How Can We Create Jobs? – 2017

(This is an expanded version of a piece I wrote over four years ago. The U.S. economy is better now than it was then, but the question is still important.) — In 1992 James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager, famously coined the phrase, “The Economy, Stupid.” The phrase went viral as it was transformed into, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Today, in 2017, many observers claim that Carville’s slogan still applies. “It’s (still) the economy, stupid,” a lesson the Democrats failed to remember.

Ceramic Jar with Top on a black background

From Clay to Jar – Part II: Preparing the Top

This is the second in a series of videos in which Rick Hintze, an accomplished potter from Whitewater, Wisconsin, demonstrates the complete process of making a jar from clay to finished product. In the previous installment, Rick demonstrated the “throwing” of the jar on a wheel. He also made a top for the jar. In…

Dining with the Colonel – No. 39

Snow was falling and I was tired. I was returning home to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin after a day of teaching at the university. It was 5:30 in the afternoon in the middle of winter, so it had already been dark for about an hour. As I pulled into town, I started thinking about food. I…

Two Walks in Oaxaca

Oaxaca draws me back, time after time. Since 2005 I have visited this city of half a million inhabitants many times. Like most visitors to this city in southern Mexico, I stay in the historic district, which like the historic districts of many former Spanish colonial cities, is home to beautiful churches, Spanish colonial architecture,…

Why I Do Not Like Tipping

  I do not like tipping waitresses, waiters, hotel bell boys, car wash attendants, or any other employees who depend upon tips for their wages. I am not a tightwad, indeed much to the contrary. I tip generously to all those mentioned above. I do not like tipping because it is a form of exploitation.…

Books Recently Read

Below are a few thoughts about books I have read recently. Mysteries are my guilty pleasure. Once I have started one, I find it hard to put it down. And if I’m reading a series that I like, I’m barely social until I finish every book in the list. So here are some thoughts about…

Thoughts on the Incarnation of Jesus

Charles Cottle —   On Christmas day, 2015, there appeared in the New York Times an essay entitled, “The Christmas Revolution” by Peter Wehner. In the essay Wehner presents a provocative set of observations about the incarnation of Jesus. It is Wehner’s view that Jesus’ birth was a revolutionary event, not only for those reasons…

Panoramic view of the archaeological reconstruction at Monte Albán

Reflections on Oaxaca

Over the past ten years I have visited Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico about forty times. During that period, I visited the city at least three times per year, and some years more. Understandably, my impressions of the city and the state of Oaxaca have evolved over the years. When I first arrived in  Oaxaca, I delighted in…

Cartoon: Fellow is updating his facebook account while nuclear warhead explodes.

What if Facebook Were Our Only Source of News?

What if Facebook were our only source of news and information? What would we know about the United States? How would we see the world around us? I have been thinking about these important questions and offer the following observations. (Note that some of the observations contradict others, but that’s the nature of reality in…