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.

Having No President At All

Small-government conservatives argue for as little government as possible, and some small-government conservatives argue for even less government than that. Grover Norquist – that fellow who wants lower and lower taxes, until there are none and the government runs out … Continue reading

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Firing the Press

It was odd from the beginning. Donald Trump formally launched his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015, at Trump Tower in Manhattan. He floated down that gold-plated escalator, with his stunningly beautiful and perpetually silent sphinxlike third wife at his … Continue reading

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Talking Turkey Now

At the moment the government is careering toward a shutdown. At the end of the week all authorizations for the government to spend money on anything at all expire, again – but this time no one is talking about a … Continue reading

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The Duffer

Donald Trump may be a duffer – a peddler, especially of cheap flashy articles, or an incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person, and colloquially, a mediocre golfer. Of course in Australia a “duffer” is a cattle rustler – but that doesn’t … Continue reading

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Choosing the Right Word

California gave America Richard Nixon. Then California gave America Ronald Reagan. Then, to make up for that, California gave America S. I. Hayakawa – the president of San Francisco State University who became one of the state’s two senators in … Continue reading

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Somehow Proving the Negative

Proving a negative is difficult. Demanding that one proves the non-existence of something is absurd. “I know Elvis’ ghost is visiting me in my dreams.” Ah, well, that may not be Elvis’ ghost. “Prove that it’s not!” How does one prove … Continue reading

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Not Quite Presidential

Donald Trump has said a lot of things. In late August 2016, after winning a few more primaries and pulling away from the rest of those hopelessly conventional Republican losers, to those who were worried that he might be a … Continue reading

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