Whether you like it or not, regardless of which political party wins in November, change is coming. It might not be "change you can believe in," never the less, change is just around the corner. While the entire country is focused like a laser on the political outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, the real change will come as a new executive administration takes on the challenges for the upcoming four years. As always, the American political system is based on this change, this apparent chaos of apparatchiks. With either Hillary or Donald driving the ship, just remember, the waters are already pretty choppy. Some of the waves are big, some small, and then there is the one you don't see. The War on Terror is a big one. Relations with Russia another. North Korea still presents a threat. Then there is the total mess in the Middle East, Syria just being the tip of the iceberg. The United States is now involved with bombing in no less than seven countries...not good. The unintended consequences of a nation constantly at war is starting to tax even the die-hards. Please keep in mind, the continued war effort is still being conducted under "executive order" and not at the approval of Congress. Think about that. The economy is another issue. The propping up of the stock market since 2008 will eventually start to come down. A soft landing would be best, but based on historical data a "crash" is most likely. Just last week HSBC announced they are preparing for another major downturn in the market, read stock market crash. Last, but surely not least, is the continued divide that exists in American politics where one side literally hates the other. After the Republican headquarters was firebombed in North Carolina I switched off the T.V. Hasn't been on since. Quite frankly, I can not keep up with the present shenanigans of this election, the utter stupidity of it all, and its apparent childish nature. When I saw the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile posted as Hillary's new campaign bus I just lost it. Yep, I am still laughing. And maybe, just maybe, that is what we all need, just a good laugh. After all, it is only a Presidential election! That's the way I see it, today, October 30, 2016.
A few months ago my father passed away. I use the word father, not dad. My dad came later after my mother re-married. While my new dad was reluctant to take on more responsibilities, he did it. He did it without reservation. For that, I am extremely grateful. Without my step-father, I doubt seriously if I would of ever started college, less finish. He also inspired me to become a pilot. But his story is for another day. Today, my reflections on my father seem to only bring me pain. Without going into details, let's just say his story has been told over millennia, countless times. It is the story of an alcoholic. The only variables are the person, the place, the family, and the damage left behind. Everything else remains the same. Most "normal" people can not and do not relate to an alcoholic. They have absolutely no understanding of the problem, no concept of real pain, suffering, and the lifelong perpetual tragedy it embodies. In a real sense, alcoholism is a real form of evil. It enables it victims to claim it is just a disease and that they are not personally responsible for their actions. In reality, as we all come to learn, all actions, whether excusable or not, have consequences. As so it was with my father. He left me as a child, both physically but more importantly, he left my life mentally, never to return. I would see him now and then as I proceeded through life, but, as always, "the lights were on, but nobody was home." My father was what you would call a "functioning" alcoholic. That is, he did manage to hold down his job. The damage he left behind is simply immeasurable. My relatives still suffer greatly from his actions. As an adult, I try to put it behind me. But, as my childhood friend told me recently, "I remember that crazy house just down the street." That house, unfortunately, was mine. Today, there are all kinds of programs for the alcoholic, but the problem remains the same. Until the individual decides to change the solution goes no further. The best advice I can give to anyone today on the subject is simple, just walk away and don't look back. Improve yourself and try to be the best person you can be. Think of others, not yourself. Always remember, alcoholism is the ultimate form of narcissism and selfishness. If you are an alcoholic and you are reading this...just Goggle AA. For those of you who suffer from an alcoholic...Goggle Al-anon. You may find that your life will change. That's the way I see it, today, October 30th, 2016. Maybe, this article is my father's legacy...
Over the skies of Syria on October 16th, 2016, a Russian fighter and an American aircraft almost had a close encounter. While, so far, these two nations have managed to avoid all out warfare, it is becoming increasingly obvious that an eventual mishap will occur. What happens then? Will cool heads prevail? According to the Russian press, America has already started World War 3 in Syria, at least this is what is being told to the Russian public. Over the past month, in response to America's participation in the Syrian conflict and increasing NATO's presence in Europe, Russia has been psychologically preparing its public for a "nuclear war." Huh? Yep, that's right. In case you have not been paying attention, the rhetoric coming out of Moscow has been anything but positive. What ever happened to the Clinton "reset button" of Russian relations? At last check, Moscow had succeeded in taking Crimea from Ukraine, activated a military base in Syria, deployed advanced missile weaponry in Iran and Syria, used cyber warfare against the U.S. mainland, and just deployed a large naval flotilla into the Mediterranean Sea. Hmmm. Either they are trying to send us a message, don't give a shit about what we say or do, or are trying to prop up their fledgling economy. Either way, professing to start a preemptive nuclear attack sure sounds like they are a little, just a little, pissed off. What say you? All of this comes on the cusp of a U.S. presidential election. If I was just a high school er, suffice it to say, I could directly conclude, "Houston, we got a problem!" Let's hope and pray cooler heads prevail. The situation in Syria is not tenable, sooner or later, something has to give. Let us all pray I don't have to move to Patagonia. That's the way I see it, today, October 28th, 2016.
A lot of my readers will probably disagree with my decision of not voting in this year's Presidential election. I wish it were not true, but, it is. My decision to not partake in this election is twofold. First, and no disrespect intended, I still find it hard to believe that the United States of America is corrupt. I like to refer to Ronald Reagan's "shining light on a hill" speech, where American values and sense of pride represent everything our country has to offer. Unfortunately, America has lost it's way. Our core system of government has been usurped by a dogmatic media and money system unsurpassed by anything seen in history. Donald Trump is right about one thing, the system is "rigged." The mere fact that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent the "best" that America can offer simply proves my point. You, the reader, know it is true. The Democratic and Republican parties have morphed into one. Trump's campaign has mobilized an entire new segment of the population, super dis-satisfied voters. Having said that, Trump may win the popular vote, but the electoral college is another matter. I will not make any predictions as to whom the final winner shall be, but suffice it to say, either way, America, the United States of America, will be the loser. Getting into specifics is futile, you can do that by simply switching on the T.V., chose your poison, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX...whatever. Or better yet, just watch Saturday Night Live for a complete un-biased opinion...tongue in cheek, ha, ha. Second, an by no means should it be dis-counted, the Federal government in the United States has grown so big that it now is the economy. All other industries must now compete with this "business." And, it should be noted, as with Obamacare, the Federal government self-regulates and defines itself. As the government grows, so does its predilection for corruption. Today, unlike anytime in previous history, the government "is the business." So, whether you decide to vote Democratic or Republican this November, whether you feel in your heart you are going to "make a difference," just remember, buying into the idea of being dishonest is dis-honesty itself. Truth is hard to find, especially when no one is looking. That's the way I see it, today, October 24th, 2016.
"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.