I thought that I was smarter then everyone who said that it was imperative to my hearing that I should wear the Mickey Mouse ears, as we called them.  Also, I love music. I love music LOUD! 
 Now, I am paying the price. How sad is it that someone who goes around singing all day long, and loves music just  a bit less then he loves his family, will soon be unable to hear a note? I will always have the memory of it's constant presence in my life. I cannot think of a moment where I did not have a song in my heart and mind.
  I am not complaining. Most of my physical ills are because of choices that I have made in my life, and I am comfortable with that. As to the way that family and friends think of me? Well, we all reach a point in our lives where it seems that we are discounted. The good thing is that, eventually, they will think of you as someone who was wise and tried to do the best thing for their family. 
 I'm ready for whatever comes next, and I wish all who follow me Peace, Love, and Success.
 John Zaffino Kent Lakes, New York
 December 3, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Another day, more shootings, more deaths in New York. Young people facing violent death because of disagreements. What is the answer?? It's too easy to get firearms illegally in this state, despite the laws. The underbelly of our society simply go to states where guns are easy to obtain, then smuggle them into our state. What is the answer? The NRA would have you believe that we should arm everyone, so that people could retaliate. This is just insanity. We don't need to go back to the fabled wild west days, where people routinely shot at each other. We are supposed to be an evolved society. However, it seems to me that we are sliding backwards. When I was a young man, most young people did not routinely shoot at each other. The concept of killing someone that you disagreed with was, for the most part, foreign and abhorrent to us. We might get into fist fights, but to murder someone was beyond our way of thinking. What has changed? Is it the glorification of gun violence in our entertainment? Is it the constant violence and hatred that seems to permeate our daily lives? I just don't know. I do know that arming everyone in the society is not the answer. I do know that handcuffing those who are sworn to protect us is not the answer. I do know that the constant drumbeat of hate in the media is not the answer.
We should be better than this. We should strive to be better as a society. The constant anger and hatred that is displayed on social media shows the breakdown in our society. I can only sit and watch in horror as our society seems to continue to break down on a daily basis. I hope.... I pray.. that cooler heads will prevail, and that the insanity that seems to to be destroying us, is stopped in it's tracks. I am an old man.. my time is limited, but I am in anguish for my grandchildren.

 The politicians hem and haw and accomplish nothing. Some wave their guns around and talk about the constitutional right to bear arms. I don't disagree. There is a constitutional right to bear arms. There is also a right to live our lives as law abiding citizens without the fear of having a child or another family member cut down by someone who is unstable, or a sociopath who can take lives without blinking an eye. The ability to buy weapons regardless of a persons stability is unconscionable. When will something be done to protect honest citizens? We don't want to hear rhetoric. We do not want to be talked to like children about the constitution. We demand that our right to live peaceful lives be protected. We demand that our children be free to attend school without the fear that their school will be assaulted by someone with a personal arsenal and an axe to grind. 
 We just want guns to be registered. We just want gun owners to be licensed. We just want lethal weapons to be kept out of the hands of those who have the potential to do harm. Is this too much to ask?
 I know responsible gun owners, some of them friends of mine, who agree with most of what I think. I am not asking that people like this be disarmed. Just the reverse... I hold them as shining examples of what a responsible gun owner can be. I don't know what the outcome of all of this will be. I can only hope that sensible people will prevail.
  As always, I wish you all Peace, Love, and Tranquility. 
 John Zaffino October 27, 2015
 Kent Lakes, New York.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Back Pages: Another Mass Murder..... When Will Are Impotent Po...

My Back Pages: Another Mass Murder..... When Will Are Impotent Po...:   A few thoughts about these shootings that seem to happen with more regularity in this country. First, this latest piece of human garbage...

Another Mass Murder..... When Will Our Impotent Politicians Do Something?

  A few thoughts about these shootings that seem to happen with more regularity in this country. First, this latest piece of human garbage claimed that he was not religious, but that he was spiritual. I often say this.... no, this is who I am.... but this evil bastard was not spiritual. Spiritual people do not commit mass murder. Spiritual people have love and acceptance in their hearts for all living things. He was an evil, troubled man who decided that he was going to die and that he was going to take as many people with him as possible. I wish that he had quietly taken his own life instead of inflicting as much terror, as much devastation, on as many people as he could. Make no mistake about it, his aim was to hurt not only those poor souls that he shot, but their families and all those in the community that have had their lives permanently changed by this. His acts were far reaching, as they have touched every caring person in this great country. It puts those who believe that it is their right to bear arms against those who feel that there should be ways to control the sale of guns to people of questionable mental health. There are arguments to be made on both sides of the issue; the problem is that things get heated and out of hand and no sensible way to solve the problems are ever put forth. Already today, I have seen posts about arming everyone so that they can protect themselves in case something like this happens again. I will tell you that I think that this is just foolish. Professionals, like the police, have problems when the adrenalin is flowing and they are in a gunfight. Just look at what happened in Times Square, when innocent civilians were hit by police gunfire. This is not against the police, this is just the nature of what happens in an extreme situation. Innocents get hit by friendly fire. You have to have nerves of steel to get through something like this without panicking; just ask any military person who has been in a firefight. It's not television or the movies, it's real life.
There has to be a sensible way to work towards the goal of stopping these killers. There has to be a way to ferret out those who need to be counseled and prevented from owning such a dangerous thing. I have to tell you, I do not like guns. I had a friend who accidentally shot himself in the head fooling around with an officer's gun when I was in the Marine Corps. We joined on the buddy system back in 1966, and were both trained in the use of firearms, but he was appointed the barracks armorer, and he was fooling around with an officers .45 and shot himself in the head. The last thing he said was "Oh no.." 
I had a cousin, a teenager at the time, who was shot during a robbery of the video store that he was managing. He died of shock. Something that his family, myself included, will never get over.. There was a man that I grew up with who felt that he was being bullied, went home and got a gun, and fired at the ground. The bullet ricocheted and killed a bystander. He spent several years in prison for that. 
I have never owned a gun, except for when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps. The last time that I picked up a gun was in April of 1970, when I turned in my M-14 for the last time. I knew then, and I know to this day, that it is too easy, when you are angry, to pick up that gun and threaten, or use it. It's just too easy. That's my opinion. 
Now, I believe in the constitutional right to bear arms. However, I don't believe that this means that every person, regardless of their mental health, regardless of their state of mind, should be able to own a gun. Sensible gun laws need to implemented. I feel that it only makes sense that everyone that owns a gun should be duly licensed and the weapon should be registered. . We need a license to drive a car. We need to register and insure our motor vehicles. Why should a gun, which is more dangerous, be any different?
Now, I know that there are so many out there that will vehemently disagree with me. That's your right. This is my opinion, based on much thought and personal experience. You cannot dispute my experience, and my opinion is just that: My Opinion! I ask only that you think about this. 
I am tired of people being slaughtered just because they were going about their normal days, trying to learn and improve themselves. I am tired of seeing children cowering in fear as a madman stalks them and takes their budding lives away from them, simply because they are deranged and angry at society. I cannot stand seeing innocent men, women, children, and babies killed by stray bullets in drive by shootings, or people being killed because they went to see a movie, This has to stop. I am not looking for an argument. I am simply telling you how I feel.
I will be 69 in a few days, and I am sick over all of this. There has to be some meeting of the minds. I have lived my life without fear of being killed my a madman for that 69 years. The trouble is, these days I am probably foolish for not being afraid. Is this the way that we in the United States must live our lives from now on? Do I have to worry every day that some demented person, or persons, can walk into the school of one of my grandchildren and snuff their lives out in a moment of unfocused rage? Do we not have the right to live free of the fear of being murdered simply because we are going about our daily routine? Why can't something be done to make these threats to the peace and safety of all good citizens dissipate? I can only sit here and shake my head in disbelief at the backward steps we seem to have taken in assuring public safety.
  As always, I wish you all Peace, Love, and Tranquility, and  I wish a safe existence for all. 
 John Zaffino, October 3, 2015
 Kent Lakes, New York

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


September 13, 2015
On this, the beginning of the Holiday Season, which runs from Rosh Hashanah, through Yom Kippur, to Thanksgiving, and through Christmas and New Year; we should all reflect on what has been handed down to us over the centuries and how we are the keepers of the flame. We, as a people, have come so far, and yet, have so far still to go. We should all try to be good and respectful to one another. It doesn't matter what religion that you follow... it doesn't matter if you follow no religion at all. What matters is that we all should respect each other, and be accepting of everyone's beliefs. I say accepting, not tolerating, because accepting means that we realize that we all have differences and respect that. Tolerating means that you are putting up with the differences..
Being kind to everyone that you meet does not require much of an effort. Being kind just means that you are nice to each other. I try to live my life to this way of thinking. Do I always succeed? Probably not.. I have my moments! Does it mean that I don't always strive to be this way? No! I try to be a good person in everything that I do. No one could ask for more.
Goodnight. I wish you all Peace, Love, and Tranquility

