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 White Guy with the Shiny Teeth

It’s something old men say, that those were the days: “The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature” is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on natural theology, … Continue reading

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Rattled and Irrational

The week ended with a news story of vast historical importance that wasn’t particularly noticed, because all the other news buried it – the Epstein suicide, if it was that, Trump and Netanyahu declaring that all Democrats hate Jews and … Continue reading

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Two Sudden Moves

The summer of 1966 – after that freshman year of college in Ohio – was cool – pumping gas during the day and playing in a salsa band at night, on Saint Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. But … Continue reading

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In The Trump Years

These are the Trump years. Things always get stranger: An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death. … Continue reading

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Trump in Chinatown

The title of Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown was a bit of shorthand. That movie wasn’t about Los Angeles’ Chinatown at all. It was about the California water wars in the early years of the last century. Somehow, no one … Continue reading

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Paper Straws

That strange intense little man with a way of making everything oddly vivid and dramatic – always overstating everything – was back again: Former short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Monday that President Trump is “giving people a … Continue reading

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A Culture of Denial

Sometimes the odd little news stories tell bigger stories, like this one: Ticks are swarming, carrying myriad diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and making people ill. And, as one congressman believes, these ticks came from secret … Continue reading

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