Aleck Loker, Writer

Fiction and nonfiction for all ages

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Computers Reduce Productivity

Posted by Aleck Loker on July 5, 2014 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (9)

Thirty years ago computers appeared on desks in the workplace of government and corporate employers. These devices promised increased productivity; the result has been a significant decrease in productivity and, ironically, personal communication. Here’s why.

 

Face-to-face communication is now a rarity. Example--I was doing a consulting job for a college and needed the facilities manager to have some signs installed. He shared an of...

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Congressional Reform

Posted by Aleck Loker on October 1, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

REMEMBER THE SUPERCOMMITTEE?

It wasn't that long ago that Congress appointed the "super-committee" to arrive at a federal budget plan that would bring spending in line and end the political wrangling over the out-of-control federal appetite for more money and more programs. The super-committee failed miserably and the result was "sequestration" a euphemism for Congressional incompetence. Now the House has proposed a joint committee of Congress to arrive at a spending bill that will carr...

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Hurricane Sandy, Global Warming and Public Policy

Posted by Aleck Loker on November 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

This essay is not about the cause of global warming or whether global warming has increased the severity of recent storms such as hurricane Sandy. It’s about the reality that sea level throughout the world has been rising for about 20,000 years--since the last Ice Age--and will continue for the foreseeable future. In the mid-Atlantic region, sea level has risen faster than anticipated due to the subsiding of the eastern edge of the continental plate. The latest predictio...

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Hurricane Sandy, Global Warming and Public Policy

Posted by Aleck Loker on November 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This essay is not about the cause of global warming or whether global warming has increased the severity of recent storms such as hurricane Sandy. It’s about the reality that sea level throughout the world has been rising for about 20,000 years--since the last Ice Age--and will continue for the foreseeable future. In the mid-Atlantic region, sea level has risen faster than anticipated due to the subsiding of the eastern edge of the continental plate. The latest predictio...

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Intelligent Defense Budget Cuts Are Possible

Posted by Aleck Loker on November 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

We’re heading toward a national budget crisis that could dwarf economic problems in Europe. Politicians offer no concrete solution to this crisis, only vague comments about controlling government spending and reducing the deficit. Our national budget exceeds $3 trillion; each one-percent cut equals over $30 billion. Without getting into acrimonious debate about entitlements and government dependence, let’s focus on a part of the federal budget that is so important ...

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Separation of Church and (Political) Statements

Posted by Aleck Loker on March 19, 2012 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Politicians invoke the Bill of Rights to cloak their ideology in a mantle of revered American liberties. The latest debate centers on the assertion that “Separation of Church and State” precludes churches or church-run institutions from having to provide certain medical insurance benefits to their employees. Here’s what the Bill of Rights has to say.

The first article in the Bill of Rights, says only this about religion, “Cong...

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Outlaw the Political Parties

Posted by Aleck Loker on February 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Partisanship has become so embedded in our political process that loyalty to the party platform overrides interest in the common good—in other words, statesmanship. This unproductive partisanship is most evident in national politics but is also apparent at the state and local level. A statesman is concerned about the next generation, a politician is concerned about his/her next election (to paraphrase J. F. Clarke). What better way to win the next election than to make th...

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Paying Big for My Misspent Youth

Posted by Aleck Loker on February 13, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (1)

All those days waterskiing and otherwise enjoying life on the water gave me too much sun exposure. The penalty has been repeated trips to the dermatologist over the last twenty years. At my last visit, the doctor prescribed a cream to “get rid of the sun damaged cells” on my face. When the pharmacy filled the prescription they said the total cost was $1,100, with insurance covering all but $200. I told them to put the prescription where the sun don’t shine.

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The Death of American Culture

Posted by Aleck Loker on January 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

In the last couple of years, television programming has hit an all time low. I stopped watching “network” programs many years ago in favor of the documentary programs on the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and National Geographic’s channel. Over the years, those channels have become a huge disappointment. Now the focus is on “reality programs.” If what is portrayed on these channels truly depicts real life in America, ...

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Failure of the Supercommittee

Posted by Aleck Loker on December 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The “Super-committee” failed, predictably. Now Congress will conceive of a way to avoid the built-in budget cuts in the FY 2012 budget, a budget that should have been passed before the end of last September. Congress never passed the 2011 budget; funding was provided through a continuing resolution that was crafted on the brink of government-wide shutdown last April—six months late. In spite of the pompous pronouncements of our politicians, the words of Ambros...

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