John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York
John joh


   September 14, 2015 
 Good Evening, my friends. I don't have anything special to say tonight, only that I wish everyone peace, love, and tranquility during this beautiful holiday season. There is so much turmoil and hatred in the world: ISIS and it's hatred of everything. They kill, maim, and grind anyone under their heels of hatred. The regime in Syria who gasses and bombs it's own people, and of course, any government that thinks its a good idea to wage war on others because they do not subscribe to their way of thinking.
We are all individuals... we all have our own thoughts on the way to being a right thinking people. Where we go wrong is when we try to force everyone to think as we do. Not everyone is a a Muslim. Not everyone is a Jew. Not everyone is a Christian.. or a Wiccan.. or a Spiritualist, or an agnostic, or an atheist. It doesn't matter what religion or lack of religion you are, as long as you respect and acknowledge everyone's right to worship, or not to worship, as they wish. This was what the founders of the United States wanted. This is what any right thinking person should feel.
If I have offended anyone, well, then I guess that you needed to be offended. We are a diverse species who find different ways to relate to our existence. Everyone needs to find a way to anchor themselves, and to explain their existence. We, as an intelligent species, must find a way to stop the fighting, and to accept everyone's thoughts on why we exist. We must stop killing each other. We must stop finding reasons to hate. Instead, we must find common ground to love each other.

 I wish you all, Peace, Love, and Tranquility
John Zaffino Kent Lakes, New York

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Back Pages: Labor Day Thoughts, 2015

My Back Pages: Labor Day Thoughts, 2015: Another Labor Day has passed, and it seems that each year the voice of workers in this country gets weaker. Corporations continue to look ...

Labor Day Thoughts, 2015

Another Labor Day has passed, and it seems that each year the voice of workers in this country gets weaker. Corporations continue to look for ways to increase the workload, while cutting workers at every turn, despite record profits, despite increasing corporate officer salaries to dizzying levels. These faceless multinational monolithic corporations continue to ship American jobs overseas to countries where they can pay workers pennies a day. They look to cut hard-won benefits to the workers that they retain at every turn. The modern day robber barons like the Koch brothers have the ear of sympathetic politicians and work to get bills through congress that would enable corporations to give off time, instead of overtime pay. They work to eliminate FMLA and anything that would benefit the workers.
Make no mistake about it, where for a brief and shining moment, America was the beacon for the world on how workers had succeeded in making it possible to live a comfortable life, there are now families that struggle to make ends meet. We have fallen from being an example of how things should be, to how the ruthless can manipulate things to their advantage. From the governors of certain states who refuse to honor labor contracts and thumb their noses at unions, to the CEO's who make their reputation on how they can mistreat their workers and make millions doing it. General Electric, Verizon, AT&T are just a few. This disease which is killing off the American Working Class is widespread. The only hope is that, like all things, the pendulum will swing the other way. When Romney told American Unions that their services were no longer necessary, it showed exactly what the corporate elites wish them to be. Well, Mr. Romney, you are exactly wrong. Someone has to step forward to champion the American worker again.
These are my thoughts on the status of the American Working Families today. I have been with the American Worker my whole life, and I will be with them to my end. I wish you all love, peace, and prosperity.
John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York
September 7, 2015 Labor Day

Saturday, September 5, 2015

My Back Pages: Wake Up World Leaders!

My Back Pages: Wake Up World Leaders!: I am sitting here tonight, stunned and saddened by the slaughter and neglect of such a large segment of society. We have the refugees i...

Wake Up World Leaders!

