Books Recently Read: A Summer of Fiction

Over the summer I read a number of popular books from various best seller lists. Here are my short reviews of ten of those. As you can see, I especially like a good mystery or detective crime novel. If you have read some that are not on this list, I would appreciate hearing from you about others that you think are good and those that … Continue reading Books Recently Read: A Summer of Fiction

Ten Simple Tips for Better Photos

Many of us who take pictures have traveled to beautiful places, took photos, and returned home only to find that what we experienced at the picturesque site was nowhere to be found in the photos we took. I remember going up the California coast once from Santa Barbara to Monterey taking photos of some of the most beautiful coastline in the United States only to … Continue reading Ten Simple Tips for Better Photos

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. Continue reading How Can We Create Jobs? – 2017

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 the present video, he finishes the top by sculpting the … Continue reading From Clay to Jar – Part II: Preparing the Top

Parasites on the Working Poor: The Payday Loan Business

In the last few years a sure sign of declining economic capabilities among the working poor has been the proliferation of “payday” loan businesses. Here in Wisconsin, the state in which I live, these businesses have sprouted like weeds in every small town across the state. The growth of the payday loan business is viewed by many to be a national problem and it is coming … Continue reading Parasites on the Working Poor: The Payday Loan Business

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, and cobble-stone streets. Yet, these features alone do not convey … Continue reading Two Walks in Oaxaca

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. It allows the employer to exploit the worker, to place … Continue reading Why I Do Not Like Tipping

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 that are well known, but also for reasons seldom discussed. … Continue reading Thoughts on the Incarnation of Jesus

Our Insanity About Guns

The Republican dominated Congress of the United States has now condemned the United States to a kind of living hell. The U.S. Senate voted last week to reject the expansion of background checks for guns purchased online  and purchases at gun shows. That means the only solutions the Congress, the National Rifle Association, and the motley assortment of Republican presidential candidates can offer to remedy … Continue reading Our Insanity About Guns