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 King of Chaos

It’s a new kind of presidency. Get used to it. Donald Trump says outrageous things. He tweets outrageous things. He enjoys it, or he thinks that it’s part of his job, the reason he was elected – to shake things … Continue reading

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One Wish Granted

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it. No one quite knows who first said that but now everyone says that, as if that’s a clever thing to say, but it isn’t that clever. It’s just a useful … Continue reading

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Sources and Methods

It wasn’t fake news. On an odd Tuesday filled with odd news, Donald Trump did fire his rabidly aggressive national security advisor, Michael Flynn, just after the CIA and FBI and all the rest leaked to the press that this … Continue reading

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Adventures in Crisis Management

There’s a reason that once you get past the odd childproof cap on your little bottle of Tylenol there’s that foil safety seal to get through, even if you are in pain. In 1982 someone was slipping cyanide into a … Continue reading

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Flynn No More

There are things that no one is supposed to know, and that no one knows. Russia has spies, America has spies, everyone has spies – but no one knows who they are or what they do or have done. There’s … Continue reading

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Anyone who has taught high school English has had problem students – the smart-ass, the brooding potential psychopath, or the class clown, or the rebel, with or without a cause, but usually without a cause. Anyone who has taught high … Continue reading

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Perhaps a Madman

Hollywood is always looking for that big meaningful film, all evidence to the contrary. It’s a prestige thing – Tom Hanks saves Private Ryan and Schindler has his list – and in 1940 it was The Great Dictator from Charlie … Continue reading

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