I am sitting here tonight, stunned and saddened by the slaughter and neglect of such a large segment of society. We have the refugees in Darfur, Sudan: 300,000 slaughtered, and 2.3 million displaced. This has been going on for years now. The souls of those lost cry out to the world, but seem to fall on deaf ears. Now, we have all of the refugees from the horrors of the ISIS wars in Syria and Iraq. They are fleeing death and mutilation from a group that vows world domination. So many have died just trying to get away. Those who make it are subject to being interred in refugee camps. So many have drowned, or died from other causes, in their desperate bid to find freedom from the horrors of these wars. Men, Women, Children... the very old, the very young, all desperately seeking a way out, a way to survive. In Hungary, they are put in camps by the government. If they choose to leave, they face a long walk to Austria so that they can get to Germany, which has promised them asylum. The Hungarian government has forbidden taxis and other modes of transportation from giving them assistance. The citizens Hungary have started to line the roads to give these poor people water and other things to make their journey easier. This shows that there is good in the common citizens. At last report, the Hungarian government has sent busses to take the refugees to the border, but the refugees are afraid to get on the busses, fearing that they will be sent back to the camps.
What can be done to help in both of these disasters? The United Nations member nations must step up to give humanitarian aid, for a start. To turn their backs and do nothing is unconscionable. ISIS must be defeated. The slaughter cannot be allowed to continue. The Sudanese government and those who continue to oppress these refugees in Darfur must be held to account. The last time that there was such disaster, the Nazi's were sending people to die in gas chambers.
Now, I know that there are many people who will say that this is not our problem. I will have many who say that the US does enough. Maybe we do, when we act alone. This is not just a European Problem.. this is not just an African problem. Like it or not, we are a global community that has been shrunken by the very technology that gives us access to so many good things.
We need to stop thinking about this as if it does not affect us. Like it or not, it does. If nothing else, we are all of the human race and, therefore, all connected.
If you don't agree with me... that's fine. This is just one man's opinion. If you feel that you must dispute what I said, that is fine as well, just don't be hateful or racist about it.
As always, I wish you Peace, Love, and Tranquility. Goodnight.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Back Pages: The Circus Is In Town

My Back Pages: The Circus Is In Town: Donald Trump is a bully and a coward. Of course, all bullies are cowards at heart. Donald Trump likes to ridicule and disparage people wh...

The Circus Is In Town

Donald Trump is a bully and a coward. Of course, all bullies are cowards at heart. Donald Trump likes to ridicule and disparage people who stand up to him. He doesn't engage them in a debate.... no, he chooses to call them names and minimize anything that they have done. Case in point: John McCain. This bully said that he was no hero, despite the fact that Captain McCain, while a prisoner of war, declined being repatriated to the US because others had been POW's longer than he, and such early release was prohibited by the POW's interpretation of the military Code of Conduct: To prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda, officers were to agree to be released in the order in which they were captured. McCain served with honor, while Trump used various deferments to keep from serving. As I said earlier, a coward. Case in point: Megyn Kelly of FOX News. She was the moderator of the first Republican debate and had the audacity to challenge Mr. Trump about his abusive words about women with whom he has had disagreements with. He reveled in the fact that some of his supporters called her a 'Bimbo'. Really? Despite the fact that I am not a person who watches FOX News, Ms. Kelly does come with some pretty heavy credentials. Megyn Kelly has a law degree... she is no Bimbo, despite the fact that Fox uses her good looks to attract male viewers. She is an intelligent young woman, who happens to be attractive. This is no crime. This does not make her a 'Bimbo'. 
  Trump did not like that she brought up the disparaging remarks that he has made about other women, like Rosie O'Donnell. Trump said that he is tired of being 'Politically Correct!'.. well, I'm not a fan of Politically Correctness, either. However, this not give one the right to bully others. This does not give someone, especially someone who has filed for bankruptcy three times. Trump Plaza, Trump Hotels and Casinos, and Trump Airlines, all filed for bankruptcy. Trump claimed during the debates that he "Saw the handwriting on the wall, and pulled out of Atlantic City"... an out and out lie. He was forced out because of mismanagement of his hotel and casino.
  Donald Trump is a showman. He lives for the spotlight, but he is a human being who is lacking any humility. He talks about Mexican immigrants and how 'They are rapists and drug dealers..' and yet, these are the same people who work in is various businesses. 
  Now, I know that many of my friends take his talking points to heart. I know that many think that he is a brilliant businessman who would work to bring the U.S. back to prominence. I urge you to think again. Think Kasich, or Bush, or anyone else. I am not a Conservative, but I would vote for any of the others before this megalomaniac. I know that many of my friends will disagree with me. That's fine.. that is what the United States is all about... we can disagree and still be friends and citizens. This guy is not what you want, despite the fact that he may hit all of your talking points. He is still a bully and a coward.
  Let me remind everyone how much I love this country. I served with pride, while this man, and many chickenhawks like him, looked desperately for ways to avoid service. I have nothing but disdain for these people. They found ways not to serve when many of my friends and acquaintances did their duty, and died for and ideal. 
 On that note, I will just say that I wish each and every one of you Peace, Love, and Tranquility.

