Author Archives: Alan

About Alan

The editor is a former systems manager for a large California-based HMO, and a former senior systems manager for Northrop, Hughes-Raytheon, Computer Sciences Corporation, Perot Systems and other such organizations. One position was managing the financial and payroll systems for a large hospital chain. And somewhere in there was a two-year stint in Canada running the systems shop at a General Motors locomotive factory - in London, Ontario. That explains Canadian matters scattered through these pages. Otherwise, think large-scale HR, payroll, financial and manufacturing systems. A résumé is available if you wish. The editor has a graduate degree in Eighteenth-Century British Literature from Duke University where he was a National Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and taught English and music in upstate New York in the seventies, and then in the early eighties moved to California and left teaching. The editor currently resides in Hollywood California, a block north of the Sunset Strip.

The Hollywood Magnet

Some places are magnets – Manhattan, Paris, Hollywood – you’re going to end up there one day, somehow, and maybe you’ll stay, and maybe the move from upstate New York in 1981 was inevitable. The marriage had ended and the … Continue reading

Posted in Cyber Warfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Assuring That a Cigar is Only a Cigar

No one ends up where they expected to be. Graduate school was Pope and Swift and ivy-covered walls. Teaching was that Dead Poet’s Society thing at a prep school in upstate New York, but that was maddening – each year … Continue reading

Posted in Cuba, Normalizing Relations with Cuba | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Evil Empire That Never Was

Old enemies are the best enemies, because they’re always out there as a reference point. They’re bad and we’re good, or if we’re not good about many things, at least we’re better than them. That was the Cold War. We … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of the Russian Economy, Vladimir Putin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

America Takes Its Lumps

History is lumpy. There’s no steady march of progress. America is doing just fine until, suddenly, it isn’t. No one saw the stock market crash of 1929 coming, and no one saw the total collapse of the economy at the … Continue reading

Posted in Return of the Sixties | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two for Torture

Of all the religious beliefs in the world there are few stranger than reincarnation, although that idea of a talking snake, that suggests eating an apple, is rather odd. After we die, do we come back as someone or something … Continue reading

Posted in Dick Cheney, Torture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taking the Actual Country Back

Americans like to keep things simple. Twitter is the preferred medium of public discourse now – if you can’t distill what you’re thinking down into one hundred forty characters, you’re not thinking clearly, or you’re a tedious windbag who really … Continue reading

Posted in Elizabeth Warren, Populist Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eventual Equilibrium

At the moment there’s a storm rolling into Southern California – heavy rain in the forecast, and high winds and possible small tornadoes – a rare event. But the word is that this massive storm will arrive at midnight and … Continue reading

Posted in Government Shutdown, Torture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment