An anonymous donor stepped up with 40k and saved the Tour of the Gila for 2015! Thank god! I have been to this race twice now and will return again at the end of April. Located in beautiful Silver City, New Mexico, this week long race brings you the best of the best when it comes to amateur bicycle racing! There are long road rides, a crit, a TT, and a great finale! The mountains north of Silver City bring some great climbing. It is a journey to get there though. Unless you own a private jet, plan on a good road trip and make sure to book your hotel early! If you are looking for me, head to the hills as I am a certified camper. This great week of bike racing also attracts most of UCI's great Euro teams as well. With a hometown atmosphere, great food, and weather, if you like new experiences this race needs to be on your bucket list. The New Mexico charm, history, and people are just some of the attractions. Whether you like to mountain bike or you are just a roadie, this is the place for you. So, grab your credit card, fill up your tank, and strap your bikes on top of your car, it is time to go West my rider friends, the Tour of the Gila starts in 30 days! tourofthegila.com April 29th through May 3! That's the way I see it, today, March 30th, 2015.
At least France gets it! Last week the French balked at the so-called nuclear talks with the government of Iran. France reiterated that Iran must not build atom bombs and come clean, period. Failing to bow to U.S. pressure, France said, NO! Good for them. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Obama and his team was furious. They had thought with the ouster of Sarkoshy and the right wing France would toe the line. Not! Hollende, the socialist leader, is proving he has some "kahones." Today, March 30th, Russia walked out on the talks! Huh? What? Yep. The lead negotiator for Russia said he was going back to Moscow and would stay there until something "concrete" was put forward. In other words, the country who has supplied the nuclear technology to its proxy, Russian to Iran, said they were not getting anywhere with the "so called talks." Wow! That reminds me of an old Russian proverb, "the negotiator of my negotiator is my friend." ...or something like that. Here is my short take on the matter. Iran wants a bomb, an atom bomb. Either the world will let this country get one or it won't. Talk is just that, talk. Nobody, even China, is happy that North Korea acquired a nuclear weapon. Simple question, "Does the world want Iran to have the bomb?" Yes or no? You don't need five years of negotiations to make this determination, but you do need some resolve in order to define the answer. And that, my little grasshopper, is the conundrum. Obviously, the world is not comfortable with making war with Iran over this matter, at least, not yet. Heck, they gave Hitler a few more years to build up his army before the onslaught of World War Two. Let's hope, this does not have the same fate. Oh, did I forget to mention in response to Iran's involvement in Yemen that twenty Sunni nations announced yesterday to build a joint Arab Army? Another topic for another day. That's the way I see it, today, March 30th, 2015.
Unfortunately, I have the task of giving the movie review of Chappie. Since this movie was such a major waste of my time, hopefully, with luck, I can spare you the same fate. The movie industry was quite successful at billing this out to be a kid friendly ET/Robo Cop save the day adventure. That was completely misleading, and, in my opinion, criminal. Evidently, the industry is trying to re-coup its investment in what is probably one of the dumbest plots of all time. I could hardly keep myself from walking out and demanding my money back. Here is a short synopsis. Ex-robo cop android becomes sentient, is raised by a bunch of punk thugs, taught how to rap, shoot people, and use the "F" word, saves the day by killing a bigger robot with bigger guns, then puts his human maker's brain into another robot. The finale is when a dead hoodlum woman gets a robo body! If you are looking for an excuse to waste some time and money with a total let down void of any morality, then and only then, would I recommend that you support your local Hollywood producer. If ever there was an excuse to stay at home and turn on Hulu, AppleTV, or Netflix, this is it. Good luck and pass on Crappie Chappie! That's how I see it, today, March 26th, 2014.
Okay, when I grew up, in the sixties, we were just a little wild. We had the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, assassinations, a landing on the moon, Woodstock, free love, and hippies. When I graduated from college I was able to find a job. In fact, I had found a job before I graduated. Life seemed good. Uncomplicated. I traveled overseas and pushed on with my career. Computers were still something you saw on Star Trek. The Soviet Union and the West seemed content to contain the "cold war" to their proxies. Oil prices were high, very high. But something was afoot. In the mid-seventies you could start to feel it. Momentum. Dis-satisfaction. Punk Rock. Rap. The Yom Kippur War. Modonna. HBO. Things were starting to change. After the dot-com crash of the nineties everybody thought we would rebuild. And so we did. Then, 9-11. Then the total collapse of the economy in 2008. Today, 2015, the world sits on the brink of a collapsing dollar and euro. Religious and ethnic wars are raging world-wide. Hand held computers, aka cell phones, are the new modes of communication and have single-handedly disenfranchised and entire generation of young people. Unemployment/under-employment is threatening the very fabric of society. Today, when you venture out you are confronted with tattoos, marijuana, and lattes! In fact, most of the jobs in my town are offered by tattoo parlors, marijuana stores, and barista bars. Has the world really changed, or is it just expressing itself in another way? Hey, when I turn sixty, maybe I will get a tat, an ear-ring, and smoke a joint! That's how I see it, today, March 18th, 2014.