 John Zaffino Kent Lakes, NY
 August 8, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

My Back Pages: Why We Celebrate.......

My Back Pages: Why We Celebrate.......: Independence Day... the 4th of July... it has always meant so much to me.. it has always meant so much to everyone that I knew in my circle,...
I am very conflicted! We have a symbol of rebellion and hate flying over a state capital, yet

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why We Celebrate.......

Independence Day... the 4th of July... it has always meant so much to me.. it has always meant so much to everyone that I knew in my circle, in my world. We celebrated our freedom from oppression, we celebrated our freedom from the being subjected to the whim of a king, or a government so far removed from our reality. We reveled in our ability to protest against laws that we did not agree with, we reserve the right to protest against anything that the government  did, without being subjected to persecution because of our beliefs. We won those rights, along with the right to worship. or not worship, as we wished. We won the right to free speech, no matter if it was against the government, as long as it did not injure anyone else. We can protest as we wish, even if it is abhorrent to the rest of the citizens. As long as we did not hurt anyone, we could state whatever we wished.
  We are at a crossroads in this country. We have a faction that wants to burn the American Flag, because they believe that it stands for oppression and hatred. I am very torn... I am a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps, in the service of, what I consider, this great nation. I served to protect the rights of all citizens, as outlined in the Bill Of Rights. One of these is the right of free speech. Even though I might not agree, I must stand for the right to protest. 
  I am a Patriot. I am someone who, thought I knew that I possibly could be drafted into the Army, decided to join the Marine Corps. Why? Because I believed then, and I believe now, that every citizen of this beautiful free country, owes an obligation to give back. I believe in the concept of the United States Of America. I believe, regardless of what  we have had to fight over, that this concept of Liberty for All, means that we are right thinking citizens of a country that should be, if the bill of rights is followed, a beacon for all who believe in liberty and freedom throughout the world.
 This Independence Day weekend, we are challenged. We are challenged by those who wish to burn the flag in protest against the police, and what they claim is systematic racism thought the United State. My first reaction was rage! I, and so many of my contemporaries, served to preserve the integrity of this symbol of what we consider to be our freedom. It makes me angry to think that so many gave their lives for this country, and this symbol, the flag of our great Union. 
  But then, I realized that, what we had set out to defend was the very thing that these people, no matter how mis-guided, were doing. They were exercising their right to free speech! No matter how much I, and my compatriots disagreed with what they were doing, we had secured their right to do so.
 If they were in Russia.. you could count on the fact that they would serve time in a gulag. Putin is unforgiving.. just ask Pussy Riot. If they were in some country in the Middle East, controlled by some psychotic pseudo-religious regime, you could count on the fact that they would be executed in some grisly fashion.
  These people say that they are oppressed! Well, in their minds, they are.  I will say that, in some cases, they may be correct. But i would say to them, if life is so terrible in this country.. why are you still here? I agree that there are still things that have to be changed. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. We will get there, eventually, if we all work together. However, calling for disarming the police, instead of working with them to solve the problems, is just stupid. 
 We must all work together to build a more perfect society. If you think that this country is terrible, then I invite you to take your thoughts abroad to a country that conforms to your idea of a more perfect society. While I support your right to burn  the American Flag, it troubles me that you feel that it is right to do so. Try burning an Isis flag in the areas that they control. Try burning a Russian flag in Moscow. See how long you would be free to voice your hatred of the society that you live in.
 So, on this Independence Day, I salute all those who have stood for this beautiful country for the last 239 years. We are still the noble experiment. We must continue  to be and example to all who love freedom. We must acknowledge our mistakes and correct them. We must continue to try to be the shining example of democratic freedom throughout the world.
  Join with me in celebrating this great and beautiful country! I wish you all a Joyous Independence Day! May we continue to be a shining light for the next 200 years.
 Love and Peace to all.
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York
 July 4th, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Back Pages: My Back Pages: The Political Circus Begins

My Back Pages: My Back Pages: The Political Circus Begins: My Back Pages: The Political Circus Begins :  So here we go, into another Presidential race. Actually, it's been going on since the resu...


