November 17, 2013

Just a reminder to keep up with my newspaper blog:

The Eclectic Digest

which is new once or twice a week.

October 20, 2013

The most recent blogs at

Detroit Tigers win pennant - in Africa

By Hal Brown
I was at the mall yesterday and ran into a security guard I know.
He told me about how all the merchants that carry sports merchadise would be working after hours.
They’d be waiting anxiously to find out if they’d be happily putting all the Red Sox 2013 Ammerican League Champions clothes and other merchandise on display and on the racks.
If you have an idea for a topic for me to write about, or a question or a correction, for me, feel free to email me here. I will not share your email address with anyone.

Sex for sale and legalizing prostitution

By Hal Brown
“Masseuse led double life” is the above the fold headline in The Brockton Enterprise. For some reason this is bigger news in the Brockton area than the Braintree area, since The Patriot Headline is “A.G. want chemist jailed 5-7 years.”. I am sure readers of The Ledger would be as interested in this story as those who read The Enterprise.
Come on, be honest. Who isn't at least a little bit interested in this story? How many men won't take aonother look atZyriah's photo and ask why they weren't like Justin Richard who wrote as a comment to the first article "Zyriah is translated to Steve!!!! That's a man baby!!!!!!"
That being said, the gender reassignment matter is what made this a headline story.
I bet The Enterprise sells more papers today than the Ledger.

What can anyone write about sex and prostitution that hasn’t already been written? For that matter, what can anyone write about the pros and cons of legalizing prostitution in the United States that hasn't already been written?
Drawing, Wikimedia Commons, artist unknown)
If you have an idea for a topic for me to write about, or a question or a correction, for me, feel free to email me here. I will not share your email address with anyone.

It’s all about morality: The case of the Middleboro hit and run driver

By Hal Brown
Michael Dutra(Updateed) I expect most of you have heard about the hit and run accident which killed Michael Dutra while he was riding his bicycle in Middleboro early Friday evening.
There are calls for this person to come forward. Certainly they have a moral obligation to do so.
As I write this it’s Monday morning. Presumably the police still do not know the individual’s identity. They do have leads, and I hope they have suspects. I expect that by now they know from experience that the driver isn’t likely to walk into the police station voluntarily.
(Includes a message to whoever committed this crime about their self-interest.)
New: A message to the passenger in the vehicle:

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September 4, 2013

Announcing "The Eclectic Digest"

Click to enlarge

You can call this a blog or a column. The Enterprise and Patriot Ledger call it both depending on whether you look on their editorial page or their community blog page. 

 I now have a chance to write about anything and everything that suits me, and of course that
I think readers will find riveting. 

These two dailies cover the area south of Boston and have a circ. of over 50,000 combined. The column may also be published in other papers owned by GateHouse Media. These include the recently acquired Standard Times and The Cape Cod Times. The Middleboro Gazette was also acquired in this deal.

My understanding is that the editors of each paper decide which columns or blogs to publish. 

Here's how all this came about

Bored, I started posting a lot of comments online after they required all posters use their real names.

Overnight the numbers posting dwindled so my comments stood out.

One thing led to another and I came to the attention of their online editor, and then the editor-in-chief of the two newspapers.

I wrote a letter to the editor about medical marijuana and my wife. The decided to put it  in the print edition as a commentary, and of course online.

I kept posting comments on their various articles. 

One thing led to another.

Now I have a commitment to post two articles, or columns, or blogs (whatever you want to call them) every week.

Click images to enlarge.

The first four pieces above, from the editorial page, are by me. I have to restrain myself in how often I post, because I don't want to hog this section. However it is a good start so hopefully readers will take an interest in what I have to say.

August 6, 2013

Margaret E. (Oakland) Korpinen, 93, longtime Middleboro resident, died peacefully Aug. 4, 2013, at Oak Hill Nursing Home.

She was the beloved wife of Vaino A. Korpinen for 71 years. Margaret was born in South Carver, daughter of the late Konsta and Betsy Oakland. She was a graduate of Middleboro High School, Class of 1938, and attended Williams Business School, in Brockton. Margaret worked in the business office of Ocean Spray in the early years of the company, and was a grower-owner for many years. Margaret was a charter member of the Middleboro Ski Club, and traveled the world with her husband. She was a great cook, loved crafts of all kinds, and was known for her beautiful flower gardens. 

Margaret was preceded in death by daughter, Betty Brown

In addition to her husband Vaino, she is survived by nieces, Cheryl Korpinen and Brenda Chase; and nephew, Neil Korpinen. 

Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, Aug 7, from 2-4 and 6-8, at the Ashley Funeral Home, 35 Oak St., Middleboro. The funeral will take place at the funeral home Thursday, Aug. 8, at 10, followed by interment at The Green Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Betty Brown Memorial Scholarship at the Middleboro Public Library. Margaret was a lovely woman with great style and a warm heart, and will be greatly missed by all those who loved her. 

Click to enlarge

August 3, 2013

Photo by Hal Brown using panorama function on iPhone 5, Aug. 1, 2013, 
view from Castle Rock, Marblehead, MA.
(Click image to enlarge)

July 28, 2013

For Internet Geeks
Above: Google in 2000, click to enlarge

My Tawdry Affair with Google!

A brief history of "Hal Brown" online 
and a lesson in how search engines work minus the algorithms

In the early days of the Internet the primary search engines included AltaVista, LookSmart, InfoSeek, Excite and YaHoo. Google changed the entire online search landscape. 

Back when I had several websites ( Cranberry Stressline, Police Stressline, Casino Friend - a local pro-casino website - and my own therapy website ), was publishing a weekly column in a political website, Capitol Hill Blue, and was having articles about me published in the online media, I indulged in Googling my name quite regularly to see how my sites stood up in search engine listings.

For awhile I shared space equally in the top 10 with a California politician and  baseball player.


 Hal Brown the pitcher is now 88 years old.
This is from Wikipedia:
Hal Brown, nicknamed "Skinny", is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1951 through 1964for the Chicago White SoxBoston Red SoxBaltimore OriolesNew York Yankees, and Houston Colt .45s
In 2012 my politician namesake, a highly regarded Marin County supervisor, died. Now it's mostly the baseball player and I in the first 10. That's surprising considering I have such a common last name and I am hardly a retired major league baseball player.

Longtime Marin supervisor Hal Brown dies of cancer at 66

Understanding the way search engines rank and and trying to get to the top of search results is necessary if you want people to find your website. Police Stressline always came up as number one or two in a search for police stress. To Ocean Spray's dismay, Cranberry Stressline came up on the first page of searches for them. A search for Middleboro casino always brought up Casino Friend and the competing Casino Facts.

With all these websites of mine moribund I still indulge my curiosity, and my vanity, by searching for just my name. In fact if you are reading this it's probably because you were trying to learn more about me. In fact you could have found this by just searching Hal and Middleboro.

There are many Hal Brown's online. If you believe Google, there are 77,800,000 results when you search my name. The reason I rank so highly is precisely because there are so many of my namesakes online. One of the reasons I rank higher than most of them is that I keep some of my posting fresh, and that people are still reading my old websites.

If you ended up here looking to learn more about me you won't discover much. Instead click on the other links among the first 20 results.

July 26, 2013

Seriously Hal

From April to the end of June I was foreman of the county grand jury. Even with what I learned about crime from my work both as a psychotherapist and an auxiliary policy officer, this was an amazing eye-openning experience. I heard testimony from the police, witnesses and victims in just about every major crime you read about in The Enterprise or saw reported on the local news.

This experience gave me a rare view of a culture where crime and violence is taken for granted. 

This was a period when Brockton had a spike in murders and other violent crimes.

 A grand jury decides whether indictments are warranted. It has 23 members selected from the normal jury pool. It meets one day a week for three months. All evidence, from crime scene photos to hospital records, are available for review. Unlike jurors in a jury trail, grand jurors able to ask questions of those who testify before it. Jurors are even able to subpoena evidence.

Sometimes it takes weeks for a grand jury to decide on an indictment. This is because there may be many witnesses and/or because all the forensic evidence isn't in.

Once the grand jury hears all the evidence they deliberate in private and vote either for an indictment or what is called a "no bill". In the later case the charges are dropped.

Every Plymouth County felony which the district attorney's office wants to take to trial must be first indicted by the grand jury.

Our grand jury meets in the basement of the Plymouth County Superior Court House on Belmont Street.

During a break I sat in on double murder and attempted murder trial of Keith Luke. He is the self-decribed white supremacist you all saw photos of.

I happened to be in a  Brockton Enterprise photo of the surviving victim's family which was on the paper's front page:

The United States is the only country that still uses grand juries. They are an important part of our legal system. 

The Sandra Sanders speech wasn't psychiatric word salad, it was deliberate gaslighting

 The Sandra Sanders speech wasn't psychiatric word salad, it was deliberate gaslighting By Hal Brown, MSW Those of us who  watch  MSNBC ...