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Bob Alexander's Commentary

Touch of Evil

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In the Spring of 1996, at 7 o’clock one morning, I arrived at a breakfast meeting of the movers and shakers in the addiction field. I immediately made my way to the coffee bar. I’m not functional at 7 o’clock in the morning and part of this meeting was my presentation about how to use The Internet to promote addiction awareness as well as their treatment centers. I quickly downed my first cup of thin, hotel coffee and looked around the room. There were about twenty men in the group, all white, all somewhere in their sixties, all seemingly affluent, all freshly showered and shaved, all wearing good suits, and all had been to a barber shop recently. Well … I too was a white guy and had taken a shower at stupid o’clock in the morning … but that’s all we had in common.

I poured a refill and wandered over where everyone was laughing and telling jokes. I was all set to pretend to smile over tame jokes lifted from the Reader’s Digest. Y’know … the not-funny “safe” humor Bob Hope peddled for the last 30 years of his career. But I was wrong. They weren’t telling those kind of jokes. They were telling “Hillary” jokes. I’m not against bad taste or dark humor but it has to be funny. These weren’t. They were just mean, vicious, and obscene. They could have just eliminated the joke-telling altogether and simply told one another “I Hate Women” or “I Hate Hillary Clinton.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 23:07 Read more...

Mystery in the Mega-mart

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A man in a restaurant says, “Hey waiter, what’s this fish doing in my strawberries?”

The waiter replies, ”Genes from the arctic flounder are spliced into strawberries because the fish lives in water where other fish freeze to death. But the arctic flounder has unique genes that allow it to produce a sort of anti-freeze so it survives. These genes are put into strawberries to make them resistant to cold. Bon a petit.”

The man thinks for a moment and says, “Give me the soup that has the fly in it.”

But seriously folks …

Unlike Rand Paul I have no problem being upfront with the fact that I’m about to cut and paste like crazy from Wikipedia.

“Genetic modification involves the mutation, insertion, or deletion of genes. When genes are inserted, they usually come from a different species, which is a form of horizontal gene transfer. However, other methods exploit natural forms of gene transfer, such as the ability of Agrobacterium to transfer genetic material to plants, or the ability of lentiviruses to transfer genes to animal cells.”

Now let’s look up Agrobacterium.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 20:53 Read more...

An Evening with ... Anonymous

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My son and I recently attended a talk regarding Income Inequality at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver. I went because the speaker has had hundreds of his articles published in progressive websites like OpEdNews, and I always had thought of him as one of the good guys.

Now I don’t.

I’ve tried a number of different approaches to writing about the event and I thought it was best to keep the speaker anonymous for now and just let his statements speak for themselves.

What’s happening in the United States, the divisiveness, the polarization, again, is related to this fundamental economic problem. Because when so many people feel that they’re working so hard, they’re working harder than ever, but they’re not getting anywhere. They’re actually falling behind. They feel economically insecure.

When all of those people feel that the game is rigged against them, they get angry. They get frustrated. They’re very prone to demagogues on the left or the right - it doesn’t matter who want to point the finger of blame at immigrants or at the poor or at the rich, at corporations or at government or at the trade unions. There’s a lot of blame to go around.”

This was the first WTF moment.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 20:51 Read more...

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...

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