 We all have had heroes growing up, whether it was a sports star, or some Rock and Roll idol, or idols... someone that we wanted to be like. I had my heroes, some silly teen-aged idols, some political; but let's think about this. We had real heroes who were in our lives all along. They did what they had to do every day... without complaint, without looking for adoration. These real-life heroes were the fathers.
 They went out to work each and every day to earn a living to support their family. They worked hard, without complaint, not looking for and special recognition, to make the lives of their families better. They put food on the table. They worked with their wives to make a beautiful home for their children. They were there to try to guide us all to be good people. If you needed them, they were there. They gave counsel when you needed it; they stayed out of it when they knew that they should. Most of all, they were always there. They may have been strict disciplinarians, or they may have been that soft touch. Mothers and Fathers always seem to be able to balance each other out; but they were there. 
  Whether they were you birth father, or your step father, or your adopted father, they were there for you. They cried when you graduated High School. If you went to college, they were ready to burst with pride when you graduated! When you married, they cried like a baby, because they knew that no one would be up to their opinion of who you should marry. 
 They are your confessor, they are your confidant. You may treat them as a sage, or you may think that you know better and that they are out of touch. 
  The long and short of it is that they will love you and support you, no matter what. This man will be your rock until the end of time.
  Time is a thief. It takes our memories and steals away with them. On fathers day, please remember your fathers, no matter what. Honor him, enjoy him, because the time that you have him is short. I remember my father and my grandfathers, and Father's Day is my day to cherish their memories, and to lament the time that I have lost in honoring them. 
  Happy Father's Day to all.
  John Zaffino Kent Lakes, New York 
  June 21,v2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Back Pages: The Political Circus Begins

My Back Pages: The Political Circus Begins:  So here we go, into another Presidential race. Actually, it's been going on since the results of the las one were publishe...

The Political Circus Begins

 So here we go, into another Presidential race. Actually, it's been going on since the results of the las one were published. Millions of dollars are spent on these things. So much time that could be used by some of these pols to do the jobs that they were elected to do. Yet, they use both to gear up for the ultimate elected position. First, they play coy with the press, saying that they are "Exploring their options." They quietly tell members of their inner circles to get the word out that they are running, while denying that they are any time that they are asked. They book themselves on talk shows to get their faces out there.They make policy statements. They criticize the current administration, taking potshots whenever they can. Finally, they call a press conference to announce that they are running for President. You get a menagerie of political animals of all stripes who tear at each other in a frenzy to grasp the nomination of their party. Over the coming months for the next year and five months, we will be inundated with political ads about the shortcomings of the other candidates, while extolling the virtues of the person that the ad is endorsing. Ii has gotten way out of hand. Money will take the job, because it takes a lot of money to run. It's not a game for someone who is not well funded. They will makes statements as to how America is on the wrong road and that they will get it back on track. They talk about creating jobs and increasing the standard of living of the American people. They will talk about 'Fixing' Social Security and dump Universal Healthcare and Medicare. They put their hands over their hearts and, with tears in their eyes, say how much they love this Grand Republic and the American People. They will swear that they will work for the working people of America, all the while taking money from PACs created to advance the interests of the multi-national corporations and their Robber Baron bosses. They will talk about how much they love the people who have to struggle to make ends meet every day of their lives, while doing nothing to stop them from sending what were jobs overseas to countries where they use underpaid and even slave labor to  do the jobs that hard working American labor once did. The good Pols like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are few and far between. In reality, even if elected, they face the roadblocks of an unwilling congress. 
  What amazes me is that these people who want us to vote for them have no idea what it is like to actually struggle. How can they relate to the American People if they have lived a life of privilege? You cannot know what it is like to worry about paying bills, or feeding your children, unless you, yourself, have done it. Trump? Give me a break! Bush? Never happened. This goes for the entire field. I would like to see a candidate that really can relate to the day to day life of an American working family. Let me tell you, all the platitudes and rhetoric do not cut it. Until I was forced to retire, I worked my entire life, many times sacrificing family life just to ensure that I made enough money so that my family would be comfortable. I never complained... I just did what had to be done. Now, I am tired and old, and I listen to these pols who tell me that they have the solution to the country's problems. I say to them, bull....! Until you address the deterioration of the country's infrastructure; until you address the needs of the working people of America, instead of the interests of the multi-nationals and the elitists, like the Koch brothers and their ilk, you are not serving the interests of the American People.
I urge my brothers and sisters who have shared my struggle, not to be swayed by the likes of those who hold up immigrants as the boogieman. They are not what threatens your ability to earn a living wage and live a decent life; it's the companies who send their jobs overseas, so that they can get their products made for slave wages. It's the companies that exploit the American Workers who are willing to do a job, no matter what the wage. These companies would cast us all aside, and revel in the demise of the American Labor Movement. Don't let them destroy us. Look at each and every candidate with the future of the American worker, indeed, the American Republic, in mind
 June 16, 2015
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York

Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Back Pages: Greed and Hypocracy

My Back Pages: Greed and Hypocracy: Another phony pol bites the dust! I am so sick of those who claim to be righteous and religious, and who have the audacity to pass judgemen...

Greed and Hypocracy

Another phony pol bites the dust! I am so sick of those who claim to be righteous and religious, and who have the audacity to pass judgement on others, being exposed for the hypocrites that they are! Hastert is just another in a long line of pols who have the audacity to pass judgement on gay Americans, and those who believe in choice, claiming that they are 'Christian Conservatives". The real Christians, those who believe in ALL that Jesus said, should be appalled and distance themselves from these fakes, phonies, and frauds. Hastert was a man who used his position to make money for himself. He took bribes from the Turks, and took money from all that would buy his vote. I am sick of these pols who sell their positions. I am sick of those who are supposed to serve the people, instead, use their positions to either enrich themselves, or feed their sexual proclivities.
Because of Hastert, and so damned many like him, this country is in deep jeopardy. Our jobs are being shipped overseas. Our children are being corrupted, and our beloved country continues to decline.
I am a proud American Veteran who believes that our best years are not behind us, but are yet to come. We need to take care of our citizens. We need to rebuild and maintain our infrastructure, and we must tell these corporations that we will not tolerate them shipping American jobs overseas. This is the only way that we can continue as a viable Democratic Republic!, Yes, Disney, Verizon, AT&T, and all the other companies who increase their profits at the expense of jobless American Workers, this means YOU! If you want to continue to do business, and make profits from, America... then you must hire American workers! If not, then get the hell out of here! We don't want you, and we don't need you.
I love this country... this is why I served 4 years active duty, and 2 in the reserves of the United States Marine Corps! I am sick to death of watching us go into decline, because these multinational companies squeeze every last dime out of their companies by cutting workers and benefits. I am tired of the Romneys, and the Kochs. I believe in the American worker. Stand up! Tell them all that you will not take it anymore! Fight for your country... not on the battlefield, but in the marketplace. Do not let them destroy us. All of these greedy hypocrites must be exposed and stopped. The success of our country depends on it.

 Wishing Peace and Love to all who want it.

Friday, June 5, 2015

 Kent Lakes New York.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Back Pages: Memorial Day, 2015

My Back Pages: Memorial Day, 2015:   Another Memorial Day is upon us, and as each year passes, the reason for this day seems to be diminished. It's a sad day of reflecti...

Memorial Day, 2015

 Another Memorial Day is upon us, and as each year passes, the reason for this day seems to be diminished. It's a sad day of reflection for me, as I think about those who stood for the greater good and gave their all. 
  The members of the Greatest Generation are all but gone from the current scene. They stood, as one, to preserve the rights of a free people to exist. The horrors that they uncovered, both in the European and Pacific theaters of war are well documented. Yet, there are so many today who choose to forget the sacrifices of these great men and women. They all came together to fight for the freedoms that we all enjoy today. We must never forget their sacrifices. We must never forget those who were designated for annihilation by those who claimed to be the master races.
  I spend these days reflecting on the efforts of those who wished a better future for us all. It was an effort that the entire generation of a free people voluntarily sacrificed for. So many died, willingly, so that we might be free.
  So, as you have your barbecues and family gatherings on this day... remember those who gave their all so that you might have such gatherings.. so that you might breathe the free air, and continue to live in relative freedom. Take a few moments to give thanks to those who gave so much so that you could be free.
  I don't care what your political beliefs are, just remember that because so many were willing to give their all, you have the right and the obligation to continue to express your beliefs. 
 Love and Peace to All, as always!
 John Zaffino
 Kent Lakes, New York
 Memorial Day, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

My Back Pages: Mother's Day

My Back Pages: Mother's Day: Mothers Day:   What is a mother? She is the person that has nurtured you throughout you growth. She is the person who was always there for ...

