Alan Bock, editorial writer and opion page editor at the Orange County Register’s editorial page, and a longtime columnist for Antiwar.com — died today, shortly after entering a hospice. He was 67.
Alan was the author of four books: Ecology Action Guide (1970), The Gospel Life of Hank Williams (1976), Ambush at Ruby Ridge (1995) and Waiting to Inhale: The Politics of Medical Marijuana (2000).
Alan was a very personable guy: easygoing, he exuded an aura of benevolence and good will. He was such a nice guy that, back when we were just starting out, he agreed to write a column for us for no payment: he was the longest-running columnist second only to myself, with his first piece posted in 1999.
He worked at the Register for nearly 30 years, and his was a respected voice in the editorial department: a hardcore libertarian, he was nevertheless very far from a humorless ideologue concerned only with politics. As he wrote in his farewell column for the Register:
“There are plenty of things more important than politics: your family and friends and treating them right, the search for spiritual meaning in an often confusing and ambiguous world, art, music, science, simple enjoyment of the good things in life, struggling to make good choices rather than destructive ones, and supporting your children in their intellectual endeavors and at soccer and softball games. All these challenges, however, can be handled better – not necessarily easily, but better – in an atmosphere of personal liberty and freedom to make one’s own choices than in a repressive regime that makes choices for you and forces them on you.”
Alan’s Antiwar.com columns combine a reportorial respect for the facts with a thoroughgoing application of the libertarian principle of nonintervention in the affairs of other nations. His constancy (he was never late with his column), and his devotion to the idea that peace is not only desirable but possible, made him one of our most valued contributors.
He will be greatly missed.