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Bob Alexander's Commentary

Greetings From Planet VeeGah

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It’s been over a month since we watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and turned ourselves into veganistas. And It’s been … um … interesting.

On the culinary front it’s been a pretty easy ride. Y’see, right after we watched the movie we didn’t march into the kitchen, swing wide the doors to the refrigerator and freezer, and toss all our meat, dairy, and eggs into the garbage. That’d be crazy. We spent money on that stuff!

But soon … there went the last of the butter … hello, Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Not bad at all. After the last egg had been scrambled, I found a recipe for a great breakfast hash made from mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, garlic, fried potatoes and tofu. Yeah … tofu. I have been making fun of tofu for years. But when it works … it works.

Since I do the cooking around here the challenge was to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner just as satisfying as before.  Food isn’t just fuel … it has to be fun too. All our good intentions would slide right out into the street and get hit by a bus if the food doesn’t taste good. So far the transition from animal based meals to vegetarian to vegan has been fairly smooth.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 November 2014 23:04 Read more...

This Is Worse Than That

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Stop me if you know the answer to this one, “What is the one single industry destroying the planet more than any other?

We all know the answer to that one … Right?

The fossil fuel industry, of course. And we feel completely helpless to stop the Drilling and the Fracking and the Mining. No matter what we do - we know Global Climate Change is here. It’s going to get worse, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We can leave all our cars in the driveway, take shorter showers, change out all our light bulbs, get a low-flow toilet, recycle every scrap, think globally and buy locally, and it won’t make any discernable difference at all. Personal change won’t save the planet as long as the energy barons are calling the shots. Billionaires are buying the politicians hand over fist, while suppressing the vote and simultaneously lying to voters on a minute-by-minute basis with the full cooperation of the media. Go ahead. Take shorter showers. Control of the “system” has been systematically taken away from us. There’s nothing we can do so we might as well crack open a beer, sit on the porch, and watch the sun go down on all of us.

This is a pretty typical “Moment With Bob” isn’t it? In one paragraph I can suck all the air out of the room and replace hope and optimism with despair. What can I say… It’s a gift. But hold on to your socks, buckle up, and make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position, because we’re about to make a full 180 … Right Now.

Personal Change Can Save The Planet. But we’ve got to hurry.

I just found this out a couple of days ago and I’m still kind of overwhelmed. I never imagined this could happen, but it did. I watched a documentary That Changed My Life. After an event like that, of course I’ve tipped over and become evangelical about it.

Everybody Must See This Film: "COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret"

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 21:12 Read more...

The Clown Behind the Monster is a Monster

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Once upon a time there was a thoroughly mediocre man. He was incapable of finishing secondary or vocational school. By age 22, he found some small success as a salesman. He lived with his parents when not on the road making sales calls. Eventually he lost interest in the job, his performance dropped, and he was fired.

On the advice of his father’s friend he joined a political party. He didn’t join out of any sense of conviction. He didn’t even know the party’s platform. He just wanted the sense of being part of something - of belonging. When the party came into power he saw it as his best chance at some sort of success.

By his own admission he did best when he was told what to do. Projects he initiated failed. He did not have the capacity to think about what he was doing with any depth. His inability to speak coherently reflected his inability to think. He would obliviously string together contradictory ideas within a single statement. He was literally a thoughtless man.

But he could carry out the tasks he was given as long as he operated within an established framework. He did not excel at his job in the same way a cog in a machine does not excel at being a cog. It simply performs as a cog should. He eventually rose to a low level management position and there he would stay for the rest of his career.

He worked primarily in transportation planning. In time he became adept at moving people from one place to another in the most efficient manner. To him the destination was irrelevant. Initially he was working on the forced emigration of Jews out of Germany. But within a few years, on orders from his superiors, the process was adjusted to transport Jews to death camps. And that is how Adolf Eichmann became The Man In the Glass Booth on trial for his life in Jerusalem in April 1961.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:04 Read more...

By My Clock It’s Always 9/11

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I wrote this about 4 years ago:

We were in a canoe paddling towards the middle of the lake. The sky and water was blue as the blue in a Maxfield Parrish painting. I looked down and it seemed I could see forever into the depths of the lake. And I wondered … What would it be like to lose something … Something of great value … Right here in the middle of the lake? What would it be like if my wedding band slipped off my finger into the lake?

It would be lost the moment it hit the water.

Even if I immediately dove in after the ring it would sink faster and deeper than I could swim. But I would be able to clearly see it as it sank … for a long time. That’s the terrible part. To see it fall away with absolute clarity … sunlight glinting off the gold as it rapidly receded farther and further into the depths … finally passing deeper than light can penetrate … and then … wink out of existence.

Lost.

As we paddled back to shore a small wave of sadness hit. Not about the hypothetical loss of a ring … but about all the things we’ve lost … clearly lost … things that are quickly receding into an irrevocable irretrievable past.

Yeah. Those are the kinds of happy bunny thoughts I have when we’re on vacation. Imagine what’s banging around inside my head when I’m stuck in my room reading the news.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 September 2014 22:18 Read more...

Postcard From Another World

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A friend recently wrote me:

Remember the realization back in the early 70's that the whole country was insane? Could it be true, could a whole country go insane?

Way back when, in the dim distant past, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and pterodactyls swooped through the skies - You know - the 70s - my friend and I were trying to get a sense of What’s Going On. Here we are, millions of years later, still trying to map out a strange land. The only difference now is he still lives in that strange land, and my family escaped across the border into Beautiful British Columbia. In fact August 22nd, marked our Third Anniversary in Canada.

I’ve written quite a bit about Our Canadian Life so I wont bore y’all with too many more tales of how much better it is up here compared to the good ole USA. To Sum Up: this is the month we can apply for Permanent Residency and the only way you could get us out of here is with a pry bar and blasting caps. If, for some bizarre reason, we were forced to go live once again back in the states, there’s a very good chance I would die of the dry heaves.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 21:28 Read more...

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