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.

Still Learning

The sixties were fine – there was the Summer of Love and Woodstock and all the rest, and talk of changing the world. That was supposed to happen, but it didn’t. Almost simultaneously the nation elected Nixon and college ended … Continue reading

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Beyond Summary

Executives and government officials don’t read reports. They read executive summaries, usually one paragraph. They get the general idea, and if something puzzles them they’ll ask a staffer about that. Those poor nobodies have to read the whole damned report, … Continue reading

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Judging His Judgment

Late last year the Washington Post offered a list of the ten books on leadership to read in 2017 – including Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace of all things. Donald Trump would laugh. That’s not him, and he’s … Continue reading

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No Free Lunch for You

On May 17, 2012, Mitt Romney said a few things that finally surfaced on September 17, 2012, when excerpts from a video recorded on hidden camera were published by Mother Jones. Romney, speaking at a private fifty-grand-a-plate fundraiser at hedge … Continue reading

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Political Landscaping

A major terrorist attack has a masking effect – all other news disappears. The world is a dangerous place, more dangerous than it’s ever been – maybe. Hitler tried to eat the world. The Japanese tried to eat their half … Continue reading

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A Royal Pain

The Dark Ages were dark. The Roman Empire had collapsed. Civilization had collapsed. There were raiding hoards everywhere – Visigoths and Vikings and whatnot – and all the knowledge of Ancient Greece and Rome disappeared. Arab (Muslim) scholars saved the … Continue reading

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The Hell of Other People

The Nazis were still in Paris, and at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier, in May 1944, a new play by Jean-Paul Sartre opened – No Exit – where three characters find themselves waiting in a mysterious room. They’re dead. This is … Continue reading

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