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December 12, 2014: Welcome to Grandpa's new blog, post #1! This is where I'll post my observations and thoughts on current events, spiritual challenges, and perhaps even technology developments. In short, whatever strikes my fancy. The advantage to an opinion-based blog is that I can spout off here, and my family doesn't have to listen to it.

What, then, should be the topic for post #1? I'll say a few words about the recent controversies involving police officers and fatal events. Not that anyone particularly cares what I think about it, but this post will make me possibly the last person in America to express an opinion, so I'd better climb aboard the bandwagon.

First, I must acknowledge that policing is a difficult job. It's easy and obvious to see that, even without really knowing much about the job. Everything that follows must be written within this context. It's difficult, sometimes dangerous, and it's a job that many of us simply could not perform, and some who could just wouldn't want to.

The situation in Ferguson, MO is just unfortunate all the way around. Based on the news reports, it appears to me that Mr. Brown made some bad choices, and it turned out to be a much more dangerous place (for him) to make those bad choices than he realized. Whether or not the use of extreme, deadly force was really necessary is for others, much more well-informed than I, to decide. I believe there's enough evidence which has been made public to believe that the police officer in this case justifiable felt he had been backed into a corner.

The NYC incident appears to be a much better-documented case, primarily owing to the widely-circulated video of the event. Based upon multiple viewings of the video on several news channels, I have so far failed to observe anything in Mr. Garner's actions which would justify his being attacked from the back, let alone choked to death as he was. Based on viewings of this video, I believe the Staten Island grand jury was in error when they decided not to charge the police officer with any misconduct.

It is absolutely necessary, dear reader, to keep in mind as you read this, that these statements are the opinions of just one man, admittedly with limited knowledge of the events. My statements of opinion, I believe, have less to say regarding these sad events than they do about the news coverage thereof. My opinions are pretty much a direct result of the news as it has been presented, filtered as always by my values and life experiences.

As to the "protests" and "demostrations" which have followed these events, I see no justification whatsoever for the outrageous crimes which have been committed, many of which have victimized residents of the very communities which the protesters would claim to be seeking to protect.