In 2008 and again in 2011, I posted commentaries on 9/11. It is time to do so again, adding a different perspective. At the outset, I offer my profound sympathies to those who lost friends and loved ones to the actions of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist followers. Today it is ISIS or ISIL who would target America as well as people of Iraq and Syria. While death comes to us all, it is disturbing when it comes unnaturally at the hands of another. From my Buddhist perspective, this is a function of karma–the effects one receives as a result of causes one has made. Calvinists might have a different perspective–predestination or what others call fate. It seems preferable to the minds of most, I suspect, to absolve the victims of any blame and place it squarely on the terrorists who commandeered the planes and flew them into their targets. Blame is undeniably correctly put on the terrorists but that is missing the point–they are the instrumentality of one’s karma. There are those people who rush to get onto a plane that turns out to have a mechanical problem that causes it to crash, killing all aboard. At the same time, others are delayed by traffic and miss the plane. Different than a terrorist plot? Yes, in terms of how it happens but not in result. Continue reading
I rant about stuff from time to time; often politics. But as a public service, I must warn you about Samsung. They do make wonderful products and seem to have a significant market share in televisions today. But woe unto you if something goes wrong with one of their TVs. In 40+ years of adult life, their customer service is the worst I have ever experienced with ANY product from ANY company. I bought a 64-inch plasma 3D that was delivered on January 8 of this year. It was a great TV while it lasted–about 6 months. Then it abruptly failed, on July 6. It took two weeks of calls (5 of them) to have my request for help forwarded to the national service contractor that assigns technicians. They called me in a few days, said they would get back to me with a service date. They didn’t call. I called Samsung back and learned the request had been cancelled by the contractor. That is when I learned of the invisible asterisk in Samsung’s warranty. You will get in-home service for their wide-screen TVs ONLY if there is an authorized service center within a 25-mile radius of your home. So if you live outside a major metropolitan area–you are out of luck and out of service. Any guess how much geography this includes west of the Mississippi and east of California? Continue reading
“Age is not an excuse for giving up. Allowing yourself to grow passive and draw back is a sign of personal defeat. There may be a retirement age at work, but there is no retirement age in life.” Daisaku Ikeda
Sometimes referred to as the “Third Age,” retirement is when we get to do those other things we didn’t get to do while we were working. It is not the time to sit on the porch in a rocking chair. That is the way to an early death. Sure, for those who have spent decades at a physically–or even mentally, demanding job there may be a reason to seek some rest and relaxation. Still, the mind and body must remain active. For me it is in writing–expressing my thoughts and experiences in the hope that they will encourage, inform or entertain others.
That’s satire day, not Saturday.
Let’s mock the NRA to start with. Having defeated all reasonable efforts to curtail the killing of kids at schools by gun-toting madmen, do events in Arizona’s “Bullets and Burgers” provide the NRA with the “ammo” for their solution? Arm the kids! Put an Uzi in every elementary school classroom–for the kids, not the teacher and just see how the shootings stop. Instead of a madman shooting up a school, at the Arizona gun range we had a madman giving a 9-year old an Uzi and getting (accidentally) killed for his faulty instruction. All that’s needed is better training–sponsored by the NRA, of course and we will see what all those crybaby liberals have to say.
Can’t let ISIS/ISIL off the hook. Everyone thinks (myself included) that they are really psychopaths masquerading as Islamic militants. But consider this, just look at what they are doing for gender neutrality among orthodox Islamics. Just like the women folk, they are covering their entire faces in black cloth–except for the eyes. How devout! How noble in accepting the proscriptions imposed on females. Or perhaps they have gender identity disorders? Transgender? Nah, I think it is really they have personal identity issues–in that they don’t really want anyone to know who they are. This could stem from a fear of embarrassment–not wanting their friends or family members from finding out what they have been up to OR it simply means they lack the courage and conviction of standing up for their ostensible beliefs publicly. In other words, while barbarous in their conduct, they are inwardly cowardly–afraid to let anyone know who they really are. They are much like bandits around the world or members of the KKK and just as depraved.
Not exactly what Sunil Dutta said in a Washington Post column a couple days ago, but the import is there. Dutta is a 17 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and has been an instructor in homeland security at Colorado Tech University. While the column is more even-handed than the quote below from Dutta’s column, it encapsulates the problem which this Views post is about–too many police officers have an attitude problem of their own:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?
Law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri are having a difficult time separating peaceful from violent protesters. As a result, the peaceful ones suffer from teargas and other unpleasantries. From someone who has been there and done that as an antiwar protester during the Vietnam War, let me offer this advice–it’s not the responsibility of law enforcement, it’s the the task of the protesters themselves. Continue reading
Throughout America, news reports suggest there is a problem with the use of excessive force by police. Often it is applied in the arrest or simply the stopping of young African American males. It should be noted that it is also a problem in dealing with mentally disturbed individuals. The former occurs in major part due to institutional racism still embedded in the American system–profiling young Blacks. They are stopped all out of proportion with their representation in the population and all out of proportion to their actual criminality. Then, when they do not respond with the respect and deference that law enforcement officials would expect, they are beaten or killed. Continue reading
My new site, John Maberry’s Writing, is now up and running. A little more tweaking is in order, but it’s up on the web now. It will be limited to excerpts from current and future writing projects. No eclectic blog topics like Views from Eagle Peak. It has a minimalist, simple design intended for readers–not video or art viewers. Check it out now to get a better idea of what is coming.
It’s always sad to lose an actor or comedian that brings so much enjoyment, so much richness to our lives. All the more sad when it comes as a result of suicide. I have never been bipolar as Robin Williams, but I have been depressed. I too have had issues with medication. Finally, I too tried the suicide route but made the luckily ill-informed choice of pills and had a brother who took me to the hospital. All the way back in 1971, following a divorce and then the split with a woman who had brought great joy to me over a youthful summer break from college, I felt I was a loser. With no hope, I rationalized that things would never get better, so I popped a bunch of Sominex. Continue reading
People and groups that purport to know God’s will and attempt to force their supposed understanding are at best offensive. When they couple it with savage cruelty, again, in supposed concert with their interpretation of how God wishes them to establish His will, they become pathological lunatics. ISIS could as well be an acronym for Irrational Sadistic Islamic (self-identified) Savages. If they were an actual state, they would be chargeable with war crimes. As it is, they are simply organized, serial sociopaths. Continue reading