Somewhere across a distant horizon there lies another land. For millions of people on planet earth the sun will rise tomorrow bringing fresh dreams and futures. They will go about their daily lives driving their cars, buying food, raising children, going to work, and in general, living life as it was meant to be. Then, there are the unlucky ones. We used to read about them in the papers or in Time magazine. Now, today, we watch the drama unfold on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and T.V. We let the media bias influence our thinking and control our destiny. Inside, deep down, we all know something is very wrong. We know it is wrong when we see be-headings on our Ipads. We know something is wrong when we hear about Christians being massacred on the beaches of Libya. We know something is wrong when we hear about women and children being raped and crucified. We know something is terribly wrong when only rhetoric is used to combat some of the worse evil being perpetrated since World War II. Today, right now, governments worldwide are hoping the ISIS phenomenon will just fade away. It won't . It will not disappear until there is an overwhelming force of power to put it down. Just like World War II, it will take a coalition of Allies and a resolve of gargantuan commitment to defeat this enemy. Like all the ideologies that preceded ISIS, fascism, communism, Nazis, only the resolve and determination will conquer this foe. It will not be cheap. It will not be pretty. It will cost lives. And, it will not happen overnight. But it will happen. ISIS will fall like all the other evil ideologies that came before it. Let the good people of the world come together now to take on this fight. That's how I see it, today, March 9th, 2015.
I have a stupid question. Why would the political establishment make nuclear arms political? Are we really suppose to believe that all Democrats want Iran to posses a nuclear weapon and the Republicans do not? It is the most imbecilic argument which is beyond my understanding. Either a nuclear armed Islamic state like Iran is good or it is bad. There is no in-between. If I were the Saudi king and Iran had nukes then I would have mine. If I am a Saudi, I do not have to make it, I just buy it. Letting the Middle East ease forward toward having nuclear bombs is absolutely the most incomprehensible concept on planet earth. Yes, what if Saddam Hussein had a bomb? What if Assad had a bomb? What if ISIS had a bomb? What if Gaddafi had a bomb? How about Osama bin Laden? Are you kidding me? Letting loose atom bombs in the Middle East is like giving fresh meat to a pack of jackals. The fact that American politics has descended to a new level of stupidity is a question for Forrest Gump! The debate in Washington about nuclear weapons should not be political. This kind of dissension can only lead to war with unpredictable outcomes. However, without the help of Russia and China, there is no way the Iranian nuclear weapons ambition can be thwarted. It it well known that the national policy of Iran is to build an atom bomb. Period. Eventually, and unfortunately, Iranian religious zealots will attain a weapon of mass destruction and the "war" we have always wanted to avoid will begin. Make no mistake, controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons, "today", is the only way to avoid the war of "tomorrow." I hope and pray this opinion does not fall on "deaf ears." That's the way I see it, today, March 8th, 2015.
With Iranian generals now leading the war against ISIS in Iraq, one can only wonder what has happened. After over two decades of fighting in the Middle East, the U.S., rightly or wrongly, has been sidelined. This is basically due to a lack of policy and a misunderstanding of Islam. Now, the Shia backed government of Iran and Iraq are becoming increasingly inseparable. At present, Iranian and Iraqi troops are trying to dislodge ISIS from its strongholds. The Sunni-Shia war is accelerating and if logic prevails, World War III has begun. Whether you agree or not with the Sunni terror regime of ISIS, the Sunni backed majority of Islam will not stand idle as another terrorist regime, Iran, consolidates its territory. Today, Iran holds power over Yemen, the Sinai, Lebanon, Gaza, and now parts of Iraq and Syria. The official position of Iran, terror, has been a backbone of their philosophy since 1979. Iran wants war. Iran wants to own the Caliphate. Iran will not tolerate any Sunni majority. Iran has killed tens of thousands of people in order to prove this. Iran is still at war with the West, Israel, and the United States. Iran seeks nuclear weapons. Iran is not afraid of killing anybody who gets in their way, including Americans. Make no mistake, negotiating with evil is fruitless. Iran needs another "revolution." One where the "people" take charge and all the Ayatollahs are sent to jail. It will not happen overnight. The outcome of World War III is still in play. One thing is certain, violence, death, and the battles that are currently raging will continue until there is a clear winner. Of course, the Sunni-Shia war is now about 1383 years old, and the last time I checked, nobody won! That's how I see it, today, March 7th, 2015.
Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today before the U.S. Congress. Over the past two months, the Obama Administration, aka the Democrats, has all but tried to paint Mr. Netanyahu's speech as anti-American. They have even gone so far as to boycott the Aipac meeting in Washington D.C. So, does this mean the Democrats now are anti-Israel? Is this bi-partisanship or just politics? Are the Democrats still hurting from their loss of control in the Senate and Congress? Under the current leadership in the White House ... here are the facts. The country of Syria has fallen to ISIS. Iraq is now all but disintegrated into a Baghdad mob of Shiite controlled militias. Northern Iraq, where so many U.S. soldiers died and were wounded, has now fallen to ISIS. The country of Yemen has fallen to Iranian backed Shiites. Libya is utterly gone. Egypt has had three governments in just as many years. Saudi Arabia is scared to death that Iran has them surrounded. Afghanistan is now begging the U.S. not to leave. The government of Turkey is destroying it's secular democracy. Hamas and Hezbollah have consolidated their military positions in the Sinai, Gaza, and Southern Lebanon. ISIS has grown a thousand fold in just two years and literally dwarfs anything Osama bin Laden had in mind. With Libyan arms, Boko Haram has successfully attacked Nigeria and is creating a Central African Caliphate. Meanwhile, Canada, Australia, the U.S., Britain, France, Denmark, and Belgium have all suffered Islamic inspired terrorists attacks. This my dear readers is only the tip of the iceberg and it has happened since Barry Soetoro took office. Just a side note, if my name was Barry Soetoro I would of changed it, too. That's how I see it, today, March 3rd, 2015.
Over the weekend, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Moscow, Russia. It was going to turn out to be a small affair, just a normal protest against the Vladimir Putin regime. No biggie. However, after the brutal murder of a famous opposition leader every thing changed. And, I mean everything. Suddenly, anti-Putin activists were flying in from all over Europe to attend the protest march. Most of the E.U. members are currently stuck at the Moscow International Airport having been refused entry into the country, go figure. Whoever or whomever decided to hire a hit squad to kill Boris Nemtsov did not clearly think of the unintended consequences. By the way, that last time a major protest that occurred in Russia like this was in 1917. It was led by Vladimir Lenin. Of course, Lenin had the full backing of Prussia at the time and an additional 10 million in gold to finance and arm his new rebellion. He made good on the deal with the German's and after he took over Russia and killed the Czar he ended Russia's role in World War I. Back to the present ... it remains to be seen what all this means. Russia has always been an oxymoron inside a conundrum with delusions of grandeur. One thing is certain, Mr. Putin is still in charge and is unlikely to head to the "gulag" anytime soon. That's the way I see it, today, March 2nd. 2015.
Leonard Nimoy died last week. I can honestly say that I am a trekkie and that Mr. Nimoy is partially responsible! When I first started watching Star Trek I was eleven years old. My afternoon T.V. routine back in the sixties was Bonanza, The Brady Bunch, and Star Trek. By the time Star Wars came out I was already a science fiction convert. Having read all of Ray Bradbury's books, I would dream of being a Star Ship Captain. I later became an Airline Pilot. Go figure. What I liked about the Star Trek phenomenon was that it envisioned a world of earthlings who supposedly worked out all of their differences. There was the black communications officer, the Russian tactical officer, the Japanese pilot, the whacked out doctor, the Scottish engineer, and last, but not least, an alien (Vulcan) Second in Command. Together, this sorted group hopped around the galaxy going "boldly where no one has gone before." And indeed they did. The success of the Star Trek franchise speaks for itself. I am a little embarrassed to say that when they introduced the new Star Trek characters, which J.J.Abrams put together, I yelled with the crowd in the theater as each new actor made their debut. Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy, the rest of the cast, and the writers have help to create a legacy of adventure we can all be proud of. As with the Bible, a good story can last forever. Live long and prosper Mr. Spock. That's how I see it, today, March 1st, 2014.
"The purpose of my writing is twofold. First, to get things out of my head. Second, to show it to you."
Daniel D Scroggin
A freelance writer, flight instructor, and world traveler. Sharing his ideas, opinions, and adventures for your consumption.