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.

Build the Damned Wall

America changed. Donald Trump is a transformational president. Donald Trump changed America. Now it’s concentration camps: The U.S. Navy is preparing plans to construct sprawling detention centers for tens of thousands of immigrants on remote bases in California, Alabama and … Continue reading

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The Killer Elite

This is not about that 2011 movie Killer Elite – Jason Statham as the conflicted mercenary haunted by one of his assassinations, with Clive Owen hanging around and Robert De Niro being Robert De Niro. That movie sank like a … Continue reading

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The Tough Guy Blinks, Momentarily

Forget authoritarianism. Forget fascist bullying. No one likes those things, but everyone likes a strong leader. A strong leader knows what he’s doing. A strong leader makes what is baffling simple and clear. That’s comforting. Authoritarian moves and fascist bullying … Continue reading

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The Word for It

George Bush talked in those Bushisms – “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” What? Oh well. Everyone knew what he … Continue reading

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The Grossest Absurdities

“When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.” ~ David Hume No one told Donald Trump. He may have … Continue reading

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Present at the Destruction

The world is changing. Donald Trump is a symptom of that change, not the change itself. Canada did toss out the fusty and mean conservative Stephen Harper and elected the progressive and humane and whip-smart young Justin Trudeau. Canadians like … Continue reading

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The Power of Sound

Voltaire got it right – “Un bon mot ne prouve rien.” A witty saying proves nothing – but Flaubert believed in, and pursued, the principle of finding “le mot juste” (“the right word”) – that was the key to all … Continue reading

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