Mother's Day

Mothers Day:
  What is a mother? She is the person that has nurtured you throughout you growth. She is the person who was always there for you; to dry your tears. To pick you up and brush you off when you fell. She's the one person who was always there to cheer you on when did well. She was there when you failed, and told you that the loss, or the failure, was not the end of the world.. that you would do better next time.. that you would overcome whatever your weakness or your failure was. She sternly told you to stop feeling sorry for yourself when things got rough, and to do better. She was there to clean and bandage your wounds, and to stand up for you when some put you down. 
  A mother may have been the woman who gave birth to you, but not necessarily. A mother is the woman who worried about you and took care of you all through your childhood. A mother is the woman who was always there for you, through good times and bad. She was there when you met your first love, and she was there when your heart got broken and it seemed like the end of your world had come. She counseled you, whether you thought that you needed it or not, and her advise was right on, most of the time. She gave you all the love in her heart, and she selflessly gave you whatever she could. A mother is the one that all of us relied on, through good times and bad. 
  A mother is often given a short shrift in life, because people tend to get wrapped up in their own accomplishments after they have grown. This is not always the case, but it happens more often than we would like to think.
  Today, Mother's Day, 2015, take the time to honor the woman who gave you life. The first woman to hold you close and kiss you and tell you that you were the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her. Give her the respect and love that she so richly deserves. She is with us for a time that, no matter how many years it is, is never enough. Let her know how much you love her and respect her. Let her know how much she means to all that you have become; because, without her, you would not be here.
  Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. Love and Peace is my wish for all.
  John Zaffino. May 9, 2015
   Kent Lakes, New York

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Back Pages: Chris Kyle, An American Hero

My Back Pages: Chris Kyle, An American Hero: We went to see American Sniper today, and two of our older granddaughters went with us, at their request. It was a very intense film, and tr...

Chris Kyle, An American Hero

We went to see American Sniper today, and two of our older granddaughters went with us, at their request. It was a very intense film, and true to life. It brought tears, anger, and respect. Respect for those who quietly go about their jobs to protect the lives of others. It's a terrible thing to have to take another person's life, but they do it to protect the lives of countless numbers of others. They suffer for it after their service is done.
  To Michael Moore, and his ilk, who said ugly, dismissive  things about Chris Kyle.... You walk through this country, breathing the free air, and making whatever statements that you wish... Perhaps you would rather walk down the streets of Baghdad, or in one of the warlord dominated villages in Afghanistan, than where you are today; why don't you try it, you over-fed elitist scumbag! You want to call Chris Kyle a coward? Listen to me, you you piece of garbage,  if it wasn't for men like this, who put their lives on the line every single day, you would either be dead, or quoting the texts of a religion that you do not believe in. You would not be able to make your hateful comments, without the fear of having your ugly head separated from your body. I hate what you say, even if I support your right to say it. It's my right to say that I find you a despicable human being for being able to revel in the freedom  to say what you wish, but condemning those who defend your right to do so. These same bastards, whom you are defending with your idiotic rants, would cut your head off with a dull knife. I am sorry for your twisted view of what this country stands for. I'm sorry that the families of those slander have to hear what you say; that's the price of being free to speak..
 Those who know me, know that I hate war! I am a man who loves peace! I hate the fact that men and women kill each other, whether it's for the religion that they believe in, or the political ideology that they have been led to believe is the way. War is a hateful and terrible thing. There is no glory in killing each other, regardless of what you have been taught. War and killing is a gruesome, horrible thing. It is not something to be proud of.. it is a sometimes necessity to stop the spread of oppression.  War is not the objective of any civilized religion. We must, as a people, stand up, and raise our voices in unison, regardless of religious or political affiliation, and let those who would oppress us know that we will not be cowed.. we will not be silenced. We will stand up against you, as a the human race, and let you know, we will not give in! We will not be silenced! We will, as the human race, defeat you!

  John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York, January 31, 2015