Charles Cottle — In May 2018 I took a tour to Russia, the Baltic countries, and Poland. We were in Russia for over a week, during which time we toured Moscow and St. Petersburg. In such a short period of time one cannot see anything but the major tourist sites and only get a smattering of Russian culture. Nonetheless, I was impressed by the beautiful … Continue reading Churches of Moscow, Russia and Vicinity
Charles Cottle —Below are a few short description of books I have read recently. I have grouped them into fiction and non-fiction categories. This past year I joined a couple book clubs at the Hedberg Library, our excellent public library here in Janesville, Wisconsin. Most of the fiction listed below comes from the book clubs. I want to thank Nikki Bolka and Beth Webb, the … Continue reading Books Recently Read – Fall 2018 to Fall 2019
Charles Cottle — Reputable sources report that advances in technology now take more jobs from American workers than China. In the past, our educational system has confronted the challenge of technological change by educating workers in new skills. That tactic may be less effective in the future as we face new developments in artificial intelligence. The video below is a discussion of these issues using … Continue reading Technology and Jobs of the Future: The View from Karl Marx
Charles Cottle and James Cottle — In May 2017 my brother Jim and I traveled on a tour of central Europe. The major cities on the tour included Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin. The first city on the tour was Budapest, Hungary. Featured here are my brother’s photos of the major architectural sites that one can visit in only two days in Budapest. I have … Continue reading Forty-Eight Hours in Budapest: A Photographic Essay
Charles Cottle — It appears, thanks to a Trump administration initiative, that the lives of many tipped employees in restaurants may soon get much worse. On December 5, 2017 the U.S. Department of Labor filed a request to rescind several regulations imposed on employers by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under an executive order issued during the Obama administration, businesses with tipped employees (restaurants, … Continue reading Do Tips Belong to the Employees Who Receive Them?
Charles Cottle — I was recently invited to display several photographs of Oaxaca, Mexico at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater during the annual Latino Heritage Month celebration. The exhibit had to be put together quickly, so I chose seven photos that I had ready to go and worked up seven more for a total of fourteen. The first five of the show were participants in the … Continue reading Images of Oaxaca: A Photo Essay
Charles Cottle — The central component of the tax reform plan now in the U.S. Congress is a major corporate income tax cut from 35% to 20%. Critics charge that the plan is primarily a tax giveaway to corporations that will enrich corporate elites even more, increase the national deficit, and pass the costs along to the middle class. As Republicans move toward passage of … Continue reading What is the Relationship between Corporate Tax Rates and Job Growth?
Charles Cottle — Take a look at the New York Times best seller list any given week and you will see that about a third of the books listed are crime mysteries. Americans, at least those who read and buy books, are in love with crime fiction. Readers of the genre will have different preferences. Some like the “cozies” in which the amateur sleuth, while … Continue reading Why Do We Like Crime Fiction So Much?
Charles Cottle — 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 … Continue reading Books Recently Read: A Summer of Fiction
Charles Cottle — When I was young there were heroes. They were on TV, in the comic books, and at the movies. It was the 1950’s, the heyday of the cowboy western. It was the age of the buckaroo. A man of few words, and often a loner, the buckaroo showed up whenever there was trouble. He always defended the weak in the name of … Continue reading Bring Back the Buckaroo: Or “Shane, Shane, Come Back!”
Charles Cottle — Many of us who take pictures have traveled to beautiful places, taken 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 … Continue reading Ten Simple Tips for Better Photos
Charles Cottle — 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. Despite the charges of race baiting, misogyny, xenophobia, and all the … Continue reading How Can We Create Jobs?
Charles Cottle — 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 was in no mood to start cooking … Continue reading Dining with the Colonel – No. 39
Charles Cottle — 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 … Continue reading Parasites on the Working Poor: The Payday Loan Business
Charles Cottle — 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 … Continue reading Two Walks in Oaxaca
Charles Cottle — 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, but I do not like tipping because it is a form of exploitation. It allows the employers to exploit workers, to place workers in a … Continue reading Why I Do Not Like Tipping
Charles Cottle — 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 recent mysteries I have read followed by … Continue reading Books Recently Read
Charles Cottle — In the world of international trade, China cheats. Much was made of this claim in the 2012 election season and now again in 2016. China’s cheating, it is claimed, creates an uneven “playing field” on which the United States is the loser. For those who have not followed these issues, China is said to cheat in three basic ways. First, it subsidizes … Continue reading Who Benefits When China “Cheats”?
Charles Cottle — The Birth of Jesus 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 … Continue reading Thoughts on the Incarnation of Jesus