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.

Signaling Admiration

The First World War was supposed to be the War to End All War – because that would settle matters in Europe, and down through Africa and over in the Middle East too – and it sort of did. The … Continue reading

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System Overload

Something is up. Things couldn’t be this strange – but Donald Trump is president and, with no experience in government or public policy or diplomacy or military matters, and no sense of what has come before and what allies expect … Continue reading

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Appropriate Response

It may be that the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. That was Obama’s strategy and his foreign policy – “Don’t do stupid shit.” Informally that was “leading from behind” – which worked just fine and drove … Continue reading

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On Becoming Self-Impeachable

Reporters know what to do. If it’s a feature story, a human interest thing, for the top left of the front page, set the scene. Be cinematic or novelistic. Describe the landscape and then introduce the colorful main characters. Hook … Continue reading

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The Provocateur

Donald Trump made his fortune being provocative, and often outrageous. He was always over-the-top, alternatively bragging and sneering, and never apologizing for anything. He pointed and mocked, and that made him rich – if he is rich (no one really … Continue reading

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In Need of a Landslide

“When ancient opinions and rules of life are taken away, the loss cannot possibly be estimated. From that moment, we have no compass to govern us, nor can we know distinctly to what port to steer.” ~ Edmund Burke Burke … Continue reading

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The No-Show Show

Nothing happened. Richard Nixon wanted nothing to happen. No one would hear those tapes. No one should hear those tapes. No president, in the future, would be able to talk frankly to his staff and with other world leaders, or … Continue reading

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