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Bob Alexander's Commentary

Too Stupid To Live

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Here’s the way it shakes out. Paraphrasing Slavoj Žižek, Slovene philosopher and cultural critic:

Of these three features:

personal honesty,
intelligence,
and sincere support of Republican policies,

it is only possible to combine two, never all three of these attributes.

If one is honest and supportive … one is not very bright.
If one is bright and supportive … one is not honest.
And if one is honest and bright … one can not be supportive.

There’s no such thing as a smart, honest, Republican. I challenge anyone to find this elusive creature. The odds are you’ll stumble across the Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman playing cribbage in The Vatican before you’ll be able to snap a couple shots of a smart, honest, Republican.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 18:56 Read more...

Socio-Political Earthquakes

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The greatest series of earthquakes in U.S. history began when an 8.6 magnitude quake rocked the Mississippi River Valley near New Madrid, Missouri on December 16th 1811. The earthquake raised and lowered parts of the Mississippi Valley by as much as 15 feet and changed the course of the Mississippi River. At one point, the Mississippi momentarily reversed its direction, and created Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. Now that was an earthquake.

I’ve experienced a couple of geological earthquakes that were unnerving at the moment, but in my lifetime there have been three socio-political earthquakes whose aftershocks have reverberated for decades:

The JFK Assassination, the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify a national election by installing George W. Bush as president, and the attacks of September 11th 2001.

Do I believe members of the Bush Administration were key players in the 9/11 attacks and either “made it happen” or “allowed it to happen?” I don’t know. I will probably never know. Over the last 12 years scores of credible sources have raised enough questions about The government’s “official story” to render it unbelievable. What I do believe is anyone capable of committing the supreme international crime, a war of aggression, is capable of anything.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 19:34 Read more...

Trance-Formation

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There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

Thus intoned Rod Serling at the beginning of the first episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone in 1959. It would be years before I read Kafka, Huxley, and Orwell, but I knew the territory well. Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Richard Matheson, had already taken me there once every week for five years.

The Twilight Zone left me with powerful memories of stories of ordinary people who had somehow slipped almost casually across an unseen line, and into another world … another reality. And here we all are … 49 years after the last program was broadcast … living in The Twilight Zone. I wish we had better writers.  The same plot devices from a handful of episodes are used over and over, overlap one another, and play simultaneously non-stop. And the kicker is … most people don’t even notice … and that in itself is an old Twilight Zone episode.

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Happy Anniversary To Us!

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Two years ago today, August 22nd, we moved to Beautiful British Columbia. I’m only going to say this one more time as I can imagine everyone is getting awfully tired of hearing it:

Every Single Day
I read at least one news item, oftentimes more, from The States that makes me very happy and relieved we don’t live in the U.S. anymore.

And …

Every Single Day I have a moment, some days a couple of moments, when I am grateful we now live in Canada.

I know a guy in Seattle who feels compelled to remind me that Canada isn’t perfect. It’s his way of countering whatever positive thing I’ve told him about living up here.

Canada is not perfect. I know. I live here. But guess what? Relatively speaking, after a lifetime of living in the U.S. …Yes It Is!

Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 13:24 Read more...

Springtime in Santa Barbara

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Back in 1971 a couple of good ol’ boys grabbed me outside of a bar in Amarillo Texas and pounded me into the ground like a human tent peg. They didn’t like the length of my hair.

A couple of years later I was walking down De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara in the late afternoon when a guy sped by me in beat-to-crap white pick up truck, screamed out, “YOU EFFING HIPPIE,” and threw an unopened bottle of coke at my head. It missed by inches, exploded against the rock retaining wall on my right, and instead of a concussion … I was covered in broken glass and dripping soda pop.

The beating in Amarillo was pretty bad. It could have gotten worse but luckily for me, the bartender had an idea about what the good ol’ boys were up to, and came out and stopped it. But the “Pop Bottle Incident of 1973” had a greater impact on me. The thing in Texas I chalked up to, “What the hell do you expect? You’re in Texas for chrissakes,” but the lucky near-miss in Santa Barbara really shook me up. I was in Southern California, one of the “sane” states, where a long hair could walk around without getting stomped.

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