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Bob Alexander's Commentary

Nowhere Near the Road to Damascus

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I Have Seen the Light! Glory Gee to Beezus I Have Seen the Light! And since being filled with this Grand and Glorious Light I feel compelled to share The Good News of my Epiphany to everyone I know.

Pretty scary opening eh? I remember hearing similar words coming out of the mouth of a friend of mine after he had accepted Jesus Christ as his own personal redeemer and new invisible best friend. It was abso-freakin’-lutely terrifying. One day he was just a regular guy kickin’ around Hollywood trying to pick up a job here and there when WHAMMO! The next time I ran into him his eyes were all glittery with  new-found madness. He had a goofy vacuous grin plastered on his face and he was clutching a cheap copy of the New Testament. Something terrible had obviously happened to my ol’ pal Danny. And whatever that terrible thing was … the escape route he took landed him smack dab into the arms of The Lord.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:45 Read more...

Nothing Bad Happens in This Story

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It all started back in 1944 when a group of high-powered Democratic hacks couldn’t pressure FDR to drop vice-president Henry A. Wallace from the ticket. The corrupt Democratic machine knew Roosevelt wouldn’t survive a fourth term and they wanted their favorite weasel Harry Truman in the number two slot ready to carry out their agenda the moment the president dropped dead. But Roosevelt held firm, kept Wallace on the ticket, and easily won the party’s nomination and then the national election.

In his last State of the Union address Roosevelt introduced a "Second Bill of Rights" which would complete the Founders' vision of ensuring all Americans equality in the pursuit of happiness. Millions were listening spellbound when Roosevelt said, “In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:30 Read more...

Forward ... Into the Past

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In 1997 Kevin Costner directed and starred in The Postman, a epic post apocalyptic movie that bombed at the box office.

The film begins with this voice-over narration:

The last of the great cities died when my father was a child. Another victim of yet another war. The plagues followed. And the terrors. The living hid themselves away in tiny hamlets in hopes of surviving whatever new madness conspired to rob them of the little that remained. The Earth itself had fallen prey to chaos. For three years a dirty snow fell that even summer could not erase. The ocean was barren. Poisoned. Near death. Sixteen long years passed before the great lungs started working again. My father said it was as if the ocean breathed a great sigh of relief...

A lone wanderer, leading a mule, treks across a barren landscape. The year is 2013.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 20:49 Read more...

I’ve Heard of Denial … But I Don’t Think It Exists

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I did a little light reading over the last weekend. I started with an essay about defeating learned helplessness, then read the latest from Chris Hedges “Rise Up or Die,” and finished with a story with this snappy headline: Human race 'will be extinct within 100 years', claims leading scientist.

Now this last story sounds like one of the screaming headlines from one of the tabloids clogging a supermarket’s checkout counter but no … this wasn’t a variant of “Bat-child Found in Cave!” or “Donnie & Marie are Aliens!” This was a three-year-old article from The Australian, the biggest-selling national newspaper in Australia.

The leading scientist interviewed was Professor Frank Fenner whose Wiki entry reads, “… an Australian scientist with a distinguished career in the field of virology. His two greatest achievements are cited as overseeing the eradication of smallpox, and the control of Australia's rabbit plague.

The article starts out on this happy note, ”Frank Fenner doesn't engage in the skirmishes of the climate wars. To him, the evidence of global warming is in. Our fate is sealed.

"We're going to become extinct," the eminent scientist says. "Whatever we do now is too late."
Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 19:32 Read more...

Hitchhiking Across the Plain of Megiddo

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I’ve always liked the following snippet of purple prose.

Before the beginning, after the great war between heaven and hell, God created the Earth and gave dominion over it to the crafty ape he called man… and to each generation was born a Creature of Light and a Creature of Darkness… and great armies clashed by night in the ancient war between good and evil. There was magic then. Nobility. And unimaginable cruelty. And so it was until the day that a false sun exploded over Trinity, and man forever traded away wonder for reason. -- Season One opening narration from the HBO series Carnivàle

I don’t buy into the “god” part, heaven and hell, or the idea that after the bomb humanity embraced reason. But the seemingly forever war of Good vs. Evil … resonates.

For the last week I’ve tried to jettison some words from my day-to-day vocabulary. Old habits die hard but the mind experiment is interesting. Try it yourself. For one week don’t use these words:

Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Right Wing, Left Wing, or any other label like Left of Center, Center, or Right of Center. Get rid of all quasi-political descriptors. Because they don’t really work anymore. They’re not very accurate or applicable. If I needed you to take care of my dog you’d need to know if I was talking about a Great Dane or a Chihuahua. “Just saying “dog” isn’t good enough. These days our political labels don’t really tell us anything. And while we’re at it let’s get rid of all the “-ists” and “-isms.” Socialism/Socialist, Communism/Communist, Capitalism/Capitalist, and Fascism/Fascist, are so emotionally charged some of us can’t think straight when they’re plopped into a conversation.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 May 2013 21:40 Read more...

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